Riding a bicycle is a great way to have fun, get exercise, save money on gas, and minimize pollution. No one should be punished for riding their bike in South Florida, but unfortunately, bicycle accidents are a regular occurrence in the Sunshine State. How big of a problem is it? While Florida makes up about 6% of the US population, we represented 17.4% of national bicycle fatalities in 2011. The Fort Lauderdale area is particularly hazardous, with Broward county ranking second to only Miami-Dade county for the highest number of bicycle injuries and fatalities.
Because cyclists do not have the same level of protection as people in passenger vehicles, their injuries are frequently severe when accidents do occur, even when a collision occurs at a relatively low speed. High speed collisions are, unfortunately, almost always deadly for cyclists. When cyclists do survive a crash with a car or other large vehicle, they face an uphill battle to recover. Some may suffer from long-term or permanent disabilities that prevent them from working and force them to seek in-home care. If their accident was caused by a negligent third party, the injured cyclist should not have to pay for their medical expenses, ongoing care, and lost income out of pocket.
If you were injured or lost a loved one in a cycling accident in South Florida, contact attorney Ben Murphey as soon as possible. Mr. Murphey is a partner at the Fort Lauderdale-based firm of Lawlor, White & Murphey, and he has the experience, expertise, and resources necessary to help you after a bike accident. You may be entitled to compensation, and your best chance at recovering that compensation comes from working with a qualified personal injury attorney like Mr. Murphey.
There are numerous reasons why Florida has such a high rate of pedestrian and bicycle accidents compared to the national average. Here are just a few of the issues that contribute to bike accidents in our state:
Florida’s roads cater to cars, not bikes. Florida’s roads have largely been developed to benefit car commuters, not cyclists. Many busy areas of our biggest cities lack bike lanes or wide shoulders, and high speed limits lead to cars and trucks rushing by cyclists and sometimes even side-swiping them or colliding with them. In some cases, a hazard that should have been repaired or clearly marked—such as a large pothole—will cause a cyclist to get into an accident. The Florida Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety Coalition has a plan to develop safer transportation systems, but these changes cannot occur overnight.
Bicycles are harder to see than cars. Because they are so much smaller than most of the other vehicles on the road, drivers may sometimes fail to notice cyclists—especially if they are not used to seeing cyclists in a certain area. This is a particularly big issue at intersections when a car is making a left or right turn and a bicycle is going straight, as a car may cut off or turn directly into the bike.
Cyclists are not always familiar with the rules of the road. Cyclists and car drivers are legally obligated to share the road with one another, and cyclists generally follow the same rules of the road as people in any other kind of vehicle. However, some inexperienced cyclists may not be familiar with some of these rules or how to ride safely in a city, which can lead to accidents.
Parked cars pose a threat to unsuspecting cyclists. Cars frequently park on the side of the street in busy metropolitan or even residential areas, and while it does not seem like stationary cars should pose much of a threat to cyclists, bike riders can actually be seriously injured if a car driver suddenly opens their door as the bike rider is going by.
Of course, none of these reasons are justification for a negligent driver hitting a cyclist. No matter what the specific cause of your bike accident, Ben Murphey will look closely at the details of your case and help you determine if a third party is at fault and, if they are, look at concrete evidence that will help prove you are entitled to compensation.
A helmet is just about the only protection a cyclist may have, and while this can help, it is rarely enough to keep a cyclist from avoiding any injuries in a car crash or even a street defect-related accident. Some of the bike accident injuries that Ben Murphey has seen before include:
If you have suffered any of these injuries, or any other type of bike accident injury, you are likely facing a long road to recovery and will need all the support you can get. You should not have to worry about a financial burden during this time, which is why it is important to work with Ben Murphey if someone else has caused your injuries.
After a bicycle accident, you may entitled to compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, long-term care, and other associated costs. However, you cannot necessarily count on the person who injured you or their insurance company to provide you with the full compensation that you need and deserve—unless you file a claim against that person. Ben Murphey will work tirelessly to recover a fair settlement for you or, failing that, will go to court to seek the verdict you need. As an experienced trial lawyer, Mr. Murphey is well-qualified to represent your best interests in the courtroom.
To fight for compensation and start getting your life back on track, contact Ben Murphey today. He offers all potential clients a free initial consultation, during which he will listen to the details of your case and suggest the best legal course of action. When you entrust Mr. Murphey with your case, you can rest assured that he will handle it with the compassion and diligence that you deserve.
To reach Ben Murphey, email BMurphey@lawlorwinston.com, fill out this short online contact form, or call one of the following numbers:
954-587-0873 (Fort Lauderdale)