Bicycle Safety

Tuesday,May 03, 2011

What You Need to Know if Injured on your Bike

As the coldest winter in 30 years (finally) comes to an end in Central Florida, drivers need to remember that the number of recreational cyclists on the road is about to jump.

Our experienced bicycle accident attorneys are aware that federal statistics show Florida consistently has more bicycle accident deaths than any other state— approximately 120 per year. Many more cyclists are severely injured in the more than 4,000 auto-bike crashes reported by law enforcement annually here.

The two most common causes of serious bicycle accidents, says the Florida Highway Patrol, are when drivers open doors in front of cyclists and when drivers fail to yield to a cyclist when making a left or right turn.

As often as not, police report accidents in which bicyclists are severely injured are not the fault of the rider. That means the rider may be able to successfully bring legal action and obtain compensation from the driver of a car or truck, and the driver’s employer if it is a commercial vehicle.

If you are seriously injured in a bicycle accident and the driver of a motor vehicle apparently did not cause your crash that does not mean the accident was your fault. You should investigate if your bicycle failed you— defective chains, failed bolts, faulty brake systems, poor aluminum welding of the frame, wheel or tire tube failure, improper repair or maintenance by a bike shop cause more accidents than most cyclists imagine. You may have a product liability claim.

Remember the following if you are in a serious cycling accident:
After a crash in which you are injured make sure a police report is made. If you are taken by ambulance from the accident scene and do not talk to the police, make sure you obtain a copy of the police report and correct any errors. Better yet, quickly contact a bicycle accident lawyer to see how best to proceed.

For sure: do not take your bike in for repair! Keep the bike in the same condition it was after the accident until you have it examined by an experienced bicycle injury attorney. Spring and bicycle-auto crashes are as old as modern transportation itself. According to the US Department of Transportation the first automobile crash in the United States occurred in New York City in spring 1896, when a motor vehicle collided with a bicyclist.

- Accidents resulting in
injuries in 2010

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