Blog

How to Stay Safe While Cycling and Your Options After an Accident 

How to Stay Safe While Cycling and Your Options After an Accident 

Bicycle accident attorneys at Jonathan Perkins Injury Lawyers understand how accidents can result in serious injuries, the need for expensive medical treatment, and long-term pain. You have rights if you are involved in a bicycle accident caused by a careless or negligent driver. One right is to recover compensation for your injuries and losses. 

Along with filing a lawsuit to recover damages, it’s also smart to learn how to stay safe while riding your bicycle in Connecticut. 

Staying Safe When Riding Your Bicycle in Connecticut

While everyone on the road has a duty to others to avoid actions that may cause an accident, bicyclists need to take additional steps to keep themselves safe. Unlike those in motor vehicles, individuals riding a bicycle don’t have the protection of metal and modern safety features like airbags to protect them when a collision occurs. 

Some tips that will help bicyclists stay safe while on the road and if involved in an accident include:

Always Wear a Helmet 

One of the simplest things bicyclists can do to protect themselves is to wear a helmet. Unfortunately, there are far too many riders who don’t do this. 

In Connecticut, children under the age of 12 are required, by law, to wear a helmet when riding a bike on streets or roads. Additionally, anyone under 16 must be provided a helmet when renting a bike. 

Know the Rules You Must Follow 

Cyclists must follow the same rules of the road that motorists do. These include:

  • Obey all traffic control signs and signals
  • Use hand signals when turning and stopping
  • Ride on the right side of the road, with the flow of traffic
  • Don’t ride more than two abreast or impede the flow of vehicular traffic
  • Yield to pedestrians

While there’s no way to avoid all accidents, when you know and follow the rules, it will help everyone stay safer. 

Make Yourself Visible to Others on the Road

Drivers of motor vehicles have a lot of distractions today. They may be using their navigation system, changing the radio, texting, or eating, which can all present a serious risk while behind the wheel. Because of this, bicyclists need to make sure they stand out and are easily seen. Some of the ways you can make yourself more visible on the road include:

  • Attach blinking lights to the front and back of your bicycle
  • Wear bright-colored clothing
  • Avoid wearing headphones (of any type), so you can hear what’s going on around you

While motorists are responsible for what they do while behind the wheel, bicyclists are responsible for their actions, too, knowing what steps to take to keep yourself safe will go a long way. 

Common Causes of Connecticut Bicycle Accidents

While there is the expectation that motorists will “share the road” with bicyclists, this doesn’t always happen. While there are many causes of bicycle accidents, some of the most common include:

  • Failure to yield
  • Distracted drivers
  • Failure to check blind spots and mirrors
  • Aggressive drivers
  • Impaired drivers
  • Road defects
  • Failing to check mirrors before opening a vehicle door
  • Violating traffic laws

What You Should Do After a Connecticut Bicycle Accident

If you are involved in a Connecticut bicycle accident, there are a few things you need to keep in mind to protect yourself and to ensure you have the right to pursue damages for your injuries and losses. 

The first step is to get in touch with the authorities. Once you have contacted the authorities, remember these steps:

  • Take pictures to document the scene
  • Never admit fault in any way, even if the accident is partially your fault
  • Don’t sign anything given to you by the insurance company or an insurance adjuster
  • Never say you are not injured since some injuries take weeks or months to appear

Remember, the insurance adjuster’s job is to pay as little as possible after an accident. That means they will try to get you to admit you are at fault or to sign a statement that you did not suffer an injury. You need to make sure you don’t do this. 

Instead, get in touch with our bicycle accident attorneys at Jonathan Perkins Injury Lawyers. Our team can help you navigate this challenging time and work on your behalf to help you get the damages and compensation you deserve. 

Common Injuries in a Connecticut Bicycle Accident 

There’s no question that riding a bike can be a great way to get around and a great form of exercise. It’s also an eco-friendly and affordable mode of transportation. 

While this is true, it can also turn fatal if motor vehicle drivers don’t pay attention to bicyclists. In fact, there were 52,000 bicyclists injured and 716 killed due to motor vehicle collisions in 2020 across the U.S. Most collisions occurred in busier, urban areas. 

Unlike motor vehicle riders, bicyclists are exposed to the world. Because of this, they are also at risk for serious injuries if involved in an accident with a motor vehicle. These injuries are caused by the impact of a motor vehicle or if the accident results in the bicyclist being thrown into traffic, against a solid object, or onto the ground. 

Some of the injuries bicyclists can suffer in this type of accident include:

Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs)

A TBI can occur any time a bicyclist’s head hits something during an accident. Unfortunately, TBIs can even occur when the rider is using a helmet. Even mild TBIs, such as concussions, can cause serious symptoms that impact the victim’s lives in multiple ways. 

If a bicyclist experiences a severe TBI, such as a skull fracture or penetrating injury, they may develop physical or cognitive disabilities that impact them for the remainder of their lives. 

Spinal Cord Injuries 

If the accident damages or penetrates the rider’s spinal column, it can cause damage to vertebrae, nerves, discs, or ligaments. These injuries can result in serious complications, including numbness, muscle weakness, paralysis, and chronic pain. 

Fractures 

When a bicyclist is struck by a motor vehicle, it’s not uncommon for them to experience broken bones. Common bones affected in these incidents include the fingers, hips, arms, legs, hands, and even bones in the face. 

Types of Compensation You Can Recover After a Connecticut Bicycle Accident 

Our legal team will handle all related costs related to your case if you don’t receive a settlement offer. When you come to us with your legal issues, our goal is to obtain the compensation you need and deserve to help you fully recover and move forward after your accident. 

Some of the types of compensation that we can help you receive include:

  • Current and future medical-related costs
  • All lost income related to the injury 
  • Physical disabilities caused by the accident
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of educational, family, or social experiences 

We can also help you recover any other compensation you may be entitled to based on your unique situation. 

Don’t Wait to Hire Our Bicycle Accident Attorneys for Help with Your Injury Claim

You have rights if you are involved in a Connecticut bicycle accident and suffer an injury. When you are ready to file a claim against the at-fault party, contact our bicycle accident attorneys at Jonathan Perkins Injury Lawyers. You can count on our legal team to get to work immediately to gather evidence for your claim and ensure you receive the maximum compensation possible for your injuries and losses.

Contact us today to get a free legal consultation.

Read More

Are the Roads Safer in Connecticut in 2022?

What Makes a Connecticut Personal Injury Case Complex?