New Jersey bicycle accidents can easily result in serious injuries primarily because of the lack of protection of the bicycle rider. Injuries can occur because of the collision alone or when combined with the rider’s fall from the bicycle. A helmet may not provide sufficient protection to withstand serious injury.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, many people were working from home. With gyms, schools and businesses closed, bicycle riding became more popular than ever. With more cyclists on the road, the potential bicycle accidents with cars, trucks and buses rose.
What Causes Bicycle Accidents in New Jersey?
There are many reasons bicycle accidents happen in New Jersey. Many are caused by the same reasons car and truck accidents occur, such as speeding, impaired driving, driver fatigue, and distracted driving.
Other causes include:
· Road condition-potholes, large cracks and debris in the roadway, which can be more hazardous to bicyclists than motorists;
· Drivers making left-hand turns–some drivers do not realize a bicyclist is in front of them and/or has the right of way; and
· Drivers opening doors of parked car.
Governor Murphy signed a “move over” bill for bicyclists and pedestrians in August, 2021. The new law now requires drivers to keep a safe distance and slow down when passing a bicyclist or pedestrian who is on the roadway.
What Should You Do If You Get in a Bicycle Accident with a Vehicle?
Much like an accident involving motor vehicles, if you are able, collect as much information as you can. The accident should be reported to the police. You should get the names and contact information of the driver, any passengers and witnesses. Take pictures of the damage to your bike and any of the cars.
If road conditions caused the accident, take a picture of those conditions.
What Type of Injuries Occur in Bicycle Accidents Occur in New Jersey?
There are many types of injuries that can occur in a bicycle accident:
· Soft tissue
· Bruises, lacerations
· Bone fractures
· Road rash
· Concussions, head injuries
· Shoulder, back and neck sprains/strains
· Damage to internal organs
· Traumatic brain injury
· Amputations of limbs
· Spinal cord/paralysis
· Wrongful death
Serious injuries that a person sustains in a bicycle accident can mean hospitalization and multiple follow-up visits to a doctor. People who sustain some of the injuries listed above may also need multiple visits to a physical therapist or chiropractor for treatment.
What Are My Damages in a New Jersey Bicycle Accidents Case?
In a New Jersey bicycle accidents case, there are several types of damage claims you can make:
· Medical expenses-You may recover all of your medical expenses (even those for which insurance paid);
· Lost wages- You may recover wages you were not paid if you had to miss work because of your injuries;
· Pain and suffering-This type of damage is subjective but is widely recognized in New Jersey personal injury law. You can tell the jury how badly your back hurt after your bicycle accident, how you got chiropractic treatment for weeks and you still have stiffness in your back most mornings when you wake up. That is pain and suffering;
· Disability-If there are lingering symptoms from your injury (and there often are) you can tell the jury about them. Perhaps you work in a warehouse and are required to lift or move packages, but you have difficulty doing so because of the injury to your shoulder in the bike accident. You can tell the jury about that. The jury can take that into account during their deliberations and factor it into their damage award;
· Future medical treatment-If you suffered a traumatic brain injury or compound fracture of your leg in an accident with a large truck, you may need medical and physical therapy treatment for the foreseeable future. You (and your doctor) can tell the jury about that; and
· Loss of consortium-If your spouse was killed in a bicycle accident, or severely injured, the jury can compensate you for the loss of consortium-the loss of the affection, advice and companionship spouses show each other.
Experienced New Jersey Bicycle Accident Lawyers
If you have been injured in a bicycle accident, contact Schiller, Pittenger & Galvin, P.C. at 908-490-0444 at their Scotch Plains office or online for a free consultation with an experienced New Jersey bicycle accident lawyer. There is no attorneys’ fee charged to you unless we are successful in obtaining a recovery on your behalf.