Thousands of people throughout the state of Florida ride bicycles every day. Whether you are an avid cyclist or simply enjoy the occasional recreational ride, it is important that you take certain measures to keep yourself safe. Always wear a bicycle helmet, follow the rules of the road, and use hand signals to indicate stops and turns. It is also a good idea to protect yourself by wearing thick, brightly-colored clothing and being aware of cars, trucks, and other vehicles around you.
Unfortunately, even when bicyclists follow these precautions, they can still become victims of serious accidents. If you were hit by a car or another vehicle while biking, you may be entitled to compensation for your damages. Often, these accidents occur because a motorist is not paying attention or is acting recklessly or negligently. When this is the case, The Fran Haasch Law Group can help you fight to hold the liable individual accountable.
Contact our firm online or by phone at (727) 228-6220 to schedule a free evaluation with one of our Clearwater bicycle accident attorneys today.
Common Causes of Bicycle Accidents
When it comes to bicycle accidents, the cause of the accident can be multifactorial. On a road like US 19 that runs through Clearwater, most of the vehicles are cars or trucks that are significantly larger and more powerful than a bicycle. As a result, accidents usually result in the cyclist getting injured. Cyclists are often as prone to serious road accidents as pedestrians—even if they wear protective gear.
Some of the most common causes of bicycle accidents include:
- Sudden merging into a side lane or wrong turn at the intersection
- Negligent or distracted driving
- Not maintaining an adequate amount of distance behind the cyclist
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Door of the car opening in front of an oncoming bicycle
- Poorly devised road designs
- Poor weather conditions
- Misreading or forgetting to turn at the signal
Most bicycle accidents are a result of the driver’s mistake. However, in a few cases, the cyclist can also be held accountable for cycling in the wrong lane, turning at the wrong signal, or taking another illegal or improper action.
Common Injuries Sustained Bicycle Accidents
Bicyclists should wear protective gear when they use the road. Helmets and knee pads are essentials for any cyclist. Unfortunately, even if you do have your protective gear on, you can still fall victim to an accident. Helmets and pads can help lessen the seriousness of an injury, but an accident can still happen. When an accident does occur, the drivers of cars and other similar motor vehicles are well-protected by airbags, seatbelts, and other safety features. This protection is missing for cyclists and, thus, cyclists tend to suffer far more severe injuries than motorists.
Common injuries sustained by cyclists involved in collisions include:
- Injuries to the teeth and jaw
- Injury and trauma to the head
- Spinal cord hyperextension or traumatic injuries
- Disc prolapse or rupture
- Internal hemorrhage
- Organ injury (liver is especially vulnerable and is a cause of high mortality risk)
- Paralysis or paresis
- In some cases, death
The nature of these injuries is severe compared to injuries sustained in other accidents. Cyclists and drivers should be especially wary of bicycle accidents and their consequences.
How Our Firm Can Help You
If you are involved in a bicycle accident, the first thing you should do is seek medical attention for your injuries. Even if you believe you are not seriously injured, it is still important that you are checked by a medical professional to ensure that you have not suffered internal injuries or damage that is not visible to the human eye.
Next, contact an experienced attorney who can help you clearly understand your rights and legal options. At The Fran Haasch Law Group, we have nearly 20 years of experience assisting injured individuals and the family members of those wrongfully killed in bicycle accidents. Our legal team offers compassionate and personalized legal services, along with aggressive advocacy in the courtroom. We serve clients throughout the Greater Tampa Bay Region, including in Clearwater, Tampa, Palm Harbor, St. Petersburg, and beyond. We offer contingent fees, meaning if we don’t win your case, you do not pay.
Call (727) 228-6220 for a free evaluation with our Clearwater bicycle accident lawyers today.