Most of the time, when a car collides with a bicycle, it’s the motorist’s fault, not the cyclist’s. The unfortunate fact is that many cyclists are struck and severely injured every year due to negligent drivers. Tragically, far too many innocent cyclists are killed in these kinds of accidents.
If you or a loved one has suffered injuries or been killed as the result of the negligent actions of a vehicle driver, The Eberst Law Firm may be able to help you obtain compensation. Please give us a call at 888-CALL-JON or contact us online for a free review of your case.
While there are many different reasons cars hit bicycles, a lot of accidents occur for eight specific reasons. Here is a brief look at each.
Common Bicycle Accident Causes
A lot of drivers feel that bicyclists are nuisances, and will do whatever they can to get around them whenever possible. In many instances, this means a motorist will try to speed up to get around a cyclist. By trying to shave a couple of minutes off of a trip, a driver chooses to put a bike rider in severe jeopardy.
2. Distracted Driving
It seems none of us can escape technology – even when we’re behind the wheel of a car. Drivers will routinely fiddle with the radio knob or some other type of gadget, or will text or talk using their smartphones. Some will even go so far as to read social media posts or emails while driving. Obviously, that can put bicyclists at risk.
But phones and gadgets aren’t the only culprits when it comes to causing distracted driving. Anything that takes a driver’s eyes off of the road – even for just a few seconds – can lead to disaster. It’s also a prime example of negligent behavior.
3. Door Opening
This is another common reason bicyclists are seriously hurt in collisions with four-wheel vehicles. Far too often, drivers will open their car door when parked on a busy street without even thinking about their surroundings. When this happens, a bike rider may not have enough time to change their path, and will strike the door as a result. Motorists who fail to check their mirrors before opening a car door may be held negligent if they injure a cyclist.
4. Failing to Yield
There are many scenarios where the driver of a car must yield to all other vehicles – including bicycles. These include some intersections as well as roundabouts and in other situations. If they fail to do so, they could be held liable if they strike a bicyclist and cause an injury – or worse.
5. Poor Weather
It can be hard enough to see a bicyclist on a perfectly clear day – it can be virtually impossible in a blinding Florida rainstorm. But that’s no excuse. Motorists are responsible for taking as many precautions as they can when driving in inclement weather. This means slowing down and being even more aware of others on the road.
6. Bad Bicycle Infrastructure
Roads in Florida – and much of the rest of the southern U.S., for that matter – were designed for motorists, not with bicyclists or pedestrians in mind. Lanes are wide, speed limits are high, and there are very few accommodations for anything other than vehicles traveling on four wheels.
This, of course, can make it incredibly difficult for a bicycle rider to be able to safely navigate a street or a highway. There are instances where poor road design can play a role in a collision between a car and a bicycle. If this was the case in your accident, there’s a chance you may be able to file a lawsuit against the governmental agency responsible for maintaining that road.
However, this is an extremely complex area of the law, and will require the help of an experienced attorney in order for you to have the best possible chance of obtaining compensation.
7. Running Stop Signs or Lights
This is arguably one of the most avoidable causes of a collision between a car and a bicycle – and also one of the most deadly. When a car runs a red light or a stop sign, it is usually doing so at a high rate of speed. Even though there are stiff deterrents to stop this kind of behavior (a ticket for running a red light in Florida costs between $150-$200), this kind of accident still occurs far too often.
8. Drunk Driving
A drunk driver is a menace to bicyclists and everyone else on the road. Actually, bicyclists may be in more danger than others, because bikes can be difficult for motorists to see, even when they’re sober.
Contact a Bicycle Accident Attorney ASAP After Your Accident
A bicycle accident lawsuit is much like any other kind of personal injury lawsuit in that the victim, or plaintiff, has to prove their case. You need strong evidence in order to have any chance of prevailing in your litigation. In general, you’ll have to satisfy each of the four elements of a personal injury case:
- There was a duty of care involved. In other words, the motorist had the duty to drive safely and respect others. That duty extends to include bicyclists, who were on the road at the time of the accident.
- A breach of that duty of care occurred.
- You were harmed due to that breach.
- That harm occurred due to the defendant’s negligence.
You’ll need an attorney who knows how to gather the evidence you need and who will passionately fight to make sure your rights are protected at every turn. You’ll get exactly that type of representation from the attorneys with The Eberst Law Firm. We’ve worked on behalf of bicyclists who suffered severe harm due to the negligence of drivers. And we can do the same for you.
Please get in touch with us as soon as you can for a free case review. You’ll learn how we may be able to help you obtain the compensation you deserve. You can give The Eberst Law Firm a call at 888-CALL-JON. Or you can get in touch by using our online form.