Collisions between bicycles and cars can result in serious and even fatal injuries for bicyclists. Without the protection offered by a vehicle, bicycle riders can suffer devastating injuries at the hands of careless or negligent drivers.
More than 700 bicyclists were killed in traffic accidents in 2012, and an additional 49,000 were injured, according to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Cyclists represent 2 percent of all motor vehicle fatalities and 2 percent of all traffic-related injuries. Nearly 70 percent of all fatal bike accidents occur in urban settings, and 43 percent of fatal accidents occur between 8 p.m. and 8 a.m. every year. As the most densely populated state in the country, New Jersey residents are more likely to have to share the roadway with bicyclists.
A bicycle accident often results in serious injuries such as traumatic brain injury, fractures, facial lesions, or neck injuries. If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in a bicycle accident, contact an experienced attorney right away. Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi have the legal knowledge and proven track record to thoroughly investigate your claim and fight for your right to compensation.
What Injuries Are Common in Bicycle Accidents?
The severity of injuries in a bike accident can vary based on the circumstances of the crash, the motor vehicle involved, the speed of both parties, and the location of the accident. Possible injuries from bicycle accidents include:
- Head and brain injuries, including concussions, fractures, scrapes, gashes, and traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries, which can lead to paralysis or vertebrae fractures
- Facial injuries, which can include a broken jaw, broken nose, scarring, lacerations, or eye injuries
- Broken bones, including the legs, arms, back, hip, neck, shoulder, or others
- Internal injuries, such as damage to internal organs, internal bleeding, or bruised or fractured ribs
- Soft tissue injuries, including “road rash,” major scratches and scrapes, and lacerations
The sheer size advantage of a vehicle over a bicycle makes a bike accident a very serious event. Many crashes involving bicycles result in serious injuries or even death.
What if a Child is Hurt in a Bicycle Accident?
A bicycle accident involving a child is tragic and all too common. Children age 15 and younger accounted for almost 10 percent of all bicycle-related deaths in 2012, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. A child on a bicycle, scooter, or skateboard may be overlooked because of careless or distracted driving.
While representatives of the driver might argue part of the responsibility lies with the child, the state of New Jersey does not agree. New Jersey law states that rules of comparative negligence (as discussed below) do not apply to children under 7. Drivers on our roadways are expected to exercise a reasonable duty of care for pedestrians and bicyclists, and failure to do so should result in compensation for the injured.
Why Hire a Lawyer?
Sometimes it is possible to resolve compensation issues through negotiations with the guilty party’s insurance carrier. However, insurance companies do not always have the victim’s best interests at heart. By agreeing to an insurance company’s first offer, you could lose out on potential compensation and forfeit your right to seek additional damages.
Having an experienced trial attorney on your side is invaluable when it comes to winning your case and receiving fair compensation. Especially when the guilty party is part of a government body or commercial establishment, the guidance of a trial attorney will greatly improve your chances of success. Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi have the experience and legal expertise necessary to fight for you and your family.
What Can You Win in a Bicycle Accident Case?
Damages in New Jersey personal injury cases are split into two categories: compensatory and punitive damages.
Compensatory damages are designed to reimburse the plaintiff for losses suffered as a result of the defendant’s negligence, whether they be financial, physical, or emotional losses. Compensatory damages include:
- Current and future medical treatment: includes hospitalization costs, ongoing treatment expenses, rehabilitation costs, and any expected future medical expenses
- Lost wages: compensation for wages lost while out of work due to the injury, as well as decreased earning capacity in the future if the injury will continue to affect the victim
- Loss of enjoyment of life: covers loss of enjoyment of day-to-day activities, recreation, hobbies, and exercise.
- Pain and suffering: the physical and emotional pain caused by the accident, including the pain of the physical injuries and ongoing emotional trauma
- Wrongful death: compensation for the family or estate of someone killed by a negligent driver
Punitive damages are more rare and are designed to punish the defendant for particularly egregious or negligent behavior. Punitive damages are awarded in the most troubling of cases, including cases of intentional injury.
It is important to note that, in order to collect damages in your case, you must file suit within two years of the accident. If a case is not filed within the two-year statute of limitations, your case will not be heard and you will lose out on the right to compensation.
Contact a New Jersey Bike Accident Attorney
Millions of bicycles are purchased in the U.S. every year, and nearly 20 percent of Americans report riding a bike in the past few months. Considering the sheer number of bicyclists across the country, drivers must exercise reasonable care and ensure the safety of bike riders on the road.
A bicycle accident can be an unexpected and devastating event. If you or a loved one has been injured in a bicycle accident, contact Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi as soon as possible. Our experienced team of trial attorneys will thoroughly investigate your claim and make sure you and your family receive the compensation you deserve. Call Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi at (201) 585-9111 or fill out an online inquiry to schedule your free and confidential consultation.