Florida’s great weather makes for some of the best biking conditions in the country but incidentally, the state also has the highest rate of bicycling deaths.
According to the CDC, Florida has the highest national average of cycling-related deaths and accidents.
Being involved in an accident can be devastating, and especially so if you were injured in a biking accident.
What To Do If You Get Hit On A Bike?
Seeking medical attention should be every cyclist’s priority after being involved in a collision. At the time of the accident, you may be in shock or you may not realize the extent to which you have been injured, therefore it is vital that if you have been involved in an accident you seek medical attention right away regardless of how minor your injuries may seem.
Call The Police
The police should always be called after an accident no matter how minor. The police will write up an official statement from the scene of the accident retelling the events soon after they happened, and this will be extremely valuable down the road.
Do Not Disturb The Scene Of The Accident
It is important that you do not disturb the scene of the accident. The police should see the scene of the accident as it happened so that they can make a fair assessment. This also includes the state of your bicycle.
You should also take the time to speak with the driver of the vehicle and any witnesses to exchange information such as their name, phone number, and insurance information.
Take photos of the scene of the accident and any visible injuries you may have. These could be helpful in a potential lawsuit against the driver.
Do Not Admit Fault
Never admit fault at the scene of the accident or even later on social media. Do not publish any photos of the accident on social media or elsewhere, these may be used against you later.
Talk To A New Port Richey Personal Injury Lawyer
Do not give any statements at the scene of the accident or after until you have consulted with a New Port Richey bicycle accident lawyer. Search for a New Port Richey Bicycle Accident Lawyer near me.
A New Port Richey Personal Injury lawyer will be able to assess your situation and protect your rights.
Proving Fault in New Port Richey Bike Collisions
A bicycle accident lawsuit is most times a negligence suit. What this means is that you will need to prove that the driver of the vehicle was negligent in some way and that this negligence is what caused the accident and the resulting injuries.
There are endless ways that a driver could be negligent such as speeding, running a red light, illegal turns, or failing to stay in their own lane. Keep in mind that liability may fall on the cyclist as well.
To be successful in a lawsuit against a driver, the cyclist must prove that the driver owed a duty of care to the injured party and failed to meet this standard of care with their negligence and that their negligence caused the injury to the cyclist resulting in damages.
Proving fault is key in these cases. The cyclist will need to show that the negligence of the driver is what caused the accident and not the negligence of the cyclist or a third party.
This is why it is vital for a personal injury claim to have detailed reports and photos from the scene of the accident. These will be the strongest evidence to support a claim of damages in a bicycling accident.
Bicycle Accident Injuries and Compensation
Bicycle accident injuries are among the most brutal due to cyclist’s lack of protection on the road. A cyclist coming into contact with a vehicle at excess speeds is most times fatal. Below are some common injuries sustained by cyclists involved in vehicle crashes.
- Internal Damage: Often, cyclists who have been injured in an accident will suffer severe organ damage from impact to their spleens, liver, or kidneys.
- Fractures: Broken bones are another common injury sustained by bicyclists who have been involved in an accident.
- Head Injuries: Head and brain injuries are common in cycling accidents and can leave a person with permanent injuries. Cyclists should always wear a helmet to lower their risk of serious brain injuries.
- Neck and Back Injuries: Cyclists often report sustaining severe spinal cord injuries after an accident which could result in permanent damage or paralysis.
How Much is My Bicycle Accident Case Worth?
If you have been involved in a bicycle accident you may be wondering how much your case is worth. The answer to this question is, it depends. You will need to speak with a Newport Richey accident lawyer to get the most accurate estimate of your damages.
There are many variables at play in determining the number of damages awarded to a plaintiff in a bicycle accident lawsuit. Below we list some of those factors and offer a brief explanation.
We discussed negligence above, and this where the comparative fault may come into play. Comparative fault is a term used to describe when a court will lessen a plaintiff’s damages because their negligence contributed to causing the accident.
If the insurance company is able to show that the cyclist was negligent in some way and contributed to causing the accident and in turn their injuries, the court may lessen the plaintiff’s final damages calculation to account for that fault.
For instance, if a cyclist’s final damage calculation is $100,000 but the court determined that the cyclist is 25% liable for the accident, then the cyclist’s damages award will be reduced by $25,000 dollars.
Severity Of Injuries
Typically, the more severe the injury, the higher the damages award. Severe injuries are those injuries that take longer to heal, or may never heal, or those injuries that altogether greatly reduce the cyclist’s quality of life. Some examples of more severe injuries include head injuries, paralysis, and multiple fractures.
Duration Of Treatment
Length of treatment for an injury can vary significantly and is a consideration of the court when awarding damages for a bicycle accident. If a plaintiff’s injuries take months or years to treat, the damages award will be higher than someone who is back on their feet within days or weeks.
Cost Of Treatment
Cost of treatment is one of the best measures for damage calculation. Medical expenses can be easily evidenced from invoices that will be instantly factored into damages.
The higher an injured plaintiff’s medical expenses, the greater the likely damages. If the driver is found to be negligent, the injured plaintiff is entitled to payment for all past and future medical expenses incurred in connection to the injuries sustained during the accident.
Nature Of Treatment
Some injuries require more medical attention than others. If you have sustained an injury with extensive and expensive medical treatments, your damage evaluation is likely to be much higher than someone who suffered from minor or inexpensive injuries.
For example, if your injury has caused you to need multiple surgeries and lifelong treatment or rehabilitation, those costs will be factored into your damages award.
The length of recovery time is typically used as an indicator of the severity of injuries and the longer the projected recovery time for an injury, the greater the likely damages.
If you have suffered a severe injury that is likely to impair your quality of life for a prolonged time after the accident you may receive higher damages.
If your doctors anticipate that your injuries will be lifelong you will most likely incur more costs and higher medical bills than someone whose injuries last only a few days or weeks.
This is because your damage calculation will include future expenses as well as greater compensation for pain and suffering.
An injured party is entitled to any lost earnings as a result of their injuries. This includes weeks you went unpaid at your job or monies you lost due to your physical inability to work and extends to future lost wages.
The exact measure of these damages will depend on the wages that you earn and whether you will be able to return to work once your injuries have healed.
If you have been injured as the result of a bike accident, the most significant damages will likely come in the form of what is referred to as general damages.
General damages account for the pain and suffering that you have endured because of the accident.
Tips For Bicycle Safety
Cycling can be dangerous, but there are ways you can protect yourself on the road. Here are just a few ways cyclists can make sure they are protecting themselves:
- Wear A Helmet: Some of the worst injuries related to bicycling accidents are head injuries. Head injuries can have devastating lasting effects. Wearing a helmet every time you ride will make sure that you are protected.
- Lights: Another added safety measure is lighting up your bike. By installing reflective lights on the front and back of your bicycle you will be more visible to drives and could prevent an accident.
- Signaling Turns: Cyclists should always signal their turns. You can use your hand to signal turns for vehicle drivers and either a bell or your voice to let pedestrians know where you are on the road.
- Check Your Brakes: Cyclists should make sure that their bike is in working order. Always check to make sure that your brakes are working before hitting the road.
- Follow The Rules Of The Road: Cyclists are required to follow the same rules as other vehicle drivers. It is important for all cyclists to be familiar with traffic laws so that they can do their part to make the roads safe for everyone.
The Importance Of Bicycle Safety
According to the CDC, in 2015 alone, over 1,000 bicyclists died and there were almost 467,000 bicycle-related injuries.
The CDC website also cites that data from 2010 shows fatal and non-fatal crash-related injuries to bicyclists resulted in lifetime medical costs and productivity losses of $10 billion.
How Can a New Port Richey Bicycle Accident Lawyer Help?
If you have been injured in a bicycle accident, an experienced Newport Richey personal injury lawyer can help you recover and get the compensation you deserve.
Listed below are just a few ways that a bicycle accident lawyer in your area can help you through your personal injury case.
Investigate The Claim
An experienced accident lawyer will help you to gather evidence for your claim and will know how to recover any available video footage from the scene of the accident to show the driver’s negligence.
A knowledgeable attorney will also understand the importance of identifying witnesses and obtaining official statements.
A New Port Richey bicycle accident lawyer will also help you to gather and retain all your medical records to build your case for damages.
Settle Or Proceed To Trial
The question of whether you should settle your claim or proceed to trial is a complex strategic question. After evaluating your claim and the facts of your case, an experienced bicycle accident attorney will know if you have received a fair settlement offer or if you should proceed to trial.
It is common for insurance companies to offer low settlement numbers as a first offer. Your lawyer will be able to negotiate a fair settlement with the insurance company and make sure you get the highest award possible.
A knowledgeable personal injury attorney will also be able to anticipate how your case will do at trial as well as the likelihood of you succeeding on your claims. Having a bicycle accident lawyer by your side will help you to make informed decisions regarding your case and recover the compensation you deserve.
Recover Economic Damages
A personal injury lawyer that specialized in bicycle accidents will help you to recover the economic damages you suffered due to the accident. The economic damages associated with your accident are the real and actual financial losses that you have suffered due to the accident.
These will include both direct and indirect financial losses. Direct financial losses include money expended on medical expenses and an example of an indirect loss would include lost wages.
You are entitled to compensation for both direct and indirect financial losses that you have experienced due to an accident. Listed below are common economic damages that can result if you have been hit by a car,
- Emergency room bills
- Physical therapy
- Doctor visits
- Blood tests
- Travel costs to medical appointments
- Mobility aids like crutches, braces, and wheelchairs
- Prescription costs
- Occupational therapy
Another kind of damages that may be involved in a bicycle accident claim is punitive damages. Punitive damages are not meant to compensate the victim, but rather they are meant to punish a negligent driver for violating laws.
If the driver who caused your injury violated criminal laws, such as driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, they may be subject to punitive damages.
Negotiate with Insurance Companies
The goal of the insurance companies after an accident is to settle a claim for the lowest possible amount. An experienced bicycle accident lawyer will be familiar with their tactics and know-how to negotiate to get you the highest compensation possible for your claim.
Act as a Guide
Overall, your bicycle accident lawyer will act as your guide through the entire process from start to finish. It will be a relief to have a legal expert working for you throughout this difficult time. The right personal injury lawyer will be familiar with the process and make your experience as painless as possible.
When Should you Contact a New Port Richey Bicycle Accident Lawyer After an Accident?
The sooner you consult with a bicycle accident lawyer, the better. You should never give any official
Statements relating to your accident until you have consulted with a bicycle accident lawyer.
It’s also a good idea to call sooner rather than later because it will be easier for your personal injury lawyer to gather evidence and reach out to witnesses.
Questions To Ask Your New Port Richey Bicycle Accident Lawyer:
- How long have you been representing Newport Richey bicycle accident clients?
- Are you familiar with the case law in Newport Richey?
- What percentage of your cases in Florida are accident cases?
- How often do you take cases to trial?
- What is your standard fee arrangement and are there any special fees I should know about?
- Which factors of my casework against me?
- What should my expectations be for the outcome of my case?
- Why should I hire you to work on my bicycle accident case?
- Have you dealt with any bicycle accident cases that have similar facts to mine?
- What positive results have you achieved for your other clients who have suffered injuries due to a bicycle accident injury?
Free Consult With A New Port Richey Bicycle Accident Lawyer
If you are a pedestrian who has been hit by a car in Florida, consult with an experienced New Port Richey pedestrian accident lawyer today for a free case evaluation.