Bicycles are a great way to save on energy and get some exercise while you get from one place to another.
The number of bikers is on the rise, every year, in the sunshine state. That said, Florida also has the highest rate of bicycle deaths.
Let us understand the bicycle regulations of the Florida state uniform traffic control and how a Florida personal injury attorney can help in case of adversity while biking.
Florida Statutes for Cyclists
According to Florida law, a cyclist has the same rights and responsibilities as any other citizen driving any other vehicle in the state.
Some exceptions are the rules about riding with children below the age of four years, riding in the bike lane, and the use of helmets by cyclists below the age of sixteen years.
Despite sticking to these regulations, you may end up in an accident. So, if you are a biker, it is time to brush up on the procedure to follow if you get into a road accident in Florida. Hiring a good Florida personal injury attorney will make sure that you can get the compensation that you deserve.
Report the Incident
Regardless of you or your bike getting hurt, it is prudent to report the accident immediately. Sometimes, after an accident, you may start to notice aches and pains after a few days. Also, your bike may seem fine until you take it to the bike shop. So, to deal with these unexpected turn of events, make sure that you report the incident immediately. Florida law makes it mandatory to file a police report if personal injury or property damage is more than $500.
Talk to an Attorney First
If you are not hurt that bad and your bike seems fine, you may be tempted to head to the bike shop to get it repaired and go on with your life. Don’t! Talk to an attorney first to know what your rights are. If the other party is at fault, you will need proof of the damage to your bike. So, preserve the bike and all related equipment as it is until you have spoken to your attorney.
Get Medical Attention
Visit the hospital immediately to get treated for any injuries. Make sure that your doctor records your condition on arrival and then provides the required treatment. You will need the doctor’s report on your injuries to seek compensation from the other party.
Contact Your Insurance Company
Depending on the kind of vehicle that crashed into your bike, you may be entitled to receive some compensation from your insurance company. So, it is best to call your insurance company at the earliest. Also, contact the other party’s insurance company about the injury.
Maintain Detailed Records
Make sure that you maintain records of all medical bills, repair bills, and other expenses related to the accident. You’ll need these when you file a claim. Take photos of the crash location, the condition of the bike, and your injuries for evidence.
Do Not Make Any Statements in the Absence of Your Attorney
Do not make any statements to the other party or the police or the insurance companies without consulting your attorney first. Any recorded statement can and will be used against you. Even apologizing after the accident will suggest that you take part of the blame and may end up hurting your claim.
Dealing with Traffic Citations
If you are issued a traffic citation, under Florida law, you can contest it. If you win, no fines and costs will be assessed, or you could receive a withhold adjudication, which means that you pay the court costs but your record does not report the incident as “guilty.”
Biking in Florida can be the cause of anxiety and distress if you get into a crash. It is best to know your rights and responsibilities as a biker to stay safe and receive justice in case of adversity.