What if a loved one is rear-ended on their bicycle?
Just like passenger vehicles, bicycles can be rear-ended by motor vehicles, but when there’s an impact, there’s no steel body around bicyclists with specially engineered crumple zones. There aren’t any restraint systems or airbags either. He or she is exposed to the possibility of severe injuries or death.
Common bicycle rear-end accident scenarios
A bicycle presents a much smaller profile in traffic than a passenger vehicle, so drivers are more like to miss seeing them. One common scenario for a rear-end bicycle accident is when the bicyclist changes from the right lane of traffic to the left lane while preparing to make a left turn. At the same, a vehicle that’s already in that left lane compressing upon the bicycle in an instant, and it hits the bike’s rear tire. Another common scenario is the rear end strike at night. Along with other reflectors, California law requires a bicyclist to have red rear reflectors on their bikes that can be seen at a distance of 500 feet.
Rear-enders are serious at any speed
Rear-end accidents might be considered to be minor light impact collisions when they involve two passenger vehicles. For a bicyclist, this type of accident could be catastrophic or even fatal. The impact of a car or SUB will lift the rear wheel of the bicycle off the ground and propel the bicyclist forward onto either the pavement or another vehicle and then the pavement. If the vehicle’s speed is high enough, it can even run over the bicyclist. Common injuries suffered by bicyclists who have been rear-ended often include traumatic brain and/pr spinal cord damage, facial fractures, severe dental damage, rib fractures, organ damage, hand or severe road rash and possible infection.
Proving negligence in rear-end bicycle accidents
Proving negligence in these types of cases isn’t as easy as it might seem. Your bicycle accident attorney has to prove negligence. They have to prove that the motorist had a duty to use due care when sharing the road with the bicyclist, the motorist breached that duty, that breach caused the injury and the cyclist suffered legally recognized damages.
Damages that can be claimed by a bicyclist who was rear-ended by a motor vehicle can be wide-ranging those can include but are not limited to:
- Past and future medical bills
- Past and future lost earnings
- Pain and suffering
- Any permanent disfigurement
- Any permanent disability
- Funeral and burial expenses in a wrongful death case