As biking has become more and more popular in Utah, injuries from bicycle accidents have also increased.  In 2006 alone 773 cyclists were killed in the United States and an additional 44,000 were injured in traffic accidents.  Utah ranks near the top of bicycle traffic fatalities per capita.  Click here to see more NHTSA statistics.

"What's worse," as the League of American Bicyclists points out, "is that many of these crashes involve motorists who are simply not paying attention, are speeding, are reckless with regard to the presence of cyclists, are drunk or drowsy, are distracted by their phone or CD player—a cyclist in Colorado was killed in 2005 by a driver who was text messaging—and are hitting cyclists who are in exactly the right place on the road and doing nothing wrong.  A frightening number of the drivers are repeat offenders with suspended or revoked licenses and no insurance."

There are a number of things you can do to stay safe while biking and receive compensation for your injuries if involved in an accident.  Greg Hoole is an avid biker and attorney who devotes a significant amount of his practice to personal injury, including biking injuries.  He has created this website to provide information on how to avoid injuries and what your options are if you or a loved one has been hurt as a result of the carelessness or misconduct of another.

SAFETY

  • More than one-fifth of all bicyclist deaths occur among school age youth ages 5 to 15.
  • More children go to hospital emergency departments for bicycle related crashes than for any other sport.
  • Although most deaths occur as a result of bicycle and motor vehicle crashes, crashes can happen anywhere— in parks, on bicycle paths, and in driveways. Many crashes do not involve motor vehicles.
  • Head injuries are the most serious type of injury and the most common cause of death for bicyclists. Bicycle helmets have been proven to reduce the risk of head and brain injury when a crash occurs by as much as 85 to 88 percent.
  • Children and adults should wear a bicycle helmet every time they ride a bicycle.

The most serious injuries among a majority of those killed are to the head, highlighting the importance of wearing a bicycle helmet.  Ninety-five percent of the bicyclists killed in 2006 reportedly weren't wearing helmets.  Source: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

To learn more about staying safe while biking, click here.

LEGAL HELP

There are a number of things you can do following an accident to make it easier for you to avoid the distress of mounting bills and to help compensate you for your injuries.  The following is a list of some of the more basic action items:

  • Get off the road.  Unless you are too injured to move, do your best to get off the road where you can safely evaluate what has happened and call for emergency help, if necessary.
  • Seek medical treatment.  Don't hesitate to have someone take you to the hospital or doctor's office if you don't feel right.  Continue to see medical health professionals as often as is necessary until you completely recover from your injuries.
  • Document the accident.  If you are well enough to stay at the scene of the accident, document everything you can about the accident, including taking pictures (if you have access to camera on a cell phone or something) and getting the names and contact information of all witnesses.  If a vehicle is involved, ask to see the driver's proof of insurance and record all the information.  If you were unable to take pictures following the accident, return to the scene of the accident as soon as possible to take pictures.  Be sure to also photograph your bicycle and any other property injured in the accident.
  • Document your injuries. Take photographs to document your injuries as soon as possible after the accident and throughout the course of recovery.  Keep a copy of all medical records and bills.  It is also a very good idea to record how your injuries are affecting your daily life in a log of some sort.
  • Consult with a trusted legal advisor.  Once you are ready, consult with an attorney to determine what rights and remedies you have as a result of the accident.  A skilled attorney can help you obtain compensation for your injuries, reduce the stress of mounting medical bills and deal with possible lost time from work.
  • Get your bike checked out.  Before you ride again, be sure to have a qualified bike technician check out your bike and confirm it is safe to ride again.  Likewise, make sure your other equipment, especially your helmet, is in good repair.  If your helmet is cracked or otherwise damaged, you should replace it.

To learn more about your legal rights in the event you have been injured, call or email Greg for a free consultation.

To learn more about Greg and his practice, click here.