Bicycle Accident Lawyer Vero Beach, FL
Any bicycle accident lawyer in Vero Beach, FL can tell you that bike collisions kill or injure thousands of people every year. Many vehicle drivers have an idea that cyclists should not use public roads, and this is simply not true. By law, cyclists have the same right to use public roads as motor vehicles. Many motorists fail to understand the rules of the road, particularly those involving cyclists. Sadly, this way of thinking tends to result in accidents.
We know of many cyclists who were wrongfully accused of causing an accident because the rules of the road were not acknowledged. In general, if you were involved in a bike accident, you should not delay in having a bicycle accident lawyer Vero Beach, FL review the facts of your case.
Who is Liable for My Bike Accident?
Liability for a bicycle accident can depend on many factors, including the cause and who was involved. Some examples of liable parties include:
- The driver of a car – If a driver caused the accident, the cyclist may file a claim against their insurance company.
- Government agencies – When a cyclist was injured because of debris or poor road conditions, government agencies may be pursued.
- Manufacturers – Bike defects are possible. If a defect causes the accident, our lawyers may choose to pursue the maker, manufacturer, or distributor.
- Animal owner – In the event of an animal, like a dog, jumping in front of the cyclist, a claim could be filed against the owner.
If you believe a government agency is involved, it is prudent to take legal action right away. There are short deadlines and a special set of rules that must be followed. Our bicycle accident lawyers in Vero Beach, FL can help you to get started now.
Ways To Avoid Bike Accidents
Nobody wants to get into an accident. Those on bicycles are particularly vulnerable. Cyclists need to be cautious so that they don’t experience harm. The same actions that make riders unsafe could also be responsible for losing a case against a negligent driver. If you did everything in your power to assure your safety and were still wounded, file a lawsuit with the help of a bicycle accident lawyer in Vero Beach, FL.
Ride a Right-Sized Bike
Just like walking in shoes that are too big or too small, a wrong-size bike is difficult to get around on. You may have trouble reaching the pedals or experience a lack of control. Generally speaking, your feet should stand flat on the ground with the seat a couple of inches from your privates. Ask a salesperson if the one you’re buying is sensible for someone your height.
Bikes are only as safe as their braking mechanisms. It’s a decent practice to double-check them before hitting the road. Over time, brake pads wear against disc rotors, causing them to lose their effectiveness. Another possibility is that a manufacturing error exists. Consult an attorney at Tuttle Law if you think this might be what caused your crash.
Wear a Helmet
Laws concerning bicycle helmets vary by state and rider’s age. As a bicycle accident lawyer in Vero Beach, FL will tell you, those under 16 years old must wear one in the Sunshine State. Regardless, putting one on protects you from serious harm. Head injuries can have life-long consequences, so always use one.
There are many reasons why you may get into a bike accident. One is going too fast. It can be impossible to prevent a spill when you hit a bump at high velocity. Weather is another concern. Think about an alternative form of transportation if it’s rainy or snowy. Other environmental conditions are out of your control. Be aware that there could be unexpected obstacles hindering your path. Speak with a legal representative at Tuttle Law if your injury comes from crashing into an object you believe should not have been there.
Biking is a great way to get exercise and fresh air, but safety needs to be the priority. Even if you take every precaution imaginable, you can still be hurt. Should you get injured, find a bicycle accident lawyer in Vero Beach, FL, and discuss your chances of triumphing in a courtroom battle.
Determining Liability in Bicycle Accidents
When the cyclist is completely at fault, they may be unable to recover damages. If the cyclist and another party shared fault, damages may be available at a diminished rate. Often the cyclist can receive damages that are reduced to the degree by which they are to blame. For example, if the cyclist is 25 percent at fault, they may lose 25 percent of their damages.
Winning a Bike Accident Lawsuit
In order to win a bicycle accident claim or lawsuit, it will be up to you to prove, by a preponderance of the evidence, that the defendant was negligent. There are four elements to negligence: duty, breach, harm, and causation.
In other words you must prove:
- The defendant owed you a duty of care;
- They breached that duty of care;
- You were injured because of the breach, and
- You suffered losses as a direct result of the breach and injuries.
Sometimes a bicycle accident lawyer in Vero Beach, FL will refer to the laws of negligence per se. In this case, proving negligence involves demonstrating the defendant violated a traffic law, such as speeding, and this violation caused the injuries.
6 Reasons Motorists Cause Collisions with Bicycles
Tuttle Law, a bicycle accident lawyer in Vero Beach, FL, knows how drivers can potentially harm bicyclists. Bikes rarely cause an accident with a car; typically, cars collide with bicycles. Here are six common reasons motorists trigger this type of accident.
1. Reckless Driving
Anytime motorists drive recklessly, they risk causing an accident. Sadly, accidents resulting from recklessness are avoidable. Bicycle riders can find themselves in dangerous situations due to reckless driving behaviors such as:
- Failing to yield to oncoming traffic
- Ignoring traffic lights, signs and markers
A bicycle accident lawyer in Vero Beach, FL, can help you prove that the reckless driver in your case is liable for your injuries.
2. Distracted Driving
According to the CDC, distracted driving causes about eight deaths per day in the U.S. There are many reasons drivers become inattentive on the road, but these distractions are preventable. Accidents involving bicycles can happen when motorists are distracted by:
- Texting and phone use
- Eating and drinking
- Use of GPS
- Use of the vehicle’s entertainment system
- Reaching for items in the rear seat
3. Driving Under the Influence
You take a verified risk if you get behind the wheel after drinking alcohol or doing drugs. Because your judgment and coordination are impaired, you can’t make the right decisions while driving. You increase the likelihood of losing control of your vehicle, and you become a danger to yourself and others. Bicyclists are also at the mercy of drivers who are under the influence. Call Tuttle Law immediately if an impaired driver caused your bicycle accident.
4. Weaving and Unsafe Lane Changes
Motorists who weave between lanes of traffic are at increased risk of hitting a bicycle. Drivers who change lanes must continually check their blind spots for other vehicles. Weaving cars often drive through bike lanes and shoulders, which increases the chance of colliding with bicycles.
5. Driving Too Close
Cars frequently don’t leave enough space for bicycles. Ideally, drivers should allow three feet or more between them and bicycles. Bicyclists need room to maneuver their bikes if they encounter a hazard. If a vehicle is too close, it prevents the biker from seeking safety.
6. Driving While Fatigued
Exhausted drivers are impaired drivers. According to the National Safety Council, drowsy driving causes about 100,000 crashes per year. Fatigue causes motorists to make poor choices. They have slower reactions times and may even fall asleep behind the wheel; this makes them extremely dangerous to others, including bicyclists.
Call a bicycle accident lawyer in Vero Beach, FL, to get the compensation you need for your injuries.
Steps To Take After A Bike Accident
If you’re in a bicycle accident, you should follow these steps immediately after the collision. These tasks are vital in the event your attorney from Tuttle Law takes your case to court.
1. Get Medical Attention Immediately
Your priority after an accident is your health and safety. If authorities decide to transport you to the hospital, everything else can wait until you’re stable. However, if your injuries are minor, you should still follow up with a doctor. Sometimes pain doesn’t appear until after the adrenalin wears off, and it’s necessary to have medical documentation for future reference. If your case ends up in court, your bicycle accident lawyer in Vero Beach, FL, may need your medical records to prove your injures are related to the accident.
2. Contact the Police
Even if an accident is minor, you should contact the police. They can document the scene and take a report from both you and the driver. If the other driver doesn’t want to provide you with their information, the authorities may help you obtain it. Many times, the police can determine who is at fault in the accident, which may change the way you proceed. This report may be a vital piece of evidence if a bicycle accident lawyer in Vero Beach, FL, takes your case to court.
3. Take Down the Driver’s Information
Sometimes the police are not able to get to a scene of a minor accident quickly. If this is the case, you must gather identifying information from the driver. Lawyers from Tuttle Law need to know who you were hit by to file a claim with their insurance or take your case to court. Do your best to collect the following information:
- The name of the driver
- Their driver’s license number
- Type of car
- License plate
- Name of the insurance company
- Insurance policy number
4. Document the Scene
It’s always important to document the scene as soon as you can. With passing cars and people, things may change quickly if the driver needs to move their vehicle or your bike out of the way. Ideally, take pictures of everything before you move anything. Additionally, make contact with anyone who witnessed the accident. Take down their name and contact information if a bicycle accident lawyer in Vero Beach, FL, needs to follow up with them.
5. Don’t Negotiate With an Insurance Company
If the driver or their insurance company wants to settle your claim, don’t speak with them without contacting a bicycle accident lawyer in Vero Beach, FL. An attorney can ensure that you receive everything you’re eligible for.
To explore your legal options after a bike accident, call Tuttle Larsen, P.A. A bicycle accident lawyer in Vero Beach, FL would be happy to discuss the facts of your accident and help you decide how to proceed.