Bicycle accidents are occurring at an increasingly high rate across the country, with as many as 130,000 cyclists injured in crashes every year in the U.S. Bicycle accident-related fatalities are also on the rise. In 2020, 932 cyclists were killed as a result of a car accident, which represents a nine percent increase from the prior year. This trend is also reflected in Florida’s statistics, which similarly reveal a drastic increase in fatal bicycle accidents over the last decade.
While these statistics are undoubtedly alarming to anyone who rides a bicycle in the state, awareness of the risks that bicyclists face can go a long way towards helping both cyclists and motorists avoid these kinds of accidents. Those who are, however, unlucky enough to end up involved in a bicycle accident should be sure to thoroughly consider their legal options, which could include filing a lawsuit against the at-fault party.
Fatal Bicycle Accidents are On the Rise in the U.S.
Fatal collisions between cyclists and motorists are increasing across the country. In 2020, for instance, an estimated 856 cyclists passed away after sustaining car accident-related injuries. This number increased by nine percent to 932 in 2020. Around 79 percent of these accidents occurred in urban areas, with around 32 percent occurring at intersections, 61 percent occurring on major roads (besides interstates and freeways), and 33 percent taking place on minor roads. As many as one-third of fatal collisions between motorists and cyclists involved alcohol.
Fatal Bicycle Accidents in Florida
The nationwide trend of increasing fatal bicycle accidents is also occurring in Florida, where 183 of 6,399 bicycle accidents resulted in the death of a cyclist in 2021. In fact, when accounting for fatalities per 100,000 people, Florida has the highest number of fatal bicycle accidents in the country. Preliminary data for 2022, which provides coverage of accidents through June, revealed the continuation of this trend, with 3,102 bicycle crashes occurring statewide, 79 of which resulted in the death of a cyclist. This breaks down to 18 bicycle accidents every day and the death of a cyclist from crash-related injuries every two days.
Bicycle Accident Risks
Although collisions between cyclists and motorists can occur just about anywhere that both parties are present, they do tend to occur more often in certain areas. For instance, the majority of fatal bicycle accidents occur at non-intersections, largely due to the fact that these roads have higher speed limits and much more traffic. City streets tend to be much more dangerous for cyclists than rural roads. Bicycle lanes, parking lots, and driveway access roads (where drivers may forget to check for cyclists before reversing) also see their fair share of serious bicycle accidents.
Bicycle Accident Injuries
Wherever they occur, bicycle accidents almost always have more serious repercussions for the cyclist, who, even when wearing protective gear, like a helmet, is much more susceptible to catastrophic injuries, such as:
- Internal injuries;
- Head trauma;
- Spinal cord injuries;
- Amputations and severe lacerations;
- Road rash; and
- Broken or crushed bones.
Diagnosing and treating these injuries can be prohibitively expensive and even after obtaining treatment, many victims struggle with disability for the rest of their lives. Tragically, in the most serious cases, cyclists never recover at all, but pass away as a result of their injuries. In these situations, the family members of the victim could be entitled to wrongful death damages if they can prove that their loved one’s death was the result of a motorist’s negligence. Potential damages include compensation for the victim’s medical bills, loss of income, pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of companionship. However, recovering these damages can be an uphill battle for those who don’t have legal representation.
Reach Out to an Experienced Miami Wrongful Death Lawyer
Even cyclists who use the greatest care when riding could end up severely injured in a collision and be forced to foot the bill for expensive treatment and rehabilitation. Tragically, many bicycle accident injuries prove fatal, leaving family members to grieve the untimely loss of a loved one. While no amount of financial compensation can bring back a beloved relative, it can help grieving families pay off mounting medical debt and household expenses while they begin the long road to emotional recovery. If you lost a loved one in a bicycle accident in Florida, please call the dedicated Miami wrongful death lawyers at Dolan Dobrinsky Rosenblum Bluestein for an assessment of your own legal options. You can reach us by phone at 305-371-2692 or via online message, 24 hours a day.