Most bicycle accidents result in some skinned-up legs and elbows. Riders might have to rest some sore muscles for a week or two, but at least they are able to walk away. But when motor vehicles are involved in a collision with a cyclist the chances of a more serious injury are much higher.
A bicyclist has almost no protection from the heavy metal frame a car or SUV carries along at extreme speeds. Any contact can result in a severe injury for the rider. The injuries can lead to something as serious as amputation and change a rider’s life forever.
Help for Injured Bicyclists in Southern California
At Los Angeles Bicycle Law we specialize in representing injured cyclists across Southern California hurt by careless drivers. In the event of a serious injury, such as an amputation, we want to serve victims and protect their rights to the best medical care possible. Our attorneys can make sure the at-fault driver is held responsible for every cost associated with restoring the victim’s life and independence and getting him or her back on a bicycle again.
Contact us for a free consultation and case evaluation. We’ll determine the best course of action in your situation, even if that means you don’t end up needing our representation. And If you do decide you’d like us to help, no legal fees are due unless we obtain a settlement or verdict for you.
Bicycle Accident Dangers In Los Angeles
Bicyclists know the dangers careless drivers pose on each ride. A driver who causes a collision will usually blame the crash on not being able to see riders because of their smaller profile compared to other vehicles on the street. Generally, the truth of the matter is the driver didn’t bother to look properly on all sides to protect everyone who uses the roads.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) found that 30% of all bicycle injuries involve a collision with a vehicle. In California, the cycling accident data shows that between 2016 and 2018 455 riders lost their lives. Los Angeles County accounted for 106 of those tragic deaths.
Even when bicyclists survive these encounters with cars, SUVs, and trucks, they can still suffer severe injuries that have permanent consequences.
Amputation Dangers In Bicycle Accidents
The blunt force trauma of a strike from an SUV that can weigh several thousand pounds can change the course of a bicyclist’s life. An amputation may be necessary if bones are shattered in a violent collision with the pavement or if a limb is crushed when a rider is pulled under a vehicle.
The removal of a limb as a result of a bicycle accident is not common, but they are a possibility and some victims have been forced to live with the consequences. They can happen in two different ways:
- Traumatic Amputation – These involve an extremity being torn off by brute force in an accident. Speeding cars can increase the forces involved in a collision. According to Industrial Safety and Hygiene News, almost 70% of traumatic amputations involved an upper limb.
- Surgical Amputation – These removals are the most common for cycling victims. If it’s decided a limb can’t be saved, a surgeon operates to safely remove it.
Expensive Rehabilitation for a Bicycle Accident Amputees
The costs of the surgery itself will be enormous, but the rehabilitation afterward can cost just as much over the years.
After losing a limb a victim will be confronted with a long road to recovery:
- Post-surgery monitoring and recovery
- Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation
- A lifestyle change for victims and their families.
- Fitting and training for an artificial limb.
The cost of this entire process should be laid at the feet of the driver who is to blame for the accident. That driver’s insurance company should not get off paying for a one-time limb replacement and then ignoring the expenses that will arise down the road.
Compensation for California Bicycle Accident Victims
In California, a victim has up to two years from the time of the accident to file a civil claim against the driver’s insurance coverage.
This claim for damages would demand help for things like hospital bills and lost wages from missed time at work. Emotional and physical pain and other financial hardships can be expected to be compensated as well.
In the case of an amputation, several other expenses will need to be addressed as part of a settlement or courtroom verdict:
- The cost of a prosthetic. It will be an expensive, but vital part of the recovery. Artificial Iimbs need to be refitted and replaced several times over the course of a lifetime. Any acceptable award for the victim would cover these costs now and in the future.
- Money for Job Training. Victims may no longer be able to perform their previous job and could need re-training and job location services help.
- Psychological Services Fees. The victim has gone through a major life change and may need therapy throughout his or her life. The pain of not being able to get back on a bike in the short term can be emotionally devastating. We here at Los Angeles Bicycle Law believe victims can one day resume bike rides no matter the challenges involved.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need an attorney for an amputation injury claim?
California law doesn’t require you to have an attorney to file a claim for injuries; however, when the injury is severe like an amputation, it’s better to have an experienced attorney handling your claim. The insurance companies have their high-priced lawyers, and they earn their salary by paying out as little as possible. You need someone to level the playing field.
Do I get to choose my prosthesis if I get an amputation injury from an accident?
California law doesn’t regulate the type of medical treatment one receives in a car accident, so choosing a prosthetic is between you and your doctor. The law requires the at-fault party to pay for all reasonable medical expenses and that can include your preferred device.
What if I can’t work after I lose my arm or leg in an accident?
If you are injured because of the negligence of someone else, they are required to pay for all your medical treatment and other financial losses. If your ability to work is diminished, then you can seek future wages, retraining costs and any other costs associated with your amputation.
Contact Los Angeles Bicycle Law
You can resume your lifestyle and even get back on a bike one day if that’s what you are determined to do. But first, there is work to do. Your priority is making sure those responsible for your accident pay for every step of your recovery to this point and for the rest of your life. The general rule in California is that you have two years from the date of your injury to file a lawsuit seeking compensation. Our team of lawyers would like to talk with you and work out a plan to ensure you have what you need. We offer free consultations and case evaluations for that purpose.
If you or a family member live in the Los Angeles area and required amputation as a result of an accident, contact us as soon as possible. You won’t pay us a penny in advance. If we enter into a retainer agreement, no legal fees are due until we obtain a settlement or verdict for you. Remember that strict time limitations on your incident apply, so contact us as soon as you can.