The beauty of cycling is that there’s no need to pump gasoline or start an engine. Your legs do all the work. That’s why it’s so heartbreaking when a rider is forced into a collision by a careless driver and ends up breaking a leg or ankle.
California is a great place for a bicycle ride, but it’s also known for extreme traffic and careless drivers. This is a bad combination that can put riders in harm’s way and leave them with serious leg injuries.
When a rider’s legs suffer serious harm, it’s critical that victims seek full support to pay for the best care available so they can get back to riding as soon as possible. Victims should contact a California Bicycle Accident Lawyer to find out how to seek full injury support after suffering a broken leg.
Broken Leg Dangers in California Bicycle Accidents
Cyclists are extremely vulnerable no matter where they are struck by cars, SUVs, and trucks. The first blow comes from the vehicle itself. In some cases, the hit can occur directly on the legs to fracture the upper or lower leg or the knee.
Another collision occurs when the rider is sent to the pavement. What’s more, the legs are still at risk once the rider has come to rest, because the victim may be left in the path of still more vehicles.
California drivers put cyclists at risk of broken legs far too often by inching over into a lane a cyclist has every right to be in. They can also come over into bike lanes to make a right turn without checking their mirrors and blind spots. Motorists are known to make left turns once oncoming traffic has passed only to realize they didn’t look thoroughly enough to spot the smaller profile of a cyclist.
Leg Injuries After California Accidents
When California cyclists are put in jeopardy by motorists, there are several ways a leg bone can break. A break can involve the bone going through the skin, known as a compound fracture. A comminuted fracture is when the bone is in three or more pieces. A compression fracture means the bone is crushed. A greenstick fracture describes a bone that is broken, but not completely separated.
The leg is comprised of four bones. This is a list of the sections that can break:
- Femur — The upper leg is home to the femur bone, the strongest bone in your body. The force of a car accident is one of the few things that can break a femur. When cyclists have a broken hip, it means they’ve fractured the upper part of their femur.
- Tibia – This is the shinbone. It’s the bigger bone in the calf that supports the weight.
- Fibula – The skinnier bone in the calf, running along the tibia on the outside of the leg. The lower parts of the tibia and fibula form the ankle.
- Kneecap – Known as the patella, the kneecap protects the knee joint behind it from harm.
A routine break in any of these bones can take six to eight weeks to heal. A bad break might take three to six months to heal. Getting full motion and strength back in a leg and being able to ride a bike again could take much longer.
A broken leg in a bicycle accident will cost thousands of dollars in medical bills. That doesn’t count the physical therapy that’s necessary for most patients. These bills will arrive at a time when a victim may not be able to earn a paycheck at work while healing.
These costs, plus the emotional toll a long recovery can have on a cyclist should all factor into any bicycle accident injury settlement offer. Unfortunately, it’s often necessary to force an insurance company to do the right thing by taking legal action. A California Bicycle Accident Lawyer makes sure you receive everything you need in recovery while giving you time to focus on healing.
What Should I Do on the Scene of a California Bicycle Accident?
A broken leg can leave you on the ground writhing in pain. But in the shock of an accident, the pain of a hairline fracture may not even be noticeable. You may not even realize you are injured.
That’s why it’s so important to gather evidence on your bicycle accident scene, even if you think you’ve only suffered a few cuts and bruises. This proof of what happened may decide if you receive a big enough settlement to pay for a full recovery, or if you must pay for your injuries out of your own pocket.
If you are feeling strong enough, you should gather these details on the scene of a California bicycle accident:
- Give a full report to the investigating officers so they can create an accurate collision report.
- Take pictures. Document the scene, your bike damage, and the visible damage to the car that hit you. Show any lane markings that are relevant to what happened. Take photos of any injuries you can see. Show your bicycle helmet if you were wearing one.
- Note any businesses or homes nearby that might have security cameras that were on when your bike collision occurred.
- Get contact information from witnesses and find out what they saw.
- Exchange information with the driver, but don’t make statements about how you feel or who was at fault. Insurance companies can twist your comments later to make it seem like you admitted blame or indicated that you weren’t hurt at all.
- Get checked out by EMS crews. Go to the emergency room if necessary. See your own doctor and follow the doctor’s instructions.
- Preserve any damaged clothing and personal items, including your bike. Don’t throw evidence out.
Contact a California Bicycle Accident Lawyer After Suffering a Broken Leg
After suffering a broken leg in a bicycle accident, contact a dedicated and highly regarded California personal injury lawyer at Maison Law as soon as possible. We are advocates for cycling safety and want to see injured riders return to their bikes as soon as possible.
You can obtain a consultation and case assessment at no cost or obligation. It’s an opportunity to find out what your leg injury is worth and how much insurance companies should be expected to pay.
If we enter into a retainer agreement with you, no legal fees are due unless we obtain a settlement or award for you. Our goal is to obtain the maximum compensation available for your leg injury.