The California Highway Patrol identifies cars or trucks that make unsafe turns as being among the common causes for bicycle accidents. This statistic is underscored by recent events in San Mateo County. KCBS has reported on the death of a bicyclist on Skyline Boulevard. According to law enforcement sources, a minivan made a left turn in front of the bike. The resulting crash killed the cyclist who wore a helmet. She was later identified as Amazon’s former CFO, Joy Covey.
Sadly, Ms. Covey is part of a growing trend. The 2011 traffic safety facts data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows that – nationwide – some 677 bicycle riders were killed while another 48,000 suffered injuries during traffic crashes involving motor vehicles. For the state of California, this number made up 4.1 percent of all traffic fatalities. Overall, the number of fatalities has increased by 9 percent since 2010. Women and men between the ages of 45 to 54 had the highest likelihood of suffering injuries or dying while cycling.
If you or a loved one has suffered injuries while riding a bicycle, there are four facts that you need to know.
- Accidents occur even when you do everything right. You wear your safety gear, you use the lanes set aside for bicycles and you observe the right of way laws. Even so, there is a chance that a car or truck driver makes an unsafe turn in front of you or opens a vehicle door just as you pass.
- Even minor accidents can lead to major damage. It is entirely possible for you to become permanently disabled from an accident with a motor vehicle that leaves not even a scratch or dent on the car’s exterior. The reason is your absence of padding or armor. A collision may send you careening into a tree, oncoming traffic or slam you into a concrete barrier. Soft tissue injuries, broken bones and possible whiplash are likely outcomes.
- Brain damage destroys life as you know it. If you sustain a brain injury when your head comes in violent contact with asphalt, you may no longer be able to earn a living. Tasks that you once took for granted may now be more difficult or even impossible. You and your loved ones have to change the ways you live, interact and rethink the tasks that you can take on.
- The healing process begins with swift representation. Do not wait to find out what the insurance company will offer you. Instead, seek speedy legal representation to protect your rights. There may be multiple sources of compensation available to you. In some cases, it may be necessary to hire private investigators to find hidden assets that could be instrumental in restoring your quality of life.
Silverthorne Attorneys are here to answer your bicycle accident questions. Contact us immediately if you have been in an accident.