Bicycle riders, like motorcyclists, are likely to suffer serious injury or death if they get into a collision with a motor vehicle. This is important to any cyclist, but at the same time is a growing concern as more Florida residents turn to bicycles as a cost-saving and healthy transportation alternative.
The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles says 120 bicycle riders were killed in car accidents in our state in 2011, nearly a 58 percent increase from the 76 killed in 2010. Overall, there were 5,013 car crashes involving bicycles in Florida in 2011, which resulted in 4,632 bicyclists suffering personal injuries.
Bicyclists injured in car accidents that were not their fault are likely to be eligible for compensation to assist them with their medical expenses and other losses. Orlando Bicycle accident attorney, Frank Eidson, works to protect bicyclists’ rights to this kind of assistance.
The Orlando, Florida, law office of Frank M. Eidson. P.A., has recovered millions of dollars in verdicts and settlements on behalf of clients, and can help you if you have been injured in a bicycle accident.Call today for experienced legal assistance with a motor vehicle accident that has injured a bicycle rider in Orlando, Kissimmee, Daytona Beach orelsewhere in Central Florida.
Bicycle Accidents in Florida
Of 120 bicycle crash fatalities involving motor vehicles in Florida in 2011, seven occurred in Orange County (Orlando), according to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. Of 4,632 Florida bicyclists injured in motor vehicle crashes in the state in 2011, 351 were in Orange County.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 677 “pedalcyclists” were killed and an additional 48,000 were injured in motor vehicle traffic crashes across the country in 2011. “Pedalcylists” includes riders of two-wheel nonmotorized vehicles, bicycles, tricycles and unicycles.The number of pedalcyclists killed in 2011 was 9 percent higher than the 623 pedalcyclists killed in 2010, the NHTSA says.
The NHTSA says the average age of pedalcyclists killed in traffic crashes nationwide in 2011 was 43. During the past 10 years, there has been a steady increase in the average age of pedalcyclists killed and injured, the federal agency says.
Florida law treats the bicycle as a vehicle and the bicyclist as a driver. Bicyclists have the same rights to Florida roadways as other drivers, and must obey the same traffic laws. This includes include riding with the flow of traffic, stopping for stop signs and red lights, using lights at night, yielding the right-of-way when entering a roadway, and yielding to pedestrians in crosswalks.
Yet a safe, law abiding bicyclist sharing the road with cars, trucks and motorcycles must rely on other drivers to share the road in a responsible manner. When they do not, catastrophic injuries can occur.
Some common reasons motor vehicle drivers cause bicycle accidents include:
- Failing to yield right of way
- Speeding or reckless driving
- Running or failing to come to a full stop at a stop sign
- Running a traffic light, or failing to come to a full stop before a right-on-red turn
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Who Can Be Held Responsible for the Truck Crash?
As you can see, several parties may bear responsibility for a truck crash, including:
- The truck driver – For his or her own careless or reckless actions
- The trucking company – For the negligence of its driver and / or its own negligent conduct
- The truck manufacturer – For allowing a defectively designed or manufactured product to get onto the roads.
However, a truck accident investigation may reveal other parties who should be held liable in a personal injury or wrongful death claim arising from a tractor-trailer crash, including:
- Owners of the truck or trailer involved in the crash
- Mechanics who failed to make proper repairs
- Warehouse owners who hired the truck driver or trucking company
- Government agencies who allowed dangerous road conditions to exist.
A truck accident case frequently involves tracking down parties who are based outside of Florida in another state or country. It also requires an investigation of all insurance policies that may apply in your case.
When a motor vehicle hits a bicycle, the bicyclist who survives is likely to suffer severe injuries, including head or traumatic brain injury (TBI), spinal cord injury or broken bones.
The American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS) says bicycling accidents contributed to more than 85,000 sports/recreation-related head injuries treated in emergency rooms in 2009 – far more than football (46,948), basketball (34,692), diving and other water sports (28,716), riding skateboards or scooters (23,114) or other popular recreational activities. The leading cause of death from sports-related injuries is traumatic brain injury, the AANS says.
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS) says in a majority of bicycle accident deaths, the most serious injuries were to the head. Wearing a bicycle helmet has been estimated to reduce the risk of head injury in a bicycle accident by 85 percent, the IIHS says.
Medical treatment after a serious bicycle accident may include hospitalization, surgery and follow-up rehabilitation therapy. The costs can be daunting and, in the worst cases, ongoing as a former bicyclist lives with debilitating injuries that radically reduce their quality of life.
Orlando bicycle accident attorney Frank M. Eidson works to help seriously injured accident victims, or the families of fatally injured bicyclists, recover compensation to cover the medical expenses and lost wages ahead of them. He understands what seriously injured bicyclists are likely to face during their recovery. He has pursued personal injury cases involving bicycle accidents and cases specifically about traumatic brain injury.
Sometimes the cause of a bicycle accident, and therefore what compensation is due from whom,is not obvious. Orlando bicycle accident lawyer Frank M. Eidson, P.A., and his legal team conduct thorough invitations of bicycle accidents that look beyond the often oversimplified police report. Our accident reconstruction specialists can work to determine whether another driver, poor road design, or a defective product caused or contributed to your bicycle accident injuries.
Contact Our Florida Bicycle Accident Lawyer
If you or loved one of yours is a bicyclist who has been hit by a motor vehicle, attorney Frank M. Eidson understands the personal and financial devastation you may face. The Orlando firm of Frank M. Eidson, P.A., can investigate your bicycle accident and injuries and, with the help of medical consultants, determine the compensation you will need now and in the future, and work to obtain it for you.
Frank M. Eidson, P.A., has recovered millions of dollars on behalf of Central Florida residents injured in car and bicycle accidents in Orlando, Daytona Beach, Kissimmee, Winter Park, Melbourne and other communities. Frank Eidson is the sole attorney in his legal practice, so clients get to know him and rely on him to protect their rights and financial interests.
If a Central Florida bicycle accident has left you or a family member of yours seriously injured, or taken a family member’s life, contact Frank M. Eidson, P.A., today. Having an experienced bicycle accident attorney on your side counts when you face insurance companies and their lawyers reluctant to settle a claim, and when Frank M. Eidson is with you, you have that experience. Call today for a free, no obligation initial consultation about your bicycle accident case.