When bicycle accidents happen, the cyclist is typically the party that suffers the most. According to information from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 857 bicyclists were killed in traffic crashes in the United States in 2018, with the highest number of bicycle-related fatalities reported in Florida. Knowing this, one might believe that cyclists have few options for legal help in recovering from an accident with a vehicle; however, cyclists are protected in multiple ways under Florida state law.
While working with a lawyer cannot undo your injuries after a cycling accident, doing so can help victims recover compensation for their injuries. Simply call the offices of Ben Crump Law, PLLC to hears about what a Sarasota bicycle accident lawyer can do to help. Access your free consultation when you call (800) 761-5225.
Bicycle Laws in Sarasota
Navigating the aftermath of a bicycle accident can be tough, but working with a lawyer can make the entire litigation process effortless. After all, the first thing that may come to mind for a victim of a bicycle accident is that cyclists have the same rights and duties as people driving vehicles on the road, per Florida Statues §316.2065. However, unlike drivers, cyclists are not required to carry any kind of particular insurance before hitting the road.
When an accident with injuries or damage happens, cyclists and drivers are both responsible for filing a police report about the accident within a certain minimum time frame. This is especially important for filing a claim seeking compensation from a liable party or insurance policy.
The accident report can be useful for more than just documenting that the accident happened. It can be a reference point for road conditions, at-fault drivers, witnesses, and other information about the crash scene. However, any evidence from the accident can help cycling victims claim compensation with a stronger case, including:
Errors on behalf of the driver, like not giving the cyclist reasonable room to navigate, or otherwise treating the cyclist unfairly.
- Roadways with navigation hazards, like loose gravel, debris, or badly maintained roads
- Mechanical failure in the bicycle or car
- Scene of accident lacking bike path or has unclear rules for cyclists
The list of what a lawyer will consider evidence depends on your unique case, so the list above is not exhaustive of your options for evidence collection after an accident. However, this might help with giving you an idea of what to expect or consider for your situation.
Victims of bicycle accidents are at a natural disadvantage in many ways after the accident. This is reflected in the Florida Statutes §316.027, where “a person operating a bicycle, motorcycle, scooter, or moped lawfully on the roadway,” is defined as a “vulnerable road user.” Even though cyclists must follow all typical roadway laws, this legal definition acknowledges that people on bicycles generally ride without the same exterior protection as a vehicle.
Under any circumstances, the best thing to do immediately following something as serious as a bicycle accident is to contact a lawyer for advice. Working with the lawyers at Ben Crump Law, PLLC can make a difficult litigation process feel seamless.
For a free legal consultation with a bicycle accidents lawyer serving Sarasota, call (800) 761-5225
Legal Options After a Bicycle Accident in Florida
Cyclists may feel at a loss for what to do after an accident happens, especially given Florida’s no-fault insurance rules. Through the no-fault rules, anyone who initially seeks compensation for their injuries must report the accident to their own car insurance company. This does not prevent the injured person from seeking additional compensation through the at-fault party’s insurance company. Additionally, this may be the only option for sufficient compensation if the cyclist does not drive a car or carry Personal Injury Protection insurance for themselves.
In any case, the best thing to do immediately following a bicycle accident is to contact a lawyer. The statute of limitations concerning bicycle accident litigation can be limited to months or years, depending on the circumstances. Additionally, you might want to consider the full extent of your injuries and potential costs. Some injuries may not be fully realized for multiple days and weeks following the accident.
Sarasota Bicycle Accident Lawyer Near Me (800) 761-5225
Compensable Damages from Bicycle Accidents
As previously mentioned, the range of compensable damages will vary depending on what happened in your bicycle accident. There are a range of possible bodily injuries that may or may not show immediately after the accident, so it is important to have a medical professional evaluate your physical condition for signs of the following common injuries after a bicycle accident:
- Head Trauma: Can happen to the skull, brain, nervous system, and affect you in a short-term way, or have more serious consequences. Damage can vary, even with proper helmet gear.
- Facial Injuries: Common facial injuries may include broken bones, eye damage, dental injuries, and more.
- Other Bodily Injuries: Even slight pain can be an indicator of more serious fractures, dislocated joints, or injuries to internal organs.
- Soft tissue injuries: Depending on the extent of the accident, you may experience road rash, cuts and bruises, and other visible injuries to the skin that require emergency or long-term medical treatment
The list of injuries above should not be considered exhaustive of all possible occurrences after an accident. However, even with the brief list above, it is easy to see how a seemingly harmless bicycle accident could rack up thousands of dollars in medical costs. When you seek compensatory damages after an accident, consider the short and long-term costs of treatment, plus other losses, like:
- Lost wages
- Property damage to the bicycle, or other gear destroyed in the accident
- Physical therapy costs
- Other out-of-pocket expenses
Again, the list of compensable damages above should not be considered exhaustive of your legal options. The only way to know for sure is to discuss your legal options with a Sarasota bicycle accident lawyer.
Get Legal Advice After a Bicycle Accident
Do not hesitate to work with the legal team at Ben Crump Law, PLLC. When recovering from a bicycle accident, there is no harm in having the law on your side. You can find a Sarasota bicycle accident lawyer who can fight to protect and defend your rights after an accident caused by the negligent behavior of liable parties.
Do not wait to take legal action. Call Ben Crump Law, PLLC at (800) 761-5225.