There’s no doubt Florida is a great state to ride a bike. Unfortunately, it’s also a very dangerous place. Accidents occur far too often, and they can leave victims with devastating traumatic brain injury (TBI). A traumatic brain injury caused by a bicycle accident can lead to astronomical expenses and make it almost impossible to handle even the most basic of tasks.
If you or a loved one suffered a TBI in an accident caused by the negligence of a motorist or someone else, The Eberst Law Firm will be ready to help. We’ll investigate to determine who was to blame and then do everything we can to obtain maximum compensation on your behalf.
Florida Bicycle Accident Statistics
There were nearly 6,000 bicycle collisions in our state in 2021 alone. This resulted in more than 5,500 injuries and, tragically, 169 fatalities. Investigations found that motorists were to blame for 140 deaths, and drivers were also to blame for 76% of accidents that resulted in severe injuries.
Causes of Florida Bicycle Accidents
There are several causes of bicycle accidents in Florida, including the following:
- Driver error: This is one of Florida’s leading causes of bicycle accidents. Drivers may be distracted, under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or ignore their surroundings. When drivers are negligent, they can severely injure or kill bicyclists sharing the road.
- Poor road conditions: Poorly designed or maintained roads can also contribute to bicycle accidents in Florida. Potholes, debris on the road, and uneven surfaces can cause cyclists to lose control of their bikes and crash.
- Lack of bike lanes: Florida has some of the country’s highest rates of bicyclist fatalities, partly due to a lack of bike lanes. Cyclists often have to share space with motor vehicles on roads without dedicated bike lanes.
- Vehicle design: Certain vehicles, such as large trucks or buses, can also contribute to bicycle accidents in Florida. These vehicles have large blind spots, making it difficult for drivers to see bicyclists sharing the road with them.
Is Florida Safe for Cyclists?
Unfortunately, no. Florida has gained a reputation as one of the most unsafe states for cyclists in the United States. The state consistently ranks at or near the top of the list with the highest cyclist fatalities per capita. Our state averages 6.18 bicyclist fatalities per 100,000 population, more than 160% higher than the U.S. average.
One of the main reasons for the high number of cyclist fatalities in Florida is the lack of dedicated cycling infrastructure. Many of the state’s roads and highways were designed primarily for cars and didn’t include separate bike lanes or paths. Cyclists must share the road with cars, buses, and trucks.
Additionally, the state’s large population, high traffic volume, and heavy tourism contribute to cyclists’ dangers. Drivers may be distracted, aggressive, or not used to sharing the road with cyclists, which can lead to accidents and fatalities. Unfortunately, this means that a traumatic brain injury caused by a bicycle accident (or other severe injuries) is fairly common.
Types of Traumatic Brain Injuries
There are two main types of TBIs: closed and penetrating head injuries.
Closed-head injuries are the most common type of TBI, and they occur when a blow or jolt to the head doesn’t penetrate the skull. Closed head injuries can be further categorized into mild, moderate, or severe based on the severity of the symptoms. Symptoms of closed-head injuries can include headaches, dizziness, nausea, confusion, and memory loss.
Penetrating Head Injuries
Penetrating head injuries occur when an object penetrates the skull and enters the brain. Penetrating head injuries include gunshot wounds and injuries caused by sharp objects. These injuries can be severe, and symptoms can include loss of consciousness, seizures, and paralysis.
Lasting Consequences of Traumatic Brain Injuries
A TBI can have long-term consequences that affect a person’s physical, cognitive, and emotional abilities. Here’s a quick look at some of them:
- Cognitive impairments: TBIs can cause a wide range of cognitive impairments, including memory loss, difficulty with attention and concentration, and language and communication problems.
- Motor deficits: TBIs can also lead to paralysis, muscle weakness, and coordination problems.
- Sensory deficits: A severe TBI can also cause a range of sensory deficits, including vision and hearing problems.
- Emotional and behavioral changes: TBIs can also lead to emotional and behavioral changes, including depression, anxiety, aggression, and impulsivity.
How Much Does a TBI Cost?
As you might have already found out for yourself, the costs associated with a TBI can be substantial, to say the least. According to a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the total lifetime cost of TBI can range from $85,000 to $3 million per person.
These are just some of the expenses related to a TBI:
- Medical expenses: The costs of medical treatment for a TBI include hospitalization, surgery, and ongoing rehabilitation.
- Lost productivity: TBIs can result in long periods of disability, resulting in lost income and decreased productivity.
- Home modifications: People who have experienced a TBI may require modifications to their home, such as wheelchair ramps or bathroom modifications, which can be expensive.
- Caregiver expenses: People with severe TBIs may require full-time caregiving, which can also be costly.
Recovering Damages After a Traumatic Brain Injury Caused by a Bicycle Accident
Recovering damages after a bicycle accident can be a complex process, and it’s essential to seek legal guidance to understand your options. If you suffered an injury in a bicycle accident caused by the negligence of another party, you might be entitled to compensation for your damages. This compensation may include medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
You may need to file a personal injury claim or lawsuit against the at-fault party to recover those damages. Your attorney must gather evidence to support your case, such as witness statements, police reports, and medical records. Working with an experienced personal injury attorney who can help you navigate the legal process and advocate for your rights is essential.
Contact The Eberst Law Firm to Speak with an Experienced Attorney Today
Obtaining full compensation requires a thorough understanding of the legal process and the assistance of a skilled attorney. The Eberst Law Firm has a team of such attorneys who know how to help bicyclists who suffer a TBI obtain the compensation they deserve. You can use our online contact form or call 1-888-CALL-JON for a free case evaluation.