Nothing is more relaxing than riding your bike down the sunny streets of Salt Lake City on a breezy afternoon. Unfortunately, even the most cautious and skilled of cyclists can easily become injured when careless or aggressive drivers refuse to share the road.
If you were injured while riding your bicycle in Salt Lake City or its surrounding communities, you may be entitled to compensation from the driver who hit you or caused you to crash. Attorney Jay Sheen can help. With over 33 years of legal experience representing injured cyclists, Jay has developed a nuanced understanding of these complex cases. He will dig through physical evidence, consult with highly qualified experts, and take an aggressive legal strategy, all with one goal in mind: to obtain fair compensation for your injuries.
To learn more in a free and completely confidential legal consultation, call Jay at (801) 618-3580. If you were injured through no fault of your own, you deserve answers for what happened.
Negligence and Aggressive Driving: A Common Cause of Bicycle Accidents
As any avid cyclist can tell you, drivers don’t always behave as they should when it comes to sharing the road. But a driver’s refusal to comply with traffic laws does more than pose a serious safety hazard; it also creates accident liability.
All Utah motorists are required to drive in a manner that minimizes the risk of foreseeable death or injury — put simply, to drive safely. When a motorist fails to take adequate safety precautions while driving, and a cyclist is harmed as a result, the driver may be held responsible for the injured cyclist’s medical bills, lost income, and other expenses.
Failure to take reasonable precautions against causing death or injury is described as “negligence.” Negligence, which must be proven by the plaintiff using photographs or other evidence, is a core component of personal injury claims and lawsuits related to cycling accidents. There are many ways a driver can be negligent, and indeed, many bicycle injuries stem directly from human error and poor driving choices. Depending on the circumstances, some common examples of negligent driving include:
- Forcing cyclists onto the shoulder.
- Failing to check rear-view or side-view mirrors.
- Flinging a door open without checking for oncoming cyclists.
- Excessive speeding.
- Flashing high beams as an aggressive or retaliatory act.
Serious Injuries Resulting From Cyclist Collisions with Drivers
In a car accident, the occupants are protected by airbags, seat belts, and the vehicle’s sturdy frame. Even so, car accidents frequently result in serious or fatal injuries.
Cyclists, who do not benefit from any of these critical safety features, are at an even greater risk of being severely injured or killed when an accident occurs. This risk is further heightened by the great disparity between bicycles and passenger vehicles in terms of their speed, size, and weight. In a collision between a cyclist and a driver, the former is virtually guaranteed to sustain far greater injuries — and resulting medical expenses.
Even in low-speed collisions, cyclists are frequently thrown from their bicycles. As the accident victim slides across the surface of the road, friction creates skin abrasion colloquially referred to as “road rash.” Unlike motorcyclists, many of whom wear tough leather gear for protection, bicyclists often ride in thin, tight-fitting spandex, which offers essentially zero protection from abrasion injuries. In addition to being extremely painful to clean, the wounds left by road rash can also require skin grafting surgery.
Bone fractures, or broken bones, are also highly common in cycling accidents. Depending on the location and severity of a fracture, the bone might take weeks, months, or longer to fully heal. During this period, the patient may not be able to engage in their normal, everyday tasks, such as going to work or bringing their children to school. Additionally, if the fracture cannot heal on its own, surgical intervention may become necessary, followed by another few weeks or months of recovery time.
Common bone fractures resulting from bike accidents include:
- Broken Noses
- Broken Collarbones
- Broken Arms
- Broken Legs
- Wrist Fractures
- Ankle Fractures
- Fractured Toes
- Broken Fingers
These injuries are often accompanied by torn ligaments, contusions, and lacerations, which sometimes require stitches.
If the accident victim is struck at high speed, or if a defective bicycle helmet fails to perform upon impact with the road, catastrophic injuries to the head, neck, or spine can result. A traumatic brain injury (TBI) or spinal cord injury (SCI) can have debilitating effects, not only upon the victim but all of his or her loved ones, permanently altering the person’s life and, in some cases, depriving the victim of their mobility and dependence.
Trust a Utah Bicycle Accident Attorney with Your Case
Attorney Jay Sheen believes that serious injuries warrant comprehensive investigations. If you or one of your loved ones was hit by a car while riding your bike in Utah, the driver who struck you should be held accountable for their actions. Call Jay at (801) 618-3580 to set up a free and confidential legal consultation today.