In spite of local governments' efforts to make streets more bike friendly and emphasizing the environmental benefits of bicycling, Florida is the most dangerous state for cycling according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. In 2008, there were 125 bicycling fatalities and 52,000 bicycle injuries in our state. At Dean Law Firm, our Ocala bike accident lawyers help bicyclists recover compensation for crashes that occur in Marion, Sumter, Lake, Citrus, and Levy Counties.
As a cyclist, you rely on other vehicles to be aware of you on the road. But often drivers of larger vehicles—cars, buses, and trucks—fail to spot smaller vehicles like bicyclists and fail to yield to them appropriately. It is all too common for a driver to turn directly in front of a cyclist or pull out from a driveway without showing due caution for bicyclists. Sometimes the driver of a car is drunk driving and simply doesn't have good judgment about how much distance to leave in front of a bicycle.Recovering for Negligence in Florida Bike Accidents
When a bike accident happens, it is often the fault of a distracted driver in a car or another large vehicle. A bicyclist hoping to prove negligence must show 1) the defendant's duty, 2) breach, 3) proximate or actual cause of the injury, and 4) actual damages.
A bicyclist who can demonstrate negligence can recover compensatory damages. These damages indemnify the victim of an accident for personal injuries, property damages, and other injuries caused by the accident. They are not intended to punish the defendant. Instead, compensatory damages restore the plaintiff to his or her position before the injury or make him or her "whole." Compensatory damages include economic damages like medical expenses, out-of-pocket costs, lost wages, and impaired earning capacity, as well as non-economic damages like pain and suffering.
Some passenger car drivers feel road rage toward bicycles. Road rage is a common cause of automobile accidents. If road rage is directed at a bicycle, the consequences can be deadly. Signs of road rage include obscene gestures, tailgating, or verbal abuse. If you are involved in a bicycle accident due to a driver's road rage, you may be able to claim punitive damages.
All accident victims have a duty to mitigate their damages, and cannot assume they will be compensated for all harm. Instead, they must work to minimize the damages they suffer by making sure they take necessary steps to protect themselves, such as minimizing their own negligent conduct, obtaining adequate medical care and following doctors' orders following an injury, and seeking alternative employment if they can't work in their current professions following an accident.Bicycle Accidents in Crystal River
The impact of a bicycle accident in Crystal River and surrounding areas can be huge, even life-altering. Bicycle helmets can protect against certain injuries, but they may not help sufficiently when the impact is severe. The attorneys of the Dean Law Firm work hard to seek the compensation you deserve. Contact us at 352-387-8700 or via our online form for a free consultation.