The true cost of bicycle injuries

Would you estimate that the true cost of bicycle injuries -- if you consider only the medical expenses involved -- is in the millions every year?

Most people wouldn't. However, a 2017 study by the University of California, San Francisco indicates that the medical costs associated with bicycle accidents are increasing each year. The annual cost in 2017 was approximately $789 million from non-fatal accidents alone. Over the 17 years included in the study, the total medical costs for all bicycle accidents, including those with fatalities, equaled $237 billion.

Overall, from 1997 to 2013, there were approximately 9,839 bicyclists killed in accidents and 3.8 million injured. Males are involved in three-fourths of all bike accidents, probably because more males bike on a regular basis than females.

What has changed significantly over the years -- and driven up the cost of the medical expenses involved in bicycle accidents -- is the nature of those accidents. In the past, most were simple tumbles on sidewalks or bike trails involving the cyclist alone. In recent years, bicycling as a mode of urban transportation has exploded in popularity. As a result, many accidents with bikes now also involve motor vehicles.

When a cyclist and car collide, the cyclist is bound to lose. The velocity of the wreck, the force of the impact and the lack of physical protection for the biker are all factors that add up to significant injuries -- and the resulting medical costs.

If you've been injured by a negligent or distracted driver while biking, you may be facing extensive medical bills, a long healing time and significant lost wages. Find out more about your right to compensation for your injuries.

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Vincent J. DeSalvo, Attorney at Law
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