Fort Lauderdale Bicycle Accident Lawyers Providing Skilled Legal Services to Injured Cyclists
Florida has a beautiful climate for bicycling. Many Fort Lauderdale residents and visitors have found that traveling by bicycle is a cheap, environmentally friendly, and healthy way to get out and enjoy the city and surrounding areas. However, there can be dangerous downsides to biking if your fellow motorists do not drive with care. Recently, Florida has consistently ranked as one of the deadliest states for bicyclists, with the vast majority of fatal bicycle accidents involving a collision with a motor vehicle. If you or a loved one have been injured in a bicycle crash, you need a law firm with extensive experience in helping cyclists get the justice they deserve. Kurzman Law Group, P.A. can provide the strong legal advocacy you need for your claim. Contact us today for a free case consultation: 954-466-3220.
How Does a Cycling Accident Happen?
Many areas have bike trails that take riders through beautiful scenery and, most importantly, keep them away from traffic and congested areas. However, bike trails and protected bike lanes are only available in some places, and bicycle riders often have to use roads and sidewalks to get around. This can put bikers in danger of being struck by a car. Under Florida state law, a bike rider has the same rights and responsibilities as other vehicles on the road. Unfortunately, many drivers do not respect a bike in the same way they do another car or truck. Some ways a negligent driver can cause a car-related bicycle accident include:
- Driving while distracted by a phone call, eating, or any other task unrelated to controlling the vehicle.
- Neglecting to look for oncoming riders, especially when turning.
- Not checking for bikes before opening a car door, which results in “dooring” a bicyclist.
- Crowding or tailgating bikes.
- Reckless driving, such as speeding, swerving, aggressive maneuvering, and making unsafe lane changes.
- Failing to account for weather conditions, such as wet roads, can lead to losing control of their vehicle.
- Drunk driving or driving under the influence of drugs, including prescription and OTC medicines can impact reaction times.
While being hit by a car can leave a rider with serious injuries, not every bicycle accident case involves a motorized vehicle. Even bike riding on the sidewalk in areas where it is allowed or on purpose-built trails can place a rider at risk for a bicycle injury. A bike crash can also be caused by:
- A collision with a pedestrian or their pet.
- Defective bicycle parts.
- Poorly designed or inadequately maintained trails.
- Fellow bicyclists who are acting negligently.
Kurzman Law Group, P.A. can help no matter how your accident occurred. We will carefully investigate the crash and help you recover compensation from the negligent parties involved.
What Are the Physical Consequences of a Bicycle Accident?
Bicyclists have very little protection from injuries in a crash. Simply falling off a bicycle onto the hard ground can be enough to crack bones and leave bruising and cuts. These injuries can be greatly magnified when the rider is struck by a vehicle moving at speed. A bicycle accident victim can suffer many impacts during this type of crash, including getting hit by the car, being thrown by the force of the blow, striking the ground, getting crushed between the vehicle and another object, and even being run over by the car after being hit. The damage inflicted can be immense, and recovery can be long and challenging. Possible injuries sustained by victims can include:
- Fractured and broken bones.
- Deep cuts and scrapes are caused by sliding across the pavement, also known as “road rash.”
- Spinal cord injuries and complete or partial paralysis.
- Lacerations and bruising.
- Face, jaw, dental, and eye injuries.
- Damage to internal organs, including punctured lungs and internal bleeding.
- Back and neck injuries.
- Sprains and strains.
- Skull damage, concussions, and traumatic brain injuries (TBIs).
- Crush injuries and limb amputation.
If the injuries are severe enough, bicycle fatalities are possible. If your family member has been tragically taken from you due to another person’s reckless and negligent actions, our lawyers can help you hold the liable parties accountable. You may have options for legal action in civil court, such as a wrongful death lawsuit, which can include compensation for funeral and burial expenses, loss of financial support, loss of companionship, and more.
Why Are Helmets Recommended for All Riders?
In Florida, helmets are only required by law for bicyclists under 16. However, a helmet can be critical for the safety of adult riders as well. Bicyclists without helmets are more susceptible to skull and brain injuries, including concussions. As more research has been done on the long-term impacts of head injuries on victims, it has become clear that protecting your head and brain should be a priority for those bicycling. Head injuries can cause life-threatening brain bleeds and permanent damage to brain tissue, such as TBIs. Depending on its severity, a TBI may cause life-long problems for victims, such as:
- Memory issues.
- Mood and personality changes.
- Vision and hearing problems.
- Communication challenges, including difficulty speaking and trouble following conversations.
- Depression, anxiety, and panic attacks.
Ultimately, whether to wear a helmet is an individual choice, and every rider deserves to remain safe from the harmful, negligent actions of others, regardless of what they wear. Even if you choose not to use a helmet while biking, you still retain the right to file a lawsuit for your injuries and losses. If the other party’s lawyers claim that your lack of a helmet makes you responsible for your accident and injuries, our experienced bike accident lawyers can help you fight back to recover the damages you are entitled to.
How Can a Prompt Medical Evaluation Post-Accident Help Your Financial Recovery?
With today’s high medical costs, many people are hesitant to seek medical treatment unless they have a severe injury or put off their appointments while they wait to see if they can heal on their own. Unfortunately, taking this approach after a bike crash can be detrimental to your health and your bicycle accident claim.
At the accident scene, you may feel that you did not get hurt enough to need a doctor’s help. But this may be because you still have adrenaline pumping through your system after the frightening incident. Adrenaline often masks pain to allow you to escape danger, so some injuries may not become evident until later. Other injuries, especially to the neck and back, get worse as time goes on because damaged tissues begin to swell and cause pain.
The best practice for safeguarding your health and claim is to see a doctor promptly after any bicycle accident. If your injuries are severe, call 911 and follow the instructions of the responding EMTs. For injuries that are not life-threatening, you can visit urgent care or make an appointment with your regular doctor. Your medical exam provides an official record of your injuries and their severity and ties them to the crash. This prevents the insurer from arguing that your injuries were due to another incident or were less serious than you claim. Always follow through with all treatment plans to show that you are making a good-faith effort to heal.
Can You File a Claim if You Share Fault for the Bicycle Crash?
Florida is a pure comparative negligence state, which means that even if you shared some fault for the accident, you could still seek compensation from the other party as long as you weren’t solely responsible for the accident. However, it is vital to remember that your settlement will be reduced by the amount of fault assigned to you. The other party’s insurance company will frequently attempt to prove that you were mostly or wholly responsible to limit the amount they have to pay. At Kurzman Law Group, P.A., we believe that you deserve to recover a fair amount for your damages, and we will build a robust claim to fight back against the insurance company’s unfair accusations.
If you are found 100% at fault for your car-involved bicycle accident, you will be unable to file a claim against the driver’s car insurance policy. Still, your health insurance may cover some or all of your medical expenses. Property damage to your bicycle and belongings may also be covered under your renter’s or homeowner’s insurance, depending on your policy.
What Financial Compensation Can Our Lawyers Help You Recover in a Bicycle Accident Lawsuit?
Physically recovering from a bicycle accident injury can be challenging, but there can be many other difficulties you face due to your crash. You may have skyrocketing medical bills for your care, and daily living expenses might be piling up because you have been unable to work for an extended period. You could suffer from chronic pain and nightmares about the accident, making it hard to sleep.
To calculate the value of your bicycle accident claim, our legal team at Kurzman Law Group, P.A. will take the time to fully understand your situation and how your injuries have affected your life. Your bicycle accident attorney will fight to hold the responsible parties liable for your losses and recover the compensation you deserve. Compensation is divided into three categories:
- Economic damages: These are the financial losses you’ve experienced from the bicycle accident, including emergency room bills, lost wages, surgery and rehabilitation expenses, loss of earning capacity, the cost of future medical expenses if you require ongoing medical care, and more.
- Non-economic damages: Some losses are easy to see, while others are less tangible. Non-economic damages include the pain and suffering you’ve experienced because of your injury, the mental anguish you’ve felt, and the changes to the quality of your life that any scarring or disfigurement has caused.
- Punitive damages: If your case goes to court and the defendant is deemed to have acted intentionally or maliciously, punitive damages may also be awarded to punish the individual for their harmful actions.
Our compassionate personal injury attorneys in Fort Lauderdale will guide you through every step of the claim process, and we will promptly address all your questions and concerns. Your recovery is our number one priority. We work on a contingency basis, so you will not owe unless we secure a settlement. Call 954-466-3220 today for a free consultation to learn how we can assist you.