Fort Lauderdale
Bicycle Accident Attorney

bicyclists in traffic

Were you hurt in a bicycle accident in Fort Lauderdale? Was someone else to blame? If so, you could face expensive medical bills, lost wages from time missed at work, and considerable pain and suffering from the injuries themselves.

At Phillips | Tadros, P.A., our Fort Lauderdale injury attorneys want to help you get the compensation you need for the harm you suffered through no fault of your own. Contact us today for a free case review with a Fort Lauderdale bicycle accident lawyer.

What Kinds of Compensation Can You Recover for a Bicycle Accident?

If you ride a bike but also own a motor vehicle in the state of Florida, you should have certain minimum amounts of insurance coverage as required by law. Florida is a no-fault insurance state, which means that crash victims typically rely on their own personal injury protection (PIP) insurance policy for initial coverage after an accident.

PIP is a type of no-fault insurance that covers your expenses when you get hurt in a car accident, even if you are not in your own vehicle when the crash occurs. So, if you carry the state-required $10,000 in PIP coverage, you should be eligible for compensation any time you sustain car accident injuries while riding your bike. Your PIP should cover:

  • 80 percent of reasonable and necessary medical costs you incur due to the crash.
  • 60 percent of your lost wages if you miss work due to accident-related injuries.

If your crash-related expenses exceed the limits of your PIP policy or you do not have PIP coverage because you have no car, you might be eligible for compensation from other sources. For instance, if the driver who hit you is at fault and you sustained severe injuries in the crash, you could file a third-party claim against the driver.

While you must prove that the driver’s actions contributed to the bike accident before you can recover money, third-party injury claims offer more types and larger compensation amounts. A successful third-party bicycle accident claim against a negligent driver could compensate you for:

  • The full value of any medical expenses you incur due to the bike accident.
  • Incidental, out-of-pocket expenses, such as mileage costs for medical travel.
  • The full value of any lost wages you incur due to missed time at work.
  • The projected value of lost earning capacity, if you suffer permanent impairments.
  • The value of subjective losses like pain, suffering, and reduced quality of life.

Common Causes of Bicycle Accidents in Fort Lauderdale

While bicycle vs. motor vehicle accidents occur less frequently than other types of traffic accidents, they tend to be particularly catastrophic. According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV), someone is hurt or killed in 96 percent of bicycle accidents statewide.

Florida state law defines bicycles as vehicles and holds that cyclists have all the same rights and responsibilities as other vehicle operators. However, the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) also recognizes that bicycles have vulnerabilities that other vehicles do not.

For example, bicyclists do not have steel enclosures, safety restraints, or airbags to protect them from the worst of a crash like motor vehicle occupants do. As a result, cyclists are entitled to a certain level of care and consideration from motorists. FDOT requires drivers to be extra cautious when driving near bicycles and give cyclists at least three feet of clearance when passing.

Despite these legal and ethical obligations, many drivers behave carelessly or recklessly around cyclists, leading to collisions caused by:

  • Distracted driving, such as driving while texting or talking on the phone
  • Driving under the influence of drugs, alcohol, or prescription medications
  • Driving while fatigued
  • Failure to yield the right of way or leave enough distance when passing
  • Running red lights or stop signs or ignoring cyclists at intersections
  • Exceeding posted speed limits or driving too fast for conditions
  • Failing to monitor blind spots or following too closely for conditions
  • Attempting to overtake and turn in front of cyclists instead of waiting
  • Engaging in lane weaving, unsafe passing, or improper turn maneuvers
  • Failing or refusing to obey traffic signs, signals, devices, or officers
  • Opening vehicle doors into the paths of oncoming cyclists without looking

Of course, motorists are not always to blame for collisions with cyclists. Other parties who could be liable include:

  • Other road users
  • Manufacturers of defective car parts
  • Local governments that failed to properly design or maintain roadways

In addition, a bicyclist could be at fault themselves if they violated traffic laws or contributed to the accident in some other way.

A knowledgeable Fort Lauderdale bicycle accident attorney can review your situation and identify all parties who may be at fault for your injuries.

What You Should Do After a Bicycle Crash

A bicycle accident is a traumatic and overwhelming event, one that can leave you uncertain about what to do next. However, you can take certain steps to gain control of your situation and seek accountability for your losses. If possible, you should:

First, assess the damage as best you can

Check yourself for injuries and summon emergency responders if necessary. Paramedics can treat injuries, while police officers can help with things like directing traffic, taking statements, and writing a report.

Collect as much evidence as possible

While you are still at the scene, take photos of the accident scene, damage to your bike, and any visible injuries. Ask the driver who hit you for their contact, vehicle, and insurance details.

Seek medical attention as soon as possible

You want to have your accident injuries properly diagnosed, treated, and documented, especially if you did not receive treatment at the scene.

Follow your doctor’s instructions

This will help the healing process and demonstrate to the insurance company that you are taking your well-being seriously.

Keep and collect records

This includes medical bills, bank statements, repair estimates, proof of lost income, and other documentation of your crash-related injuries, expenses, and losses.

Create a “pain journal”

By doing so, you have a record of observations about the pain and personal limitations you experience daily due to the bicycle accident.

Watch what you say

Be careful when speaking or making to the driver, the insurance company, and other parties about the accident. Avoid sharing any information or photos online while your claim is pending, as anything you post could be taken out of context and used against you.

Seek legal counsel

Contact a knowledgeable bicycle accident lawyer in Fort Lauderdale immediately.

Common Injuries from Bicycle Accidents

Because cyclists are vulnerable to traffic collisions, many bike accident victims sustain severe, life-changing injuries as a result. These injuries can include:

  • Head and neck injuries
  • Facial and dental injuries
  • Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
  • Back and shoulder injuries
  • Spinal cord injuries (SCIs)
  • Partial or total paralysis
  • Abdominal and internal injuries
  • Arm, elbow, wrist, and hand injuries
  • Dislocated and broken bones
  • Permanent scarring and disfigurement
  • Amputation and loss of limb
  • Bruises, lacerations, and puncture wounds
  • Soft tissue strains, sprains, and tears
  • Leg, knee, ankle, and foot injuries
  • Other joint and muscle injuries
  • “Road rash” and other burn injuries
  • Emotional and psychological injuries
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

How Long Do You Have to File a Bicycle Accident Lawsuit in Florida?

In some cases, you might need to sue to recover the compensation you are owed after a Fort Lauderdale bicycle accident. If you are considering a bicycle accident lawsuit, remember that under Florida Statutes § 95.11, you have only four years to do so. The four-year window begins on the date when the bicycle accident occurs. Once the deadline passes, you no longer have the right to sue.

Importantly, Florida’s time limit on personal injury lawsuits is relevant even if you never intend to sue for compensation. Your ability to threaten a lawsuit is your most essential bargaining chip during out-of-court settlement talks. A bicycle injury attorney at Phillips | Tadros, P.A., can help you avoid losing money to preventable errors by identifying key deadlines and managing your claim in a timely manner.

What Our Fort Lauderdale Bicycle Accident Lawyers Can Do for Your Case

When you hire the top-rated legal team at Phillips | Tadros, P.A., you have a Fort Lauderdale bicycle accident law firm on your side that will:

  • Explain your rights and estimate the potential value of your claim.
  • Identify all possible sources of compensation for your accident injuries.
  • Conduct an independent investigation into the causes of the bicycle crash.
  • Communicate with insurance companies and other parties on your behalf.
  • Obtain medical records, accident reports, and other evidence for your claim.
  • Interview eyewitnesses and medical experts for valuable case testimony.
  • Manage important case documents, details, and deadlines on your behalf.
  • File claim paperwork and negotiate aggressively to maximize your settlement.
  • Take your case to court and represent you at trial, if the other side won’t pay.