Bicycle Accident Lawyer in Tampa
Once in a while, you may want to ride a bicycle, either for exercising or movement. As it is with vehicles or any other mobile means, accidents are likely to happen. The amount of risk associated with bicycling is higher than all other means of mobility. Roads can create confusing and unsafe conditions for cyclists and drivers. Although all kinds of transportation must follow the traffic laws, these laws differ slightly in the way they affect people. Therefore, the following questions have been compiled for your aid and benefit.
Were you hurt in a bicycle accident in Tampa? If the negligent actions of another caused your accident, you might have a right to pursue financial compensation for your losses. It is wise to contact a Tampa bicycle accident attorney as soon as possible to talk about your legal options and to begin a timely investigation of your case.
How Common are Bicycle Accidents in Florida?
Bicycle accident statistics show that Florida leads the nation in injuries and fatalities from bicycle accidents. The vast majority of bicyclist fatalities occurred because riders didn’t yield to right-of-way and ended up in a collision with a vehicle.
A Florida bicycle safety survey conducted by AAA in 2019 revealed that 36% of respondents do not wear a helmet when they ride a bike, compared to 28% who do. The survey also asked respondents what their major concerns are when driving next to bicycle riders, to which the majority expressed concerns about bicyclists being too close to vehicle traffic or not seeing a bicycle rider.
Florida’s Share the Road campaign gives a lot of great information on best practices for bicycle safety. Additionally, you can find more information on ways Florida is working to reduce bicycle accidents with Florida’s Pedestrian and Bicycle Strategic Safety Plan (PBSSP) and Coalition. Hillsborough County has established a Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety page for riders, parents, and kids to find tips riding safely, along with an action plan for reducing bicycle accidents in the county.
Do Bicyclists have the Legal Right-of-Way?
Bicycles are considered vehicles in Tampa. Therefore, bicycle riders do not have the right of way at intersections; only pedestrians do. Riders must follow the same rules as cars. This includes obeying traffic lights, stop signs, and yielding to pedestrians.
If a Bad Road Causes a Bicycling Accident, Who is Responsible?
If you have a bike accident on a bad road, you can sue the government entity in charge of maintaining a roadway. The state of the road was due to poor maintenance, poor signage, defective construction, or unsafe conditions. Although there are differences between suing the government and suing a person or a business, you can still file a lawsuit. However, to sue the state government, you must provide a formal statement of your claim to the relevant body within six months of the event.
What do I do After a Severe Bike Accident?
As in all cases of accident, the first thing you need to do in a bike accident is to seek necessary medical attention. If you can contact the police or paramedic, do so. It is understandable not to want to get any official authorities involved, but witnesses can help prove what exactly happened.
You can collate any helpful evidence, including damage to people and vehicles. Try to gather information from the driver and all present witnesses. Get to safety, then contact a bicycle accident lawyer. It is also essential to make a written and detailed account of the incident as soon as possible.
What Happens in a Hit and Run Bicycle Accident?
If you’re involved in a hit-and-run accident, the best thing to do is to call the police as soon as possible. Be quick to make a report of the events leading up to the accident. Give details about the vehicle, the driver, and your location. Get information and statements from as many witnesses as you can. If you can provide relevant information, the police can track down the responsible party, especially if they have the license plate number.
In the case of an unidentified driver, your insurance company may be able to assist with your bills, and if you don’t know how to go about it, an experienced bicycle accident lawyer can help you through this process.
Should I be Worried After a Bicycle Accident?
Naturally, you will feel some anxiety and even anger or frustration after a bicycle accident. You must understand that certain things are beyond our control. The most important thing for you to focus on is healing from injuries.
After a bike accident, you may feel like you do not have many recovery options. However, with the help of a bike accident lawyer, things can be directed to your benefit. As you focus on healing, we will focus on getting you the compensation you need and deserve.
Does Florida Law Require a Bicycle Helmet?
Florida law requires only children under the age of 16 to wear an approved helmet. However, it is strongly recommended that all bicycle riders wear approved helmets to protect themselves. You can be a careful rider, but you cannot control everyone else and how they ride or drive their vehicles.
If I am Partially At Fault for a Bicycle Accident, Can I Still Sue the Driver?
If it is determined that you are partially at fault for the bicycle accident, you may still have a case, but there will be consequences to the amount you can claim. For example, if your bike had no lights, your brakes weren’t working properly, you weren’t wearing a helmet, or you were riding on the wrong side of the street, you may be found to be partially liable. Under any of these conditions, you can sue the responsible party, but your damage claim may be reduced upon the calculation of your fault in causing the accident or the injuries.
From Whom can I Recover Losses After a Bicycle Accident?
The person at fault may be responsible. This could be the vehicle driver, the vehicle owner, the manufacturer or retailer of the bike or vehicle, or even a governmental body that controls and maintains the road where the bicycle accident happened. Note that if a governmental body is involved, they are given extra protection in most regions. So, you must file your governmental claim within six months of the accident to get the judge’s approval.
Is a Bicycle Accident Case Civil or Criminal?
It depends on the circumstances of the case. If a lawsuit is to be filed, your bicycle accident claim will be a civil case. Criminally liable cases may include instances where a driver was under the influence of drugs or alcohol when the accident occurred. However, if the responsible party has violated the law, and there is also a criminal case against this person, the facts gathered from that case may help in your civil case.
Will a Bicycle Accident Case go to Trial?
No. The majority of bicycle accident cases are resolved through out-of-court negotiations. However, this depends on the circumstances surrounding your case. An experienced bicycle accident lawyer can seek the most efficient way to resolve your case in order to obtain the best results.
What Kind of Compensation am I Entitled to from a Bicycle Accident?
If you have been hurt in an accident through no fault of your own, you should not have to bear the burden of costs related to your personal injury. When you work with an attorney at Darrigo & Diaz, Attorneys at Law, we can help you pursue justice in the form of financial compensation for the following damages:
- Medical bills
- Rehabilitation costs
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
- Lost income
Because no two cases are alike, we encourage you to speak with a member of our team about which damages you may be eligible to pursue. Our goal is to maximize your recovery so that you can cover your bills and focus on your recovery.
Common Causes of Bicycle Accidents
Every year, bicycle accidents injure and kill thousands of people in the United States. Bicycle accidents can occur for a variety of reasons, but the majority are the result of negligent motorists who fail in their duty to share the road.
Call us if you have been involved in an accident with a motorist who exhibited one or more of the following acts of negligence:
- Running a red light or stop sign
- Unsafe merging
- Turning in front of oncoming bike traffic
- Driving under the influence
Bicycle accidents can also occur as a result of dangerous road conditions. Poor roadway infrastructure can increase the risk of injury of cyclists who lack any sort of surrounding physical protection. All it takes is for a bike tire to hit a pothole to cause the cyclist serious injury. Other dangerous road defects may include unsafe manhole covers, dangerous road gratings, inadequate signage, ill-timed traffic lights, and an absence of bicycle lanes.
Hire a Dedicated Bicycle Accident Lawyer in Tampa
Darrigo & Diaz, Attorneys at Law, is committed to helping bicycle accident victims recover compensation after a preventable accident. Our Tampa bicycle accident law firm has more than 100 years of combined experience handling personal injury claims and has recovered millions of dollars for clients since 1999.
Senior Partner Nadine Diaz is Board Certified in Civil Trial Law, so you can feel confident that our team has what it takes to bring you results. There are no costs to hire us, and no fees unless we make a recovery on your behalf, so you have nothing to lose in speaking with a member of our team about your potential case. Your comfort and convenience are a top priority for us. Call us at (813) 774-3341 for a complimentary, no-obligation consultation right over the phone, or contact us to schedule a Zoom meeting at your convenience.