Were you struck by a vehicle while riding your bike? Suffering from financial loss and physical pain as a direct result of your accident? You may have a claim.
Expert Florida bicycle accident attorneys at Lorenzo & Lorenzo are fully prepared to work your case from start to finish.
Residents of Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater know how dangerous the region’s roadways can be. The aggressive driving problem in Florida not only poses a threat to other motorists, but cyclists as well. While organizations like Bike Florida are working hard to protect Florida bicyclists through statewide Share the Road campaigns, change is not coming soon enough for the thousands of cyclists injured or killed in bicycle accidents each year. If you’ve been injured while riding or walking your bike, or a loved one was mortally wounded in a bicycle crash involving a vehicle, then it’s time to contact a legal professional to find out what rights and compensation you are entitled to before it is too late.
At Lorenzo & Lorenzo, our team of expert personal injury lawyers specialize in Tampa bicycle accident, car accident, pedestrian accident and wrongful death cases. Regardless of which side of the table you’re on, we can help walk you through the entire process – from filing a claim to negotiating a fair settlement to fighting for you in court.
Don’t settle for less than you deserve.
Florida Bicycle Accident Statistics
For avid bicyclists in Florida, venturing out into vehicle traffic on a bike is a dangerous game. Florida’s bike death rates are the highest in the nation, nearly triple the national average. According to a Florida DHSMV Traffic Crash Statistics Report ranking Florida counties by the number of pedestrian and bicycle fatalities and injuries between 2007 and 2011, Hillsborough County (Tampa) came in 4 th place and Pinellas County (St. Petersburg and Clearwater) ranked 6 th for deadliest counties for cyclists and walkers.
Additional bicycle accident statistics:
- On a per capita basis, Florida recorded an annual average of about 5.7 cyclist deaths per million residents, nearly triple that of any other state.
- Although bicycle travel accounts for only about 1 percent across all modes of transportation, cyclists are twice as likely to die on U.S. roads than vehicle occupants.
- In 2012, there were about 4,600 injuries and 120 fatalities in traffic accidents involving bicycles across Florida. This rate was nearly the same as Britain’s bicycle death rate that same year, even though Britain has three times as many people as Florida and more cyclists.
- More than half of all pedestrian/bicycle accidents occur between the hours of 2:00 PM and 9:00 PM during evening “rush hour” traffic.
Common Causes of Florida Bicycle Accidents
Sometimes a bicycle accident can be caused by poorly maintained dangerous roads or defective gear. However, most bicycle accidents in Florida are due to driver negligence, such as:
- Drunk driving
- Distracted driving (texting behind the wheel)
- Failing to yield to cyclist at intersection
- Running a red light or stop sign
- Pulling out in front of bicyclist
- Driving in designated bicycle lane
- Opening the door of a parked car directly in a cyclist’s path
Though less common, bicycle accidents can also be the fault of the cyclist. Bicyclists should always practice bicycle safety common sense by observing all road rules, wearing reflective clothing/gear at night, and slowing down at intersections and when turning.
Bicycle Accident Injuries
A majority of bicycle accidents result in serious injuries to multiple body regions. Common wounds include:
- Trunk and abdomen injuries
- Hip, pelvis and lower back injuries
- Internal organ damage
- Bone fracture and dislocation
What to Do if You’ve Been in a Bicycle Accident
Bike crashes can be a very serious ordeal. Even if you don’t think you’re hurt, it is essential that you take the proper actions in the minutes, hours and days after a collision. Failing to follow this post-accident checklist could not only cause you greater physical harm, but also hurt your bicycle accident case should you choose to file a claim.
- Call the Police. First and foremost, wait for the local authorities to arrive on the scene of the crash. While you are waiting, do not attempt to negotiate with the driver or discuss who was at fault. Likewise, you should never apologize or accept blame . Once the police arrive, cooperate with them and ask for a copy of the police report.
- Gather Evidence. Before you leave the scene of the accident, take photos of any evidence that could be important later on, and write down the names and contact information of everyone involved – including the driver and any eyewitnesses.
- Get Medical Treatment. Even if you are able to leave the scene of the accident without an ambulance, you should see your physician as soon as possible. Bike accident injuries often seem minor at first, but can develop into serious injuries later on. A medical professional will need to properly diagnose your injuries.
- Document the Incident. Your memories of the incident may fade with time, which is why it is critical that you write down details about the accident, including: where the accident occurred, when it happened, what road/weather conditions were like, etc. It’s also a good idea to start a journal describing how your injuries are progressing every few days. Don’t forget to store all evidence and documentation of the accident in one place, being sure to keep all receipts, medical bill statements, insurance correspondence, etc.
- Seek Legal Representation. Lastly, you should contact an experienced personal injury attorney who specializes in bicycle accident cases to advise you on how to proceed. Bicycle accidents are complex cases, and a skilled lawyer will be able to determine if you have a right to compensation and represent you in the event of a negotiation or lawsuit.
Get the Compensation You Deserve
If you’ve been seriously injured in a bicycle accident, or have recently lost a loved one in a bicycle crash, you may be entitled to monetary compensation for medical treatment, lost wages, pain and suffering, property loss and other damages. Call the expert bicycle accident attorneys at Lorenzo & Lorenzo and let us help get you the compensation you are entitled to.