Bicycle Accident Attorney Tampa FL
If you are a cyclist who has been injured in an accident, it is important to seek legal assistance from a Tampa bicycle accident attorney. These attorneys have the experience and knowledge necessary to help you get the compensation you deserve for your injuries.
At The Fran Haasch Law Group, we have a team of dedicated bicycle accident lawyers who are ready to help you with your case. We understand the unique challenges cyclists face when they are involved in an accident, and we will work tirelessly to get you the compensation you deserve.
Contact us today to schedule a free case review if you have been injured in a bicycle accident. We will review your case and help you understand your legal options.
The Risks of Riding a Bicycle in the Tampa Bay Area
Tampa is an excellent city for cycling, with many scenic routes and dedicated bike lanes. However, Tampa also has a high rate of bicycle accidents. The Tampa Bay area ranks as the deadliest metro area in Florida for riding a bicycle. Pinellas and Hillsborough County have the highest number of bicycle accidents and fatalities in the state.
Based on data through September 2022, Hillsborough County has reported 305 crashes, 14 bicyclist deaths, and 271 injuries. Pinellas County has reported 388 bicycle crashes, nine fatalities, and 374 injuries.
The City of Tampa and Hillsborough County have taken steps to address this issue through various programs that aim to reduce the number of traffic-related deaths and injuries to zero through engineering, education, and enforcement.
Florida Bicycle Accident Statistics
AAA names Florida as the most dangerous state for bicyclists. According to 2020 data from the National Highway Traffic Administration (NHTSA), 783 bicyclists were killed in the United States, with Florida taking the lead with 169 deaths. According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, there were 6,403 bicycle accidents in Florida in 2021.
Of those accidents:
- There were 198 fatal bicycle accidents
- 5,958 resulted in serious injuries
Common Causes of Tampa, Florida Bicycle Accidents
Under Florida law, a bicycle is a vehicle just like any other. Cyclists have the right to occupy an entire travel lane and to have motor vehicles yield to them. Florida drivers are obligated to treat cyclists as equal road users.
While this is the law, many drivers do not treat cyclists with the same respect as they would another motor vehicle. Most bicycle accidents occur due to this neglect. Some common causes of Tampa bicycle accidents include:
- Failing to yield the right of way: As with other vehicles and pedestrians, motorists must yield to cyclists when crossing an intersection or entering the road from a driveway. Many drivers will drive turn, or change lanes directly into the path of a bicycle.
- Failing to use turn signals: Cyclists must signal when they turn, just as they would if they were driving a car. This helps drivers know what the cyclist plans to do to adjust their speed and position accordingly.
- Opening car doors in the path of a bicycle rider: When parked along the side of the road, drivers must take care to open their doors only when it is safe. Opening a door into the path of an oncoming cyclist can cause them to swerve suddenly and possibly fall into traffic.
- Speeding: Speeding is dangerous for all road users but can be especially dangerous for cyclists. A faster speed makes it harder for drivers to see cyclists and react in time if necessary.
- Distracted driving: Distracted driving is a danger to everyone on the road, but it can be hazardous for cyclists, who are more vulnerable than other motorists. When drivers take their eyes off the road, they may not see a cyclist in time to avoid an accident.
Contact a bicycle accidents lawyer to discuss your case if you have been involved in a Tampa bicycle accident. The attorneys at The Fran Haasch Law Group have the experience and knowledge necessary to help you get the compensation you deserve for your injuries.
Bicycle Accident Injuries
Bicycle accident injuries can be severe and life-altering. Some common injuries that cyclists may suffer in an accident include:
- Head injuries: Head injuries are some of the most severe types of injuries that a person can suffer. A head injury can range from a concussion to a traumatic brain injury (TBI). Cyclists are especially vulnerable to head injuries because they do not have the same protection as motorists.
- Spinal cord injuries: Spinal cord injuries can result in partial or complete paralysis. They can be extremely painful and may require long-term medical care.
- Broken bones: Broken bones are common in bike accidents, especially if the cyclist is thrown from the bike.
Serious injuries can result in significant medical bills, missed time from work, and a decreased quality of life. Contact an experienced personal injury attorney to discuss your case if you have been injured in a bicycle accident.
Does Florida Law Cover Bicycle Riders?
The first step to preventing a car accident is knowing and following bicyclists’ traffic laws.
Florida Statutes § 316.2065 details Florida’s bicycle laws. These laws give bicycle riders the same privileges and responsibilities as other drivers, with a few exceptions.
- Bicycle owners do not have to register a bicycle.
- Cyclists and passengers 16 and under must wear a DOT-approved helmet
- A bicycle must have a white headlight after sunset. It must be visible at least 500 feet away.
- Bicycles must have a red rear reflector and a red light that’s visible at least 600 feet away.
- It’s illegal for cyclists to coast past a stop sign or disobey traffic signals.
- When cyclists ride on the road or in a bike lane, they should ride in the direction of traffic.
- Neglecting to comply with specific statutory requirements subjects a bicyclist to a non-criminal citation and a fine.
Important Steps to Take After a Bicycle Accident
If you have been involved in a Tampa bicycle accident, there are some essential steps that you should take:
- Seek medical attention: Even if you don’t think you’ve been injured, it’s important to seek medical attention. Some injuries, such as concussions and internal bleeding, may not be immediately apparent.
- Get the contact information of any witnesses: If there are any witnesses to the accident, get their contact information. Their testimony may be vital if you file a personal injury claim.
- Take photos of the scene: If you can, take photos of the scene of the accident. These photos can be used as evidence in a personal injury claim.
- Contact a Tampa Bicycle Accident Lawyer: An experienced lawyer can help you navigate the legal process and get the compensation you deserve for your injuries.
Contact The Fran Haasch Law Group to discuss your case if you have been involved in a Tampa bicycle accident. Our attorneys have the experience and knowledge necessary to help you get the compensation you deserve.
Why Should I Hire an Attorney If I’m Injured in a Bicycle Accident?
You are not legally required to hire an attorney if you are injured in a bicycle accident. However, there are many reasons why you should consider hiring an attorney:
- An attorney can help you investigate the accident and determine who is liable.
- An attorney can handle all of the paperwork and negotiations with insurance companies.
- An attorney will fight for your rights and help you get the maximum compensation possible.
- An attorney can help you understand your legal options and ensure that you take the best course of action for your case.
Hiring a personal injury lawyer is one of the best decisions you can make if you have been injured in a bicycle accident. Contact The Fran Haasch Law Group today to discuss your case.
Damages You Could Recover In a Bicycle Accident Case
If you have been injured in a bicycle accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your damages. These damages can include:
- Medical expenses: You may be able to recover the cost of your medical treatment, including hospitalization, surgeries, and rehabilitation.
- Lost wages: If you miss time from work because of your injuries, you may be able to recover your lost wages.
- Pain and suffering: You may be able to recover damages for the physical and emotional pain and suffering caused by your injuries.
- Punitive damages: In rare cases, you may be able to recover punitive damages. These damages are designed to punish the liable party for their actions.
If I’m Injured. Who Pays For My Medical Bills?
Injured riders can look to their auto insurance company to pay their medical bills under their Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage. This coverage should cover 80% of their medical bills and 60% of lost wages up to a $10,000 PIP limit.
Bicyclists who do not have auto insurance can look to their health insurance policies to cover their medical bills. Bicyclists (and pedestrians) who do not own a car or live with a relative who owns a car can make a claim against a defendant’s PIP coverage as well.
Filing a Personal Injury Claim
Victims have a legal right to make a liability claim against the driver who caused the accident when their injuries if:
- Significant and permanent loss of an important bodily function
- Permanent injury
- Significant and permanent scarring or disfigurement
Tampa Bicycle Accident Lawyers That Work For You
The Fran Haasch Law Group is a personal injury law firm representing bicycle accident victims. We have experience handling all bicycle accident cases, including hit-and-run accidents and accidents involving uninsured or underinsured drivers. Our attorneys will fight for your rights and help you get the maximum compensation possible. Contact us today to schedule a free case review.