As a driver in the Tampa area, you likely encounter bicyclists often. All along Tampa Riverwalk, Bayshore Boulevard, and side streets downtown, people are using bicycles as their primary means of transportation, and that number will only continue to increase as gas prices rise. More bikes on the road means you should be driving with caution and paying extra attention when behind the wheel. Even if you are doing your best to drive carefully though, accidents still happen, and when they involve a bicyclist things can get complicated.
If you find yourself in the moments following a collision with a bicycle and its rider, what should you do?
Don’t panic and stay put.
Panicking is never a good solution, and this is especially true in any type of accident. Keep a clear head, and focus on the next steps you need to take. Remember to NEVER leave the scene of the accident, as doing so could end up resulting in charges against you, even if the accident itself wasn’t your fault.
Call for help.
Your automatic response to any accident should be to call 9-1-1. This is the fastest way to get the assistance you need, and will ensure that local police from the Tampa area will be sent out, and EMTs will be provided for any medical emergencies. If the bicyclist is seriously injured and in need of immediate aid, do what you can until help arrives.
Fill out the paperwork.
Once injuries have been taken care of, you’ll need to file the appropriate report with authorities and make sure you have all the details documented. Don’t forget your Fifth Amendment right to stay silent, and keep your comments limited and direct. Do not apologize, as this can actually be spun as you admitting fault if the case goes to court. Instead, provide only necessary facts and call your own attorney as soon as possible to advise you on who to speak with, and what you should/should not say as the case moves forward.
Bicycle accidents don’t have to become commonplace here in the Tampa area. As more people choose to jump on their bikes for their daily commute, drivers need to be aware of their surroundings and go the extra mile (no pun intended) to give these bikers space and keep them safe as we share the roads. If you have been injured in an accident involving a bicycle, or if you were the driver at fault and need help understanding your legal options, the team at Brooks Law Group is here to help. We offer counsel to individuals throughout Central Florida, with FREE no-obligation consultations, so you can feel confident in choosing us to take your case. Call us at 1-800-LAW-3030 to schedule your appointment today!