Riding a bicycle is a popular activity around Tampa, for both recreational purposes and as a form of economical transportation. While cycling has many benefits, it also comes with the risk of serious injury. In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported that about 48,000 bicyclists sustained injuries in traffic-related accidents in a single year in the United States.
Bicycle accidents can occur for many different reasons, many of which involve the negligence of another party. Some common causes of these accidents and injuries include:
Careless drivers — Many collisions between motor vehicles and bicycles happen because the driver of the car or truck was negligent in some way. Bicyclists have the same rights to use the roadways as motor vehicles do and drivers are expected to pay adequate attention to bicyclists. However, distracted driving, speeding, and other dangerous behaviors can cause a driver to crash into a bicyclist and cause devastating injuries.
Careless bicyclists — Just like bicyclists have all of the rights to the road as drivers do, they also have the same responsibility to operate their bicycle in a reasonably safe manner and in accordance with all of the relevant traffic laws and regulations. If a bicyclist does not properly follow traffic signals, make safe lane changes, signal for turns, or performs other dangerous behaviors, they can be responsible for causing a collision.
Hazardous roads — Dangerous roads hazards such as potholes or uneven pavement can be dangerous for any driver, but can be especially dangerous for bicyclists. If a bicyclists suddenly hits a pothole, the front tire may stop and the continuing velocity of their body can cause them to be thrown forward from the bicycle. Bicyclists can suffer severe injuries from the impact on the pavement and can even fall into to the path of oncoming traffic. The entity responsible for the proper maintenance, inspection, and repair of the roads can be held liable in such accidents.
Defective bicycles — Manufacturers of bicycles have a duty to ensure they are selling a safe product that will not malfunction and cause accidents and injuries to riders. However, despite this legal duty, the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) regularly has recalls and safety notices regarding potentially defective bicycles. In many situations, a rider will be unaware of the possible defects and can be injured if the brakes, tires, gears, or other part on their bicycle malfunctions.
Head Injuries In Bicycle Accidents
Bicyclists often sustain serious injuries in accidents because they have significantly less protection than motorists in cars or trucks. A direct impact with a vehicle, the roadway, or with another object can cause broken or shattered bones, neck and back injuries, and more. One of the most common injuries to bicyclists is head trauma.
Bicyclists commonly hit their heads when they are in an accident and can sustain catastrophic injuries even if they are wearing a helmet. Traumatic brain injury (TBI), facial and jaw fractures, and hemorrhaging are only some of the head injuries that can occur, even if the bicyclist was wearing a helmet. When a bicyclist suffers a blow to the head, the trauma can still cause a serious TBI through a helmet and the bicyclist can incur serious losses as a result of their serious injuries.
If a bicyclist sustains serious injuries in an accident, they may have the legal right to file a legal claim against any negligent parties in order to seek compensation for their medical costs, pain and suffering, lost wages, and other injury-related losses. An experienced Tampa car accident lawyer will be able to evaluate whether or not an injured bicyclist is entitled to compensation.
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