In a college town with year-round mild weather, such as Tallahassee, bicycling is a popular mode of transportation. Unfortunately, narrow roadways, congestion, and risky driving practices by the operators of passenger and commercial vehicles place bicyclists at risk of becoming injured or even killed in traffic-related collisions.
If you have been injured or have lost a loved one in a bicycle accident, a Tallahassee bicycle accident attorney from Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA can help. They can assist you in understanding the process of seeking compensation for the expenses and impacts you incurred due to your injury during a free case evaluation. We have helped the injured throughout Florida obtain the compensation they need after being injured due to someone else’s negligence.
Table of Contents
- Common Causes of Bicycle Accidents in Tallahassee
- Who Is Most Likely to Become Injured in Bicycle Accidents?
- Types of Injuries Sustained in Tallahassee Bicycle Accidents
- What to Do After a Tallahassee Bicycle Accident
- Contact a Tallahassee Bicycle Accident Lawyer Today
- Tallahassee Bicycle Accident FAQs
Common Causes of Bicycle Accidents in Tallahassee
The warm weather has consistently driven larger numbers of bicyclists to the roadways in Florida than in other states. However, according to AAA surveys, Florida also has the most fatal bicycle accidents in the nation. Many of these accidents result from human error, which the driver often makes in a passenger car or commercial vehicle.
Some of the most common places for traffic accidents to occur in Tallahassee—primarily due to speed, inattention, and congestion—include:
- Orange Avenue and Springhill Road
- Monroe Street and Orange Avenue
- Capital Circle and W. Tennessee Street
- Ocala Road and W. Tennessee Street
- Capital Circle and Apalachee Parkway
The city government of Tallahassee has been working on creating safer spaces for cyclists to ride and has developed a map of bike routes around the city that are rated based on how comfortable the rider is with certain conditions.
- High comfort roadways are generally one lane in either direction and feature a reduced speed limit.
- Medium comfort roadways feature higher speeds and more traffic, and cyclists are encouraged to prepare themselves for interactions with other roadway users.
- Low comfort routes are multi-lane or median-separated roadways with higher traffic volumes and speed limits.
- Very low comfort roadways are multi-lane roads with speeds of more than 40 miles per hour.
Here is a look at the common driver behaviors that can result in a bicycle accident.
Failure to Yield the Right-of-Way
The most commonly reported factor leading to a bicycle accident is the failure of a driver to yield the right-of-way to a bicyclist at an intersection, which is a factor in 38 percent of all bicycle fatalities in Florida. This often results from a lack of driver understanding of bicycle laws. However, other risky driving behaviors such as distracted, impaired, or aggressive driving can also lead to a bicycle accident involving a failure to yield.
Failing to ensure that non-marked intersections are clear before completing a turn is one common mistake many drivers make. Florida law considers all four sides of every intersection crosswalks, even if they are not marked, and drivers must yield to bicycles in the crosswalk.
Tallahassee Bicycle Accident Lawyer Near Me 833-552-7274
A driver distraction is anything that:
- Causes the driver to take their eyes away from watching the road
- Causes the driver to take one or both hands off the steering wheel
- Causes the driver’s thoughts to stray from the task of safe driving
A particularly concerning type of distracted driving is texting and driving, which features all three distractions and can result in a driver traveling the length of a football field while reading or replying to a text without looking at the road. There is plenty of space for the texting driver to encounter a bicyclist on the roadway they did not anticipate. Bicycle accidents are commonly the result of a distracted driver drifting into a bicycle lane.
Like government officials in other states, Florida lawmakers attempted to reduce the number of accidents involving distracted drivers in recent years by passing the Hands-Free Law. This law prohibits motorists from using handheld devices such as cell phones while traveling through a school or work zone.
For a free legal consultation with a bicycle accidents lawyer serving Tallahassee, call 833-552-7274
A speeding vehicle poses several hazards for Tallahassee bicyclists, including:
- A reduction in the time the driver has to see a bicyclist in their path and respond by braking
- An increase in the distance the vehicle will travel after the brakes have been depressed
- Difficulty for bicyclists and other roadway users to judge a safe gap in traffic in which to turn or cross an intersection
- Increased crash severity due to the additional force created by the speed
Tallahassee is the drunkest city in Florida, according to 24/7 Wall Street. The study reveals that one of every five adults in the city binge drinks. Nearly one-third of all fatal traffic-related crashes feature an alcohol-impaired driver.
For bicyclists and motorists, alcohol impairment creates profound deficits in the skills needed to navigate Tallahassee’s city streets safely.
These deficits include:
- Loss of the ability to track a moving target, judge speed, or detect when a traffic signal has changed.
- Difficulty determining a safe gap in traffic in which to enter a roadway.
- Difficulty maintaining speed or lane position.
- Difficulty performing more than one task at a time.
- Loss of the ability to make good decisions.
Most people can think of a time when they were so tired that they had difficulty keeping their eyes open and focusing on safe driving. Unfortunately, for many night shift workers and truck drivers, this frequently happens, as they drive during late-night hours when the body feels an instinctive need to sleep.
Fatigued driving produces deficits similar to those presented by alcohol-impaired driving, including difficulty focusing on driving safely, controlling the vehicle, and having an adequate response in emergencies such as when a bicyclist unexpectedly enters the driver’s path.
Failure to See the Bicyclist
Bicycles feature a smaller, slimmer frame than other vehicle types and often have fewer lights. Drivers often have difficulty seeing them, particularly at night and on poorly lit streets. Aside from fewer lights and a smaller frame, drivers also often fail to see bicyclists on the road due to inattentional blindness.
This is not a medical condition but rather the usual way the brain processes a chaotic environment such as a busy intersection, focusing on the biggest hazards. Smaller, unexpected things, such as a bicycle crossing the roadway, often do not register with the driver’s brain, even if they have looked right at the bicyclist before pulling out.
It is worth noting that even though inattentional blindness is a normal phenomenon, drivers are still liable for accidents that result from failing to ensure that a lane is clear before entering it or crossing it.
Failure to Provide a Safe Space Between the Bicycle and Other Vehicles
In Florida, drivers must provide at least three feet between their vehicle and a bicycle as they are overtaking it on the roadway. Unfortunately, many roads around Tallahassee do not have bike lanes that buffer between cyclists and other types of traffic. Many drivers are unaware that this space is required.
Failure to Check Blind Spots
A blind spot is an area around the vehicle that the driver cannot see by looking in their rear or side-view mirrors and must turn their heads and look over their shoulder before turning or changing lanes to ensure the area is clear. All cars have a blind spot; the longer and taller the vehicle is, the larger the blind spot used to be.
Bicyclists are often injured when motorists attempt to make a right turn without first ensuring that no bikes are traveling in the bike lane next to the vehicle. Bicyclists can also be struck in non-intersection areas if a driver attempts to change lanes without looking.
Dooring is a dangerous phenomenon for motorcyclists and bicyclists in Tallahassee that occurs when the occupant of a vehicle parked on the roadside opens their door into the cyclist’s path. This causes the rider to collide with the door or swerve into an adjacent lane.
Who Is Most Likely to Become Injured in Bicycle Accidents?
For many years, children using their bicycles to ride to school sustained the most bicycle accident injuries. However, more adults use bikes to exercise and as a primary form of transportation.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly 1,000 bicyclists die across the nation each year, and bicycle accidents injure another 130,000.
These deaths and injuries span all age groups, but certain groups are more likely to suffer injuries or die.
- Adults between 55 to 69 have any group’s highest bicycle accident death rate.
- Adolescents and young adults have the highest rate of bicycle accident injuries.
- Male bicyclists are six times more likely to die and five times more likely to become injured in a bicycle accident.
- Bicycle fatalities are more likely to occur in urban areas where riders are close to fast-moving traffic and risky driving behaviors.
The Types of Injuries Sustained in Tallahassee Bicycle Accidents
Bicyclists are considered vulnerable roadway users. They have the same rights and responsibilities as other roadway users, but the bicycle is much smaller than other vehicles and lacks safety features such as a seat belt, airbags, or a steel frame that would protect the rider’s body from injury in an accident. Because of this, the injuries sustained in Tallahassee bicycle accidents are often severe or even catastrophic.
A catastrophic injury has a high likelihood of permanent disabilities that will impair the sufferer’s ability to earn an income simply due to the part of the body where it occurs.
A traumatic brain injury is the most common catastrophic injury associated with bicycle accidents. This injury can result in permanent disabilities such as memory loss, difficulty understanding verbal communication, the inability to move in a balanced or coordinated manner, or difficulty controlling one’s emotions, behaviors, or impulses. Spinal cord injuries are also considered catastrophic due to the likelihood of partial or complete paralysis.
Other catastrophic injuries resulting from a Tallahassee bicycle accident include traumatic limb amputations and injuries resulting in the loss of hearing or sight.
Other injuries commonly experienced in bicycle accidents include:
- Road rash is a deep skin abrasion caused by contact between the skin and a rough surface, such as an asphalt road.
- Broken bones in the lower extremities
- Broken bones in the arms, wrists, and hands result from the rider attempting to catch themselves when falling as a collision occurs.
- Soft tissue injuries, including damage to the cartilage and ligaments in the knee
- Internal injuries can result in organ damage or dangerous internal blood loss.
What to Do After a Tallahassee Bicycle Accident
One of the most important things to do after you a Tallahassee bicycle accident injured you is to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney to seek compensation.
Florida claimants don’t always know whether they should seek coverage of their expenses through their personal injury protection insurance policy or how to deal with a hit-and-run accident.
Contact a Tallahassee Bicycle Accident Lawyer Today
After your case, your attorney will receive your compensation and deposit it into a trust fund. The attorney will satisfy medical liens placed on the claim and deduct a percentage of the award for payment. If you should lose the case, you owe nothing for our legal services.
Bicycle accidents are complex, and so is the process of obtaining compensation after one injures you. Let us give you the peace of mind of having a compassionate and aggressive legal team on your side as you fight for the compensation you deserve. For your free case evaluation, contact us online or by calling (866) 467-0943.
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What is the process involved in seeking compensation after a Tallahassee bicycle accident?
Individuals who have suffered injuries due to a bicycle accident caused by someone else can seek compensation for the monetary expenses of their injury and the pain and suffering they have endured through the personal injury claims process.
This process generally involves:
- A claim against the provider of the at-fault party’s liability insurance policy.
- The insurer can either pay the claim, deny it, or offer to settle the claim for less than its stated value.
- If the insurer does not offer to fairly compensate you, you can file a lawsuit.
- A judge or jury will hear the case and determine liability and damages if a settlement does not come before the trial.
- After receiving a settlement agreement or a court decision, the individual’s attorney will collect the compensation and satisfy any medical liens placed on the proceeds.
Will my PIP policy cover injuries I sustained in a bicycle accident?
In many cases, the personal injury protection (PIP) insurance policy you were required to purchase to register your car in Florida will also cover you or members of your household that a bicycle accident injured.
Your PIP policy covers :
- Eighty percent of the medical costs associated with treating the injuries you incurred in the accident, up to the policy limits. The minimum personal injury protection coverage drivers in Florida must obtain is $10,000.
- Sixty percent of wage loss is associated with being too injured to work, up to the policy’s limits.
- A death benefit of up to $5,000 if an insured person dies due to a bicycle accident in Tallahassee.
Who can I hold liable for a Tallahassee bicycle accident?
Liability refers to the legal responsibility that someone has to compensate others harmed due to their negligence. Most often, the liable party is a negligent driver.
However, other potential sources of liability include:
- The manufacturer of parts used on the bicycle or on another vehicle that featured a defect that factored into the accident
- A bar or establishment that overserved alcohol to a patron, who caused a bicycle accident due to their impairment.
How do I prove who was liable for my bicycle accident?
One of the most important components of a successful Tallahassee bicycle accident claim is the ability to prove that someone else was responsible for causing the accident.
To do so, you must show:
- The at-fault party had a legal duty to take reasonable actions to avoid causing harm to others. For example, in a case involving an accident between a bicycle and a car, the driver of the car must operate the vehicle safely and per local and state traffic laws.
- A breach in the duty of care occurred when the at-fault party took actions contrary to the duty of care owed. Examples of driver behavior that could cause an accident with a bicyclist include failure to yield, distracted driving, or impaired driving.
- The breach resulted in a Tallahassee bicycle accident that injured you.
- How long do I have to file a bicycle accident lawsuit?
You must file most bicycle accident claims within four years of the accident.
This is the most important deadline in your claim. Failing to file your bicycle accident lawsuit before the statute of limitations can result in losing the ability to use the court process when seeking compensation for the expenses and impacts of your injury. Without the ability to file a lawsuit if the insurance company fails to compensate you fairly, there likely will be no settlement offers made either.
However, the statute of limitations only requires you to file the claim within a certain amount of time. The case does not need to resolve within that time.
What type of compensation is available through a Tallahassee bicycle accident claim?
Individuals who were injured in bicycle accidents can seek compensation for:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Loss of future earning capacity
- Property damage from the accident, such as damage to the bicycle or helmet
- Physical pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
Loss of future earning capacity refers to permanent disabilities stemming from the injury that will impair the sufferer’s ability to earn an income. Victims commonly collect this compensation in catastrophic injury cases, such as those involving traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, limb amputations, or loss of hearing or sight due to the accident.
A hit-and-run bicycle accident injured me. Can I file a claim?
According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, hit-and-run accidents account for almost a quarter of all crashes on the state’s roadways. These accidents often involve vulnerable road users, such as bicyclists or pedestrians. Obtaining compensation after this type of accident is often frustrating or complex. It is impossible to file a claim against an at-fault party’s liability insurance policy if you do not know the driver’s name.
Often, the victims of hit-and-run bicycle accidents must either wait in the hope that police will identify the driver or find alternative sources of compensation.
Suppose a hit-and-run bicycle accident injured you. A Tallahassee bicycle accident lawyer from Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, can help you explore your legal options and potential sources of compensation.
Does it matter to my claim if I was not wearing a helmet when my bicycle accident occurred?
Florida’s bicycle laws do not require riders over 16 to wear helmets. As long as you are over 16, the lack of a helmet during the accident should have no impact on the value of your claim.
If a bicycle accident injured my child, can they file a claim?
Children under 18 are not permitted to file a personal injury claim on their own. However, a parent or guardian can file a claim on their behalf within the four-year statute of limitations. The child can also wait until they reach the age of majority and file a claim independently. That option remains open until their 22nd birthday, four years after they turn 18.
Which option is better—waiting for the child to come of age so they can file their claim or filing a claim on their behalf? The answer to that question depends on the circumstances. A bicycle accident injury lawyer can provide guidance and information to help you decide on the matter.
Is compensation available for me if I lost a loved one to a Tallahassee bicycle accident?
Family members who have lost a loved one due to a bicycle accident can seek compensation through a wrongful death claim filed on their behalf by the executor of their loved one’s estate. This claim, which follows a very similar process to a personal injury claim, must be filed as a lawsuit in court within two years of the decedent’s date of death.
The type of compensation includes:
- Medical expenses involving the treatment of the deceased’s final injuries that a family member or the estate paid
- Loss of support and services the deceased provided for their family members.
- Loss of accumulations to the estate would have occurred if the deceased had survived the accident and had the opportunity to complete their career.
- Loss of comfort, society, guidance, instruction, and emotional support provided by the deceased to their family members
- The costs of the funeral service and burial or cremation paid by a family member or by the estate
What can an attorney do to help me with my claim?
An experienced bicycle accident attorney has spent years obtaining the education and experience to help clients navigate the complex personal injury claims process. This experience can prove invaluable against the bully tactics of insurance providers and the claims adjusters they hire to protect their bottom line.
It also helps the attorney provide their client with the most up-to-date information, so they are well-positioned to make crucial decisions in their claim.
A Tallahassee bicycle accident lawyer can:
- Determine liable parties and insurance resources
- Value the claim based on the availability of insurance, the severity of the injuries suffered, and other factors.
- Demand the claim’s value from the at-fault party’s insurance provider and handle settlement negotiations
- File the claim within the statute of limitations to protect the claimant’s right to seek compensation
- Obtain evidence, documentation, and witness testimony that is needed to prove liability and justify the claim’s value.
- Represent you in court, including delivering opening and closing arguments, examining witnesses and expert witnesses, and presenting evidence.
- Obtain the proceeds from a settlement agreement or court award.
I need to talk with an attorney about my bicycle accident. How much will that cost?
You can talk with an attorney about your bicycle accident for free. A bicycle accident attorney from Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, can evaluate the case, answer your legal questions, and give you information about the law firm and the services it provides personal injury claimants in Tallahassee. This is just one of the services we offer to ensure that anyone who needs our assistance with a personal injury or wrongful death claim has access.
The contingent fee billing method we use makes hiring us affordable for anyone. Instead of requiring a retainer or subjecting you to hourly billing, we will enter into a contingent fee agreement with you. This agreement allows you to wait until your claim resolves to pay us.