Riding a bike might be a great way to get around and enjoy Florida’s sunny weather, but it is not without risks. If you are hit by a car while riding your bike, an attorney can help you hold the negligent driver responsible.
After an accident, you probably have several legal options for compensation to go over with your attorney. Many people choose to file insurance claims, but these often do not provide full coverage, and negligent drivers are not really held responsible by anyone in authority. A lawsuit might help you get full and fair compensation, while a court holds the wrongdoer who harmed you liable for their behavior. In many cases, negligent drivers are at fault, but other parties might also be implicated. Talk to your lawyer about your accident to determine who should be held liable and why. Damages may be high, especially if your injuries are severe, and your attorney should help you accurately account for all your losses and injuries.
Call Howe Law at (844) 876-4357 to schedule a free review of your damages and claims with our bicycle accident attorneys.
How to Get Compensation for Injuries in a Bicycle Accident in Orlando
Getting compensation for injuries from a bike accident is often easier said than done. People tend to disregard bike accidents even though riders might be badly injured. Speak to an attorney about the best way to get compensation for your injuries. You might have several legal options worth exploring.
As with almost any accident involving motor vehicles, many injured bike riders turn to insurance to help them cover the costs of an accident. Because Florida operates under no-fault auto insurance laws, most accident victims file claims with their own insurance first.
Anyone who owns a vehicle used on the public roads of Florida is required by law to have auto insurance. In Florida, vehicle owners must carry personal injury protection (PIP) insurance. Instead of filing a claim with the other driver’s insurance, accident victims file claims with their own PIP coverage. If you are an injured bike rider who happens to have auto insurance, you can file a claim with your PIP insurance even though you were not driving your vehicle during the accident.
Many bike riders do not have vehicles, so they do not have auto insurance. In those cases, injured bike riders can file insurance claims with the insurance company of the driver who hit them.
While insurance claims are often the first form of legal action taken by injured riders, it often does not meet all their needs. Damages and compensation may be limited to the terms of the insurance policy. If your injuries are severe, your damages may easily exceed the policy limits.
File a Lawsuit
A lawsuit may help you recover the full extent of your damages after a bike accident. While insurance claims are often limited by policy terms, lawsuits are not. Many injured bike riders not fully compensated by insurance file lawsuits to recoup their remaining damages.
Before filing a lawsuit, you might have to meet Florida’s “serious injury” threshold for a lawsuit. After accidents involving vehicles, injured victims may only file lawsuits if they have a serious injury as defined under Florida Statutes § 627.737. A serious injury includes death, significant scarring or disfigurement, loss of an important bodily function, or another medically determined, permanent injury that is not scarring or disfigurement. Many bike riders are badly injured after an accident, and meeting this threshold might not be difficult.
Lawsuits are extremely formal, and strict legal rules and procedures must always be followed. Claimants also usually must meet much higher standards to prove their claims in court, and strong evidence is extremely important. Getting help from an attorney before beginning a lawsuit is in your best interest.
Who Should Be Held Liable for Your Bicycle Accident and Injuries in Orlando?
While many injured bike riders can identify the driver who hit them, many others are not. Still, some bike riders find that the driver they believed was responsible for the crash is not at fault and that a different party is to blame.
Many bike accidents involve multiple vehicles, even if only one of those vehicles makes contact with the bike rider. One driver might have been swerving away from another while both were recklessly speeding, and a bike rider might have been hit in the process. In such cases, both drivers may be sued for damages.
The government might also be responsible under specific circumstances. For example, a bike lane might have been very negligently designed, placing bike riders in danger of being hit by speeding vehicles. In such cases, the government may be held liable for failing to keep traffic and bike lanes safe.
Recovering Damages for Bicycle Accidents in Orlando
Your damages are based on the losses and injuries you incurred as a direct result of the accident. While many damages are based on monetary expenses, others are based on subjective personal experiences. Evaluating damages can be difficult, so you should contact an attorney for help.
Lost income is a major factor in damages calculations. After being struck by a car, many bike riders must take time away from work to rest and recover. Many people lose income while they recover, making it even harder to keep up with bills and expenses. The longer you are out of work, the greater your damages should be.
Medical expenses are another huge factor in damages for bike accident injuries. If your injuries were severe, you likely needed emergency medical treatment and possible surgery, pain medication, or even physical therapy. You can claim medical bills you have already incurred and the estimated value of future medical costs if your treatments are ongoing.
Non-economic damages may be quite considerable, especially if your accident was traumatic and you endured significant pain. Pain, suffering, humiliation, the loss of enjoyment of your life, and many other painful experiences may be claimed as part of your overall damages. The value of these damages is typically left up to the jury, so we must have strong evidence backing up your claims.
Call Our Orlando Bicycle Accident Attorneys
Call Howe Law at (844) 876-4357 to schedule an evaluation of your legal options with our bicycle accident lawyers.