Wednesday, November 22, 2017

How Effective are Bicycle Helmets at Preventing Injury?

More people are using bicycles in cities and metropolitan areas than ever. It makes sense – why spend $25-50 a day in parking fees and spend 45 minutes trying to find a parking spot when one can bike to work in 10 minutes and not pay any fees? This point is further reinforced by the surge of bike share businesses. However, with an increase of bicyclists sharing the road with motorists necessarily comes an increase in the potential for bicycle-related accidents.

People who are injured in bicycle accidents are often legally entitled to compensation. Importantly, this is often true even when they were partially at fault for an accident – so, if your accident occurred after you veered out of a bike lane or rolled through a stop sign, do not make the mistake of simply assuming that you will not be able to recover for your losses. Every bicycle accident victims should have their case reviewed by an attorney prior to signing a settlement agreement or agreeing to concede liability.

Bicycle Injuries in the US

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHSTA) has estimated1 that approximately 818 bicyclists died on US roads in 2015, a 12.2% increase and the highest number since 1995. The NHSTA has also reported that 88% of bicyclist deaths were people who were aged 20 and older. The deaths of bicyclists aged 20 or older have tripled since 1975.

The Effectiveness of Helmets
Bicyclists should always wear a helmet when riding in cities or areas where there may be obstructions. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has indicated2 that the odds of head injury can be reduced by as much as 50% when wearing a helmet. Wearing a helmet can also face or neck injury can also be reduced by as much as 33% according to IIHS. Although helmets may prevent serious injury in low-speed accidents, they do not do much when a bicyclist is sent flying off of their bike or tumbling down a steep hill.

Potential Injuries With or Without a Helmet

Unlike motorists, bicyclists are not protected by things like airbags and steel when involved in a collision. Often times bicyclists are sent flying off of their bikes and collide with pavements or vehicles. Examples of serious injuries include:

-Head trauma or skull fracture
-Broken neck
-Face scrapes or severe lacerations
-Broken nose or jaw
-Brain hemorrhage

These and other bicycle accident injuries have the potential to leave victims with injuries that require emergency medical treatment and keep them out of work for weeks or months. In particularly serious cases, victims may develop disabilities that will affect them for the rest of their lives, making it critical for them to recover for their past, current, and future losses.

Calculating Damages in a Bicycle Accident Case Can be Complicated

Of course, determining how a serious injury will affect you in the future can be difficult and require speculation. As a result, in many cases involving injuries with long-term or permanent effects, it is necessary to use experts in order to determine the costs of ongoing medical care and the amount of income a person would have been able to earn over the course of his or her career had it not been for the accident. These kinds of experts can often be extremely expensive, putting them out of reach for many victims. Fortunately, when you retain an attorney, the firm (or the attorney) will cover these up-front costs on your behalf, maximizing your chances of obtaining the compensation to which you are entitled.

Call the Dolman Law Group to Speak with an Experienced Clearwater Personal Injury Attorney Today

Although helmets can help prevent injuries, they are not guaranteed to prevent all harm from occurring. If you have been injured as a result of an accident while riding a bicycle, call the experienced Clearwater injury lawyers of the Dolman Law Group at 727-451-6900 today to discuss your situation.

Dolman Law Group
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33765