Clearwater Bicycle Accident Lawyer

How the Dolman Law Group Can Help You With Your Injuries

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 Florida law requires that all drivers must 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 personal injury attorney at the Dolman Law Group without delay.

How the Dolman Law Group Can Help

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.

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 Dolman Law Group.

At the Dolman Law Group, 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. At Dolman Law Group, we aggressively take on insurance companies while treating our clients with compassion and respect. 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.

If your bicycle ride turned tragic due to no fault of your own, contact the Dolman Law Group 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 claim in Florida is four years. 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.

Common Types of Bicycle Accident Injuries

Florida 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 (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 include:

  • Head-skull fractures, traumatic brain injuries or bleeding on the brain
  • Facial-eye injuries, facial and dental fractures
  • Chest injuries including broken ribs and collapsed lungs
  • Spleen rupture, kidney, 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

There is no helmet law in Florida for those over the age of 16. While wearing a helmet is a smart idea, it still not fully protect your head in a crash. Head injuries occur in 22-47 percent of patients who collided with a car. Head injuries also account for more than 60 percent of bicycle-related deaths and for the majority of patients 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. Patients with a severe traumatic brain injury may never return to the person they were before the crash.

Common Causes of Bicycle Accidents

The highest rating factor for bicycle accidents is getting struck by a car. Nearly one-third of all bicycle-related injuries are incurred by a collision between a vehicle and the bicyclist. Contributing factors to drivers striking bicyclists include:

Distracted driving – 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.

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.

Aggressive driving – AAA defines aggressive driving as unsafe and deliberate behavior behind the wheel. Examples of aggressive behavior include:

  • Speeding
  • Running red lights
  • Tailgating

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:

  • Cursing
  • 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. This 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 Dolman Law Group as soon as possible.

Important Steps to Follow After Your Bicycle Accident

If you are struck by a car while riding your bicycle, 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 the Dolman Law Group. Securing legal representation is one of the most important steps to follow soon after your accident.

Wrongful Death

Some bicyclists don’t survive the impact of a crash. 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 Florida 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 wrongful death lawyer.

The statute of limitations for filing such a claim is two years. 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.

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. At the Dolman Law Group, we 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.

Call Our Bicycle Accident Attorneys Today

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 Dolman Law Group as soon as possible. Let us 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.

Pursue justice by reaching out to our legal team soon. Put contacting the Dolman Law Group 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 Dolman Law Group, we take great pride in providing small-firm attentiveness while achieving big-firm results. Gather your evidence and contact us today or call us at 833-552-7274 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.