Bicycle Accident Lawyer
Injured riders count on our firm in Melbourne & Brevard County
Most Floridians regard driving a car as a tremendous responsibility due to the inherent safety risks that are involved in getting behind the wheel. However, riding a bike on Florida’s roads exposes cyclists to greater risks. In 2015, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that of all the states in the union, Florida has the highest rate of bicycle accident deaths at 0.57 per 100,000 people, twice as many as the national rate.
In 2013, the state launched an effort to address the urgent issue of bicycle fatalities by implementing a strategy that was centered on the “three e’s:” engineering, education, and enforcement. While designing roads that are more favorable for bicyclists is a long-term solution, short-term efforts include educating drivers on sharing the road with bikes and stepping up enforcement of bans on distracted driving.
The importance of reporting bike accidents
For bike riders who are involved in accidents with cars, it is imperative to report the crash to police no matter how small it may seem. Even if the bicyclist does not sense an injury at the time of the accident, he or she may begin to feel pain days later. Bicycle damage may also be discovered upon taking the bike to a shop and having it inspected long after leaving the accident scene.
Filing a report will also document important details, like road conditions, weather, and witness statements in the event that a lawsuit must eventually be filed. In addition to reporting the crash to the police, the bicyclist should also report the accident to his or her automobile insurance company. In Florida, auto insurance policies often cover the insured individual when he or she is injured by another vehicle even when the insured is not actually driving a car at the time of the accident. No fault benefits will typically cover the inured bicyclist’s medical bills and compensate required time away from work. While the insurance company is obligated to explain the nature of the policy’s coverage to the insured, it is best for the inured individual to have his or her Florida personal injury attorney communicate with the insurance company. Similarly, the injured bicyclist should avoid all communication with the driver’s insurance company and refer all correspondence to the attorney.
Things to do at the scene
As a bicyclist, there are important steps that should be taken at the scene of a crash, assuming the injured bike rider is able to remain alert. The bicyclist should always listen intently to what the other party says about the crash and how it happened while reserving his or her own comments until the police arrive to take a report. In addition to listening intently while avoiding apologies, accepting blame or the making a statement regarding the cause of the accident, the bike rider should also preserve the condition of his or her bike, helmet, clothing, lighting, and other property to ensure the police will be able to observe the items as they were after the accident took place.
Contacting an attorney
Even a seemingly minor bike accident can cause a significant injury and require time off work and expensive medical treatment. Therefore, after reporting the accident and receiving any immediate medical treatment that may be necessary, the injured bicyclist should contact a reputable and experienced Melbourne personal injury attorneys. Couture Law P.A. will ask all the pertinent questions to learn more about the accident and the bicyclist’s injuries in addition to helping the injured party determine the next steps to take in protecting his or her rights.
How much does a personal injury attorney cost?
At Couture Law P.A. in Melbourne, you won’t pay a penny unless our personal injury lawyers prevail at trial, or procure a settlement on your behalf. This arrangement is commonly referred to as payment “on a contingency basis.” Suffice to say, we’ll help you fight for every dollar for your pain and suffering.
How much time do I have to file an injury lawsuit?
The period of time from the date of the accident until you no longer can file a claim is known as the “statute of limitations.” In Florida, the amount of time in which statutes expire varies by case type. The statute of limitations for most injury cases is four (4) years. For medical malpractice and wrongful death cases, it’s two (2) years. Always err on the side of caution by consulting with your Melbourne personal injury attorney.
Do I have a case?
Because no two cases are alike, Melbourne injury attorneys should gather and analyze all of the facts regarding your case before addressing this question. After tracking down and speaking with witnesses, we’ll give you a fair, honest assessment of your unique situation – and how we can help.