If you were hurt when a motorist hit you on your bicycle, Florida law may allow you to hold that careless driver accountable for your injuries and financial losses. At Dolman Law Group, our Bradenton bicycle accident attorneys help clients get justice after traffic accidents by filing insurance claims and/or civil suits.
We may be able to help you or your family recover compensation for medical bills, lost income, and more. We provide free legal case assessments for those hurt in a Bradenton, FL, bicycle versus car collision. We can help you better understand your case at no cost to your family.
Bicycle Accident Injuries in Bradenton
Bicycle accidents occur on Bradenton roadways far more often than most of us would like to believe. Since Bradenton weather tends to be in the mild range year-round, the state must accommodate more cyclists on the roadways than many other states. Unfortunately, when motor vehicle drivers are inattentive or distracted, they may fail to be aware of a cyclist, which may cause an accident.
A bicycle offers a rider much less protection than a car provides a passenger. When a bicycle accident involves a motor vehicle, riders often suffer serious injuries. Unfortunately, some bike accident victims lose their lives on Bradenton roadways. The AAA Consumer PulseTM Survey shows that one-quarter of bicycle operators are over the age of 65, while 48 percent are between the ages of 35 and 64. Therefore, there is a significant number of people who are at risk of suffering an injury in a Bradenton bike accident.
Serious injuries may result in time away from work, long-term treatment, extensive medical bills, and even the loss of life. After suffering an injury or losing a loved one in a Bradenton bike accident, you may want to speak to a Bradenton bicycle accident attorney right away. Contact one of our Bradenton personal injury attorneys to discuss your legal options and preserve your rights.
Why Choose Dolman Law Group to Represent You Following a Bike Accident?
Dolman Law Group is committed to ensuring every client understands all the legal options available to them. Additionally, we fight tirelessly to get the maximum possible settlement for injuries sustained in a variety of accidents where someone else is at fault. Through our experience, we have developed a proven track record of successfully recovering the compensation our clients deserve.
Of course, there is no guarantee of a particular result in any specific personal injury case and past results do not guarantee future results. However, through our past successes, Dolman Law Group remains proud of the work we have accomplished, and we strive to continue to fight for the rights of injured victims of:
- Bradenton bicycle accidents
- Bradenton car accidents
- Bradenton truck accidents
- Bradenton motorcycle accidents
These are just some of the areas our personal injury attorneys have worked to receive compensation for their injury victims. To learn more about which accidents Dolman Law Group can help you recover from, review all of our practice areas or give us a call today at (941) 961-8841.
Common Bradenton Bike Accident Injuries
There is a significant difference in being involved in an accident involving two motor vehicles versus one involving a motor vehicle and a bicycle. Bike operators have little protection against injury when they are struck by a car. There are no metal crush zones, seatbelts, or airbags. While wearing a helmet helps, it is not designed for high-speed impacts or protection from a vehicle collision. It could prevent head injuries if you are thrown from your bike, however.
This lack of protection means bike riders are vulnerable to serious injuries including:
- Facial trauma – Riders who are thrown from their bicycle in an accident can suffer severe facial damage including a broken jaw, nose, or eye socket. Bicycles offer no protection to a rider's face which may result in facial scarring and disfigurement.
- Eye injuries – In addition to the risk of a fractured eye socket, bike riders could potentially suffer from debris becoming embedded in the eye. Debris may lead to significant pain, potential surgery, and the possible permanent loss of vision.
- Bone and joint damage – A simple fall from a bicycle can result in broken bones and damage to the joints and surrounding tissues. When the fall occurs because a rider is struck by a vehicle, the risk of far more serious injury is much higher. Legs, arms, ribs, and even pelvic fractures commonly result from Bradenton bicycle accidents.
- Road rash – Many people think road rash is only a minor injury. However, when skin layers are damaged as a result of a bicycle accident, there can be serious consequences. Infection, debris embedded in the skin, and permanent scarring are all potential consequences of road rash.
- Muscle injuries – Soft tissue injuries are often among the hardest injuries to identify. The sheer force of being struck by a car can cause serious damage to muscles, especially when the rider is thrown from their bike. Muscle injuries can be painful for long periods of time, and, in some cases, muscles may sustain tearing that further increases the duration of recovery.
- Head and neck injuries – There are few injuries more terrifying than head injuries. While many people believe a concussion is a mild injury, concussion patients can suffer serious long-term problems. Once someone has suffered a concussion, they are more susceptible to suffering another concussion in the future. Concussions and other traumatic brain injuries can leave victims incapable of communicating, caring for themselves, or controlling their emotions.
Victims of a bicycling accident should seek immediate advice from a personal injury attorney to make sure they understand their rights. An attorney can explain the available legal options and protect the victim's rights. Our team at Dolman Law Group provides free evaluations of bicycle accident cases throughout Florida, including in Bradenton. We can speak with you in person, over the phone, or via video conferencing quickly after you connect with our team.
Determining Causes and Fault in Bradenton Bicycle Accidents
Across the state of Florida, more than 150 people died in bicycle accidents in one year, with as many as 110 injured and eight dying in the Bradenton area alone. Nearly one-half of the fatalities resulted from the failure to properly yield the right-of-way.
When someone is operating a car, they have a responsibility to make sure they are aware of what is going on around them. This responsibility includes being aware of someone operating a bicycle in the vicinity. Some of the most common causes of bicycle accidents include:
- Dooring incidents – Too often, the driver or passenger in a car opens their door before double checking to ensure it is safe to do so. A dooring accident can result in a bicycle operator being thrown from their bike onto the pavement. If a rider is thrown into the roadway, they may be placed in further danger. These types of accidents are frightening because there is usually no way for a bicycle operator to avoid the collision. Drivers and passengers have a responsibility to ensure they can safely open their door before exiting their vehicles.
- Intersection incidents – Intersection accidents often occur when a car is making a turn and fails to see an oncoming bicyclist. Other times, accidents occur in intersections when inattentive drivers fail to obey traffic signals, such as a red light or stop sign. Drivers may fail to see cyclists in an intersection or misjudge the speed at which the cyclist is traveling. Unfortunately, intersection accidents often have deadly consequences.
- Passing incidents – Because bicycles typically travel at slower speeds than motor vehicles, drivers often attempt to pass them. However, a car driver can mistake how much space is necessary to pass safely, pass too quickly, or they fail to see an oncoming vehicle. A driver's failure to understand Florida's rules pertaining to bicycle operation on the road may increase the risks associated with this type of accident.
- Backing out – When a car is backing out from a driveway or a parking spot, they may not have a clear line of vision. In these incidents, a driver may hit the front end of a bicycle throwing the rider from the bike, causing serious injuries.
These are just a few of the circumstances that may contribute to an accident involving a motor vehicle and a cyclist in Bradenton. Because bicycles offer no physical protection to riders, even the most cautious riders are at risk of suffering a life-altering injury.
Our traffic collision attorneys from Dolman Law Group know how to investigate crashes involving vehicles and bicycles to determine what happened, who is liable, and how the accident affected our client. We investigate these accidents regularly and have the resources necessary to call in experts and gather other evidence to develop a solid claim and recover compensation for our client.
Financial Recovery After a Bradenton Bicycle Accident
Oftentimes, victims of bicycle accident injuries experience disruptions in their financial security as a result of the accident. Victims may require extensive treatment, including rehabilitation services, for their injuries and missed time from work to rest and recover. Victims need to focus on their physical recovery; however, added stress from the financial burden of the accident may make that difficult. Should a victim decide to pursue legal action, a Bradenton bicycle accident lawyer may help them recover compensation for some or all of the following costs:
- Medical bills – Hospitalization, follow-up appointments, visits to specialists, tests, X-rays and MRIs, pain medication, antibiotics, and rehabilitation therapy are costly expenses. Depending on the severity of the injury, medical bills can quickly become significant. A broken bone will be far less expensive than treatment for traumatic brain injury. However, victims are entitled to recover expenses associated with minor and major injuries.
- Wage replacement – Depending on the extent of your injuries, you may miss days, weeks, or months from work. When you suffer a life-altering injury, you may never return to your original capacity. Regardless of the amount of time you lose, you may be entitled to collect lost wages, plus the benefits you miss out on while recovering from your injuries.
- Undetermined costs – Other potential losses entitle victims to seek financial recovery. For example, the costs of hiring a housekeeper, modifying your home to accommodate your injury, and other services you require may be compensated. Speak with an attorney to ensure you understand the full extent of recoverable damages.
- Non-economic losses – You have a right to pursue compensation for your pain and suffering and other intangible losses. These are, by nature, very difficult to quantify with a monetary figure, but there are conventions of the insurance industry and civil courts that allow our attorneys to value your intangible damages and recover money for them.
- Punitive damages – Keep in mind, in some cases, victims may be entitled to seek punitive damages from the person responsible for their injuries. Punitive damages are not intended to reimburse the victim, rather they serve as a form of punishment to deter especially egregious behavior in the future.
If you are injured in a bicycle accident you should also be aware that a personal injury claim is governed by civil, rather than criminal law. Civil personal injury claims operate independently of any criminal proceedings that may be pursued against the responsible party. Regardless of whether criminal charges are filed, victims may seek civil damages.
For example, when a drunk driver strikes you, they may be held criminally liable. However, the outcome of the criminal proceedings will not impact the outcome of your civil lawsuit. Victims may not need to wait for criminal proceedings to conclude before filing a bicycle accident claim.
You Can Become a Victim a Second Time
You might think after a bicycle accident that your best bet is notifying the at fault driver's insurance company and putting in a claim. However, it is almost never that simple. Chances are, once you notify the insurance company, they will send out an adjuster to try to discredit your claim. The insurance adjuster may review the accident report, assess the damage to your bicycle, and ask to review your medical records.
From there, they may decide to offer you a quick settlement. They may offer a settlement before you know the full value of your damages and before you have had an opportunity to speak with or hire an attorney to represent you. Victims should remain wary of quick settlement offers. Insurance adjusters aim to protect the company from paying out large claims, so an early offer often means you deserve much more than they are trying to give you.
To devalue your claim and entice you into accepting a low settlement, insurance companies may employ the following tactics:
- Deflect responsibility – One of the first things the adjuster and insurance company may attempt to do is deflect blame. They may attempt to demonstrate the bicyclist contributed to causing the accident to decrease the responsible party's fault. Victims should seek advice from a qualified personal injury attorney before accepting a settlement offer.
- Minimizing injuries – There is nothing more frustrating than an insurance company's attempts to discredit your injuries by asserting they are less serious than you claim. Despite their review of your medical records, chances are the insurance company will work tirelessly to minimize the extent of your injuries. Insurance companies often claim victims had a preexisting condition or injury that was worsened, rather than caused, by the accident. When using this tactic, insurance representatives hope to convince victims to accept a lower settlement that does not reflect the actual value of their claim.
- Setting traps – Insurance adjusters will often call victims unexpectedly and convince them to engage in a discussion about the accident. Representatives will ask seemingly harmless questions, like “how are you feeling today,” attempting to create a friendly tone. However, insurance companies are not interested in how you feel. Rather, they will try to elicit conversation that they can use to discredit the extent of a victim's injuries.
The best way to decrease your risk of becoming a victim a second time and avoid falling for an insurance adjuster's tactics is to avoid engaging with them at all. Instead, consider hiring a skilled attorney who has experience negotiating with insurance companies on their client's behalf. When the insurer calls, you can simply redirect the questions to your legal team, who will protect your right to seek appropriate compensation based on your injuries, expenses, and losses.
Bradenton Bicycle Accident Lawyer Answers Your Questions
Cycling has become an increasingly popular mode of transportation for many Floridians. Riding a bicycle is an inexpensive and healthy way to travel. Whether you are out for a leisurely ride or use your bike to make the commute to and from work every day, riding a bicycle has many benefits.
On the other hand, increased numbers of individuals using cycling as a primary form of transportation also presents unique challenges. The physical protection provided by a car's frame and safety equipment is not afforded to cyclists. Because bikes do not offer the same level of protection, riders are exposed, making them vulnerable to injury in the event of an accident. Unfortunately, cyclists who are involved in an accident with a motor vehicle, in Bradenton and elsewhere, are likely to suffer serious injuries.
Unsurprisingly, unprotected cyclists will experience the impact at a much greater level than the individuals in a passenger car. Victims often experience life-altering injuries requiring a lifetime of medical care and attention. If you or a loved one has suffered an injury while riding your bicycle in Bradenton, we want to help. Injured victims should prioritize focusing on their physical recovery.
Consulting an experienced personal injury attorney can relieve victims of the stress and frustration of the legal process. Our team of Bradenton bicycle accident attorneys regularly fights for the rights of injured victims to seek the compensation they are entitled to. A personal injury claim may provide victims with compensation for their medical bills and other losses related to their injury. We aim to maximize recovery for each of our clients to ensure they do not suffer due to another's negligent actions that caused their injuries.
Do Bicycles Have to Follow the Same Rules As Cars in Bradenton?
Put simply, cyclists are generally required to abide by the same traffic laws as the motor vehicles that they share the roadways with. In addition, Florida has specific laws pertaining to bicycles and their rights and responsibilities while on the road. Under Florida law, bicycles are considered a vehicle, and, as such, they must abide by traffic signals and rules including:
- Red lights
- Stop signs
- Speed limits
- Yielding right-of-way
- Using proper turn signals
When riding your bicycle, follow the rules of the road that you would when driving a car. If you violate any of the laws, you could end up being held at fault for the accident and responsible for the impacts of any resulting injuries. To avoid contributing to causing an accident, cyclists should be sure to strictly abide by the rules of the roadway while riding.
What Are the Most Common Types of Bradenton Bicycle Accidents?
Of course, bicycle accidents can occur under a wide range of circumstances. Accidents may occur in your own driveway, in the neighborhood, or on a crowded city street. The most common types of accidents include:
- Door collisions
- Red light or stop sign collisions
- Intersection collisions
- Rear end collisions
- Accidents resulting from the failure to yield
While this list does not cover every type of accident involving a motor vehicle and a cyclist, cyclists most commonly suffer injuries in these accidents. Fatal bicycle accidents most frequently occur between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m., regardless of the time of year. Decreased visibility at dusk may make it more difficult for drivers to observe a nearby cyclist. If you have suffered injuries in a bicycle accident, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact an experienced Bradenton bicycle accident injury lawyer from Dolman Law Group to discuss the specific facts of your claim to determine the best way to proceed.
What Injuries do Bradenton Bicyclists Suffer?
Each year, authorities attribute more than 100 deaths in Florida to bicycle accidents. Obviously, not every bicycle accident results in death. However, unprotected cyclists are at much greater risk of severe injury and death than occupants of a motor vehicle. The lack of the protection of the steel frame of a car leaves cyclists vulnerable to sustaining the full force of an accident's impact. Even a slow-moving vehicle or seemingly minor accident can cause riders to fall from their bike and experience serious injury. Common injuries sustained in bicycle accidents in Bradenton include:
- Concussions and other traumatic brain injuries
- Broken bones
- Spinal cord injuries
- Neck injuries
- Bruising and scarring
When a cyclist's body impacts with a moving vehicle or an open car door, the rider may suffer immediate injury. In addition, if the force of the impact throws a cyclist from their bike, they may suffer additional injuries. Many times, bicycle accident injury victims suffer more serious injuries after the initial accident. Falling from a bike commonly causes riders to experience broken bones or head injuries. If you or a loved one has been injured in a bicycle accident, speak with our trusted bicycle accident injury attorneys in Bradenton as soon as possible after your accident.
How Long do I Have to File a Claim?
After a Bradenton bicycle accident injury, injured victims must file a claim within four years of the date of the accident. For some, four years may seem like a long time. However, most will be surprised by how quickly the time can pass when they are focusing on their physical recovery. Depending on the severity of the injuries, victims may require extended stays in the hospital or years of rehabilitative services. Injured victims are often preoccupied with recovering and may not realize the time to file a claim is slipping by.
Speak with our skilled Bradenton bicycle accident injury lawyers as soon as you are able. Experienced personal injury attorneys like ours regularly fight for the rights of injured victims to seek the compensation they deserve. With experience, an attorney can ensure victims' legal rights are protected and maximize their recovery. By allowing an attorney to handle the legal complexities of the claims process, victims can focus on fully recovering and moving forward.
What Types of Compensation Can I Seek?
To successfully recover compensation for their injuries, injured victims must demonstrate that another's negligence or intentional acts directly caused their injuries. To do so, injured victims must show that the responsible party:
- Owed a duty of care to drive in a reasonably safe manner to prevent harm and injury to others on the roadway;
- Breached that duty by driving in an unsafe manner;
- Drove in that manner to cause the accident; and
- Caused you to suffer injuries.
While proving another caused the victim's injuries may seem simple, oftentimes, personal injury cases can be extremely complex. Many cases require expert witness testimony and accident re-creation specialists, as well as intense analysis and investigation. An experienced bicycle accident attorney may seek compensation for injured victims':
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Lost wages
- Lost earning potential
- Present and future medical bills
- Rehabilitation costs
Following an accident injury, most people fail to realize the full extent of the impacts of their injury and the costs associated with making a complete recovery. An experienced and compassionate attorney regularly helps injured victims predict the full costs associated with their injuries. As trusted bicycle accident lawyers in Bradenton, we have the experience injured victims can trust to ensure they maximize their compensation.
What Six Steps Should I Take After my Bradenton Bicycle Accident?
Immediately after experiencing a bicycle accident in Bradenton, follow these six steps to preserve evidence and ensure the presentation of a strong claim:
- Call 911. When you are involved in a bicycle accident, your injuries may be severe, and you may even have hidden injuries. By calling 911, you ensure you receive an evaluation by trained medical personnel to determine whether you need additional medical attention. In addition to paramedics quickly evaluating your injuries, law enforcement officers will respond to the scene. Responding officers will provide an objective record of the accident, which can be beneficial should you later file a personal injury claim. While they may not assign fault in their police report, they will create a diagram of the accident. They may obtain statements from you, the other party, and any witnesses who observed the accident take place. They will also note if they issued any citations for violations of traffic law.
- Take pictures. If you are able, take pictures of the scene of the accident and any resulting damage. If you are unable, ask a trusted friend or family member to take pictures for you. Make sure to get pictures of the scene, your injuries, your bicycle, the other car, and any other items involved in the accident. These pictures may help a lawyer show that another person's fault caused the accident.
- Get witness contact information. If you can speak with witnesses and understand their perception of the accident, you should speak with them. At the very least, you should obtain any witnesses' contact information. Not all witnesses will stick around to wait for the police to arrive and give their statements. Even if they cannot speak with the police, you may want to speak with them later. Witnesses often provide an alternative, objective viewpoint of the accident, which can help determine which party was at fault.
- See your doctor. Even though you received medical attention at the scene of the accident, seeking a follow-up evaluation is important if paramedics do not transfer you to the nearest trauma center. Victim's primary care physicians are in a position to evaluate their current condition and compare it to their physical condition at their last visit. The comparison can help to show which injuries were suffered in the accident. Your doctor will also keep meticulous records which will allow victims to demonstrate the severity of their injuries and the extent of the anticipated recovery.
- Keep an accident injury journal. This might sound extreme, but, over time, injured victims cannot recall the specifics of their daily suffering. You may not remember the hurdles you faced in your recovery. It's important to have a detailed record of your path to recovery.
- Contact Dolman Law Group. When you suffer injuries in a bicycle accident in Bradenton, you may need a lawyer you can trust to act with your best interests at heart. When working with us, our clients can rest assured that their personal injury claim is in good hands. Together, we work to ensure our clients receive the compensation they deserve.
Should I Take a Quick Settlement Offer?
Before answering this question, injured victims must understand that their interests are not aligned with the interests of the responsible party's insurance company. Victims aim to seek compensation for their losses. Insurance companies strive to minimize the amount of money they pay to settle a claim. When an insurance company offers a quick settlement, injured victims should proceed with extreme caution.
Insurance companies hope to entice you with resolving your claim quickly. However, they are hoping you will accept the settlement before you have had time to speak with an attorney. In most cases, the first offer you receive from an insurance company will not be sufficient to cover the full extent of your losses. If you have received a settlement offer and do not yet have an attorney, reach out to an attorney before you accept the offer.
An attorney can review the settlement offer to evaluate whether it will adequately cover medical expenses and future costs. When an individual is injured as a result of another's negligent actions, they should not be responsible for the resulting costs. When clients choose to work with us, we can help them estimate their future medical needs and expenses based on their physician's prognosis and treatment plan.
Depending on the injuries, victims may require multiple surgical procedures, hospital stays, extensive rehabilitation, and even in-home care. Medical costs throughout long-term recovery can quickly become burdensome. Responsible parties should comprehensively compensate victims for the costs resulting from the injuries they caused.
Do I Need a Lawyer for My Bradenton Bike Accident?
Ultimately, the decision to hire a lawyer to represent you is up to you. However, an attorney can help injured victims navigate the claims process to ensure they receive the compensation they deserve. When we pursue a financial recovery for our clients injured in bicycle versus motor vehicle collisions, we ensure we understand the value of their losses and seek appropriate compensation based on them. We do not believe our clients should pay for damages caused by someone else's carelessness.
Victims deserve a Bradenton lawyer with experience helping clients overcome their bicycle accident injuries and hold the at fault party liable. It is not recommended to try to battle big insurance companies on your own. Through our experience, we have developed an understanding of the tactics they employ to discredit injured victim's claims. Our goal is to maximize victim's compensation so they can focus on their physical recovery.
Out of Work and Concerned About Expenses? Call Our Bradenton Bicycle Accident Attorneys
At Dolman Law Group, we understand that recovering from injuries suffered in a bicycle accident may require missed time from work. We also understand that missing time from work will create concerns about incurring additional expenses. Oftentimes, a victim's financial concerns may lead them to avoid contacting an attorney. However, attempting to pursue a personal injury claim on your own could be a costly mistake.
Our firm is dedicated to ensuring our clients recover the compensation they deserve. Our firm offers prospective clients a free consultation and case evaluation. We help victims understand their legal rights and options for pursuing compensation without any upfront commitment. With offices across both Florida coasts, you can easily access our team of Dolman Law Group bicycle crash lawyers if you were in a bicycle accident in Bradenton. Contact us or dial (941) 961-8841 to speak with a member of our dedicated team today.
6703 14th Street West Suite 207
Bradenton, FL 34207
Phone: (941) 961-8841
“AMAZING and understanding attorneys! Did great on my case and I highly recommend Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA for anyone that has been injured in an accident!" Rating: 5/5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Koralis R. Jan 2020 Read more reviews on Google!