Orlando Bicycle Accident Lawyers
There has been a cycling boom in the U.S., with more people riding bicycles for recreation, transportation and exercise than ever before. In Florida, where residents and tourists enjoy riding outdoors all year, the boom is especially evident. Unfortunately, this means that bicycle accidents are also on the rise in Florida.
The Orlando Sentinel reports that “bicyclists are far more likely to be killed in Florida than any other state,” with 6.2 accident-related deaths per year per 100,000 people, and Orlando is the third most dangerous city in the U.S. According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) in 2019 alone, there were 450 bicycle crashes in Orange County and 6 crash-related fatalities.
Bicycle accident injuries can be very serious. Spinal cord injuries, broken or fractured bones, head and neck injuries, and internal injuries are common. These injuries often cause chronic pain and anguish and require long-term treatment. Sadly, in addition to medical problems, bicycle accident victims and their loved ones also often face difficult life changes and challenges, including reduced income and mounting medical expenses.
If you or a family member has been seriously hurt in a bicycle crash, you do not have to face all of these problems alone. The experienced Dennis Hernandez bicycle accident lawyers have helped hundreds of accident victims throughout Florida and want to help you hold the at-fault party accountable and obtain the financial compensation you deserve.
Florida’s Bicycle Laws
In Florida, bicyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as motorists on the roadways. According to Florida law, cyclists must follow the same traffic laws as people driving motor vehicles. In other words, they should ride with the flow of traffic, stop at stop signs and red lights, yield to vehicles when entering a roadway, yield to pedestrians in crosswalks, and use lights from dusk to dawn.
People driving motor vehicles also have a responsibility to drive cautiously and share the road safely with cyclists. Unfortunately, they are often negligent in fulfilling their responsibility to treat bicycles as vehicles on the road and recklessly cut them off in a traffic lane, pull out in front of them, and back up into them.
Factors Contributing to Bicycle Accidents
Government traffic safety agencies and cycling organizations have implemented numerous educational initiatives on road safety, yet motorists still forget to be on the lookout for cyclists and to yield the right-of-way when required to do so. Analyses of accident data suggest that the most common causes of bicycle accidents are conditions that lend themselves to this negligence. They include:
- Impaired driving
- Distracted driving
- Drowsy driving
- Aggressive driving or speeding
- Lack of visibility
Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHSTA) on bicycle accident fatalities throughout the U.S. show that:
- Alcohol is a factor in 37% of all fatal bicyclist crashes.
- Fatal bicycle crashes occur most often between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m.
- Bicyclist deaths occur more frequently in urban areas (75%) than in rural areas (25%).
- Eight times as many males as females are involved in fatal bicycle accidents.
- Light trucks are the vehicle most frequently involved in fatal bicycle crashes.
Preventing Orlando Bicycle Accidents
Cyclists can’t control the way motorists behave on the road, but they can learn how to ride as safely as possible and try to avoid dangerous situations. The Florida Biking Association recommends the following guidelines, developed by Cycling Savvy:
- Obey Florida’s traffic laws. When riding on the roads in and around Orlando, cyclists should ride in the same direction as motor vehicle traffic, yield to traffic before entering a roadway, yield to overtaking traffic when changing lanes, yield to pedestrians in crosswalks and obey all traffic signs and stop lights.
- Move with the traffic at intersections. When at an intersection, cyclists should ride with the traffic. That is, If they are making a right-hand turn, they need to stay in the right-hand lane; if they are turning left, they should use the left turn lane; and if they are going straight, they should stay out of the turn lanes.
- Ride in line with the traffic. Bicyclists tend to ride far to the right in traffic lanes, thinking they are safer there. However, often motorists can’t see them or misjudge the distance available for passing them. Safety experts recommend bicyclists ride toward the middle of a lane rather than to the far right when there is no bike lane, so motorists can see them and realize when they do not have enough room to pass them safely.
- Be very careful when passing. Bicyclists are often tempted to pass stopped vehicles, but this is very dangerous because traffic can start moving at any moment, and vehicles can pull out without seeing them. Passing parked cars is also very dangerous because a vehicle door can open directly in a cyclist’s path.
- Signal turns and lane changes. Bicyclists need to use signals for turning and changing lanes to let motorists know their intentions so they can be careful and avoid hitting a cyclist.
Bicycle Crash Injuries and Fatalities
When cycling on the roads in and around Orlando, bicyclists are very vulnerable. The roads have debris and bumps that can result in a cyclist losing his balance and falling into a vehicle’s path. Additionally, impaired, distracted and aggressive motorists are a constant threat.
Except for a helmet (if worn) and possibly some protective clothing, bicyclists are unprotected if a vehicle collides with them. When hit, they can be thrown off their bicycles and end up with life-threatening injuries, such as traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord damage, crushed limbs and damage to internal organs.
According to The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), the number of pedalcyclists fatally injured in accidents is decreasing, but the number of people injured is increasing. In 2019, 846 pedalcyclists were fatally injured (down from 871 in 2018) and 49,000 were injured (up from 47,000 the previous year).
If you have lost a loved one due to bicycle crash injuries caused by someone else’s negligence, you may be able to recover damages and collect compensation from the negligent party with a wrongful death suit. An experienced Dennis Hernandez Orlando bicycle accident attorney can help you decide on your best option, given the details of your case.
Compensation for Bicycle Crash Injuries
Talking with an Orlando bicycle accident attorney as soon as possible after a bicycle crash injury is important to ensure you get the compensation you deserve. An experienced Dennis Hernandez lawyer will be able to review what happened in your accident, as well as the injuries resulting from the accident, and help you decide if taking legal action against the negligent party is your best option.
By filing a personal injury claim, you may be able to obtain compensation for the following damages:
- Physical and emotional pain and suffering
- Diminished capacity to enjoy life
- Medical expenses already incurred as well as those possible in the future
- Income lost due to time off work due to accident injuries
- Decreased earning capacity
- Other damages recoverable under Florida law
Get Help from an Expert Orlando Bicycle Accident Attorney
The Dennis Hernandez Orlando bicycle accident attorneys want to hear what happened to you and help you get compensated fairly for your injuries. We will:
- Listen to what happened to you.
- Investigate your accident and injuries.
- Advise you on your best course of action.
- Collect all evidence needed to demonstrate negligence on the driver’s part.
- Respond promptly to all of your questions and concerns.
- Negotiate vigorously with insurance companies and defense attorneys on your behalf.
- Prepare a strong case to demonstrate your need for compensation for physical, emotional, and financial damages caused by the bicycle accident.
- Protect your rights throughout negotiations and fight for your rights at trial, if necessary.
Many Florida personal injury lawyers want to settle out of court to avoid going to trial. Not Dennis Hernandez attorneys; we never back down and settle for less than what you deserve.
Call us at 407.680.0000 or fill in the FREE CASE EVALUATION form on our website to get started on your case.