Kissimmee Bicycle Accident Lawyer
Year after year, Florida leads the nation as the state with the highest or second-highest number of bicyclist fatalities. Tragically, the state sees over 6,000 injuries and more than a hundred deaths annually. Osceola County, over a recent three-year period, averaged 94 crashes resulting in 90 injuries and three deaths. Cycling is a great form of exercise, an enjoyable recreational activity, and an efficient and environmentally friendly way to get around town. However, bicycles have to share the road with cars and trucks weighing thousands of pounds and traveling at double or triple the speed of a bicycle. Bicycles are less visible than other vehicles on the road, and cyclists are largely unprotected in the event of a crash. For these reasons, bicycle riders are far more likely to be severely injured or killed in a collision than victims of accidents involving only motor vehicles.
Injured cyclists and their families need a considerable amount of financial support to help them cover medical expenses, lost wages and pain and suffering after a crash. Unfortunately, bicycle riders often find it difficult to prove the other driver’s negligence and recover a full amount of compensation when negligent drivers and their insurance companies try to paint the rider as also negligent, reckless or inattentive. The Kissimmee bicycle accident lawyers at Draper Law Office have decades of experience helping injury victims in Osceola County recover the compensation that is due to them. We understand how to investigate the facts of a bicycle crash, identify the responsible parties, and hold them accountable by preparing and presenting a solid case that proves their negligence and liability. If you’ve been hurt in a bicycle accident in Kissimmee, Davenport, or Celebration, or if you’ve tragically lost a loved one in a bicycle crash with a motor vehicle, call our office to discuss your case and find out how we can help you.
Why Do Bicycle Accidents Happen?
The same negligent behaviors that cause accidents between motor vehicles – speeding, distracted driving, drunk driving – are also responsible for a significant number of collisions with bicycles. Even without actually striking the cyclist, negligent or reckless driving can force a rider off the road, causing them to crash their bike into the road or a fixed object. Some of the negligent driving behaviors that are especially dangerous to bicyclists include:
- Running a stop sign
- Trying to beat a red light
- Opening a car door into the path of an oncoming cyclist
- Coming out of a driveway or alley without scanning for an oncoming bike
- Failing to signal before making a turn or lane change
- Failing to check blind spots
What Florida Laws Apply to Bicycle Riding?
Although they are not motor vehicles, bicycles are still considered vehicles when it comes to Florida traffic laws. Bicyclists must obey all state and local traffic laws and rules of the road, except for any laws or rules which clearly would not apply to bicycles. Specifically, bicycle riders are required to ride in the direction of traffic (traveling on the right-hand side of the road), obey all traffic lights, use turn lanes when turning, signal turns and lane changes in advance of the maneuver, and yield the right-of-way to pedestrians in crosswalks.
Bicycle riders must also comply with traffic safety laws explicitly written for bicycles. These include the following:
- Ride with a white headlamp on at night
- Ride with red rear reflectors on the bike during the day
- Use a bike lane if one is available
- Where there is no bike lane, ride as far to the right as practicable, except that cyclists can take up the whole lane to turn left, pass a slower-moving car or bike, or if necessary for safe riding, such as avoiding a pedestrian, an object in the road, a pothole, etc.
Motor vehicle drivers must also follow specific laws when it comes to interacting with bicycles on the road. Drivers cannot pass bicycles in an unsafe manner or drive recklessly around them. Unsafe maneuvers might include passing a bicycle in a road construction zone or no-passing zone or whipping around a bicycle and then rapidly slowing down once in front of the bike. Drivers also must give at least three feet of space when passing a bicycle. Keep in mind that this “three feet for safety” law allows passing only at a “safe distance”; three feet is a minimum distance, and more space might be required to pass safely, given the conditions of the road, traffic and other factors.
How Do Bicycle Accident Claims Work?
Bicycle accident claims operate very similar to car accident claims. Unlike motorcycles, which don’t have Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage, an injured bicyclist can make a no-fault claim and recover 80% of medical benefits and 60% of lost wages. To access no-fault benefits, the rider or other household member would need to have a covered vehicle. If the rider suffers a permanent injury as defined in Florida law, the rider can also sue the at-fault driver for negligence. If successful, the rider can recover the full amount of medical bills and lost income, as well as compensation for pain and suffering. It’s necessary to be represented by a skilled and experienced personal injury attorney in these cases for the best chance at a full and fair recovery from the negligent driver or their insurance company.
At Draper Law Office, our focus is on helping injury victims recover the maximum compensation available when they have been seriously injured in a bicycle accident or other motor vehicle accident. Our approach includes keeping our clients informed and updated at all times and always making ourselves available to answer questions, give advice and help with whatever needs arise. Our lawyers have many years of experience dealing with insurance companies in Osceola County personal injury matters; we know the ropes and have the skills needed to get a successful result.
Get Immediate Help After a Bicycle Accident in Kissimmee or Osceola County
If you or a loved one has been hurt in a bicycle accident in Osceola County, call the skilled, experienced and dedicated Kissimmee bicycle lawyers at Draper Law Office for a free consultation, and let us help you get the compensation you need and deserve.