Bicyclists should be able to share the roads in Palm Bay safely, but this is rarely the case. According to 2022 data from Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV), more than 3,100 bike crashes in Florida were reported. The Sunshine State has the highest number of bicycle accident fatalities nationwide. If you’ve been hurt, you have options. Contact us at Kogan & DiSalvo–we have decades of experience fighting for injured bicyclists. We leverage the resources and knowledge to hold negligent parties accountable. Don’t hesitate to contact us for a free case review.
Your choice of Palm Bay bike accident lawyer is an important one. For aggressive, client-focused advocacy that gets results, put your trust in our team of veteran injury attorneys. The initial consultation offers a no-obligation opportunity to ask questions and determine whether you have a valid claim for compensation.
Why Bike Accidents Are So Dangerous
By the very nature of their design, bicycles–street, beach, and mountain models– expose riders to significant harm in the event of a collision. While bicyclists have equal road rights in Florida, they are harder to see and thus have a greater risk of serious accidents. In addition, bicyclists who are struck by cars are not afforded the same protection as the driver and passengers. There is no metal structure, seat belt, or airbag to lessen the trauma of being thrown to the ground or doored by a car. While helmet use can reduce the chance of a cyclist suffering brain damage or death, they are at risk of injury every time they hit Brevard County’s busy roads.
Florida Bicycle Laws
To stay as safe as possible, follow these laws while riding your bicycle in Palm Bay:
- All cyclists under the age of 16 must wear a helmet.
- Between sunset and sunrise, bikes must be outfitted with a white light visible from 500 feet away and a rear red reflector that can be seen from 600 feet.
- When riding on sidewalks, bicyclists have the same duties and rights as pedestrians.
- Cyclists should observe the same speed limit as motor vehicles unless otherwise posted.
- Bike riders are required to ride as far to the right of the roadway as possible if traveling slower than the surrounding traffic.
- Bicyclists must obey all traffic signals and lights.
- Bicyclists must signal at 100 feet before a right or left turn.
Bicycle Accident Injuries
Our lawyers handle bicycle crash cases involving many types of bodily injury. Whether you suffered a concussion, a fractured rib, or a herniated disc, you can rest assured that Kogan & DiSalvo is here to protect your rights.
We have the experience needed to level the playing field and secure fair compensation for:
- Skull fractures
- Brain contusions
- Traumatic brain injury
- Broken wrists, arms, and clavicles
- Nerve damage
- Fractured femur, foot, pelvis, or ankle
- Severe dental injuries
- Eye injuries
- Herniated and ruptured organs
- Internal bleeding
- Fractured vertebrae
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Road rash
Bicycle crashes with cars and trucks can cause catastrophic harm resulting in paralysis, loss of limb, and other long-term impairments. Victims may face enormous medical expenses that can undermine their financial stability. Having a knowledgeable Palm Bay injury attorney in your corner is the best way to ensure that you don’t sign away your rights to the monetary damages you rightfully deserve.
Bike Crashes Caused by Negligent Motorists
Florida law requires that drivers leave a minimum passing distance of three feet between their vehicles and bicyclists. Moreover, all motorists have a legal duty to watch out for other road users and operate their vehicles so that they do not endanger those around them. Unfortunately, inattentive and negligent drivers cause most bike crashes in Brevard County. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) states that 30 percent of cyclists who are injured while riding are struck by motor vehicles.
Here is a list of the most common causes of accidents with bicyclists:
- Distracted driving is a leading cause of many collisions.
- Drivers making sudden lane changes without looking first.
- Drivers not allowing cyclists adequate space.
- Motorists who enter the designated bike lane.
- Failure to yield the right of way: Bicyclists are less visible, making it harder to register their presence on roads and intersections.
- Motorists backing out of driveways, exiting parking lots or alleys without checking their surroundings first.
- Making turns without looking: When turning at an intersection or stop light, motorists must first look to ensure no cyclists are present.
- Opening doors in a bicyclist’s path: When a driver or passenger opens their vehicle door without looking, it can block the path of an oncoming cyclist, causing a crash.
- Drowsy, drunk or distracted drivers are likelier to have a rear-end collision with bicyclists.
What to Do After a Bike Accident
After getting injured in a bicycle accident, the steps you take can help or hinder your right to seek compensation from at-fault parties. We recommend the following:
- Dial 911 and report the accident to the police.
- If any witnesses were present, get their contact information.
- Leave your bicycle in the same position it was after the accident. If possible, take photos of the bike and your injuries.
- Obtain the name and insurance information of the driver or other parties involved in the accident.
- Get medical attention as soon as possible. You will need those records to prove the extent of your injuries.
- Keep track of all out-of-pocket expenses related to your accident.
- Make no statements to insurance carriers until you have spoken to an attorney.
Seek Maximum Compensation for Bicycle Crash Injuries and Losses
Our legal team will identify all possible avenues of compensation and consult with experts to determine the full extent of your economic and non-economic damages. Whether obtained through settlement negotiations or a court award, your specific compensation amount will depend on the unique details of your bicycle injury claim. Monetary damages should account for the following:
- Medical and hospital expenses, including diagnostic tests, doctor appointments, surgery, medications, and rehabilitation
- Expected costs for ongoing medical care
- Property damage
- Lost income
- Loss of future earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Permanent disability
- Loss of enjoyment of life
If your family member suffered fatal injuries in a bicycle accident, you might be able to pursue additional compensation through a wrongful death claim. This type of civil case enables eligible survivors to seek damages for funeral and burial costs, loss of guidance and companionship, and other damages.
Time Limits for Legal Action After a Bike Crash
In Florida, you generally have two years from the date of the bike accident to file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault parties. Valuable evidence can be lost or destroyed over time, so seeking legal counsel as soon as possible is essential. It may take many months to investigate the accident and build a strong claim for damages.
Speak to a Skilled Palm Bay Bicycle Accident Attorney
Florida may be one of the most dangerous states for bicyclists, but the law affords remedies for those seriously hurt by negligent and distracted drivers. A knowledgeable injury attorney from Kogan & DiSalvo can review your case and outline your best steps moving forward.
Call our Palm Bay office to find out if you have a bicycle accident claim. Our lawyers take cases on a contingency fee basis, which means no legal fees unless we recover money damages on your behalf.