Florida Bicycle Accident Attorneys
Today, there are more bicycles on Florida’s roadways than ever before, thanks in part to an increased focus on exercise and on protecting the environment. The downside of this increase is that there have also been more accidents involving cyclists than ever before. In 2018 alone, there were 6,590 bicycle crashes in Florida, and in 2019, there were 6,644 bicycle crashes and 6,220 related injuries.
Many of these bicycle accident injuries are very serious. Bicycle accident victims suffer from injuries such as broken or fractured bones, head and neck injuries, spinal cord injuries and other internal injuries, which can cause long-lasting pain and suffering.
If you or a family member has been seriously injured in a bicycle accident, you do not have to face insurance companies and forms, medical bills, and treatment costs alone. The trusted Florida accident attorneys at Dennis Hernandez & Associates, PA have helped hundreds of accident victims throughout Florida and want to help you hold the negligent party accountable and obtain the financial compensation you deserve.
Florida Bicycle Laws
Each individual state determines how bicycles are viewed and what laws apply to cyclists traveling the state’s roadways. In the State of Florida, bicycles are treated the same as motor vehicles. That means that bicyclists have both the same rights and the same obligations as motorists on the roadways.
Under Florida law, cyclists must obey the same traffic laws you obey when driving a car. In other words, they must stop for stop signs and red lights, yield to pedestrians in crosswalks and to vehicles when entering a roadway, use lights from dusk to dawn and ride with the flow of traffic.
Motorists are also required to recognize and respect people riding bicycles and share the road safely with them. Too often, however, motorists ignore their obligation to treat bicycles on the road as vehicles. They recklessly pull out in front of bicyclists, change lanes in front of them, and back up into them.
Causes of Florida Bicycle Accidents
Despite a concerted effort by government agencies and cycling advocacy groups to educate both riders and motorists about the presence of bicycles and the laws governing the roadways, a leading cause of bicycle accidents continues to be the failure of motorists to notice bicyclists and/or yield the right of way when legally required to do so.
Other common causes of bicycle accidents include:
- Impaired driving
- Distracted driving
- Drowsy driving
- Aggressive driving or speeding
- Lack of visibility
Bicycle Accident Injuries and Fatalities
On the road, cyclists are very vulnerable. Except for a helmet (if worn), they have no real physical protection in a collision. When hit by a car or truck, they can easily be thrown from their bicycles and end up with life-threatening injuries. Broken bones throughout the body, spinal damage, damage to internal organs, and traumatic brain injuries are all devastating possibilities.
Unfortunately, bicycle accident injuries can also be fatal. Across the U.S., more than 850 people are killed each year in bicycle accidents. In Florida alone, between 160 and 170 people die each year because of bicycle accident-related injuries.
If you have lost a loved one due to bicycle accident-related 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 Florida bicycle accident attorney at Dennis Hernandez & Associates, PA, can help you determine your best course of action, given the circumstances of your case.
What Should I Do If I Am Injured in a Florida Bicycle Accident?
While hit and run accidents involving vehicles happen with some regularity, they are even more common when a bicycle is involved. A driver who was not paying attention may collide with a bicycle and just keep driving. Hopefully, this didn’t happen to you and you or someone else at the scene of the accident was able to get contact information for the other person or persons involved in the accident.
You should report the accident to the police as soon as possible so there is an official record of the accident, even if the driver fled, and also go to an emergency room to be examined, even if you are feeling all right at the time. A thorough examination is necessary to document your injuries and ensure there are no internal injuries that require emergency treatment. Spinal injuries and traumatic brain injuries can actually result in delayed symptoms that do not show up for hours, even days, after the accident, so you do not want to take the chance that a potentially dangerous injury is not diagnosed and treated properly.
Finally, it’s a good idea to contact an experienced Florida bicycle accident attorney as soon as possible to discuss the accident. A qualified attorney will review what happened in the accident as well as the injuries resulting from the accident and help you decide if filing a bicycle accident injury claim to hold the negligent party responsible and recover damages for your injury is in your best interest.
Contact Experienced Florida Bicycle Accident Attorneys
At Dennis Hernandez & Associates, making sure you are compensated fairly and fully for your injuries is our main concern. We assure that all the evidence to demonstrate negligence is gathered in a timely manner, and we negotiate vigorously with insurance companies on your behalf. We build your case to demonstrate your need for compensation for physical, emotional, and financial damages caused by the bicycle accident.
Many Florida personal injury lawyers do everything in their power to settle with insurance companies and avoid going to trial, but we never back down. We will leverage our extensive trial experience to fight for the compensation you deserve. Working with the attorneys at Dennis Hernandez & Associates, PA means being supported through the entire legal process.
Call us at 855-LAW-DENNIS or fill in the FREE CASE EVALUATION form on our website to get started on your case.
Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. (2020) Crash dashboard.
U.S. Department of Transportation. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. (2019, June). Traffic safety facts: 2017 data.
U.S. Department of Transportation. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. (2019). Bicycle safety. https://www.nhtsa.gov/road-safety/bicyclists