Left hook bicycle accidents can occur when a motorist turns left without yielding to a bicyclist in an oncoming lane. In these situations, a left-turning motorist may hit the bicyclist or cut the bicyclist off causing a collision. Left hook bicycle accidents become especially dangerous when the motorist is traveling at a high rate of speed. However, there are ways that bicyclists can protect themselves against left hook bicycle accidents. In the unfortunate event that a left hook bicycle accident occurs, bicyclists should take the necessary steps, if possible, to protect their wellbeing. 

Bicyclists must stay vigilantly focused to protect themselves from left hook bicycle accidents. To protect from injury, bicyclists should always wear protective helmets and use the proper safety gear. A properly-fitted helmet in good condition is critical to protect against head injuries. In dim lighting, cyclists should wear brightly colored clothes and install reflective strips on their bicycles. Moreover, bicyclists should always have front and rear running lights mounted on their bikes. In fact, many jurisdictions require bike lights by statute. 

In addition to using the proper safety gear, bicyclists should remain focused on their surroundings to prevent a left hook bicycle accident. Just like motorists, bicyclists should anticipate changes in the road, traffic patterns, and blind corners. In situations where the road is not big enough for a motorist to pass a bicyclist with at least three feet to spare, bicyclists should “ride big” in the middle of the bicycle lane, safely moving over once the motorist has passed. Bicyclists are encouraged to make eye contact with motorists before proceeding through an intersection to ensure they are visible to the motorist. This tip is especially important when attempting to avoid a left hook bicycle accident because the motorist and bicyclist are mostly face to face before the motorist turns left. 

If a bicyclist becomes involved in a left hook bicycle accident, there are recommended steps that can be taken to protect the safety and legal rights. After a left hook bicycle accident, bicyclists who are conscious should be cautious when attempting to move. Injuries to the neck or back could become worse if the bicyclist makes the wrong move. If safe, the bicyclist should remain put and await help. However, if movement is possible, the bicyclist should get themselves and their bike off the roadway to prevent a secondary accident. Bicyclists or those at the scene should call 911 for the police and an ambulance. Upon arrival, the police will take a report and ambulance personnel will respond to any injuries. While you safely wait, we recommend taking pictures or a video on any camera phone of the scene, vehicles and witnesses. 

Injured bicyclists, if not treated immediately, should seek medical attention as soon as possible after a left hook bicycle accident. Seeking prompt medical attention is necessary for protecting the bicyclists’ wellbeing as well as their legal rights by providing documentation of any injuries. At the scene, contact information for the bicyclist, driver, and witnesses should be collected. Insurance information should also be gathered. Moreover, bicyclists should keep their damaged bicycles in the condition it was after the accident and store it in a safe location to preserve it as evidence. Lastly, it is recommended that bicyclists who are injured in a left hook bicycle accident contact legal counsel immediately to protect their rights. 

Wittmer|Linehan has represented many bicyclists involved in left hook bicycle accidents in the Sarasota, Florida area. If you or a loved one are injured as a result of a left hook bicycle accident, contact our office at (941) 365-2296 to discuss your claim. Our experienced attorneys understand special insurance laws and regulations that may help you maximize your recovery and pay for your medical care.

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