New Port Richey Bicycle Accident Lawyer
“Florida has laws which impose legal obligations on vehicle drivers and their interaction with bicyclists. As New Port Richey bicycle accident lawyers, we hold vehicle drivers responsible for injuries caused to bicyclists.” – Erik G. Abrahamson, Senior Partner
If you are riding a bicycle, you have the same rights and responsibilities as a driver on Florida’s streets and roads.
However, some motorists don’t respect your rights, causing injury accidents. Bicycle riders are very exposed, even with the proper safety equipment.
A seemingly minor accident can still leave a bicyclist with severe injuries. If you or a loved one was a rider injured by a motorist, it’s time to speak with an experienced New Port Richey bicycle accident lawyer.
At Abrahamson & Uiterwyk, our legal team is here to help. While you decide which New Port Richey bicycle lawyer is right for you, here are some important things to keep in mind:
Choose a Firm with the Resources to Take Your Case to Trial if Necessary
Although many cases settle through settlement negotiations before litigation, some do require a jury trial to resolve. Our experienced attorneys have years of litigation experience trying cases in front of Florida juries. We are prepared to build the strongest case possible on your behalf.
Choose a Firm with Specialized Experience with Bicycle Accident Cases
Hire a firm that has experience representing clients who are injured bicyclists. We have numerous examples we can share, including a $600,000 settlement for our client’s closed-head injury after they were struck by a vehicle.
Choose a Firm with a Long-Standing History in the Community
Abrahamson & Uiterwyk has over three decades of experience in the greater Tampa area. Our communities are very important to us, which is why we strive to always give back, through sponsorships, our No DUI Free Sober rides, and our Safe Driving Scholarship initiatives.
Important Steps to Take After a Bicycle Accident
The most important thing is to remain calm and get off the road and to safety if possible. Someone should call 911 right away to have the police and emergency personnel respond if you are injured.
Your medical condition should be your top priority. The paramedics may suggest you need to go to the hospital via ambulance.
If you are not transported from the scene—and can do so safely—document the scene as best you can. Get photos of your damage, where the accident occurred, the vehicle’s damage, etc. Get the contact information for the other party and any witnesses who might’ve stopped.
Concentrate on your medical treatment first. If the paramedics suggest you need to be transported to the hospital, then follow all instructions. If you don’t go to the hospital, you should make an appointment to see a doctor as soon as possible. You may have injuries that are not immediately apparent.
Once the doctors release you from the hospital, you should consider contacting a New Port Richey bicycle accident attorney. These claims can be complicated to pursue; you need someone looking out for you and protecting your rights throughout this process.
New Port Richey Bicycle Accident Statistics
According to the most recent crash statistics from the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA), Florida was the highest in the country for pedal cyclist fatalities in 2017, with 125 deaths.
Looking closer at Pasco County, there were 148 total bicycle accidents in 2019, according to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.
Of those, 10 were fatalities. That may not seem like many, but when you consider there were 94 fatalities total across the county for collisions involving vehicles, motorcycles, bicyclists, and pedestrians, 10 is a lot.
Bicycle accidents in the New Port Richey area are not uncommon. In the first quarter of 2020, there were 27 reported bicycle accidents with 27 injuries. If you were injured in a bicycle accident, you may need an experienced attorney to help you get the compensation you deserve.
Bicycle Riding Laws in Florida
Anyone riding a bicycle in Florida is expected to abide by the same laws for drivers of motor vehicles. Some statutes of note include:
- You can ride your bike only if you are sitting on the seat;
- You cannot have a passenger on the bicycle unless it has two seats;
- A child under four years old or who weighs 40 pounds or less must be in a carrier or special seat that is designed for children that age and secures your child from all moving parts;
- You cannot leave your child on the bike unless you are on, near, or riding it; and
- Helmets are required for anyone under 16 years of age.
Riders should look for bicycle lanes or ride as close as they safely can to the right-hand curb when there is no dedicated bicycle lane. The only time this does not apply is when you are going to make a left turn or pass another bicycle or vehicle heading in the same direction.
Common Causes of Bicycle Accidents
Factors that lead to bicycle accidents are often different than you see with motor vehicle collisions. One of the most common causes of a bicycle accident is “dooring.”
That is when someone opens a door into a bicyclist. If drivers do not check their surroundings first and quickly open their door, it could injure a passing bicyclist. Other causes we see include:
- A driver drifting into or crossing into a bike lane;
- A driver turning to the right and striking a bicyclist;
- The driver crossing into a bicyclist path as the bicyclist is at an intersection;
- A driver backing out of a driveway or parking lot spot;
- A driver sideswiping a bicyclist due to not giving them enough room when passing; and
- A driver rear-ending a bicyclist when following too closely.
There are numerous other causes of bicycle accidents as well. If you are a bicyclist who was injured due to someone else’s negligence, contact our New Port Richey bicycle lawyers to learn more about how we can help.
Common Bicycle Accident Injuries
Injuries tend to be severe in bicycle accidents. Some of the most common injuries we represent clients for include:
- Head injuries,
- Traumatic brain injury,
- Facial injuries,
- Dental injuries,
- Neck and back injuries,
- Internal organ damage,
- Fractured or crushed limbs, and
- Spinal cord injuries.
Some injured victims require one or more surgeries and extensive rehabilitation. They may never fully heal and have residual pain for the rest of their lives.
If you are severely injured by a vehicle driver’s negligence or reckless actions, you have a legal right to pursue a claim for your damages.
Some at-fault drivers may try to blame the bicyclist, especially if they are not wearing a helmet. While Florida law mandates that children under 16 must use a helmet if they are the rider or a passenger, it does not prohibit them from pursuing damages for their injuries.
Don’t let the insurance company try to deny your claim by arguing that someone wasn’t wearing a helmet as required.
When Should You Contact an Attorney and Why Is It Important?
When you are injured while riding a bicycle, you need an attorney who has experience handling similar cases.
Our New Port Richey bicycle accident attorneys have decades of experience handling cases like yours. We want you to focus on healing while we handle all the intricate details of your claim.
During your initial consultation, we will learn more about the facts of your accident and the injuries you sustained. We will provide you with a case evaluation and a possible amount your case could resolve for through negotiations or litigation.
Once you retain us, we will start to work and conduct our independent investigation. The investigation includes gathering evidence, requesting your medical records and billing, proof of time off work, and more.
Disputed liability is not uncommon with bicycle accidents. That’s why you should retain an attorney with the experience to stand up to the motor vehicle operator’s insurance company.
If the at-fault party is unwilling to accept liability and pay you the compensation you are owed, we will prepare your case for litigation. We have over 30 years of experience litigating cases, and we will fight for the maximum compensation for your injuries.
Contact Our Office
If you are considering hiring an attorney after your bicycle accident in New Port Richey, don’t wait. The sooner you meet with us, the sooner we can start building your case.
We have helped thousands of clients recover hundreds of millions of dollars for their injury claims. To discuss your potential claim value and learn more about how we can help, contact Abrahamson & Uiterwyk today to schedule an initial consultation.
With our no-fee guarantee, meaning you pay no fees or cost unless you win, you have nothing to lose by contacting us to discuss your case. Let us put our legal experience to work for you, protect your rights, and make sure the at-fault driver is held accountable for your injuries.