We know that when a car or truck crashes into a bicyclist, it is nearly always the bicyclist who gets hurt – usually seriously or fatally.
Bicycle accident victims have a long road to recovery, and crashes can leave families without a loved one. If you or a family member sustained severe injuries in a bicycle accident in the Aventura area, call the Aventura bicycle accident attorneys at Dolman Law Group for help today. Free consultations are available 24/7.
Florida Leads the U.S. in Bicycle Accidents
Florida bears a dubious distinction: the highest rate of bicycle deaths in the country, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) 2019 data. Florida residents increasingly ride their bikes to exercise, commute to work, shops, or school, or just for fun.
Drivers and bicyclists should be on the lookout for increasing dangers – but often, they’re not. Drivers are supposed to ‘share the road’ with pedestrians and bicyclists, but drivers often either don’t pay attention or are reckless, cavalier, or even retaliatory.
Recent NHTSA statistics reveal that bicyclists annually represent:
- Two percent of all accident injuries and traffic fatalities
- Over 1,100 traffic-related deaths
- Over 52,000 traffic-related injuries
Some additional facts about bike crashes, per NHTSA’s most recent report, include:
- Of those killed, over 85 percent were male
- The average age of those killed in bicycle accidents was 48
- One-third of deaths involved alcohol
- Light trucks were the most frequently used vehicle in crashes where a bicyclist died
- Most accidents do not occur at intersections
- Not surprisingly, bike lanes dramatically decrease accidents and injuries (only 4 percent of bicycle accidents occurred in marked or otherwise delineated bike lanes)
Bicycles Are ‘Vehicles’ Under the Florida Motor Vehicle Code
Bikes are vehicles and must obey the rules of the road like cars, trucks, and motorcycles. Likewise, cyclists have the same right to use roadways as any driver. They are entitled to the same respect, safety, and protection as any car driver. Florida law is clear on this – a bicyclist has the same rights and duties as a vehicle driver under Florida Statutes § 316-2065.
The Florida Bicycle Association (FBA) publishes several helpful guides for bicyclists, including a law enforcement guide and “Florida Bicycling Street Smarts,” both available here on the FBA’s website.
How Are Bicycle Collisions Typically Caused?
Bicyclists are hurt in many ways, often because:
- The biker slams into an open car door.
- The bicyclist is not clearly visible, sufficient to be noticed.
- The motorist turned left at an unmarked or uncontrolled intersection.
- Road hazards that may not be hazardous to cars but are dangerous for bicyclists (such as poor maintenance, drainage, design, lighting, potholes).
- The motorist or biker failed to stop at a stoplight or stop sign.
- The car or bicycle passed on the right.
- The driver passed unsafely or without enough clearance.
- The driver or bicyclist wasn’t paying proper attention or was simply distracted (for example, by cell phone, car stereo, lighting a cigarette, or from another passenger).
- A driver intentionally ignored a biker’s right-of-way (often thinking he could pass or “beat” the bicyclist in time).
- The bicyclist or driver is impaired by alcohol or drugs (including over-the-counter medications).
When a bicyclist causes an accident or is partially at fault, that may limit their ability to recover damages against the car driver. Therefore, bicyclists must obey the rules of the road. The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) has an excellent web page devoted to bicycle laws, suggestions, and safety tips.
Are You Entitled to Compensation for Your Bicycle Accident Injuries?
When a motor vehicle causes a bike accident (whether on the street, sidewalk, bike lane, or parking lot), bicyclists usually are entitled to recover damages for their injuries. Accident victims commonly ask about compensation amounts and what they could possibly recover if they win their case.
Of course, each bicycle accident case differs. It is important to remember that various factors shape the outcome of your award, such as the total impact of your injuries and losses and your recovery time. Another factor is how the bicycle accident affects your life now and in the future. If the Aventura-area bicycle accident injured you in such a way that you no longer can do the things you used to do, then that is a significant change that could warrant pursuing a higher amount of compensation.
Damages You Could Recover for a Bicycle Accident
Where the driver is negligent, a bicyclist may be compensated for physical injuries, financial loss, and emotional pain. Compensation may include:
- Lost salary (past and future) and benefits
- Physical and emotional pain and suffering
- Medical bills (doctors, hospitals, rehabilitation, home care, assistance, medical appliances, and equipment)
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Property damage
- Temporary or permanent disability
- Other out-of-pocket expenses related to injuries
Your experienced attorney will help determine your case’s merits and estimate damages you may be able to recover. Of course, there are no guarantees, as every injured client is unique.
Wrongful Death Damages in an Aventura Bicycle Accident
Unfortunately, some bicycle accidents in the Aventura area can turn fatal for some victims. If you have lost your loved one in such an accident, we’re sorry for your loss and offer our condolences. We realize this is a hard time for you and your family, and we want to help you in any way we can. If you are interested in seeking legal action, you may be able to hold the liable party accountable for the accident and sue them for damages.
Our bicycle accident lawyer will review your case to determine if you and your family can pursue a wrongful death action. Families who recover wrongful death compensation can pay their loved one’s final medical bills, funeral and burial expenses, and property damage. They can also recover damages to replace the loss of the decedent’s income and the pain and suffering they endured before they died.
Although wrongful death cases can be complex, we will be there with you every step of the way. We will seek the best outcome for you and advise you of your next steps. You can learn more about how we can help your wrongful death action during a free consultation.
Other Causes of Bicycle Accidents and Injuries
Bicyclists can be hurt for reasons besides colliding with a car. Some examples:
- The bicycle may have defective components (often brakes or steering not working properly)
- Bicycle parts may not have been designed or maintained properly
- The rider’s foot slipped off the bike pedals (which occurs if not clipped properly or improper footwear is used)
- Poor road conditions (from ice, snow, wet leaves, debris, potholes, etc.)
- Bicyclist distraction or impairment
- Improper signage
The right bicycle accident attorney will help determine who is at fault, and therefore liable, which is crucial to pursue a case for damages.
Why You Need an Experienced Bicycle Accident Attorney
Many lawyers handle personal injury cases. But not all lawyers focus on bicycle accidents, which present unique and different issues. Your attorney should understand bicycling. What sets an experienced bicycle accident attorney apart from the generalist?
Our attorneys know:
- How to negotiate with insurers to bring your case to trial before a jury
- The biases some have against bicycle riders (police officer reports often conclude the bicyclist is at fault, without even talking to the rider)
- The science and forensics particular to biking (for example, speeds, braking, cornering, pavement and roadway conditions)
- Bicycle and motor vehicle laws
- The mechanical parts of bicycles
- Riding practices, customs, techniques, and skills
- How to hire and use consultants, engineers, and accident reconstruction experts
- How to value your case and best present your circumstances to others
These skills cannot be overestimated, and they differentiate a seasoned bicycle accident attorney from other lawyers who don’t regularly handle bike crash cases. Once our Aventura bicycle accident attorneys take over your case, we will take care of all negotiations with the liable party’s insurer, update you on all case developments, and ensure you are in the loop so that you know what’s going on at all times.
We Will Determine Who’s Liable for Your Aventura Bike Accident
Multiple parties can be responsible for your medical bills and pain and suffering after a bicycle accident. One benefit to having an attorney work on your case is they can review the facts of your case and learn who you need to pursue for compensation. In some cases, a vehicle’s driver is responsible for causing a bicycle accident. In others, liable parties can be:
- Other roadway and walkway users, such as pedestrians, rollerbladers, motorcyclists, or bicyclist
- A commercial truck operator
- A rideshare driver
- A government agency responsible for the upkeep of the roadways and other municipality-owned or -operated areas
Bicycle accident cases involving multiple parties can quickly become complex. Our attorneys are ready to step in and manage your case from start to finish, no matter how challenging it is or how long it takes.
Your Aventura Bicycle Accident Case Is on a Timer the Minute It Happens
Florida law gives injury victims four years to sue for damages in civil court, per Florida Statutes § 95.11 (3)(a). If you are pursuing a wrongful death action, you have two years, per Florida Statutes § 95.11 (4)(d). Missing either of these deadlines can end your chances of recovering compensation from the entity that caused your accident. When we manage your case, we won’t miss any key deadlines, making this one less thing for you to worry about.
Were You Hurt in a Bicycle Accident? Call an Experienced Aventura Bicycle Accident Lawyer Today for Help
If you or someone you know was hurt in a bike-related accident, don’t delay. You may be entitled to substantial compensation. You need a skilled, experienced attorney. Trust the dedicated legal professionals at Dolman Law Group, conveniently located in Aventura, Miami-Dade County, South Florida.
Call us right away at (727) 451-6900, or contact us online confidentially. We understand bicycle accidents and know how to best navigate your case and injuries. Our clients’ best interests are our law firm’s core mission.
Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA
PERSONAL INJURY LAWYERS
20803 Biscayne Boulevard Suite 101,
Aventura, FL 33180
What Our Clients Have to Say:
“So happy I chose Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers!!! My experience with the law firm right from the start was fast, friendly and understanding. I started treatment for my injury right away, and while I was focusing on getting better the firm was fighting for me. Incredibly happy with the outcome, thank you to Brent and the team for all the hard work and updates.”
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