If you sustained an injury in a bicycle accident due to someone’s negligent or reckless actions, contact the St. Petersburg personal injury attorneys of Jurewitz Law Group Injury & Accident Lawyers immediately. We might be able to represent you in a case against the at-fault driver and hold them liable. We could recover compensation on your behalf to compensate you for your medical treatment, out-of-pocket expenses, and other incurred costs.
Bicycles are enjoyable to ride and convenient for navigating heavy traffic. However, they can also be dangerous. Riders are at a significant risk of debilitating injury and death during collisions with motor vehicles. It’s critical for bikers to take various safety measures and be vigilant when traveling near cars and trucks.
You could cross paths with a careless driver despite the precautions you take while riding your bike. It’s often impossible to prevent an accident because you can’t control how others behave on the road. When a crash occurs, you need to take immediate action to treat your injury and hold the at-fault motorist accountable.
Jurewitz Law Group Injury & Accident Lawyers is ready to help you fight for the justice you deserve. You can count on us to seek the maximum available settlement from the at-fault driver’s insurance carrier. You won’t have to face the complicated process alone. We are here to provide the guidance you need to make informed decisions about how you want us to handle your case.
Call Jurewitz Law Group Injury & Accident Lawyers at (727) 605-1100 today for your free consultation to learn about the legal options available to you after you were injured in a bike accident that wasn’t your fault.
Common Types of Bicycle Accidents
Various factors can contribute to a bicycle accident. Whether a driver engages in dangerous behavior or makes an error at the wheel, they can get into a crash with a bicyclist. The most common types of bicycle accidents include:
- Sideswipe accidents – A driver could sideswipe a biker if they pass too closely or drift into the bicycle lane.
- Driving too near – Drivers must maintain an adequate distance from a bicyclist during any maneuver.
- Dooring – A driver must always look behind them for an approaching bicyclist after parking a vehicle. Opening the door without checking for oncoming traffic could cause a biker to crash into the open door.
- Left-turn accidents – Turning left requires drivers to slow down or stop and look for traffic heading in their direction. Turning without checking whether a bicyclist is approaching could place a vehicle directly in the rider’s path.
- Backing up accidents – Drivers should pay close attention to their surroundings while backing out of a parking space. A bicyclist could ride behind a vehicle and get hit if the driver isn’t looking behind them.
- Rear-end collisions – Rear-end accidents often occur when a driver tailgates a bicyclist. When riders have to share the road with vehicles because there isn’t a designated bike lane, they are at a higher risk of injury. Many drivers ignore bicyclists or don’t give themselves enough room to come to a complete stop behind a bicyclist if necessary.
At Jurewitz Law Group Injury & Accident Lawyers, we understand the negative effects of a bicycle accident. Our bicycle accident attorneys in St. Petersburg, FL, can investigate the crash and determine whether the driver should be held responsible for your injury and resulting expenses.
Common Causes of Bicycle Accidents
Motorists often find it challenging to see bikers on the road. A parked vehicle might obstruct a rider about to cross the street. Blind spots also minimize visibility and hide a bicyclist traveling alongside a car.
Human error commonly plays a part in bicycle accidents. Collisions between bikes and motor vehicles can happen for many reasons, including:
- Distracted driving – A driver might change the radio, send a text on their phone, or eat their lunch while driving. These distractions redirect the motorist’s focus and could prevent them from seeing a bicyclist next to their vehicle or crossing their path.
- Fatigued driving – Fatigue causes a range of physical and cognitive impairments. It reduces a person’s reaction time, interferes with decision-making skills, and diminishes motor function. Fatigued drivers lack awareness of their surroundings and could cause an accident with a nearby bicyclist.
- Tailgating – Sometimes, bikers must ride on the street instead of in the bike lane. An impatient motorist might tailgate and collide with the back of the bicycle if the bicyclist stops suddenly.
- Driving under the influence – Any amount of drugs or alcohol in a person’s system disrupts normal faculties. Impaired drivers often ignore traffic laws and don’t see bikers traveling in the area around them.
- Speeding – Driving at high rates of speed can cause fatal injuries to bicyclists during accidents with cars or trucks. The rider could suffer blunt force trauma to the body during the impact and other serious injuries from contact with the wreckage or the ground.
At Jurewitz Law Group Injury & Accident Lawyers, we know that no two cases or clients are alike. With our personalized approach, we aim to meet the unique needs of your particular circumstances. You can expect us to create a legal strategy to try to achieve your goals.
Common Injuries in Bicycle Accidents
Bicyclists often sustain debilitating or life-threatening injuries in accidents. Some drivers have no regard for the safety of bikers they encounter. Collisions between bicycles and motor vehicles can be violent and lead to fatalities. According to statistics, motor vehicle crashes caused 932 bicyclist deaths in 2020.
The most common types of injuries in bicycle accidents include:
- Road rash
- Permanent scarring
- Broken bones
- Facial disfigurement
- Dental injuries
- Traumatic brain injury
- Pelvic injuries
- Spinal cord damage
- Internal bleeding
- Loss of limb
- Back and neck injuries
Many bike accident victims require emergency medical care after leaving the scene of the crash. Ongoing treatment of a serious injury is often necessary. You might need physical therapy, prescription drugs, or surgery. Sometimes, recovering from a bicycle accident is painful and takes significant time.
Medical care can be expensive. Some people can’t afford to pay their medical bills. It can lead to financial strain and massive debt. The at-fault driver should be financially responsible for the costs you incur since they are at fault for the accident.
Compensation for Injuries in a Bicycle Accident
Every driver in Florida must buy personal injury protection (PIP) insurance when registering a motor vehicle. Even though you were on your bicycle at the time of the crash, you could use your PIP coverage to cover various accident-related losses.
PIP pays up to 60 percent of lost wages and necessary and reasonable medical expenses up to the limit on the policy. State law requires a minimum of $10,000 in PIP insurance. The no-fault system requires you to file a claim with your own insurance company first.
You can only file a claim with the negligent driver’s liability insurance carrier if your injury meets the serious injury threshold. That means your injury consists in whole or part of:
- Permanent and significant disfigurement or scarring
- Permanent and significant loss of an essential bodily function
- Permanent injury within a reasonable degree of medical probability except disfigurement or scarring
The compensation you receive in a liability claim could cover losses, such as:
- Pain and suffering
- Out-of-pocket expenses
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Lost earning capacity
- Emotional distress
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Damage to personal property
In a lawsuit, punitive damages might also be recoverable. The judge or jury only awards this type of compensation if you can show clear and convincing evidence of the defendant’s gross negligence or intentional misconduct.
Since many bike accidents are fatal for the riders, the surviving family could receive compensation in a wrongful death case. Only the personal representative of the deceased’s estate can file the lawsuit. However, they must act on behalf of surviving family and the estate.
The compensation recovered in a wrongful death lawsuit could attempt to cover losses, such as:
- Loss of services and support the deceased can no longer provide to their family
- The value of wages and benefits the deceased would have saved and left as part of their estate if they were still alive
- Funeral and medical expenses the estate or a family member paid
- Lost wages and benefits between the date of the injury and death
- Mental pain and suffering
- Lost parental companionship, guidance, and instruction
- Loss of protection and companionship
Statute of Limitations for a Bicycle Accident
The Florida statute of limitations for an injury to a person caused by someone else allows a four-year timeframe to file a lawsuit. That means you must initiate your lawsuit within four years from the date of the bike accident.
If your loved one died in a bicycle accident and you are the personal representative of their estate, you must adhere to the wrongful death statute of limitations. This provides a two-year timeframe from the date of the death to file suit.
Jurewitz Law Group Injury & Accident Lawyers takes cases on contingency. We don’t charge upfront fees or costs to represent bicycle accident victims. You won’t have to pay us our legal fees unless we recover compensation for you. If we lose, you will never owe us any money.
Our St. Petersburg bicycle accident attorneys always dedicate the necessary time and effort to every case we handle, whether the circumstances are simple or complex. We understand your struggles while healing your injury and pursuing compensation from the at-fault party. We will work hard to help you through this traumatic time in your life.
If you sustained an injury in a bike accident due to someone else’s wrongdoing, call Jurewitz Law Group Injury & Accident Lawyers for your free consultation today at (727) 605-1100.