About Our Florida Bike Accident Lawyers
Bicyclists often suffer catastrophic injuries if they are struck by a car or other motor vehicle. At Holliday Karatinos Law Firm, PLLC, our Florida bike accident attorneys are committed to helping bicycle crash victims. We can provide the legal advocacy you need to recover damages for your injuries.
With over 50 years of collective legal experience, our attorneys can bring their significant negotiation and advocacy skills to further your right to compensation. If you were involved in a bike crash, we can help. Contact us today.
Bicycle Accidents in Florida
The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles reported more than 5,000 bike accidents in 2011. According to their data, 120 bicyclists were killed and more than 4,600 bike riders were injured in traffic-related crashes. Like pedestrians, bicyclists are particularly susceptible to serious injuries. Approximately 16 percent of those injured in a bike accident in Florida in 2011 suffered incapacitating injuries.
Preventing Bicycle Accident Injuries
Bicyclists in Florida can take certain measures to avoid a crash or catastrophic injury:
- Use of a helmet. Florida only requires children under the age of 16 to wear a helmet. A helmet may prevent, or limit, traumatic brain injuries.
- Properly working brakes. Bicycles in Florida must meet certain braking ability specifications. Ensuring that your brakes are functioning properly can help you stop and avoid a crash.
- Take care when riding alongside cars. Bicyclists should be particularly careful at intersections or when making turns.
Despite taking proactive measures, a bicyclist may nevertheless fall victim to a motorist who is driving carelessly and causes serious injuries.
Liability in Florida Bike Accidents
If you were hurt in a bike accident, you can sue the party responsible for your injuries. A victim of personal injury has four years from the date of the accident to initiate a claim in Florida. If you can prove liability in your case, you can potentially recover damages from the at-fault parties.
Bicyclists in Florida have the same legal rights and duties as other drivers. Many motor vehicle drivers, however, do not exercise care when sharing the road with a bicyclist. A distracted driver, for example, may not see a bicyclist until he or she actually strikes the victim.
In cases such as these, you can assert your personal injury claim under a legal theory of liability known as negligence. Negligence is a party’s failure to exercise reasonable care. To hold a defendant liable under negligence, you must demonstrate that the defendant had a duty to exercise care; that he or she breached this duty of care; and that the breach caused your injuries.
What if I’m Partly Responsible for the Bicycle Accident?
A defendant in your case may claim that you are partly responsible for your injuries. Like car and truck drivers, bicyclists have a duty to use reasonable care on the road to ensure their own safety and that of others. If, for example, a bicyclist ignores a traffic signal or sign, and is then struck by a vehicle, the driver could argue that the bicyclist is partly at fault.
Contributory negligence, however, does not prevent a bike accident victim from recovering damages. Florida allows an accident victim to seek compensation for his or her injuries irrespective of fault. This means you may still be able to recover damages, but the amount of your recoverable damages will be reduced in proportion to your degree of fault.
Recovering Damages and Compensation
You may be able to recover damages if you were injured in a bike accident. You can seek compensation for your present and future medical bills, loss of income, and property damage. Family members of a victim who died as a result of their accident-related injuries may be able to recover damages through a claim for wrongful death. Recoverable damages can include funeral and burial expenses, loss of future earnings, and loss of companionship.
Contact our Spring Hill Bicycle Accident Attorneys
The North Tampa bike accident lawyers at Holliday Karatinos Law Firm, PLLC offer exceptional legal representation to victims of bicycle collisions. Our attorneys can assess the facts of your case, discuss your rights with you, and help you pursue a claim against those responsible for your injuries.
We are effective negotiators, and will tenaciously fight for your right to compensation either through settlement or at trial. We represent clients in Hillsborough, Pasco, and Hernando Counties, as well as in other neighboring areas. To schedule an appointment with us at no cost, call our office or fill out our online form today.