There are more than 40,000 accidents involving bicyclists in America each year. Almost one-third involve a cyclist being struck by a vehicle.
While many cyclists walk away with common injuries that seem minor, more serious health complications from cycling accidents can become evident later. Whiplash is a prime example.
Keep reading to learn how bicycle accident whiplash in Miami can affect you.
What Is Whiplash?
Whiplash is the common name for a cervical acceleration-deceleration injury (CAD). It may also be called whiplash-associated disorder (WAD). No matter which term you use, whiplash is a neck injury that happens when your head is violently jerked.
When your head snaps forward and then backward or is sharply rotated to either side, the movement can damage your neck’s:
- Soft tissue
Short and Long Term Effects of Whiplash
Whiplash can result in severe pain, reduced range of motion, and difficulty with standard movements and life tasks. Specifically, this includes:
- Pain in the neck, shoulders, back, and jaw
- Dizziness and blurred vision
- Fatigue and irritability
- Anxiety and insomnia
- Numbness or weakness in limbs
- Problems concentrating or remembering things
In the worst cases, whiplash can contribute to the development of osteoarthritis and spinal stenosis.
Whiplash-related injuries and consequences can take several days to fully set in and can plague victims for years.
How Do You Get It?
Whiplash can occur any time you take a blow or sustain an impact. Common examples include:
- Sports accidents
- Car and bicycle accidents
- Assault or abuse
- Amusement park rides
- Horseback riding accidents
Whiplash is most well-known as a result of car accidents in which one is rear-ended. Few cyclists realize that bicycle accident whiplash is just as common as whiplash received while riding in a car.
Your Risk of Bicycle Accident Whiplash in Miami
Whiplash can happen at very low speeds. It can occur when you are hit at any angle, and when you impact any other person, object, or vehicle.
Women and smaller individuals are more likely to experience severe whiplash than men and larger persons, but everyone is at risk.
While wearing a bicycle helmet is essential for your safety, it does not prevent whiplash. As more Americans take up cycling the importance of recognizing the risk of accidents and injuries like whiplash is also increasing.
Bicycle Accident Whiplash in Miami
More than 400 people are injured in bicycling accidents in Miami each year.
It is difficult to pin down exactly how many cyclists suffer whiplash in bicycle accidents annually because many injured cyclists do not immediately realize the extent of their injuries.
Nationally, however, accident data suggests that bike-related injuries and medical expenses cost Americans more than $10 billion annually.
What to Do If You Get Bike Accident Whiplash
If you are involved in a bicycle accident, you may not immediately realize the full scope of your injuries. Bike accident whiplash can take time to set in. This is why is it so important to respond appropriately to bike accidents even if you don’t think you are hurt.
Even minor accidents should be reported, documented, and followed up by a visit to your doctor. Your physician may want to take X-rays, a CT scan, or an MRI to determine the full extent of your injuries.
These steps may feel like a hassle at the time, but they will protect you if you suffer whiplash in a bike accident in Miami.
Treatment for Whiplash
Your doctor will prescribe treatment for your whiplash depending on the severity and details of your case. Common treatments for minor whiplash cases include:
- Apply ice packs
- Mild to moderate exercise
- Over-the-counter pain medication
In more severe cases, your doctor may prescribe:
- Prescription painkillers or muscle relaxants
- Physical therapy
Other potential treatments include massage, chiropractic manipulation, electronic nerve stimulation, and acupuncture.
Around 60 percent of whiplash victims will see their symptoms resolve in a month or less. Individuals with chronic whiplash, however, can still struggle with the after-effects of their injuries five or even seven years after their accidents.
Do You Need a Lawyer?
As a glance at the lists of symptoms and treatments suggests, whiplash can be an expensive injury to deal with and treat. It can take victims out of work, costing them income, and lead to stacks of medical bills.
In most cases, your auto insurance will cover at least a portion of your bicycle accident-related costs. It may not cover all of them, however.
Getting the at-fault driver who injured you to pay for the rest of your care is often more challenging than you might expect. Florida laws on the subject are complex. Many drivers do not carry bodily injury liability coverage, which means you have to make a claim on their personal assets.
Bike accident lawyers in Miami can be essential to winning your case and getting the money you deserve.
Why Get a Bike Accident Lawyer?
Florida bike accident lawyers under state law. They can help you navigate the ins and outs of the legal system and ensure that all of the right paperwork is filed in the right places at the right times.
Your attorney will also know how much you can ask for, how to negotiate a settlement in your best interest, and how to protect you from negative legal and financial ramifications in the process.
It is also important to keep in mind that when you are suffering from bicycle accident-related injuries, your first concern must be your health. Hiring an attorney to fight your legal battles for you frees you up to focus on getting well and back to normal life.
Experienced Miami Bike Accident Attorneys
Vivo Law Offices specializes in cases of bicycle accident whiplash in Miami. We have the knowledge, experience, and reputation to offer you the help that you need. If you are in a bicycle accident, contact us and let us help you get you the money you deserve.