When bicyclists are struck by a motor vehicle like a truck or car, they can easily get catastrophic injuries. This is why we are ready to help anyone who has been involved in an accident. Contact a Clearwater bicycle accident lawyer who is ready to help people who have been injured. We are going to provide you with legal advocacy that is needed to recover the damages from the injuries you have sustained because of the accident. The negotiation and advocacy skills of our personal injury attorneys in Clearwater will help in ensuring you are going to get the compensation you deserve. If you have been involved in a bicycle crash, just give us a call and we will take care of the rest.
Table of Contents
What are The Steps I Should be Taking after Getting Involved in a Bicycle Accident?
If you have sustained injuries because of a bicycle accident, it is important to look for medical attention as soon as possible. Even if the injuries you have sustained are not obvious, make sure you visit a physician who is going to examine you because some injuries might not be seen immediately after the accident. This is important in establishing the baseline of the facts around your accident. Some injuries might not be obvious until days or weeks later after the accident.
Below are some of the things you need to do to ensure that you are protected:
- Filing a police report even if the damage as a result of the accident is less than $500
- Cooperating with the insurance company of the other party, but you should be careful not to admit fault or wrongdoing because it will end up affecting your case
- Taking photos of the accident and also injuries
- Keeping a log documenting your recovery
What are the Most Common Kinds of Bicycle Accidents?
If you are involved in a bicycle accident, there is a greater risk when compared to other types of vehicles involved. It is a good idea to know some types of accidents so you can be more careful and consciously avoid it. Below are some of the most common kinds of accidents:
- Taking a right turn when there is a bicyclist behind
- A bicycle entering the road from a driveway or alley
- Overtaking a car attempting to pass a bicyclist
- A left turn by an oncoming bicyclist
- A car entering the road from a driveway or alley
- Accident at an intersection
Are Bicycle Accidents Covered by Insurance?
If you get involved in an accident and the driver of the vehicle is at fault, then the insurance company is going to take care of the damages. If you are the one at fault or the driver involved does not have the insurance cover, your personal injury protection (PIP) will cover you.
It is important to report the accident as soon as possible because you want the record of the accident to be established. You are required to report an accident that involves personal injury of more than $500 in damages, but you can still report the accident even if it doesn’t meet the requirements.
Do Cyclists Have to Follow the Same Traffic Rules are Car Drivers?
In Florida, bicycles are considered vehicles. This means you have to follow the same road regulations and rules when riding your bicycle. You need to follow the traffic signs and lights, use proper turn signals, and putting on safety equipment. You will have the same rights on the roads, and this includes accessing the left turning lane.
How Is Liability Determined in a Bicycle Accident in Clearwater Florida?
If you were involved in a bike accident that left you injured, you have the right of suing the responsible party. You have four years from when the accident happened to file a claim in Florida. If you sue and you can prove liability for the case, you will be able to get damages from the party at fault.
Bicyclists in Florida have the same legal rights and duties as other drivers. One common mistake is motor vehicle drivers not exercising proper care when it comes to sharing the road with bicyclists. When a driver is distracted, they might not be able to see the cyclist until something goes wrong and they strike them.
When this is the case, your personal injury claim is going to be under legal liability theory known as negligence. Negligence is an instance where the other party failed to exercise reasonable care. If you are going to hold the other part to the theory of negligence, you will need to show that the defendant has the duty of exercising care; but they breached their duty of care, and this breach is what lead to the injuries.
What if I end up Being Found Responsible for my Accident?
If this happens, the defendant has the right of claiming that you partly responsible for the injuries sustained. Just like car and truck drivers, bicyclists need to employ caution when riding their bicycle to ensure the safety of others and themselves. If a cyclist ignores a traffic signal or sign, and they get hit by a car or truck, then the defendant can claim that the cyclist was partly to blame for the accident.
One thing to know is being partly at fault is not reason enough to stop one from seeking damages as a result of the accident. Florida gives people the right of seeking compensation from the accident even if they contributed to the accident. This means you still have the chance of recovering damages. The amount you can get is going to be reduced because a certain percentage is your fault.
What are the Damages and Compensation I can Get in a Bicycle Accident?
If the bike accident resulted in injuries, you can recover damages. Some compensation you can seek include; current and future medical bills, loss of income, and property damage. If an accident victim died as a result of injuries sustained from the accident, the family members have the right of filing a wrongful death claim to receive damages. Some recoverable damages include loss of companionship, burial and funeral expenses, and loss of future earnings.
Is it a Must for Bikes in Clearwater Florida to Have a Light?
More than half of bicycle accidents in Florida happen after sunset. Florida laws dictate that for any bike to operate from sunset to sunrise, it must have a lamp on the front of the bicycle and it should be visible from 500 feet away from the front and also a red reflector at the back of bike exhibiting red light that can be seen from 600 feet from the back.
Is Wearing a Helmet Required when on a Bicycle?
Head injuries account for about one-third of bicycle accident injuries that result in hospital visits in Florida. Adults don’t have to wear helmets, but if the rider or passenger is under 16 years of age, they are required to put on a bicycle helmet that has met the standards recognized nationally. The helmet should be properly and securely fitted.
Can a Cyclist Wear Headphones When Riding a Bicycle?
You cannot. Florida prohibits cyclists from wearing headphones, a listening device, or headset, with the exception being a hearing aid.
Which Side of the Road are Cyclists Supposed to Be on?
A cyclist is required to ride on the side of the road that is the same direction of travel when riding a Florida roadway. There is an increased risk of a crash when riding against traffic, and this is a factor in 15% of all bicycle accidents involving cars.
Can a Cyclist Ride on a Sidewalk?
Sidewalks are not able to handle the speeds of bikes because they were not designed for them. Riding on the sidewalk is allowed, provided there is no local ordinance prohibiting it. When a cyclist is on a sidewalk, they have the same rights as a pedestrian. This means a cyclist can ride in either direction. When driving on a sidewalk, a cyclist is required to yield to pedestrians, and they need to give an audible warning to pedestrians before passing them.
Can I File a Lawsuit if the Accident was a Result of a Pothole?
There is a case there. If you can prove that public or private property was maintained in a condition that was dangerous and was foreseen that a cyclist was going to ride over, then you can file a case. For you to win in such a case, you will be required to show that the possessor or owner was responsible for creating the dangerous condition, should have known about the danger, but did not repair it or warn people.
Do I Have Case When my Bicycles Brakes were Repaired but they failed and Resulted in an Accident?
If you can prove that the repair shop negligently repaired the brakes and that the failures had a role in the accident, then you have a case. You will need to get an expert if you are going to prove your case, and you need to prove that the failure was not caused by anyone else, including you.
What About Bicycle Manufacturers?
Bicycle manufacturers can be held liable, but you will need to show that the design of the bicycle was defective if you want to win the case against the bicycle manufacturer.
Are Reflectors Required for Bicycles?
There are special requirements for bicycle sellers under Florida law. It is illegal for them to sell a bike without all of the types of reflectors they are required to have because they are not meeting the requirements by the DMV. If you can show that the bicycle seller did not have the reflector come with the bicycle, then they can be sued, but you will have to prove that the lack of reflector contributed to the accident.
Contact a Clearwater Bicycle Accident Lawyer for a Free Consultation
Our Clearwater car accident attorneys have a lot of experience dealing with cases that involve bicycles. When you come for the free consultations, our lawyers are going to go through the facts of your case, let you know the rights you have as the victim of the accident, and help you in following the claim against the party responsible for the injuries you sustained from the bicycle accident.
We are very effective when it comes to negotiations and also taking cases to court to makes sure you end up with the compensation you deserve. Whether the case ends up in settlement or goes to court, you will receive your damages. If you want a free appointment with us, give us a call today or fill out the online form.