Bicycle accidents are sadly all too common on our roads, affecting riders of all ages. There were 7,236 such accidents in Florida in 2022, leading to 214 deaths and 6,755 injuries. The rider can suffer many injuries when a motor vehicle hits a bike. However, suffering a head injury from a bicycle accident is among the most serious and potentially life-threatening.
Even seemingly minor head injuries can have significant long-term consequences. Victims can find it impossible to perform basic tasks and may need around-the-clock care. They deserve maximum compensation if someone else is to blame for their suffering.
At Jones Law Group, we have a long history of helping bicycle accident victims get the money they deserve. If you would like to schedule a free consultation to see what we can do for you, please call (727) 571-1333 or contact us online.
Understanding the Complexities of a Head Injury from a Bicycle Accident
Head injuries resulting from bicycle accidents can range in severity, with the two main categories being concussions and traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). A concussion is typically considered a milder head injury, typically causing temporary cognitive impairments.
TBIs, on the other hand, involve more significant damage to the brain and can lead to long-term or permanent impairments. The deceptive nature of head injuries lies in the fact that their symptoms may not always show up immediately after the accident. Some victims may feel fine immediately after the incident but develop symptoms hours, days, or weeks later.
Head injuries can have profound and long-lasting effects on various aspects of an individual’s life. These impacts can include:
- Cognitive changes: Head injuries can affect thinking, memory, and concentration. Victims may struggle with routine tasks.
- Physical impairments: Physical symptoms such as headaches, dizziness, balance issues, and even paralysis can result from head injuries.
- Emotional and behavioral changes: Mood swings, depression, anxiety, and altered behavior patterns are common in individuals recovering from head injuries.
The delayed onset of these symptoms underscores the critical importance of seeking medical evaluation and follow-up after a bicycle accident. Even if you feel fine immediately afterward, monitoring your health for any signs of a developing head injury is essential.
Determining Liability After a Head Injury from a Bicycle Accident
Determining fault in a bicycle accident often hinges on the legal concept of negligence. Negligence happens when someone fails to exercise the care required to avoid harming someone else.
Your personal injury lawyer will work to establish whether someone else’s carelessness or recklessness played a role in causing the accident. Potential reasons could include a motorist failing to yield to a cyclist, a city neglecting road maintenance, or a bicycle manufacturer producing a defective product.
Evidence is the cornerstone of proving liability in a bicycle accident case. Your attorney will help gather a comprehensive array of evidence, which may include:
- Photographic documentation: Photographs of the accident scene, your injuries, and property damage can provide crucial visual evidence.
- Eyewitness statements: Statements from witnesses can corroborate your version of events.
- Police reports: Official accident reports filed by law enforcement can contain valuable information about the incident and any citations issued.
This evidence is vital in determining responsibility, which can extend to various parties, including other road users, the city or municipality responsible for maintaining safe road conditions, or the manufacturer of your bicycle if it was defective in some way.
The Role of a Personal Injury Lawyer
If you’re seeking compensation for your injuries, you must first schedule an initial consultation with a personal injury lawyer. During this consultation, the attorney will assess the viability of your case by reviewing the circumstances of the accident, the extent of your injuries, and the potential legal strategies.
Once you decide to work with an attorney, they’ll take on the crucial task of gathering the evidence mentioned above. Building a solid case is essential to prove liability and secure the compensation you deserve.
Your attorney will also negotiate with the at-fault driver’s insurer. Insurance companies often aim to minimize payouts and may present low-ball settlement offers. They’ll serve as your advocate, countering these offers and ensuring you receive fair compensation. This compensation may cover medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages resulting from the accident.
While many personal injury cases are resolved through negotiations, some may require litigation. If your case goes to court, your attorney will represent you and vigorously advocate for your rights. They will present your case before a judge and jury, striving to secure the compensation you need to recover fully.
Financial Implications of a Head Injury
Head injuries often demand immediate medical attention, leading to substantial expenses. A severe TBI, for example, can cost more than $3 million over a victim’s lifetime. These costs may include the following:
- Emergency room visits: The initial evaluation and treatment in the emergency room can be costly.
- Imaging tests: X-rays, CT scans, and MRIs are often necessary to assess the extent of head injuries.
- Specialist consultations: Neurologists, neurosurgeons, and other specialists may be required to provide specialized care.
Beyond immediate and ongoing medical bills, head injuries can result in indirect costs, including:
- Missed work: Time off for recovery and medical appointments can lead to lost wages.
- Reduced earning capacity: In some cases, head injuries can diminish a person’s ability to earn a living in the long term.
- Caregiving or home modifications: Severe head injuries may require ongoing care and modifications to the home may be necessary to accommodate physical limitations.
Statute of Limitations
The legal system imposes a statute of limitations, a limited timeframe during which you can file a lawsuit after an injury. This time limit (two years in Florida) is generally designed to ensure prompt legal action. It’s crucial to act promptly after a bicycle accident to secure evidence and witnesses while their memories are fresh and to meet these legal deadlines.
While there are standard time limits for filing lawsuits, some exceptions may extend or modify these limits. For instance, in cases involving minors or delayed discovery of injuries, the standard time limit may not apply. However, it is generally advisable to consult a lawyer as soon as possible after your accident to understand how the statute of limitations applies to your situation.
Why Choose a Specialist Personal Injury Lawyer
Skilled personal injury attorneys specialize in head injury cases. They understand the legal complexities and medical nuances involved in these cases, making them well-equipped to navigate the challenges unique to head injury claims.
Specialist lawyers also have established connections with medical experts and professionals who can provide expert testimony to substantiate your claims. These experts can help demonstrate the extent of your injuries, their long-term consequences, and the need for compensation.
Finally, a specialist personal injury lawyer is dedicated to securing the best possible outcome for their clients. They understand the significant financial, emotional, and physical burdens head injuries can impose on victims.
Jones Law Group attorneys check these and many other boxes. We have the skill and experience to help you get every dollar you deserve. Please use our online form or call (727) 571-1333 for a free case review.