I was injured while riding a bike in Minnesota. Now what?
Bicycle accidents kill or injure thousands each year in the United States. With motor vehicle drivers refusing to share the road and not keeping out of the bike lane, these accidents are at an all-time high. There are certain rules in place that keep bicyclists safe from these accidents, but many motor vehicle drivers don’t know they exist or simply ignore them completely. The bias that bicyclists don’t belong on the roads often also causes these accidents to occur.
How common are bicycle accidents?
In 2015, there were 467,000 bicycle-related injuries. Out of those accidents, there were over 1,000 deaths. While bicycle trips only account for about 1% of all trips in the United States, bicyclists face a much higher risk of crash-related death or injury compared to other occupants in motor vehicles. This is likely because they don’t wear much padding. A bicycle helmet can help prevent brain injury when falling off a bike, but it might not do much when impacted by a motor vehicle. While the head is covered, the rest of the body is completely exposed.
In Minnesota, bicyclists may ride on any roads (except where restricted), and they must ride in the same direction as traffic. Motorists must maintain a three-foot clearance while passing the bicyclist and should use as much caution as possible. Even with all these rules (and more), bicyclist accidents are still fairly common in Minnesota. Approximately 7 bicyclists are killed each year in Minnesota, with many more injured.
What are some common causes of bike accidents?
Driving a motor vehicle requires your attention at all times. Distracted driving, speeding, or consuming alcohol all have an effect on your driving ability. If you’re constantly checking your phone or driving 15 miles per hour over the speed limit, you’re more likely to get into a car accident over someone who’s driving carefully with their full attention.
In a study done by the National Safety Council, among drivers ages 18 to 20, 20% said that texting while driving doesn’t impact their ability to drive safely. When they asked the same question to people ages 21 to 34, 30% stated the same thing. This means that nearly a third of the younger population believes that texting while driving is a completely safe thing to do. Texting while driving can be a huge problem and can result in hitting another car, pedestrian, or cyclist because the driver wasn’t paying attention or didn’t see them.
30% of all bicycle accidents involve the rider getting hit by a car, but 13% involve improper roadways, or roadways that are not in good repair. Other accidents include rider error, crashing with a fixed object, or a dog running out in front of the cyclist.
What are some common bicycle accident injuries in Minnesota?
The most common injuries in minor bicycle accidents include breaking, spraining, or fracturing bones. However, more severe accidents can lead to much more severe injuries, like head trauma, neurological damage, spinal cord injuries, ruptured discs, or bone fractures.
Head trauma can be a severe injury that can lead to death if not taken care of properly. Head trauma can also lead to developmental issues in young adults and children. Head trauma is often linked to memory loss and other issues, depending on where the trauma occurs.
Spinal cord injuries can also be fatal depending on where along the spine the injury occurred. Many spinal injuries also lead to paralysis of limbs, depending on the severity of the accident.
Many of these injuries can be handled easily and effectively, depending on what exactly happened. However, there are some injuries that are much worse than others and will require more medical attention. That means that your medical bills will be higher, and the injury may cause an issue for you in the future.
Getting Compensation for your Minnesota Bicycle Accident Injuries
Getting the compensation you deserve for your bike accident can be a huge hardship, especially if you’re doing it all on your own. When you’re involved in an accident, you are entitled to compensation for past and future pain and suffering, past and future wage loss, and past and future medical bills.
This means that if you have to go back to the hospital because of the same injury or require physical therapy, you may be able to receive compensation to cover those costs as well. You can also receive compensation for any wages you lost because of your injuries, and any future wages you may lose.
Contact Experienced Minnesota Bicycle Accident Attorneys
If you or someone you love has been injured in a bicycle accident, one of our lawyers here at Sand Law would be happy to help you get the compensation that you deserve. We’ll handle everything for you, and get you the money you need to get back on your feet. For a free evaluation of your case, contact us online here or by calling 651-571-4125 to schedule your consultation.