How Dolman Law Group Can Help You With Your Injuries
Did you get into a bicycle accident in Clearwater? Perhaps someone hit you while you were riding in Prospect Towers or Live Oak Park? Maybe they side-swiped your bike on Druid Road or N. Fort Harrison Avenue. No matter where your bicycle accident occurred, you deserve to have a team of experienced Clearwater bicycle accident lawyers on your side from the start.
A bicycle is no match for a motor vehicle. No matter how much safety gear you use, such as reflective clothing and lights, it only takes a second for a driver's eyes to leave the road. When a crash occurs between a motor vehicle and a bicycle, the vehicle driver will most likely escape unharmed. Airbags and seatbelts help to prevent serious injuries. As a bicyclist, you don't have the same opportunity to escape harm. That's why the laws across the state require all drivers to share the road with bicyclists.
When a driver fails to recognize the rights of a bicyclist, the results are often catastrophic and sometimes deadly. If the driver is criminally charged by law enforcement, a criminal conviction alone won't bring financial restitution to you. If you were seriously injured due to a negligent driver, or you lost a loved one in a bicycle accident, contact a Clearwater bicycle accident lawyer at the Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, without delay.
A Clearwater Bicycle Accident Attorney at Our Firm Will Fight for You
Riding a bicycle on Clearwater's public roads is your right, and no one should experience serious injuries due to a negligent driver. The lack of protection of a bicycle and an inability to escape an impending crash can result in life-changing injuries. Depending upon the severity of your injuries, you may never enjoy a bicycle ride again.
Allow Our Attorneys to Speak to the Insurance Company on Your Behalf
Insurance companies like to settle claims quickly, and this often leads to very aggressive behavior by their representatives. It is important to remember that insurance companies only look out for themselves and not the injured party. They may offer you a settlement soon after the accident. While the amount of money they offer may seem like a lot to you and your family, chances are it will not cover any future medical expenses.
Never speak with any insurance company representatives. No matter how friendly and seemingly caring of an approach they use, you must protect your best interests and contact a bicycle accident lawyer at the Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA.
At the Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, we are well aware of the tactics insurance companies use to avoid paying a claim. Insurance companies are often creative in how they approach personal injury claims, and for that reason, you should never attempt to negotiate with them on your own. Our Clearwater bicycle accident lawyers will aggressively take on insurance companies while treating you with compassion and respect.
We Can Investigate Your Case to Determine Liable Parties
Our legal team can do the footwork and research needed for your case. We can identify the liable parties and pursue compensation on your behalf. You may face an extended hospitalization for your injuries or have the emotional burden of planning a funeral.
In either situation, it is no time to deal with the details surrounding your accident. Our legal team has helped people just like you, and we understand what a difficult time it is for you and your family.
Knowing you have someone on your side can provide you with peace of mind. It also allows you to use your time to focus on your health and recovery.
Our Team Won't Ask for Any Payment Unless We Secure Compensation for You
If your Clearwater bicycle ride turned tragic due to no fault of your own, contact the Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, today. Your financial future is too important to risk on your own or with just any law group.
Let us help you pursue the justice you deserve by scheduling a free case evaluation today. Should we proceed with litigation, we won't stop until we secure fair compensation for you. If we cannot reach a settlement out of court, we are ready and willing to go to trial.
You have nothing to lose, and should we proceed with litigation, there is no fee unless we collect damages for you. But the time for filing a personal injury lawsuit in Clearwater is four years, according to Florida Statutes § 95.11(3)(a). The clock starts ticking the moment you become injured. Reviewing your case, collecting evidence, and interviewing witnesses all take time. The sooner you schedule your free case evaluation, the sooner we can get to work for you.
Our office is conveniently located at 800 N Belcher Rd in Clearwater to better serve you. Our office is just off of NE Coachman Road and Palmetto Street bear Northeast Shopping Center. We offer FREE initial consultations so that you can explore all your legal options carefully. Call us today to begin fighting for the compensation you deserve.
Common Types of Bicycle Accident Injuries in Clearwater
The law defines a bicycle as a vehicle that has all the rights, privileges, and responsibilities on public roads as a motor vehicle operator has. With the exception of expressways, bicyclists can travel along Clearwater's city streets, and vehicle drivers must share the road with them.
While the law requires motorists to share the road with bicyclists, the sad reality is that many drivers do not. The most recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) regarding bicycle accidents include alarming statistics involving injury and death. More than 1,000 bicyclists died, and there were approximately 467,000 bicycle-related injuries throughout the United States in one year alone. The most common types of bicycle accident injuries in Clearwater include:
- Head-skull fractures, traumatic brain injuries (TBI), or bleeding on the brain
- Facial-eye injuries and facial and dental fractures
- Chest injuries, including broken ribs and collapsed lungs
- Spleen rupture, kidney injuries, and other internal organ damage
- Musculoskeletal-strains and dislocations
- Skin-soft tissue injuries and abrasions such as road rash
- Broken bones in the legs or arms
Head Injuries Are Among the Most Fatal Bicycle Accident Injuries
There is no helmet law in the state for those over the age of 16. While wearing a helmet is a smart idea, it will not fully protect your head in a crash involving a motor vehicle. Head injuries occur in 22-47 percent of patients who collide with a car. Head injuries also account for more than 60 percent of bicycle-related deaths and for the majority of Clearwater bicyclists suffering a long-term form of disability.
Whether you choose to wear a helmet or not, a serious head injury can result in a lifetime of medical expenses. Ongoing therapies, costly medications, and in-home care can result in thousands of dollars every month. Clearwater bicyclists with a severe traumatic brain injury may never return to the person they were before the crash.
Neck, back, and spinal cord injuries are also possible in these collisions. While they do not occur as commonly as traumatic brain injuries or other head trauma, they can have similar catastrophic effects. A back or neck injury with spinal cord involvement can cause partial or full paralysis below the level of the injury. Some riders with these injuries require around-the-clock care for the rest of their lives.
Common Causes of Bicycle Accidents in Clearwater
The highest rating factor for bicycle accidents in Clearwater is getting struck by a car. Nearly one-third of all bicycle-related injuries are incurred by a collision between a vehicle and a bicyclist. This accident often occurs because of a careless or reckless motorist behind the wheel. Contributing factors to drivers striking bicyclists include:
The CDC defines distracted driving as any action behind the wheel that does one or more of the following:
- Takes your eyes off the road
- Takes your hands off the wheel
- Takes your mind off driving
Texting involves all three behaviors. According to the AAA, people who text while driving are up to eight times more likely to be involved in a crash. Other behaviors that cause distracted driving are reaching for items, programming navigational devices, or applying makeup. One of the leading distractions in a moving vehicle is other people. Children in the backseat or passengers can also cause distractions for drivers.
Driving Under the Influence
Public safety campaigns have long instilled the dangers of drinking and driving. Despite efforts to prevent drunk driving accidents, people continue to take chances behind the wheel. A night out with friends can turn tragic for a bicyclist when the driver loses control of their vehicle.
Alcohol impairs judgment, vision, and reaction time. Drivers who drive under the influence of drugs also place bicyclists at risk of experiencing serious injuries. This is not only limited to illicit substances. Marijuana, prescription medications, and over-the-counter treatments could also cause impairment under some circumstances.
The AAA defines aggressive driving as unsafe and deliberate behavior behind the wheel. Examples of aggressive behavior include:
This type of driving can quickly escalate into road rage. When a driver is angry or in a hurry, they may exhibit the following behaviors:
- Throwing items
- Sideswiping a bicyclist
- Deliberately running a bicyclist off the road
A survey by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that nearly 80 percent of drivers admitted to some form of aggressive driving within the past year. There is little you can do to escape the actions of an aggressive driver while riding your bicycle. If a driver throws an item at you, there is no protection to prevent it from striking you, unlike the same protection afforded another passenger vehicle.
Aggressive driving is dangerous and continues to plague city streets and major roadways as people become less patient with other travelers. Their impatience is not your problem. You have a right to bicycle safely, whether as a form of commuting, recreation, or exercise. If someone violated your rights and purposely ran you off the road, contact the Clearwater bicycle accident lawyers at Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, as soon as possible.
Proving Your Clearwater Bicycle Accident Claim
While bicyclists must follow rules of the road, such as following all traffic signals and stop signs, there are additional protections for them built into the law. Drivers must exercise additional caution when sharing the road with cyclists, ensuring they can pass with plenty of room, allowing them to take the full lane when needed, and respecting bike lanes.
Because of these rules, drivers are often at fault in car versus bike collisions. In these cases, the bicyclist has a right to hold the careless or reckless driver legally responsible for their injuries, expenses, and intangible damages. This action is possible by filing an insurance claim based on their auto liability coverage or suing the driver in civil court.
Before either of those can happen, though, the cyclist must develop strong support for their allegations of wrongdoing and fault. This task generally requires proving negligence occurred. Our attorneys can help with this process, gathering evidence to prove:
- The driver owed the cyclist a duty of care, such as leaving three feet when passing.
- The driver failed to do so, cutting too close to the cyclist.
- The car caused an accident and struck the bicyclist.
- The cyclist suffered harm as a result, likely physical, financial, and intangible injuries.
Important Steps to Follow After Your Bicycle Accident in Clearwater
If you are struck by a car while riding your bicycle anywhere in Clearwater, call 911 immediately—even if you don't think you are injured. You may have an internal injury that isn't showing any signs or symptoms. Collect evidence by taking pictures or video of the scene. If you are too injured to do this, ask a bystander to help gather the information. In the event of a hit-and-run, try to capture a picture of the car and its license plate. Ask for the contact information for any possible witnesses.
Do not admit that it was your fault; however, do provide a statement to the police. An official police report can serve as valuable evidence should you pursue a personal injury claim. Next, schedule a free case evaluation with Clearwater bicycle accident attorneys at Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA. Securing legal representation is one of the most important steps to follow soon after your accident.
If a Bicycle Accident Leads to Someone's Wrongful Death
Some bicyclists don't survive the impact of a crash. Others pass away later at the hospital or from related complications. Unfortunately, bicycle versus car collisions can quickly turn into a fatal accident.
This tragic loss for your family can result in not only the loss of companionship but the loss of income and support as well. When this occurs, you have a right under state law to file a wrongful death claim. The law is very specific as to who may file a claim on behalf of the decedent and their estate. Navigating a wrongful death claim is best left to an experienced Clearwater bicycle accident lawyer.
The statute of limitations for filing such a case is generally two years under Florida Statutes § 95.11(4)(d). While this may seem like a long time, 24 months can pass very quickly when you are grieving. Once the statute of limitations expires, the opportunity for pursuing possible compensation is lost.
Forms of Compensation You Can Recover in a Wrongful Death Case
While no amount of money can ever replace your loved one, it can help to ease your financial burden. Depending upon your case, you may be entitled to compensation for the decedent's final medical expenses, funeral and burial costs, loss of income, and loss of companionship.
Our Clearwater bicycle accident lawyers understand the stress, sadness, and anger you feel over a preventable death. If you lost a loved one due to a bicycle crash that was not their fault, contact us today to schedule a free case evaluation.
Having Our Clearwater Bicycle Accident Attorneys Represent You
Sharing the road isn't an option; it's a mandate. No one has the right to bully you or place you at risk for serious injuries. If this happened to you and you suffered a catastrophic injury while riding your bicycle, contact the Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, as soon as possible. Let our Clearwater bicycle accident lawyers get to work reviewing your case.
A negligent driver must be held accountable for their actions. No one should pay out-of-pocket for injuries caused by an aggressive or careless driver who failed to share the road. While each case is different, you may be entitled to financial compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Your bicycle ride should not result in physical, financial, and emotional stress due to a negligent driver.
Contact a Clearwater Bike Accident Injury Lawyer Today
Pursue justice by reaching out to our legal team soon. Put contacting our Clearwater bicycle accident attorneys at the top of your to-do list, then let us handle the rest. The clock is ticking for the statute of limitations. Don't miss your chance at possible justice. You deserve quality medical care, and in the event of death, fair compensation for the loss of your loved one.
At the Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, we take great pride in providing small-firm attentiveness while achieving big-firm results. Allow our team to help you gather your evidence, and contact us today or call us at (727) 451-6900 for a free case evaluation. We work passionately to secure the best possible outcome for our clients: Let us help you by reaching out today.
Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA
800 N Belcher Rd
Clearwater, FL 33765
Phone: (727) 451-6900