America loves to pedal. In a single year, we log around 15 Billion hours of ride time. However, even with the additional awareness of bicycles on the road, some vehicles still aren’t upholding the legal rights of bicyclists. All too often they don’t pay attention, ride too closely, or even intentionally bump bicyclists off the road. When an incident happens, it can lead to serious injuries for the bicyclist.
A Decade of Bicycle Helmets Left At Home
A helmet is your best friend in an accident because protecting the brain is the first priority. Yet, when researchers studied the data over the course of a decade, they found that among the 76,000 adult riders who suffered brain and neck injuries in bicycle accidents, only 22% had been wearing a helmet. That being said, it is not a requirement to wear a helmet in California if you are of age. If you are in an accident and aren’t wearing a helmet, you can still pursue financial retribution.
Additionally, there are several injuries that even the most high-end helmets can’t prevent.
The Head and Face at Risk in a Fall
Maxillofacial Trauma can include all the soft tissue making up our facial features. The damage can include burns, bruises, and lacerations. The most serious cases can leave the victim with facial fractures. The eye orbit bones can take damage affecting your vision. Here’s a look at some other vulnerable areas you may not have considered.
The nose sticks out, of course, making it a likely candidate for injury in a fall. A fractured nose can be incredibly painful. Many nose fractures result in facial disfigurement when a victim’s nose is pushed over to one side or another. Breathing, sleep apnea, sinus, and sensory disorders can follow.
Just like the nose, the jawbone (chin) also sticks out, so it’s not uncommon for a cyclist to suffer a jaw fracture or dislocation in a crash either. A severely fractured jaw could require wiring, fixation of bone fragments, or even facial reconstruction surgery. Depending on the angle of impact, there can also be damage to the temporomandibular (TMJ) joints under the ears that connect the jawbone to the skull. A TMJ injury can result in grinding and popping pain on each side of the face.
Along with motor vehicle accidents, bicycle accidents are one of the leading causes of dental trauma. Damaged teeth are painful, and they can affect a bicyclist’s overall physical and emotional health. Some common dental injuries include chipped or fractured teeth, avulsed (knocked out) teeth, and teeth that are dislodged and pushed out of their sockets. These types of injuries usually require multiple dental visits and treatments, especially if the victim is a child.
Contact a Los Angeles Bicycle Law Attorney
Your body can be feeling great at the start of a bike ride, but an accident can change your well-being in the blink of an eye. The recovery can be long and expensive. You shouldn’t face your recovery alone if someone else is responsible for your crash. Others can be held liable for your bills and even a loss of wages. Those responsible can be forced to pay even if you weren’t wearing a helmet.
At Los Angeles Bicycle Law, we concentrate our practice solely on bicyclists who have been injured as a result of the carelessness and negligence of others. We’re dedicated and effective Los Angeles bicycle accident lawyers. If you were injured in a bicycle accident in or around Los Angeles or anywhere else in Southern California, contact us right away for a confidential free consultation and case review.