If you or someone you love were recently injured in a bicycle accident, our team of bicycle accident lawyers can help with all issues that may arise in your bicycle…
Miami Bicycle Accident Attorney
Cycling is an inexpensive and environmentally conscious way to get around South Florida, but it can also leave you at risk of sustaining catastrophic injuries should you be involved in a bicycle accident. Without the protection offered by a 3,000-pound metal frame, you are significantly more exposed than many others on the road, and statistics confirm that bicyclists tend to sustain more severe injuries than occupants of cars, trucks and other motor vehicles. Bicycle accidents can cause life altering injuries and even death. If you or a loved one has been injured in a bicycle accident in South Florida, the personal injury attorneys at Suarez & Montero can help! Our team of experienced attorneys can help make sure you get the compensation needed to pay for proper medical treatment and any other damages.
Florida Bicycling Accident Statistics
Over the past few decades, the use of bicycles as a form of transportation has been on the rise. The natural, and very predictable, result of the increase in the number of bicycles on the road throughout the country has been a corresponding increase in the rate of motor vehicle-bicycle accidents, in which almost invariably it is the bicyclist who is injured to some degree. Indeed, the increase in accidents has been proportionate to the explosion in bicycle sales over the years, reflecting a steady upward trend. According to the National Highway Traffic Administration (NHTA), deaths among bicyclists in Florida have tripled since 1975. On average, the state sees about 110 cyclist deaths annually. Despite efforts from local bicycling activists, the situation does not seem to be improving.
Causes and Injuries Involved in Bicycle Accidents
The risk of a bike accident injury in South Florida is huge. Even when bicyclists take all necessary precautions, they still face significant threats, especially in high traffic areas. There are several factors that can lead to bicycle accidents. Some of the most common types of bicycle accidents involving cars are caused at intersections. Many bicycle accidents occur due to a vehicle strike at an intersection. Drivers simply fail to watch closely enough for bicycles or pedestrians when approaching intersections or proceeding through an intersection.
Other frequently cited causes of bicycle accidents include:
- Aggressive driving
- Failure to yield
- Distracted driving/riding
- Riding at night
- Limited rider visibility
- Driving under the influence
- Bicycle malfunctions and defects
- Bad weather
- Dangerous road conditions
Compensation for Bicycle Accident Injuries
In Florida, in an action by a bicyclist to recover damages as a result of injuries sustained in a accident with a motor vehicle, as in any negligence case, the plaintiff has the burden of proving by a preponderance of the evidence that the motorist was negligent and that such negligence was the proximate cause of the injury suffered. However, recovery for injuries sustained by a bicyclist in a collision with a motorist may be barred or diminished if the bicyclist’s own negligence contributed to the accident, and once the plaintiff bicyclist has made out a prima facie case of negligence against the defendant motorist, the burden shifts to the defendant to prove by a preponderance of the evidence any affirmative defense, including contributory fault. A plaintiff in a bicycle accident case may obtain actual (compensatory) damages.
Compensatory damages are awarded for the loss, injury to a person caused by the negligence of another. The objective of compensatory damages is to make the injured party whole to the extent that it is possible to measure an injury in terms of money. Actual or compensatory damages are categorized as either general or special. General damages are damages directly caused by the wrongful act or negligence of another. Special damages are those that do not necessarily result from the wrongful act or negligence of another. Under Florida law, special damages consist of items of loss that are specific to the party who suffered the injury or loss. Below is a breakdown of some of the different types of compensation available to bicycle accident victims:
Medical Expenses: In Florida, damages are awarded if the plaintiff must undergo testing or treatment, or if the plaintiff must receive medical care of any type, such as hospital stays or physical therapy.
Lost Wages: Recovering from an injury often requires time off work. The length of time off typically depends on the type and severity of the injury. Calculating past lost earnings is easy. You simply add up the earnings and employment benefits that you lost from being out of work. If you are fully or partially disabled due to your injury and are unable to work going forward, then you may be able to seek compensation for future lost earning capacity.
Future Lost Income and Earning Capacity: A person who is injured by the wrongful act of another may recover for any loss of time and loss of earnings that result from a temporary incapacity. The measure of the injured person’s loss is the amount that the person would have earned had the person not been injured.
Physical Pain and Emotional Suffering: Injuries cause physical and mental pain, as well as suffering during and after the accident, which are all things you can pursue compensation for. Mental anguish, for which recovery is sought in a personal injury action, is generally considered as pain and suffering and covers not only the pain associated with the injury but also the mental reaction to that pain and to the possible consequences of the injury.
Involved in a Bicycle Accident? Here is What you Need to do
Taking the proper steps after being in a bicycle accident can make a tremendous difference in the future of your potential case. We understand how distressing it can be to be involved in an accident with a vehicle. However, trying to make wise choices immediately after the accident will have a positive effect on your case. Many bicycle accidents are caused by motorists who are careless and simply don’t see bicyclists on the road. In the event you are involved in a bike accident, here are a few helpful tips:
Move out of traffic and away from further danger. The most important thing you can do after being in an accident is to move yourself out of harm’s way.
Call the Police
A police report is one of the most useful documents an accident lawyer can have when prosecuting your claim. For best results, having your side of the story taken down on the police report is key. Additionally, police serve as a valuable mediator between yourself and the other party involved. Unless you are receiving necessary medical attention, you should wait for the police to arrive on the site.
Obtain information from all parties
This includes a copy of the license plate number of the motor vehicle involved, the other driver’s contact information and insurance information.
If anyone witnessed the accident, get their contact information and encourage them to speak with the appropriate authorities.
Take Detailed Notes
Write the details of the accident and take photos of the scene, your bike, and your injuries. Write down what you remember leading up to and during the event, if possible. Commit these events to memory until you have the means to record them.
Keep clothes unwashed, take photos if available, and leave your bicycle unrepaired to give your lawyer and other experts comprehensive access to evidence.
Contact our Miami Bike Accident Attorney for a FREE consultation
If you or a loved one has been injured in a bicycle accident, you have the right to take the responsible person to court and for that, you need the services of the Miami Bicycle Accident attorneys at Suarez & Montero. We have over 19 years of experience representing cyclists. Our firm can help you pursue fair compensation for your injuries if you have been injured in an accident due to someone else’s negligence. At the Law Offices of Suarez & Montero Car Accident Attorneys, you are never just another file or claim to us—you are part of our family and your well-being is just as important to us as if you were our own family. Our skillful attorneys are genuinely committed to our clients. We will fight to make sure that you get the maximum amount of compensation owed to you. Let us review your case and discuss your legal options. Our attorneys are ready to provide proven legal representation in pursuing your claim and stand ready to protect your rights. We are available 24/7 to give you a free, no risk case consultation.
The time necessary to resolve a bike accident case can vary from a few months to a few years. It is never advisable to rush into a settlement or trial.…
Have you suffered an injury in a bicycle accident in Miami due to another individual’s negligence? If so, you might be dealing with medical bills, property damage, lost time at …
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes. In Florida, a plaintiff in a personal injury case may obtain actual (compensatory) damages. Compensatory damages are awarded for the loss, injury to a person caused by the negligence of another. The objective of compensatory damages is to make the injured party whole to the extent that it is possible to measure an injury in terms of money.
No. Following a bicycle accident in which you were injured, you are not legally obligated to give an insurance company representative, or any other person, any statement about the incident, with the exception of law enforcement.
You can bring a lawsuit on your child’s behalf as well as your own for the injuries, expenses, and physical and mental suffering caused by the accident. If your child dies from injuries sustained in a bicycle accident, you would have to sue the responsible party for wrongful death. In a wrongful death lawsuit, you must prove that your child was fatally injured as a result of the defendant’s misconduct, intentional or otherwise, and you suffered damages because of the death.
Yes. Photographs can be useful tools in preparing to bring a bicycle accident claim. Following an accident, evidence is often lost as people leave the scene, repair their bicycles and vehicles. A place that was the scene of an accident might change for many different reasons including street construction projects or seasonal conditions. Having photos that were taken same day will ensure an accurate depiction of conditions at the time of the event.