Striking a bicyclist can be deadly for the rider and also horrifying for the driver of the car. If this unfortunate event does happen, it is critical that you react quickly and prioritize safety. 

Do’s & Don’ts Immediately After the Collision

If you have run into someone who was riding a bicycle, the first thing you should do is stop and check on the rider! Make sure to call 911 so that any necessary medical care can be administered. 

Clear the accident from the roadway and try to make sure everyone is okay. If you have been hurt, get medical attention for yourself. 

Do not leave the scene before emergency responders arrive. Police will prepare an official incident report. These are not admissible in Florida bicycle injury cases, but they are a critical source of information. 

It is important to take note of the investigating officer’s name and badge number, if they have one, as well as any reference number assigned to your case. This information is necessary to follow up and obtain a copy of the final report. 

You may also need this information when you talk to the insurance company. However, you should speak with an attorney before you give a statement to the insurance company.

Injuries That Can Occur if You Hit a Bike Rider With Your Car

Hopefully, the bicyclist was wearing a helmet at the time of the collision. Otherwise, significant brain injuries may result, including a coma.

Bruises, scrapes, and broken bones can result from a collision. There may also be emotional injury to the car driver or the bike rider.  

You should always render aid until the emergency responders arrive. Regardless of whether you think you will be sued, you should contact an experienced car accident lawyer. 

Determining Fault After a Collision With a Cyclist 

Because of the way that bicycle accidents are portrayed by the media, you might believe that the driver would always be at fault in these kinds of collisions. Wrong! Bike riders can be at fault.

In Florida, bicyclists can be classified as an operator of a vehicle or a pedestrian, depending on whether the bike rider is riding on the sidewalk or in the lane of travel. Fault can hinge on the classification of the bike rider at the time of the collision.

When operating a vehicle, all drivers must follow traffic laws. If a bike rider who is classified as an operator violates a traffic law, they may be at fault for the collision. 

An operator, including a bicyclist, can be found at fault for many violations of traffic laws. 

Some examples of violations include: 

  • Bicyclist fails to yield the right of way
  • Bicyclist veers unexpectedly into another lane of travel
  • Bicyclist fails to signal

While driving everyone must follow the rules of the road. 

Of course, there are times when the driver of the car might be at fault. Including times when the driver is not even moving at the time of the collision! 

Due to the increasing popularity of bicycle lanes adjacent to travel lanes, there has been an increase in incidents of dooring accidents. Dooring can describe when a bicyclist rides into the open door of a car or when they are struck by a door opened quickly by a driver who failed to check their mirror. 

When you are driving adjacent to a bicycle lane, you should always take reasonable care. Bike safety advocates suggest using the “Dutch reach” when parked next to a bicycle lane. In a “Dutch reach,” the driver uses their right hand, rather than left, to open the car door. When using your right hand, your body turns and your peripheral vision picks up more of the bike lane. 

If you hit a bike rider with your car, your legal options are not unlike the options available in a collision involving two cars. After any kind of automobile collision, you should contact an attorney to discuss your legal options. 

Contact the Clearwater Car Accident Law Firm of Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers for Help Today

For more information, please contact the legal team of Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers for a free initial consultation with a car accident lawyer in Clearwater. We have four convenient locations in Florida: Clearwater, New Port Richey, and Tampa.

We serve throughout Pinellas County, Hillsborough County, Pasco County, and its surrounding areas:

Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers – Clearwater Office
1811 N. Belcher Road, Suite I-1
Clearwater, FL 33765
(727) 787-2500

Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers – Congress Ave Office
2360 Congress Avenue
Clearwater, FL 33763
(727) 591-5610

Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers – Tampa Office
6601 Memorial Hwy Suite 202
Tampa, FL 33615
(813) 686-7588

Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers – New Port Richey Office
2515 Seven Springs Blvd.
New Port Richey, FL, 34655
(727) 815-8442