St. Petersburg Bicycle Accident Lawyer
It is nearly always a great day for a bike ride in Florida. Not only is the weather great, but biking is also a convenient and eco-friendly mode of transportation, which is enjoyable to many people.
Unfortunately, the normalcy of cyclists on the road has not decreased the number of bicycle accidents.
If you or a loved one is in a bicycle accident, it is in your best interest to contact a St. Petersburg bicycle accident lawyer to seek the compensation you deserve.
Bicycle Accident Statistics
Warmer states such as Florida, California, and Texas generally lead nationally for the most bicycle accidents. One report showed that 40% of the nation’s bicycle accidents were in these three states. Here are some other relevant statistics:
- Each year, approximately 2% of motor vehicle crash deaths nationally are bicycles;
- According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, there were 5,034 bicycle crashes in 2020 across the state;
- Of the total bike crashes in Florida state-wide in 2020, 160 crashes resulted in death;
- Pinellas County, Florida, totaled 622 bicycle crashes in 2020, with 7 resulting in death.
We sincerely hope that neither you nor any of your loved ones become part of these statistics, but if you have, there are steps you should take to assert your legal rights.
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What Are Your Legal Options in a Bicycle Accident?
Under Florida law, bicycle accidents and cyclists are treated similarly to drivers of other motor vehicles. These include standard cars, large trucks, and motorcycles.
Bicycle accidents can cause serious and even permanent injuries. These can have big impacts on lifelong mobility, overall health, ability to work, and ultimately your quality of life. If you are in a bicycle accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries, property damage, and more.
An experienced St. Petersburg bicycle accident attorney can help you determine what kind of compensation you are legally entitled to.
The extent of your injuries and associated expenses will impact whether you should negotiate a settlement with the insurance company or bring a claim against the at-fault party to recover damages.
Determining Who Is at Fault in a Bicycle Accident
To have a valid claim for personal injury, your case must fulfill four important elements:
- Someone owed you a duty of care, such as the duty to drive responsibly;
- The person negligently or intentionally breached the duty;
- The breach of duty caused the injury; and
- You can prove damage to a person or property.
The other party does not have to be fully responsible for the accident for you to receive compensation. Florida operates under a “comparative negligence” system.
This means that even if you contributed to the accident, so long as you were not 100% responsible, you may still recover damages. The amount of compensation you receive will be reduced by the percentage for which you were responsible.
Florida Bicycle Laws
Whether you were properly following bicycle laws can make a difference when evaluating your degree of negligence. Florida bicyclists generally must follow the same traffic laws as other vehicles. There are specific Florida bicycle laws which include:
- You must be sitting on the seat when riding a bicycle;
- Passengers are not allowed unless you have two seats;
- A child passenger under the age of four or weighing 40 pounds or less must be in a carrier or special seat designed for a child that age;
- The child seat must secure the child from all moving parts of the bicycle;
- A child cannot be left on the bicycle unless the rider is on, near, or riding the bike;
- Bicycle helmets are required for anyone under the age of 16;
- A person riding a bicycle cannot attach themself to any moving vehicle on the roadway;
- Two bicycles may ride next to each other only on roadways set aside for bicycle use and must not impede traffic;
- Every bicycle ridden between sunset and sunrise has to have a lamp on the front of the bike that is visible from at least 500 feet and a lamp and reflector visible on the rear that is visible from 600 feet; and
- All bicycles must have a brake or brakes that allow the bicycle to stop within 25 feet from a speed of 10 miles per hour in ideal conditions.
Some of these violations are more severe than others. If you have failed to follow any of these rules, the defendant’s insurance company or legal team will try to use these facts as an argument for comparative negligence in an attempt to reduce your compensation.
How Can a St. Petersburg Bicycle Accident Lawyer Help?
There are a lot of components that go into filing a claim for damages in a Florida bicycle accident. It is important not to accept the first settlement offer made by an insurance company.
Insurance companies will always try to pay the least amount possible for your damages. Here are some ways a St. Petersburg bicycle accident lawyer can help:
- Investigate the accident and gather information;
- Evaluate your claim;
- Prove negligence and cause of injury;
- File all necessary documents in a timely manner;
- Determine how much compensation you should receive;
- Negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf;
- Prepare for litigation if necessary; and
- Argue your case before the court.
Being in a bicycle accident is almost always a traumatic experience, both physically and emotionally. Trusting a St. Petersburg bicycle accident attorney to act in your best interest is going to help you make the best decisions for your claim and reduce the stress of navigating the legal system.
Contact Abrahamson and Uiterwyk
At Abrahamson and Uiterwyk, we have helped thousands of clients recover hundreds of millions for their personal injury claims. If you need a St. Petersburg bicycle accident lawyer, you should look for experience and compassion.
Our office has a no-fee guarantee, which means you pay no legal fees or costs unless we win. The sooner we can start working on your case, the sooner we can help you pursue the compensation you deserve. Contact us today for your free consultation.
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