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An El Centro bicycle accident can cause devastating injuries, often with lifelong consequences. Even bicycle riders wearing appropriate protective gear, including helmets, have little protection from a vehicle that strikes them or from the pavement.
If you suffered serious injuries in an El Centro bicycle accident, an attorney can help you seek compensation for your injuries. Contact Gomez Trial Attorneys today to learn more about your legal rights and to receive a free consultation on your bicycle accident claim.
At Gomez Trial Attorneys, our El Centro personal injury lawyers have substantial experience in a wide range of accident claims, including a bicycle accident in which our client received $5 million in compensation for injuries sustained in the accident.
Whether you suffered injuries due to a direct strike from a car or ran into a car door because a driver or passenger failed to adequately check his or her surroundings before opening the door, you may have serious injuries from a bicycle crash, many of which can cause an ongoing, lifelong impact.
Helmet use reduces the risk of head injury by 48 percent and the risk of traumatic brain injury (TBI) by 53 percent. Unfortunately, helmet use does not eliminate the risk of TBI. In a bicycle accident, your head may strike the pavement or the vehicle. If you lose consciousness for even a moment, it could represent a sign of traumatic brain injury. You can also suffer traumatic brain injury even if you do not lose consciousness.
Victims of even “mild” traumatic brain injuries may still show some symptoms more than a year after the accident, so even a “minor” TBI is still a serious injury. Other victims of TBI may suffer from lifelong complications that prevent them from taking on normal tasks.
Traumatic brain injury may cause the following effects:
If a car strikes a rider on a bicycle, the impact can send the rider flying through the air. Not only does the car strike the victim, often directly, with some force, but also the victim may land hard on the ground. The spinal cord is not designed to take this kind of abuse and may break as a result. Incomplete spinal cord injury, in which the spinal cord does not sever completely, can leave a victim with decreased mobility. Complete spinal cord injury, on the other hand, can leave a victim completely paralyzed below the site of the injury.
Spinal cord injury does not just affect the limbs. Organs located below the site of the injury can also face impact from spinal cord damage.
The victim of a spinal cord injury may need a wheelchair to get around. Many work tasks may grow more complicated or impossible to complete due to a spinal cord injury. A spinal cord injury victim may also lose mobility in the hands and arms, requiring substantial occupational therapy and ongoing rehabilitation to return to normal job responsibilities.
The force of a bicycle accident, especially if a limb gets trapped between bicycle and car, can cause severe damage to the limb. In some cases, the limb gets severed immediately due to the force of the accident. Other times, doctors may decide that removing the limb will help the patient ultimately have the best quality of life, or doctors must remove the limb because crushing damage prevented blood flow for so long that the limb died as a result. Amputees often use prosthetic devices to compensate for the lost limb; however, prosthetics represent an ongoing expense for the patient throughout a lifetime.
Not only do many patients require extensive physical and occupational therapy to learn how to cope with a missing limb, but patients may also need to replace that prosthetic as frequently as every three to five years—an incredibly expensive proposition for which an experienced El Centro bicycle accident lawyer will try to account for during settlement negotiations.
Many cyclists, especially on hot, summer days, choose to minimize clothing while biking and working out to help increase airflow and prevent overheating. Unfortunately, this lack of clothing can also mean a significant lack of protection from the road in an accident. Road rash, or a friction burn that occurs as the skin drags across the pavement, can leave the victim with substantial scarring.
Some victims struggle with the psychological ramifications of that scarring, especially if it occurs on the face or a highly visible area of the body. If debris does not get removed properly from the wound, it can also lead to severe infection.
In some cases, broken bones can heal quickly, with relatively minor inconvenience to the victim. Unfortunately, sometimes, broken bones can cause long-term difficulty for bicycle accident victims. Not only can broken bones create immediate challenges, including mobility issues, but also victims may have ongoing pain or loss of sensation from a severe break, even after making a recovery.
Multiple broken bones can make it difficult or even impossible for a victim to engage in adequate self-care or necessitate considerable rehabilitation. Many victims with broken bones may need to miss work at least temporarily while recovering, which can lead to mounting lost wages and medical costs.
Many people have questions after suffering injuries in an El Centro bicycle accident. How much compensation do you deserve for your injuries? Who pays for your medical bills? An attorney can help answer your questions and provide reassurances about the claims process. An attorney can also help collect evidence about your accident, which can help establish a strong legal argument for your case.
An attorney cannot guarantee how much compensation you will receive following a bicycle accident. How much compensation you ultimately receive will depend on who caused your accident, the extent of your medical bills, and the limitations you face as a result of your injuries.
Most victims, however, can seek compensation for:
To file a personal injury claim, your attorney will help identify the party or parties that caused your accident. Often, the driver that caused your accident may be the only liable party. A distracted or inebriated driver, one who ignored the rules of the road, or a driver who simply “did not see you” may bear full liability for the accident.
Likewise, if a driver or passenger opens a door into you as you travel down a sidewalk or street, causing you to wreck your bicycle, that individual may bear liability for your bicycle accident. Your attorney, however, will also consider other parties who may share liability for your injuries.
Consider the following potentially liable parties:
After your El Centro bicycle accident, you may receive a settlement offer from an insurance company soon after the accident. You may feel tempted to immediately accept that initial offer, rather than consulting with an attorney. Do not accept this offer without going through at least a free consultation with an attorney. In many cases, insurance companies will attempt to limit their financial liability after an accident, rather than providing fair compensation to the injured party.
If you accept the initial settlement offer, it could ultimately limit the amount of compensation that you receive for your injuries.
An El Centro bike accident attorney can provide you with valuable information about your legal rights after an accident, guide you through the claims process, and help collect critical evidence about your claim. The sooner you get in contact with an attorney, the sooner you can decide on a course of action or invite the law firm to start working for you (assuming the attorney agrees to take your case). Contact Gomez Trial Attorneys today at (619) 237-3490 for your free consultation.
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“I know firsthand that Gomez Trial Attorneys is a professional and compassionate law firm. The entire office is a family and they treat their clients like family as well – these people truly care. Not only that, but they strive to make a positive difference in the community through their outreach efforts. Highly recommend.
Gomez Trial Attorneys
2299 West Adams Avenue, Suite 102
El Centro, CA 92243
No Fees Unless We Recover Money On Your Behalf