Because a bicycle is not as heavy, safe or secure as a motor vehicle, cyclists are at a much higher risk of injury than automobile drivers during a crash.
Some of the most common and most devastating injuries to bicycle riders are damage to the neck, back and spinal cord.
Depending on the severity of your bike accident and your body’s adrenaline response to the event, you may or may not notice immediate signs of a neck or back injury. If you experience one or more of the following symptoms in the moments, hours or days after the collision, you should seek medical attention:
- Difficulty breathing
- Pain, numbness, burning or tingling sensation in appendages
- Muscle spasms
- Inability to walk or move limbs
- Inability to feel temperature or pressure
- Loss of bowel or bladder control
If a crash forcefully ejects you from your bike, you should lie still on the ground until emergency services arrive at the scene to prevent possible further damage.
When to begin treatment
The key to a full recovery after an injury is addressing the problem as soon as possible, and a trip to the emergency room is not extreme. Serious spinal cord damage may require surgery followed by consistent long-term physical therapy and pain management. Because medical treatment is expensive, and you will want to hold the responsible party accountable, it is important to establish proof of injury and maintain a record of medical care costs.
A spinal cord injury can have lifelong effects on your health and happiness, and you deserve compensation for your pain and suffering.