Bicycling around Los Angeles can be a necessity for some and a lifelong passion for others. A bike can be an economical and responsible way to combat Southern California traffic as you head to work, or it can be a fitness machine that also helps you pedal away all of life’s stresses.
The practice of riding a bike can keep us grounded, so it’s especially devastating when accidents occur. In contrast to a peaceful ride, a collision with a car can leave vital parts of our bodies, like the brain and spinal cord, with severe damage. The effects can change a rider’s way of life forever.
Help for L.A. Bicycle Accident Victims with Spinal Cord Injuries
Cyclists enjoy riding unrestricted and free, but the truth is they also ride with very little protection when they leave the house. Distracted drivers can forget to check their mirrors for someone on a bike, and cause a tragic accident. Something as debilitating as a spinal cord injury can result and for the rider, it can be life-changing.
We are Los Angeles Bicycle Law and we want to be the first line of support and defense for injured cyclists. In the event of an injury as serious as spinal cord damage, victims will have special medical and rehabilitation needs that are essential to recovery. The responsible driver and his or her insurance company should not be let off the hook during this crucial phase. Our attorneys are bicyclists themselves and they take great pride in protecting injured cyclists and their families so that they can heal and return to everyday life as soon as possible.
Types of Spinal Cord Injuries in Bicycle Accidents
The most common cause of spinal cord damage is from trauma. Motor vehicle accidents and sports accidents are high on the list of trauma causes and, unfortunately, cycling can combine both factors. In most sports, you don’t have the possibility of coming in contact with a two-ton vehicle. Riders face this danger while traveling on streets and highways next to drivers who aren’t always looking out for them.
Injuries from impacts with cars and SUVs can result in the bones surrounding the spinal cord being dislocated, fractured, burst, or compressed. The spine and its connection to the neck can be overextended as well.
The Christopher Reeve Foundation documents the four major types of spinal cord injuries:
- Cervical spinal cord injury. This involves damage to the top of the spinal cord, specifically the seven vertebrae in the neck. Because the area is closest to the brain injuries here can be the most severe. Cervical level injuries cause paralysis or weakness in both arms and legs, resulting in quadriplegia (a loss of function in the upper and lower body). A stability brace may be needed to hold the neck in place.
- Thoracic spinal cord injury. These injuries are less common because the area in the upper torso is protected by the rib cage. In impacts with extreme brute force control to muscles in the back and abdomen can be lost. Bowel, bladder, and sexual dysfunction are also experienced by victims. Victims often wear a brace around their trunk to remain stabilized.
- Lumbar spinal cord injury. The area of the spine in the lower back signals to the lower parts of the back and stomach muscles, the buttocks, some parts of the genitals, and legs. These injuries often require surgery and external stabilization.
- Sacral spinal cord injury. This would involve damage taken at the base of the spine. Sacral level injuries primarily cause loss of bowel and bladder function. It also controls the thighs and lower parts of the legs, the feet.
Compensation for a Spinal Cord Injury Victim
Filing a claim for damages is a chief concern after a devastating accident. The driver at-fault for a debilitating collision should be completely responsible for the immediate costs involved in recovery and for any costs foreseen down the road. It’s especially important to begin this process to make sure the at-fault driver’s insurance company isn’t given time to find a way out of paying for the mistake of its policyholder.
Hospital bills and the financial losses from missed time work will only be the beginning of the help you and your attorney can demand compensation for. When a rider suffers a disability in an accident many other physical, emotional, and financial hardships should be part of any award.
These are just some of the additional needs that should be considered in a civil lawsuit:
- Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation.
- Medical equipment needed to maintain independence and mobility.
- Job Training. Victims might need a new career due to a disability.
- A lifestyle change for families. Training for loved ones.
- Emotional Counseling. Anyone going through such a traumatic injury and life change could need psychological services to get back on track. The pain of not being able to get back on a bike in the short term can be a difficult mental obstacle as well.
Contact a Los Angeles Bicycle Law Attorney
Cyclists are used to bumps and bruises, but an impact with a car can result in much more serious repercussions. If a careless driver left you with a potentially severe and perhaps life-long injury please allow a local attorney with experience assisting cyclists work to get you and your family compensation to pay for a complete recovery, no matter how long that may take.
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. 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.