Atlantic City Bicycle Injury Attorney
Bicycles are a great way to commute to work, enjoy the scenery, or get exercise. However, the same speed and maneuverability which make bicycles appealing also contribute to severe injuries and even accidental deaths. Unlike passengers who are traveling in cars or trucks, people on bicycles lack airbags, seat belts, safety glass, and most other forms of protection with the exception of a plastic helmet. When drivers are reckless, careless, or become distracted by their phones or GPS devices, the consequences for cyclists can be devastating.
If you were hit by a car while riding your bicycle in Atlantic City, you may be eligible to collect compensation from the person who struck you and caused your accident. Compensation can help to cover your pain and suffering, related medical expenses, lost income, and other costs. To start discussing your accident in a free and private case evaluation, call Atlantic City bicycle injury lawyer Joseph Lombardo at (609) 445-4300 today.
Time Limits for Filing Death and Injury Claims in New Jersey
If you think you may have a claim, it’s critically important that you consult with an attorney immediately. The state of New Jersey places a very strict two-year deadline on wrongful death and personal injury claims, known as the statute of limitations. This two year period begins counting down from the date of death or injury. With a few rare exceptions, if the statute expires, your legal recourse will be severely limited. The sooner you speak with a personal injury lawyer regarding your claim, the more comprehensively your accident and evidence can be investigated.
Proving Driver Liability: Careless and Reckless Driving
In order to receive compensation from the person who struck you, it must be established that your accident was caused by another person’s careless, reckless, or negligent actions or failure to act appropriately. New Jersey law provides the following definitions:
- Careless Driving — Pursuant to N.J.S.A. 39:4-97, “A person who drives a vehicle carelessly, or without due caution and circumspection, in a manner so as to endanger, or be likely to endanger, a person or property, shall be guilty of careless driving.”
- Reckless Driving — Pursuant to N.J.S.A. 39:4-96, “A person who drives a vehicle heedlessly, in willful or wanton disregard of the rights or safety of others, in a manner so as to endanger, or be likely to endanger, a person or property, shall be guilty of reckless driving.”
As you can see, these definitions are somewhat ambiguous in their wording. However, generally speaking, some common examples that might constitute careless or reckless driving include:
- Distracted driving, typically caused by texting or using a GPS device.
- Driving at reckless speeds well above the posted limit.
- Driving at speeds inappropriate for bad weather conditions, such as poor visibility.
- Driving the wrong way on a one-way street.
- Driving while intoxicated (DWI) by drugs or alcohol.
- Driving without a license.
- Ignoring stop signs and yellow lights.
- Running through a red light.
- Weaving in and out of lanes.
Driving rules are there to protect everyone’s safety. If your accident and resulting injuries were caused by a driver’s failure to obey traffic safety laws, he or she may be liable for compensating your losses.
Common Bicycle Accident Injuries and the Risk of TBI
As mentioned above, cyclists often sustain critical damage because they lack virtually all of the protection that comes with most other vehicles. This lack of protection, particularly combined with the weight and speed disparity between cars and bicycles, creates a very high potential for long-term or permanent catastrophic injury or the wrongful death of the rider. Some common injuries and resulting medical problems include:
- Abrasion Injuries (Road Rash)
- Bone Fractures
- Head Injuries
- Internal Bleeding
- Neck Injuries (Whiplash)
- Spinal Cord Injury (SCI)
- Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
In particular, TBI is a major concern. While many people would guess that aggressive sports like football or boxing must be to blame for most sports-related brain injuries, the American Association of Neurological Surgeons actually cites cycling as the number one leading cause of sports-related head injuries requiring treatment in emergency departments. TBI can cause a wide variety of very pronounced symptoms which can affect physical, emotional, sexual, behavioral, and cognitive functions, in turn leading to issues such as job loss and ongoing financial hardship. Some common effects of TBI include:
- Difficulty processing information, making decisions, or forming memories.
- Slurred speech and/or issues with reading, writing, and communication.
- Reduced sensation, including pressure and temperature.
- Damaged or lost sense of vision, hearing, taste, smell, and/or touch.
- Seizures and convulsions.
- Physical issues like chronic pain, paralysis, insomnia, and loss of bowel and/or bladder control.
- Emotional issues like aggression and depression.
If you were hurt in a bicycle accident, you deserve a close review of the matter. To set up a confidential legal consultation free of charge, call Atlantic City bicycle injury attorney Joseph Lombardo at (609) 445-4300.