Bicycle Accident Lawyers Fort Lauderdale
Bicycle Accident Attorneys Committed to Representing Injured Clients in Broward County, Palm Beach County, and Across Florida
Traveling by bus, whether you’re going to school, work or simply running an errand, means placing your trust in the driving abilities of others. Luckily, the vast majority of bus passengers arrive safely at their destinations without incident.
But when a commuter bus or school bus accident does occur, the resulting injuries can be severe. The severity of injuries sustained in bus accidents are often magnified by a number of factors. These include the lack of safety devices, such as seatbelts.
At Lawlor, White & Murphey, our skilled bus accident lawyers have over five decades’ worth of combined experience successfully helping bus accident victims. With our representation, our clients increase their chances of recovering fair compensation for their passenger bus injuries.
Assigning Liability After a Florida Bus Accident
The driver of a bus involved in an accident will almost never be the actual owner of the bus. Additionally, if they are at fault for the accident, they will rarely have the financial assets to fully compensate everyone injured in the bus accident. Therefore, it is necessary to determine who can ultimately be held financially responsible for damages sustained in the accident.
Potentially responsible parties vary depending upon the circumstances surrounding the accident and may include:
- The bus driver.
- The owner of the bus.
- The manufacturer or designer of the bus.
- The company responsible for bus maintenance.
- The school system that hired the bus driver.
- A municipality or local government operating the bus line.
- The driver of an at-fault vehicle that doesn’t include the bus.
In bus or school bus accident cases, identifying the responsible party as quickly as possible is crucial for protecting your rights. For example, the entity operating a bus can determine how much time you have to bringing a lawsuit.
With a private bus, the generally applicable statute of limitations for personal injury will apply. This means victims in a private bus accident will usually have four years after the accident to sue the private bus company.
If the school bus was operated by a public institution, it will be necessary to file a claim for compensation against the government itself. This means that the victim will have six months instead of four years to bring suit.
Bus Accident Injuries
As previously mentioned, buses and school buses typically do not contain the safety restraints that are available in personal motor vehicles. This means the injuries caused by bus accidents may be serious and long-lasting. Potential injuries that can result from South Florida bus accidents include:
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
- Spinal cord injuries
- Amputation and loss of limbs
- Severe burns
- Broken bones
- Severe internal injuries
- Lacerations and disfigurement
- Head and neck injuries
The costs associated with obtaining proper treatment for any one of these injuries can quickly become unmanageable. Then there are psychological effects of such life-changing injuries
At Lawlor, White & Murphey, our bus accident lawyers understand how serious the situation can be when you are facing mounting medical expenses. We can handle every aspect of your case and will fight tirelessly to obtain the maximum amount of compensation possible.
Insurance companies and defense lawyers know that our school bus accident lawyers are prepared to advocate for our clients’ rights all the way to trial if necessary. This reputation often allows us to reach a much more favorable settlement for our clients.
Types of Recoverable Compensation in a Dade County, FL School Bus Accident
School bus accidents are especially troublesome, due to the age of the potential victims. If your child was injured in a school bus accident, you may be able to recover the following compensation. Keep in mind some of these damages will not just compensate your child, but you as well.
- Current and future medical care
- Psychological counseling
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of future earning potential
- Loss of enjoyment of life
Some of these damages are easy to calculate, such as lost wages due to you missing work to care for your child. But many of these damages are difficult to quantify.
For example, how can you calculate the future earning potential of a child? Or how do you put a number on the loss of enjoyment of life of someone who suffered a serious injury? So it’s no surprise that the at-fault party will strongly disagree with these less concrete damage estimates.
This’s why having a bus accident attorney in your corner during litigation is so important. They not only know how to negotiate with opposing counsel and insurance companies, but craft the strongest legal arguments to maximizing your compensation recovery.
Often times, this requires the use of special witnesses that can testify and provide opinions as to what damages you’re entitled to and the economic basis for those opinions.
It’s Not Just South Florida School Bus Passengers that Get Hurt
When it comes to fatalities in school bus accidents, there’s good news and bad news. The good news is that from 2008 to 2019, only about 5% of school bus accident deaths were passengers of the school bus. The bad news is that 70% of deaths in school bus accidents were drivers and passengers in vehicles other than the school bus.
In case you’re wondering, 17% of school bus accident deaths were pedestrians, 4% were school bus drivers and 2% were pedal cyclists.
Yet school bus accidents remain the most dangerous in terms of accident fatalities. From 2007 to 2017, school buses accounted for about 40% of all bus accident crash deaths. Intercity buses accounted for 13% and transit buses accounted for 35%.
Looking for a Fort Lauderdale Bus Accident Attorney?
If you or your child has sustained injuries in a transit bus or school bus accident, you need a strong lawyer by your side. Your attorney can hire investigators, analyze the evidence and negotiate with insurance companies and defense attorneys.
At Lawlor, White & Murphey, our skilled South Florida school bus accident lawyers are dedicated to helping those injured in bus accidents. Call or contact our lawyers today to schedule a consultation. There’s no charge for this initial meeting, where we can discuss your legal options for recovering compensation for your bus accident injuries.
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.