Bicycle Accident Lawyers Fort Lauderdale
Bicycle Accident Attorneys Committed to Representing Injured Clients in Broward County, Palm Beach County, and Across Florida
Gorgeous weather. Copious beaches. Miles of nature trails. The state of Florida practically begs people to hop on a bike and head outside. Unfortunately, our cities and roadways were decidedly not designed for cycling. In the Sunshine State, automobiles rule, and everyone else needs to watch out. Case-in-point: just a few years ago, Florida had the highest bicycle fatality rate of any state in the nation, and it is doubtful that things have gotten much better since then.
Simply put, getting on a bicycle in the state of Florida is a dangerous endeavor. Even if you do not die in a crash, you can end up with incredibly serious injuries – and the medical bills to prove it.
Most people do not really consider the financial aspect of getting hurt, but at Lawlor, White & Murphey, we have seen this over and over. Someone will go out for a routine bike ride and get hit, and their life will be forever changed. Unpaid bills. Mounting credit card debt. Empty bank accounts. Sometimes people are not even able to return to work, further impeding their ability to take care of themselves and their family.
If your accident was due to another’s negligence though, it does not have to be this way. No one should have to pay for someone else’s mistake. If you got hit by a driver or another person, you may be able to receive much-needed compensation.
This compensation can help you and your family keep your heads above water. Pay off your bills and make sure you can focus on your recovery. Recover money you lost because you were unable to work.
Do not try to do this alone though. Personal injury claims in Florida can be quite complicated, and there are specific laws related to how cyclists and motorists are supposed to interact on our roads. To give yourself the best chance at receiving fair and just compensation, you need a knowledgeable Florida bicycle accident attorney on your side.
Injury Claims Our Florida Bicycle Attorneys Can Help You With
So, what kinds of injuries can potentially occur and qualify when you are riding a bicycle in Florida? There are all kinds, and many of them are very serious.
This makes sense if you think about it. One of the tragedies of car-on-bike crashes is that cyclists have almost no protection in comparison. When a multi-ton vehicle collides with a person on a bike, the rider is almost guaranteed to suffer quite a bit.
Some of the most common bike injury claims that we help with include:
Head injuries. Florida law requires that people under the age of 16 wear a helmet when riding a bike. Unfortunately, that leaves a lot of people unprotected, and sometimes even strapping on a helmet is not enough. Head injuries can include everything from bumps, scrapes, and bruises to large gashes and even skull fractures.
Brain injuries. A fractured skull sounds bad – and it is – but the real worry with injuries to the head is that you could potentially hurt your brain. On the “minor” side, these types of injuries might involve simple concussions, but truly severe brain injuries can cause memory loss, other cognitive defects, and even paralysis.
Injuries to the spine. Spinal cord injuries tend to occur when something impacts your back with a lot of force. For example, if you were flung from your bicycle at high speeds. What makes spinal cord injuries so frightening is that they are not just about your back. The spinal cord is basically the highway of your body. If it is severely damaged, it can prevent other areas of your body from receiving messages from your brain, leading to reduced mobility – if not outright paralysis.
Face injuries. Your face is one of the most sensitive areas of your body. In a bicycle accident, you not only have to worry about cuts and friction burns if you fall onto your face, but also doing damage to your nose, teeth, jaw, ears, and eyes. Ruptures and fractures are also common.
Fractures. If you are thrown from your bike or caught between an automobile and some other object in a crash, broken bones are likely to result. Most commonly, people suffer issues such as fractured clavicles, broken legs, broken bones in the hand, or fractured elbows.
Death. The worst thing that can happen when an automobile crashes into a cyclist, of course, is that their injuries could prove fatal. If your loved one was killed in a bicycle accident, filing a personal injury lawsuit will not be possible. However, you can still file a wrongful death suit on their behalf in order to hold the responsible parties accountable and get the compensation you need for your family.
Reach Out Today for Help with Your Florida Bicycle Crash Claim
There are all kinds of reasons why you might have gotten hurt in a cycling crash due to a driver’s negligence. Perhaps they were distracted because they were sending someone a text or using their navigation system. Maybe they were exceeding the speed limit and could not slow down in time. They could have been driving under the influence. Or perhaps they simply did not look carefully enough to notice you on your bike.
In the end, it does not really matter. Behaving in a negligent manner is behaving in a negligent manner. You should be compensated for their improper actions so that you have the best chance at recovering fully and getting back to your regular life.
Our attorneys can help you to do that, but not until you reach out to our office. Once you do, we can set up a free initial consultation to go over the specifics of your case and talk about the options that are available to you.
Get in touch now by filling out our free case review form.
Bicycle Accidents Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Some of the most common causes of bicycle accidents that our attorneys see include distracted or inattentive drivers, speeding vehicles, vehicles traveling in designated bicycle lanes, motorists driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs, and vehicles failing to yield the right-of-way (especially when turning).
Unfortunately, Florida is one of the most dangerous states for bicyclists. According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, the rate of fatal bicycle accidents in Florida during the period of 2007 to 2016 was 6.2 deaths per 100,000 people, which was 60 percent higher than the next highest state. Injury rates for bicycle accidents were likely even higher.
Some of the typical injuries that our attorneys see in bicycle accident cases include head injuries, traumatic brain injuries, soft tissue injuries, broken bones, dislocated joints, neck and back injuries, abdominal injuries and internal bleeding, and road rash injuries.
If you have been injured in a bicycle accident, you should try to document the accident scene as soon as possible after the accident, including taking photographs of vehicle positions, damage to vehicles, traffic controls, and the weather, lighting, and road conditions. You should also seek prompt medical treatment, which can help to document your injuries and establish that they were caused by the accident. Finally, it may be necessary to speak with an experienced bicycle accident attorney. Insurance companies may try to offer you a quick settlement; an attorney can evaluate any settlement offer and advise you as to whether it provides fair compensation for your claims.
Liability in bicycle accidents is usually determined by looking at various pieces of evidence to determine how the accident occurred (and therefore who was at fault for the accident). For example, the parties can refer to accident scene photographs, the police accident report (which may assign fault for the accident), or whether any party involved in the accident was cited for a traffic violation or criminal offense.
Yes. In Florida, a person injured in a bicycle accident has four years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit for compensation of damages arising from the accident.
Negligence in a bicycle accident case can be determined if the at-fault driver is found to have breached his or her duty of care to a bicyclist, the driver’s breach of his or her duty of care was the direct and proximate cause of the accident, and the bicycle suffered some compensable damages from the accident. An at-fault driver can be found have recklessly caused a bicycle accident if he or she is found to have consciously disregarded a substantial risk of injury to the injured bicycle rider.
In order to file a successful bicycle accident case, you will need documents that support your claim that you were injured in the accident and that you have incurred compensable damages as a result of your injuries. For example, medical records of your treatment can document the injuries you suffered and establish that they were caused by the accident. Bills and invoices for expenses you incurred treating your injuries can prove your damages. You can also use paystubs or income statements to establish your right to compensation for lost wages or earning potential.
Yes. If you suffer injuries in a bicycle accident that keep you out of work and you are not paid for that missed work, you can recover your lost wages or income. If your injuries prevent you from returning to your old job and you suffer a reduction in your income, you can also claim lost earning capacity damages.
The amount of damages that you may be entitled to following a bicycle accident will depend on your financial losses. At a minimum, you can expect to be compensated for medical expenses you incur in treating your injuries, along with compensation for lost wages or earning capacity. You may also be able to prove your entitlement to other intangible, subjective damages like the pain and suffering caused by your injuries or the loss of quality of life that you have endured as a result of your injuries.
Pain and suffering damages are usually calculated according to the severity and permanency of the injuries suffered by the injured party. Insurance companies will often determine pain and suffering damages by multiplying the amount of the injured party’s medical expenses. The more severe and long-lasting or permanent the injured party’s injuries are, the higher the multiple that is used.
Bicycle accident settlements can cover all the same kinds of damages that a judgment in a bicycle accident lawsuit can cover. For example, settlements can provide compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, lost earning capacity, pain and suffering, or loss of quality of life.
Bicycle accident settlements are determined through negotiation between the parties. After the at-fault party accepts responsibility for the accident. Typically, the parties will come to some sort of agreement over the amount of monetary damages that the injured party has suffered. However, the final settlement number can be altered by factors such as accounting for the injured party’s share of fault for the accident, and accounting for the risk factor in going to trial (with the at-fault party at risk of having to pay greater compensation and the injured party at risk of receiving less or no compensation).
Once the parties reach a settlement figure in a bicycle accident case, they will need to put that agreement down in writing, signed by both parties. If the parties are in the midst of a lawsuit, the settlement may need to be approved by the court to resolve the case. Once a settlement is finalized, the at-fault party typically has no further legal liability to the injured party. However, in some cases, such as those where the injured party will require significant future medical treatment, the parties’ settlement may allow the injured party to submit those future medical expenses for compensation.
Florida is a no-fault state. This means that if you seek compensation from your auto insurance policy’s personal injury protection coverage, you cannot file a separate civil lawsuit against the at-fault driver unless you have suffered a “serious bodily injury”, which typically means an injury that results in some disability, scarring, or disfigurement.