Articles Posted in Bicycle Accident


A man riding a bicycle Monday morning was hit and killed by a vehicle in Largo, according to police reports. 

The vehicle vs. bike accident occurred just before 6 a.m. on Starkey Road and East Bay Drive. Police pronounced the biker dead at the scene. 

The Largo Police Departments Traffic Homicide Unit responded to the crash site and is currently conducting an investigation into the tragedy. 

Police did release that they believe the man’s bicycle had no tail light and that alcohol was not a factor in the crash. The driver of the vehicle did remain at the crash site, so it will be determined once a full investigation is conducted whether or not the driver will face any charges. 

biking-1721469_1920-300x175No one ever expects to be involved in a bicycle crash or even a pedestrian accident. The aftermath of these serious accidents can affect victims and their families for a long time. If you survive a crash like these, you may find that the physical and emotional recovery process is a lengthy one and you may be unable to enjoy your life in the same ways as you did before the accident. On top of this, you might be struggling to keep up with your medical bills due to not being able to work. Our Tampa Bay Injury Lawyers at Whittel & Melton are leaders in the field of pedestrian and bicycle law and are advocates for cyclists throughout the state of Florida.

We know that now more than ever bikes have become a very popular year-round mode of transportation for residents and visitors alike in Florida. We also know that regardless of how careful pedestrians and bicyclists are, they can easily become the victims of a crash caused by negligent motorists. That is why we remain committed to protecting the rights of bikers and pedestrians throughout the Tampa Bay area. 

We have seen all kinds of accidents in our years of work protecting the rights of injured bicyclists and pedestrians. We know how even the safest of bikers and pedestrians can have encounters with angry drivers who have struck them intentionally, opened their doors in their paths, or even passing too closely or driving too closely. Serious and fatal accidents can happen even in communities that have bike lanes that are in place to protect bikers and provide them with more visibility to drivers. 

Florida law is clear when it comes to pedestrian and bike laws: bicyclists have the same rights to use the roads as drivers of motor vehicles. The law also provides that drivers of motor vehicles are to exercise caution when sharing the roads with pedestrians and bikers to avoid hitting them. Sadly, despite laws protecting bikers and pedestrians, many unnecessary injuries and deaths occur every year because of distracted or inattentive drivers. 

Can I Be Found Responsible for My Own Bicycle Crash? 

As we mentioned before, bikers have rights when they are out on the roads in Tampa Bay and elsewhere in Florida. On that some note, cyclists also have legal responsibilities they must abide by just like drivers of motor vehicles. So to answer this question, yes, bikers can be held partially liable for causing an accident that resulted in their injuries. This is known as contributory negligence, and means that the biker in question may have contributed to their own crash in some way. While a police officer may write up an accident report naming you partially at fault, or an insurance adjuster working on your accident claim may make this determination, this does not mean that you are actually at fault. It is important to work with a injury attorney after your accident so that they can advocate on your behalf and make sure your rights and responsibilities are fully protected. 

Bicyclists and pedestrians alike are usually left to suffer serious injuries that can last extended periods of time. Medical bills can be overwhelming and they may be unable to get back to work right away. Our Tampa Bay Pedestrian and Bicyclist Accident Attorneys at Whittel & Melton can help you build a strong case in order to recover the financial compensation you need and deserve following a serious bicycle or pedestrian accident. 

We fully understand that many residents of Tampa choose to cycle or walk to work or even engage in these activities daily for their health or to participate in recreation activities with their families. If you’ve been injured by a careless driver, you deserve to have experienced legal representation to uphold the laws that make our roads accessible to all. 

Continue reading


An elementary student was hit and killed while riding his bike to school in Sarasota Monday morning.

The Florida Highway Patrol said the 9-year-old boy was hit at the intersection of Webber Street and Nodosa Drive just before 8 a.m.

Deputies said the boy was riding his bike to Brentwood Elementary School.

As he was following his older sister across the intersection, the driver of a silver Chevy Silverado did not see him and hit him with his truck.

They 9-year-old was transported to Doctors Hospital of Sarasota, where he later died.

Deputies said the driver of the Silverado did stop and is cooperating.

It is quite common for people of all ages to ride their bikes on Florida roadways for fun, exercise or to get to work or school. It is a driver’s responsibility to keep an eye out for bikers and make sure they are operating their vehicles safely. When drivers make a mistake behind the wheel, it is usually the bike rider that suffers the consequences. Due to the lack of structural protection, bikers involved in accidents may suffer from broken bones, traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord damage, neck and back injuries and even wrongful death.

Continue reading


A 61-year-old bicyclist was hit and killed on Hillsborough Avenue and Harney Road Sunday afternoon.

Troopers said the bicyclist was traveling eastbound in the westbound bike lane of Hillsborough Ave. when a Dodge traveling westbound changed lanes and collided with the bike.

The biker was ejected and suffered fatal injuries. He was transported to Tampa General Hospital where he later died.

He was not wearing a helmet.

The crash remains under investigation and charges are pending.

Bicyclists have little more than a helmet for a protection, so they are no match for a car. Sadly, bicyclists frequently do not survive collisions with cars and trucks. When bicycle accidents are the result of negligence, members of the victim’s family have the right to seek justice for their loved one through financial compensation for their loss.

While there is certainly no amount of money that can replace what has been lost, our Tampa Bay Wrongful Death Attorneys at Whittel & Melton firmly believe that taking action is important. Not only does it allow the victim’s family to recover for the financial losses they have suffered, it may prevent the responsible party from harming anyone else in the future. We fight aggressively in these cases to ensure that justice is served.

Continue reading


Pinellas County has the highest bicycle fatality rate of any major metro area in the U.S., according to federal data. Its per-capita cyclist death rate for the past decade ranks No. 1 among the four counties in the Tampa Bay metro area.

In fact, Florida has by far the highest per-capita bicyclist death rate in the country.

The number of cyclists killed in motor-vehicle crashes nationwide hit 840 in 2016—the most recent data available—according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. That was the most since 1991 and a 35% jump from 2010.

A range of likely reasons explains the rise in deaths, including more overall vehicular traffic and driver distractions, according to people who track transportation trends.

Texting drivers is a huge problem. Alcohol is yet another big factor. In 2015, 22% of fatally injured cyclists, and 12% of drivers in these crashes, had a blood-alcohol content level of at least 0.08, the legal limit for motorists in most states, according to the nonprofit Governors Highway Safety Association.

While cyclist death rates have risen in many states since 2010, the three with the most fatalities since then—Florida, California and Texas—account for about 40% of all cyclist deaths, according to NHTSA, despite having 27% of the nation’s population.

Florida’s numbers are bad even when compared with other warm-weather states. Its recent 10-year cyclist fatality rate was 6.2 deaths per 100,000 residents; that is 59% higher than the rate in Louisiana, the state with the second-highest level.

State transportation officials say they have made a concerted effort since 2014 to boost cycling safety. The Florida Department of Transportation changed its standard width for bike lanes from 4 to 7 feet and now recommends buffered or protected bike lanes. The agency launched a $100 million push in 2016 to better light 2,500 locations where the number of nighttime crashes involving pedestrians and bicyclists was high.

The state agency also lowered speed limits in some places, officials said. Local police have stepped up education efforts on topics such as using lights at night and riding with the flow of traffic.

Cycling deaths in Florida fell to 116 in 2017, the fewest since 2010 and a significant drop from recent years, according to preliminary state data. But so far this year, bike fatalities involving motor-vehicles are trending higher: Through Sept. 23, the state said 95 cyclists had been killed in such accidents, putting it on track for about 130 for the year.

Six of those bicyclists died in Pinellas County, which includes the coastal cities of St. Petersburg and Clearwater.

When a motorist is found to have caused a fatal bicycle accident, they may be liable in a wrongful death lawsuit. While not all fatal accidents are considered wrongful deaths, those that are caused by another person’s negligence are. In Florida, wrongful death lawsuits can be filed by the family, usually the parents, spouse or children of the victim, and any blood relative or adoptive sibling who is “partly or wholly dependent on the decedent for support or services.”

Continue reading


According to new reports, the Florida Department of Transportation is holding a public workshop to discuss a new bikeway through downtown Tampa.

The proposed bike lanes would be on the north side of Jackson Street, running from Ashley Drive to Nebraska Avenue.

The addition would look a lot like the new lanes already on Cass Street.

These bike lanes are considered a win win for the area due to the tremendous growth the area has seen.

In the early phases, locals will see protected bike lanes on Cass Street, or ‘the green spine,’ complete with bike signals.

While the addition will give cyclists a safe place to ride, cyclists can still face many dangers riding on the new lanes, and some of these risks include:

  • New drivers unfamiliar with traffic laws
  • Drivers unfamiliar of the new lanes
  • Intoxicated and negligent drivers
  • Need for bicycle maintenance
  • Failure to wear a helmet
  • Open door accidents

Bikers should always perform proper maintenance checks before they head out onto the roadways to make sure there brakes are in working order. In addition, they should wear protective gear.

Every cyclist should be aware of his or her surroundings at all times. If a cyclist is involved in an accident, our Tampa Bay Injury Lawyers at Whittel & Melton can help. We can identify all negligent parties responsible for the accident.

Continue reading


The number of fatal bicycle accidents involving motor vehicles is on the rise, and the state of Florida is just second behind California with the highest number of deaths.

According to a report by the Governor’s Highway Safety Association, the number of U.S. bicyclists killed in accidents involving motor vehicles rose by 16 percent between 2010 and 2012.

During that same period, California had 338 cyclists killed in collisions with motor vehicles, and Florida had 329.

742586262_4198415493_zFlorida and California also had the largest increases in annual cyclist traffic fatalities from 2010 to 2012. Florida’s deaths rose by 37 to 120 in 2012 and California’s cyclist deaths rose by 23 to 123. California had the most bicyclists killed of any state in 2012.

The GHSA report also found the following:

  1. 722 bicyclists were killed in motor vehicle crashes in 2012 across the nation. This number is up 6 percent from 680 fatalities the previous year. That number is also a 16 percent jump from the 621 bicyclists killed in 2010.
  2. More than two-thirds of bikers killed were not wearing helmets. Despite the fact that many states have laws requiring minors to wear helmets while riding bikes, wearing a helmet is generally not a state or federal requirement for adults.
  3. More than one-fourth of bicyclists killed in accidents were impaired. According to the report, 28 percent of bicyclists killed in motor vehicle accidents had blood alcohol concentrations over the legal limit of .08.
  4. Findings show that nearly 9 in 10 bicycle fatality victims are adult males. In 2012, men made up 88 percent of those killed in bicycle traffic collisions.
  5. Bike accidents are increasing in urban areas. According to the report, 69 percent percent of fatal bike accidents happened in urban areas in 2012, compared to only 50 percent in 1975.

If injured, it is important for Tampa Bay area cyclists to understand their legal rights and seek medical attention immediately. Fortunately for injured bicyclists, the city of Tampa and the surrounding areas, as well the state of Florida, have passed favorable laws that hold negligent, careless and reckless drivers accountable for bicycle accidents.

Continue reading


A 17-year-old girl riding her bicycle near Riverview High School on Tuesday morning was hit by a car.

According to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, the girl, who is a Riverview High student, was struck by an Acura sedan on Whispering Creek Boulevard near Balm Riverview Road just south of Boyette Road.

The driver of the Acura, a 23-year-old man, waited at the scene for deputies to arrive. According to officials, the man won’t be cited in the crash.

9325815886_903ef5c078_mThe crash occurred just before 7 a.m. The accident caused the roadway to be shut down for about an hour.

Authorities said the teen received non-life threatening injuries, however she was airlifted to an area hospital.

The crash is still being investigated.

The Tampa Bay area is full of beautiful scenery and many people choose to take it all in by getting outdoors and riding a bike. Many children and teens ride bicycles to school and adults often use them to commute to work. Sadly, many bicyclists are injured or killed by negligent drivers every year in Florida and across the United States. The Tampa Bay Injury Lawyers at Whittel & Melton are committed to helping bicycle accident victims recover full compensation for their injuries. We also help families of those who have lost loved ones obtain fair compensation for the wrongful death of their loved one.

Even though a bicyclist may do everything right, serious injuries can still happen. A negligent motorist can  pull out in front of a cyclist or make a turn without looking and collide with a biker. Regardless of how your accident occurred, our team of injury lawyers can handle all aspects of your case so that you can receive adequate compensation for your losses. Even if your accident involved an uninsured/underinsured motorist, we can do everything in our power to make sure you recover a monetary award, including from your own insurance company.

Continue reading


A 20-year-old dancer with the Sarasota Ballet died in a bicycling accident on Wednesday after he collided with a delivery truck, according to reports.

The dancer, from Brazil, was transported to Blake Medical Center in Bradenton where he died from his injuries Wednesday evening.

The accident occurred in the 5400 block of North Tamiami Trail in Sarasota around 2 p.m.

bicyclistAccording to Sarasota Police, the delivery truck, driven by a 58-year-old Tampa man, was making a right turn onto a service entrance road leading into the Ringling Museum.

Police believe the delivery truck pulled in front of the dancer as he was approaching the road. Reports indicate that the driver may have failed to see the man or the bicycle.

The man’s bicycle hit the side of the delivery truck, causing significant injuries.

The driver of the delivery truck has been charged with violation of right-of-way to a bicyclist.

The accident is currently still under investigation.

Bicycle riders suffer an astounding number of serious injuries and fatalities  every year in accidents involving motor vehicles. Many of these accidents are the fault of the motor vehicle drivers. In 2012 alone, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration noted that 49,000 bicyclists were injured in traffic accidents in the United States and another 726 were killed.

As many bicyclists are aware, drivers of cars, trucks and SUVs can easily fail to notice cyclists, and many choose to ignore their rights. When motorists do not pay attention to their surroundings, they can make moves that threaten the lives of bicycle riders and others sharing the roadways. Bike riders can suffer severe injuries or even death when motorists fail to check their blind spot before changing lanes, execute right turns directly in front of bikers, sideswipe cyclists travelling on the shoulder, drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs, open car doors in front of them, fail to stop at stop signs or even back out from driveways without looking. Even worse, many motor vehicle drivers do not respect the fact that Florida laws protect bicyclists and award them the same rights to use the streets as motorists.

Continue reading


A bicyclist was seriously injured Wednesday morning after he was struck by a semi-truck in Winter Haven.

The crash occurred at 10:25 a.m. on U.S 17 near Snively Avenue, according to reports.

The Polk County Sheriff’s Office said a white semi-truck, hauling a 53-foot box trailer, was travelling northbound and attempted to turn onto Snively Avenue when it smashed into the 53-year-old bicyclist.

truck vs bike betch.jpgOne of the man’s arms was crushed by the truck’s tires. Witnesses were able to help the man and stayed with him until emergency crews arrived.

He was transported by air to Lakeland Regional Medical Center, where he was listed in serious but stable condition.

Investigators do not believe speed or alcohol played a role in the collision.

The crash remains under investigation.

Bicycling is a very popular sport, especially in the Tampa Bay area where the climate is mostly warm year round. Even commuting by bicycle has become increasingly common in the area. Despite whether you just ride your bike for exercise on the weekends or if you are travelling on your bike every day to get to work, you most likely know the many safety precautions you must take on the roadways, such as wearing a helmet, following traffic laws and keeping an eye out for all other drivers, cyclists and pedestrians sharing the road with you. However, even the safest bicyclist can find themselves involved in an accident that is not their fault. If a negligent motorist caused you to suffer injuries in a bicycle accident, a Tampa Bay Trucking Accident Lawyer at Whittel & Melton can help you obtain financial compensation through a personal injury lawsuit.

Continue reading


A 24-year-old Maryland man on a cross-country bike trip to raise money for hearing loss was forced to put the last leg of his more than 10,000-mile trek on hold after he was struck by a semi-trailer truck earlier this month.

The man was biking with his cousin on a highway from Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg en route to Miami, the final stop on the almost six-month-long journey, when he was clipped by the mirror of a blue freight truck at around 9:40 p.m., according to a Polk County Sheriff spokeswoman.

He fell off his bike and landed on the shoulder of the roadway.

Emergency responders arrived at the accident site, but the man, who is deaf, was unable
to communicate since his hearing apparatus was knocked off.

trucks.jpgHe was taken to Florida Hospital Heartland Medical Center in Sebring. He suffered a concussion, a broken nose, a fractured left cheek bone, road rash and bruising from his fall.

The man has since been released. The Polk County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the accident.

The man was born with normal hearing, but went deaf between the ages of two and 10. He endured cochlear implant surgery and was able to join the hearing world.

Last fall, he decided to combine his love for baseball, bike riding and helping others in hopes of raising money and awareness for cochlear implants.

The baseball fan set out on a bike trip to Major League Baseball stadiums across the country in April.

While the accident set him back a few weeks, he did make it to 30th and final stop on his charity ride Tuesday night to see the Miami Marlins game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Marlins Park.

Before the accident, the man raised more than $140,000.

While the details regarding this accident are sparse, if the truck driver was aware that he hit the bicyclist, he could face criminal charges for failing to stop and wait for authorities. Additionally, the cyclist could seek financial compensation for the damages he suffered.

Continue reading

Contact Information