Getting the body in top shape and shedding pounds are common goals for a bicyclist. We want to look good for ourselves and others. The aesthetic you have worked towards can we wiped out suddenly by an accident on a bike. A crash can lead to broken bones and also leave your face, your appearance, permanently changed.
Bicycle Collisions and Your Unprotected Face
Taking a hit from a vehicle or even a crash due to a poorly maintained road or surface can send any rider flying. The head, arms, and hands are usually the first things we worry about. But an unprotected face can be one of the most painful places to absorb the impact.
We don’t consider the devastating effects of disfigurement on your health and state of mind. Your face is a big part of your identity and how people perceive you. The emotional trauma is real and only grows when you realize someone else’s actions caused your accident.
Injuries to the Jaw, Nose, and Cheekbones
The mandible bone (jaw) isn’t protected by a helmet and can be traumatically fractured or dislocated on impact. There’s also a high likelihood that dental injuries in the form of chipped, fractured, or displaced teeth will accompany a serious jaw injury. Not only will the victim have difficulty chewing, but communication can become difficult. Drastic changes to the victim’s appearance can also lead to understandable emotional distress.
A person’s nose also protrudes from their face, putting it in harm’s way. That’s why one of the most common facial injuries from bicycle accidents is nasal damage. A broken nose is going to result not only in great pain but also in disfigurement. Breathing passageways can become obstructed, and sinus damage might result.
Cheekbones and a rider’s eye orbit bones can be fractured in a bicycle accident. Surgery might not be needed to repair these types of injuries. At other times, wires, screws, or plates might be used to help with joining facial bones. Reconstructive surgery might even be in order if the victim’s face has been misshaped. Facial bones might be removed and replaced by healthy bone from another part of the victim’s body.
Frequently Asked Questions
What if I wasn’t wearing my helmet and received a facial injury?
By law, a violation of the helmet law doesn’t automatically prevent you from getting compensation. However, a jury could determine that you were negligent in not wearing a helmet and could potentially reduce the amount of compensation you would otherwise receive.
Can I get compensation if I’m permanently scarred?
The law requires the at-fault driver to pay for all of the victim’s injuries including things like pain and suffering and permanent disfigurement. This is paid on top of all medical bills and other direct costs like lost time from work. The amount will depend on the severity of the disfigurement.
What if I was partially at fault for the accident?
In California, a jury can divide fault between the drivers and the victims of an accident. Then the victim’s compensation is reduced by his or her percentage of fault. This is called comparative fault and it’s used in all personal injury cases in California including bicycle accident injuries.
Contact Los Angeles Bicycle Law Today
When you get up from a serious bicycle crash you can find yourself with serious medical issues and a drastic change in your appearance. Any of the resulting facial injuries can lead to expensive medical treatment, pain, and emotional trauma. Focus on getting immediate medical care, but your very next step should be to ensure the responsible parties whose carelessness caused your accident pay for your recovery. You’ll need an attorney representing your concerns who understands your needs as a rehabilitating cyclist.
The attorneys at Los Angeles Bicycle Law focus their practice on bicycle-related injuries. Years of advocacy for bicycle victims have given our attorneys the necessary skills, knowledge base and familiarity to handle bicycle accident cases and secure your future health and financial wellbeing as you recover. Bicycle accident claims can be very different from cases that only involve motor vehicles. Los Angeles Bicycle Law are experts on all these differences and that helps them earn the most for their clients.
We work with clients in Los Angeles and all over California. Contact us today for a free consultation after any bicycle accident.