Cyclists frequently sustain catastrophic injuries whenever they are struck by a motor vehicle such as a car or truck. A Lakeland bicycle accident lawyer at Winters & Yonker are fully committed to assisting bicycle accident victims.
We are able to provide you with the legal advocacy that is necessary to recover damages for the injuries you have suffered. Our Florida personal injury attorneys will use their significant advocacy and negotiation skills to help you receive the compensation that you deserve. We can help if you have been involved in a bicycle crash. Give us a call today.
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What Steps Should I Take if I am in a Bicycle Accident?
If you sustain injuries in a bicycle accident, you should seek medical attention as soon as possible. Even if you don’t have injuries that are obvious, you should have a physician examine you. That will help you establish a baseline of facts regarding the accident. There are some injuries that are not obvious until several days or even weeks following the accident.
The following are things you should do to make sure that your rights stay protected:
- File a police report even when damages are valued at less than $500
- You should cooperate with the insurance company of the other party, however, do not admit to any wrongdoing or fault
- Take photos of the site of the accident and your injuries
- Keep a log that documents your recovery
What Kinds of Bicycle Accidents are the Most Common?
If you are in a bicycle accident, you have a greater risk compared to other types of vehicles that are involved. It is very important to be aware of what types of accidents are most likely to take place so that you can try to consciously avoid them. The following are some of the more common kinds of accidents:
- Making a right turn in front of a bicyclist
- A bicycle that makes a left turn in front of the traffic
- A bicycle entering from an alley or driveway
- Overtaking a motor vehicle attempting to pass a bicyclist
- A left turn that is taken in from of an oncoming bicyclist
- A motorist entering the road from an alley or driveway
- Intersection accident
Does Insurance Cover Bicycle Accidents?
If you are in a bicycle accident where the driver of another vehicle is at fault, then usually their insurance will cover the damages. If you are at fault for the accident or the other driver does not have insurance coverage, you might be covered under your insurance policy’s personal injury protection (PIP) insurance coverage.
Be sure to report your accident to the police as soon as you can to ensure that a record of the accident is established. Although accidents that involve personal injury or over $500 in damage is required to be reported, you can still report an accident that doesn’t meet these requirements.
Are Bicyclists Required To Follow the Same Traffic Rules That Cars Do?
Bicycles are considered to be vehicles in Florida. Therefore, whenever you are riding a bicycle you are subject to all of the same traffic regulations and rules. You are responsible for obeying traffic signs and lights, having adequate safety equipment and using the proper turn signaling. You also have all of the same rights of the road which include access to using the left turning lane.
How Is Liability Determined in a Lakeland Florida Bicycle Accident?
If you were injured as a result of a bike accident, you have the right to sue the party who is responsible for your injury. A personal injury victim has four years from the date that their accident occurred to initiate a claim in the state of Florida. if you are able to prove liability for your case then you potentially will be able to recover damages from the parties who were at fault for the accident.
In Florida, bicyclists have the same legal duties and rights that other drivers have. However, many drivers of motor vehicles do not exercise proper care when they are sharing the road with bicyclists. For example, a distracted driver might not see a bicyclist until they strike the victim.
In those cases, your personal injury claim can be asserted under the legal liability theory referred to as negligence. What negligence refers to is the failure of a party to exercise reasonable care. In order to hold a defendant liable under the theory of negligence, you must show that the defendant had the duty to exercise care; that the person breached their duty of care; and that your injuries were caused by the breach.
What if I am Found to be Partly Responsible for my Bicycle Accident?
If your case a defendant might claim you were partly responsible for the injuries you have suffered. Bicyclists, just like truck and car drivers, have a duty to employ reasonable care when they are on the road in order to ensure both their own and others’ safety. For example, if a bicyclist ignores a traffic sign or signal, and then a vehicle strikes them, the driver may argue that the bicyclist was partly at fault for the accident.
However, contributory negligence does not prohibit bike accident victims from being able to recover damages. The state of Florida allows accident victims to seek compensation for their injuries even when partly at fault. That means you still might be able to recover damages. However, the amount of damages that you can recover is reduced in portion to your percentage of fault.
What Compensation and Damages Can I Receive in a Bicycle Accident Case?
If you were injured as a result of a bike accident, you might be able to recover damages. You can seek compensation for both your current and future medical bills, property damage, and loss of income. Family members of an accident victim who died from their accident-related injuries might have the ability to file a wrongful death claim to recover damages. Recoverable damages can include burial and funeral expenses, loss of companionship, and loss of future earnings.
Are Bikes Required To Have a Light in Lakeland Florida?
More than 50% of fatal bicycle accidents in the state of Florida take place after sunset. Under Florida law, a bicycle that is operated from sunset to sunrise is required to be equipped with a lamp on the front of the bike that exhibits a white light that is visible from 500 feet away in the front and have a lamp and red reflector on the back that exhibits a red light that is visible from 600 feet in back of the bicycle.
Are Bicyclists in Florida Required to Wear a Helmet?
Head injuries around for around one-third of visits to the hospital emergency room for bicycle-related accidents. Adults in Florida are not required to wear a helmet, but a bicycle passenger or rider under 16 years old is required to wear a bicycle helmet that meets nationally recognized standards, is fastened securely, and is properly fitted.
Are Bicycles Allowed To Wear Headphones When They Are Riding a Bike?
No, they cannot. Under Florida law, cyclists are prohibited from wearing headphones, a headset, or a listening device, except for a hearing aid, when they are riding.
Which Side of the Road Are Bicyclists Supposed to Ride-on?
A bicyclist on a Florida roadway is required to ride on the side of the road that is in the same direction of travel. That is because riding against traffic will increase the risk of a crash and is a factor in around 15% of all car-bicycle accidents.
Is a Bicyclist Allowed To Ride on a Sidewalk?
Sidewalks have not been designed for the speeds of a bicycle. However, using a bicycle on a sidewalk is allowed except where a local ordinance prohibits it. A bicyclist that is driving on a sidewalk has the same rights that a pedestrian does. Therefore, he is able to ride in either direction. A bicyclist who is driving on a sidewalk is required to yield the right of way to pedestrians and give a pedestrian an audible warning before they pass them.
If My Bicycle Accident Was Caused by a Pothole, Can I File a Lawsuit?
Yes, you do have a potential case. If you are able to establish that private or public property was maintained in a condition that was dangerous and it was foreseeable that somebody would be riding a bike over the property, then normally you will be allowed to bring a case. However, in order to win you will need to prove that the owner or possessor created a dangerous condition or should have known about it and failed to warn of the danger or repair it.
Can I File a Claim if My Brakes were Recently Serviced and Failed, Causing the Acccident?
Yes, if you are able to prove that your brakes were negligently repaired by the repair shop and that the failure of your brakes contributed to the accident. In order to prove your case you will need to hire an expert, and you will need to prove that the brake failure was not caused by you or anyone else.
Can Bicycle Manufacturers Be Held Liable in Bicycle Accident Cases?
Yes. You must demonstrate that the bicycle was defectively designed or manufactured in order to prevail in your case against a bicycle manufacturer.
Are Bicycles Required To Have Reflectors?
Under Florida law, there are special requirements for bicycle sellers. It is illegal for bicycle sellers to sell a bike that doesn’t have all of the types of reflectors that they are legally required to have, which is a failure to meet the requirements that the Department of Motor Vehicles has established. If you are able to show that your bike did not come with all of the reflectors that the Vehicle Code requires, then the bicycle seller can be sued as long as you are able to establish that this lack of reflectors contributed to your injury or accident.
Contact a Lakeland Bicycle Accident Lawyer for Your Free Consultation
A Lakeland personal injury lawyer can assess your case’s facts, discuss what your rights are with you, and assist you with pursuing your claim against the parties who are responsible for the injuries you have suffered.
We are highly effective negotiates and will fight tenaciously for your right to receive compensation either at trial or through settlement. To schedule your free appointment with us, fill out our form online or call our office today.