“Florida has laws which impose legal obligations on vehicle drivers and their interaction with bicyclists. We hold vehicle drivers responsible for injuries caused to bicyclists. ”
Erik G. Abrahamson
Bicycle riders have the same rights as motor vehicle drivers on Florida’s roads. Unfortunately, drivers do not always respect these rights, and their careless driving and reckless decisions often result in serious injuries for cyclists. Even with proper safety equipment, bicycle riders are extremely exposed, and even “minor” accidents can result in serious, life-altering injuries. If you have been injured as a result of someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to recover your medical bills, lost wages, the damage to your bicycle, and other losses. Our Tampa Bicycle Accident lawyers have over 100 years of experience representing victims in the Tampa area and across the country.
Take Action for Your Bicycle Accident Injuries
When we assist our clients after bicycle accidents, one of the first steps we take is conducting a thorough investigation to identify the responsible parties. From police reports to eyewitness testimony, there may be numerous ways that we can prove that you may be entitled to compensation. In any case, if you have been injured in a bicycle accident, it is important to contact us as soon as possible so that we can put our injury law team to work for you as quickly as possible.
Seeking Compensation for Bicycle Collisions with Motor Vehicles
Most serious bicycle accident cases involve collisions with motor vehicles. Quite often, these accidents are the result of negligence or carelessness on the part of the vehicle driver. Unfortunately, many drivers do not understand riders’ rights and don’t know how to properly share the road with bicyclists. Failure to accurately judge speed and distance in relation to bicycles is another common culprit in vehicle-related bicycle accidents. Other common causes of car and truck-related bicycle accidents include situations where drivers:
- Change lanes into cyclists’ positions
- Drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Fail to yield to bicycles at intersections
- Fail to stop at red lights and stop signs
- Open car doors in front of approaching bicycles
- Provide inadequate buffer while passing cyclists
- Pull into traffic in front of cyclists from side streets, parking lots, and driveways
- Turn directly in front of oncoming cyclists
- Use cell phones and focus on other driving distractions
What to Do if You Have Been Injured in a Bicycle Accident
Most of the accidents you have while riding your bicycle won’t involve anyone but you. However, in cases where bicyclists ride on roadways, accidents involving bicycles and motor vehicles are always a possibility. In the first few moments after a bicycle accident, you are likely to feel confused and overwhelmed. Nonetheless, in order to protect your rights, you need to proceed carefully during this time. For the best outcome, follow the tips below.
- Get yourself to a safe place.
Immediately after an accident, you may still be in danger. Look around you for a safe place that is out of the way of traffic and move yourself there carefully to prevent additional injuries.
- Keep your cool.
Once you are safe, you should take a minute to calm down before you take any further action. The decisions you make during this time could have a significant impact on the outcome of any future court cases. Don’t make any accusations, but don’t accept fault for the incident either. Most importantly, do not leave the scene of the accident.
- Assess your injuries.
Adrenaline and shock may mask the pain from your injuries, so use caution as you move around after your accident. Examine yourself for signs of serious problems, such as significant lacerations. If there is any chance that you are seriously injured, you need medical attention immediately. Call an ambulance before taking any other action.
- Call the police.
Your next phone call should be to the police. Wait at the scene until they arrive and insist that everyone else involved in the accident do the same. If the driver of a vehicle involved attempts to leave, try to write down the individual’s license plate number.
- Make an accident report.
When responding to a bicycle accident, police officers may try to take a statement from the motorist only. If this occurs, ask the police officer to take a statement from you as well. If the police officer refuses to take your statement, you can ask to have the report amended later.
- Collect contact information.
Before leaving the scene of the accident, collect phone numbers, addresses and insurance information from the drivers involved in the crash. You should also collect contact information from any witnesses on the scene at the time the accident occurred.
- Take pictures.
Even if the accident was minor, take pictures of the scene before you leave. Remember to photograph your bicycle, any other vehicles involved and the scene itself. If your bicycle or any of the vehicles were damaged, take close-ups of this damage as well.
- Preserve evidence.
Preserve all of the evidence that you can from the scene of the accident, including your bicycle. Don’t try to have the bicycle fixed until any claims or cases have been resolved. Keep the clothing you were wearing during the crash unwashed, and don’t repair any damage to it. Do not release any of this evidence to anyone other than your attorney.
- See a doctor.
Even if you didn’t believe your injuries were severe enough to warrant an ambulance on the day of the crash, you should still make an appointment for a check-up as soon as possible. Seemingly minor injuries can become more severe as time progresses, and seeing a doctor immediately will allow you to document these injuries for any legal proceedings that follow.
- Keep records.
As you visit doctors, speak to insurance companies or engage in any other activity related to the accident, keep written records of everything that occurs. Should you need to go to court because of the accident, having these records will provide you with the evidence you need to support your claim.
- Talk to an attorney.
On occasion, bicycle accidents occur because the bicyclist made a mistake or wasn’t paying attention. However, in many cases, bicycle accidents occur because of negligent or reckless motorists. Motorists may be driving with distractions, may be tired, on their phone or they may simply overlook the bicyclist. Motorists may also cause crashes when they fail to yield the right of way to a bicyclist. Regardless of the circumstances, when a motorist is at fault for a bicycle accident, he or she is responsible for all injuries and property damage that occur as a result. If you have been involved in a bicycle accident and you think a motorist was at fault, contact an attorney to find out whether you have a case.
In our many years of experience, Abrahamson & Uiterwyk has represented over 15,000 personal injury victims. Please call us today to schedule a consultation.
Let Us Fight for Your Bicycle Accident Injuries
If you choose our injury law team, we will promptly undertake a thorough investigation of the accident. We work with accident reconstructionists, physicians, and other experts to determine the causes of our clients’ injuries and identify the parties responsible.
Contact Abrahamson & Uiterwyk for Your Free Consultation Today
If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in a bicycle accident in the Tampa area, the experienced Bicycle Accident Attorneys at Abrahamson & Uiterwyk are here for you. Call us now at (800) 753-5203 or contact us online to schedule your free consultation.