Been In A Florida Bicycle Accident?
Florida’s weather means that more people spend their time outside year round, but not every driver is prepared for the numbers of pedestrians and bicyclists that are constantly present on the state’s roads. If you are out riding your bicycle and are involved in an auto accident, you need to be aware that you do have options and may be able to have your injuries covered by insurance even if you were not in a car at the time of your crash.
Higher Percentage Of Bicycle Accidents & Fatalities
Florida has been among the leaders in bicycling crashes for many years, with over 6,200 bike/car accidents in 2017, and almost the same amount in 2016. National numbers for bicycle accidents have risen, but Florida’s remain above the average, both in the actual numbers and in per-capita numbers as well. There are numerous different causes for Florida’s high numbers, including general careless driving, distractions like texting or operating GPS, and speeding, but some of the most common involve general misunderstandings of both bicyclists and automobile drivers when it comes to each other’s rights.
Statistics also show that the most common age group involved in these collisions as drivers is those aged 20-24. It can be very easy to imagine elderly drivers, so-called “snowbirds,” to be at fault for these types of accidents, but in general, younger drivers are more prone to recklessness, and at some points, less likely to check their blind spots or the lanes around them for bicyclists. Drivers over the age of 65 are actually among the least likely to be involved in any kind of pedestrian accident, at least in Florida.
Have You Been Injured?
If you have been in a bicycle accident, you may think that you have few options to seek compensation. Florida is a no-fault state, meaning that if you are in an accident, you may not sue the person who allegedly caused your injuries – instead, you are required to seek compensation through your no-fault insurance carrier. However, it is not uncommon that injured pedestrians think they are out of luck since they were not in an accident with their car – in other words, they may think that their no-fault insurance only applies to automobile accidents. This is not actually the case.
Florida law allows that an injured person can try to recover benefits from the no-fault policy owned by the vehicle’s owner. So, for example, if you are injured after a collision with a vehicle, you should be able to make a claim for benefits against the policy belonging to the vehicle’s driver or owner. Keep in mind that if your injuries are severe enough, the law does have an exception which allows you to bring suit against the person who injured you, but your injuries must be shown to meet a severity threshold – namely, permanent injury or loss of a bodily function.
Call A Tampa Bicycle Accident Attorney
Bicycle accidents can be devastating, and if you have been injured, you need experienced legal help that can guide you through the process of seeking compensation. The Tampa bicycle accident lawyers at the Rinaldo Law Group are happy to try and assist you in navigating this difficult time in your life. Contact our offices today for a free consultation.