Bicycle Accident Attorney Orlando
By law, bicycles operated on Orlando streets and highways are legitimate road vehicles with the same rights and responsibilities as motorized vehicles. Unfortunately, bicycles and pedestrians do not always mix well with cars and trucks on the state's busy roadways. Even with a bicyclist having the same rights as the driver of a car, truck or motorcycle, they do not have the same level of protection. In fact, most safety gear for the cyclist was designed to protect the rider in the event of a routine fall with no other vehicles involved.
Following an accident, it is not uncommon for the at-fault's insurance carrier to attempt a quick settlement. Since such offers are typically too low and often do not include a projection for ongoing expenses, it is in your best interest to avoid speaking with any adjuster without having your attorney present. If you or a loved one were injured in a bicycle or pedestrian accident with a motor vehicle, it is advisable to contact our Orlando bicycle accidents attorney to discuss your case and determine the best course of action to seek restitution for your damages.
Did You Know Florida Lead the Nation in Bicycle Accident Deaths?
Florida has over 16 million drivers with around 250,000 traffic crashes every year. In 2011, bicycle fatality rates across the Sunshine State accounted for more than 17.4% of all bicycle deaths in the U.S. and were almost triple our nation's average according to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA). Currently, the NHTSA's bicycle safety program focuses on the research, education, and enforcement of bicyclists' and motorists' behavior to enhance roadway safety and reduce bicycle injuries and fatalities across the nation. In the mean time, both State and Federal agencies encourage all who share the road to take extra precautions to ensure safe travel for all.
Common Causes of Bicycle and Pedestrian Accidents
Our state's excellent year round weather makes the Orlando area an ideal place for increased pedestrian and bicycle traffic. At Todd E. Copeland and Associates, we represent bicycle riders and pedestrians injured due to someone else's:
- Lack of Attention
- Driving Under the Influence
- Illegal Turn
- Improper Use of Lanes
- Failure to Yield Right of Way
- Excessive Speed
- Distracted Driving
- Faulty Road Design
As a driver, walker, jogger or cyclist, it is important for everyone to exercise care and show respect for all those who share the road.
What Laws Govern Bicycle & Pedestrian Accidents?
Determining who is liable for payment of a bicycle accident claim in Florida is often more difficult than deciding who was at fault or what actually caused the collision. In other words, the "At-Fault" party's insurance company may not be responsible for the damages incurred. Since state laws mandate PIP (personal injury protection) coverage for everyone who owns a vehicle, in most cases the injured pedestrian or cyclist is required to file a claim for compensation of accident injuries through their own "No Fault" insurance policy.
However, exceptions do apply. For example, if the injured party does not own or operate a registered vehicle in the State of Florida, then the victim will need to seek compensation from another source. Both pedestrians and bicycle riders may be entitled to file a claim under the at-fault's insurance policy. The driver's PDL (property damage liability) coverage may be appropriate when seeking restitution for medical expenses and other damages. If you've been injured, contact our bicycle accident attorney to determine your best course of legal action.
What are the Florida Pedestrian and Bicycle Strategic Safety Plans?
The bicycle- and pedestrian-focused initiative began in January 2012 as a five-year plan designed to set and monitor key program areas to improve pedestrian and bicycle safety. The primary goal of the state's strategic safety plan is to achieve a five percent annual reduction in the actual number of accidents as well as the number of serious injuries suffered by cyclists and pedestrians who are involved in motor vehicle crashes. The coalition believes that collecting, analyzing and disseminating accident data to all stakeholders will improve the overall awareness of pedestrian and bicycle safety issues statewide. Currently, the Florida Department of Transportation provides the funding for the state's strategic safety plan.
Serving clients throughout Florida including the cities of Apopka, Winter Haven, Lakeland, Leesburg, St. Cloud, Clermont, Kissimmee, Tavares, Haines City, St. Eustis, Lady Lake, and Sanford.
Accidents can happen in a matter of seconds leaving you with a lifetime of unexpected expenses. In order to obtain a fair recovery for medical bills, loss of current and future income, out-of-pocket expenses, rehabilitation, property damage, and pain and suffering, your lawyer will need to accurately document and quantify your damages. The personal injury attorneys at Todd E. Copeland & Associates are proud to serve bicycle and pedestrian accident victims in all the Central Florida communities surrounding the Orlando Metro area.