Bicycle riding is a great way to get exercise and enjoy the outdoors, but it can be dangerous. According to the latest data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), over 49,000 people sustained injuries from a bike accident in the United States in 2019.
If you are injured in a bike accident, it is important to know your rights, contact the Law Offices of Jared Spingarn to hire a bike accident attorney in Florida. This article will discuss how common a bike accident is and what you should do if you are involved in one.
Bike Accident Statistics in the USA
How common are bicycle accidents? The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration keeps track of all motor vehicle crash reports in the United States. The latest report from the NHTSA was published in 2019. It reported a total of 49,000 injuries and 846 fatalities, all caused by bike accidents.
The risk of getting into a bicycle accident is higher in urban areas compared to rural areas. Bicycle accidents in urban areas accounted for approximately 78% of all crashes reported in 2019. Furthermore, the data showed that male riders were six times more likely to be killed in a bike accident compared to female bike riders.
The NHTSA report states that bicyclists aged 55 to 59 years recorded the highest number of fatalities. Comparatively, bicycle riders between the ages of 15 to 24 recorded the highest injury rate in the country.
Additionally, 34% of all bike accidents involved alcohol consumption. This means that either the cyclist or the motor vehicle driver consumed alcohol before driving. Of the total number of fatalities, 25% of riders exceeded the blood alcohol concentration limits.
Florida Bicycle Accident Statistics
The State of Florida recorded the highest number of fatalities in 2019 at 156 out of a total of 6,664 bicyclists. A Florida bicycle accident accounts for 0.75 deaths per 100,000 residents. Also in 2019, Jacksonville had the second-highest number of fatalities among big cities in the whole country. The city recorded a rate of 0.99 bicyclist fatalities per 100,000 people.
A Florida bike accident is very common due to the high resident and tourist population of the state. The good news is that if you need a bike accident lawyer, Jared Spingarn, P.A. Accident Attorneys can provide free consultations for your case.
Bike crashes can cause severe personal injury and victims of a Florida bike accident are often burdened with high medical bills. Thus, seeking advice from Jared Spingarn’s law firm which has several Florida bike accident lawyers is a good way to get a free case evaluation. They can help you file a personal injury claim when you get into a bicycle accident.
Where and when does a bicycle accident often occur?
A glaring statistic presented by the NHTSA is the location of a bicycle accident. Of the total number of bicycle accident fatalities, 64% happened on the road but not at an intersection, while 27% occurred in an intersection. The remaining number of fatalities happened in parking areas, bicycle lanes, driveways, shoulder lanes, and sidewalks.
Most bike accidents happen on weekdays, early in the morning or late at night. Weekdays account for 66% of all bicycle accidents that led to death. From 3:00 to 6:00 pm, 19% of bicycle accident fatalities were recorded on weekdays. While on weekends, the timeslot from 6:00 to 9:00 in the evening recorded 30% of all bike accident fatalities.
Common Causes of a Bicycle Accident
All road users are mandated to follow road rules for highway safety. There are designated bike lanes for cyclists and roads for cars. The most common bike accidents happen due to a failure to abide by the rules – resulting in severe injuries and lost wages on the part of the victim.
The NHTSA conducted a National Survey of Bicyclist and Pedestrian Attitudes and Behavior which included the most common causes of Florida bicycle accidents. The results show that 29% of bicycle riders sustained injuries because of a car accident – they were hit by a moving vehicle. The following factors contribute to the number of collisions between motor vehicles and bicycles in Florida.
1. Non-compliance with traffic laws
A bike crash or car crash can happen because drivers, bike riders, or pedestrians are not familiar with the road rules. Florida bicycle accidents also occur with improper use of the road. This can lead to catastrophic injuries on the part of the bicycle crash victims. Failure to abide by traffic signs, driving on the wrong side of the road, riding outside of a bike lane, and driving while under the influence of alcohol or illicit drugs all contribute to Florida bicyclists sustaining fatal injuries.
2. Errant turning
Another major cause of bicycle crashes is errant turning. This type of accident occurs when motor vehicle drivers turn left or right without checking for vehicles or bicycles that are on the road. This results in the driver of the vehicle cutting off the bicyclist, causing a crash. In these types of bike accident cases, a bike accident attorney from the Jared Spingarn Florida law office can provide free legal consultation to help injured riders.
3. Backing out
Backing out of a driveway or parking spot is another common cause of bicycle accidents. When other drivers fail to check the vicinity for motorists, bicyclists, or pedestrians, it can cause a collision. Obstructions to the driver’s view can lead to difficulty in seeing the oncoming bicycle rider. When riding at a moderate speed, the bicyclist may not have time to stop when a car suddenly backs out of a parking slot, resulting in a collision with the tail-end of the vehicle.
Rear-ending can cause a bicycle accident when other motor vehicles fail to stop in time due to distracted driving or other reasons, causing them to crash into the back wheel of the bicycle. This type of collision often occurs when the driver is not paying attention, fails to leave enough space for stopping the vehicle, or is intoxicated which can cause response delay. Bicyclists who are not wearing reflective gear at night are more susceptible to rear-end collisions.
Dooring collisions are less deadly than rear-end collisions but are still likely to result in injuries to the bicyclist. Dooring happens when the driver or passenger of a vehicle suddenly opens the door of the vehicle. This obstructs the path of an oncoming bicyclist, causing a collision with the door. Dooring collisions are caused by the lack of attention of the vehicle’s occupants as they fail to check the side mirrors before exiting the vehicle.
Common Injuries from Bicycle Accidents
A bicycle accident can cause serious injuries and can lead to a traumatic brain injury. According to the NHTSA, soft-tissue injuries and fractures are the most common injuries sustained from a bike crash. While some bikers are agile enough to position their body when falling off a bike (resulting in a broken bone, at best), serious injuries cannot be avoided in major crashes.
Injuries to the head or spinal cord are the most serious as these can lead to a lifetime of assisted living. Other common bike accident injuries that can be sustained from a Florida bicycle accident are the following:
- Scratches and bruises
- Back injuries
- Fractures (wrist, elbow, leg, skull)
- Facial injuries
- Dental injuries
In some cases, injuries sustained from a Florida bike crash are not immediately apparent. You may be fine right after the crash but feel the extent of your injury a few hours after. Thus, it is best to seek advice from a bike crash attorney in Florida when you get into an accident. The law firm of Jared Spingarn P.A. has several Florida bicycle accident attorneys who can help you file a bicycle accident claim and hold the driver of the vehicle liable for your injuries.
What to do after a bike accident?
As an accident victim, you will be needing help to file a lawsuit. Contact the Law Offices of Jared Spingarn, P.A. to get a bicycle accident lawyer who can do this process for you. But as you were present during the traffic accident, you need to make sure to get pertinent details that will help with your case, such as the following:
- Damage to your bike and equipment
- Medical records of your injuries
- Police reports and witness statements
- Other driver’s personal, vehicle, and insurance details
- Pictures of your bike, equipment, and injuries
- Pictures of the accident scene
When should you file a bike accident lawsuit?
After receiving medical attention and collecting all important evidence, you must be sure to call your insurance agent and call the offices of Jared Spingarn, P.A. for a Florida bike accident attorney right after. It is important to contact Jared for a bike accident lawyer right after the accident to ensure that you are well-protected every step of the way. Even if you are the driver of the motor vehicle, you should get legal assistance so you will be properly advised on how to proceed after the accident.
Often, motor vehicle accidents are settled through insurance. Under the PIP Florida law, all motor vehicle owners are required to have personal injury protection coverage. Florida bikers who also own motor vehicles will be covered by PIP even while riding a bike. This is because PIP will travel with the person insured, regardless of the vehicle that you are driving at the time of the accident.
In case you don’t have PIP, the insurance of the driver at fault must cover the damages as well as the medical bills of the bicyclists injured. However, this type of insurance is called bodily liability insurance – which is not required for motor vehicle owners in Florida.
If your insurance claim goes nowhere, you can opt to take legal action and file a bicycle lawsuit instead. A lawsuit for a bike accident is a civil case that is usually filed in the small claims court. In Florida, the small claims court can settle disputes up to $8,000. If the dispute goes above that amount, it will become a large claim.
When filing a lawsuit, it needs to be established that the driver of the other vehicle was negligent, the accident happened due to this negligence, and you sustained injuries because of this negligence. Under the Florida Statues 768.81, the court handling the case can decide on a percentage of fault of each party. This means that both the bicycle rider and the driver can be found at fault for the accident, and the damages are apportioned according to this percentage.
I was in a bike accident three years ago but my injuries won’t go away. Can I still file a lawsuit?
Yes, you can. In Florida, the statute of limitations after an accident is at four years. This means that you can still file a lawsuit up to four years after the accident occurred. Make sure that you have all the details necessary, as well as updated medical records of your injuries.
What if I was a victim of a hit-and-run?
Leaving the scene of the accident is a crime in Florida. Depending on the severity of the damage, it can be classified as either a felony or a misdemeanor. If convicted, the defendant will have his driver’s license revoked for a minimum of three years. Jared Spingarn, P.A. can advise you on the best course of action you can take.
If the car accident resulted in death, it is considered a first-degree felony. The driver at fault can spend a maximum of 30 years in prison plus a fine of $10,000. If it resulted in serious bodily injuries, it is a second-degree felony and the defendant can face 15 years in prison or probation, plus a maximum fine of $10,000. Serious bodily injuries are defined as high-risk injuries that may lead to death, disfigurement, and impairment or loss of function.
For crashes that resulted in bodily injuries, it is a third-degree felony. The defendant can face up to 5 years of either probation or prison time, plus a $5,000 fine. Property damage is classified as a second-degree misdemeanor. The defendant will face up to 60 days of jail time with a $500 fine.
How to Choose the Right Bike Accident Lawyer in Florida
In most cases, when a motorized vehicle bumps a bicycle, the bicycle accident victims are the ones left with serious injuries even when wearing bicycle helmets. A Florida bike accident can lead to a bicycle accident lawsuit. In Florida, bicycle riders are treated as drivers and have the same responsibilities as motor vehicles when it comes to sharing the road. Both Florida cyclists and motor vehicle drivers are advised to seek help from Jared Spingarn and his team of Florida bike accident attorneys who are experienced in Florida bike accidents, Florida bicycle laws, and personal injury laws.
Florida-based Jared Spingarn, P.A., and his associates can offer a free consultation. If you have been in a bike crash whether as a bicycle rider or motor vehicle driver, make sure to immediately consult Jared Spingarn’s law firm with the best bike accident attorney (Florida) to help you with the legal process. They will connect you with the best personal injury lawyers from Jared Spingarn’s Law Offices in Florida specializing in bike accidents
Nowadays, you can easily get in touch with a Florida bike accident lawyer from Jared Spingarn’s firm online through their website. Going through the legal process is the best way to help you recover compensation from the accident.
Contact the Law Offices of Jared Spingarn for a Free Consultation
A bicycle accident can result in traumatic brain injuries, broken bones, wrongful death, high medical bills, and lost wages for the injured person. Aside from sustaining a personal injury, cyclists and motorists can become traumatized for life after an accident.
If you are involved in a Florida bicycle accident, it is advised to seek help from Florida bicycle accident attorneys from the Law offices of Jared Spingarn. A Florida bicycle accident lawyer from Jared’s law firm will work with you to provide assistance from the time of the bike crash up to filing a Florida bike accident claim. These bike accident lawyers are experienced when it comes to filing a personal injury and bicycle accident lawsuit.
Whether you are in Jacksonville, Hallandale Beach, Tampa, or Fort Lauderdale, once you are involved in a Florida bicycle accident, call Jared for a free consultation. Both bicycle riders and motorists are protected under Florida laws, so it is best to consult with an expert accident attorney if you are involved in a bicycle-motor vehicle accident.
>> If you’re involved in a bike accident in Florida, don’t hesitate to reach out to Jared Spingarn, Accident Attorney at 1-954-781-2316 for a Free Case review or drop a message on our Contact Us page.