No one thinks this will be the day of a bicycle accident until it happens. No one is prepared for the pain and hardship such an accident could bring. According to the CDC, Florida is one of the most dangerous states for bike riders. While the state has improved in addressing biker safety, it still lags behind most of the country. A Pembroke Pines bicycle injury lawyer can provide important legal assistance if you are injured in a bicycle accident. Call an experienced injury attorney today to schedule a consultation.
Rights and Duties of Bicyclists
Florida law states that bicyclists have the same rights and obligations as other drivers in the state. This means that bicyclists are expected to follow the rules of the road just like any automobile driver. In recognition of the dangers bike riders face on Florida’s roads, the state mandates that everyone under 16 must wear a helmet.
Importantly, however, the law states that the failure to wear a helmet may not be used in a civil suit as evidence of contributory negligence on the part of the rider. The statute further requires that anyone riding a bike at night have a proper lamp affixed to the bike. A Pembroke Pines bicycle accident lawyer may provide guidance as to whether the failure to adhere to these requirements impacts liability.
In accidents involving bicyclists and motor vehicles, it is almost always the biker who winds up with more serious injuries. However, this does not necessarily mean that the motor vehicle driver is wholly responsible for those injuries.
Florida utilizes a comparative negligence mechanism to allocate fault for accidents, whereby the injured party’s recovery is reduced by their contributory negligence in the accident. Thus, if an injured biker has $600,000 in damages and is 50 percent at fault for the accident, the most that can be recovered is $300,000. A Pembroke Pines bicycle accident attorney can help determine the allocation of fault for an accident based on the law and factual circumstances.
Recoverable Damages in Pembroke Pines
Unfortunately, severe injuries and even death are not uncommon results arising from bike accidents. Subject to the above considerations, damages may be recoverable for:
- Medical expenses
- Post-surgical rehabilitation
- Pain and suffering
- Lost present and future wages
- Property damage
Statute of Limitations
Recovering from a bicycle accident can be a long and traumatic process. However, it is important that an injured party not wait to assert a claim against the offending party or parties. Florida generally requires that a negligence suit is brought within four years of the accident. A skilled attorney could help make sure that the claimant meets all necessary deadlines.
Speak with a Pembroke Pines Bicycle Injury Attorney Today
Dealing with the aftermath of a bicycle accident is stressful. Contacting a Pembroke Pines bicycle lawyer as early as possible after an accident may minimize the stress associated with the process and help ensure that your claim is handled in a timely and professional manner. If you have been injured in a biking accident, contact an attorney today.