In 2022, there were more than 6,500 bicycle accidents in the state of Florida, with almost 200 fatalities. According to Florida law enforcement officers, many of these incidents are caused by vehicle drivers.
If you are involved in a Fort Pierce bicycle accident, you may become overwhelmed with lost wages and medical bills because of the injuries you sustain. While you can receive PIP (personal injury protection) benefits, these are often insufficient to cover the true cost of your accident.
When you find yourself in this situation, you need help from an experienced Fort Pierce bicycle accident attorney. At Fetterman & Associates, PA, our Fort Pierce injury lawyers have been helping bicyclists with their accident claims for decades. We can provide the same knowledgeable services to you. With our help, you have a legal team on your side that is committed to helping you recover the compensation you are entitled to for the damages and injuries you sustain due to someone else’s error, negligence, or recklessness.
Common Causes of Fort Pierce Bicycle Accidents
If you love cycling outdoors, it does not get much better than enjoying the beautiful sunny weather in Fort Pierce. The beautiful scenery enhances the experience even further.
However, as a cyclist, you put yourself at risk each time you venture out. The limited protection offered by a bicycle does not match large motor vehicles, often traveling at high rates of speed.
While this is true, some causes of bicycle accidents are more common than others. These include the following:
As a bicyclist, you are just as much at risk of being struck by a distracted driver as other motorists. It has been found that drivers are around three times more likely to be involved in an accident when making a call while driving and 23 times more likely to be involved in an accident when texting and driving.
It is important to note that it is not just drivers who can be distracted. Bicyclists often use hands-free devices or headphones while riding. This may cause them to swerve into traffic or cross intersections without looking.
Accidents are more common in bad weather. Most bicycles are designed with thin tires; if you ride in ice, rain, snow, or sleet, your traction can be significantly affected. Additionally, bad weather reduces drivers’ visibility, making it challenging for them to see bicyclists.
Failure to Yield
Drivers are required to yield to bicyclists on the roads; however, many are unaware of this or fail to do so. As a result, accidents happen. Many bicycle accidents occur at intersections and when a motorist makes a left turn and collides with a rider.
Alcohol and drug use cause one out of three fatalities involving motor vehicles. Drivers under the influence of alcohol or drugs often experience diminished cognitive abilities, which means they are more likely not to see a bicyclist.
If a driver speeds, they need more time to stop and have less time to avoid a possible collision. Even in locations with low-speed limits, drivers who speed put cyclists at risk.
If you must ride close to parked vehicles, it increases the possibility of a dooring accident. This is common if a motorist does not check for oncoming traffic, opens their door, and hits a bicyclist.
Riding at Night
Bicyclists are harder to see at night. It is estimated that around half of all bicycle accidents occur after dark. Riders must have reflectors or lights on their bike to ensure they can be seen. Wearing reflective gear is also recommended.
Injuries Many Bicyclists Sustain in an Accident
When a vehicle and bicycle collide, cyclists often experience serious injuries. In fact, bike accidents often cause fatalities, especially if the vehicle is speeding or the bicyclist is not wearing the proper protective gear, like a helmet.
The most serious injuries seen in bike accidents are traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), which can cause lifelong challenges and disabilities for riders. Even if the impact seems minor, it can result in fatal injuries depending on how the rider strikes the ground, an object, or a vehicle.
Common catastrophic injuries bicyclists experience in an accident includes the following:
- Back and neck injuries
- Brain and head injuries
- Soft tissue injuries
- Internal injuries
- Fractured bones
Other injuries may also occur and depend on the accident and circumstances. Because of this, it is essential to be checked out by a doctor after an accident to find any injuries that may have occurred.
Determining Liability in a Fort Pierce Bicycle Accident
If you are injured in a Fort Pierce bicycle accident, our legal team at Fetterman & Associates, PA, will help determine and prove liability in your case. We will also ensure you file a claim within the statute of limitations, which is four years for personal injury lawsuits in Florida.
We will gather evidence and build a case to show who was at fault and what compensation you are entitled to receive.
Bicyclists in Fort Pierce (and all of Florida) have the same legal duties and rights as other drivers. Unfortunately, many motorists do not exercise proper care when sharing the road with cyclists. As a result, they may strike the rider and cause serious injury or fatality.
You can file a personal injury claim based on negligence in these situations. This refers to one party’s failure to show reasonable care. Since the burden of proof is on you, you can count on our legal team to show that the at-fault party had a duty to exercise a certain level of care, which was breached, and the breach is what caused your injuries.
Understanding Contributory Negligence in Bicycle Accident Cases
The state of Florida follows contributory negligence. This means you can recover some damages even if you are partly responsible for the accident and injuries. However, based on this law, your compensation will be reduced by your percentage of fault.
We Will Help You Recover the Damages and Compensation You Are Entitled To
It is often possible to recover damages if you are injured in a Fort Pierce bicycle accident. You can receive compensation for your current and future medical costs, loss of income, and property damage.
If you are a family member of someone who passed away because of a bicycle accident, it may be possible to file a wrongful death lawsuit to receive compensation.
Contact Fetterman & Associates, PA, for Help and Information
You have legal options if you are injured in a bicycle accident in Fort Pierce, Florida. We encourage you to contact our Fort Pierce accident attorneys immediately so we can begin gathering evidence to show what your case is worth and help you get the compensation you are entitled to.
Personal injury law can be complex; without experienced legal counsel, you may not get the compensation you deserve.
The first step is to call our office to schedule a free initial consultation. There is no obligation to hire us, but we can provide a general overview of how we can help with your case.