Bicycle Accidents in Florida: What You Need to Know
Cycling is a fun pastime, an inexpensive transportation option, and a great way to get exercise. Unfortunately riding a bicycle can be dangerous and result in accidents either through colliding with an object, another bicycle, or a car. In fact, Florida has the highest rates of bicycle deaths in the nation. If you are in an accident while riding your bike there are some things that you need to know.
Before the Accident
Before you even get on your bike you need to be prepare for the possibility of an accident. You should always wear a helmet and other protective safety equipment. You also need to be aware of and follow the traffic rules for bicycles. The traffic rules for bicycles are the same as they are for a car, therefore all stop signs, lights, and other signals must be obeyed. Cyclists are able to ride on the sidewalk if there is not a municipal law prohibiting it. The other main difference is that cyclists are able to make choices in the interest of safety that would ordinarily violate some of the traffic laws.
After the Accident
- Get Medical Attention – Of course the first thing that you should do is seek prompt medical attention if you are injured. Even an injury that seems relatively minor may not be, especially if a head or spinal injury is involved.
- Report the Accident – Florida law requires that any bicycle accident where there are personal injuries or damages over $500 must be reported to the police. Even if you do not believe the damages are in excess of $500 you should still report the accident because that is the best way to preserve your rights. You also may have injuries that are not immediately apparent.
- Talk to the Police – When the police come it is important that you talk to them. Try to hear what the other party is saying if you can, but remember to stay calm and report the accident from your perspective.
- Collect Evidence – Make sure to keep your bicycle, helmet, clothing, and any other things from the accident that may be used as evidence. Do not wash or repair anything and take pictures of your injuries and any damage. Also make sure to keep copies of your medical records and record any medical information given to you by your doctors. You may also want to keep a record of any new symptoms of the injury. Your qualified bicycle accident attorney can specifically tell you what you need.
- Report to Your Insurance Company – Whether it was your fault or not, you should report the accident to your car insurance as you may have some kind of coverage from your policy.
Clearwater Bicycle Accident Attorney
If you are injured in a bicycle accident it is important that you contact a skilled bicycle accident attorney as soon as possible. Our experienced bicycle accident attorneys at Roman & Roman in Clearwater, Florida, can help you with any claims stemming from your bicycle accident.