Car vs Bicycle Accident Damages Claims in Florida
Posted on behalf of Gordon & Partners on Feb 19, 2013 in Auto Accidents
The beautiful Florida weather makes the state an ideal destination for bicycle enthusiasts. Florida is always among the top states for highest bicyclist fatality rates. In 2008, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Florida ranked the second highest state for bike accident fatalities.
With more than 180 years of combined legal experience, our bicycle accident injury attorneys may be able to help you recover the compensation you may deserve by filing a car vs. bicycle accident lawsuit.
To begin exploring your legal options, complete the Free Case Evaluation form.
Bicycle Accident Statistics
- According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, About one-third for the bicycle fatalities in 2009 happened at an intersection.
- Recent research has found that bike facilities, including off-road paths, on-road marked bike lanes and on-road bike routes, are where bicyclists are the safest.
- In fact, according to a memorandum on bike lanes from the office of the mayor of the city of New York, when protected bike lanes were added in New York City, car vs. bicycle injury accidents dropped by 40-50 percent in many locations.
- The average accident rate for commuters who bicycle to work is the equivalent of about one accident every 8.7 years.
- Cyclist fatalities decreased by almost 10 percent between 2006 and 2007, according to statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Common Bicycle Accident Injuries
When a car hits a bicyclist, the damages that result are often severe and debilitating. Given the nature of a bike, cyclists do not have any protection from the force of impact once hit by a motorist. Bicycle accident injuries can include:
- Fractured and broken bones
- Spinal cord injury
- Paraplegia or quadriplegia
- Minor scrapes and bruises
- Internal injuries
- Wrongful death
Bicycle Safety Tips
The best way to avoid a car vs. bicycle injury accident is for all parties, both the driver of the vehicle and the operator of the bicycle, to remain alert. It is important for drivers to recognize that bicyclists are entitled to the same rights and have the same responsibilities as motorists.
In order for Florida drivers to avoid hitting a cyclist, they should follow these tips:
- Drive at speeds that are safe for the current conditions.
- Be cautious on two-lane roads. About 60 percent of all accidents happen on roads where traffic moves at high speeds in narrow lanes
- Two-thirds of bike accidents happen in the late afternoon and evening hours. Be especially alert when the glare from the sun may impact your ability to see out your windshield.
- Avoid driving while distracted, including using a cell phone while behind the wheel.
- Don’t get behind the wheel if under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Additionally, Florida bicyclists should take the following precautions to avoid being struck by a vehicle:
- Always wear a helmet. In the event of an accident, wearing a helmet could be the difference between a minor injury and a traumatic brain injury or fatality. Not only that, by adding reflective tape to your helmet, you will be more visible to car drivers if cycling at night.
- If in a designated bicycle lane, do not attempt to make a left-hand turn from that lane. Merge in the left lane of traffic in order to make the turn. Be careful to not cut in front of other drivers who may not be aware of your presence.
- Avoid riding next to cars when passing through an intersection. Always merge into normal traffic lanes when going through an intersection.
- Keep both hands on your handlebars in order to maintain maximum control over your bike.
- If you ride your bike in the evenings or at night, make sure that you equip your bicycle with flashing lights.
Contact a Florida Attorney
Bicycle vs. car accidents are usually more complex than a common auto accident injury claim. Oftentimes, right-of-way comes into question, so it is important to consult with an experienced bicycle accident attorney who is well-versed in Florida law if you believe that you may have cause to file a lawsuit.
At Gordon & Partners, our bike accident lawyers have the knowledge, skills, and resources necessary to skillfully litigate your car vs. bicycle injury lawsuit. During your consultation, a member of our legal team will assess the merits of your claim and guide you on the best course in pursuing legal remedies for your losses.
For more information on the legal rights which may be available to Florida bicycle accident injury victims or to schedule a confidential, no-obligation consultation with one of our experienced West Palm Beach personal injury attorneys , complete the Free Case Evaluation form on this page.