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The Long Term Effects of Bicycle Accidents

On behalf of Soloff & Zervanos, P.C. Posted in Bicycle Injury on Friday, May 28, 2021.

Cycling and the use of bicycles are on the increase, especially as we head into the warmer months of the year. In Philadelphia, cycling is one of the most popular ways to get around. Bicycles used for commuting or just to get out and about for some exercise are a great eco-friendly way to get around the city and enjoy recreational time.

However, even in cities, like Philadelphia which have excellent cycling infrastructure, in spaces where cars and bicycles share the road, accidents do happen. When bicycle accidents occur, especially the more serious ones, they can result in life-changing injuries and long-term expenses.

When cyclists collide with a car, it’s not uncommon for them to sustain injuries such as:

  • Broken bones or fractures
  • Soft tissue injuries
  • Life-changing brain damage

How Severe are Bicycle Accidents?

The severity will always vary from accident to accident. While some victims may recover in a number of weeks, others will need long-term medical care depending on the injury sustained. Regardless of how severe your accident was, there will always be some long-term effects. These could include:

  • Loss of income, where you need to take time off work to recover.
  • Inability to care for your children or other family members
  • Long term disability as a result of a significant head injury

Broken Bones

Cyclists are largely unprotected when they are struck by a moving vehicle, particularly at speed. As a result, it’s not uncommon for the accident to result in broken bones. Broken bones are considered a severe injury as they often require surgery and an extended recovery time.

It’s not uncommon for cycling accident victims to require ongoing treatments, including occupational and/or physical therapy. Where complex breaks are sustained, extensive surgery will be necessary and may require pins and plates to be fitted in order to heal the cyclist’s injuries. In many cases, their body will never be quite the same as it was before.

Soft Tissue Injuries

Soft tissue injuries are common in cycling accidents. They can vary in severity from a pulled muscle to more serious spinal injuries or torn knee ligaments, which require major surgery and years of recovery. In very severe cases, the victim can be paralyzed, or limb amputation may be necessary.

Many cyclists injured and sustaining soft tissue injuries find they need an extended period of time off work to recover and are no longer able to carry out everyday tasks or partake in recreational hobbies. This can lead to stress and depression for the victim, as well as the pain and suffering of the physical injury.

Brain trauma injuries

Brain trauma injuries sustained in cycling accidents can be life-altering and lead to the victim needing long-term care and loss of motor functions. The devastating effects are the reason every cyclist should wear a helmet when riding. Unfortunately, 60% of fatalities from cycling accidents occur because of brain injuries. Sometimes brain trauma caused by an accident isn’t immediately apparent but can lead to swelling, torn tissue, long-term complications, and death if left untreated.

Any cyclist involved in an accident should always seek professional medical assessment at the earliest opportunity, even if they feel well. You never know how an injury could manifest over time. No amount of compensation can make up for the loss of significant functions, reduced mobility, or loss of life.