High costs for medical care associated with bike accidents

As a previous post on our blog discussed, bicyclists on and near the roadways face a wide variety of dangers. While riding a bike is a fun hobby, a great source of exercise, and an excellent way to get around efficiently, biking can also be hazardous when other motorists act negligently. An automobile-bicycle accident can be a tragic event, seriously injuring or killing a bicyclist. In fact, these types of collisions can leave victims with extensive damages that can be physical, emotional, and financial in nature.

The usage of bikes across the nation has skyrocketed. While this is generally considered a good thing, it has its downfalls. According to a study by UC San Francisco, non-fatal bicycle accidents account for $789 million in medical costs each year. When looking at a 17-year span, both non-fatal and fatal medical costs amount to $237 billion. In 2013 alone, the costs associated with bike accidents exceeded $24.4 billion. To put this number in perspective, this is almost double the cost associated with occupational illnesses occurring during the same time period.

When looking at bicycle accidents occurring between 1997 and 2013, there were 3.8 million non-fatal bicycle accidents involving adult riders. Additionally, there were 9,839 deaths during that same time frame. According to this study, male bicyclists accounted for three-fourths of the total costs during this time period.

Because the vast majority of bicycle accidents involve a motor vehicle, impacts can occur at high speeds. As a result, the severity of the injuries suffered by a victim can be significant. Thus, even if a helmet and other safety gear are worn, a victim may still be seriously injured or killed by the force of the crash. In other words, a bicyclist is more likely than not to suffer injuries in a crash involving a motor vehicle.

Being involved in a bike accident is an overwhelming and likely painful experience. Therefore, it is important that victims are aware of their legal rights and options. If a negligent driver caused the crash, it is possible to take steps to hold them accountable. A personal injury claim can not only help place liability on a negligent party but also assist with the collection of compensation for losses and damages.

Source: MedicalXpress, "Soaring medical costs from bicycle accidents: Study finds billion-dollar toll from injuries, primarily to men," June 1, 2017

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