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Cyclist suffers severe injuries after getting hit by a car in Vancouver, WA

A man rides a bicycle through the city

An executive for an international bicycle equipment company was recently taken to the hospital after being hit by a car while out for a ride in a Vancouver, WA suburb, according to The Columbian. Bernard "Bernie" Doering, 60, of Vancouver, is a senior vice president at Stages Cycling, which works with elite cyclists and global brands.

The accident happened in late April 2021 on Highway 500 in the Proebstel area. Doering was bike riding westbound on the highway when he was hit by a 31-year-old Washougal driver who attempted a left turn onto east 53rd Street. Doering sustained severe injuries including lung damage that required a ventilator, multiple spinal fractures in the neck and lower lumbar, a broken pelvis, and 17 broken ribs, among other deep wounds. Washington State Police are investigating the crash.

Any experienced bicycle accident lawyer understands how fast expenses can begin to pile up for an injured cyclist. That's exactly what happened to Doering and his loved ones, as the intense and serious injuries he suffered quickly started racking up hefty medical bills. Unfortunately, the man who hit Doering was uninsured. With no ready source of money to pay for treatment, Doering's family started a GoFundMe campaign. The Doerings were hoping to raise $50,000. As of mid-June, over $72,000 in donations had been made by over 270 people. Still, the family may need more money than this to help restore Bernie's health.

Protection for cyclists is critical

It doesn't matter how long you've been riding or how much education you've gained — anyone can get hurt in a bicycle accident. Bernie Doering, for example, had decades of expert bicycling experience. He's active in the Bicycle Product Suppliers Association and PeopleForBikes Coalition where he's on the research and statistics committee. The point is regardless of your bike riding experience, your safety still very much lies in the hands of others. It's why we're all advised to wear bike helmets and other safety equipment when out for a ride.

Since bike riders are prone to head injuries, concussions, and traumatic brain injuries, wearing a helmet is one of the best ways to protect yourself as a cyclist. But not all helmets are created equal. There are some things you should know before you select the right one for you, and remember, you should replace your bike helmet every several years (or after an accident).

Finding the right bike helmet for you

A severe bicycle accident can happen in the blink of an eye and change your life forever. However, if you're wearing a helmet it may lower your risk of death or serious injury by 66% to 88%. Your helmet needs to fit your head securely. It should be snug around your skull without cutting off circulation or feeling uncomfortable. Consumer site bestreviews.com has ranked the top 5 bicycle helmets for adults. They are:

POC Octal Road Biking Helmet

This helmet is great for long rides. It's lightweight and offers excellent ventilation.

XinerTer Adult Bike Helmet

The interior padding is made from sweat-wicking materials and the equipment comes standard with magnetic goggles. It offers the best fit on heads with a circumference of 22 to 24 inches.

Roam Adult Bike Helmet with Visor and LED Light

This helmet is especially good for mountain bikers and others who enjoy long rides on various terrain. The safety equipment comes with googles and a visor as well as lighting to improve your sight and visibility. Due to all of the features, this helmet is a bit more complex than others.

Sunrimoon Bike Helmet

This is a versatile helmet, with LED lights, that can fit securely on men and women with a head circumference of 22.44 to 24.21 inches. It's great for everyday cycling and commuting. The helmet features 10 air vents as well as a visor to protect your eyes from the sun and rain.

Exclusky Adult Bike Helmet with Rechargeable USB Light

The helmet is lined with multi-density EPS foam and is slip and slide resistant. The rear light is rechargeable and removable. The circumference is adjustable and there are 12 air vents. This equipment is primarily geared toward commuters.

Bicycle accidents in Vancouver, WA

At two times the state average, Vancouver has a "relatively high proportion" of bicycle crashes, according to a city analysis. Between 2012 and 2016, there were 168 crashes involving bicyclists here. A contributing factor to the crashes is the city's many five- and six-lane highways, as they're difficult for cyclists to safely cross.

Almost half of all the bike accidents that occurred in Vancouver happened at an intersection. The most dangerous local intersections for people on bikes or on foot are:

  • Mill Plain Boulevard at Chkalov Drive, SE 164th Avenue, Andersen Road, and SE 104th and 105th avenues
  • Fourth Plain Boulevard at Andresen Road, 121st Avenue, Stapleton Road, and Burton Road
  • NE 28th Street at NE 138th Avenue
  • NE 18th Street at Andersen Road.

Injured cyclists should protect their rights

If you were injured or a loved one died in a bike crash that was someone else's fault, you should talk to an experienced bicycle accident lawyer as soon as possible to learn your legal rights and options. Depending on the circumstances of your accident, you may be able to recover compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, your pain and suffering, and any other compensable damages you suffered as a result of your crash.

At The Scott Law Firm, PLLC, attorney Colin Scott takes pride in protecting the rights of injured cyclists. He knows how to deal with insurance companies and advocate for maximum compensation, but if the insurance company won't agree to a reasonable and fair financial settlement, he's more than prepared to file a lawsuit and continue the fight for every dollar you deserve.

Contact us today to schedule your free consultation. We're located in Vancouver, WA and we proudly serve clients throughout southwest Washington state.

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