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The Five Most Common Bicycle Crash Injuries

November 17, 2023

Since 1975, the number of fatal bicycle crash victims over age 20 has increased a staggering 400 percent. That’s partially because the number of older bicycle riders has increased considerably since the 1970s. Innovations like designated bicycle lanes, along with the horrible traffic in some parts of SoCal, have promoted more people to ride bicycles.

Driver inattention is responsible for much of this increase. Driver error causes over 98 percent of the bicycle wrecks in California.

The bicycle crash serious injury rate is considerably higher than the vehicle occupant serious injury rate. To throw another statistic at you, about 1 percent of motorists are bicyclists. About 2 percent of roadway fatal crash victims are bicyclists.

A Los Angeles Bicycle Accident Lawyer obtains the financial compensation these victims need and deserve. Most injury cases settle out of court.

Most Common Injuries from Bicycle Accidents

Bicycle helmet safety statistics are very misleading. Crash helmets reduce the number of head injuries. But they increase the number of collisions. So, at best, it’s a zero-sum game.

Subconsciously, crash helmets give bicyclists a false sense of security. Once again subconsciously, tortfeasors (negligent drivers) do the same thing. They believe riders with helmets can survive crashes, so they take unnecessary risks.

Additionally, crash helmets don’t guard against motion-related head injuries, the most common accident-related head injuries. The brain is about the size of a 32-ounce tumbler. When victims fall off their bikes, their brains tumble against the insides of their skulls, causing bleeding and swelling. 

Bleeding and swelling causes symptoms like headaches, tinnitus, and personality changes which, in most cases, are permanent.

Broken Bones

The extreme force of a bicycle crash not only slams the brain against the skull. During a wreck, victims’ legs are usually pinned against tortfeasors’ vehicles.

The pressure, along with the collision, usually shatters bones. As a result, doctors must treat these wounds much more aggressively. A simple cast won’t do. Normally, doctors use metal parts, like screws and pins, to surgically reconstruct these bones.

Extra time, effort, and money during treatment means extra time, effort, and money during physical therapy. Recovery from a bicycle crash broken leg is much longer, and more difficult, than recovery from a step-off-the-curb broken leg.

Even after doctors and physical therapists finish their work, broken bones, like head injuries, are normally permanent. These permanent injuries include bone brittleness and loss of motion in a shoulder or other joint. 

Internal Injuries

Repeating a familiar theme, the extreme motion of a bicycle crash often causes internal injuries. The motion causes brains to slam against skulls, bones to fall apart, and internal organs to rub against each other.

These organs don’t have protective skin layers. As a result, even a small abrasion typically bleeds very badly. Slow leak bleeding is hard to spot and hard to stop. That’s especially true at accident scenes. Understandably, emergency responders are more concerned with external trauma injuries.

Therefore, many bicycle crash victims arrive at hospitals with serious internal injuries. As a result, they’re close to hypovolemic shock and organ shutdown before doctors even begin their work. If you have also sustained internal injuries in a bicycle accident, consult our California bicycle accident lawyers today.

Nerve Injuries

When bicycle crash victims fall to the ground, they naturally extend their arms to break their falls. This reaction usually ruptures nerves under the atms, in the brachial plexus bundle. The resulting nerve injury, including face and arm paralysis, are usually permanent.


Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is a specific kind of brain injury caused by extreme stress, like the stress of a car crash. This stress changes the brain’s chemical composition.

Stress causes the amygdala to swell. This part of the brain controls emotional responses. The enlarged amygdala squeezes the hippocampus and shrinks it. This part of the brain controls logical responses.

If I see a box of donuts at a meeting, my amygdala tells me to eat as many as I want. My hippocampus tells me to save them all for other people. So, I compromise and eat one, or maybe two.

An enlarged amygdala makes this process impossible. These victims cannot react logically to everyday events. PTSD symptoms include:

  • Hypervigilance,
  • Flashbacks,
  • Nightmares,
  • Anger, and
  • Depression.

The newest PTSD treatment drug isn’t very new. It was introduced in the early 2000s. Furthermore, individual and group therapy, the other PTSD treatment prong, is often hit and miss. Not everyone responds to therapy in the same way.

Many PTSD victims self-medicate with alcohol or other drugs, making their brain injuries much more difficult to treat.

Contact Our Experienced California Bicycle Accident Lawyers

Bicycle crashes cause several kinds of serious injuries. For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer in Los Angeles, contact the Law Offices of Eslamboly Hakim & Sharona Hakim, Attorneys. We do not charge upfront legal fees in these matters.


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