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Cycling and Left Hook Accidents

By Matt Lalande in Bicycle Accidents, Hamilton Personal Injury Lawyer on August 27, 2022

Cycling and Left Hook Accidents

A left hook bicycle accident is a type of cycling accident that can occur when a cyclist is hit by a car making a left turn. This type of accident is often caused by drivers who fail to see cyclists on the road, or who misjudge the speed of oncoming cyclists. Left hook accidents can be particularly dangerous for cyclists, as they often result in serious injuries. In some cases, left hook accidents can even be fatal. If you have been involved in a left hook bicycle accident, it is important to seek legal assistance as soon as possible. An experienced Hamilton bicycle accident lawyer can help you determine who is at fault for the accident and ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve.

What Are Left Hook Accidents?

A left hook bike accident happens when a car fails to yield to cyclists in the oncoming traffic lane, making a sudden left turn instead. The vehicle may strike the cyclist or cut them off, causing a collision. More often than not, left hook accidents involve vehicles moving at high speeds relative to the bicycle, resulting in significant injuries or death for the cyclist.

Left hook bicycle accidents might seem like “accidents,” but in reality, the left hook collision is totally preventable and potentially arise from negligence. Turning into the path of another vehicle/cyclist is dangerous and forbidden by law.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a left hook bicycle accident, contact a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible to discuss your legal rights and options. An experienced bicycle accident lawyer can help you understand the complex highway traffic laws surrounding bicycle accidents and will fight for the compensation you deserve. Don’t let a preventable accident ruin your life.

What are some common injuries that can arise from left-hook accidents?

below are some of the common injuries which Lalande Personal Injury Lawyers has seen which have occurred as a result of left-hook cycling accidents are:

Knee Fractures – Some of the most common knee fractures include the tibial plateau fracture and the patella fracture. Tibial plateau fractures are complex injuries produced by high energy trauma and is a type of knee fracture that occurs when either the top or bottom part of the tibia (shinbone) is broken. The tibia is one of the two bones in the lower leg, and the plateau is the flat, upper surface of the bone. A fracture to this area can be caused by a direct blow to the knee such as in a car-bicycle accident. Open reduction and internal fixation (ORIF) is the gold standard treatment for these fractures. A patella fracture is a break in the kneecap, the small bone that sits at the front of the knee. Patella fractures are usually caused by a direct blow to the knee, such as from a fall or a car accident. Symptoms of a patella fracture include pain, swelling, and bruising around the knee. The knee may also feel unstable or “give way” when bearing weight. Patella fractures can range in severity from a small crack to a complete break of the bone. Treatment typically involves rest, ice, and pain relief medication. More severe fractures may require open reduction and internal fixation (ORIF)to repair the bone. With proper treatment, most people with patella fractures recover fully and experience no long-term complications.

Ankle Fractures: ankle fractures are very common fractures in bicycle accident cases. There are different types of ankle fractures depending on the location and severity of the break. The most common ankle fracture is known as a lateral ankle ligament sprain, which occurs when the ankle rolls outward. This type of fracture is typically caused by a fall or an ankle twist. A medial ankle ligament sprain, on the other hand, occurs when the ankle rolls inward and is often the result of a direct impact to the outside of the ankle. More serious fractures can involve the bones of the ankle joint, including the tibia, fibula, and talus. These types of fractures can be very difficult to heal and may require surgery. Recovery from an ankle fracture can take several weeks or even months, so it is important to follow your doctor’s instructions carefully. Although it may be tempting to return to activities too soon, this could delay healing and increase the risk of re-injury.

Tri-malleolar and bi-malleolar ankle fractures are injuries that can occur after an accident, such as a fall or a bicycle crash. Tri-malleolar fractures involve three bones in the ankle: the tibia, fibula, and talus. Bi-malleolar fractures involve two bones: the tibia and fibula. Both types of fractures can be extremely painful and may require surgery to repair. In some cases, metal plates or screws may be used to hold the bones in place while they heal. Tri-malleolar and bi-malleolar ankle fractures can take several weeks or months to heal completely. During this time, it is important to keep the affected area immobilized and to avoid putting any weight on it. With proper treatment, most people make a full recovery from these types of injuries.

Traumatic Brain Injury -a (TBI) is a type of damage to the brain that occurs after a traumatic event such as a car accident or a fall. TBI can range from mild (concussion) to severe ( traumatic brain injury). Symptoms of TBI can be mild, moderate, or severe, depending on the extent of the damage. They may include headaches, dizziness, confusion, problems with memory or thinking, mood swings, and sleeping problems. In severe cases, TBI can lead to coma or even death. A more severe TBI can result in diffuse axonal injury, which is when traumatic forces cause widespread nerve fiber damage throughout the brain. This type of injury can lead to long-term impairments in cognitive function, motor skills, and sensation. In some cases, a TBI can also cause life-threatening hemorrhages.

Facial Fractures: facial fractures are a common type of injury sustained in bicycle accidents. The most common types of facial fractures include fractures of the orbital bones and the mandible. Facial fractures can occur when the force of the impact is sufficient to break the bones. In addition, facial fractures can also occur as a result of disfigurement or scarring. The severity of the injury will depend on the type and location of the fracture. In some cases, facial fractures can lead to permanent disfigurement or scarring. Treatment for facial fractures typically includes surgical repair and/or rehabilitation. In some cases, facial surgery may be required to correct the deformity or scarring caused by the fracture.

While left hook collisions may seem like “accidents,” they are completely avoidable. They typically arise from the driver’s negligence. Turning into the path of another car or bike isn’t just dangerous; it is also illegal. To avoid a left hook collision with another road user, a motorist would have to simply pay attention to the road. That said, your duty as a cyclist is also to ensure you ride your bike responsibly. If you’re involved in a left hook accident, you would have to demonstrate that you were being safe; otherwise, you might (in very rare cases) bear the fault – which is what we call contributory negligence at law.

Wrongful Death: A left-hook bicycle accident can be fatal, as the cyclists are often thrown into oncoming traffic or onto the pavement. Left-hook accidents account for a significant number of cycling fatalities each year, and they are often the result of driver negligence. For example, a driver may fail to yield to a cyclist who has the right of way, or they may misjudge the speed and distance of an oncoming cyclist. If you have lost a loved one in a left-hook bicycle accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your wrongful death claim. An experienced bicycle accident lawyer can help you investigate the accident and build a strong case for damages.

Tips on how avoid the left hook bicycle accident

Exercise situation awareness: if you’re an avid cyclist, you know how therapeutic riding can be. It is not unusual to find yourself in the “zone,” losing focus on the goings-on in your environment. This is often the case when riding on familiar routes or covering long distances. Being a responsible cyclist means being mindful to catch yourself and snap out of it when this happens.

Remember, while bikes are one of the many vehicles allowed to share the road with others, they are extremely vulnerable as far as accidents go. If you’re riding on a busy road, ensure that you anticipate changes in bike lanes and road surfaces to avoid making a sudden directional change that could jeopardize your safety.

When riding on a relatively empty road, you must be on high alert to keep an eye out for blind corners. Limited sightlines could also expose you to speeding vehicles.

Steer Clear of Distractions: Distracted cycling is just as risky as distracted driving, if not more. As tempting as it might be to treat cycling like any other workout, listening to music as you cruise along, you need to resist the urge. Music drowns out your surroundings, making you less likely to perceive the risks posed by other moving vehicles.

Additionally, tinkering with your bike’s GPS or computer is another distraction you must avoid while moving. If you must, you should pull over to the side of the road, check what you need to, and proceed with your ride.

Adhere to the Rules of the Road: just because you’re on a bicycle doesn’t mean the rules of the road don’t apply to you. You need to follow the rules just like every other road user. Stick to the correct biking lane, stay with the traffic flow, and adhere to traffic signals, including stop lights and stop signs. Failing to obey traffic laws puts your life and wellbeing at risk.

Make Safety a Priority: cyclists have the right of way, and traffic laws dictate that drivers must yield to them. If you’re riding on a roadway that’s not wide enough for a vehicle to pass you with at least one meter to spare, you should “ride big” for your safety. This means riding smack in the middle of the lane despite how annoying it might be for other drivers. It’ll help you avoid a side-swipe accident.

Additionally, avoid weaving in and out of traffic, even if it’s slow-moving or at a standstill. Doing this gives other drivers less time to react and sets other road users on edge.

Make Eye Contact Before Entering the Intersection: this is not always easy with a moving cyclist and/or moving motor vehicle – but it is an important safety tip. Remember, you may not always be visible to drivers. Some drivers, even the most responsible ones, are simply blind to cyclists.

As a protective measure, ensure you make eye contact with the driver of any crossing or oncoming vehicle before going through an intersection. If they don’t return that eye contact, there’s a good chance they haven’t seen you, and you should proceed with extra caution. This is a particularly useful tip for avoiding left hook collisions.

What to Do After a Left Hook Biking Accident

If you’re ever involved in a left hook bicycle accident, the steps you take after could spell the difference between life and death. The actions you take may also protect your right to compensation. Here’s what you need to do:

Call 911 – if you are able, or have someone nearby call 911 to get both the police and an ambulance at the scene. The police will collect statements from the parties involved and any eyewitnesses. Paramedics will assess your condition and will transport you to a local trauma centre for evaluation or surgical consultation if required.

Talk to Police – once your condition has stabilized, police or OPP will want to make a statement. I f you recall the conditions and facts surrounding the accident – be honest and truthful and tell them what happened. If you do not recall the incident (perhaps since you lost consciousness) it’s important to tell them that as well. It does not help anyone to provide inaccurate information.

Preserve the damages bicycle: Do not destroy or take your bike to the shop just yet. It might serve as evidence should you pursue a personal injury claim against the driver. Store it somewhere safe in its damaged condition and leave it as it is until you speak with a bicycle accident lawyer.

If you’ve been hurt in a bicycle accident, consult a Hamilton Bicycle Accident Lawyer

If you sustain injuries in a left hook crash, you should protect your rights and obtain legal counsel as soon as possible. If you’ve suffered serious injuries, an experienced bicycle accident lawyer will be able to help get your no-fault benefits into place, retain the appropriate occupational therapists to assist and make sure that your discharge from the hospital or rehab centre back home is a safe transition. A bicycle accident lawyer can make sure that all of your required needs and therapies are paid for, and that you obtain the economic and non-economic compensation that you or your loved one deserves.

Contact us today no matter where you are in Ontario for your free consultation by calling 1-844-LALANDE or local in the Southern Ontario Region at 905-333-8888. Alternatively, you can reach us by email by filling out a contact form on our website.

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Quick Summary FAQ

What is a left-hook bicycle accident?

A left hook bike accident happens when a car fails to yield to cyclists in the oncoming traffic lane, making a sudden left turn instead. The vehicle may strike the cyclist or cut them off, causing a collision.

What are some common injuries in left-hook bicycle accidents?

Common injuries suffered by cyclists in left-hook bicycle accidents are knee fractures, ankle fractures, severe traumatic brain injury and facial fractures.

What should I do after being involved in a left-hook bicycle accident?

If you or a loved one has been hurt in a bicycle accident, call 911, provide a statement to police as to what you remember about the accident – and save the bicycle as it might be used as evidence in the case.

Can I be compensated if I was involved in a bicycle accident?

You can – if the accident was not your fault – or even partially your fault. You can obtain compensation for pain and suffering, as well as economic and non-economic losses that you and your family have suffered – so long as you suffer from a serious injury.

When should I hire a lawyer after a bicycle accident?

We would suggest that you or a family member hire and experienced bicycle accident lawyer right away. It’s important to get the no-fault benefits in place, hire the right occupational therapists and have funding in place for your safe discharge home. Then of course – you can start a case against the driver that hit you.

how many bicycle accident cases have Matt Lalande been involved in?

Matt has been involved in hundreds of bicycle accident cases over the last 20 years, and has been to trial on two seperate occasions to argue liability issues – i.e. who was at fault. matt has recoovered millions in compensation for bicycle accident victims since 2003.

This information is not intended to be legal advice. You should consult with an attorney for individualized legal advice regarding your particular situation. Nothing in this article should be construed as a guarantee or prediction of outcome in any legal matter. The information contained herein is general in nature and may not apply to your specific circumstances. Every legal matter is unique and the law changes constantly. Therefore, the information provided herein may not be accurate for your particular situation at the time you read it. You should always consult with a qualified lawyer for legal advice specific to your circumstances. No lawyer-client relationship is formed by reading this information or by contacting our firm. You are not considered a client of the firm until we have agreed in writing to represent you and that representation has been confirmed in writing by one of our partners. Lalande Personal Injury Lawyers serves clients throughout Ontario.

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