Biking provides an excellent opportunity to enjoy Florida’s beautiful weather while exercising and doing your part for the environment. Bike accidents, however, are some of the most dangerous traffic accidents on our roads, and the recovery process tends to be both protracted and challenging.
If a bike accident that was caused by someone else’s negligence leaves you injured, consult with an experienced Plantation bicycle accident attorney today.
Driver Negligence and Bike Accidents
The immense size differential between your bike and the other vehicles on the road helps ensure that even a relatively mild bike accident can prove exceptionally dangerous, making the primary forms of driver negligence much more dangerous.
Distractions take motorists’ thoughts and eyes off the road, and as such, it doesn’t take a lot of distraction for a driver to miss a bicyclist in their midst. When a motorist has their attention trained on a text, it adds up to a lot of distraction, which puts any nearby bicyclists at immense risk.
When a driver is impaired by alcohol or drugs, they can experience decreased inhibitions and impulse control along with physical and cognitive impairments that translate to handling their vehicles less safely, which puts bicyclists at elevated risk.
Exhausted drivers can suffer many of the same deficits that drunk drivers do, which makes them dangerous drivers who are more likely to cause bike accidents.
Elevated speed sets the stage for traffic accidents of every kind, including bike accidents, and it also increases the likelihood that any resulting crashes will be fatal.
It does not take a significant error on the part of a motorist for a bicyclist to be seriously injured. Proceeding with extreme caution is always the best policy when you’re on your bike.
When You’re on Your Bike
When you’re on your bike, you’re exceptionally vulnerable to accidents and injuries for all the following primary reasons:
- You have nothing to protect from the immense impact of an impending accident other than your bike helmet.
- While you join traffic on the road, you lack the power to keep up or to get out of the way when necessary.
- You are more difficult to see, which makes it easier for motorists to lose track of you.
- Bad weather, poorly maintained roads, and other adverse factors are more significant when you’re on your bike – due to its size, weight, and the fact that you travel on only two narrow tires.
- You are not only vulnerable to moving traffic but also to dooring accidents involving parked cars when you travel in the bike lane.
While you are more susceptible to the risks of the road when you’re on your bike, this does not mitigate the responsibility that other motorists have to your safety.
Bike Accident Statistics
In the United States, every year, about 1,000 bicyclists are killed in traffic accidents, and another 130,000 are injured – according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) shares more sobering bike accident statistics, including:
- About two percent of all traffic fatalities each year are bicyclists.
- The rate of bike fatalities for those over the age of 20 has nearly quadrupled since 1975.
- While bike accidents can lead to nearly any kind of injury, those accidents that prove fatal often involve traumatic brain injuries (TBIs).
- In 2020, 932 bicyclists were killed in the U.S., a 9 percent increase over 2019.
- Since 2010, bike fatalities have increased by 50 percent.
Bike Accidents and Legal Damages
If you’re injured in a bike accident that was caused by a motorist’s negligence, seeking compensation for your losses – called legal damages – is the surest way to support your most complete recovery. In your bike accident claim, you’ll seek compensation for every covered category of loss you experience, which can include all the following:
- Property damage to your bike itself
- Your medical bills – both current and future
- Your lost income, which may include lost earning potential into the future
- Your physical and psychological pain and suffering
A dedicated bicycle accident lawyer will skillfully gather and compile the documentation necessary to clearly demonstrate the losses you’ve experienced in their entirety.
The Insurance Company Handling Your Claim
You’ll likely file your bike accident claim with the at-fault driver’s car insurance provider, which is paid specifically to cover incidents like these. The insurance company, however, is in the business of turning high profits and will do what it can to keep your settlement low. Common strategies include:
- Denying claims in the hope that claimants will fail to continue pursuing the matter
- Offering early settlements that fall short of covering complete losses but that claimants are desperate enough to accept
- Dragging out or complicating the settlement process to the point that claimants lose hope.
- Attempting to shift fault in the bike accident toward the bicyclist and away from their policyholder
- Attempting to deny the extent of the victim’s damages
The claim’s process is already challenging and often lengthy, and any of the above tactics can make it that much more so. It’s important to recognize, however, that the compensation you receive will ultimately be determined by the law – not by the insurance company’s whims – which makes it in your best interest to have a trusted bike accident firm on your side.
Discuss Your Claim With a Plantation Bicycle Accident Lawyer
Scarfone Auto Accident and Personal Injury Attorneys in Plantation, Florida, has a dedicated bicycle accident lawyer ready to help your case. Rocco Scarfone is well prepared to advocate for your claim’s best possible resolution. Because your most complete recovery is key, our loyal legal team is fully committed to fight for your legal rights and best interests from the outset.