Bicycle accidents affect the lives of hundreds of Americans each year, with the majority of these accidents leading to serious personal injuries. According to a study conducted by the American Family Physician, bicycle-related injuries account for close to 8 billion dollars annually in emergency room and doctor’s office visits and are the cause of nearly 900 deaths yearly.
Accidents involving pedestrians occur every day and can leave victims with small injuries such as bruises and cuts, to more serious like brain injuries, spinal cord injuries and in some cases, death. According to the NHTSA, in 2017 alone, there were 5,977 pedestrian fatalities from motor vehicle accidents.
And unfortunately, the communities in which we live, from Tampa to St. Petersburg to Sarasota, are home to some of the most dangerous roadways for bicyclists and pedestrians. As of 2018, bicyclists were more likely to be killed in Florida than in any other state in the Nation. Similarly, as of 2019, the risk of being killed as a pedestrian in Florida was higher than in any other state in the Nation.
If you or a loved one has fallen victim to a bicycle or pedestrian accident, the time is now to contact an experienced personal injury lawyer to fight for your rights.
Necessary Actions to Take Following a Bicycle Accident
After a bicycle accident happens, immediately contact a medical professional and 911. Anything you say after the crash can be used against you by an insurance company, so it is crucial to avoid making a statement to anyone other than the police after you speak with your medical providers. However, do give law enforcement your side of the story and any details you have about the incident.
Gathering the Necessary Evidence Post-Bicycle Accident
If you or a loved one is involved in a bicycle accident, take the proper steps to assist with your claim:
- If any witnesses were present, gather their contact information. Witness testimonials are extremely helpful in these types of cases, as the driver in question may present a different story than the cyclist.
- Take mental notes of any pertinent details from the event, including how it happened, where it occurred, or any other road-related conditions that may be relevant.
- Gather the driver’s license plate number, insurance information and any other relevant details about their vehicle.
- If possible, take pictures of the scene including placement of your bike after the accident.
- Consult with a personal injury attorney before contacting the at-fault driver’s insurance company.
Why You Need a Bicycle Accident Attorney
By working with an experienced personal injury attorney who is passionate about your case, you can ensure you get the most from your claim. Working with a lawyer who is well-versed in the traffic laws related to cyclists is of the utmost priority for accurate representation of your case.
Before Hiring a Bicycle Accident Attorney, Ask the Following Questions:
- How long have you practiced personal injury law?
- How many bicycle accident cases have you taken to trial?
- How many bicycle accident cases have you previously handled?
- Are you well-versed in the traffic laws pertaining to cyclists?
- Do you have experience representing victims of bicycle accidents with injuries or sustained medical problems resulting from a crash?
- Do you have the financial resources to go up against large insurance companies?
- Are you the attorney who will be working on my case through trial if necessary?
Navigating the Complexities of a Pedestrian Accident
Auto accidents involving pedestrians often occur when drivers are distracted. One of the biggest culprits being mobile phone usage while behind the wheel. Florida law now requires hands-free cell phone use in all school and work zones in an effort to safeguard pedestrians against the dangers of distracted driving.
Left-hand turns at crosswalks, alcohol use, and unmarked pedestrian crossing areas are other leading causes of these types of accidents – many of which occur in school and work zones. Any individual on foot (including wheelchair or roller skates) is considered a pedestrian under Florida law, and in most cases have the right-of-way.
Matthews Injury Law: Specializing in Pedestrian and Bicycle Accident Cases
The personal injury attorneys at Matthews Injury Law fight for the rights of bicycle and pedestrian accident victims throughout the state of Florida. We have partnered with the families of these victims to provide guidance and obtain the justice they rightfully deserve. And we are passionate not only in our fight for our clients, but also in our fight to create safer crosswalks, sidewalks, and roadways in our communities. Our team is prepared to unrelentingly represent you and your family.
If you or a loved one has fallen victim to a bicycle or pedestrian accident, do not hesitate to contact the relentless attorneys at Matthews Injury Law. Choose a time that fits your schedule and set up a free consultation by clicking here.
Additional Resources on Accidents Involving Bicycles and Pedestrians:
Matthews Injury Law is a proud supporter of the Sidewalk Stompers, a non-profit committed to providing safe crosswalks and sidewalks for kids trying to get to school. Sidewalk Stompers is helping communities stay safe and healthy by increasing the number of student pedestrians and supporting pedestrian safety initiatives.