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 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.
At Lawlor, White & Murphey, our lawyers have decades of experience helping people get justice after suffering a serious injury, and we can assist you as well.
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.
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.