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Bike Fatalities Are At A Multi-Decade High
Between 2019 and 2021, the number of fatalities caused by bicycle accidents in the U.S. jumped by more than 10 percent. As the goal of road safety administrators and advocates is always to decrease the number of lives lost and dramatically altered due to injuries on America’s roadways, this shift in statistics is truly astonishing. As a result of this increase, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recently reported that bicycle fatalities are now at a nationwide high not experienced since 1975.
What Is Going On?
It is not a secret that most American roads were not constructed with pedestrians and cyclists in mind. Instead, most were constructed when car culture was nearing, at, or slowly waning from its peak. As a result, it is not only increasingly distracted motorists – and more of them than ever before – that pose a serious threat to cyclists. It’s the roads themselves. If the twin hazards of inadequate road design and distracted, aggressive motorists aren’t addressed in significant ways, it is possible that cyclist fatality rates will continue to climb indefinitely.
Responding To An Injurious Crash
As an experienced bicycle accident lawyer – including those who practice at Blinder Law – can confirm, suffering a vehicle-cycle crash while riding a bike can lead to serious physical injuries and significant financial and legal consequences. Navigating these challenges effectively requires an understanding of the costs involved and the legal considerations that must be addressed.
The immediate and most pressing cost following a bike accident is medical expenses. These can range from emergency room fees, hospital stays, surgeries, medication, and ongoing physical therapy. The severity of injuries often dictates the extent of these costs, which can escalate quickly, especially in cases of serious injuries.
If the injuries sustained in the crash prevent an injury victim from working, they may lose income. This can be a temporary loss until recovery, or in severe cases, there may be a permanent reduction in earning capacity. Calculating these costs accurately is crucial for any potential compensation claims.
Determining liability in a vehicle-cycle crash is a key legal consideration. In many cases, the driver of the vehicle may be at fault, but there can be situations where road conditions, defective parts (for a vehicle or bike), or even the cyclist’s actions contribute to the accident. Understanding and proving negligence is critical in these cases. If the accident was caused by another party’s negligence, filing a personal injury claim may be necessary to recover costs. This can include compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages.
Ultimately, consulting with an attorney who specializes in bike accidents and personal injury can provide guidance concerning a victim’s rights and the best course of action. An experienced lawyer can help those affected by a crash navigate the legal system, negotiate with insurance companies, and better ensure that fair compensation is paid to those who suffered as a result of the crash.