Unless an individual or company works directly with a courier service that uses mike messengers, most people don’t remember that this type of worker even exists. But thousands of individuals make money delivering letters and packages on a daily basis, riding furiously between destinations. In metropolitan areas, these workers are sought after because of the maneuverability of the bike, which allows a rider to go around traffic jams and can avoid hunting of parking when they reach a destination.
However, the same design that allows messengers to beat traffic also means that they have little protection from outside hazards and that serious injuries are sustained on a regular basis.
Bike Messenger Accidents
As a bike messenger you’re aware that any of the following could cause you serious bodily harm:
Motor Vehicle Collisions
Distracted drivers, drivers with road rage, speeding, and even vehicle part failure can all result in a car crash that could easily kill a messenger. Those that are lucky enough to survive usually do so with serious injuries.
It’s not just car crashes that could cause harm to a messenger, being “doored” is also a possibility, which is when a car passenger opens their door right in front of a bike rider, causing them to hit the door.
Pedestrians frequently step right into bike lanes without first looking, causing a collision between body and bike.
Accidents Caused By Poorly Maintained Roads
Towns, townships, cities, and states are responsible for maintaining roads, street signs, and traffic lights. Potholes, missing street signs, broken sidewalks are all serious issues that could result in an accident.
Now, nearly everyone who has ridden a bike has fallen off at some point and has been able to get back up with just a few bruises or scrapes. But the injuries that are sustained by a large percentage of bike messengers are much more serious and cost a lot more to treat.
Injuries Commonly Diagnosed After A Bike Messenger Accident
Let’s take a look at just a few of the serious injuries that bike messengers sustain on a regular basis:
Traumatic Brain Injury
Even with a helmet, a traumatic brain injury can occur. Damage to the brain can cause issues with mobility, fine motor skills, memory, speech, vision, and sense of smell. This damage can impact a person’s ability to work and participate in their favorite activities for the rest of their lives.
According to Northwestern University, the cost of treating a patient with a traumatic brain injury is steep. In addition to the medical costs, which range from $85,000 to $3,000,000 over a lifetime, there is the emotional and mental impact on the patient and their loved ones to consider.
Damage can impact the vertebrae, spinal cord, nerves, and muscles. Partial paralysis can impact any part of the body and of course, full paralysis can be so serious that it can impact a patient’s ability to breathe on their own.
Depending on the severity of the injury, the average yearly cost of treating a spinal injury ranges from $42,000 a year to $185,000 a year, according to the Reeve Foundation.
Damage To Internal Organs
Any of the internal organs can be bruised, torn, impaled, or punctured in an accident. Depending on the organ involved, surgery may be required to fix the issue. If the damage is extensive enough, the organ may not function properly for the rest of a patient’s life or they could ultimately require an organ transplant.
Depending on the circumstances, there could be several ways for an injured bike messenger to recover compensation that will allow them to pay for all of the medical care that they need and to cover any wages they lose as a result. To learn more about these possible avenues to recovery, contact a workers’ comp attorney at Schuster Law.