Miami and Florida Bicycle Accidents
There are many advantages to riding a bicycle. Cycling is a wonderful form of exercise, especially in the gorgeous Florida weather. A bicycle does not require gas or any of the other expenses of a motor vehicle. Other than the occasional new tire or simple repair, a bicycle is basically maintenance-free. A bicycle can last decades if it is properly taken care of. Bicycles are great whether ridden alone or with family and friends.
All that being said, a bicycle can be extremely dangerous, primarily because the rider is completely exposed, unprotected and vulnerable. A bicycle helmet may help in a minor accident but it often does not provide adequate protection in a serious crash. Bicyclists are often at the mercy of inattentive motorists and defective roads.
When a bicycle accident is caused by the negligence of another driver, or by the actions of a third party, or as a result of an improperly maintained, dangerous road, and injuries result, the injured victim may pursue compensation in a personal injury lawsuit. When a fatality occurs, the heirs of the deceased party may pursue compensation in a wrongful death proceeding.
Bicycle Accident Statistics
Unfortunately, in the US there are thousands of bicycle-related injuries every year, and hundreds of deaths. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s most current data, 2015 Motor Vehicle Crashes: Overview, reveals the following:
- 818 – bicycle deaths in 2015
- 729 – bicycle deaths in 2014
- 12.2% - overall bicycle fatality increase from 2014 to 2015
- 45,000 – bicycle injuries in 2015
- 50,000 – bicycle injuries in 2014
Many accidents are caused by drunk or drugged motorists who lose control of their vehicles.
Common Causes of Bicycle Accidents - Examples
There are numerous causes of bicycle accidents, including the following:
- Human error by motorists and bicyclists is the primary cause of bicycle accidents.
- Many accidents occur at intersections when oncoming vehicles turn without advanced notice and cut off the bicyclist.
- Defective roads cause or contribute to many accidents. Potholes are especially dangerous.
- Road debris often causes the cyclist to lose control of the bicycle.
- Motor vehicles strike bicyclists from the rear. The impact often causes severe injuries or death.
- Parked vehicles suddenly open their door, causing bicyclists to crash into them. This is particularly common with taxis and delivery trucks.
- Child riding a bicycle recklessly or in a distracted manner, or too fast.
- Motorists and bicyclists collide as a result of motorist turning into the path of the bicyclist.
Injuries Resulting from Bicycle Accidents
Because the bicyclist’s body is completely exposed and unprotected, a crash with a motor vehicle can result in severe injuries or death. Traumatic brain injuries readily occur with or without a helmet because the brain is jolted inside the skull, striking the inner skull wall. Fractures of all the extremities are common, as are injuries to the arms, legs, knees, feet, elbows and hands. Skin is often torn from the body. Internal organs are often severely injured from impact. Bicycle crashes frequently result in multiple injuries, often to the head and other bodily parts. Spine and neck injuries can result in partial or full paralysis. Practically any and every injury is possible in a bicycle accident.
Pursuing Maximum Compensation for Your Injuries
If your bicycle accident was caused by another’s negligence, it is your right to pursue compensatory damages for past and future medical expenses, past and future lost earnings, pain and suffering, property damage and more.
It is crucial to understand that even if your case appears rock-solid, it does not mean that the insurance company will just hand the desired amount of money over to you. Insurance companies offer the lowest amount of compensation possible. Many injured victims simply do not understand that they are often in a position to pursue and receive a much greater amount than the insurance company may offer. It is inadvisable to accept the insurance company’s offer without consulting with your attorney.
You can reach Miami Personal Injury Lawyer J.P. Gonzalez-Sirgo by dialing his direct number at (786) 272-5841, calling the main office at (305) 461-1095, or Toll Free at 1 (866) 71-CLAIM or email J.P. directly at [email protected].