Tampa Bay is a very popular location for many different attractions and sights, but unfortunately it also has an exorbitant amount of bicycle accidents.
You’ve probably seen bicycle accidents on the nightly news, heard about them on the radio, seen the aftermath on your way around town. Maybe you’ve watched one happen or been involved in one yourself. The Tampa bay area is notorious for being incredibly dangerous for pedestrians and cyclists alike. So let’s discuss what’s causing so many bicycle accidents and how you can legally protect yourself if you’ve been injured in a bicycle accident.
The causes of bicycle accidents are negligent drivers, of course there are multiple ways for a driver to behave negligently thereby putting bicyclists in harms way. There can be intoxicants responsible for driving mistake that could easily result in not only a bicycle accident but then in the death of the bicyclist. Not all causes for negligence are as dramatic as the abuse or improper use of substances that cause impairments, some are as mundane as checking the phone or forgetting to check a blind spot.
If a driver is on their phone while driving, they are taking their attention away from the roadways for periods of time and that significant distraction can easily lead to them missing the presence of a bicyclist and colliding with them. Similarly, if a driver believes they are practicing safe behavior but are going to change into say a right turn lane and are in most cases crossing over the bike lane in order to do so, but don’t check their blind spot they could not even realize that they are about to run over a bicyclist.
The commonality of bicycle accidents in Tampa bay is even scarier to consider when taking into account the number of adolescents that ride their bikes to and from school and from work. This produces an even more dangerous scenario because due to their youth, they may not be as wary of the world yet and are more likely to go about their route without trying to compensate for the incompetence of negligent drivers.
As a result, a lot of children are involved in bicycle accidents and that can be a horrific and complicated time not only for them as the direct victims of the crash but also for the parents who are now faced with the emotional and financial burden of taking care of their injured child. This is not something anyone would want to face alone, and they shouldn’t, after the first responders are gone and the child is in the hospital, the next call should be to an auto accident attorney.
Regardless of whether or not the child has been released, is stable, or even if the entire extent of the injuries is yet known it’s important to find a lawyer and begin discussing the opportunities available to the family for seeking damages.
With the weight of medical bills and depending on the injuries sustained there could be visits to specialists and physical therapy appointments to pay for as well, all of these take a toll and the insurance companies are sometimes hesitant to pay up. The importance of an auto accident attorney is critical here because they are the ones that will be fighting for the rights of you and your family during the time where you are at your most vulnerable and in disarray.
Seeking damages will also require some proactivity from the victims’ party. Ensure there is documentation of the scene of the crime and that there is testimony from medical professionals about the seriousness of the injuries sustained. However, even if you were unable to obtain say photographic evidence and can’t get a statement from a doctor you should still call a lawyer because they will be able to help you in both finding the documentation you need, as well as preparing your case against the negligent driver and/or the insurance company.
The entire fiasco of a bicycle accident is very traumatic and involved but there are laws in place that attempt to help cyclists protect themselves. These laws include things such as following proper traffic procedures, so don’t cross a road when the light at the crosswalk is asking that you stop and wait for the drivers to finish passing.
It is also important to wear the proper protective gear and that doesn’t just include helmets although everyone under sixteen years of age that is riding on a bicycle, by law, needs to be wearing a helmet that meets safety standards. Proper protective gear also includes things such as lights on the bicycle that allow for visibility up to five hundred feet away and have the bikes should also have proper breaking equipment that works accurately. The whole business of riding bicycles around Tampa bay is becoming to sound like more trouble than it’s worth, right?
Not exactly, automobiles are not always an affordable option and so a lot of people ride bicycles to get to their workplaces or schools. There is also the common situation of students not old enough yet to operate a motor vehicle that need to be able to get to school and other locations in a timely manner and so they use bicycles. Cycling is also a healthy form of exercise that many people choose to use to improve their condition of living and what better place to get a quick workout in than in between engagements in one’s busy life.
Riding a bicycle is also better for the environment because it doesn’t produce the carbon emissions that an automobile does when driving to get around. Whether it’s due to cost efficiency, health, age restrictions, or just because you want to make the world a little bit cleaner for the rest of us, everyone should be able to ride their bicycle without it becoming a terrible life altering event.
Unfortunately, for a lot of people that are injured from a bicycle accident that is exactly what ends up happening. To be a little safer and better prepared for the worst possible scenario, always practice proper safety procedures when cycling. But, in the event that a negligent driver hits you anyway, get the proper help and care you need from both a doctor and lawyer, you should be able to heal knowing that someone is fighting to ensure you get the compensation you deserve.