When I talk with the drivers of human powered vehicles like bicycles, tricycles and recumbents, their greatest fear is contact with a motorized vehicle. Pedestrians and human powered vehicles share the same status: you are a vulnerable user of the public roads; You are more likely to be injured in a crash with any motor powered vehicle and have traumatic injuries. The greatest fear is these injuries will leave your life and perspective forever altered and maybe keep you off the road for good.
Crashes involving human powered vehicles and motorized vehicles like automobiles happen. Usually, a human powered vehicle driver is not the one at fault. As a vulnerable user, human powered vehicle drivers are more cautious and careful about their riding and where they ride. By and large is the motorist who is at fault, driving distracted, or unaware of the rights of human powered vehicle driver.
Unlike motorcycle accidents, human powered vehicle drivers are less willing to rely on their machine and luck. A motorist has a motor, as does a motorcycle, a cyclist has only his or her legs to stay out of the way of others. Motor vehicle drivers frequently disregard their responsibility to share the road with human powered vehicles. This negligence is the leading cause of human powered vehicle crashes.
Common Causes of Human Powered Vehicle Crashes
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- Texting or Other Electronic Distraction
- Drug and/or alcohol impairment
- Violation of Right-of-Way
- Being unaware of your surroundings
- Failure to give the required 3 feet to the cyclist.
- Failure to observe the cyclists turning/stop indications
After a human powered vehicle crash with a motorized vehicle, the driver of the motor vehicle may try to change the story of what really happened to avoid blame or take responsibility. It’s a human weakness. They don’t want to admit they cause such serious injuries. Usually they say: “the bicyclist swerved” or other exculpating stories. I have seen this numerous times and in almost every one of my human powered vehicle cases. However, there are several ways of disproving this changed story and proving who is truly at fault.
If you are in an human powered vehicle crash, take pictures of everything you can: the car that hit you(especially the license plate), the driver’s face, whereon the road you were hit or run off, the damage to your skin, clothing, shoes, helmet and bicycle. Get the phone numbers of anybody who witnessed it. The best way is to dial their phone. If the vehicle that hit you is gone, record immediately (in any manner possible– E. G. Cell phone) the specific characteristics about the vehicle and driver. Make sure that the police are called. Make sure a crash report or incident report is made by law enforcement. if you hit your head, you must go to the emergency department at the closest hospital. If you are coherent still, avoid the ambulance, and have a friend or family member drive you. If you don’t go to the emergency department, you must still see a doctor. Florida PIP law should apply and pay for your hospital or doctor visit limits the time you are able to file an insurance claim for damages.
And always, always call me.
I have 28 years representing injured human powered vehicle drivers. My cousin Thomas Godwin started the great bicycle shop in Tallahassee in 1971. It was one of my first jobs. Then, I fixing bikes, pumping tires, changing flats, freewheels, truing wheels, replacing cables and keeping bicyclists on the road. When my brother bought the shop four years later. I worked as a tech and later, right before law school, as a a manager of the great bicycle shop. After I got out of law school, my brother’s customers remembered me, call me. I have been helping humans on human powered vehicles ever since. I help bicyclists, road cyclists, recumbents, tricyclists, off road bicyclists, teenagers, college students, working adults, retired folks, septuagenarians recover from injuries suffered with their human powered vehicles.
Oftentimes, the insurance companies will attempt to dispute the facts and take the motorist’s side and characterize the bicyclist as the negligent party. this is almost always done by insurance companies. See my discussion of insurance companies.
If you or somebody you know has been in a bicycle, tricycle or other human powered vehicle crash anywhere in Florida, it is important you know the rights HPV drivers have. It is important to have someone familiar with the particular rules of bicycling cycling and the rights HP the drivers have. you’ll want someone who is an advocate for human powered vehicle drivers and bicyclists and whoargues forcefully for the rights of all human powered vehicle drivers.
I will provide personal attention to you as will my knowledgeable staff. If you or somebody you know has been in an HPV crash, please contact me. call the number below/above
My job is to take care of you after your human powered vehicle crash. Your job is to get back on with your life. I’ll take care of the rest.