Legal help for bike accidents
Florida is simply a beautiful state, and there are few better ways to see it and get exercise than going for a bicycle ride. However, after 16 years of specializing in personal injury litigation, I see the vulnerability of our bicyclists against cars and trucks. Interestingly, the injuries I see in bicycle-car collisions are often even worse than those inflicted on pedestrians. There are typically around 5,000 bicycle crashes per year in Florida injuring many and killing over 100 people annually.
The dangers of bicycle accidents that involve cars
On a bicycle, you are elevated. You not only have to deal with the initial impact, but also with what personal injury attorneys will refer to as a secondary impact—the ground. Concrete, curbs, trees. If you are lucky you will be slowed down by a bush or land in some grass, but that just isn’t where most bicyclists who are in collisions with cars land. They hit concrete, which does not give. The shockwave that reverberates through their bodies and skulls cause lasting injuries to their bodies and often disfiguring “road rash.”
Second to the elevation is the combination of speed. New bicycles are faster than ever, speeds over 30 mph are commonplace, however; even a 5 mph collision with a car is more than enough to cause permanent injuries like broken bones, brain injuries, and “road rash.” When a bicyclist is going in the same direction as the car who hits them, their body is accelerated through the air. Rather than going the 10 or 20 mph they were traveling, being struck by a car can accelerate their bodies to over 30 mph, making the impact with the ground or other obstacles even worse.
Bicyclists rear ended by a car
Although some road-bikes are fast and can reach speeds over 30 mph, which would seem to lower the impact of being rear ended, it just means the cyclist will now hit the ground and other objects much faster. When a bicyclist is going in the same direction as the car who hits them, their body is accelerated through the air, making the impact with the ground or other obstacles even worse.
Head on collisions with cars
Conversely, when a bicyclist is struck by a car going the other direction, the impact force is additive. In other words, if a bicycle is going 10 and a car is going 20 the opposite direction, it is truly like being struck by the car as if it was traveling 30 mph. Another problem I commonly see in representing bicyclists who are struck by cars, trucks and motorcyclists is the bicyclist’s body position. On your bicycle, we are often leaning forward. When the bicycle is struck, it often flips the rider upside down before they return to the ground, increasing the injuries.
Call (727) 821-3195 to get legal help after you’re hit by a car while cycling
I have represented countless bicyclists who were involved in a collision with a car who did not feel tremendous pain at the scene of the accident, only to find out that they actually incurred damages to their bodies. Many sustained injuries to their knees, necks and backs so severe that they needed surgical repair. Experts agree that when people are struck, their bodies mask the pain by releasing endorphins, which are hormones that hide the pain until much later.
In the military we referred to this very common experience as “the walking wounded.” It is a good idea for anyone involved in a serious accident to sit or lay down and get checked out by a doctor even if they feel “fine.” They are often in shock and are not fine. They just don’t know it.
If you have been involved in a bicycle collision and are injured, it is imperative that you find a Florida personal injury attorney who knows how to handle automobile accident claims to assist you to work up the case properly. A consultation with Herman & Wells is free. You will owe nothing unless we recover for you.
A note to other plaintiff attorneys
Are you frustrated that your offers in your bicycle case is not what they should be? Are you caught between an insurance adjuster that won’t raise their offer, and a client that won’t settle? Please call us right away at (727) 821-3195. Clifford Wells has been recognized as an expert in civil trial by the Florida Bar. We will work out a referral fee or fee split and work with you throughout the process. Although we do at times just come in and handle trials, we get much better results when we can handle discovery and depositions from the beginning. Bicycle versus car cases are complex, and the workup prior to trial is just as important to what happens at the trial itself. You owe it to your client to get them the help they deserve. They will thank you.