If you’ve been hurt in a bicycle accident through no fault of your own, you may be entitled to compensation for your losses. We believe you should contact an Orlando bicycle accident lawyer as soon as possible after your accident. The Orlando bike accident lawyers at Spetsas Buist know what it takes to pursue a bicycle accident claim, and they will fight to protect your rights and get you the compensation you deserve.

Riding a bicycle is a blast for people of all ages, and it is great exercise. However, if you have ever ridden your bicycle on public roads, you know it can be scary sometimes, especially in the City. Bicycles are small relative to vehicles, and they’re quiet. Also, there are a lot of distracted drivers out there, so bicycle accidents happen more than they should.

In fact, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Overview of Motor Vehicle Crashes in 2019, there were 846 fatalities and roughly 49,000 injuries as a result of bicycle and automobile collisions. Pedestrians, bicyclists, and other non-occupants accounted for roughly 20% of the total traffic fatalities in 2019. Thus, bicyclists are very vulnerable to being hit and seriously injured or killed by careless drivers.

Causes of Bicycle Accidents

orlando-bicycle-accident-lawyerUnder the Florida bicycle statutes, bicyclists have the same rights and duties applicable to other motorists. Unfortunately, many motorists treat bicyclists with disdain. Also, drivers simply do not look out for the safety of bicyclists. As a result, bicyclists find themselves in tragic accidents. Here are some of the more common causes of bicycle accidents in Florida.

Aggressive Driving

As we talked about briefly above, many drivers treat bicyclists with disdain. Irritation and impatience with bicyclists causes drivers to act recklessly and cause horrific bicycle accidents.

Indecisive Driving

Motorists often make last-second decisions to turn or change lanes and don’t check to see if there is a bicyclist next to them. As a result, the impulsive decision to switch lanes or make an improper turn can cause a bicycle accident. 

Dooring Bicyclists

When a motorist carelessly opens the door of a parked vehicle into a bicyclist’s path, that bicyclist can be severely injured. This is especially true in a high-traffic area where a bicyclist has no choice but to smash into the door head-on.

Defective Bicycle Parts

Like any other products liability lawsuit, you can bring a lawsuit against a manufacturer for producing a defective product. Thus, if you suffered harm because of a defective bicycle, you may have a claim against the bicycle manufacturer.

Intoxicated Drivers

Drunk or intoxicated drivers endanger bicyclists because an impaired driver is far more likely than a sober driver to crash into a bicyclist. If you were injured by an intoxicated driver, you should contact an Orlando bicycle accident lawyer right away.

Passing Vehicles

When a driver attempts to pass a bicyclist without leaving sufficient space for the bicyclist, the driver can easily cause a bicycle crash. 

Cross Traffic

A bike accident can occur at intersections, alleyways, crosswalks, and driveways when a motorist crosses into the bicyclist’s path without paying attention. These types of crosswalk bicycle crashes are far too common.

Improper Turns

Bicycle accidents often occur when a driver makes a left-hand turn in front of an oncoming bicyclist or a right turn into an adjacent bicyclist. This is often due to distracted or impulsive driving and is a major cause of bicycle accidents in Florida.

Bicycle Accident Statistics

The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles compiles traffic accident and bicycle accident data for Florida. Below are some of the bicycle accident statistics from the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicle report from recent years.

Total Bicycle Crashes in Florida

The FLHSMV defines a bicycle crash as a crash involving a vehicle propelled solely by human power or a motorized bicycle propelled by a combination of human power and an electric helper motor rated at 200 watts or less. Here are some of the more recent bicycle crash statistics.

  • 2018 / 6,590 Bicycle Crashes
  • 2019 / 6,664 Bicycle Crashes
  • 2020 / 5,952 Bicycle Crashes
  • 2021 / 6,404 Bicycle Crashes
  • 2022 / 7,253 Bicycle Crashes

Total Injuries From Bicycle Crashes in Florida

The FLHSMV defines an injury as the total number of people who sustained bodily hurt or damage or complained of bodily hurt or damage as a result of a traffic crash. Here are the most recent bicycle crash injury statistics.

  • 2018 / 6,183 Injuries from Bicycle Crashes
  • 2019 / 6,229 Injuries from Bicycle Crashes
  • 2020 / 5,574 Injuries from Bicycle Crashes
  • 2021 / 5,958 Injuries from Bicycle Crashes
  • 2022 / 6,763 Injuries from Bicycle Crashes

Total Bicycle Fatalities in Florida

The FLHSMV defines a bicycle fatality as a person dying from a crash while operating a vehicle propelled solely by human power or a motorized bicycle propelled by a combination of human power and an electric helper motor rated at 200 watts or less. Here are the most recent bicycle fatality statistics.

  • 2018 / 160 Bicycle Fatalities
  • 2019 / 156 Bicycle Fatalities
  • 2020 / 169 Bicycle Fatalities
  • 2021 / 197 Bicycle Fatalities
  • 2022 / 220 Bicycle Fatalities

If you lost a loved one in a bicycle accident or a bicycle crash, you may be able to bring a wrongful death claim. The process for bringing a wrongful death claim is slightly different than it is for bringing a personal injury claim, but the idea is the same. It's a way to get justice for losses associated with another party's negligent, careless, or reckless behavior.

Bicycle Crash Data for Orange County, Florida

The bicycle crash data we discussed above covers the entire State of Florida. Now, let's look at the FLHSMV’s recent bicycle crash data specifically relating to Orange County, Florida. Now, when we’re talking about Orange County, this includes towns and cities like Orlando, Windermere, Winter Garden, and Winter Park. There are obviously more towns and cities in Orange County, but these are some of the most popular and well-known areas.

FLHSMV Bicycle Crash Data for Orange County, Florida in 2021

  • 379 Total Bike Crashes
  • 16 Fatalities from Bike Crashes
  • 350 Injuries from Bike Crashes

FLHSMV Bicycle Crash Data for Orange County, Florida in 2022

  • 444 Total Bike Crashes
  • 14 Fatalities from Bike Crashes
  • 415 Injuries from Bike Crashes

As you can see from the data above, the number of bike crashes in 2021 and 2022 stayed fairly steady. Although it’s good news that there were a few less fatal bike crashes, there were significantly more bicycle crashes in 2022 than in 2021. It’s difficult to discern exactly why, but one might guess that the increase in rental bikes, like Lime and Bird, could explain the increase in overall bicycle accidents.

Bicycle Accident Data in the Orlando Metro Area

Now, let’s take a look at the bicycle crash data for Orlando, Florida only. Metroplan Orlando compiles data for bike accidents in Orlando, Florida, and we will provide some recent data below.

Orlando Bike Crash Data for 2021

  • 151 Total Bike Crashes
  • 3 Fatal Bike Crashes
  • 128 Injuries from Bike Crashes

Orlando Bike Crash Data for 2022

  • 150 Total Bike Crashes
  • 0 Fatal Bike Crashes
  • 144 Injuries from Bike Crashes

As you can see from the data above, there were a similar number of bike accidents in 2021 and 2022. Although bike accidents don’t appear to be rising in Orlando, the City still has a staggering number of bike accidents every year.

Most Common Bicycle Accident Injuries

Bicyclists are at a high risk of suffering severe injuries in a traffic accident because their only protection is a plastic helmet. Let’s face it, a bike has little hope against a 3,000-pound automobile. As a result, bicyclists often suffer several types of injuries in a bicycle accident. Here are some of the more common types of bicycle accident injuries.

Head and Brain Injuries

Whether a bicyclist is wearing a helmet or not, the risk of a severe head injury or traumatic brain injury is very high. A serious head injury can involve concussions, skull fractures, and brain bleeding. Additionally, head and brain injuries can cause a victim to suffer long-term cognitive and mental impairment.

Neck, Back, and Spine Injuries

Bicyclists are at high risk for a variety of spinal cord injuries, which can result in serious nerve damage. These injuries can cause lasting effects, like paralysis, numbness, tingling, or muscle weakness. In fact, a neck, back or spine injury will often create lifelong complications for the victim.

Soft Tissue Injuries

A bicyclist in the warm Florida climate is often not wearing enough clothing to guard against severe road rash in a bicycle accident. When skin meets pavement at high speeds, the bicyclist will inevitably suffer severe scrapes, cuts, and bruises that can take months to heal. Moreover, these injuries can leave lasting and disfiguring scars and marks on the bicyclist’s body.

Bone Injuries

These injuries include broken and bruised bones, which can require surgery to repair and lots of time to heal. Because a bicyclist’s limbs are fully exposed when riding, bone injuries are an extremely common result of bicycle crashes and bicycle accidents.

If you’ve experienced any of these injuries above, you may be entitled to compensation, and we recommend you contact an Orlando bicycle accident attorney as soon as you can.

What to Do After a Bicycle Accident?

As we mentioned above, bicycle accidents are scary because you’re exposed when a car crashes into you. With all the adrenaline you experience during a bicycle accident, it can be hard to make decisions immediately thereafter. Accordingly, we have prepared a checklist of things you should do after your bicycle accident.

Get to Safety

Move out of the way of danger as soon as you can safely do so, especially if it’s too dark for drivers to be able see you. 

Call 911

You should call 911 after a bicycle accident if you or others are seriously hurt. However, even if the accident is not severe, you should call the local police to get a police report because it will help you establish the facts of the accident later.

Get Medical Help

If you feel like you sustained injuries in your bicycle accident, seek medical help as soon as possible, even if you’re only experiencing slight or minor pain. Some serious health issues from your bike crash may not manifest for days or weeks. Additionally, you can put your injuries on the record, then you can use your medical records later to establish your injuries.

Get the Motorist's Contact and Insurance Info

If possible and safe to do so, get the driver’s contact and insurance information. Also, if there are any passengers in the car, get their contact information too.

Get Contact Info of Any Witnesses

Witnesses often disappear after an accident if you don’t know how to contact them. So, if there are any witnesses to your bicycle accident and if they seem willing to help, ask if they will give you their contact information.

Take Pictures and Videos of the Bicycle Accident Scene

If possible, gather evidence of your bicycle accident as soon as possible. Leave your bicycle where it fell after the accident and take pictures of the vehicles involved, the bicycle accident scene, and your bike.  Also, if you can do so safely, take a quick video of the bicycle accident scene. If you take pictures and videos of the bicycle accident scene, it could help your bicycle accident attorneys prove important facts of your case.

Don't Say More Than Necessary

If the police get involved, cooperate with them. However, don’t say anything that could be construed as an admission of fault. Also, don’t apologize for anything or state your opinion about what happened. Finally, do not talk too much to anyone at the scene. Instead, try to keep your mouth shut as much as possible, at least until you contact your Orlando bicycle accident attorney.

Don't Talk About the Bicycle Accident on Social Media

Resist the urge to talk about your bicycle accident on social media. A skilled attorney for the defendant can hurt your case with the things you say on the internet. It’s best to only talk about your bicycle accident with your Orlando bicycle accident attorney. So, don’t post about it on your social media accounts.

Don't Talk to the Insurance Folks

Don’t make any statements to the insurance folks or sign anything they want you to sign until you speak with your Orlando bicycle accident attorney. Most of all, avoid saying anything that may undermine your claim and try to say as little as possible.

What Types of Compensation Are Available in a Bike Accident Personal Injury Claim?

There are a variety of damages you may be entitled to after getting hit by a car while riding your bike in Orlando. Generally, the damages involved will be divided into two categories: economic damages and non-economic damages. Economic damages are tangible damages that are easy to quantify. These damages include things like:

Non-economic damages are intagible damages that are much more difficult to quantify. These damages are meant to compensate a person for their non-financial losses. When we're talking about non-economic damages, we're generally talking about things like:

  • Emotional Distress
  • Mental Anguish
  • Loss of Enjoyment of Life
  • Loss of Consortium (for spouse)
  • Pain and Suffering

You can work with your Orlando bike accident lawyer to make sure you add up all the damages you're entitled to under Florida law. That way, you can be sure that you don't leave any money on the table. 

Do You Need to Speak to an Experienced Bike Accident Attorney?

If you’ve been injured in a bicycle accident in Florida, you should speak with a skilled and aggressive Orlando bicycle accident lawyer as soon as possible because you may be entitled to compensation. Please don’t hesitate to contact us on our website, or you can call our Orlando, Florida personal injury law firm today at (321) 352-7588 to schedule your free consultation by phone. When you schedule a consultation at our law firm, you will get a consultation with a bike accident attorney, not a customer service representative or intake person.

If you need a South Carolina personal injury lawyer, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at (843) 638-6590. We have at least one lawyer licensed in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina. So, if you’ve been injured in the Southeast, we have you covered. Don’t hesitate to call us if you need us.

For more information on personal injury cases in general, you can download our free personal injury guide: P.I. 101: Your Quick Guide to Personal Injury Claims.