Bicycle Accident Lawyer Melbourne, FL

As a trusted bicycle accident lawyer in Melbourne, FL understands, when a person riding a bicycle is hit by a vehicle, they can suffer serious, catastrophic, and life-changing injuries. Because the person on the bicycle has no protection except for a helmet, they are at serious risk for getting smashed into an object or flying off of their bike and hitting the pavement. If you have suffered from injuries while riding your bike and another person is responsible for your injuries, reach out to the team you can rely on from Tuttle Law, P.A.

I might have been partially responsible for the accident. What can I do? 

If you are concerned that you were partially responsible for the accident and you are worried that you will not get compensation for your injuries, speak with your lawyer. Florida falls under the contributory negligence law which means that if the victim of an accident was partially responsible for it, they can still claim a certain amount of compensation. For example, if you were riding your bike and did not use the appropriate signal to change lanes in traffic, another car may have hit you. While you would be partially responsible for the accident, it is also the responsibility of the driver to be aware of their surroundings and take additional care when driving around a bicyclist. 

That said, your Melbourne, Florida bicycle accident lawyer will tell you that if you are found partially responsible for the accident, the amount of compensation you will receive will be lower than what it would have been had you not been partially responsible for the accident. 

Most Common Personal Injuries While Riding A Bicycle 

Riding a bicycle is a great way to exercise while being in contact with nature. Moreover, bicycles are an environmentally friendly means of transportation. There are several health benefits of regular cycling such as decreasing body fat levels; promoting dopamine production; improving physical condition; strengthening legs, back, and joints; strengthening the immune system; and improving mental health, which helps reduce the risk of depression. It also promotes environmental benefits such as reducing your carbon emissions.

Even when everything about riding a bicycle seems to be beneficial, there is a very important factor that must be considered… “Safety.” Riding a bicycle comes at a risk, especially when riding in not well-lit areas and roads without a dedicated cycling path. 

When cyclists are in an accident involving a motor vehicle such as motorcycles, cars, or trucks; they are more vulnerable and the risk of getting hurt is significantly higher. Despite the use of personal protective equipment such as helmets, knee and elbow pads, and lights; a bicycle will not provide the same level of safety as a motor vehicle.

The most common injuries in a bicycle accident are:

  1. Brain injury. This injury is one of the most serious and can occur when a cyclist is impacted by a vehicle, causing a blow to the head that causes a brain injury. These injuries are serious and can be fatal. If the injuries are not fatal, they may take a long time to heal, and in some cases, may never fully heal. This can result in a permanent change in the victims’ lifestyle and their families.
  2. Spinal cord injury. When victims experience a spinal cord injury, the movement of extremities could be affected. The victims’ nerve connections between their brains and limbs are not communicating. These injuries commonly require surgery to fix or reestablish said connections. These types of injuries require rehabilitation therapies and full assistance from a specialized medical team and family members. These are serious injuries and the full recovery of the victim is not guaranteed.
  3. Fractures. With an expected impact, the cyclist falls several meters and hits the surface, which can cause fractures of hips, ribs, arms, shoulders, and other bones. Fractures can be life-threatening if a fracture damages other tissues such as skin, nerves, muscles, or organs.
  4. Superficial injuries. These injuries can be due to the impact against the vehicle or friction with asphalt, dirt, stones, glass, metal, etc. Usually, the injuries are in the victim’s most exposed body areas such as legs, arms, and face.
  5. Bruises and bumps. A cyclist can suffer from mild to severe bruising after being struck by a motor vehicle. If the cyclist is thrown off the bicycle, bruises and bumps may be the result of the collision with the vehicle or the impact of the fall against hard surfaces.

5 Ways To Stay Safe While Cycling

As a cyclist, you have the same rights as any driver on the road. However, when in an accident with a vehicle, you are more likely to suffer severe injuries. While calling a bicycle accident lawyer in Melbourne, FL, can help you recover after an accident, understanding how to protect yourself can be just as valuable.

Check for Equipment Problems

If your bike malfunctions on the road, it can contribute to an accident. Check your bike before you ride to ensure that the equipment is working correctly. Your lights and reflectors should work and be visible to drivers. Make sure your gears and chains have no fractures or other defects. Inflate your tires ahead of time, if necessary.

Wear Appropriate Gear

Drivers may have difficulty seeing you at night if you don’t have reflective gear. Often, accidents occur at intersections when the driver cannot see the cyclist. While you should always have reflectors on your bike, you can also wear bright and reflective clothing to improve your visibility.

If you wear a helmet, it can reduce your risk of severe injury by 70%. Head injuries are the most common cause of fatal accidents, where 97% of victims were not wearing a helmet. When you wear a helmet, you reduce your risks.

Be Careful of Distractions

While most people know that distractions while driving can be dangerous, they don’t always recognize how dangerous it is on a bicycle. Do not use electronics while on your bike; keep your phone in your pocket or bag to avoid the temptation to check for texts or phone calls.

When it comes to water bottles, make sure you can use one with one hand. You shouldn’t take both hands off of your handlebars. Your eyes need to stay on the road and your attention should stay on the surroundings.

Use Hand Signals

Do you know the bike hand signals? If you aren’t familiar with them, you should learn them as soon as possible. Hand signals help you communicate with drivers and others on the road. Drivers cannot predict what you’re going to do before you do it/ When you have hand signals, a driver will know when you want to turn or go straight.

Keep Your Hands in Place

While you may think you have the best balance, you should not remove your hands from the handlebars. When sharing the road with other vehicles, you cannot react quickly to unexpected events. For instance, if there is a pedestrian in the road, you may not have an opportunity to turn quickly enough if both of your hands are off the handlebars.

Five Mistakes To Avoid During Estate Planning

Not Considering Your Children’s Futures

When you create your will and other estate planning documents, carefully consider how you’re leaving things to your children. For example, if you have a collection of Santa Claus figurines, you wouldn’t want to leave it to your daughter, the Grinch of the family. If your children are very young, you can specify how the money they’re inheriting should be spent by their guardians on behalf of your children. A will lawyer in Elizabeth, NJ, can help you word things appropriately for your children’s best benefit.

Getting Overly Specific

Normally, a will lawyer in Elizabeth, NJ, at Wade Suthard, PC would want you to be as specific as you can when creating your estate plans. However, there is one exception. If you’re including assets you may not have years down the road, such as stocks, real estate or vehicles, you’ll need to update your estate planning documents more often if you no longer have those things in your possession.

Not Funding Your Trust the Right Way

A trust can be invaluable to your estate planning, as it can keep a great many of your assets out of probate. The problem you may run up against is if it’s improperly funded. You’ll need to make sure assets are titled in the name of the trust rather than in your name. You have to get a taxpayer identification number for the trust. A will lawyer in Elizabeth, NJ, can help you get everything done the right way.

Forgetting To Consider Tax Implications

If you have an estate valued at $12.06 million or more, you’ll have to pay estate taxes. In New Jersey, one of 17 states with inheritance taxes, your heirs will have to pay up to 16% of their bequests’ value. You can reduce both tax burdens by giving your heirs up to $16,000 per year in gifts. A will lawyer in Elizabeth, NJ can give you more specific guidance based on your estate.

Not Telling Anyone Where Your Estate Planning Documents Are

All the estate planning in the world doesn’t matter at all if your heirs can’t find your estate plan documents. Don’t put them in a safe deposit box at the bank; doing so can cause problems with access to the box. Keep them in a fireproof safe in your home, and tell your spouse, children, and closest friends where they are.  Make sure they know how to open the safe, too.

What kinds of things can you seek compensation for? 

It is possible to seek compensation for things like:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Medical bills
  • Lost income
  • Damage to your bike or other property damage

Further, if you had a loved one who died from a bicycle accident, it is also possible to win damages for things like loss of companionship, loss of their future earnings, and expenses related to their burial and funeral costs. 

4 Things To Do After a Bicycle Accident

If you are a cyclist, you need to take extra precautions when riding. Many bicycle accidents are preventable if you pay sufficient attention to your surroundings. While some roads have bike lanes, many more do not, increasing the risk to you. Aside from wearing a helmet to protect against brain injury, there is little else protecting you in the event a car does hit you, or if you hit a pothole or debris.

According to Outside Magazine, in 2020, there were more than 697 bicycling accident deaths in the United States, which seems to be an improvement in the fatality rate, keep in mind that there was far less vehicular traffic on the roads for months at a time during pandemic lockdowns. Here are four things a bicycle accident lawyer in Melbourne, FL, such as Tuttle Law would suggest you do after a bicycle accident.

1. Seek Immediate Medical Attention.

Often after an accident, people are confused and disoriented. The adrenaline coursing through their veins makes them think they are not injured badly, as it can mask pain for up to an hour. Some injuries you may sustain in your accident are cuts, bruises, abrasions, strains and broken bones. They could range from minor road rash to severe compound fractures. 

If you suspect a back or neck injury, do not move or allow others to move you. Spinal and neck injuries could leave you paralyzed if not secured properly by medical personnel. Unless there is an imminent danger, such as a car going up in flames or oncoming traffic, leave the injured cyclist where they are.

2. Write Down as Much as You Can Remember

Once your medical needs are attended to, take some time to write down everything you can remember about the accident. Were you in the bike lane? Did you signal your intention to turn? Where exactly were you when you were struck? What did the car that hit you look like? Did you see the driver? What did they look like? Any detail could help your bicycle accident lawyer in Melbourne, FL, set up a personal injury case for you.

3. Speak With a Bicycle Accident Lawyer in Melbourne, FL

Your bicycle accident attorney can help determine if you have a case against the driver who struck you or the municipal entity that may have allowed poor road conditions to exist that caused your accident. Your attorney from Tuttle Law can also advise you on pursuing punitive action against those people or entities.

When you have been injured in a bicycle accident, you want to know that you are doing everything you can to get fair compensation for the injuries you are suffering from. If you need help with your bicycle injury claim, reach out to Tuttle Law, P.A. to speak with a bicycle accident lawyer in Melbourne, Florida.

Compensation to Seek in a Bicycle Accident Case

If you are involved in a bicycle accident, you need to know what kind of damages you may be eligible to seek in your case. Some of the obvious include medical bills and the cost of repairing or replacing your bicycle and other personal property that was damaged or destroyed in the accident. There are several other things you may be entitled to collect, however. One of the most important to consider is filing for lost wages due to missed work. If you are unable to go to work or make a living for a certain amount of time, you should absolutely be compensated for this. After all, if you had not been involved in the accident you would not be trying to rebuild your life again. Rather, you would still be working and living your normal life. Having a big accident like this happen due to someone else’s negligence is difficult and traumatizing. This is why you should have all of your expenses covered, and may even be eligible for damages from pain and suffering that occured due to the accident. 

Why Having a Lawyer on Your Side Is So Important 

An experienced bicycle accident lawyer in Melbourne, Florida can really help you with your case. Not only will a lawyer know what kind of damages to file for, but he or she can also come up with solid arguments to use to bolster your case in court. Your lawyer will ensure that you do not miss any filing deadlines and will fill out all of the necessary paperwork properly. Do not wait to contact legal representation for your case. You do not need to focus on it immediately, but you should retain assistance so your lawyer can investigate everything and ensure all of the necessary deadlines are met. Most of the time, a personal injury case is completely risk free, as speaking to a lawyer for a consultation is free, then you only pay your lawyer if he or she wins your case for you. This is because lawyers often work on a contingency fee basis for personal injury cases, which means that he or she will only take a percentage of the winnings if they win your case. Reach out today to learn more!