The most common cycling injuries won’t come as a surprise to experienced cyclists, but those new to biking may be a bit shocked. As bicycle crash attorneys and cyclists ourselves, we see our share of injuries from crashes. From bumps and abrasions to head injuries and fractures, we have seen it all. Although there are a number of injuries that can come from muscle strain or improper body positioning, we will focus on injuries caused by bicycle crashes.
The Most Common Cycling Injuries
1. Head injuries/concussions – Even cyclists who wear helmets are vulnerable to head injuries and concussions, although helmets do tremendously lower these rates. Head injuries, traumatic brain injury (TBI), and concussions can be life-threatening. Concussions can cause lingering after effects, even after healing has occurred. The brain is very vulnerable to outside forces, and healing after a brain injury is notoriously difficult. Victims of TMI may struggle to return to work and may have to work at a less stressful job for a while, as healing occurs.
2. Fractures of the arms and legs – When a cyclist braces to protect their body from impact, the result is often a fractured arm or leg. These fractures can be minor or compound, and some severe fractures may require surgery or physical therapy. Fortunately, although painful, healing from fractures is usually complete in time.
3. Scrapes/cuts/abrasions – It’s very common to experience abrasions, scrapes, and cuts following a bicycle crash. Minor abrasions usually heal on their own, but some are prone to infection, especially if the wound is exposed to dirt and gravel. Be sure to clean all open skin carefully and apply antibacterial ointment. Some cuts may require stitches, especially if they are on a joint or the bleeding does not stop quickly. If you are unsure, have a doctor assess your injuries. There is a small window of time for sutures to be placed in order to reduce the risk of infection, so don’t delay medical attention.
4. Sprains and strains – Although these may seem less severe than fractures, recovery can actually be far more challenging. Sprains and strains are often very painful and can require a lengthy healing process. It’s important to have these injuries assessed by a physician as more severe sprains may require additional medical treatment.
5. Psychological trauma – Often overlooked after a bicycle crash, psychological trauma can be difficult to treat. After a major crash, the cyclist is often quite fearful to ride again and may avoid cycling. In addition, they may experience flashbacks of the crash. This can lead to anxiety and depression. It’s normal to feel a bit down or “off” after a crash, but if these emotions linger more than a few days, consider discussing them with a professional.
Injuries that occur in bicycle crashes often require medical treatment. This can get expensive very quickly. Imaging tests, for example, can cost thousands of dollars. Physical therapy, when required, often consists of a number of visits. Costs can quickly add up. In addition, injured cyclists may require time off work to focus on recovery and tend to their injuries. And for some of the most grievously injured, life will never be the same again. If you or a loved one have been hurt in a bicycle crash, contact the experienced team of cyclists and attorneys at Kass & Moses today. We’ll stand by your side and fight to help you recover financially as you recover physically.