Bicycles are a cheap and easy way to travel around Florida, but unfortunately, there is always a risk in cycling on the roads. According to The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, in 2018, the State of Florida had the highest fatality rate per million population in the U.S., with over 3,000 fatalities and even more injuries.
If you or a loved one have been injured in a bicycle crash, then you could pursue a Florida bicycle accident lawsuit with the help of an experienced attorney. The lawyers at The Law Place have over 75 years of combined experience in pursuing bicycle injury cases similar to yours and will be able to provide you with valuable legal advice specific to your accident.
We understand that being involved in a bicycle accident is an incredibly traumatic experience, and we want to ensure that you get the justice that you deserve. To begin the legal process, call (941) 444-4444 and schedule a free consultation with our lawyers today!
Will I Have to Go to Court?
A lot of people may be discouraged from speaking to a lawyer because they believe taking a lawsuit to court will be stressful and inconvenient. However, there’s no need to worry, as your bike accident lawsuit will only go to court if you want it to.
According to Lawsuit.org, over 96% of civil cases settle before trial, meaning that the majority of Florida bike accidents will be resolved in a confidential settlement rather than going in front of a jury. If you have a skilled lawyer, then they may be able to negotiate a fair and appropriate settlement. However, you might have to litigate your case in order to get the insurance company to take your claim seriously and secure a fair settlement.
You don’t have to make an immediate decision on whether to take your claim to trial or accept a settlement, especially not before you’ve spoken to a knowledgable and trustworthy bicycle accident lawyer. To determine which is the best path to take for your bike injury case, contact The Law Place today and book a free consultation.
What Is the Legal Process for Florida Bicycle Accidents?
Every Florida bicycle accident lawsuit is different, but most cases that The Law Place have dealt with follow the general outline listed below:
- Notify all potential insurance companies – Your bicycle accident lawyer should notify any and all insurance companies that may be eligible to provide coverage for your injuries. This will tell you what insurance coverage is available to you.
- Demand for settlement – After gathering as much evidence as possible, your attorney will make a request for settlement to the insurance company. The insurance company will agree to the settlement, or your lawyer will file a lawsuit.
- Filing the complaint – This is the formal pleading filed with the court, which will officially begin the Florida bicycle injury lawsuit process. The complaint on the at-fault party will be served by a process server that is hired by your attorney.
- Discovery – Once the lawsuit is underway, your lawyer will send a written discovery to the at-fault party and their insurance company. During this stage, your attorney will continue to investigate your case thoroughly and gather vital evidence from the other side, such as witness statements, photos of the accident scene, and more.
- Depositions – A deposition is a sworn statement under oath, where you will explain what happened. You will have to sit for a deposition taken by the other party’s lawyer, and your attorney will take the at-fault driver’s deposition, as well as any witnesses’. This is a required step in every Florida bike accident case. These depositions may be used if the case goes to trial.
- Mediation – This is also required in Florida bicycle accident lawsuits. Mediation is an informal settlement conference, which is where the two sides will negotiate a settlement for your case. With the excellent advice of your attorney, you’ll be able to decide whether to accept the settlement or not. If your bicycle accident case doesn’t settle at mediation, then your lawyer will take the lawsuit to trial.
- Trial – This is the last possible step of a Florida bike crash lawsuit. If your case doesn’t settle, then your attorney will take your case to court. This will usually be before a jury of six people and cast last anywhere from a few days to a few weeks. The length of the time depends on the complexity and severity of your particular case. The trial will end with the jury issuing their verdict, either in your favor or the other party’s favor. This ruling becomes a binding judgment, except in exceptional situations.
While this may seem to be a very complicated and lengthy process, with the help of a proficient lawyer, they’ll be able to ensure that you are as untroubled as possible. They will take on the majority of the work with you and be able to guide and support you the entire time.
To receive more information specific to your case, call The Law Place today and book a free case evaluation.
What Are the Common Injuries That Result From Bicycle Accidents?
Bike accidents can often lead to victims being severely injured or even killed in the most extreme cases. Some of the most common bicycle accident injuries are listed below:
- Lacerations, bruises, road rash, sprains, and more.
- Broken and fractured bones.
- Head injuries and traumatic brain injury.
- Neck injuries, such as whiplash.
- Spinal cord and back injuries.
- Internal bleeding and organ damage.
- Permanent disability.
- Wrongful death.
If you have sustained any of the above injuries, or others, in a bicycle accident, then you could be entitled to compensation. The compensation that you’re owed depends on the severity of the injuries. If you suffer from long-lasting injuries that require long-term help and treatment, then your settlement value will be able to be increased to cover all of your medical bills, including projected expenses. Even if you suffered from less severe injuries, such as a minor concussion or soft tissue injuries, our team would ensure that the settlement you receive covers all medical expenses.
How Is Liability Determined in a Bicycle Accident Case?
It will be the responsibility of your lawyer to prove who the at-fault party is so that you and your legal team can sue the right party. In order to do this, your attorney will have to gather evidence that will prove the following points:
- The liable party owed a duty of care – Every driver and cyclist in Florida owe a duty of care to all others using the road. This means that they are legally expected to behave and react how any reasonable person would in the same scenario.
- They breached this duty of care – The at-fault party will have breached their duty of care if they’ve acted recklessly and unlike a reasonable person.
- This breach caused the accident – This breach must have been the direct cause of your accident in order to prove the at-fault party was liable for your accident.
- This resulted in you suffering damages – If this breach, and the accident caused by it, meant that you suffered damages and losses, then the person who breached their duty of care can be held liable.
If you have been involved in a bicycle accident that wasn’t your fault, then you should contact The Law Place immediately to begin the process to secure the compensation that you deserve.
What Damages Could I Be Owed After a Bicycle Accident?
While every case is different, listed below are the most common damages sustained after a bicycle accident, which your attorney may be able to secure compensation for:
- Medical expenses – If you’ve been involved in a motor vehicle accident and you sustained any injuries, it’s important that you seek medical attention immediately. Any medical bills that you incur as a result of the accident will be accounted for in the final settlement, as long as you have proof of these expenses. Future medical bills for long-term injuries should also be included.
- Property damage – It’s likely that your bike was damaged in the accident, as well as any other items that you were carrying. The costs or any necessary repairs or replacements may also be factored into your settlement, although you will have to provide evidence proving these expenses.
- Lost wages – In some extreme personal injury cases, the victim may have needed to take time off work because of the accident. The settlement you’re awarded should cover any wages that you lost and compensate for any loss of earning potential if you can’t return to work.
- Pain and suffering – This is a form of non-economic damages that are used to compensate accident victims for any mental and/or physical suffering, as well as a loss of enjoyment in life. However, as this is very difficult to prove, it’s best to have knowledgeable and experienced lawyers on your side representing you.
- Wrongful death – If you have lost a loved one because of a negligent driver, then you may be entitled to file a wrongful death lawsuit, as is explained in Florida Statute 768.21. These lawsuits should cover any remaining medical expenses, all funeral expenses, and loss of consortium.
While we know that no amount of compensation can heal your injuries or fix the trauma that you’ve experienced, it will help you with any financial burdens you’ve been left with and serve as proof that justice was served. To begin the process of securing the compensation you deserve, call The Law Place today.
What About Comparative Negligence?
Under Florida Statute 768.81, Florida is a comparative negligence state. This law emphasizes the importance of fault in accident cases. This means that all involved parties in any motor vehicle accident can be assigned a certain amount of liability by a judge, and your settlement will be affected by this. You will still be able to file a lawsuit if you are partially at fault, but your compensation will be reduced by the percentage of fault that has been proven to be your own.
For example, if your bicycle accident was mainly caused by a negligent driver who was intoxicated, but you also ran a red light, then you may be deemed to be 20% at fault, meaning that the settlement you manage to secure will be reduced by 20%. This is a reflection of your own liability for the damages.
A bicycle accident attorney will be able to thoroughly investigate your case and ensure that your settlement accurately reflects your own fault and the damages you sustained. Call our law firm today to schedule a free legal consultation.
Is There a Time Limit on Bicycle Accident Cases?
The State of Florida has a statute of limitations, which is explained in Florida Statute 95.11. This means that you will have exactly four years from the date of your accident to seek compensation. If this time period passes, then you will not be able to receive any payout, regardless of how severe the injuries you sustained in your accident were.
While four years may seem like a long time, it’s important to act quickly, to ensure that you give your lawyer plenty of time to investigate your accident and prevent your insurance adjuster from escaping from compensating you for the injuries and trauma that you sustained.
In the unfortunate event that you lost a loved one in an accident, you will have only two years to recover damages from the responsible party.
Another timeline you’ll have to follow is when to seek medical attention. Under Florida Statute 627.736, you must seek medical care within two weeks of your accident. If you haven’t sought medical treatment within this timeline, then the at-fault party’s insurer can use this to deny your claim, even if you are suffering from severe injuries because of the accident.
Call The Law Place Today!
If you or a loved one have been involved in a bicycle accident that wasn’t your fault, then you should call The Law Place today and find out if you have a valid personal injury claim. We want to help you get the justice that you deserve, and our knowledge, resources, and decades of experience will ensure that you get every cent of compensation that you’re owed. Our team of lawyers will work around the clock to help you and take on the bulk of the work on your behalf so that you can focus on recovering and getting your life back on track.
To schedule a free consultation with one of our experienced personal injury lawyers, contact The Law Place now. Our phone lines are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, so don’t hesitate to call (941) 444-4444!