What Types of Compensation Can I Recover?
A bicycle accident may result in not only painful physical injury, but also a great degree of financial stress. The victim may not be able to work while they are recovering from their injuries, and with expensive medical bills piling up, legal action can quickly become necessary. After all, an injured person should not have to suffer the financial impact of an accident caused by someone else’s careless actions. If you have been injured in a bicycle accident, you may be eligible to pursue compensation for the following losses:
- Medical bills
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
- Lost income
If you have suffered the loss of a loved one, you may be able to file a wrongful death claim to pursue additional damages for funeral and burial costs, loss of companionship, loss of support and services, emotional anguish, and more.
Do Bicyclists Have the Right-of-Way in Florida?
When a client comes to our law firm with a bicycle accident claim, we often must establish if they were hit by a driver who ignored their right-of-way or otherwise violated a traffic rule. In Florida, bicyclists have the right-of-way as a pedestrian does, but only when they are using a bike path, sidewalk or another pathway separate from the street. When a bicyclist is riding with traffic, they are subject to all the roadway rights and rules as any other vehicle or motorist, which includes yielding the right-of-way when safe and necessary. Were you struck while riding your bicycle on a path approved for pedestrians? Or were you a part of the regular traffic flow when a negligent driver collided with you? The answer can change how your case develops.
Is There a Bicycle Helmet Law in Florida?
Florida currently does not have a bicycle helmet law for adults. If you are 16 or older, then you are not legally required to wear a helmet when you ride your bicycle. However, you should always wear a helmet when riding to improve your safety and to help limit your liability in case of a bicycle accident. If it can be proven that you had no helmet on and you suffer a head injury, then the defending insurance company will certainly try to pin more liability on you by arguing you had not taken reasonable steps to protect yourself from harm.
What are common causes of bicycle accidents?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly 1,000 bicyclists die and over 130,000 are injured in crashes that occur on roads in the United States every year. The following are common causes of bicycle accidents:
- Making a left or right turn in front of an oncoming cyclist
- Failing to check blind spots before merging
- Opening a car door in the path of an oncoming cyclist