Dealing with a collarbone injury can be tough, especially after a bicycle accident in San Francisco. Collarbone injuries are different from some other injuries that heal quickly with rest and treatment. The collarbone plays a crucial role in stabilizing the shoulder and helping the arms move, which makes its injury need special attention.
Because of its position and structure, it’s hard to completely immobilize the collarbone, so it takes longer to heal. This can lead to higher medical expenses and extra financial pressure. It’s important to know your choices and get help when needed while you recover.
Experienced San Francisco Bicycle Accident Lawyers
If you’re a victim of a broken collarbone or another injury after a San Francisco bicycle accident you can rely on MJQ Law for support. At The Law Offices Of Matthew J. Quinlan, our dedicated and experienced team of San Francisco bicycle accident lawyers is here to help you through the arduous process of recovering from a collarbone injury or any other damages resulting from an unfortunate incident.
No matter how your injury occurred, our team will stand by you, providing steadfast support by explaining your legal options and helping you take the essential steps to move forward. To begin the process with a free consultation, contact us today.
Common Causes of Collarbone Injuries in San Francisco Bicycle Accidents
In San Francisco bicycle accidents, collarbone injuries are common due to their typical nature.
During these accidents, riders are often thrown off their bikes, resulting in impacts on the ground or hard objects. To shield themselves, riders may use their arms to brace the fall, putting significant force on their collarbones. The weight of the bicycle can also add to the injury. Consequently, different types of collarbone injuries can occur in these situations, including:
- Vehicle collisions – Collisions with motor vehicles, such as cars or trucks, can result in severe impacts on cyclists, leading to collarbone injuries.
- Dooring accidents – When a parked vehicle occupant opens their door without checking for oncoming cyclists, it can lead to dangerous collisions and collarbone injuries.
- Hazards in the roadway – Poor road conditions, such as potholes, uneven surfaces, or debris, can cause cyclists to lose control and suffer collarbone injuries.
- Distracted driving – Drivers not paying attention to cyclists on the road may cause accidents that result in collarbone injuries.
- Speeding – When drivers move at high speeds might not have enough time to react to cyclists, leading to collisions with significant force and potential collarbone injuries.
- Bicycle lane violations – Collarbone injuries can occur when drivers or pedestrians enter bicycle lanes without checking for cyclists.
- Intoxicated driving – Drivers under the influence of alcohol or drugs can pose a significant risk to cyclists and lead to accidents with collarbone injuries.
- Lack of visibility – Poor visibility conditions, especially during low-light situations or adverse weather, can increase the likelihood of accidents and collarbone injuries if cyclists and drivers cannot see each other clearly.
- Inadequate bicycle infrastructure – A lack of dedicated bike lanes or proper cycling infrastructure may expose cyclists to potential hazards and increase the risk of accidents resulting in collarbone injuries.
To reduce collarbone injuries in bicycle accidents, cyclists and drivers should be careful, follow traffic rules, and be mindful of each other on the road. Building safer cycling infrastructure and raising awareness can lower the occurrence of collarbone injuries in San Francisco bicycle accidents. However, in the event that you or a loved one are in a bicycle accident, it’s important to understand the different types of collarbone injuries you could suffer–and how they’re treated.
Collarbone Injuries and Treatment After a San Francisco Bicycle Accident
In San Francisco bicycle accidents, different types of collarbone injuries can happen depending on the severity and nature of the accident. While every bicycle accident is different, some common collarbone injuries that occur in these accidents include:
- Fractures – Collarbone fractures are quite common in these accidents. They can be complete, where the bone breaks into two pieces, or partial, where it cracks but doesn’t break completely.
- Dislocations – Collarbone dislocations happen when the collarbone separates from the shoulder blade or breastbone because of a strong force on the shoulder during the accident.
- Sprains and Strains – Sprains occur when the ligaments around the collarbone are stretched or torn, while strains affect the muscles in the collarbone area. These injuries can occur when there’s a sudden or strong force on the shoulder.
- Clavicle contusions – Collarbone contusions are basically bruises that can happen on the collarbone due to a direct impact during a bicycle accident.
Like any injury after a San Francisco bicycle accident, collarbone injuries require appropriate treatment for recovery. Your first step after an accident should be getting immediate medical attention to take care of the injury and create a treatment plan. While the treatment plan will depend on the type of injury, normal treatment options for collarbone injuries include:
- Conservative treatment – Non-displaced or stable collarbone fractures can often be managed with conservative treatment. This may involve wearing a sling or a brace to support the injured shoulder and allow the bone to heal naturally over time. Pain management and rest are also essential during the healing process.
- Physical therapy – After the initial healing period, physical therapy is often prescribed to help restore shoulder strength, flexibility, and range of motion. Therapeutic exercises can aid in the recovery process and prevent stiffness and muscle weakness.
- Surgery – In cases of displaced or complex collarbone fractures, surgery may be necessary to realign the bone properly. Surgical procedures can involve using pins, plates, or screws to stabilize the fractured bone and facilitate proper healing.
Obviously, following the treatment plan prescribed by healthcare professionals can significantly improve the chances of a successful recovery. During the recovery period, it’s essential to avoid activities that could further strain the injured shoulder and follow the doctor’s advice on pain management and medication.
While your physical recovery relies on medical treatment, you’ll likely have other challenges to deal with. The most urgent of these is paying for your medical bills and lost income from missing work. In such situations, it’s vital to be aware of the necessary steps to take next.
Legal Steps to Take After a San Francisco Bicycle Accident
The good news, relatively speaking, after suffering a collarbone injury in a San Francisco bicycle accident is that you have several options to aid in your recovery. The quickest way to pursue these options is to file a claim for damages, which is a legal term for the compensation that’s available to you as an injury victim under California law. Generally, you can do this in the following ways:
- Filing an insurance claim – California is a no-fault state, which means you can file a claim with your insurance company, regardless of who caused the accident. If your injuries are severe, like a collarbone fracture or other injury, you may also file a claim with the at-fault party’s insurance.
- Filing a personal injury lawsuit – If your injuries are significant, you may pursue a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver. To succeed, you must prove the driver’s negligence caused your injuries. The lawsuit may help recover medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, emotional distress, and punitive damages if the driver acted recklessly.
- Pursuing a product liability claim – If a defective bicycle or its parts contributed to the accident, you may file a product liability claim against the manufacturer or distributor, particularly if there was brake failure or similar issues.
The available legal options depend on the accident’s circumstances and the extent of your injuries. Seeking advice from our experienced San Francisco bicycle accident lawyers can help understand your rights and options.
Get Help Today From Dedicated San Francisco Bicycle Accident Lawyers
If you’ve suffered a collarbone injury or other damage in a San Francisco bicycle accident, it’s crucial to protect your legal rights. To cover medical expenses and other costs resulting from the accident, you will likely need to explore the full range of your legal options.
At The Law Office of Matthew J. Quinlan, our team of experienced San Francisco bicycle accident lawyers can guide you through this challenging time. Contact us for a free consultation to learn more.