Florida Has a High Rate of Bicycle Accident Injuries and Fatalities
Bicycles can be an economical and fun way to stay fit. However, it is important to remember bicycles can be dangerous and serious injuries happen while using them. Florida has a high rate of cyclist fatalities each year; approximately 100 bicyclists die annually from bicycle injuries.
If you have been injured in a bicycle accident in Florida, speaking with a knowledgeable Sarasota personal injury lawyer can help you to understand what compensation may be available. Of course, be sure to take safety precautions when riding your bike to avoid injuries, too.
Visibility Is Important for Bike Safety
When riding a bike on a road shared with motor vehicle traffic, it is essential a bicyclist does what they can to be sure they are seen by cars and trucks. Many associate bike lights only with night riding, but the truth is the state of Florida requires bike lights. Plus, reflective clothing, stickers, and gear can help with visibility. Reflective bands can be worn on wrists and ankles and reflective stickers can be adhered to parts of the bike that move so the motion of biking can create even more visibility.
Also, bike riders need to pay attention and manage distractions, just as individuals who are driving cars need to do. Staying aware can help bicycles avoid parked car doors that open unexpectedly and cars that swerve and move unpredictably as well.
Bicycle Regulations in Florida
According to Florida law, individuals riding bikes need to follow the rules of the road just as motor vehicles do. There are a handful of other rules, too. Rules include:
- All traffic lights and signs must be followed.
- The bike must have a fixed seat.
- One hand (minimum) is required on the handlebars at all times.
- Bike brakes must be functioning, allowing the bike to stop effectively.
Safe speeds also must be maintained. Riding a bike too fast creates hazardous conditions. The bike will have a harder time stopping if a dangerous situation happens, such as a car driving into a bike lane.
After an accident, an experienced Sarasota personal injury lawyer can help you move forward with an insurance claim and if necessary, a lawsuit. It is always possible the other party is liable in some way. It is against the law for car drivers to drive into bike lanes or fail to follow traffic lights and signs, for example. In cases where that behavior results in an accident injuring a bicyclist, the car driver is liable. In the state of Florida, you can recover compensation even if you were somewhat at fault too.
When a bike accident occurs, call a bike attorney. Time is of the essence in making a strong claim. Also, in the State of Florida, there is only a certain amount of time in which you can file a lawsuit; personal injury lawsuits usually must be filed within four years of the incident. Additionally, waiting only increases the possibility of witnesses forgetting details or documents becoming lost. Move to resolution so that accident expenses can be resolved and maximum compensation recovered.
Tell the Insurance Companies, You’re Going to Hale
If you have been injured in a Florida crash, the experienced Sarasota attorneys at Hale Law can help you to maximize your compensation. Our lawyers work on a contingency fee basis, which means there are no fees or costs if we are unable to recover compensation. For a free attorney consultation, call us anytime at 941-735-4529.