People who cycle frequently are aware that they are particularly vulnerable to injury when they have to share a public highway with other drivers. Even cyclists who wear high visibility clothing are sometimes hit by drivers who are just not careful enough or do not respect cyclists’ right to safe use of a roadway.
A typical cyclist accident is when a driver executes a right turn in front of a cyclist and fails to allow them to proceed, even if they have the right of way. This so-called “right hook” accident is depressingly common and can cause serious injuries to the cyclist, let alone completely damage the bicycle.
Any cyclist who is hit by a negligent driver in a right hook incident should consider filing a claim for compensation from the driver who hit them. An experienced personal injury attorney can help with a claim.
Right Hook Accident Scenarios
A right hook cycle accident usually happens when a cyclist approaches a turning on a main road and is overtaken by a driver intent on turning right. The collision happens when the driver hits the cyclist as he or she passes in front of them on turning. The accident shouldn’t happen at all, because the driver should simply wait until the cyclist has gone ahead before making the turn.
There are several simple reasons why the accident occurs at all. Often the driver claims not to have seen the cyclist, but more commonly it happens because the driver misjudges the speed of the cyclist, or their own speed or thinks that he or she has more right to be on the road than the cyclist. None of these reasons is a good excuse and all suggest that the driver was at fault and there is a case for pursuing a personal injury claim.
Injuries Caused From Being Hit in a Right Hook Accident
The most likely injuries occur after the cyclist is hit from the rear or the side and falls off the bicycle after the impact of the collision. The severity of any injuries depends on the relative speeds of the bicycle and driver, the size and weight of the vehicle and the skill of the cyclist in avoiding the worst possible injuries.
The reality is that it is the cyclist that comes off worse in any accident of this type. Injuries may include:
- bruises, cuts, lacerations and scratches;
- psychological trauma;
- broken legs and arms;
- neck and head injuries;
- facial injuries, including damage to the teeth;
- dislocated joints, such as the hip and shoulder.
Obtaining Compensation After Being Hit in a Right Hook Accident
After any accident of this type, your first priority is to get medical attention. Assuming that the driver actually stops after hitting you, you should at least obtain his or her name, telephone number, registration details, license plate details, insurance provider if you are able to do so.
You may be able to get contact details from anyone who saw the accident happen and is prepared to make a statement. You may also be able to get a copy of any police report if police attend the accident scene. You will need good documentation if you want to pursue a claim for compensation against the driver who hit you.
How a Lawyer Can Help With a PI Claim
An experienced personal injury attorney can provide valuable legal advice and help negotiate a fair settlement with the at-fault driver’s insurer. By filling out the Free Case Evaluation on this page, you can have the details of your case reviewed by a personal injury lawyer.