Bicycle Accident Lawyer Florida
One of the best things about living in Florida is the weather. People who enjoy bike riding can pretty much ride year-round in this state. Unfortunately, although riding a bike is a healthy and environmentally friendly way to get around, it is also one of the most dangerous. Each year, more than 800 cyclists are killed in vehicle accidents. Thousands of more are seriously injured, and as a bicycle accident lawyer Florida clients recommend can attest, the wonderful weather Floridians enjoy also means that many of those bike accidents occur right here in our state.
In fact, in one recent study, Florida was the most dangerous state for bicyclists. One news report called it a “killing field.” If you ride, you need to exercise a great deal of caution and ride defensively. But that often is not enough. Negligent motorists can strike and injure the most cautious rider. If you been in a bicycle accident, you need more than just medical help. You need an experienced attorney who can serve as a strong advocate for your compensation.
Severity of Bike Accident Injuries
The majority of vehicles on the road today weigh several thousand pounds, some vehicles even more. The average weight of a bike is about 20 pounds, while specialty bikes weigh even less. Occupants who are in cars and other vehicles have protection surrounding them to provide some kind of buffer or barrier from the impact of a crash. A bicycle provides no such protection for the rider. This is why when a vehicle slams into a bicycle, the injuries are usually serious to severe.
Many of the bike accident cases that each Florida bicycle accident lawyer from our firm handle usually involve one or more of the following injuries suffered by the victim:
- Brain injuries
- Dental damage
- Facial injuries
- Fracture bones
- Head injuries
- Neck injuries
- Road rash
- Spine injuries
Tragically, many of these injuries leave the victim facing long-term recovery or permanent disability. This also means extensive medical bills, leave of absence or unable to return back to work, and reduction in the victim’s quality of life. The physical, emotional, and financial losses to a bike accident victim can be devasting to them and their family.
If a driver’s negligence caused the bike accident, then that driver will likely be legally liable for the damages the victim has suffered because of the accident. Negligence is defined as violating the standard of reasonable care. There are many factors that can cause a driver to hit a cyclist, including speeding or other traffic violation, driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs, or engaging in distracted driving behaviors.
Drivers seem to be even more distracted, perhaps by phones and texting, as one study found that while vehicle crashes had increased, those due to carelessness had increased at almost four times the rate of the overall increase. If a driver is texting, it may be possible to subpoena their phone records during discovery to prove their negligence. Each Florida bicycle accident lawyer from our firm is skilled at examining crashes and looking for the evidence you need to be successful with your claim.
In order to pursue a bike accident claim, your attorney will first file a claim with the negligent driver’s insurance company. Keep in mind, however, that the majority of insurance companies will only offer the minimum compensation that does not even come close to fully covering all the losses a victim has suffered, especially a victim who is seriously or severely injured. If the insurance company fails to negotiate in good faith, your attorney can then file a personal injury lawsuit to pursue damages through litigation. When this step is taken, most insurance companies are more apt to come back to the negation table to reach a fair and just settlement for the victim.
Our Firm Understands
Our attorneys at Tuttle Larsen, P.A., know how severely you can be injured when motorists collide with a bicycle. Crashes can range from minor, where you suffer only bruises to seriously broken bones, spinal cord and traumatic brain injuries, and in the worst cases, fatalities.
You may need multiple, major surgeries, casts, therapy, and long-term care. Spinal cord injuries can lead to paraplegia and quadriplegia, along with lifetime medical care. Our attorneys understand how devastating these crashes can be, and we work to secure the financial compensation you will need, no matter the level of care you may require.
If you were injured by a negligent motorist or another bicyclist while on your bicycle, contact our office to schedule a free and confidential consultation with a skilled Florida bicycle accident lawyer and find out how we can help.
Florida Bicycle Accident Lawyer FAQs
Can I recover damages if I was hit by a car while riding my bicycle?
Yes, our experienced Florida bicycle accident lawyer may be able to help you pursue and recover damages for your injuries and other losses if you were hit by a car while riding your bicycle. The driver of the car may be liable for your damages if they were negligent or violated traffic laws. In Florida, you may still be able to recover damages even if you were partially at fault for the accident, as the state follows a comparative negligence system. It should be noted that if you are found partially at-fault, your damages may be reduced by the percentage of fault assigned to you.
What should I do if I am hit by a car while riding my bicycle?
If you are hit by a car while riding your bicycle, the first thing you should do is seek medical attention. You should also call the police to report the accident and exchange information with the driver, including their name, contact information, and insurance information. Take photos of the accident scene and any damages or injuries, and seek legal advice from a lawyer that specializes in bicycle-related personal injury cases. An experienced lawyer from Tuttle Law, P.A. will be able to provide you with accurate and concise guidance for taking legal action against responsible parties.
Can I recover damages if I was injured due to a faulty bicycle component?
Yes, if you were injured due to a faulty bicycle component, you may be able to recover damages from the manufacturer, distributor, or seller of the defective product. Product liability laws hold manufacturers and sellers responsible for injuries caused by their products, and an experienced bicycle accident lawyer in Florida can help you pursue compensation for your damages. If for any reason you believe a faulty component contributed to your accident, you should consult with a bicycle accident lawyer Florida residents trust.
What if I was not wearing a helmet during a bicycle accident?
If you were not wearing a helmet during a bicycle accident, it may be used as evidence against you in a personal injury lawsuit. While not wearing a helmet does not automatically bar you from recovering damages, it may be argued that you were partially at fault for your injuries. It is always recommended to wear a helmet when riding a bicycle to reduce the risk of injury.
In Florida, bicyclists under the age of 16 are required to wear helmets while riding. While not required for adult bicyclists, wearing a helmet is always recommended to reduce the risk of head injuries.
How long do I have to file a lawsuit for a bicycle accident?
The statute of limitations for filing a lawsuit for a bicycle accident varies by state and can range from one to six years. In Florida, the statute of limitations for filing a bicycle accident lawsuit is four years from the date of the accident. It is important to consult with an experienced Florida bicycle accident lawyer as soon as possible after the accident to ensure that you do not miss any important deadlines. Waiting too long to file a lawsuit can result in your case being dismissed and you may lose the opportunity to recover damages for your injuries.
If you were involved in or injured in a bicycle accident, the qualified legal professionals at Tuttle Law, P.A. are here to guide you. Contact our firm today for your free consultation.
We never forget that real people and communities are behind every case.