Any time you get on a bike and head out for a ride, whether in New York City or elsewhere, you accept the possibility that you may experience a serious accident. In some cases, this is due to environmental conditions like slick streets or loose gravel on your path. Many accidents, however, involve other vehicles.
If and when you do get into a cycling accident, it is always wise to seek professional medical attention as soon as you can, even if you don’t think that you suffered any serious injuries. Often, you may have moderate or even life-threatening injuries that do not cause you any pain for some time while the injury worsens without treatment.
There is simply no substitute for a thorough, professional medical examination to ensure that you identify and treat any injuries as soon as possible. If the injuries arose out of an accident caused by some other party, seeking this treatment also serves as basis of documentation for a later personal injury claim to protect your rights and compensate you fairly for your losses and the injuries.
Head and spinal injuries
Even if you wear a helmet (and, from a safety perspective, you should always wear a helmet when cycling), you may still suffer a brain injury from a sufficiently strong blow to the head. However, if caught in time, a brain injury can receive proper treatment and you may reduce the impact that the injury has on your professional and personal life.
Mild brain injuries cause many forms of discomfort and disorientation, and may even compromise your mental abilities, memory or personality. In many instances, these symptoms do not present themselves until days or even weeks after the accident.
Your spinal column may also sustain damage, which can affect you in a host of ways. You may experience sharp pain in a particular area, or radiating pain in a general portion of your body. You may also experience tingling in your extremities or numbness. initially, you might walk away from the accident without too much difficulty, only to feel the full force of the injury hours or days later.
Victims often experience similar things when it comes to whiplash, or soft-tissue damage to the musculature in the torso, arms, legs and neck. You may not feel this pain at first, but then wake up the next day feeling practically paralyzed.
Should you walk away from an accident and later feel pain in your abdomen, seek emergency medical care as soon as you can. Your life may be in very real danger. Delayed abdominal pain can arise from both internal bleeding, infection or organ failure, all of which can be deadly if left untreated.
Internal bleeding, just like external bleeding, causes serious harm if your circulatory system loses too much blood too quickly. Likewise, a small or moderate instance of internal bleeding may create a life-threatening situation if it grows infected and the infection subsequently spreads from the site of bleeding to other areas of the body. On the other hand, organ damage may be too much for the body to heal on its own, which ultimately means that your organ will fail.
After a cycling accident, please take great care to make sure that you identify and treat any injuries as soon as possible, to keep yourself safe and back on the road as soon as you are able.