BICYCLE ACCIDENT LAWYER
INJURED RIDERS COUNT ON OUR FIRM IN MELBOURNE & TITUSVILLE
Most Floridians regard driving a car as a tremendous responsibility due to the inherent safety risks that are involved in getting behind the wheel. However, riding a bike on Florida’s roads exposes cyclists to greater risks. In 2015, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that of all the states in the union, Florida has the highest rate of bicycle accident deaths at 0.57 per 100,000 people, twice as many as the national rate.
In 2013, the state launched an effort to address the urgent issue of bicycle fatalities by implementing a strategy that was centered on the “three e’s:” engineering, education, and enforcement. While designing roads that are more favorable for bicyclists is a long-term solution, short-term efforts include educating drivers on sharing the road with bikes and stepping up enforcement of bans on distracted driving.
THE IMPORTANCE OF REPORTING BIKE ACCIDENTS
For bike riders who are involved in accidents with cars, it is imperative to report the crash to police no matter how small it may seem. Even if the bicyclist does not sense an injury at the time of the accident, he or she may begin to feel pain days later. Bicycle damage may also be discovered upon taking the bike to a shop and having it inspected long after leaving the accident scene.
Filing a report will also document important details, like road conditions, weather, and witness statements in the event that a lawsuit must eventually be filed. In addition to reporting the crash to the police, the bicyclist should also report the accident to his or her automobile insurance company. In Florida, auto insurance policies often cover the insured individual when he or she is injured by another vehicle even when the insured is not actually driving a car at the time of the accident. No fault benefits will typically cover the inured bicyclist’s medical bills and compensate required time away from work. While the insurance company is obligated to explain the nature of the policy’s coverage to the insured, it is best for the inured individual to have his or her Florida personal injury attorney communicate with the insurance company. Similarly, the injured bicyclist should avoid all communication with the driver’s insurance company and refer all correspondence to the attorney.
THINGS TO DO AT THE SCENE
As a bicyclist, there are important steps that should be taken at the scene of a crash, assuming the injured bike rider is able to remain alert. The bicyclist should always listen intently to what the other party says about the crash and how it happened while reserving his or her own comments until the police arrive to take a report. In addition to listening intently while avoiding apologies, accepting blame or the making a statement regarding the cause of the accident, the bike rider should also preserve the condition of his or her bike, helmet, clothing, lighting, and other property to ensure the police will be able to observe the items as they were after the accident took place.
CONTACTING AN ATTORNEY
Even a seemingly minor bike accident can cause a significant injury and require time off work and expensive medical treatment. Therefore, after reporting the accident and receiving any immediate medical treatment that may be necessary, the injured bicyclist should contact a reputable and experienced Melbourne personal injury attorneys. Couture Law P.A. will ask all the pertinent questions to learn more about the accident and the bicyclist’s injuries in addition to helping the injured party determine the next steps to take in protecting his or her rights.