What to Do After a Bicycle Accident in FloridaGet a Free Consultation
Every year, hundreds of bicyclists in Florida suffer serious injuries from collisions with motor vehicles. Bicycle accidents can result in life-changing injuries, expensive medical costs, immense pain and suffering, and – in the worst cases – death. Knowing what to do immediately after a bicycle accident in Tampa can help you protect your physical health and legal rights.
Ensure Your Safety
If you get hit by a car while riding a bike in Tampa, your first priority should be your own safety. If you are not in a safe place, move to a location that is out of the way of oncoming traffic. If you are already in a safe place, try to remain stationary, as moving the incorrect way could exacerbate an injury.
Seek Medical Care Without Delay
Get immediate medical care for any injuries suffered in the bike accident. Delaying medical care can hurt your medical status, overall well-being and ability to recover financial compensation. The driver’s insurance company may allege that you contributed to your injuries by delaying medical treatment. Even if you do not initially feel hurt, see a doctor, as your adrenaline from the collision may mask the signs of injury.
Report the Bicycle Accident to the Police
In Florida, all accidents that result in injuries, deaths or more than $500 in estimated property damage legally must be reported to the police. It is a good idea to report any bike accident in Tampa – even if it appears to be minor – so that you have an accident report to support your injury claim. Without a police report, an insurance company may refuse to offer you financial benefits.
Exchange Information With Others
Remain at the scene of the accident until the police arrive. While you wait, exchange information with the driver who hit you. Get the driver’s name, contact number, insurance information and a description of the vehicle. If there are any vehicle passengers or others who witnessed the bicycle accident, write down their information. Do not admit fault for the bike accident.
Document the Accident
Before you leave the scene, document the bicycle accident by taking photos of the site and any property damage. Look for any traffic or security cameras that may have captured the collision. If your bicycle has a camera attached, preserve this footage to potentially be used as evidence during an accident claim.
File an Insurance Claim
Florida is a no-fault insurance state. Under this rule, all injured automobile accident victims seek coverage from their own car insurance companies, regardless of who is at fault for a crash. If you have car insurance in Florida, your own insurer will pay for up to $10,000 of your hospital bills using first-party personal injury protection (PIP) insurance after a bike accident.
If you do not own a vehicle or have this coverage, you can file a claim against the motor vehicle driver’s insurance policy. The PIP benefits on the driver’s policy will be available to you as an injured cyclist if the driver is at fault for the accident. You could also file an injury claim directly against an at-fault driver if your injuries meet Florida’s tort threshold for serious or permanent injuries.
Contact a Tampa Bicycle Accident Attorney
Before accepting a fast insurance settlement for a bicycle accident, contact an attorney in Tampa for a free legal consultation. Your injuries may entitle you to greater compensation than what is initially offered by an insurance claims adjuster. A Tampa personal injury lawyer can help you negotiate with an insurance company or take your bike accident case to trial in Hillsborough County, if necessary, for a fair outcome. Call Vanguard Attorneys at (813) 471-4444 today for more information.