Orlando Bicycle Accident Lawyer
Many people ride bicycles in and around Orlando, both for recreation or exercise and as an economic and convenient method of transportation. However, statistics indicate that Florida has the highest rate of bicyclist fatalities of any state in the U.S. No matter how cautious a bicyclist may be, bicycle accidents can happen at any moment and can completely change the rest of their lives.
The Orlando bicycle accident lawyers at The Pendas Law Firm have seen firsthand how devastating a bicycle accident can be and how it can disrupt your life. We successfully represent the rights of injured bicyclists, so please call our office today to learn more about how we can help you.
Negligence Can Lead to Bicycle Accidents
In order for an injured bicycle accident victim to recover for their medical bills and other losses, they must demonstrate that their accident occurred because of someone else’s negligence. Negligent acts are easier to identify in some cases than in others, however, proving negligence is essential in a bicycle accident case. Some examples of negligent acts that commonly lead to bicycle accidents include:
- Distracted driving;
- Failure to yield;
- Improper right or left turns;
- Improper passing of a bicyclist;
- Other refusals to share the road;
- Drunk driving;
- Dangerous conditions on the road;
- Defective bicycles.
Different parties may be negligent and may be held liable for injuries in a bicycle accident. SUch parties often include drivers, bicycle manufacturers, and government entities. Your case can vary significantly depending on who was responsible for your accident and you need an lawyer who understands the unique legal questions and procedures that may be at issue in your case.
Injuries Sustained by Bicyclists
Bicyclists often file legal claims against liable parties because the injuries they sustain in accidents can be particularly severe. Bicyclists can have no more protection than a helmet (if they are wearing one) from a collision with a moving vehicle, the ground, or another object. The impact of a collision can result in life-changing injuries that require extensive medical treatment, including:
- Spinal cord injuries;
- Traumatic brain injuries;
- Broken or shattered bones;
- Face or jaw fractures;
- Skull fractures;
- Lacerations and contusions;
- Internal injuries.
These injuries can take a significant amount of time to heal or may even leave you with permanent disabilities.
Fighting the Bias Against Bicyclists
According to the Florida Department of Transportation, cyclists do not break the law any more than motorists do, contrary to popular belief. In fact, they follow the law more often than drivers. Additionally, cyclists are better drivers of motor vehicles than non-cyclists, according to an insurance analysis and Forbes. If cyclists understand and follow the rules better than drivers, why are they so heavily scrutinized, and why do many drivers penalize cyclists merely for being on the road in the first place? After all, under Florida statute 316.2065, bicyclists have “all of the rights and all of the duties applicable to the driver of any other vehicle. . . except as to special regulations.”
While cyclists have many of the same rights to use the road, they are usually not treated as such. As any bicyclist knows, drivers often go out of their way to intimidate cyclists or make them feel unwelcome everywhere from busy surface streets to sleepy country roads. Florida is actually the most dangerous state in which to ride a bike, according to Orlando Weekly, due to aggressive drivers, poor bicycle infrastructure, and a culture of intolerance for those on two wheels. Unfortunately, this culture sometimes, though not always, extends to law enforcement that is tasked with issuing citations and compiling official accident reports. Either due to lack of understanding of bicyclists’ rights, how cyclists maneuver in the real world, or bias against cyclists, law enforcement sometimes gets the story wrong. Our attorneys will dig for the truth, and even if the accident report blames you, the victim, we will still fight for fair financial compensation from the negligent driver.
We Understand What the Law Says Regarding Bicyclists’ Rights, Rules, and Regulations
When choosing an attorney, it is important to work with a lawyer who has a strong understanding of the law. Below are two commonly misunderstood rights that cyclists have in Florida. Often what a motorist believes and what the law says are two separate things:
- Bicyclists are not allowed to ride two abreast—Wrong. Cyclists may ride two abreast but may not “impede traffic when traveling at less than the normal speed of traffic.” It is okay to ride two abreast and go single file when traffic starts to get held up behind. Motorists often honk, buzz, or attempt to squeeze through (and hit a cyclist or cause them to be run off the road) instead of waiting, and cite that the cyclist was in the wrong for riding two abreast.
- Bicyclists must always ride as far right as possible—Wrong. Cyclists may ride in the center of the roadway if they are riding the normal speed of traffic, when overtaking another cyclist or vehicle going in the same direction, when preparing to make a left turn, and when “reasonably necessary to avoid any condition or potential conflict.” This includes potholes, pedestrians, parked cars, gravel, glass, substandard width lanes, and much more.
How a Lawyer can Help You
There are many reasons to call an experienced bicycle accident lawyer as soon as possible after an accident. An lawyer can evaluate whether negligence played a role in your accident and can advise you of your legal rights and options. We can help with any applicable insurance claims and can file a legal claim for personal injury on your behalf when needed. We will seek full compensation for your medical bills, lost income, and any other losses you experienced due to your accident.
Call Our Orlando Bicycle Accident Lawyers for Help Today
If you have been injured in a bicycle accident in Orlando, The Pendas Law Firm is here to help. We have experienced Orlando bicycle accident lawyers who will fight for your rights. Call today for a free consultation.