Colorado Springs Bicycle Accidents from a Left Hook Crash

left hook bicycle crash

Written by Jeremy D. Earle, JD

June 15, 2022

Best Bicycle Accident Law Firm in Colorado

As a cyclist, you are well aware that you are far smaller and more vulnerable than most other vehicles on the road. Your bicycle offers little protection from passing automobiles.

Although you may have picked your helmet and clothes carefully to ensure your safety and visibility, such safeguards will only go so far in protecting you from severe harm in an accident.

A left-hook bicycle accident is one of the most frequent forms of accidents cyclists face—a very avoidable type of collision that often happens when cars are not paying attention to the road around them. What every cyclist should know about left-hook collisions

What Are Bicycle Accidents With a Left Hook?

A left hook bicycle accident occurs when a car makes a left turn without yielding to a cyclist in the approaching lane. The automobile or truck turning left may collide with the bike or cut him off, resulting in an accident. Often, left hook collisions occur when a vehicle is traveling at a high rate of speed compared to the bicycle, resulting in serious injury or death to the rider.

What Are the Most Common Injuries Involved in Left Hook Bicycle Accidents?

As a cyclist, you have as much protection as possible. Unfortunately, the gear may be ineffective in the event of a left hook bicycle collision. The degree of injuries sustained in left hook bicycle crashes varies.

The level of a cyclist’s injuries may vary depending on the vehicle’s speed, the cyclist’s speed, the angles of contact, and the road surface. Typical injuries include the following:

TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURY

A bicycle helmet is intended to protect the cyclist’s head and minimize the risk of traumatic brain damage in the event of an accident. Helmets that are properly fitted and in excellent condition protect the brain from traumatic brain damage by around 70%.

They cannot, however, provide comprehensive protection against the power and angle of an impact. Even when riders wear helmets properly, they may experience mild to severe brain damage. In the most difficult situations, brain damage may result in cognitive or physical disability, memory loss, coma, and death.

INJURIES TO THE SPINAL CORD

When a bicycle collides with a car, the cyclist is often thrown to the ground in an uncomfortable and forceful hit or sequence of collisions. When the cyclist’s spinal cord is injured, he or she may suffer from partial or complete paralysis.

These injuries are often permanent, necessitating the cyclist’s adaptation to life in a wheelchair or other assistance equipment.

FRACTURES OF THE BONES AND SOFT-TISSUE INJURIES

A biker is likely to sustain fractures and soft-tissue injuries throughout their body in any serious collision. Among the most prevalent injuries are broken wrists and hips, as well as injured shoulders. These injuries may need considerable orthopedic restoration and months (or even years) of physical therapy to regain full range of motion and usefulness.

ABRASIONS AND LACERATIONS

Striking and sliding down uneven pavement may result in deep lacerations and large abrasions that take a long time to heal and may get infected if not cleaned and bandaged appropriately.

PSYCHOLOGICAL TRAUMA

Along with the physical pain of a bicycle accident, riders wounded in left-hook incidents may suffer significant mental distress. They may have difficulty sleeping or eating for a while after the accident, or they may struggle with formerly enjoyed activities.

It may be some time before they can ride their bicycle comfortably again. Recovering emotionally after a bicycle accident may need months or even years of therapy and support.

How Can Cyclists Avoid Bicycle Left Hook Accidents?

Left hook bicycle accidents are uncommon since they occur when a vehicle fails to yield to the cyclist’s right-of-way. That is not to say, however, that bikers are unable to avert future collisions.

By following these measures, bikers may significantly reduce their risk of injury in a left hook bicycle accident (or in any type of bicycle accident, for that matter).

ALWAYS WEAR APPROPRIATE PROTECTION AND SAFETY EQUIPMENT

Cyclists should always wear a well-fitting and well-maintained helmet. Never use a cracked helmet or one that has absorbed the force of a previous crash. When involved in a collision or fall off a bicycle, wearing leggings, gloves, and long sleeves may all assist in avoiding road rash.

Of course, such gear is impractical in warm weather, which is why it’s critical for cyclists’ gear to be visible at all times. Colors that are bright and fluorescent are preferable over neutrals and earth tones.

If a cyclist intends to ride in low light (for example, morning or evening), their clothes should also have reflective strips. Additionally, cyclists’ bikes should be equipped with front and rear running lights. Depending on where the bicycle cycles, this may be required by law.

DEVELOP A SENSE OF SITUATIONAL AWARENESS

It’s common for cyclists to go into a “zone” and lose track of what’s going on around them when they ride. This is particularly true if they are riding a known route or covering a significant distance.

Responsible riders should take care not to lose their concentration in this manner. Bicycles are one of the various vehicles entitled to use the road, yet they are by far the most susceptible.

On congested highways, cyclists must anticipate changes in the road surface and bike lanes to prevent abrupt directional shifts that might put them in danger. On relatively empty roads, cyclists should be cautious of blind bends and narrow sightlines that expose them to high-speed automobiles.

STAY AWAY FROM DISTRACTIONS

Distracted riding is equally as harmful as distracted driving, if not more deadly, due to riders’ vulnerability in the event of an accident or fall. Bikers must refrain from listening to music that drowns out their surroundings despite the temptation to treat riding like any other kind of exercise.

Additionally, they should avoid focusing their attention on their bike computer or GPS while riding rather than on the road ahead. They should pull over if they need to make a call.

PRIORITIZE SAFETY

Bicycles are entitled to the right of way. Cyclists should be given priority over motorists. When the route is insufficiently broad for a car to pass a bike with at least three feet to spare, bicyclists should “ride large” in the center of the lane, even if it upsets vehicle drivers behind them (as soon as it is safe to “ride big” no longer, the rider should shift over).

However, just because cyclists have the right-of-way does not imply they may safely behave like road kings and queens in every case. While riding two or three abreast is an enjoyable way to interact with other cyclists, it significantly raises the risk of a side-swipe mishap.

While the quickness of a bike makes it alluring to weave in and out of metropolitan traffic, it also puts car drivers on edge and leaves them with little time to respond. Cyclists, like motorists, should practice defensive riding to remain safe and accident-free.

OBEY TRAFFIC LAWS

Cyclists are just as accountable for adhering to traffic laws as drivers of any other vehicle. They must follow the regulations of the road, which include riding in the proper lane, remaining with the flow of traffic, and obeying traffic signals, which include stop signs and stoplights. Cyclists who violate traffic regulations put themselves and others in danger of injury.

MAKE EYE CONTACT WITH THE PERSON IN FRONT OF YOU BEFORE CONTINUING THROUGH AN INTERSECTION

This is very particular safety advice, but it is also a critical one. Cyclists should be aware that vehicles may not always notice them. Even the most conscientious drivers may develop this blindness to bikes.

To avoid being overlooked (especially at junctions), bicycles should establish eye contact with the driver of any approaching or crossing vehicle. If the motorist does not reciprocate the cyclist’s eye contact, this might be a warning indication to use great care.

This approach is particularly good in preventing left-hook collisions, as the rider and driver are almost face to face before the car turns left.

What to Do After a Bicycle Accident with a Left Hook

Following a left-hook mishap, a cyclist’s actions might make the difference between life and death. Additionally, they may safeguard the cyclist’s legal rights to seek redress from the driver of the left-hook vehicle. The following are some precautions cyclists and others reacting to them at an accident site may take to ensure their safety:

THE FIRST STEP IS TO DO A SELF-CHECK

Cyclists who are aware of an accident should use caution while attempting to move. Bicycle accidents often result in neck and back injuries that are exacerbated by movement. If it is safe, it may be advisable to remain motionless and request someone else phone 911.

STEP TWO: LEAVE THE ROAD

Keeping Step One in mind, cyclists involved in a left-hook collision should attempt to remove themselves and, if possible, their bike off the road. Similar to how one motorist was unable to notice them, other cars on the road may be unaware of an accident. A secondary collision is the last thing anybody wants after a left hook bicycle accident.

STEP THREE: RECRUIT ASSISTANCE

By dialing 911, you may summon both police and an ambulance. When police officers arrive on the site, they will gather evidence and witness accounts to compile an accident report. The ambulance will be capable of assessing everyone’s physical status and transporting them to the hospital if necessary.

STEP FOUR: CONSULT A PHYSICIAN

Suppose transportation to the hospital emergency department is not required. In that case, bikers should have a medical expert assess them at the scene and then plan an appointment with their primary care physician as soon as feasible.

Certain injuries may take a while to manifest symptoms. Additionally, bikers may want to safeguard their legal rights by maintaining a detailed record of their vigilance in obtaining medical attention.

STEP FIVE: PHOTOGRAPH THE ACCIDENT SITE.

If feasible, it might be beneficial to capture photographs or video of the accident site as soon as possible after the accident to preserve one’s legal rights. The photographs should attempt to convey the cyclist’s and vehicle driver’s perspectives and any road objects or signs that may have been involved.

STEP SIX: COMPILE DATA

At the site of the collision, bikers may also want to obtain contact information from the driver of the other vehicle involved, as well as the names of any witnesses. Exchanging insurance information is also a good idea, and in certain areas, maybe mandated by law.

STEP SEVEN: KEEP THE BICYCLE IN GOOD CONDITION

Cyclists may feel an understandable temptation to immediately take their bike in for repair, but they should resist. The bicycle might be used as evidence in a personal injury lawsuit. Riders should put their bikes in a secure location in the same condition before the accident and not touch them again until they speak with a lawyer.

STEP EIGHT: SPEAK WITH A LAWYER

Cyclists who have been wounded in a left-hook collision should get legal assistance promptly to safeguard their rights to reimbursement from insurance companies and, perhaps, the driver of the car that turned left.

The sooner a cyclist retains legal representation, the higher his or her prospects of receiving the maximum amount of compensation possible for injuries, property damage, and pain and suffering caused by an accident.

Do You Require Legal Counsel Following a Left Hook Bicycle Accident?

Contact the knowledgeable attorneys at Warrior Injury Law, if you want legal assistance after a left hook bicycle accident. From advising clients on maximizing their recovery to advising them on what information to avoid sharing on social media, we help injured Colorado bikers daily.

Contact us immediately at 719-300-1100 to arrange for a no-obligation consultation.

Warrior Car Accident Lawyers

1902 W. Colorado Ave., Suite 100

Colorado Springs, CO 80904

719-300-1100

Free Consultation

NO FEE UNLESS WE WIN

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