We all like to talk about it: how to avoid the most common collisions on your bicycle, adding bicycle lanes, lights on bikes for visibility, law and regulation advocacy to prevent injuries… but all of these conversations come in the wake of something we don’t like to talk about – the catastrophic injury. We know which collisions on a bicycle are the most common because cyclists end up in the hospital for them, and that lights save lives because people on bicycles are killed every year when the driver says they “didn’t see them.” And so, we change the laws and regulations based on statistics of injuries and fatalities. This is a cold, sad truth. What if it happens to you?
Catastrophic injury covers a spectrum of the unthinkable: wrongful death, dismemberment, paralysis, severe brain damage, spinal cord injury, and the like. These injuries are life changing and life ending. This is why no one likes to talk about them. So rather than go into those details, I’d like to talk to you about what to do if this happens in your life (to you or a loved one).
- Time Limits. Legal cases have time limits known as statutes of limitations. They are different for their type of case. It prevents someone from suing over a slip-and-fall that happened 80 years ago which would seem unreasonable. So it is incredibly important that you start having conversations with a catastrophic injury attorney early to determine your time limits.
- Debt. The medical bills alone can be life changing for families. This is actually another reason why talking to a catastrophic injury attorney early is valuable. We can help you put a hold on those bills so that you are not being asked to pay them right now. The payee will wait until the settlement of your case to be paid and if you’ve seen the tens-of-thousands of dollars in medical bills generated by an automobile’s collision with a bicyclist, you’ll understand what a relief that can be. Insurance only covers so much, from either party.
- The Future. A catastrophic injury isn’t about replacing a damaged bicycle and fixing a dented fender. Future lost wages, future increased medical costs, ongoing rehabilitation, loss of enjoyment of life, permanent disability coverage, and mental anguish are just a few of the considerations for the future for your and/or your family in the event of a life changing injury or wrongful death scenario. An experienced catastrophic injury attorney can help you plan, estimate, and navigate these considerations.
We’re here to help! The experienced attorneys at Rahman Law PC are riders, too. We understand rider safety and believe an ounce of prevention is absolutely worth a pound of cure. However, when the unthinkable happens, we’re ready for that, too.
If you’d like more information on preventing some of the more common bicycle collisions, the following five examples from Velosurance can help you avoid the most common collisions when riding your bicycle on the road. We are proud to be a trusted partner in their network of legal and bicycle repair shops (obviously, we’re the legal aid).