Risk Of Lower Body Injuries In California Bicycle Accidents
Bicycling is a year-round activity in California, whether you ride for fun, transportation, exercise, or all of the above. Safety-minded cyclists know the risks of bike accidents, so you take proper precautions to protect yourself. However, wearing a helmet, double-checking your equipment, and donning reflective clothing are not always enough to prevent collisions. The California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) reports that almost 130 bicycle riders are killed and 1,980 people are injured in bike collisions statewide every year.
Of these collisions, about 38 percent are broadsides or sideswipes, which you might assume is not as devastating as a head-on bike crash. Still, the rider’s lower body is exposed to significant trauma. You could suffer serious injuries, and there can be considerable losses with harm to the lower extremities. An Oakland bicycle accident attorney will help you recover compensation, which is extremely important because of the impacts on your life.
Types of Injuries to Lower Extremities
Any part of your body from the waist down is exposed to the impact of a bike crash, but the implications differ based upon which part. Trauma to the lower extremities may include:
Feet: A serious crash could lead to broken bones in the foot and toes. These bones are somewhat delicate and incorporate ligaments, tendons, and muscles. When the impact is extreme, a bicyclist could even suffer amputation.
Legs: Bike accidents will almost always lead to leg injuries because of the height of a typical passenger vehicle’s bumper. Fractures to the femur, fibula, or tibia are common. Road rash is a risk in bicycle crashes, and it affects exposed skin on the legs. This injury is part burn, part abrasion, and friction wounds are extremely painful.
Joints: Your lower extremities include joints at the ankle, knees, and hips, and trauma to these areas is challenging to treat because of the multiple bones that could be crushed.
Why Taking Legal Action is Critical
It is important to pursue appropriate remedies because of how these injuries could affect your life beyond the pain. You could be permanently disabled and unable to walk, which could limit your employment options. Surgery on lower extremities, particularly the joints, is complicated and expensive. Recovery is extensive, and you may even require multiple procedures to gain back function in the lower extremities.
Under California law, bicycle accidents work in similar fashion as traffic collisions. You file a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company and attempt to work out a settlement. If the insurer will not pay a fair amount, you can sue in court to obtain amounts for medical costs, lost income, and pain and suffering.
Our Oakland Bicycle Accident Lawyers Will Help Navigate the Process
If you were hurt in a bike collision, it is important to retain skilled legal counsel for assistance. Venardi Zurada, LLP is ready to support you throughout the process, including with insurance claims and litigation. For details on our services, please contact us to schedule a free consultation at our offices in Oakland, and Walnut Creek, CA.