Bicycle Injuries in New Hampshire
When a person is injured by another party, they have a right to seek compensation for the costs associated with their injuries. This includes any type of accident, including vehicle accidents. One less common type of vehicle accidents involves bicycles. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that only about 1% of all trips taken in the US involve bicycles. However, cyclists face a much higher risk of crash related injury and death then occupants of any other type of vehicle. The NHTSA found that in 2011, cyclists deaths made up 4.4% of all motor vehicle deaths in New Hampshire that year. In 2010, about 515,000 people visited the emergency room for a bike injury. Additionally, about 800 cyclists were killed that year in bicycle accidents.
A bike accident that is caused by a negligent driver is just like any other auto accident. The victim has rights just as any other vehicle occupant would. If you or a loved one has been hurt in an accident while riding a bike in New Hampshire, you may be entitled to compensation.
Types of Bike Accidents
A bike accident can occur in a number of ways. Often, it involves a victim traveling on bicycle and being struck by a driver in an automobile. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) states that, in 2011, 677 people were killed and 48,000 injured due to motor vehicles traffic accidents. The drivers' reasons for striking a cyclist are often not important. Whether they were distracted, speeding, or simply not keeping an eye out for bicycle riders, a driver who hits a person on a bicycle can often be held liable for the injuries that accident inflicted.
Bicycle accidents can happen anywhere and involve individuals commuting on bicycles, riding for sport and even children riding bikes in their neighborhoods. The CDC found that most that bicycle accidents are more likely to occur in urban areas and at non-intersection locations on the roads. They also found that the highest percentage of accidents occurred during the hours of 4:00 pm and 7:59 pm; likely when traffic is at its worst and drivers are not looking for people to be commuting on bike.
Additionally, a bike accident can involve a victim of an age. The CDC states that non-fatal bicycle accidents were most common in children ages 5 to 14 years old and young adults aged 15 to 24. These groups account for about 60% of all bicycle injury victims who visit emergency room in the US. Fatal bicycle accidents, however, involve adolescents aged 15 to 24 and adults aged 45 and older.
Bicycle Crash Injuries
The injuries suffered in a bicycle accident can be great. Because bikes lack the protection and safety features available in motor vehicles, riders can be seriously hurt in even minor auto accidents. Common injuries include the following:
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
- Broken bones
- Bruises, cuts and scrapes
- Back or spine injuries
- Facial or dental injuries
Bicycle accidents can lead to serious injury as well as steep medical costs. The CDC found that, in 2005, the lifetime medical costs and productivity losses of those injured in fatal and nonfatal bicycle crashes was $5 billion. This includes the cost of medical treatment and care as well as lost wages for those killed or rendered unable to work due to their injuries.
Bicycle Injury Attorney
When a person is hurt in a vehicle collision whether it involves cars, trucks or a bicycle, the victims and their families may be entitled to compensation for medical bills and other expenses from the party responsible for causing the injury. Victims who are seriously hurt may be entitled to money for medical bills, lost wages from inability to work and more. In fatal accidents, victim's family members may also be entitled to compensation for funeral expenses and wrongful death.
Bicycle accident can often be tricky because the insurance company may argue that the cyclist was not following proper safety measures such as wearing a helmet or was riding their bike outside of a bike lane or in an area that is not safe for bicycles. In order to get the compensation you need, make sure you speak to an injury attorney who is willing to fight for your rights. To find out more about the types compensation available in New Hampshire, contact an injury attorney. It is important to speak to a lawyer right away as statutes of limitations do apply to injury cases in NH.