Whenever a bicyclist is struck by another vehicle like a car or truck, they can easily suffer catastrophic injuries. That’s why we are always ready to help anyone who has been injured in a bicycle accident. A New Port Richey bicycle accident lawyer is experienced in handling injury claims.
At Winters & Yonker, we provide all our clients with the legal counsel needed to recover the damages suffered from the injuries suffered as a result of an accident. The advocacy and negotiation skills of our lawyers will help make sure that you get the compensation you deserve. So, if you were injured in a bicycle crash, just contact our New Port Richey personal injury lawyers today and we’ll take care of the rest.
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What are The Steps I Should be Taking after Getting Involved in a Bicycle Accident?
In case you have sustained injuries from a bicycle accident, it’s important that you seek medical attention as soon as possible. Even when the injuries sustained don’t seem obvious, ensure that you visit a physician who can examine you well, since some injuries might not be clear after the accident. Furthermore, this will establish a baseline for the facts surrounding your case. Keep in mind that some injuries might not show up until a few days or weeks after the accident.
Here are some of the things you will need to ensure that you are well protected:
- File a police report, even if the damage resulting from the accident is below $500
- Cooperate with the insurance company of the other party. However, be careful not to admit any wrongdoing or fault as it might end up affecting your case.
- Take photos or videos of the accident scene and the injuries sustained
- Keep a look to document your recovery
What are the Most Common Kinds of Bicycle Accidents?
Getting involved in a bicycle accident carries a much greater risk compared to other forms of vehicle accidents. That is why it’s a good idea to be aware of the different kinds of accidents so that you a bit more careful on the road and consciously avoid them. Here are some of the most common types of bicycle accidents:
- A vehicle taking a right turn while there’s a bicyclist behind them
- An oncoming bicyclist taking a left turn
- A bicycle entering the road form an alley or driveway
- A vehicle entering the road from an alley or driveway
- Overtaking a vehicle in an attempt to pass a bicyclist
- An accident at an intersection
Are Bicycle Accidents Covered by Insurance?
If the driver of the vehicle was at fault during the bicycle accident, then their insurance company is obliged to take care of the damages involved. In case you are the one at fault or the other driver who was at fault lacks an insurance cover, you will be covered by your personal injury protection (PIP) cover.
Note that it’s important to report the accident as soon as you can to the authorities, as you want to have a record of the accident established. You’re also required to report any accident of $500 in damages involving personal injury, though you can still report the accident even in cases where it doesn’t meet these requirements.
Do Cyclists Have to Follow the Same Traffic Rules are Car Drivers?
In the state of Florida, bicycles are considered vehicles. As such, you will have to follow the same road rules and regulations when riding your bicycle. You also need to follow all the traffic lights and signs, put on safety equipment, and use proper turn signals. And just as other vehicles, you have the same rights on the roads, including access to the left turning lane.
How Is Liability Determined in a Bicycle Accident in New Port Richey Florida?
If you were injured in a bicycle accident, you have the right to sue the responsible party. In Florida, you’re given 4 years from the date the accident happened to file a lawsuit. When you sue and prove liability for the case, you can receive compensation from the party at fault.
Cyclists in Florida ideally have the same legal rights and duties as the other drivers sharing the road. A common mistake among drivers is not exercising proper care while sharing the road with cyclists. In case a driver becomes distracted, they won’t be able to see a cyclist perhaps until something happens and they find themselves having struck them.
In such a case, your personal injury claim will be under a class of legal liability called negligence. Negligence happens where the other party failed to exercise a reasonable level of care. When the other party is held to the theory of negligence, you will have to show that the defendant has a duty of exercising care; that they actually breached the duty of care, and this breach directly caused the injuries.
What if I end up Being Found Responsible for my Accident?
When this happens, the defendant has a right of claiming you were partly responsible for the injuries sustained. Just like other car drivers, cyclists need to employ a reasonable level of care while riding their bike to maintain the safety of others and themselves. When a cyclist ignores a traffic sign or signal and then gets hit by a vehicle, the defendant can claim the cyclist was partly to blame for the accident.
The thing you need to know is that being at fault is not a good enough reason to stop a person from seeking damages from the accident. Florida allows people the right to seek compensation from an accident even in a case when they contributed to the accident. This will mean that you still get a chance to recover the damages. The amount you will receive might be reduced considering that a given percentage was your fault.
What are the Damages I can Get in a Bicycle Accident in New Port Richey Florida?
When it comes to bicycle accidents that caused injuries, you can seek compensation for damages. the kind of compensation you can seek include property damage, the future, and current medical bills, and loss of income. In case there was an accident victim who died from the injuries sustained in an accident, the family members of the victim have a right to file a wrongful death claim to seek compensation. Some of the damages that can be recovered include burial and funeral expenses, loss of companionship, along with loss of future earnings.
Are Bicycles in New Port Richey Florida Required to Have a Light?
Over 50% of bicycle accidents in Florida occur after sunset. According to Florida law, for any bicycle to operate from sunset to sunrise, it should have a lamp on its front, and it should be visible from 500 feet away at the front. It should also have a red reflector on its back, which must exhibit red light that can be seen from a distance of 600 feet from the back.
Is Wearing a Helmet a Requirement When on a Bicycle?
In Florida, one-third of bicycle accident injuries that lead to hospital visits are head injuries. While adults don’t have to wear helmets when riding a bicycle, any rider or passenger under the age of 16 years is required to put on a helmet that meets the nationally recognized standards. The helmet needs to be securely and properly fitted.
Can Cyclists Wear Headphones When Riding a Bicycle?
No, you can’t. Florida explicitly prohibits cyclists from wearing any form of a headset, listening devices, or headphones, of course with the exception of hearing aids.
Which Side of the Road are Cyclists Supposed to Be On?
Cyclists should ride on the side of the road in the same direction or travel while riding a roadway in Florida. There’s a significantly higher chance of risk for crashing when a rider is traveling against traffic, and this is a major factor in about 15% of all bicycle accidents that involve cars.
Can a Cyclist Ride on a Sidewalk?
Sidewalks are not designed to handle the speeds of bicycles. Riding a bike on a sidewalk is permitted so long as there are no local ordinances prohibiting it. If a cyclist rides on a sidewalk, they have the same rights as the pedestrians. As such, a cyclist can ride in either direction. For this reason, they are required to yield to other pedestrians and need to give out audible warnings to pedestrians before passing them.
Can I File a Lawsuit if the Accident was a Result of a Pothole?
Yes, there might be a case there. If you are able to prove that private or public property was kept in a position that was dangerous and it was foreseen that a cyclist would ride over it, you successfully can file a lawsuit. But to win such a case, you will need to show that the owner or possessor was responsible for creating the hazard (dangerous condition), should have been well aware of the danger, but didn’t bother repairing it or warning people.
Do I Have a Case When my Brakes were Repaired but Failed, Causing an Accident?
If you are able to prove that the relevant repair shop repaired the brakes negligently and that the failures played a role in the accident, then you can file a lawsuit successfully. You have to get an expert to prove the case, and you need to show that the failure was not caused by any other entity, including you.
What About Bicycle Manufacturers?
The bicycle manufacturer can also be held liable for the accident, though you have to show that the design of the bicycle was defective if you really want to win the lawsuit against the manufacturer.
Is A Reflector Needed for Bicycles?
Under Florida law, there are specific requirements for bicycle sellers. For example, it’s illegal to sell a bike without the inclusion of all the kinds of reflectors bikes are required to have, since they don’t meet the requirements set by the DMV. If you can prove that the bicycle seller didn’t have a reflector installed or come with the bike, you can sue them. However, you will need to prove that the lack of the reflector directly contributed to the accident.
Contacting our New Port Richey Bicycle Accident Attorneys to Get the Free Consultation
The attorneys at Winters & Yorker have a lot of expertise and experience in dealing with cases involving bicyclists. When a client comes in for their free consultation with us, we are going to go through all the facts and details about your case, inform you about the rights you have as the victim, and help you follow the claim against the entities responsible for the injuries you suffered from the accident.
We are particularly effective when it comes to negotiations and defending cases in court; which ensures we get you the compensation you deserve. Whether your case goes to court or ends up in a settlement, you will receive your compensation.
For a free appointment with our car accident lawyers in New Port Richey, get in touch with us today or fill out the form below.