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“They sent somebody to visit me in the hospital and get my side of the story (totally free). I was assigned Mr. Crawford and told that we had a case. Fast forward about 9 months later and I received literally 14x what the insurance company had offered me. This is after the lawyer and medical fees as well. So basically this was totally free and I barely had to do anything I am so glad I called Marks and Harrison and I will be recommending them to all of my family and friends.”— Robert Smith
Whether you are riding around the University of Virginia, Chris Greene Lake or the historic Downtown Mall, Charlottesville is a gorgeous city for biking. However, riding around the city is not always safe for bicyclists. They must interact with other vehicles that are much larger and pose a significant risk. Even the slightest error on the cyclist’s or a driver’s part can have catastrophic consequences. In bicycle accidents, the biker typically suffers the worst injuries.
When bicycle accidents happen, cyclists need to know that they have rights and may be entitled to compensation. If you have been hurt by someone else’s negligence while on your bike, you should speak to an experienced bicycle accident attorney at Marks & Harrison as soon as possible. We are one of the oldest and largest law firms in Virginia, and we are ready to put our resources to work for you. Call or reach us online today to schedule a free consultation through our Charlottesville office.
Common Injuries in Charlottesville Bicycle Accidents
Motorists are surrounded by a steel frame, seat belts and airbags. In contrast, cyclists have little to no protection. Even a helmet provides only minimal protection if a collision with a car or larger vehicle occurs. This is why head injuries are so common in bicycle accidents. In fact, according to the American Academy of Family Physicians, between 22 percent and 47 percent of cyclists that have been injured on their bike have sustained some type of head injury.
When a cyclist hits the bike’s handlebars or a car door, the cyclist may also suffer trauma to his or her internal organs. Other injuries which commonly occur from bicycle accidents in Charlottesville are:
- Eye trauma from dirt, insects and other airborne objects
- Dental fractures
- Facial injuries
- Broken bones
- Dislocated joints
- Muscular strains
- Road rash, particularly when a cyclist is thrown from the bike
- Neck injuries
- Back and spinal cord injuries.
Due to the fact that the upper body is most vulnerable in a bicycle accident, it is important for cyclists to always protect their head, face, and eyes when heading out on a bike.
Types of Bicycle Accidents in Charlottesville
Bicycle accidents can happen at any time and anywhere. Some of the most common types of accidents are:
- Distracted driving accidents – Many collisions with cyclists occur because car drivers fail to see cyclists. In most cases, distraction is the reason why. Some drivers fail to pay attention because they are too busy with texting, talking on a phone, eating, drinking, smoking or interacting with their passengers.
- Impaired driving accidents – When drivers are impaired by alcohol or drugs, their reaction time is slow, and they are typically unable to fully concentrate on the road.
- Speeding accidents – Rushed drivers don’t always pay attention, particularly to bikes on the road that are much smaller than other vehicles.
- Dooring accidents – When a parked motorist opens a door into the path of a cyclist, the cyclist can run into the door and suffer significant injuries.
- Side-swipe accidents – These accidents occur when a motorist passes a cyclist and doesn’t leave enough room. The motorist can then run into the side of the cyclist.
- Rear-end accidents – These accidents frequently result from a motorist’s failure to pay attention. When cyclists are trying to move left in order to move around parked vehicles, or drivers are not paying attention at stop signs, it can result in these crashes.
- Right- and left-cross accidents – These accidents occur when a motorist is approaching an intersection from a side road or an alley. If a cyclist has already entered the intersection and, and the driver fails to see the biker, a collision will likely result.
- Right-turn accidents – It’s a sad fact that when drivers turn right, they don’t always look first. If a biker is trying to head straight through an intersection, and a driver turns right without looking, it often ends in disaster.
What To Do If You Have Been Hurt in a Charlottesville Bicycle Accident
The moments after a bicycle accident are confusing. You’re likely in shock, aren’t yet aware of the extent of your injuries, and don’t know what to do next. Firstly, it’s important to remain calm and if you can, move out of the street. Yelling and becoming angry are not going to help, so remain respectful to the driver and try to keep a cool head. That will help you take the following steps.
- Call the police. As soon as possible, call the Charlottesville Police Department. An officer can arrive to check on everyone’s condition and, eventually, prepare an accident report. This report can help our team at Marks & Harrison to investigate your case.
- Exchange information with the driver. If you can, get the driver’s name, contact information, license plate number and driver’s license number. If you are unable to do so, ask a bystander to help you get this information.
- Take photos. Hopefully, you will have your phone on you so you can take as many pictures as possible of the scene. Make sure to get pictures of the vehicle involved and any damage to it, your bike and your injuries. Also, take pictures of relevant elements of the accident scene such as the parking spot the vehicle was in when the driver doored you.
- Get medical attention right away. As soon as possible, you should get medical attention for your injuries. Failing to do so could hurt your claim. An insurance company will likely argue that, due to your delay in seeing a doctor, you couldn’t have been seriously injured.
Contact Our Charlottesville Bicycle Accident Attorneys Today
If you have been injured in a bicycle accident in Charlottesville, you need the help of the experienced personal injury lawyers at Marks & Harrison. We will immediately investigate the accident to determine fault, and we will work hard to pursue the compensation that you deserve for your medical expenses, lost wages, pain, suffering, emotional distress and more. Our consultations are always free, and we will charge nothing for our services unless we recover compensation for you. Get started today. Call or reach us online for a free consultation.