While cycling is popular for its well-known health and environmental benefits, cyclists are some of the most at-risk parties on the roads of Florida these days. This is because, unlike in other types of auto accident, there is no barrier between you and the other vehicle. Cyclists are also much smaller and harder to see than a car and accidents often occur when a negligent driver doesn’t exhibit due care and caution when checking for the presence of a cyclist.
If you have been injured in a Bradenton bicycle accident in the past for years, you are entitled to raise a personal injury claim to seek compensation for the injuries, damages and other complications that resulted from it. For the best chance at maximizing your settlement amount, you will need the assistance of an experienced Bradenton bicycle accident attorney like those found in our team here at The Law Place. We have over 75 years of combined experience negotiating the complexities of Florida law and winning compensation for accident victims. We offer every client a free consultation over the phone at no obligation to find out the best way to handle their situation.
If you would like to know more, give our office a call at any time of the day or night and find out how our Bradenton bicycle accident attorneys can help you. The contact number is (941)-444-4444!
Why Are Bicycle Accidents So Common?
Our legal team here at The Law Place in Bradenton, FL. have seen countless personal injury claims which deal with bicycle accidents. But why are they so common?
- Quantity of Cyclists – as cycling is such a positive, healthy and environmental habit, it makes sense that there are a lot of cyclists on the roads of Florida. When we factor in tourists and those cycling without much experience or thorough knowledge of road traffic laws, we begin to see how so many accidents can occur.
- Vulnerability to the Environment – cyclists are open to the environment around them, making them more vulnerable to being hit by a car and to adverse weather conditions alike. The surfacing quality of the road and presence of potholes also have a much greater impact on a bicycle rider.
- Visibility – even those more safety-conscious riders who utilize bicycle lights and reflective strips are at risk from drivers failing to see them.
- Negligent Driving – cyclists are particularly at risk from the negligent driving of others. If someone is speeding, driving recklessly or operating their motor vehicle while distracted, this can easily cause a bicycle accident. The way Florida law defines negligence can be found in Florida Statute 768.81.
It doesn’t matter what the situation was that led to your bicycle accident, the Bradenton bicycle accident lawyers at our law firm will fight for your rights to receive financial compensation for the injuries you sustained.
To find out more about how to file a claim, contact our office today to arrange a free consultation with an attorney.
The Best Ways to Prevent and Avoid Bicycle Accidents
While a bicycle accident is more often than not the fault of a car driver, there are a number of things you can do as a cyclist to prioritize your own safety.
Our list of the best safety tips to ensure you avoid bicycle accidents where possible would include:
- Make Yourself Seen – the road is a particularly dangerous place for cyclists at night. Your bicycle should be fitted with bicycle lights and reflective strips. You should also try to avoid wearing dark colors that would cause you to blend into the night.
- Use Bicycle Lanes Where Possible – while it is often against the rules of the road to ride your bicycle on the sidewalk, many places have specific lanes for cyclists. By using these, you lower the risk of experiencing an accident caused by a car or other motor vehicle.
- Knowing and Following Traffic Laws – a considerable percentage of bike accidents can be avoided by abiding by the rules of the road. Especially things which seem simple, such as stopping appropriately at stop signs, avoiding cycling against the flow of traffic and following all signals.
- Paying Attention – just as when you are operating a motor vehicle, it is important to pay attention to your surroundings to avoid bike accidents. You should always avoid using your phone whilst riding a bicycle.
- Avoid Intoxication – similarly, just as intoxication increases the risk of an auto accident, so too does it increase the risk of bike accidents. Even though you are not operating a motor vehicle, your reaction speed and decision making abilities will still be compromised.
- Avoid Headphones – while it can be relaxing to listen to music or podcasts while cycling, you will be more distracted and also unable to listen properly to your surroundings. This increases the risk of injury due to bicycle accidents.
- Bike Maintenance – many bike accident cases are caused by malfunctioning bicycles. If you are going to be sharing the road with cars or other motor vehicles, ensure your bike is well maintained and functioning properly.
One of the most important things to do to avoid a bike accident where possible is to cycle defensively. Assume that other road users will be at fault for your injuries through their mistakes and try to predict them.
Common Injuries Sustained in a Florida Bike Accident Case
As we have already mentioned, in a bike accident you are more exposed to dangers than if you were driving a car. This increases the risk of sustaining serious injuries which could be life-altering or possibly even fatal.
Our Bradenton bicycle accident lawyer team have seen many examples of different injuries, the following are the most common:
- Road rash, or other cuts, abrasions or lacerations to the skin.
- Bruising or spraining.
- Shattering, fracturing or breaking of bones.
- Injuries to the back or spine, which can lead to loss of mobility or, in some cases, complete paralysis.
- Head injuries. Some people who sustain a traumatic brain injury in a bicycle accident may suffer from reduced mobility, emotional or intellectual faculties for the rest of their lives.
- Ruptured or damaged internal organs or internal bleeding.
- Scarring of the skin or other types of disfigurement.
If you have sustained any of these injuries, or any not listed here, following a bike accident, our experienced Bradenton bicycle accident lawyer can help you to make a personal injury claim to seek financial compensation. You can find the number to begin the process of filing your claim at the top or bottom of most pages on this law firm website.
What About the Non-Physical Complications of a Florida Bike Accident?
It is entirely possible that, due to the trauma of being involved in an accident, you may suffer from psychological complications instead of or alongside your physical injuries.
The good news is that these are also considered when you file a claim. If you have been suffering from any form of mental health issue or post-traumatic stress disorder following your accident, your Bradenton bicycle accident attorney can help you to seek compensation.
Common psychological complications following a Bradenton bicycle accident include:
- Anxiety, which can either come in sudden bouts or be more generalized.
- Troubling sleeping, which may manifest itself as night terrors, flashbacks, or insomnia.
- Loss of enjoyment in your life.
- Inability to use roads or bicycles again in the future due to fear of another accident.
Detailed Explanation of Bicycle Laws in Florida
Understanding Florida’s bicycle laws is crucial for both cyclists and motorists. The state has specific regulations aimed at ensuring the safety of cyclists on the road. These laws cover a range of aspects from the right-of-way rules to equipment requirements. For instance, Florida law mandates that cyclists follow the same traffic rules as motorists. This includes obeying traffic signals and stop signs, riding in the same direction as traffic, and using designated bike lanes where available. Additionally, cyclists are required to have proper lighting on their bikes when riding at night, including a front light visible from 500 feet and a rear reflector that is visible from 600 feet. Understanding these laws helps cyclists to assert their rights and responsibilities, thereby promoting safer riding practices.
Statistics on Bicycle Accidents in Bradenton
Bicycle accidents in Bradenton, as in the rest of Florida, are a significant concern due to the high number of incidents reported annually. While specific recent statistics for Bradenton may not be readily available, Florida consistently ranks high nationally in bicycle fatalities. The common causes of these accidents include vehicle turning or merging into a cyclist’s path, distracted driving, and failure to yield the right of way. Understanding these statistics underscores the importance of adherence to safety laws and regulations for both cyclists and drivers.
Information on Insurance Claims Process
Navigating the insurance claims process after a bicycle accident can be complex. In Florida, a cyclist may first turn to their personal injury protection (PIP) insurance, as Florida is a no-fault state. This insurance can cover medical bills and lost wages, regardless of who was at fault. If the at-fault party is identified, the cyclist can also file a claim against that party’s liability insurance. However, issues arise if the at-fault party is uninsured or underinsured. In such cases, the cyclist might need to rely on their uninsured motorist coverage or explore legal options for compensation.
Common Challenges in Bicycle Accident Cases
Bicycle accident cases often present unique challenges. One of the primary difficulties lies in proving liability, especially in cases where there are no witnesses, and it’s the cyclist’s word against the driver’s. Severe injuries are common in bicycle accidents, complicating the claims process due to the higher stakes involved. Moreover, insurance disputes can arise, with insurers potentially downplaying the severity of injuries or contesting liability. Navigating these challenges typically requires the help of a knowledgeable attorney who understands the intricacies of bicycle accident cases.
Who Will Be the One Paying for My Personal Injury Settlement?
As Florida is a no-fault state, as covered in Florida Statute 627.7404, insurance companies are required by law to cover a percentage of your damages.
The problem is, it is often the case the compensation available through your insurance company may not cover the cost of your damages. Furthermore, insurance companies are slippery and have many tricks for lowering your claim amount in order to save themselves money.
This is why hiring the correct Bradenton bicycle accident lawyer is so important. The attorneys at our law firm have a wealth of experience negotiating the various tricks your insurance company will use to try and devalue your claim.
We can also help you to take your personal injury case through the courts if the insurance company will not cover a fair portion of the damages caused by your injury.
To get started, all you need to do is call The Law Place in Bradenton for a free case evaluation. From there, we will explain the entire process to you, as centered around your specific case.
What Different Damages Can Your Bradenton Bicycle Accident Attorneys Help You to Receive Compensation For?
There are a number of different types of compensation available to those who have suffered injuries as a result of a bike crash. These will differ depending on your exact situation.
The most commonly awarded damages for those who were injured in a bike crash include:
- Property Damage – which deals with the economic cost of physical items damaged in the crash, such as your bike and other valuables upon your person.
- Medical Costs – the cost of medical treatment can often be life-changing in itself. With a copy of your total medical bills, our law firm can help you to be reimbursed for this amount.
- Lost Wages – there are many types of injury that necessitate time spent off work, and many workplaces are unwilling to pay fairly for this time spent in recovery. Your personal injury attorney will use copies of your employer correspondence to fight for you to recover these lost wages.
- Pain and Suffering – these damages look at the duration and consequences of your recovery. The economic worth of these damages will scale with the recovery duration, pain level and the presence of life-altering consequences, such as those possible as the result of a traumatic brain injury, for example.
- Wrongful Death – you have lost a loved one in a crash which was not their fault, your attorney can help you to seek compensation for the cost of the funeral and burial. Additional compensation for their lost income and the loss of their family companionship is also available. While it may seem unfair to think of death in monetary terms, the financial burden of losing a loved one can intensely complicate your grieving process.
The Statute of Limitations for a Florida Bicycle Crash Injury Claim
Victims of injury in any type of vehicle accident in Florida are constrained by the statute of limitations, as found in Florida Statute 95.11.
This means that once a period of four years has passed from the exact date of the bike accident, victims can no longer raise a personal injury claim.
It should be noted that family members who have suffered the loss of someone close to them only have two years in which to seek a settlement for their loss. This is something that catches the family of many Florida accident victims off-guard.
It should also be noted that just because you have years in which to seek your settlement, you should still not delay. Due to the slow disappearance of evidence and the tricks of insurance companies, the quicker you raise your personal injury case, the greater the amount of compensation you can expect to receive.
What to Do Immediately After a Bradenton Bike Accident
Victims of vehicle accidents are often shaken at the scene of their crash, so we have put together a small list of things to do immediately after:
- First, get yourself and any other people present to safety.
- Then, immediately contact the police (in accordance with Florida Statute 316.062) and medical authorities if anyone was injured.
- Collect the contact details of every driver present, whether they were involved or simply a witness.
- Take photographs of the scene, including all vehicles involved, the road surface, damage to the surroundings and any injuries sustained.
- Finally, call your lawyer right away. The sooner your case can be started, the better chance you stand of maximizing your compensation.
FAQ: Bradenton Bicycle Accident Lawyer
What should I do immediately after a bicycle accident in Bradenton?
Immediately after a bicycle accident, ensure your safety and seek medical attention, even if injuries seem minor. Then, report the accident to the police, collect contact information of witnesses, and take photographs of the scene and your injuries. It’s also advisable to avoid discussing fault at the scene and contact a bicycle accident attorney as soon as possible.
Are there specific bicycle laws in Florida I should be aware of?
Yes, Florida has specific bicycle laws. Cyclists are required to follow the same traffic rules as motor vehicles, including obeying traffic signals and signs. Bicycles must have proper lighting when ridden at night, and cyclists should use bike lanes where available. Always ride in the direction of traffic and use hand signals when turning.
How do I file an insurance claim after a bicycle accident?
To file an insurance claim after a bicycle accident, first report the accident to your insurance company. Provide them with all necessary documentation, including the police report, medical records, and evidence from the accident scene. You may need to also file a claim with the at-fault party’s insurance if your expenses exceed your coverage.
What compensation can I seek in a bicycle accident case?
You can seek compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, pain and suffering, and any other losses incurred due to the accident. If the accident resulted in long-term disability or disfigurement, you could also claim for future medical care and lost earning capacity.
How can a Bradenton bicycle accident lawyer help me?
A Bradenton bicycle accident lawyer can help you by evaluating your case, advising you on your legal options, negotiating with insurance companies, and representing you in court if necessary. They can also assist in gathering evidence, calculating the total damages, and ensuring that you receive fair compensation.
What are common causes of bicycle accidents in Bradenton?
Common causes of bicycle accidents in Bradenton include driver negligence such as distracted driving, failure to yield, speeding, and driving under the influence. Poor road conditions, adverse weather, and cyclist errors can also contribute to accidents.
How long do I have to file a bicycle accident claim in Florida?
In Florida, the statute of limitations for filing a bicycle accident claim is generally four years from the date of the accident. However, it’s advisable to start the legal process as soon as possible to preserve evidence and build a stronger case.
What if I was partially at fault for the bicycle accident?
Even if you were partially at fault, you might still be able to recover compensation due to Florida’s comparative negligence laws. Your compensation may be reduced by your percentage of fault in the accident and if you are found to be more than 50% at fault you will not be able to claim anything.
Can I sue if my child was injured in a bicycle accident?
Yes, if your child was injured in a bicycle accident due to someone else’s negligence, you can file a lawsuit on their behalf. A lawyer can help you understand the process and work to secure compensation for your child’s injuries.
What should I do if the at-fault party in the bicycle accident is uninsured?
If the at-fault party is uninsured, you can turn to your uninsured motorist coverage if you have it. Alternatively, you can pursue a personal injury lawsuit against the individual to seek compensation for your injuries and losses.
Is it necessary to go to court for a bicycle accident claim?
It is not always necessary to go to court for a bicycle accident claim. Many cases are settled out of court through negotiations with insurance companies. However, if a satisfactory settlement cannot be reached, going to court may be the best option to pursue fair compensation.
How are settlements for bicycle accidents determined?
Settlements are determined based on the severity of your injuries, the impact on your life, the total medical expenses, lost wages, and the degree of the other party’s negligence. Each case is unique, and a lawyer can help assess the value of your claim.
Can I claim for emotional distress after a bicycle accident?
Yes, you can claim compensation for emotional distress and mental anguish resulting from a bicycle accident. This includes anxiety, depression, PTSD, and other psychological effects of the accident.
What happens if a loved one dies in a bicycle accident?
If a loved one dies in a bicycle accident, you may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit. Compensation can include funeral and burial expenses, loss of income and support, loss of companionship, and other related damages.
How much does it cost to hire a bicycle accident lawyer in Bradenton?
Many bicycle accident lawyers in Bradenton work on a contingency fee basis. This means you only pay attorney fees if you win your case, and the fees are typically a percentage of the settlement amount. Most lawyers offer a free initial consultation to discuss your case.
Contact The Law Place Today
If you were injured by another driver in a bike accident which was not your fault, the lawyers at our Bradenton office can help you to receive financial justice. Compensation is available for property damage, medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages and more. The lawyer team at our office will do everything in their power to maximize the amount of money you are entitled to. We have a staggering wealth of experience inside and outside the courtroom just waiting to benefit your specific accident case.
In order to start the process of seeking compensation, call today to receive a free consultation and a free case evaluation. Our phone lines are always being operated, so you can give our office a phone call whenever it best suits your schedule. All of our personal injury and accident cases are no-win-no-fee. This means that if you are successful, the fee for your lawyers will only be taken from the final settlement. If you are unsuccessful, the process will be risk-free and cost you nothing at all.
Phone a member of our lawyer team today by calling (941)-444-4444!