While some bicycle crashes cause minor injuries, many others result in serious, life-altering injuries. Riders do not have anywhere near the level of protection as those in cars. That means riders have a much higher risk of serious injury if they get hit by a car.
Below, we discuss some of the most common catastrophic injuries that occur in bicycle crashes in Windsor and the surrounding areas. If you suffered a bicycle accident injury because of a driver’s negligence, give us a call.
At Greg Monforton and Partners there are no upfront fees or legal obligations. Our Windsor bicycle accident lawyers do not get paid unless we win, and you receive compensation.
Contact us to learn more about how we can help: (866) 320-4770.
1. Traumatic Brain Injuries and Other Head Injuries
One of the biggest dangers of a collision with a car is that you could get knocked off your bicycle. For instance, if you get hit from behind you could get thrown over your handlebars. This could also happen in a head-on collision.
You could hit your head on a car, the pavement or a fixed object, such as a road sign, utility pole or tree.
Wearing a helmet is one of the most important steps you can take to help reduce your risk of a head or brain injury in a motor vehicle crash. However, even if you are wearing a helmet during the crash, you could suffer a concussion or another type of traumatic brain injury, such as:
- Closed brain injury
- Open head/penetrating brain injury
- Diffuse axonal injury
- Brain hemorrhage
- Coup-contrecoup brain injury
- Intracranial hematoma
Some bicycle accident head injuries can be treated, but a large percentage are fatal. Even if the injury is not fatal, victims could be left with severe physical and cognitive deficits. For example, victims may struggle with:
- Fine motor skills
- Behavior changes
- Visual impairment
- Memory problems
Symptoms of a bicycle crash brain injury may include:
- Light sensitivity
- Memory loss
- Trouble with balance and coordination
2. Broken Bones
When bike riders get hit by a car, the force of impact is so strong it can easily cause bones to break. The more serious the collision, the more serious the bone fractures are likely to be. Even if your body does not get hit by the car, you could fall from your bike and hit the pavement, or something else, so hard that bones break.
It is only natural to stick your arms out to try to break your fall, and this could result in a broken arm, broken wrist or even broken collarbone. In fact, collarbone breaks are a common injury among bicyclists, regardless of whether the accident involves a car.
Bicyclists could also suffer fractures to their:
Often bicyclists’ shoes are clipped or strapped to their pedals. That means their feet may be more likely to stay in one position during the crash. This may increase the risk of fractures in the feet or legs.
After the collision, bicyclists may be at risk of getting hit by passing vehicles, which could result in further injury.
If you get struck in the chest, it is possible to suffer bruised or even fractured ribs, which can make it difficult to breathe and cause significant pain.
Sometimes a broken bone can heal in a matter of weeks after the break is set and the victim wears a cast. However, sometimes bones break in multiple places, or the break is not clean. If this happens, you may need surgery to bring the bones back together and keep them together. Doctors may need to insert plates or screws to help your bones heal.
Other risks associated with fractures include internal bleeding and hemorrhagic shock.
Some bicycle crash victims lose fingers, toes or limbs (arms, legs, feet or hands). This could happen during the crash or limbs could suffer such catastrophic damage they need to be amputated later.
Amputations could be the result of getting run over by a car, either during or after the initial crash. Victims could suffer crush injuries that destroy so many cells that doctors cannot save the limb. There could also be a risk of an infection and amputation may be necessary to save the bicyclist’s life.
Sometimes limbs land with so much force the victim suffers multiple fractures. This could result in excessive bleeding and/or infections that might result in the need to amputate the limb.
4. Spinal Cord Injuries and Other Back Injuries
A sharp blow to the back, such as from landing on your back during the crash, could cause damage to your spinal cord. The injury could be so severe it leads to complete or partial paralysis.
There are a few different types of spinal cord fractures that may occur in a collision between a bicycle and a car:
- Burst fractures, which occur when there are fractures in multiple places, could cause paralysis or even death
- Flexion fractures, which occur when vertebrae are torn apart, which may happen if the top part of your body is thrown forward while the bottom part remains in one place
- Compression fractures, which occur when the front of the vertebrae collapse from the force of the accident
There are other back/spinal cord injuries that do not cause paralysis, but victims may deal with severe pain and limited mobility, such as:
- Herniated discs
- Pinched nerves
Spinal cord injuries that result in significant paralysis can cause numerous symptoms, including:
- Lost bowel control
- Lost bladder control
- Impaired sexual function
- Breathing issues
These physical symptoms can also cause significant emotional/psychological struggles. Victims may need assistance with daily tasks each day.
5. Neck Injuries
During the crash, your head could whip forward and backward, causing sprains or strains in the muscles, tendons and nerves in your neck.
Insurance companies often consider whiplash to be a minor injury, but it can cause significant pain and limited mobility. The effects could last weeks, months or longer. Sometimes the nerve damage from a neck injury is permanent, which could lead to numbness, tingling and weakness in your arms, fingers and even your legs.
6. Internal Bleeding or Organ Damage
If a bicyclist gets hit in the abdomen during the crash, such as by a car or by landing on his or her stomach or back, it could cause damage to internal organs. Bicyclists could also suffer internal organ damage if they get run over during or after the crash.
Bicycle accident victims may deal with internal bleeding and other damage that could cause internal organs to shut down and stop working. This is a life-threatening emergency and victims need immediate medical attention.
Examples of internal organ injuries that could occur in a bicycle crash include:
- Lacerated liver
- Hernia, which could be caused by hitting your handlebars, seat, stem or top tube
- Ruptured spleen
- Collapsed lung
Signs of internal organ injuries should not be ignored. These include:
- Belly being tender to the touch
- Distended belly
- Serious bruising on your abdomen
7. Facial/Eye Injuries
Most bicycle helmets offer no protection for your face. While the helmet may reduce your risk of a head or brain injury, your face could suffer cuts, bruises and more severe injuries like:
- Broken jaw
- Broken cheekbone
- Dental injuries, including lost teeth
- Eye injuries, including eyes getting pierced by broken glass or other debris created by the crash
Bicyclists may need extensive surgery to repair the damage done by the crash. Eye injuries could lead to impaired vision or even blindness. Some bicycle crash victims may be left with permanent scarring and disfigurement.
Call Greg Monforton and Partners After a Bicycle Crash
For decades, our firm has been helping injured victims obtain the justice and compensation they deserve. Our services come with no upfront costs. We are not paid unless we win.
If you were injured in a bicycle accident, we may be able to help you secure compensation for your damages. We have the resources and legal knowledge to build a strong case on your behalf.
Experienced Lawyers. Millions Recovered. Call (866) 320-4770.