When a cyclist is hit by another vehicle it’s easy for them to suffer severe injuries, and important for them to contact a St Petersburg bicycle accident lawyer. At Winters & Yonker, we understand how devastating this can be for the victim and their families, and that’s why we’re always ready to help anyone that has been injured in a bicycle accident. We have a professional team of St Petersburg personal injury attorneys who are more than ready to help victims of any kind of accident.
We offer all clients the legal advice required when pursuing compensation for the damages incurred from the injuries victims get in an accident. Our negotiation and advocacy skill will help in ensuring that you receive the compensation that you deserve. If you are involved in a bicycle crash and got injured in the process, just get in touch with a St. Petersburg bicycle accident lawyer today and we’ll help you tackle the case.
Table of Contents
What are The Steps I Should be Taking after getting involved in a Bicycle Accident?
If you got injured in a bike accident in St. Petersburg, FL, you should seek prompt medical attention. Even if the injuries you sustained don’t look as obvious, make sure that you have a doctor check you, considering some injuries might not exactly be visible or apparent following the accident. Plus, this is a great way to set a baseline of evidence about your case. Don’t forget that certain injuries might not be visible for a few days or even weeks following the accident.
Below are a few things you need to do to make sure that your case is well protected:
- File a police report: This should be done even in cases where the damage doesn’t exceed $500
- Cooperate with the other party’s insurance companies: Still, you should take great care not to
confess being at any fault or any wrongdoing because it will eventually affect your lawsuit.
- Take good photos of the scene and property damage in the accident along with the injuries
- Keep a record of all the receipts to document your recovery
What are the Most Common Kinds of Bicycle Accidents?
If you’re involved in a bicycle accident, there’s a much higher risk of severe injuries in comparison to other kinds of accidents. It’s wise to get to know the various kinds of accidents that could happen so that you’re a little more careful while riding on the road and avoid the accidents consciously.
The following are a few common types of bike accidents:
- When a car or truck takes a right turn with a cyclist behind them
- When a bicycle enters a road from a driveway or alley
- When an oncoming cyclist takes a left turn
- When someone overtakes another vehicle when passing a cyclist
- When an accident happens at a road intersection
- When a vehicle is entering a road from an alley or driveway
Are Bicycle Accidents Covered by Insurance?
In case it’s the driver of the vehicle who was at fault at the time of the accident, their insurance company should handle all the damages the driver caused. However, if the driver at fault doesn’t have insurance or you were to blame for the accident, then the damages will be covered by your PIP (personal injury protection).
Keep in mind that it’s critical that you report the accident to the authorities as soon as possible. This is because you want to officially establish a record of the accident officially. By law, you need to report an accident that involves a personal injury that exceeds $500 in damages, though it’s still wise to let the authorities know about the accident even if it doesn’t exactly fit within the listed requirements.
Do Cyclists Have to Follow the Same Traffic Rules are Car Drivers?
Bicycles are considered vehicles in Florida. Therefore, bicyclists should follow the same road regulations when riding their bicycles. Cyclists also need to put on the required safety equipment, follow all the traffic rules and signs, and use the proper turn signals. Furthermore, as with other vehicles, bicyclists have the same rights on the road, including access to the left turn lane.
How Is Liability Determined in a Bicycle Accident in St. Petersburg Florida?
Once anyone is injured in a bicycle accident, they have the right to file a lawsuit against the party responsible for their injuries. In the State of Florida, you have 4 years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit. If you can sue and prove liability for your case, you will be able to receive compensation from the party at fault.
A bicyclist in Florida usually has the same rights and even duties as the other vehicle drivers sharing the road. One quite common mistake among drivers on the road is that they don’t exercise proper care while they share the road with bicyclists. When a driver is distracted while on the road, they will most likely be unable to see a cyclist sharing the road until something happens, and even ends up hitting them.
When this happens, you can file a personal injury claim under a class of legal liability, which is referred to as negligence. Cases of negligence happen when another party fails to exercise a reasonable amount of care. When you file a lawsuit based on the class of negligence, you’ll need to prove that the defendant had a duty of exercising care with you, they, in fact, breached their duty of care, and that their breach directly caused the injuries.
What if I End Up Being Found Responsible for my Accident?
Defendants actually have the right to claim that you are partially responsible for causing the accidents and the injuries sustained. And just like other car drivers, bicyclists need to exercise a reasonable level of care while they ride their bike to make sure that they maintain the safety of themselves and other drivers. Whenever a cyclist ignores a traffic sign or signal and gets hit by another vehicle, the defendant can claim that the cyclist is partially to blame for the accident.
One thing that you have to know is that being at fault is usually not a good enough reason to keep a person from seeking compensation from the accident. Florida lets people keep the right to seek compensation from an accident, even in cases where they contributed to the accident. This means that you will have a chance to recover compensation. The amount you get will be adjusted to take into account the given percentage that was your fault.
What are the Damages and Compensation Can I Get in a Bicycle Accident in St. Petersburg Florida?
For bicycle accidents that directly caused accidents, you can pursue compensation for damages. The compensation you can pursue include current and future medical bills, property damage, current and future loss of income. In cases where the victim succumbed to the injuries sustained in the accident, the family members have a right to file a wrongful death claim and pursue compensation. The kind of damages that can be pursued include loss of companionship, funeral and burial expenses, and loss of future earnings.
Do Bicycles in St. Petersburg Florida Have to Have a Light?
More than 50% of bicycle accidents that happen in Florida happened after sunset. Based on Florida law, any bicycle that operates from sunset to morning is required to have a lamp on its front and should be visible from a distance of 500 feet away from the front side. The bicycle should also have a red reflector light at its back, which needs to show red light that should be visible from a distance of about 600 feet from the back side.
Is Wearing a Helmet a Requirement When on a Bicycle?
According to data collected in Florida, injuries in bicycle accidents that lead to hospitalization are head injuries. Although adults aren’t required by law to wear helmets while riding a bicycle, any passenger or rider under the age of 16 years has to put on a helmet; one that meets the nationally recognized standards.
Can Cyclist Wear Headphones When Riding a Bicycle?
No, cyclists aren’t allowed to. Florida has explicitly prohibited bicyclists from wearing any kind of listening devices, headsets, or headphones, of course except hearing aids.
Which Side of the Road are Cyclists Supposed to Be On?
Bicyclists should ride on the side of the road that’s in the same direction while they’re riding on roadways in Florida. Of course, there’s a much higher risk of crashing when a cyclist rides against traffic and is actually a major factor in about 15% of all the major bicycle accidents involving cars.
Can a Cyclist Ride on a Sidewalk?
In general, sidewalks in Florida aren’t really designed to handle the speeds of bicycles. Riding a bicycle on a sidewalk is however allowed (by law) as long as there aren’t any local ordinances that prohibit it.
When a cyclist is riding on a sidewalk, they are given the same rights as the pedestrians using the sidewalk. This means that the cyclist can ride on either direction, and are required to yield to other pedestrians, and even give out clear audible signs or warnings to pedestrians when passing them.
Can I File a Lawsuit if the Accident was a Result of a Pothole?
Yes, you might have a case. The only thing is that you need to prove that the private or public property was maintained in a position that was dangerous to the public and it was foreseeable that a cyclist could ride over it; you can file a claim quite successfully. However, to win such a case, you would need to show that the owner was responsible for creating a dangerous condition, that they should have been well aware of the prevalent danger, and didn’t bother repairing or warning people about it.
Do I Have A Case When my Bicycles Brakes were Repaired but they Failed and Resulted in an Accident?
So long as you can prove that a repair shop negligently repaired your bicycle’s brakes and that this negligence played a key role in the accident, you can successfully file a lawsuit against the shop. However, you’ll need to get an expert to help prove the case and show that the failure was clearly not caused by another entity, including yourself.
What About Bicycle Manufacturers?
The manufacturer of your bicycle can also be held responsible for the accident so long as you can show that the bicycle’s design was fundamentally flawed if you really want to win such a lawsuit.
Are Reflectors Needed for Bicycles?
According to Florida law, there are some specific requirements set for bicycle sellers. For instance, a bicycle seller isn’t allowed to sell a bicycle without including the required extras such as reflectors, since it would make the bikes unfit based on the DMV requirements. So, if you are able to prove that the seller failed to provide the reflectors or other necessary equipment, you can file a lawsuit against them. However, you have to prove that the lack of the said equipment, say a reflector, contributed directly to the accident.
Contact a St. Petersburg Bicycle Accident Lawyer to Get a Free Consultation
At Winters & Yonker, our St Petersburg car accident lawyers have years of experience and expertise in solving bicycle accident cases. When you come for a free consultation with us, we’ll let you take us through the facts and details about your case, and we’ll then let you know the rights you have as a victim and set in motion processes to help you successfully follow the claim against the people and entities responsible for your injuries.
We are effective in defending cases in court as well as in doing negotiations, which in turn ensures you receive the maximum compensation possible. Whether your case ends up in court or early settlement, we make sure that you receive the compensation you deserve.
Get in touch with our St Petersburg injury law firm for a free consultation with our lawyers, or submit the form below