With cycling lanes, bike trails, and bike racks throughout our beachside communities and bustling downtown, Tampa city officials have made a concerted effort to encourage this mode of transportation; it leads the nation for bike-friendly businesses. However, it is also trending for more concerning statistics. Tampa Bay is the fourth deadliest region in the country for pedestrians and cyclists. Last year alone, there were nearly 500 bicycle crashes across Hillsborough County.
If you sustained serious injuries in a biking accident caused by a negligent driver, Kogan & DiSalvo can help. We know that it can be physically, emotionally, and financially devastating. Our Tampa personal injury attorneys explore every legal remedy available to recover compensation for your losses. Schedule a free consultation today.
While several cities across the Tampa Bay area have taken steps to make it safer for pedestrians and bicyclists, the American Automobile Association (AAA) still named the region as one of the most dangerous.
The most common causes of bicycle accidents in Tampa and across the region include the following:
As a tourist destination, Tampa roads are flooded with motorists who are unfamiliar with the area. If they are distracted by their GPS navigation screens or looking for traffic signs and exits, they are often oblivious to bicyclists sharing the road beside them. If they turn without looking or signaling, bicyclists may not have time to react and avoid a collision.
Aside from a helmet and pads, nothing else can protect bicyclists from the impact of motor vehicles, structures, or road surfaces.
Bicycle accident injuries range in severity from superficial cuts and bruises to more severe conditions like road rash, strains, sprains, and broken bones. Facial injuries, traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), spinal cord injuries, amputations, and damage to internal organs are examples of non-fatal catastrophic injuries resulting from bicycle crashes.
Physical rehabilitation after a bike crash can be a demanding, time-intensive process. Accident victims may require hospitalization, surgery, and physical therapy to restore mobility and function.
After an accident, the first step is to assessthe scene to determine if anyone is hurt. When there are injuries or property damage, everyone involved must remain at the scene and wait for police to arrive.
Exchange information with the driver. If there are witnesses, ask them to provide their name, phone number, or email. Do not admit fault. Instead, allow the police, attorneys, and insurance companies to investigate and gather the facts.
If you can, take photos, including damage to your bicycle. Write down any details exactly as you recall them. For example, describe what happened, the road conditions, weather, and other bicyclists, pedestrians, and motorists who were present.
It can be helpful to draw a map to illustrate the position and direction of everyone involved. Share these details with the police when they take your report. Be sure to note the number of the report so you can obtain a copy.
Even if you don’t have pain or signs of an injury, it is still essential to seekmedical attention. Bicycle accidents often result in delayed onset injuries, which usually don’t have immediate and obvious symptoms but can develop or worsen over time.
A consultation with a Tampa bicycle accident lawyer should be your next step. Representation from an experienced and skilled attorney is essential to protect your interests and pursue the maximum compensation possible based on your injuries and other losses.
These accidents happen quickly, so it is difficult to determine who or what caused them. Our team of Tampa injury lawyers has the resources to obtain critical evidence, such as CCTV video footage, and thoroughly investigate your case to determine if you have grounds to bring a personal injury claim.
We caution clients who have been hurt in bicycle accidents against negotiating with insurance companies without the guidance of an attorney. While they may offer you a quick settlement, it may not be fair or reasonable.
Our legal team can thoroughly assess your losses, including how the accident has impacted your physical and emotional health and well-being. We do this to calculate your damages, which could include past and future medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost income, and property damage.
In March 2023, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed House Bill 837 into law. The Civil Remedies Act directly impacts plaintiffs and their personal injury claims in key ways.
First, Florida is now a modified comparative negligence jurisdiction, barring claims in which the plaintiff is determined (by a judge or jury) to be more than 50 percent at fault. However, if the plaintiff is found 50 percent or less at fault, their recovery is reduced proportionally to their fault. For example, if you were deemed 10 percent at fault for your bicycle accident and received $100,000 in damages, your compensation would be reduced to $90,000.
It’s important to remember that everyone traveling on Florida roadways has a duty to act with care and follow traffic laws to help prevent accidents and keep themselves and others safe. Bicyclists should wear helmets, bright clothing, reflectors, and lights at night. They should also know and obey traffic signs and laws, observing the right of way and using hand signals to alert drivers to their impending movements.
The Civil Remedies Act also lowered the statute of limitations for personal injury claims from four to two years. It’s worth noting because of the time and resources required to prove fault in Florida, where outcomes depend on the evidence and assignment of liability for each party. If you were hurt in a bicycle accident, contact a Tampa personal injury attorney to initiate the claim process as soon as possible.
Florida is a no-fault state. Drivers must carry personal injury protection (PIP). So, if you are a cyclist hurt in a motor vehicle collision, you can use your PIP insurance to cover your damages and losses. If you don’t carry PIP, you can apply for coverage under someone in your home or the driver who hit you.
However, PIP only covers up to 80% of medical bills and 60% of lost wages. For individuals with severe or catastrophic injuries, the costs of medical care can present a significant financial burden. You can file a personal injury claim against the at-fault driver in that case.
A successful bike accident claim can potentially result in the following types of compensation:
Personal injury claims are resolved in two ways: negotiating a satisfactory settlement or litigating your case in court if you cannot resolve it. Our team is ready to take your case as far as necessary to reach a fair outcome.
Bicycle accident claims are challenging. It takes a skilled and dedicated lawyer to build a compelling case. At Kogan & DiSalvo, we leverage our extensive resources to fight for your right to fair and reasonable compensation because bicycle accident injuries can be life-changing.
Having a compassionate Tampa personal injury lawyer on your side can make a big difference in reaching a favorable outcome. Contact us to schedule a free, no-obligation case review today. We work on a contingency basis, so there are no upfront legal fees.