Fort Lauderdale bicycle accident lawyers know the devastating consequences, physically, emotionally, and financially. The victims of such accidents have to bear enormous pain and suffering in addition to the financial losses associated with such claims.
Since bicycles are much smaller than motor vehicles, they are usually on the wrong end of the momentum. Couple this up with the lack of a metallic framework and impact padding in all types of bicycles, and you can understand why such accidents are especially horrible.
To seek fair compensation for your losses, it is important to get the best people on the job – contact experienced bicycle accident lawyers as soon as you can and start the legal process without any delays.
This article will explain the typical framework of bicycle accidents in Fort Lauderdale, explore the roles of potentially responsible parties, and how a bicycle injury lawyer can help you claim maximum compensation.
Negligence on part of any party involved can lead to disastrous bike accidents. Bikes are by nature very vulnerable and not very well protected against impacts. Thus if a biker is involved in an accident, things are not going to go very well for them.
So why do these accidents happen to begin with?
Well, there are several reasons, the most prominent ones are as follows:
Suddenly Opened Car Doors: This may not look like it might hurt someone, but it does – very badly. Drivers often open the door of their car without checking for oncoming bicyclists. When this happens, the biker may be caught off guard and hence crash into the door. This is called being “doored” and it is nothing to be taken lightly – it can put the biker in a world of pain.
Distracted Driving: It is not uncommon to witness distracted drivers on the roads of Fort Lauderdale. As with any other part of the USA, the streets here are also abuzz with an endless horde of cars and other vehicles. Thus the odds of distracted driving are also much higher – this is especially true for teenage drivers who often text while driving. This can lead to auto crashes and things can turn from bad to worse if a bicyclist is caught in the mix.
Unsafe Driving: Violation of traffic laws, such as cutting through lanes or ignoring traffic lights, is also a serious threat in such matters. Car drivers tend to do as such either when they are in a rush or if they’re negligent otherwise. Whatever the case, violating traffic laws and putting others at risk through unsafe driving patterns is not acceptable and a bicycle accident victim can sue the other driver for such transgression. Similarly, drivers can fail to notice bicycle riders when taking turns, right and left, which may cost the poor fellow some serious pain and suffering. In both cases, the drivers clearly announce themselves as the at-fault party.
Drunk Driving: Getting behind the wheel with more than the legal limit for blood alcohol concentration (.08% for an individual who is of legal drinking age) is an offense on its own. Drunk driving has resulted in many accidents on the road and since the inebriated driver has zero sense of their surroundings and can’t make judgment calls as good as a sober person would, who knows who might be dragged into the mess.
Unsafe Road: If certain hazards on the road somehow caused or at least complicated your accident, you have the right to sue the governing body. Of course, the unsafe elements should not be unavoidable ones, i.e. fog is not something that the government can lock up somewhere. Just remember that if you’re planning to sue a government body, your statute of limitations will be shorter than usual.
By better understanding how bicycle accidents can happen, you will be better able to identify the at-fault parties and get started with seeking a fair settlement.
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The types of damages sustained can be divided broadly into economic and non-economic categories. However, in certain areas, the two overlap. As the most perceptive of you would’ve already guessed, economic damages are those that introduce certain financial pressures on the bike accident victim.
These include all the medical expenses, expenses for psychiatric evaluation and therapy (if needed), lost wages due to the accident, out-of-pocket expenses, and property damage (your bicycle may become a pile of rubble after the accident). All of these damages can be summed up by simply adding the bills and factoring in any long-term expenses – that’s it!
However, the non-economic damages are much harder to work with – they encompass all the pain and suffering that resulted due to the accident, i.e. soft tissue injuries, internal organ damage, traumatic brain injury, and spinal cord injuries.
However, the problem here is that you can’t show anyone your pain and there is no way to quantify someone’s suffering. Physical trauma and mental pain are very personal affairs, thus the compensation for these damages will be arbitrary at best.
Professional bike accident attorneys usually assign a multiple, no more than 5, to the sum of your economic losses. This multiple is based on the intensity of the accident and reflects directly on how severe the accident was.
To sum up, an accident victim’s losses usually include:
Your first stop in the endeavors to secure a fair settlement should be the insurance companies of the liable parties. The representative of the target insurance company may even reach out to you before you’ve even had a chance to reflect on your losses. If this happens, be sure to delay the conversation for as long as it takes you to gather all relevant evidence, seek legal consultation, and create a solid case.
Even after this, have a team of personal injury attorneys from a dedicated accident law firm reach out to the adjuster to avoid compromising your stance.
Depending on the exact details of your case, you may be able to redeem your damages from one or more of the following parties:
The list goes on, the point here is that your bicycle accident attorneys will have to identify all liable parties to win a fair settlement and bounce back to your feet in the financial arena.
Even if you partly shared the blame, this will not keep you from claiming your share of the compensation sum. Since Florida operates on a comparative liability system, you will get a sum based on your share in the blame. If you had no share in causing the accident, then you’ll get 100% of the sum, however, this percentage will decrease corresponding to an increase in your share of the blame.
For instance, if a party is 60% at-fault and the total sum for the losses is $10,000, then they’ll get $4,000 out of this sum. Usually, both parties have a share in the blame, however, even if you feel that you are partly at fault, don’t accept anything immediately. You should never make a comment or statement before you know every detail of the accident.
Seek legal counsel before anything else and determine whether you were at fault or not. Sometimes, it may only seem like you were partly to be blamed even though you did nothing wrong. Your bike accident lawyer will see to it that your role in the accident is not over-inflated which the insurance company will try to do to minimize the payout.
This way, you will secure a fair payout from the insurance company. If things don’t work out with the insurance adjuster, you can always file a personal injury lawsuit and make the company honor its insurance coverage.
Seeking proper legal counsel is one of the most quintessential prerequisites to securing a fair financial settlement. If you think that you can recover a fair sum for your damages on your own, then you’re probably not acquainted with the way insurance companies work.
Just remember: don’t trust anything they say until you’re certain about stuff.
And, if you’re worried about not being able to pay a legal representative, then don’t worry about a thing. Our team of competent bicycle accident injury attorneys at VG Law knows all too well the mess that victims have to go through after an accident. We will not burden you with any advance fees or consultation charges.
Instead, you’ll only have to pay us if you win.
That probably sounds like a good enough reason to give us a call right now, so feel free to do so!