Bradenton Bicycle Accident Attorneys
More and more people have taken up bicycling as a recreational activity. It’s good for their health, good for the environment, and usually, just plain fun. Unfortunately, however, it can also be very dangerous. The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) reports there are more than 6,660 bicycle crashes and more than 150 crash-related fatalities per year in Florida, and in Manatee County alone, there are approximately 132 bicycle crashes each year.
These crashes can cause very serious injuries, such as spinal cord injuries, multiple broken bones, internal injuries and head and neck injuries. Even with the best medical care, injuries such as these can cause long-term pain and suffering that make leading a normal life difficult. Accident victims and their families also face additional challenges, such as the need for ongoing, expensive medical treatment and financial hardship.
If you or a family member has been injured in a bicycle accident, you do not have to face all of these challenges on your own. The expert Dennis Hernandez Bradenton bicycle accident attorneys have helped numerous accident victims throughout Florida and want to help you hold the negligent party accountable and obtain the financial compensation you deserve.
Injuries and Fatalities from Florida Bicycle Accidents
When riding a bicycle on the roadways in and around Bradenton, you are very vulnerable. Debris and other obstacles on the roads can make your ride perilous. In addition, impaired, distracted or aggressive motorists present a constant threat. You are completely unprotected if a motor vehicle collides with you. You can be thrown off your bicycle and end up with life-threatening injuries, such as a spinal cord damage, crushed limbs, damage to internal organs and traumatic brain injury.
Bicycle accident injuries can also be fatal. In fact, more than 850 people are killed each year in bicycle accidents in the U.S., with between 150 and 170 of those fatalities occurring in Florida. Data collected by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) indicate that Florida has the highest fatality rate in the U.S., with 5.96 bicycle accident fatalities per every million residents.
If you have lost a loved due to bicycle accident injuries caused by someone else’s negligence, you may be able to obtain compensation for damages with a wrongful death suit. An experienced Dennis Hernandez Bradenton bicycle accident lawyer will discuss your case with you free of charge and help you determine your best legal option.
Factors Contributing to Bicycle Accidents in Bradenton
Many people behind the wheel of motor vehicles fail to be on the lookout for bicyclists and to yield the right-of-way when required to do so. Reports suggest that the main cause of bicycle accidents is negligence due to:
- Aggressive driving or speeding
- Distracted driving
- Drowsy driving
- Impaired driving – NHSTA data on bicycle accident fatalities throughout the U.S. show that alcohol is a factor in 37% of all fatal bicyclist crashes.
- Lack of visibility – NHSTA reports that bicyclist deaths occur most often between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. when visibility is decreased.
Preventing Bicycle Accidents
Awareness of the dangers involved in cycling is helpful, but so too is understanding how to ride safely and avoid dangerous situations. The Florida Biking Association suggests following these guidelines, developed by Cycling Savvy:
- Obey Florida’s traffic laws. According to Florida law, cyclists must obey the same traffic laws as motorists. That is, you have to ride with the flow of traffic, obey all traffic signs and lights,yield to traffic before entering a road, yield to traffic when changing lanes, and yield to pedestrians in crosswalks.
- Stay with the flow of traffic at intersections. When you are at an intersection, you need to follow that same rules motorists do. If you are turning right, stay in the right lane; if you are turning left, use the left turn lane; and if you are not turning, stay out of the turn lanes.
- Use the traffic lanes. Unless there is a bike lane, you should ride inside regular traffic lanes. Riding to the far right of the road can be very dangerous, since motorists may not be able to see you or judge their distance from you.
- Pass with caution. Passing stopped vehicles is very dangerous because traffic can start moving at any time, and motorists may not see you. Passing parked cars is also very dangerous because someone can open a vehicle door directly in your path and throw you off your bicycle.
- Use turn signals. You should always use signals when turning and changing lanes to let motorists know your intentions so they can be careful to avoid hitting you.
What to Do Following a Bradenton Bicycle Accident
After a bicycle crash, you need to be careful to protect your health and your rights. Taking the following steps can help ensure you can recover as much as possible after a crash:
- Report the crash to the police. People involved in accidents don’t always realize they have been injured until hours or even days after a crash. By reporting the accident to the police, you are taking the first step in protecting your rights, since the police report will document facts about the crash that you might not be able to recall later on.
- Get contact information from the other person(s) involved in the accident and witnesses. Having the name, address, phone number, license number and insurance company name for the other parties involved in the accident will be helpful in getting started on your case. Getting contact information from witnesses, if there are any available, is also a good idea.
- Don’t make any statements about who or what caused the crash. If the other party talks about what happened, listen and write down his comments when you can, but don’t comment on how the crash happened or apologize for anything.
- Take pictures of your bicycle and the crash scene. If possible, take pictures of your bicycle, bicycle equipment, the accident scene and yourself to document all of the damage.
- Don’t repair your bicycle or other equipment. Even if you have taken photos, your damaged bicycle may be needed to prove how the crash occurred and show that the other party was negligent.
- Contact your insurance company. Contact your insurance company as soon as possible to report the crash, but do not contact the other party’s insurance company. Your bicycle accident attorney can protect your rights and make sure you’re getting all the benefits you’re entitled to by handling all further communication with insurance companies.
- Get medical attention. You should get examined by a qualified healthcare provider following any accident. Some injuries may not be evident right away or even after a few days, but they could be dangerous if not detected.
- Document your injuries. Keeping a journal about your physical and emotional condition – your pain, difficulties doing everyday activities, stress, etc. – can be helpful later on. Also, photos of visible injuries and of your condition (e.g., using crutches to walk, a cast on your leg) can help show the extent of your injuries.
- Avoid posting about the accident or your injuries on social media. Any information you post about your recovery or activities could potentially be used by insurers or attorneys to fight your claim, so not posting is advisable.
- Consult an experienced bicycle accident attorney as soon as The expert Dennis Hernandez bicycle accident attorneys will explain your rights to you and help determine your best course of action. Your consultation will be free of charge and will help you decide if you should file a claim to recover damages for your injury.
Compensation for Damages from Bicycle Accident Injuries
With a bicycle accident personal injury claim, you may be able to obtain substantial compensation for the following damages:
- Medical expenses already incurred as well as those possible in the future
- Income lost due to time off work due to accident injuries
- Diminished earning capacity
- Physical and emotional pain and suffering
- Diminished capacity to enjoy life
- Other damages recoverable under Florida law
An experienced Dennis Hernandez bicycle accident attorney can review the details of your case and give you an idea of how much compensation you may be entitled to.
Get the Help You Need from Experienced Bradenton Bicycle Accident Attorneys
The Dennis Hernandez Bradenton bicycle accident attorneys want to hear what happened to you and make sure you are compensated fairly for your injuries. We will:
- Listen attentively to what happened to you.
- Investigate your accident and injuries thoroughly.
- Advise you on your best course of action.
- Collect the evidence necessary to demonstrate negligence on the other party’s part.
- Respond promptly to your questions and concerns.
- Negotiate vigorously with insurance companies and defense attorneys on your behalf.
- Prepare a strong case demonstrating your need for compensation for physical, emotional, and financial damages caused by the bicycle accident.
- Protect your rights and interests throughout negotiations and fight for your rights at trial, if necessary.
Many Florida lawyers try avoid going to trial by readily accepting settlement offers. Not Dennis Hernandez attorneys! We won’t back down and settle for less than what you deserve.
To get started on your case, call us in Bradenton at 855.975.8612 or fill in the FREE CASE EVALUATION form on our website.