More than 600 bike fatalities occurred in Florida from 2014 – 2021. During this time, there were over 25,000 reported bicycle accident injuries—many of them severe and life-altering. If you were riding your bike in Florida and hit by a car, you may have questions about your legal rights. Consulting with an experienced, personal injury attorney is your first best step in obtaining fair compensation for damages.
Common Causes of Bike Accidents
Bicyclists have the same rights as other motor vehicles, and they are required to follow the same traffic laws and must obey stop signs and traffic signals. But even with both a bicyclist and driver following the same rules, fatalities still happen. In Florida, most bike fatalities occur on weekdays in the evening, and The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that the primary causes of bike accidents include:
- failing to yield the right of way
- distracted driving
- making improper turns
- running a stop sign or stop light
- driving in a bike lane
Types of Injuries
Many injuries suffered in a bike accident are serious and some can be fatal. A traumatic brain injury (TBI) can occur if the cyclist is not wearing a helmet. This type of injury often results in lifelong disability and continuous medical expenses. In addition to brain injuries, other types of bike accident injuries include:
- Cuts, scrapes, or road rash
- Broken bones
- Abdominal injuries
- Internal bleeding
- Neck and back injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Facial or dental injuries
- Soft tissue damage
- Scarring and disfigurement
Compensation for Damages
To file a personal injury claim after a bike accident, you must show that another person was at fault for the crash and have proof that your injuries were the result of the accident. If you or a loved one suffered injuries in a bicycle accident due to the negligence of another party, you could receive compensation for the following damages:
- Medical bills and expenses
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of future earnings
- Loss of consortium
- Future medical treatments or rehabilitation
- Long-term care
If the accident results in a wrongful death, you may be entitled to damages such as:
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Loss of future earnings
- Loss of companionship
What to Do If You Were in an Accident
If you were involved in a bicycle accident, there are several things to do that can help with your personal injury claim. These include:
- Do not touch the bike. The evidence at the scene of the accident will be used to help prove you were not at fault. Do not move or touch the bike until evidence has been collected and documented at the accident site.
- Seek immediate medical attention. No matter how minor your injuries may be, it is important to seek medical attention after the accident.
- Call the police. You will want to call the police and file a report. Always be sure to get a copy of the police report.
- Collect evidence. You will want to gather important information such as the names and contact information for any witnesses, the vehicle driver’s insurance company, and photos of the scene and any injuries, if possible.
- Do not post on social media. Avoid mistakes such as posting details or photos about your accident on social media sites. These can be held against you and harm your personal injury claim.
- Do not talk to insurance adjusters. Hold off talking to insurance adjusters or making a statement until you have consulted with an attorney.
- Contact an attorney. You will want to contact an attorney as soon as possible. An attorney can help you gather evidence, obtain valuable video footage of the accident, and deal with the insurance companies.
A Florida Accident Attorney Can Handle Your Case
Knowing what to do after a bicycle accident can be confusing. If you or a loved one suffered injuries as a result of a bike accident, consult with an attorney as soon as possible. At Browning Law Firm, we can provide you with a free, no obligation consultation, so you can better understand your legal rights. To schedule an appointment, fill out our convenient contact form, or call us today.