How Common Are Bike Accident Head Injuries?

What seems like a small bump to the head in a bicycle accident could cause a life-altering traumatic brain injury (TBI). Learn about how common and dangerous bicycle accident head injuries can be, and how an attorney can help you access financial resources for critical care.


Bicycle accidents have enormous potential to cause life-threatening injuries. Head and brain injuries can immediately change an individual’s personality, mobility, or quality of life. 

The Brain Injury Law Center has gathered the following statistics about bicycle accident head injuries, types of TBIs, and what a lawyer can do to help.

If you need to speak with an attorney right away about bicycle accident liability or a head injury lawsuit, reach out to our Virginia-based offices at (757) 244-7000, or schedule a free, no-obligation consultation online. Our unique experience in litigating brain injury cases can help ensure that your losses and needs for ongoing care are fully covered.

A young man wearing a helmet bicycles through traffic while using safety signals to indicate his movements.

What Injuries Can You Get From a Bike Crash?

The most frequent injuries caused by bike collisions include:

  • Head and neck injuries that endanger the brain or spinal cord
  • Limb and joint injuries from bone breaks, pinching/crushing wounds, or flesh and nerve damage
  • Urogenital injuries to the genitals or urinary tract due to impact with the bike’s seat or frame

Because bicycles are open vehicles, the potential for grievous bodily harm is extremely high in any accident or collision, especially when it takes place on a road or highway with motor vehicles. 


What Percentage of Bicycle Accidents Result in Head Injuries?

According to the U.S. Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the National Safety Council (NSC):

  • Head injuries occur in 70-80% of all fatal bicycle crashes
  • One-third of non-fatal bicycle injuries are to the head 
  • Adults comprise the majority of bicyclist-motor vehicle crash fatalities
  • Children bicyclists under 14 years of age are at 5x greater risk for injury than older cyclists
  • Bicycle accidents, including those that cause head trauma, are the most frequent cause of injury-related death for young children

While wearing a helmet drastically reduces the severity of bicycle accident head injuries, wearing a helmet cannot guarantee that a rider will avoid suffering a TBI. Even with all safety precautions in place, brain trauma and brain injury from cycling accidents can create devastating damage or cause a person’s tragic death.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), most bicycle accidents occur in urban areas, during the summer months (June-September), and during the twilight hours between 6-9 PM. Your lawyer may use information like this to strengthen your case. For example, the data suggests that drivers are frequently more dangerous toward bike riders during the low-visibility hours of dusk.

What Is the Most Common Bicycle Injury?

The University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) states that head injuries are one of the most common injuries suffered by cyclists. Head injuries include:

  • Brain injuries: Traumatic brain injuries, concussions, brain bleeds, brain swelling, and penetrating injuries to the brain can alter an individual’s cognitive functions, handicap their mobility, or end their life.
  • Skull fractures: Fractured bones in the skull or face can endanger the brain, eyes, nasal passages, and jaw. Bone breaks to the face can also lead to traumatizing disfigurement and cause psychological harm like depression and PTSD. 
  • Scalp and facial lacerations: Cuts to the face, head, and hairline can also disfigure a person’s appearance. Lacerations affecting the ears or lips could harm their hearing, their ability to speak, or their capacity to eat normally.

An injury to the brain could cause long-lasting, life-changing symptoms like memory loss, balance issues, chronic headaches, and progressively destructive seizures. Severe head injuries could leave a person in an unresponsive coma, or cause their untimely death.

“Regarding individuals with moderate to severe brain damage, at two years post-injury: 30% of patients need at least some assistance from another person.” – FlintRehab


What Are the 4 Types of Traumatic Brain Injuries?

The Cleveland Clinic outlines the four main types of traumatic brain injury:

  1. Mild TBIs: Three out of four TBIs are mild concussions each year, making them the most common type of traumatic brain. Though concussions are a low-grade form of brain injury, they are still potentially fatal if not properly treated within the critical first weeks after injury.
  2. Moderate-to-Severe TBIs: Traumatic brain injuries that are moderate-to-severe often have longer recovery timelines. They result from injuries like falls, motor vehicle crashes, and assaults.
  3. Open TBIs: While most TBIs are closed-head injuries resulting from outside impacts, open TBIs are also called penetrating TBIs, and involve objects going into the brain, causing damage.
  4. Nontraumatic TBIs: Nontraumatic brain injuries mean instead of an impact or whiplash injury, the brain is damaged due to a lack of oxygen. Also known as hypoxic/anoxic brain injuries, these may result from choking, strangling/suffocation, seizures, near-drowning incidents, or delayed birth injuries.

TBIs can cause permanent disabilities or brain damage. In addition to physical damage to the brain, individuals with TBIs also have a higher risk of depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). 

All of these conditions deserve and could be significantly improved with swift and steady medical care. In order to afford the brain injury treatments you or your loved one need, a personal injury lawsuit may be your best path forward. Contact the Brain Injury Law Center online or by calling (757) 244-7000 to discuss your situation and explore your legal options.


How Can a Bicycle Accident Lawyer Help? Contact Info

Just falling off a bike and hitting your head can cause a head injury that interrupts your life, your career, and the well-being of your family. When a bicycle accident happens due to a preventable crash caused by another driver or an unsafe road, you shouldn’t have to bear the cost of those injuries alone. 

The Brain Injury Law Center has a proven record of successful verdicts and settlements, as well as heartfelt testimonials from clients we have helped. One of our notable cases was a $2.4 million result for a bicycle rider who was struck in the head by the side mirror of a passing truck.

If you’re in need of experienced legal representation, reach out to us as soon as possible either online or by calling our offices directly at (757) 244-7000. Many states including Virginia where we’re headquartered have a 2-year deadline for personal injury claims, including those that result from bicycle accidents. 

The sooner you speak with an attorney, the better your chances of receiving a fair settlement or verdict to cover medical bills, lost wages, or end-of-life expenses in cases of wrongful death. Let our attorneys do the work to build your case while you focus on regaining your life and health.


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