With the increasing concerns over obesity, the costs of fuel and car maintenance, and the state of the environment, it isn’t so surprising to note that more and more people are riding bikes to school or work. Unfortunately, there’s a downside to this seemingly healthy activity. It has led to an increased rate of bicycle accidents, and medical costs to treat injuries from accidents have increased over the years as well. Bicycle accident lawyers in San Diego can help if you get into a situation where you are hit or injured.
Medical Costs of Bicycle Accidents
It has been found that since 1997, the costs of treating bicycles injuries have gone up. Over the last few years, these costs have increased by almost $790 million each year. In just one year (in 2013), the costs totaled more than $24.4 billion.
The Injury Prevention journal published a report conducted by researchers from UC San Francisco, which revealed that the total costs for treating bicycle injuries over a 17-year period amounted to about $237 billion. The costs of treatments for non-fatal injuries cost $208 billion, while fatal injuries accounted for $28 billion of the costs.
These costs have increased because the expenses can cover numerous services. The costs cover emergency transportation, hospital charges, and readmissions. It also includes any rehab treatment and stays in nursing homes. Lost income can result due to lost work days, and in some cases the injuries can be so severe that it can affect any future productivity and income. The quality of life for the patient may also suffer.
More Older Men Injured in Bicycle Accidents
The report found a notable rise in the number of older men who have been hospitalized or treated in an emergency room for bicycle injuries. Bicycle accidents have resulted in an increase in hospital admissions by 120% over a span of 15 years. In 1997, older men (45 years old and above) only accounted for about a quarter of the total costs of bicycle injuries. By 2013, this age group accounted for 54% of the costs of bicycle injury treatments.
In the past, many of these accidents were non-street incidents. They mostly involved accidents in tracks and parks. Yet today, the significant rise in the number of bicycles on city streets means that the accidents now usually involve motor vehicles. This has increased the severity of injuries because of the greater impacts involved.
Experts recommend that a unified approach to the problem must be implemented to reduce the number of injuries. Infrastructure investments must be made to make streets safe and useful for bicycle riders.
Training for car drivers must also include knowing how to deal with cyclists in the streets. Cyclists too must be trained to pedal properly and safely through the roadways. While these bicycle riders have the same privileges as car drivers, they also have the same responsibilities. It’s just that the fact remains that as a bicycle rider, you’re more vulnerable to serious injuries when you get into an accident.
If you do get into a bike accident, we recommend that you consult our law firm and call a bicycle accident injury lawyer to make sure you know your legal rights and options. We may be able to represent your interests so that you can receive damages that can help cover your treatment expenses.