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Clearwater Bicyclists Should Be Aware of the Risk of “Right Hook” Accidents

Car hits bicycle in right hook accident, explains Clearwater, FL bicycle accident lawyer

On any given day, Clearwater residents are likely to see several bicyclists utilizing our roadways, both for exercise and as a form of transportation. While riding bicycles and other types of pedal-powered vehicles is undoubtedly healthy, fuel-efficient, and cost-effective, it also exposes riders to a significant risk of bodily injury. When motor vehicles and bicycles collide, the injuries that bicyclists sustain can be extremely serious. For this reason, bicyclists should take every precaution possible to avoid involvement in an accident and, should they be involved in an accident, do everything they can to recover compensation for their injuries.

To contact a Clearwater bicycle accident attorney, call the Dolman Law Group today at 727-451-6900.

What is a right hook accident?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) indicates[1] that there were 48,000 pedal cyclists injured in traffic accidents during 2013. Right hook accidents are specific types of accident that occurs when a vehicle traveling in the same direction as a bicyclist turns right at an intersection and collides with the bicyclist. These accidents can either involve the vehicle directly striking the bicycle or driving into the path of the cyclist in such a way as to cause the cyclist to hit the vehicle. Right hook accidents tend to occur in circumstances in which a bicyclist is traveling in the far right portion of the right lane and goes unnoticed by other motorists using the same lane.

Who is at fault for right hook accidents?

Determining fault in a right hook accident can be complicated, which is one of the reasons that victims should always retain an experienced attorney. If the motorist taking the right turn simply failed to notice the bicyclist and drove directly into him or her, the motorist would likely be at fault. The same would be true if the car turned in such a way as to make the accident unavoidable. On the other hand, if the driver turned with ample room and the bicyclist failed to notice the car, the person on the bike may be deemed at fault. In many cases, the critical issue is the amount of time that passed between the car passing the bicyclist and taking the right turn that resulted in the accident.

What kinds of injuries can occur after a right hook accident?

The injuries that bicyclists can sustain in right hook accidents can be extremely severe. In some cases, these injuries may result in medical complications that could affect them for years. This is particularly true in cases where a bicyclist is thrown from his or her bike and falls onto the pavement on the other side of the vehicle. Some of the injuries that are commonly sustained in right hook accidents are detailed below:

  • Traumatic Brain Injuries – TBIs are a serious type of injury that affect the way the brain functions. In serious cases, TBI victims can develop long-term problems including issues with speech and understanding, issues with coordination, emotional problems, and memory issues.
  • Spinal cord injuries – Spinal cord injuries,[2] or SCIs, occur when trauma damages the spinal cord, which is the bundle of nerves that allows the brain to communicate with the rest of the body. In serious cases, an SCI can result in complete paralysis below the site of the injury.
  • Broken bones – Bone fractures have the potential to be extremely painful and result in disfigurement and other serious medical complications.

Contact a Clearwater bicycle accident attorney today to schedule a free case evaluation

Anyone involved in a right hook accident or any other type of bicycle accident should consult with an attorney immediately. In many cases, people who are hurt in bicycle wrecks are entitled to significant financial compensation for the losses they incur, including their medical expenses, lost income, loss of quality of life, and physical and emotional pain and suffering. The assistance of an experienced attorney can often have a substantial impact on the amount of compensation that victims recover, so it is important to retain legal counsel as soon as possible.

Since 2009, the Florida bicycle accident lawyers of the Dolman Law Group have been helping people injured by the carelessness and recklessness of others. To schedule a free consultation with one of our attorneys, call our office today at 727-451-6900 or send an email through our online contact form.

Dolman Law Group
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33756
727-451-6900

https://www.dolmanlaw.com/legal-services/bicycle-injury-attorneys/

References:

[1] http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/Pubs/812151.pdf
[2] http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/spinal-cord-injury/basics/definition/con-20023837