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Florida Injury Lawyers Handle Bicycle Accidents

Much of our attention to vehicle accidents is focused on the death, injury and damage caused by automobiles and trucks – and that is considerable. But two-wheeled vehicles can prove even more dangerous to drivers, passengers, and pedestrians.

Bicycles Are No Match for Cars, Big Trucks on the Road

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Bicycling is a favorite form of exercise and family fun for all ages. About a third of bicyclists say that they ride for recreation, and another 28% ride for exercise or health reasons.  For many Americans, however, bicycles are an everyday mode of transportation to and from work or school.  The Pedestrian & Bicycle Information Center estimates that there are about nine million bike trips every day in the United States.

Unfortunately, bicycling can cause devastating – even fatal – injuries to riders, car occupants, and pedestrians. This should not be a surprise: In many parts of the country, bicycles must compete with automobiles and large trucks, often in congested traffic on roads where there are no designated bike paths.

  • The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that 726 bicyclists were killed in crashes with motor vehicles in 2014.
  • This was a small decrease from 2013, when 749 cyclists were killed, but a major increase since 2011, when only 682 bicycle deaths were reported.
  • There were an estimated 50,000 bicycle injuries in 2014, up from 48,000 in 2013.
  • According to the National Safety Council, the total cost of bicycle fatalities and injuries is more than $4 billion a year. .

Here are some additional 2014 facts from the NHTSA to consider when you or family members head out for a bike ride:

  • In 35% of accidents between bicycles and motor vehicles, the bicyclist or the car driver had blood alcohol concentrations of at least .08, the level at which one is considered alcohol impaired.
  • Men made up 88% of bicycle crash victims.
  • 71% of bicyclist fatalities occurred in urban areas; 20% occurred between 6 and 8:59 a.m.
  • The average age of bicyclists killed in crashes with motor vehicles in 2014 was 45 years old, compared to 39 in 2004, 32 in 1998, and 24 in 1988.
  • Nearly a third of injuries to bicyclists are caused by collisions with cars.

In 2014, 139 bicyclists were killed in Florida, giving Florida the dubious distinction of second deadliest state for cyclists, behind California. Florida law requires children under 16 years old to wear a properly fitting bicycle helmet that meets national standards.

Our Personal Injury Attorneys Represent Bike Accident Victims

In our more than 40 years’ experience as a Florida personal injury law firm, our attorneys have successfully represented numerous victims and families that have been involved in bicycle-related accidents.

In one recent case, a Florida man was riding his bicycle on the shoulder of a northbound road when the driver of an SUV abruptly turned into a driveway in front of his path. The man’s sudden collision with the much larger vehicle left him bruised and battered, with injuries to his neck that required removal of an intervertebral disk and fusion surgery.

Although he was able to return to work, the bicycle crash victim continued to have neck pain and stiffness. He retained West Palm Beach personal injury attorney Brian Denney to represent him against the SUV’s driver and the vehicle owner.  Following mediation just prior to trial, the claim was settled for $750,000 due the cyclist for the damages he suffered.mb_4

Tips for Bicycle Safety from Searcy Denney Injury Lawyers

Here are just a few steps that you can take to make sure you and your family members ride safely:

  • Always wear a helmet, regardless of whether or not your state has a helmet law.
  • Light up your bike in front and back and wear bright reflective clothing.
  • Signal turns with hand signals and use a bell or call out to warn pedestrians of your approach.
  • Ride with traffic, not against it, and make eye contact with drivers to make sure they see you.
  • Stay away from busy streets and be sure to slow down and stop at intersections.
  • Don’t hug the curb on narrow roads; riding closer to the center keeps you from riding into an opening car door.
  • Remember that you must follow the same rules of the road that motor vehicles must follow, so know what those rules are.

Over the years, advances in bike safety technology have helped protect cyclists from fatal injuries.  For example, recently a Swedish firm developed an airbag for bicyclists. When sensors detect an unusual movement that indicates a potential crash, in one tenth of a second the airbag deploys out of a collar worn around the neck.

Florida Accident Attorneys Are Just an Email or Phone Call Away

If you or someone you love has been hurt in a bicycle accident, you will want a law firm with the experience and resources to pursue recovery for the devastating physical, emotional and financial losses. At Searcy Denney, when we contract to represent you, we assign an entire team to fight for you: one that includes not only an experienced personal injury attorney, but paralegals, investigators, expert witnesses and support staff.

Please complete our Contact Form or call us at 1-800-780-8607 to schedule a free, confidential consultation with one of our Florida personal injury attorneys.

Florida Motorcycle Crash Attorneys on Your Side

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Ask a rider why he or she rides a motorcycle and you’ll get a wide range of answers: Motorcycles cost less than cars, they save on gas, parking is easy, camaraderie is enjoyable, and their environmental impact is low. Mainly, they’re cool – a vehicle for escape and untold adventure.

But here are some alarming statistics about motorcycle accidents from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA):

  • In 2014, there were 4,295 deaths from accidents involving motorcycles, accounting for 13% of all motor vehicle crash fatalities.
  • Of those killed, 225 were between 15 and 20 years old.  An additional 7,000 young riders were injured in 2014.

The issue of helmet laws has become critical to improving motorcycle safety, and the U.S. Department of Transportation has stepped up its efforts to encourage use of helmets that meet federal safety requirements.

he NHTSA estimates that helmets saved the lives of 1,669 motorcyclists in 2014 – and that 660 more lives could have been saved if riders were wearing helmets. Yet just 19 states and the District of Columbia require that all motorcyclists must wear helmets.

  • The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) reports that in 38% of motorcycle accidents in 2014, motorcycle drivers were not wearing helmets.
  • NHTSA studies indicate that Department of Transportation approved helmets are about 37% effective in preventing deaths and about 67% effective in preventing brain injuries among motorcyclists involved in accidents.
  • In states that have universal helmet laws, an estimated 91% of motorcyclists were wearing helmets.
  • In states that do not have helmet laws, only 24% of motorcyclists in accidents were wearing helmets.

Florida law requires motorcycle drivers and riders to wear federally approved helmets unless they are over 21 years old and are covered by a minimum of $10,000 in medical insurance for motorcycle injuries. Florida also requires motorcyclists to have their headlights on at all times while riding, even during the day.

Motorcycle Crash Victims Turn to Florida Personal Injury Law Firm

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Our injury lawyers at Searcy Denney are no stranger to motorcycle accident cases. In one recent experience, a South Florida husband and wife were riding their Harley Davidson along an oceanfront road when a restaurant delivery truck driver turned directly in front of them. There was no time for the couple to stop or avoid a collision.

The husband was pronounced dead that evening at a local hospital, where his wife was treated for injuries that included large lacerations and fractured bones in both legs. She had surgery and began what was to be long-term physical therapy. The wife retained Searcy Denney personal injury John Shipley, who negotiated a confidential settlement with the restaurant’s insurance company.

When You Need a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer, We’re Here

No one expects accidents to happen, but they do. If a family member has been killed or injured or you have been involved in a motorcycle accident, Searcy Denney’s experienced personal injury attorneys and support teams stand ready to help you. Please take the time to complete our Contact Form, or call us directly at

1-800-780-8607 for a free, confidential consultation.

Vehicle Accidents

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West Palm Beach

Searcy Denney 2139 Palm Beach Lakes Blvd.
West Palm Beach, FL 33409-6601
Toll-free: (800) 780-8607
Phone: (561) 686-6300
En Espanol: (800) 220-7006

Tallahassee

Searcy Denney The Towle House, 517 N. Calhoun St.
Tallahassee, FL 32301-1231
Toll-free: (888) 549-7011
Phone: (850) 224-7600
En Espanol: (800) 220-7006


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