In Florida especially, cycling is a popular way to enjoy the outdoors, avoid traffic, and stay in shape. However, if you are an avid bike rider, you know motorists do not always take caution when driving near cyclists. Drivers often cut off cyclists or drift into bike lanes unknowingly. According to the National Highway Safety Administration, Florida is the most dangerous state to ride a bicycle in, with over 17% of bicyclist deaths happening in the state in 2017 out of the entire country.
Careless motorists have the potential to cause severe accidents with bicyclists who have little protection from large vehicles. Even if you were wearing a helmet, a collision with a motor vehicle could cause devastating injuries. When severe injuries keep you from working or participating in the activities you enjoy, we understand it can but an emotional and financial strain on you and your family.
However, it is crucial to understand that if someone else’s negligence was a factor in your accident, you can seek compensation from the negligent party. A Wesley Chapel bicycle accident lawyer can help you pursue a legal against the person responsible for your injuries and damages. We will guide you through the process of filing a claim and be there each and every step of the way as your advocates. Reach out to a compassionate injury attorney today for quality legal representation.
Typical Cycling Injuries
The injuries that normally come after a bicycle accident can be life-changing. You can suffer several types of these injuries in a cycling accident, but there are certain ones that our lawyers see most frequently. Bike riders who collide with motorcycles or are thrown over their handlebars often suffer injuries such as:
- Bone fractures
- Skin abrasions or road rash
- Severe head injuries
- Spinal cord damage
- Internal injuries, such as organ damage
It is crucial to see a doctor immediately after your biking incident so you understand the full scope of your injuries. Your injuries might cause you to need to see multiple doctors and specialists, physical therapists, and more. Not to mention the need to get to these appointments, have costly tests done, and pay for medication or medical devices.
Our dedicated cycling injury attorneys can help you determine the entire amount of compensation you deserve to receive for your damages, and use our expertise and background in insurance defense to make sure that you are fairly compensated.
What Damages Are Available to an Injured Cyclist?
If you suffered permanent injuries in a collision with a car might seek compensation for many types of losses. Some common documentable costs you can seek compensation for include:
- Medical costs,
- Lost time at work
- Rehabilitation expenses
- Property damage
- Mental health treatment, if necessary
An award of monetary damages might also include compensation for:
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
If the other party’s actions were especially egregious, or they intentionally harmed you, you can seek punitive damages. The state caps punitive damage awards at three times compensatory damages or $500,000, whichever amount is larger. A knowledgeable lawyer can help you determine whether seeking punitive damages is appropriate for your bike crash case.
Understanding the Cycling Laws in Wesley Chapel
Florida law states that bicyclists have the same rights and obligations as motor vehicle drivers. Cyclists should use bike lanes when available and ride as far to the right as possible on roads that lack bike lanes.
Florida Statutes § 316.20653(d) requires cyclists under age 16 to wear a helmet, but adult riders may ride without one. Further, individuals transporting children under age four must secure them in a carrier designed for small children.
These laws are meant to prevent accidents and keep you safe. However, following all these rules still does not guarantee complete safety when traveling on the road. If you were in a bike accident despite adhering to state law, you can benefit from working with a skilled lawyer on your case.
What Are the Common Causes of Bicycle Accidents?
Negligence is the primary cause of severe bike crashes. Though cyclists can be difficult to see, drivers have a responsibility to check their blind spots and yield to bicycles. Many accidents occur when inattentive drivers cut off cyclists while turning right.
Numerous collisions also stem from aggressive driving. For example, if a motorist is tailgating a cyclist and refusing to share the lane, the driver might force them off the road. Other common causes of bicycle accidents include:
- Distracted driving
- Failure to yield
- Fatigued driving
- Drunk driving
- Bad weather
- Road hazards, such as large potholes
- Lack of working streetlights
It is important to note that individuals in parked cars can also cause severe bike collisions. On streets where motorists are permitted to parallel park, drivers might open their car door in the path of an oncoming bicyclist, causing them to crash. An experienced attorney in Wesley Chapel can investigate the circumstances of your cycling accident to determine whose negligence may have contributed to your injuries.
What if the Bicyclist Was Partially Responsible for the Crash?
State law mandates that each party involved in an accident, including the injured person, take responsibility for their actions. This means, if you are found partially responsible for the collision, your damages award will be reduced by your percentage of fault.
Fortunately, you can seek compensation from the other person even if you are the primarily liable party. If you were 60 percent responsible, you can still recover 40 percent of the available compensation. Our personal injury lawyer can ensure you receive the maximum damages award given your degree of fault for the bicycle accident.
Join Forces With a Wesley Chapel Bicycle Accident Attorney
When you get hurt in an accident, finding a professional to help you deal with the legal issues is often the best decision you can make to help yourself. You should focus all your energy on your recovery rather than a complicated legal case.
Our Wesley Chapel bicycle accident lawyer can pursue a legal claim on your behalf, so you get the compensation you deserve. We work on a contingency fee agreement, meaning we do not get paid unless we win your case. Reach out to Hancock Injury Attorneys today to schedule a free consultation and to review the facts of your case.