Common Bicycle Accident Injuries in Orange County: What You Need To Know

Bicycle riders share the road with motor vehicles, often creating high-risk scenarios that can cause severe bike accident injuries. Understanding common bicycle accident injuries in Orange County, how they occur, and what to do after you are injured can help you protect your safety and build your case. Bike accidents are an all-too-common occurrence in Orange County, but learning these risk factors can help you prepare for your next ride.

Bicycle Accident Causes and Risk Factors

Bicycle-related deaths continue spiking annually as the population increases, especially in dense areas, like Orange County, with the total figure in 2020 quadrupling the number of fatalities in 1975. In 2020, 932 bicyclist deaths occurred involving motor vehicle crashes, accounting for 2% of all motor vehicle crash fatalities.

According to these fatality statistics, the riskiest time of day to ride a bike is between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m., likely because of the high traffic volumes and dimming daylight. 79% of all 2020 bicycle accident fatalities occurred in densely populated areas like Orange County, and 68% of the total happened in non-intersection areas, which is a concern for all roadway riders.

Bicycle accidents occur when the rider or vehicle driver (or both) fail to follow all safe driving recommendations. As a bicycle rider, you share the same responsibilities as any other vehicle driver in that you must follow all on-road traffic laws. That said, vehicle drivers must remain vigilant when sharing the road with bicyclists to prevent serious injuries.

A few common risk factors for bicycle injuries include the following:

  • Riding without a bicycle helmet
  • Riding too fast
  • Losing control
  • Lack of experience riding on roadways
  • Alcohol or drug influence
  • Mechanical malfunctions
  • Environmental hazards
  • Poor roadway conditions

Common Injuries from Bicycle Accidents in Orange County

Injuries occur when you crash your bike independently or when you collide with another object, vehicle, or pedestrian. Bicycle injuries can range in severity from traumatic injuries to minor bruising and overuse injuries, depending on the details of your accident. For example, you may immediately notice severe pain that requires emergency medical attention, or you may feel fine for a few hours before noticing a headache signifying a potential brain injury (like a concussion).

Common bicycle-related injuries include the following:

  • Head and brain injuries (particularly when not wearing bicycle helmets)
  • Spine injuries
  • Facial injuries and dental fractures
  • Internal injuries (i.e., internal bleeding, parenchymal lung injury, traumatic hernia, etc.)
  • Road rash
  • Soft tissue injuries
  • Acute injuries and broken bones (i.e., pelvic fractures, rib fractures, facial fractures, broken leg complications, crushing injury fractures, skull fractures, etc.)
  • Rectal trauma

Head Injuries and Traumatic Brain Injuries

Head injuries can cause severe, long-term complications involving expensive future medical bills and rehabilitation. Bicycle crashes can cause concussions, acute trauma to the skull, intracranial hemorrhage, and other severe trauma injuries. Most bike accident deaths occur when riders don’t wear helmets to protect their skulls.

Musculoskeletal Trauma

In a bike accident, injured bicyclists may suffer serious injury to essentially any bone, muscle, or ligament in the human body. Hip pain, foot pain, and knee pain are all common symptoms that cyclists may experience after a crash, signifying underlying injuries.

Musculoskeletal injuries can become far more severe if the fracture punctures or affects something deeper within the body, causing an internal injury. For example, a broken rib may not be too critical, though if it punctures the lung, it will require immediate attention.

Facial Head Injury Complications

While motorcyclists often wear full-face helmets or goggles, cyclists do not. The helmet may protect your skull, but it will not protect your eyes or the vital, delicate bones around your face. Facial fractures are relatively common in bike accidents and often require a reconstructive surgical procedure, creating high expenses.

Spinal Cord Damage

Spine or neck fractures are high risk. Spinal injuries can cause temporary or permanent paralysis, creating years of physical therapy expenses, equipment requirements, and more.

Injury Prevention Tips

While you may not be able to prevent all accidents, you can practice safe riding precautions to prevent severe bodily damage if a crash occurs. We recommend the following:

  • Wear a helmet at all times (particularly a MIPS helmet to protect you from multiple impacts during the same crash)
  • Wear the right cycling shoes for adequate bike control
  • Practice control skills before riding on busy Orange County roadways
  • Cover all exposed skin to prevent road rash
  • Never ride under the influence
  • Avoid riding at busy traffic times or night
  • Use reflective gear while riding at night

What To Do After a Bicycle Accident in Orange County

If you have an accident on your bike, you need to learn how to recognize and treat your injury and seek compensation for your damages so you can move on to your normal life again. We recommend the following steps:

  • Move to a safe space: If you feel OK, move yourself and your bike from the road to a safe position.
  • Examine yourself for injuries: The adrenaline from the accident may mask your pain. To recognize any potential issues, take a deep breath in to check for lung punctures, press around your stomach to feel for pain surrounding your organs, wiggle all of your extremities to check for numbness, and check all areas of your body for bruising, bleeding, lumps, bumps, and pain.
  • Seek medical treatment: Whether you notice pain or not, you should seek a medical evaluation for a confirmed diagnosis. This diagnosis will help you begin treatment and will support your case.
  • Contact a law firm: Next, you should contact a bicycle accident law firm as soon as possible to develop your case. If another party is responsible for the accident, they can help you seek compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, and more.

Seek Compensation for Your Accident Today

If you were injured in a bicycle accident, contact Khalil Law Group at (714) 617-7870 for a free consultation with one of our experienced bicycle accident attorneys in Orange County, California.