According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 857 people died in cyclist crashes in 2018. Of that total, Florida represented the state with the worst record for fatal cyclist accidents. In 2017, 125 people died in car versus bike collisions in the Sunshine State. The NHTSA notes that this is the highest amount out of any state in the country. The AAA advises both drivers and cyclists to take steps to keep everyone safe on the road. When it comes to driving around cyclists, motorists should be looking out for these more vulnerable road users and eliminating any distractions like cell phones. Cyclists can help improve their own safety by dressing in brightly colored clothing and wearing a helmet.
Of course, when a crash takes place involving a car or other motor vehicle and a bike, the person on the bike will be the one to suffer the most serious consequences. If you were injured in a crash while riding a bike, contact the Durham Law Group to discuss your legal options. Our Tampa bicycle accident attorneys are ready to advocate on your behalf and get you the compensation to which you are entitled. Call us at 813-333-6250 for a free consultation with a dedicated bike crash attorney.
What Causes Bike Crashes in Tampa?
When it comes to the reasons for bike crashes, many tragedies occur because of relatively common and simple mistakes. Reports state 38% of deadly cyclist accidents are the result of a failure to yield. One out of every ten bikers killed is struck at night in part because a driver was unable to see the cyclist in the road. Another 8% of crashes are caused by violations of traffic laws, and 8% take place because drivers or cyclists make mistakes while attempting to turn. Driving near a cyclist causes many motorists anxiety, but drivers are obligated to share the road with people and bikes. Many crashes could be averted if drivers simply gave cyclists enough space when they pass them and stay alert, especially at intersections.
What if I Did Not Wear a Helmet?
Many cyclists in Florida neglect to wear a bike helmet. In fact, one recent report found 36% of Florida’s cyclists do not use a helmet when riding. If you were not wearing a helmet at the time of the crash, there is a chance that your injuries will be more severe than they would have been if you had used this important safety equipment. It is important, however, for you to understand that failing to wear a helmet will not prevent you from recovering damages in the event that you are injured by a negligent driver. In Florida, courts practice comparative negligence, which means that a plaintiff who is partially responsible for his or her own injuries will have his or her share of the liability compared to that of the other liable party or parties. Your failure to wear a helmet could, therefore, potentially reduce your damages but will not prevent you from recovering from another driver or road user. To learn more about your options for recovering damages, contacted a Tampa, Florida personal injury attorney.
What Damages Can I Recover in a Tampa Bicycle Accident?
If you suffer injuries in the crash caused by another person, you are entitled to collect compensation from that individual. In Florida, the first source of compensation will come in the form of your personal injury protection or PIP policy, if you have one, or potentially the driver’s PIP policy. If the injuries you suffer are severe, then you might be entitled to damages beyond those included in the PIP policy. The injuries that result from a car versus bike crash are often severe. A hospital stay can quickly add up to a greater sum than that which is covered by PIP insurance. If the driver is found negligent, you will be entitled to recover damages that will pay for medical expenses beyond that covered by the PIP insurance, as well as property damage and lost income resulting from the collision. You will also be eligible to recover non-economic damages, which are those that do not compensate for actual financial losses but rather for your pain and suffering. If the driver involved in the crash was engaged in particularly egregious behavior, such as drunk driving, you might also be able to seek punitive damages. Punitive damages are not intended to compensate an injured person but rather are used to penalize defendants who engaged in particularly wrongful conduct. Speak to an experienced Tampa, Florida car crash attorney to learn more about the damages that may be available in your particular case.
Call the Durham Law Group Today After a Bicycle Accident in Tampa
At the Durham Law Group, our attorneys know how severe injuries caused by a bike crash can be for Florida’s many cyclists. Our lawyers will look for ways to reach a favorable settlement but are fully prepared to take your claim to trial. Call us any time 24/7 at 813-333-6250 today to speak to an experienced attorney about how we can guide you through the legal process and work to get you the help you need.