Florida Bicycle Accident Lawyer
Whittel & Melton Your Florida Bike Crash Attorneys 866-608-5529
Millions Recovered – Florida Civil Trial Lawyers
Bikes are legitimate vehicles that are allowed on the road. Bicyclists are considered operators of vehicles when they’re on the road, and they still have the same responsibility to operate their vehicle safely and to keep up with traffic. A person on a bicycle can take up a full lane, but they are required to ride at the same pace as other vehicles when they do so.
Drivers of cars, trucks, and motorcycles, however, may not have the same knowledge of how biking rights work. Bicyclists have to operate their bikes with caution, knowing that many cars and large vehicles will cut them off, fail to see them during a turn or lane change, or put them in unsafe situations at the very edge of a lane.
The consequences of a car turning into a bicyclist, for example, can be significant. Injuries and damage will almost certainly be focused on the rider, not on the car that did not look before making their turn. Some of the most common injuries for a person hit while riding a bike are brain injuries, and could even include a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). A cyclist could suffer sprains, broken bones, injured muscle groups, trauma to genitourinary organs, or even damage to soft tissue and skin.
All of these injuries not only require medical care, but can severely impact a victim’s ability to go to work, support their loved ones, and live the life they’re used to. If you have been in an accident as a bicyclist, you need to speak with us about the possibility of pursuing financial compensation.
We can advise you on whether filing a lawsuit against a driver’s insurance company is in your best interest. If we believe we should work together and you choose to hire us, we will take care of the legal process and help you make the best decision possible about your case. The best way to find out if you should file a lawsuit is to take advantage of our free consultation. We will discuss your situation, but there is no charge and no obligation to hire us. The call and our conversation are completely free.
- Ways to Avoid a Bike Crash
- Florida Bicycle Laws
- How do Bicyclists Get Injured?
- Common Questions about Florida Bicycle Accidents
- Bike Accident Statistics
- Injuries from a Bike Accident in Florida
- What to Do after a Florida Bicycle Wreck
Bike riders have a lot to watch out for on the road. There are a few things that every cyclist can do to help keep themselves safe and avoid a crash.
- Bike during the day. Most bicycle accidents happen between 6 pm and 9 pm, no matter the season. Making yourself easy to see while riding with lights and reflectors is also a way to make yourself very visible to motorists.
- Be extra careful in urban areas. Most deaths that resulted from bike crashes happened in urban areas (78%) rather than rural ones (22%) in 2019.
- Avoid alcohol before biking. One in every four bicycle crashes in 2019 in the United States involved a bicyclist who had been drinking.
Be mindful of all rules and laws in your city or town. It’s also helpful to know how bicycles are expected to operate in the state of Florida.
- Bicycles need to have a light in the front and back when driving at night
- Use directional hand signals so that other cyclists and motorists know where you plan to turn
- If possible, travel at the speed of traffic. If you are not able to keep up with traffic, you must stay on the right side of the road or in a bike lane, if available.
Bicycles are legitimate vehicles, but larger vehicles like trucks, cars, delivery vans, and even buses may not give bicyclists the space and attention they would give to another large vehicle. Drivers need to watch for bikes when turning right and passing through a bike lane, when turning left through an intersection, and when merging into a new lane. All of these situations can be dangerous for bike riders if a driver is not paying attention or is inconsiderate.
Bicyclists can also be at fault for accidents. It’s incredibly important to stay alert and obey all traffic laws. When a bike rider causes an accident or injury, these are the most common causes:
- Abusing alcohol or other substances
- Failing to wear a helmet
- Riding at exceedingly high speeds
- Riding competitively
- Losing control of the bicycle
- Riding without experience or knowledge of traffic laws
Riders also have to look out for elements out of their control to stay safe. Some common causes of bike accidents that a bicyclist cannot control are:
- Reckless motorists
- Failure of the bike itself
- Poor quality roads with litter, gravel, or debris
- Insufficient bike paths
- Complete lack of bike lanes or bike paths
Who is responsible for a cycling accident in Florida?
Every bicycle accident is unique. Determining who is at fault for an accident can depend on a variety of factors, such as who had the right-of-way, who failed to take adequate precautions in operating their vehicle, or who caused a collision. The most efficient way to get an answer that takes your specific situation into account is to speak with a Whittel & Melton lawyer experienced with cycling accident claims.
Is Florida a no-fault state or an at-fault state?
Florida is a no-fault state. This means that insurance companies pay for the injuries or repairs for the individuals under their policy, but there are limits to how much an individual can get covered under no-fault coverage. Bike riders are not required to have insurance the way a driver is, so there may not be coverage from the rider’s own policy. For a Florida bicyclist this could mean that it will take legal action to get full compensation from the insurance company.
Does car insurance cover bicycle accidents?
If a bicyclist is in an accident caused by a driver, the bike rider could have their injuries and damage paid for by the driver’s insurance.
Personal injury protection (PIP) insurance can also provide coverage for injuries, lost wages, and more. This is insurance that is offered in no-fault states like Florida so that an injured person can get coverage no matter who is at fault for an accident.
Figuring out whether your insurance or a driver’s insurance can be difficult in a no-fault state. Our legal team works with accident claims all the time, so we’ll be able to give you the best advice about how to get your injuries and loss covered.
What can a lawyer do for me?
We help our clients secure financial help so that they can recover from their injuries and return to their lives once they’ve been able to heal. Without additional financial help, medical bills can put a considerable weight on an injured person and their family. If a person was injured and has kids or family to care for, an accident can turn their lives completely upside-down. When that happens, we’re here to help.
What kind of compensation could I receive after a bike accident?
If you’ve been in a bike accident, you know that the injuries and loss can be significant. A physical injury requires medical care, but it could also impact how you’re able to take care of your kids, elder relatives, or even your work.
Lost wages, pain and suffering, and medical care are all things that we can help pursue compensation for. The impact of an accident is not just the cost of a physical injury, but the way it changes your life. If an accident was caused by a driver while you were riding your bike, we want to help you.
Bike injuries can even seem small, but some injuries come to light after an accident. This could be a tissue or muscle injury or a brain injury. It is incredibly important to get medical care after an accident, even if it doesn’t seem ‘that bad.’Bike Accident Statistics
Florida bicyclists face one of the most dangerous environments for anyone riding a bike in the U.S. Florida has the highest number of deaths of bicyclists, as of 2019.
In 2019 AAA surveyed Florida bicyclists about their riding habits. Many cyclists (36%) answered that they did not wear a helmet while biking. Only 56% of riders follow the direction of traffic, while 21% of people responding ride against traffic so that they can see cars and other vehicles approaching.Injuries from a Bike Accident in Florida
A bike rider is at a significant risk of serious injury if they get into an accident with another vehicle. Cars, trucks, and other motorized vehicles can cause damage to a bike or a bicyclist. It’s important to get all injuries checked by a doctor after an accident so that you get the appropriate care & can secure all possible compensation.
These are a few of the injuries a bicyclist could suffer because of a wreck:
- Injuries to the head
- Skull fracture, concussion, brain contusion, intracranial hemorrhage, or other traumatic brain injury
- Injuries to the face/eye
- Contusions, facial fractures, dental fractures, corneal foreign bodies
- Injuries to muscles and the skeletal system
- Fractures, dislocations, strains
- Injuries to the chest area
- Rib fractures, parenchymal lung injury
- Injuries to the abdominal area
- Splenic rupture, hepatic laceration, renal contusion, pancreatic trauma, vascular perforation, small or large bowel contusion, rupture, traumatic hernia
- Injury to genitourinary organs
- Urethral and vulva trauma, rectal trauma, pelvic fractures
- Injuries to skin and soft tissue
- Abrasions (“road rash”), lacerations, contusions
Bike wrecks that result in a traumatic brain injury, trauma to internal organs, or severe damage to the skin deserve adequate medical treatment. Let us help make sure that you get the care and rest you need to recover.What to Do after a Florida Bicycle Wreck
There are a few important things to do before leaving the scene of an accident. These steps can help ensure that your case has all the evidence it needs to get you the compensation you deserve. Follow these steps as closely as possible after a bike accident.
- Get a police report of the incident.
Getting a police record of the accident helps to document the details of a bicycle accident. This can be very helpful to get information about the accident documented clearly.
- Take photo evidence of the accident.
This means photographing your bike, the other vehicle, and the environment. Take a video of traffic nearby, any traffic signs like speed limits or stop signs, or the intersection if relevant. Take a picture of your vehicle and yourself immediately afterward. Take a picture of all sides of the other vehicle, including their license plate.
- Obtain contact information for the other driver.
Get the personal and insurance contact information from the motorist or other bicyclist. This will allow us to contact anyone we need to when gathering information and pursuing your case. Also write down the make, model, and license number for the vehicles involved.
- Get a full checkup from your doctor.
Have your regular medical provider complete a full exam after your biking accident. There may be injuries you do not notice on your own or injuries that you would underestimate without the advice of your doctor. Be careful not to tell the other driver in the accident that you are “fine”, as you may not know what injuries you’ve experienced while you’re still at the scene of the accident.
- Keep a copy of all medical bills, scans, and tests.
Having your own copy of medical bills and information can help you assemble all the needed documentation of your claim a little faster. You can share this information with your lawyer from Whittel & Melton to help determine the amount of compensation that you may want to pursue.
- Speak with an experienced bicycle accident attorney.
We know it sounds self-serving for us to mention that speaking with a lawyer is an essential step, but there is no risk to you to have a conversation with us. If you want to hire us after your free case evaluation, you do not owe us any money up front. We work on contingency, which means we only get paid if you get paid. Take advantage of the free case consultation today.
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