It's been an exciting decade in America. Cars have gotten smaller. Our cell phones keep getting bigger. And cities across the country are experiencing revitalization, as people move back in from the suburbs.
Another thing that has changed in the recent past has been how Americans get to and from work. Bicycling has experienced massive growth, both as a recreational activity, and as a way to commute. Between 2000 and 2013, the number of people who bike to work grew 63%, to nearly 900,000 across the country. San Antonio has seen an explosion in bike commuters, as well, with numbers more than doubling since 1990.
The new interest in using pedals rather than cars to get around has spurred state and local investment in bike lanes. The number of protected bike lanes being built – those that are separated from the road by a grass island or cones – has skyrocketed. In 2011 and 2012, 40 were built in American cities, while only 62 were built in all of the years prior to that. Even the federal government has helped out, contributing over a billion dollars to fund bike lanes and other projects in 2010.
Dangers of Biking
Unfortunately, and despite the interest and investment in bike safety projects, accidents still happen frequently. And when these accidents involve a cyclist and a car or truck, the results can be catastrophic for the biker. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 743 bicyclists were killed in motor vehicle crashes in 2013, representing 2.3% of all fatalities in motor vehicle accidents. They also estimate that another 48,000 cyclists were injured in motor vehicle accidents in 2013.
These numbers are hugely disproportionate to the number of people using their bikes to get around, largely because of how unprotected bikers are, in an accident. Even if a biker is wearing a helmet, when put into a collision with a thousand-pound car or truck, even a low-speed collision, the likelihood that they get hurt is significantly higher than if they were in a car.
Common Biking Injuries
The injuries that bikers suffer in accidents are often serious, and can be debilitating. Because of how exposed bikers are to their surroundings, injuries like fractures and broken bones are relatively common, especially in the lower extremities, where the car's fender typically makes the first impact.
Broken bones are apparent and, though they're incredibly painful, are often easily fixed. Other injuries, like muscular injuries, as well as spinal cord and head injuries, are far more difficult to detect and heal. If you were struck while cycling, you may feel fine after an accident, but still be harboring a serious condition as a result of the collision. Latent injuries like these can lead to significant health issues weeks, months, or even years after the accident, resulting in medical bills, pain, and suffering that won't be recompensed.
Insurance Companies Rarely Protect Bikers
Being on a bike in a motor vehicle accident often leads to high medical bills and other financial problems. Insurance companies know this, and will fight all the way to the end to make sure that you get as little in compensation as possible. When it comes time for them to cover your injuries, insurance companies will look for any possible means to avoid making a payment, and often try to pin the blame on you, as the biker, by claiming that you weren't properly yielding to traffic.
In the aftermath of a bike collision, insurance companies will try to negotiate with you by offering a settlement to compensate you for your injuries. These settlement offers are rarely close to what it would take to make you completely whole, again, and often only cover a portion of the medical expenses that you face.
Compensation for Your Injuries Following a Bike Accident
If you've been hurt in a bicycle accident, you should not have to worry about how to pay for your injuries. The people who caused the accident should be responsible for making sure you get back on your feet, like you were before the crash.
Dreyer & Mazaheri are the personal injury attorneys who are able to make sure that this is exactly what happens. Using their experience, extensive preparation, and exceptional trial advocacy abilities, Dreyer & Mazaheri is a personal injury law firm that is prepared to go into battle against the people responsible for your injuries.
This is not just limited to the staggering medical bills that you accumulate, as you recover. While insurance companies will try to get away with only paying a portion of these bills, Dreyer & Mazaheri fight to get all of them, and then the other payments that you should receive, as well.
These other payments that Dreyer & Mazaheri pursue try to alleviate the difficulties that you might face, following a debilitating bicycle accident, and include wages lost, while you were recovering, as well as any future earning capacity that you lost, due to your injuries. They also include the pain, suffering, and mental anguish that you've dealt with since the accident, and that you will deal with, in the future.
Dreyer & Mazaheri even strives to get others involved in your loss compensated, as well. After all, your spouse or children have also suffered from your injuries and any difficulties you'll have to deal with, in the future. There's no reason why they should have to be put through these hardships without help.
If you were riding a bike and have been involved in a motor vehicle accident, call Dreyer & Mazaheri. Our skill both in and out of the courtroom will go the extra mile for you. Call our law office at (210) 472-1400.