South Florida, with its flat terrain, natural beauty, and warm weather, is a great place to ride a bike. Plenty of people enjoy a lovely afternoon riding a bicycle, some others take it as a great exercise, and showing a lot of discipline go out every morning or every evening for their daily training time.
However, there is always a danger for bicyclists. Negligent drivers do not care about others’ safety or traffic laws. People must be careful to avoid bicycle accidents that may compromise their lives.
If you or a loved one has been involved in a bicycle accident and got serious injuries, you may be entitled to seek monetary compensation for your damages. It is crucial to seek legal help from an experienced bike accident attorney to help you win the case.
Causes of Bicycle Accidents
In any part of the world, bicyclists have the right to use the roads. In Florida, it is not an exception. Bicyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as any other motor vehicle driver, although bicyclists can not use expressways.
Most of the accidents are because of the fault of courtesy; drivers do not yield the right of way or disrespect traffic signs. There have been a lot of bicycle accidents where cars hit bicyclists when turning right because they did not check before.
Also, not all the streets have bike lanes, and cyclists could still use those streets. They must drive on the right-most side of the road, and drivers must give bicyclists a minimum of three feet of clearance when driving alongside or passing them. It's the law.
Other causes of bicycle accidents are distracted driving and driving under the influence. These behaviors provoke accidents that may have serious repercussions. Avoiding accidents by following traffic laws is an essential contribution to our society.
Some drivers attempt reckless driving maneuvers that endanger others on the road, and bicyclists are vulnerable due to the lack of extra protection. Speeding and sudden changes of lanes are other factors that provoke accidents. Drivers should remember that bicyclists are permitted to use the entire lane if there is no bike lane available or if they attempt to turn left, they have the right to do it.
Sometimes, poorly maintained roads may oblige bicyclists to avoid the hazards by changing lanes, so they must do it carefully and always use directional hand signals to show other drivers that they are about to turn.
Expensive medical care and a lot of pain and suffering can come after an accident of this type; it is not fair to receive those consequences for a bicycle ride when we, unfortunately, encounter a negligent driver. A bike accident lawyer can help you in your case; you may be entitled to receive compensation for your injuries.
Types of Bicycle Accidents
As we mentioned before, bike drivers are vulnerable to serious injuries when involved in accidents, and there are many ways in which they can get into accidents. Therefore, they must be aware of them so they can learn how to avoid them, driving always defensively and responsibly.
Florida law states that between sunset and sunrise, bicycle riders must have a white light visible from 500 feet on the front of their bicycle, a red reflector, and a red light visible from 600 feet on the rear. This is to avoid not being seen due to darkness.
It is tough for a motor vehicle driver to see a bicyclist at night or early in the morning when the sun has not come up completely. But sometimes, rear-end impacts are due to negligent drivers who were driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs and invading lanes, impacting bike riders on the back wheel and causing them to flip and fall over the car hood or making them fall on one side that can be either off-road or onto the opposite lane of traffic.
Turning left accidents
Left-turn accidents occur when a motor vehicle makes a left turn at an intersection or driveway, colliding with a bicyclist traveling in the opposite direction.
Imagine a busy urban intersection during rush hour. The sun is setting, casting a warm glow over the surroundings. Cars are lining up at the traffic lights, waiting for their turn to proceed. Among the vehicles, a cyclist in bright attire is pedaling steadily along the designated bike lane, following the flow of traffic.
As the traffic light turns yellow, signaling an impending change, a driver in a sedan is patiently waiting in the left-turn lane, intending to make a turn across the cyclist's path. The driver checks their surroundings, ensuring there is no immediate oncoming traffic, and proceeds to initiate the left turn.
Meanwhile, the cyclist, with the right of way, continues straight ahead, anticipating the changing light. However, as the cyclist approaches the intersection, they notice the sedan turning left directly into their path, leaving little time to react.
Right hook accident
This type of accident occurs when a motor vehicle passes a cyclist on the left and then makes a right turn in front of the cyclist, cutting them off and causing a collision.
Picture a sunny morning on a bustling Hialeah city street. Commuters are hurrying to their destinations, and a cyclist clad in bright gear is riding in the designated bike lane, maintaining a steady pace. The cyclist is mindful of their surroundings, aware of the traffic flow and potential hazards.
Approaching an intersection with a green light, the cyclist maintains their position in the bike lane, ready to continue straight ahead. As they navigate the intersection, a driver in a large SUV traveling parallel to the cyclist notices their intended right turn up ahead.
The driver, seemingly in a hurry, attempts to overtake the cyclist to make their turn, misjudging the speed and proximity of the cyclist. Without properly signaling or ensuring a safe distance, the driver quickly maneuvers to the right, cutting across the cyclist's path.
In a disorienting instant, the cyclist's world is turned upside down. With limited time to react, they find themselves directly in the path of the turning vehicle. Despite desperate attempts to brake and avoid the collision, the cyclist collides with the side of the SUV, leading to a chaotic clash of metal and humans.
When a vehicle pulls out from a side street, driveway, or parking lot directly into the path of another vehicle or cyclist, giving place to a pull-out accident, it can happen a lot and serves as a stark reminder of the importance of attentiveness and caution when entering the flow of traffic.
It underscores the need for drivers to diligently check for all road users, including cyclists, pedestrians, and other vehicles, before making maneuvers that could potentially endanger lives.
We have seen this type of accident too many times; even in movies, it is one of the favorite accidents to be seen on the big screen. With parallel-parked cars lining both sides, a cyclist is forced to swerve the obstacle, and they also have to check on the other drivers that go in the same direction.
One of the parked cars' occupants unexpectedly swings open their car door, obstructing the cyclist's path. Caught off guard, the cyclist has little time to react. The door suddenly appears, leaving them with no escape route.
Common Injuries from Bicycle Accidents
The lack of protection for bicycle drivers is a reason for them to get into serious injuries, and it will also depend on the speed and the vehicle type that hits them. Unfortunately, many cyclists lose their lives when they are involved in bicycle accidents. However, sometimes the accident can be a minor one, yet, they receive injuries that can be significant.
- Broken bones
- Bruises and lacerations
- Friction burns
- Head trauma
- Spinal cord injuries
Those are just some of the multiple injuries that a bike driver can sustain. The best move you can make is to contact a bicycle accident attorney to check on your case, gather all the needed documentation, and prepare a good claim for you. If it is necessary, they can represent you in court to fight for fair compensation on behalf of you.
What to do After a Bicycle Accident
Let’s say you were involved in a bicycle accident and are over the pavement; what should you do? Alright, the first thing is to remain calm and not make sudden moves since you don’t know yet if a back injury may hurt you more.
Once you rest, you can move your legs or hands without getting up. Some people might approach you, but kindly ask them not to pull you up if they try to; instead, ask them to call 911.
If you feel okay, sit near a sidewalk and wait for the emergency assistants. In those minutes, you can call your best bicycle accident lawyer to assist you with any question you may have, they can give you advice, or they can visit you right there to do all the diligence for you.
The police must be called to create a traffic accident report, and your name must be there. This is to have proof that you were hurt in an accident with the names of the other people involved and the date and time when it happened.
You can take pictures. Otherwise, your lawyer can do it for you to have visual proof and also gather information from an eyewitness who may want to help you testify about what they saw.
If you call a bike accident lawyer from The Ward Law Group, you should feel safe that everything will be covered, you can go and rest, receive medical attention, and they will do the rest of the job for you.
Bicycle Accident Statistics
The Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicle report from 2022 counted 7,191 accidents where bicycle riders were involved, and 212 cyclists unfortunately died in these accidents.
These accidents have been increasing because those numbers from last year are about to be beaten by the ones of this year, and we are starting the second semester.
The number of bicycle accidents so far is 4,097 accidents and 109 deaths. It means that if we continue this rate, we could have at least 1,000 extra accidents and six more fatalities by the end of the year.
Types of Compensation for Bicycle Accidents
When these accidents cause a wrongful death, family members are entitled to file a claim. Even though they know it will not bring back their loved one, it is fair to receive justice, holding the responsible party accountable for their actions.
Besides, sometimes the decedent person is the head of a family and their only provider, which creates a crisis in that house. Depending on the details of the case, a family member who has lost a loved one to a negligent driver in a bicycle accident may be entitled to compensation for:
Medical expenses incurred in emergency assistance of the decedent
- Funeral costs
- Burial costs
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of inheritance
- Loss of future income
- Pain and suffering
If the victim could survive the accident, they may receive compensation for economic damages, and when there is proof of negligence, and serious injuries have been sustained, a victim can claim for noneconomic damages too.
Contact a Hialeah Bicycle Accident Attorney for Help
The Ward Law Group P.L. has been helping bicycle accident victims recover from their losses for the past 12 years helping bicycle accident victims to recover from their losses. Our experienced and respected bicycle accident lawyers have won multimillion-dollar settlements for their clients.
We commit to the Florida community, especially the Spanish-speaking community, which deals with complicated situations and needs someone to listen to them in their mother language. Call now if you or a loved one have been involved and injured in a bicycle accident at 855-DOLOR-55, or write to our online chat to receive a free consultation on your case.