Bicycle Knee Injury Accident

Our Kansas City Bicycle Accident Lawyers Answer Common Questions About Leg and Foot Injuries After a Crash

Cycling is both a popular mode of transportation and leisure activity in Missouri. However, bicycle accidents happen all the time, especially on the busy streets of Kansas City. From fractures to sprains, foot and leg injuries are common occurrences. Broken legs and other injuries can dramatically impact the lives of victims in the short- and long-term. If you’ve been struck by a vehicle while biking, you may be able to seek compensation for your injuries and other damages. Speak with our Kansas City bicycle accident attorneys to explore your options and protect your legal rights. 

Types of Leg, Foot, and Ankle Injuries in Bike Accidents

Cyclists can and do suffer injuries through no one’s fault but their own. Whether on the road or while mountain biking on a nature trail, they may misjudge a turn or lose control after striking an obstacle. In other cases, other parties may be to blame and should be held liable for the damages they cause. 

Some types of bicycle accidents may involve a collision with a car or truck, for example. The cyclist may sustain foot and leg injuries not just from the initial impact but from hitting the pavement afterward, too. Some of the more common types of leg and foot injuries from bicycle accidents include:

  • Sprains are injuries to the ligaments around a joint, like in the ankles and knees.
  • Fractures are another term for broken bones, like tibia and fibula injuries. They can be partial or complete fractures, including shattered bones. 
  • Avulsion fractures, which involve part of a bone being pulled away from the main part of the bone, are common in ankle injuries. 
  • Road rash refers to tearing up exposed skin when it scrapes against the pavement. These injuries can cause infection and take weeks to heal. 
  • Muscle lacerations can occur in bike accidents where the leg muscles are cut or torn by external objects, like protruding metal parts of the car or bicycle. 
  • Knee joint injuries may involve damage to the patella (kneecap), connective tissue, and other soft tissues. Victims may need reconstructive surgery to correct the injury. 
  • Ankle injuries can lead to prolonged pain and swelling, as well as lasting effects on overall mobility. 
  • Nerve damage can linger long after the accident itself and may not ever heal completely. This can cause chronic pain and gait issues. 

Minor injuries may only take a few weeks to heal. Victims of bicycle accidents may still experience lingering pain or mobility issues for some time. More severe injuries can take months to heal, and, in some cases, they may never heal fully. Regaining full strength and range of motion after foot and leg injuries can involve significant physical therapy and rehabilitation. These are serious costs. 

Common Causes of Bicycle Accidents With Vehicles

Bike accidents can occur on Missouri streets and pathways for a variety of reasons. When the incident involves a bike crash with a motor vehicle, drivers could be liable for damages if they are found to be at fault. Whether you are out for a recreational ride or commuting to work on your bike, watching out for common causes of bicycle accidents is essential. 

Some examples include the following:

  • Distracted drivers may not be aware of cyclists who are in their path and fail to stop or yield in time to avoid an accident. 
  • Drivers may fail to notice an oncoming cyclist before making a left turn. 
  • Drivers may not observe the rules of the road, like running a stop sign or making an illegal turn. 
  • Drivers who fail to hold their lane may drift into a lane where a cyclist is legally riding.
  • Drivers may move into designated bike lanes to make a right turn without first checking their mirrors and blind spots. 
  • Dooring is a common cause of bicycle accidents. The driver or passenger in a car or truck suddenly opens their door without looking, and the cyclist collides with the open door. 
  • Double-parked cars may force bicycle riders into unsafe situations with the other lanes of traffic. 
  • Impatient drivers may follow cyclists at an unsafe distance and fail to stop in time before rear-ending the bicycle. 
  • A cyclist who has fallen down on the road for any reason can be run over by the tires of passing traffic. 

What to Do After a Kansas City Bicycle Accident

The immediate aftermath of any traffic accident, whether it’s with a truck, car, or bicycle, can be disorienting and overwhelming. If you are physically able to do so, it is important to take the proper steps after a Kansas City bicycle accident while you are still at the scene of the incident. Try to remain calm and follow these instructions.

  1. Seek emergency medical attention. Even if you don’t think you’ve been seriously hurt, you may have suffered hidden injuries and should get a thorough examination.
  2. Call the police to report the accident. A law enforcement officer should come to the scene and write up a complete police report. Get the officer’s badge and contact information.
  3. Exchange information with the other party or parties. Get their driver’s license and contact information, as well as their vehicle’s registration and insurance information.
  4. Take photos and videos as evidence. This includes damage to your bicycle, prevailing weather and traffic conditions, and any relevant road signs and lane markings.
  5. Collect contact information. Obtain contact information from any eyewitnesses who may be able to speak to the circumstances of the bicycle accident. 
  6. Preserve any other relevant evidence. Do not discard damaged clothing or protective equipment, such as your bike helmet. 

Matters can get much more complicated in hit-and-run accidents involving cyclists. If the other party drives away, try your best to write down the make, model, and license plate number of their vehicle, as well as their direction of travel. Report this information to the police as soon as possible. 

What to Do Shortly After You Leave the Accident Scene

When you are done with the scene of the bicycle accident itself, it is equally crucial to continue with smart steps to protect your legal rights to recover. These steps may include:

  • Go to the hospital for a full medical exam, including relevant X-rays and other medical imaging. If necessary, call an ambulance to transport you.
  • Keep all medical records, including hospital and doctor’s visits, rehabilitation appointments, prescriptions, and more.
  • Keep copies of all other relevant documentation, like pay stubs, as evidence of lost wages.
  • Consult with a skilled Kansas City bicycle accident attorney. We can guide you through the legal process and help protect your rights. 
  • Continue seeking medical care and follow any medical advice you receive from your doctor or health professional. Document your recovery. 

Recoverable Damages From a Personal Injury Claim

The damages you may seek to recover after a bike accident are similar to other traffic accident claims. Cyclists have the same legal rights in this regard as motorists and pedestrians. If you were involved in a bike accident that was due to someone else’s negligent behavior, you may be entitled to compensation to cover such damages as:

  • Repair or replacement costs for damaged property, like your bike
  • Current medical bills and anticipated future medical expenses, like medication and surgery
  • Current lost wages and loss of potential future earnings 
  • Pain and suffering, including the loss of joy and quality of life
  • Punitive damages if the defendant caused intentional harm or acted “with a deliberate and flagrant disregard for the safety of others”

The possible compensation you may receive from a personal injury claim can be substantial. One of our clients was a pedestrian who was struck by a car in Cass County. They settled the case for $167,500. Six-figure settlements are not out of the ordinary. Foot and leg injuries from bicycle accidents may prevent victims from returning to work for an extended period. 

Useful Tips to Protect Your Legal Rights to Compensation

While there are never any guarantees, there are certain steps you can take to safeguard your legal right to fair compensation. To protect your possible recovery of damages:

  • Preserve all relevant evidence to the best of your ability. They can all help you build a stronger case for your personal injury claim. 
  • Ask your Kansas City attorney to explain relevant Missouri bicycle laws. Discuss how these laws apply to your accident.
  • Request a copy of the police report from the scene of the accident. Your lawyer can assist you with this process. 
  • Do not speak to insurance companies directly. If they call, refer them to your accident lawyer to speak on your behalf.
  • Pay attention to and treat any symptoms that arise in the days and weeks after the accident, like chronic pain or soreness. Include this as part of your settlement claim. 
Brian Wallace
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Kansas City Personal Injury Attorney