Knocked Off Your Bicycle?
Because of Florida’s lovely weather that lasts nearly year round, bicyclists and pedestrians are always on the roads along with passenger vehicles. However, this means that drivers have to be extra careful to make certain they share the road appropriately with those not protected by so much metal, glass and plastic. If you are injured in an accident on your bicycle because of someone else’s negligence, you have the right to try and hold them accountable for the harm you suffered.
Florida Has High Injury Rates
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that 857 bicyclists were killed in traffic in 2018, which may not seem like a very high number, but it is worth noting that 125 of those occurred in Florida – far and away the highest number in an individual state. The statistics also show certain trends that might help explain why Florida’s accident totals are so elevated – for example, that three-fourths of all bicycle fatalities happened in urban areas, when Florida’s are notoriously unfriendly to pedestrians and bicyclists.
Accidents between bicyclists and vehicles are certainly not the only method by which bicyclists are injured, but they are generally the method by which the most severe injuries happen. The size mismatch is often simply too great – a bicyclist does not have the same level of protection that a vehicle driver or a passenger will have in the event of an accident, which is also why so many bicycle accidents, proportionally, are fatal. This is even true if bicyclists wear helmets.
If you have been injured by a negligent driver, there are certain things you need to be aware of in trying to seek compensation. Florida is a no-fault state, meaning that every licensed driver must carry a certain amount of personal injury protection (PIP) insurance to cover their own injuries. This is true for bicyclists or anyone who was not in the vehicle at the time of the accident. Your PIP coverage is not tied to your vehicle; rather, it is tied to the person. If you are not a licensed driver, your bills will likely be covered by the insurance on the driver who struck you.
If someone is involved in an auto accident where the harm they suffered is severe enough to be a “significant and permanent loss” of a bodily function or a limb, or generally any other permanent injury, then Florida law allows you to file suit. The rationale is that while PIP coverage is designed to take care of 80 percent of all reasonably necessary expenses for required medical care, there is no real timeline for when someone with a permanent injury will stop requiring care – thus a more long-term remedy is required. Still, it can be difficult to determine how best to bring suit so that you have a higher chance of success in court.
Can A Tampa Bike Accident Attorney Help You?
Riding a bicycle is a hobby that countless people enjoy, with Florida’s weather making it possible year-round. If you are involved in an accident, you need to contact a Tampa bicycle accident attorney at the Rinaldo Law Group to ensure that you have the best chance to get the compensation you need while focusing on recovery. Contact us today for a free consultation.