It seems as if you can’t watch the news or go online without seeing or reading about auto accidents–whether that involves multiple vehicles, pedestrians, or cyclists. If you didn’t see this one, a bicyclist was recently critically injured in Clarksburg (Montgomery County) when a tractor-trailer that was “overtaking the bicycle” caused the cyclist to strike the rear of the trailer, according to Montgomery County police. The cyclist fell off his bike and was then struck by the trailer; he was taken to a nearby hospital with critical injuries.
A Disturbing Trend in Bicycle Crashes and Fatalities
In January 2021, Outside Magazine released a report that focused on all cyclist deaths during 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic consumed most of the calendar year. Some of their findings included:
- Approximately 675 cyclists were killed in accidents despite a 41% reduction in traffic for many months of 2020. By comparison, 846 cyclists died in 2019 when traffic was in full force.
- More than ¼ of all bicycle fatalities were the result of hit-and-run accidents.
- California had the highest number of cyclist fatalities with 118. Florida was next with 90.
There remains some conflicting data in some categories, depending on sources. For example, the Outside Magazine report found that Louisiana was the most dangerous state for cyclists with the highest number of cyclist deaths per one million residents. However, Advocacy Advance reports that Delaware is even more dangerous based on cyclist fatalities by miles traveled and per capita.
Regardless, there’s no disputing that bicycle incidents have increased dramatically in the past decade–37% according to the National Safety Council. Why the increase? There are several theories, including the increased number of SUVs and pickup trucks on the road (an accident involving an SUV or pickup raises the chance of death), an increase in distracted driving, and drivers traveling at higher speeds.
What Happens After a Bicycle Crash?
Looking at this specific incident, assuming the truck driver was at fault, his insurance will most likely be responsible for covering the cyclist’s medical bills once the cyclist files a claim through the truck driver’s insurance carrier. Depending on the severity of the injuries–and in this case, they seem very serious–the cyclist could also file a personal injury claim against the truck driver and his employer. In doing so, the cyclist would need to hire an attorney who has experience with personal injury claims (like The Lapidus Law Firm); from there, the attorney would use any and all evidence from the accident, such as police reports, medical records, camera footage, eyewitness statements, forensic analysis, etc., to prove that the truck driver was negligent in his responsibilities and was at fault for the bike accident.
If this is proven, the cyclist could receive a settlement that would assist in paying for medical expenses, rehab and long-term care, in-home services, medical equipment and devices, lost wages, and other costs associated with the injuries. If the cyclist were to pass away from his injuries, his family could then pursue a wrongful death claim (let’s hope this does not wind up being the case).
Serious Bicycle Crash in Clarksburg
The Lapidus Law Firm has decades of experience handling personal injury claims stemming from vehicle, bicycle, and pedestrian accidents. We know the law and we know how to fight for our clients, and that’s exactly what we’ll do if we take on your personal injury claim. Let’s discuss your case–call us at (202) 785-5111 or (301) 852-7500 to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.