Florida is known for its fantastic year-round weather, and bicycling is a favorite hobby and mode of transportation for many state residents. Unfortunately, Florida also has the highest death rate of bicycle deaths in the country, with the National Highway Traffic Safety reporting 150 total deaths in 2015.
If you or a loved one were involved in any type of bicycle accident, then do not hesitate to contact a Hollywood bike accident lawyer for assistance. A skilled attorney could examine all the aspects of your case and advise you of your best legal options going forward.
Causes of Bicycle Accidents in Hollywood
In Hollywood, Florida, bicyclists have the same rights and duties as normal drivers. The Florida state legislature has also taken measures to ensure bicyclist are treated fairly, most notably by creating bike-specific lanes on many roads. However, this does not totally prevent bicycle accidents from occurring.
Bicycle accidents happen all the time in Hollywood and for a number of different reasons. For bicyclists, the biggest risk is not always the bicyclists themselves. Iinstead, other automobile drivers often pose the most danger and inflict the most injury.
Driving While Distracted & Right Hook Turns
The National Safety Council reports that using a cell phone while driving causes 1.6 million car accidents per year. Specifically, one out of every four automobile accidents is caused by texting. Distracted drivers can be dangerous to even the most careful bicyclists.
Right hook accidents occur when an automobile driver fails to observe a cyclist next to them and makes a right turn into their path. This results in the driver striking and often injuring the unprotected cyclist, or the cyclist striking the vehicle and injuring themselves because of the driver's inattention. Speak with a Hollywood bike accident lawyer to learn more.
Means of Recovery
In order to bring suit and recover damages for a bicycle accident that occurs in Hollywood, the bicyclist must prove the presence of several elements mandated by Florida state negligence law.
First and foremost, the driver who hit the cyclist must have been negligent. This can often be proven by demonstrating that the driver was careless or violated a law. This failure to uphold their duty of care to other people on the road can constitute negligence in civil court.
In addition, the driver's negligence must have actually caused the bicycle accident. The accident cannot be simply coincidence or have merely happened at the same time or near the site of the bicyclist's injury. Instead, it must have been the direct" or proximate" cause.
Finally, the bicyclist must have suffered some type of physical harm from the accident. Non-physical damages can be incorporated into a settlement demand, but they cannot solely form grounds for a personal injury lawsuit that does not involve physical damage.
The goal of settlement in a personal injury case is to compensate the victim for all their damages, but insurance companies do not always share in that goal. If a bicycle accident causes injury, compensation might include the costs of:
- Past and future health care expenses
- Loss of income
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium
Florida is a comparative negligence state, which means that if the inured bicyclist has any fault in causing the accident, their final damage award may be reduced by the percentage of fault they bear. It is up to a jury to determine how much the injured person is at fault, and subsequently how much they will lower the plaintiff's total recovery.
Comparative negligence is a fact-dependent issue. An experienced Hollywood bike accident lawyer could ensure that the jury uses appropriate facts to determine degrees of fault and total recovery.
Speak with a Hollywood Bicycle Accident Attorney Today
If you or a loved one were in a bicycle accident in Hollywood, it may be important that you seek out an experienced Hollywood bike accident lawyer to help guide you through the entire litigation process. Call today to schedule a consultation and get started on your case.