West Palm Beach Bicycle (Bike) Accident Attorney(s)
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Florida’s nickname is the Sunshine State. The sunny weather allows for many activities, one of them is bicycling or bike riding. People of all ages enjoy riding a bicycle. Kids often ride their bicycles to their friends house. Siblings may race each other up and down the street. One person may commute to work while another enjoys the fitness aspect of bicycling. Many people in West Palm Beach and throughout Palm Beach County carry their bicycles to the beaches to enjoy the scenery. Unfortunately, many motorists fail to acknowledge bicyclists and a serious accident occurs. What started off as a beautiful day to go for a ride turns into a traumatic bicyclist accident. The bicycle crash often results in serious bodily injury or death.
Pursuant to the laws of Florida, bicyclists have the same rights as other motorists. Bicyclists are required to follow the same traffic laws. Riding a bike is an enjoyable, fun and healthy way to enjoy one’s day. Unfortunately, when bicycling accidents occur there are physical injuries and/or death. The impact on the injured party and their family is devastating. The accident has altered their lives for the worse and the accident can’t be undone; the injuries or loss of life are permanent. Justice is acquired by receiving compensation through an insurance settlement or via trial.
- Common Causes Of Bicycle Accidents In Palm Beach County And Throughout Florida
- What Are The Main Causes For Bicycle Accidents?
- Bicycle Accident Not Caused By Other Motorists
- Eight (8) Most Common Injuries Suffered In A Bicycle Accident In Florida
- Statute Of Limitations On Bicycle Accidents In Florida
- Comparative Negligence In Bicycle Accidents
- How Long Will It Take For Me To Receive Financial Compensation For My Bicycle Accident Case?
- Why Hire A West Palm Beach Bicycle Accident Lawyer?
- How Can A Bicyclist Avoid A Bicycle Crash?
- How To Determine Liability In A Florida Bicycle Accident?
- To Prove Negligence In A Bicycle Accident, The Injured Party Must Prove
- Types Of Damages In Florida Bicycle Accident Claims
- Are Bicyclist Accidents Covered By Insurance?
Contact a West Palm Beach Bicycle accident lawyer at 561-746-7076.
Q: How many bicycle accidents were there in Florida in 2021?
Florida had 6361 bicycle accidents in 2021; 178 of the crashes resulted in the bicycle rider’s death.
Q: How many bicycle accidents were there in Palm Beach County Florida in 2021?
Palm Beach County had 422 bicycle crashes with 7 bicycle fatalities.
Cyclists suffer from serious bodily injuries or are fatally injured when they collide or crash with any motorized vehicle, car, truck or bus. Most bicyclists wear general clothing with a bicycle helmet. You will not see a bicyclist wearing any additional protective equipment. Accordingly, the bicycle rider has no barrier of protection when they are in a wreck with any motor vehicle.
Top Seven (7) Types Of Bicycle Accidents Involving Motor Vehicles are:
- Car, truck or bus makes a turn into a bicycle, making either a left or right turn
- Car, truck or bus fails to stop at stop sign or redlight
- Car, truck or bus makes an improper or unsafe lane change
- Car, truck or bus sideswipes a bicyclist while passing, See Florida Statute
- Car, truck or bus opens their door into bicycle lane or path of cyclists, sometimes referred to as dooring
- Car, truck or bus rear ends the bicycle or crashes into the bicycle from the rear
- Car, truck or bus loses control and collides with bicyclist
What Are The Main Causes For Bicycle Accidents?
- Distracted driving such as Texting and Driving and watching videos online while driving
- Driving above the speed limit
- Weather, blinding sun and/or rainy conditions
- Drivers that are under the Influence of Drugs and/or Alcohol ( DUI)
- Failure to adhere to traffic control devices, traffic light, stop sign, solid lines
- Weaving in and out of traffic or Reckless Driving
Bicycle Accident Not Caused By Other Motorists
Bicycle accidents are not only caused by the negligence of other drivers on the road, bicyclists can also be fatally or seriously injured due to other types of negligence. Other factors that may negligently cause a bicycle rider to fall and suffer injuries are:
- Road construction or poorly maintained streets
- Debris discarded or left in roadway
- Improper bicycle repair or defective bicycle parts
- Collision caused by bicycle rider or pedestrian
- Dog attacking bicyclist as they ride through the neighborhood
If you are an injured bicyclist and believe that your injuries are caused by the negligence of another, contact the bicycle accident attorneys at the Law Office of Roger P. Foley, P.A. at (561) 746-7076.
Eight (8) Most Common Injuries Suffered In A Bicycle Accident In Florida
The vast majority of bicycling accidents conclude with the rider on the ground. Injuries vary greatly from a scuffed knee to death.
- Road rash or abrasions similar to what a motorcyclist may receive
- Cuts and bruises that are often the result of falling from the bicycle but may occur when a car sideswipes a rider
- Broken bones may be caused by a vehicle impact or fall onto the concrete. Parts of the body commonly fractured on a rider are arms, legs, collarbone, ribs, hip and cranium
- Internal Injuries to the organs can be caused by impact and/or piercing. For example, a punctured lung
- Traumatic Brain Injury caused by a blow to the rider's head. With or without a helmet this injury can occur, it varies in degrees from mild to severe
- Spinal injury resulting in paralysis usually caused by the fall or impact of a motor vehicle
- Facial and Dental Injuries occur when there is an impact to the bicyclist face often resulting in facial scars and broken teeth.
- Death of a bicyclist can occur instantaneously upon impact or as a result of multiple injuries.
Statute Of Limitations On Bicycle Accidents In Florida
The statute of limitations in Florida for Bicycle Accidents is:
- 4 years against a private or commercial motorists
- 3 years when against a government entity
- 2 years when the bicycle accident resulted in death; wrongful death
- 4 years on product liability suit
Comparative Negligence In Bicycle Accidents
When a driver is not deemed to be completely at fault for the accident and the bicyclist shares some of the fault, the principle of comparative negligence will be applicable. A bicyclist may be negligent for failure to adhere to traffic laws, for example they may travel on the wrong side of the road or ride through a stop sign.
If a bicyclist is determined to be partially negligent in causing the accident, then the amount that they may recover in damages will be reduced. For example, if a bicyclist is determined to be 40% at fault for the accident and their damages are $100,000, then 40% or 40,000 will be deducted and they will only be able to recover $60,000 due to their comparative negligence.
If the bicyclist is deemed one hundred percent at fault then they will be unable to recover any financial compensation for their injuries.
How Long Will It Take For Me To Receive Financial Compensation For My Bicycle Accident Case?
Each case is different. In some cases you may receive a settlement within the first 60 days and others may take a year or two. It generally depends on three factors:
- If there is clear negligence of the other party
- If the principle of comparative negligence applies and if it does what is percentage of liability assigned to each party
- The amount of insurance coverage the insured has and whether the bicyclists has underinsured or uninsured motorist coverage
- The extent of the bicyclist injuries and the treatment needed to establish the amount of damages claimed
- The willingness of the insurance company to offer reasonable compensation for the rider’s injuries
The cyclist accident attorneys at the Law Office of Roger P. Foley will work at a fast pace to get you paid. It is important that we properly investigate any and all responsible parties so that you can achieve maximum payout on your claim. Insurance companies often offer pennies on the dollar and deny liability. The process of negotiation with the insurance company can be complex, especially with issues of comparative negligence. If they do not settle, a lawsuit will be filed and the case will head to trial. We have offices in West Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale and accept bicycle accident cases in Palm Beach County and throughout the Sunshine State.
Why Hire A West Palm Beach Bicycle Accident Lawyer?
- Experience in personal injury cases allows personal injury attorneys to know and understand the fair value of their case and not be tricked by an insurance company offering a low settlement offer.
- Time And Energy Savings is important when your focus should be recovering. Attorneys and their staff can quickly collect and summarize police reports and medical reports.
- Objectivity is difficult when you are injured, it can be frustrating to deal with an insurance adjuster that denies liability.
- Alternate Dispute resolution includes negotiation during mediation and arbitration.
- Knowledge and experience of necessary experts and what. reasonable rates to pay. It's easy to overpay for an expert.
- Knowledge of the players, insurance adjusters and defense attorneys.
- Higher settlements have been reached by plaintiff’s using skilled attorneys.
- Filing a lawsuit, pre-trial motions, and trial takes legal skills; these skills are acquired not only through higher education but by practice in the field of personal injury law.
- No Fees unless we win, why layout fees when an attorney can pay them out in advance. An Injured party is already at a deficit due to their injuries.
- Stop the calls regarding medical bills; your attorney can write a letter to stop the harassing calls.
How Can A Bicyclist Avoid A Bicycle Crash?
According to the National Safety Council, there are several preventive measures that bicyclists should follow to minimize the possibility of being involved in an accident or crash:
Check Your Equipment
- Check reflectors are on front, back, sides of bicycle and in spokes to maximize visibility for motorists
- Ensure front and rear lighting is functional on bicycle
- Recommend having a functional horn to alert pedestrians and motorists of your presence
- Wear reflective clothing and reflective sneakers to increase visibility especially in evening hours
- Check tire inflation and that brakes are working properly
- Wear a helmet that is highly rated
Follow Traffic Laws and Be Aware of Your Surroundings
- Travel in the same direction as traffic
- Adhere to all traffic laws
- Watch the road in front of you for debris and other road hazards
- Don’t assume other motorist are paying attention and see you
- Avoid listening to music on earpods / headphones so you can hear other vehicle on roadway
- Remain alert and look for driver opening car doors and motorist abrupt pulling out into your path of travel
- Look carefully as you enter traffic, look left, right, and over your shoulder
- When possible, travel streets and roads less traveled by vehicles or with slower speed limits
- Try to use roads that have designated bicycle lanes as motorists are more aware of a riders presence
- If you are an inexperienced rider, or one that has not ridden for some time, practice your skills in a local park where there are no cars
How To Determine Liability In A Florida Bicycle Accident?
Ascertaining who is at fault is paramount in a bicycle accident case. There must be negligence on the part of another party for there to be a personal injury claim or lawsuit.
Examples of Bicycle Accident Cases ( When negligence is clear) In Palm Beach County include but are not limited to the following:
- A car driver accidentally clips a driver’s arm as it passes too closely to the bicyclist, the rider can file a claim against the driver’s insurance company for the injuries caused by the accident
- An uninsured driver rear ends a bicyclist as it speeds into a turn, if the bicyclist owns a car and has uninsured motorist coverage a claim can be filed against the bicyclist own insurance company and they will step into the shoes of the negligent driver
- A bicyclist is riding through his neighborhood in Jupiter Farms when a dog chases and causes the rider to fall, the rider can bring legal action against the dog’s owner
To Prove Negligence In A Bicycle Accident, The Injured Party Must Prove
- The other party owed a duty,
- That party breached their duty,
- The Breach caused the bicyclist injuries
Am example of the principle of negligence:
A bicyclist is traveling southbound on Dixie Highway toward Palm Beach Lakes Blvd when a blue Chevy Tahoe increases speed to overtake the bicyclist and while passing the Chevy fails to leave sufficient space and turns into the cyclist. The bicyclist crashes into the side of the vehicle causing the rider to be thrown over the handlebars and into the roadway causing a fractured skull, broken arm and ankle, along with road rash.
The injured bicyclist contacts the West Palm Beach bicycle accident attorneys at the Law Office of Roger P. Foley. The accident lawyer reviews the accident report and notes that the Chevy had a duty to adhere to traffic laws as evidenced by the report and traffic citations that the driver received for improper passing and improper turn. It is clear that:
- The Chevy owed a duty of care to the bicyclist, that duty is to adhere to the traffic laws of Florida and to drive safely.
- The driver of the Chevy breached their duty. The Chevy passed the rider and then immediately turned claiming they did not see the bicyclist. Two witnesses stopped and gave statements to police stating that the Chevy passed and then turned almost instantaneously causing the accident. This evidence helps establish the breach.
- The Breach, driving negligently, caused the rider to be injured. Medical reports will confirm this.
Your West Palm Beach Personal Injury Attorney will contact the Chevy driver’s insurance company to acquire a copy of the coverage provided to their insured. The attorney will prepare a demand package based on the insurance available, and the types of damages applicable.
Types Of Damages In Florida Bicycle Accident Claims
- Economic Damages are medical bills, lost wages, and damage to your property ( bicycle)
- Non-Economic Damages are non-tangible damages that are not easily determined. They include pain and suffering and emotional distress
- Punitive Damages are available under certain circumstances. For example, when the driver's negligence is particularly egregious, such as a drunk driver causing a bicycle accident. Punitive damages are meant to punish conduct.
Discuss the particular facts of the case with your Palm Beach Accident Lawyer to determine whether punitive damages are applicable in your accident case.
Are Bicyclist Accidents Covered By Insurance?
Generally, if you are involved in a single person bicycle accident, automobile insurance will not apply. However, if the accident involves a car, bus, or truck and that party's negligence is the cause of the accident, the driver’s insurance will likely be available to pay for damages. If the bicyclist also has automobile insurance, they will likely look to their Personal Injury Protection ( PIP) to pay the first 10k of medical bills. After PIP, if liability is clear, the injured bicyclist will seek damages through the insurance policy of the at fault driver.
Contact The Bicycle Accident Attorneys At The Law Office Of Roger P. Foley
The attorneys at Roger P Foley have readily available to assist you in your accident case. You will always speak with an attorney. You will not be shuffled from department to department, we work diligently to ensure that your case receives the one on one attention it deserves. Our number one goal is client satisfaction. That means we will be by your side during the process and work to acquire you the maximum compensation that you deserve. Contact our West Palm Beach bicycle accident attorneys today at (561) 746-7076.