Bicycle Accident Attorneys Serving Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Biking is a great way to stay fit, save money, and help the environment. However, it can also be dangerous when bicyclists or nearby drivers are negligent or careless. If you were involved in an accident while riding your bike, you may be entitled to compensation for the pain and losses you’ve suffered.
Our bicycle accident attorneys at the Law Offices of McCullough & Leboff, P.A. help clients in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, navigate the legal system and pursue the compensation they deserve. We also serve the surrounding areas, including Pembroke Pines, Sunrise, David, Weston, Hollywood, and Plantation. Reach out today to set up a time to discuss your case and learn your options for financial recovery.
Causes of Bicycle Accidents
Bicycle accidents occur for a wide range of reasons. Some of the most common causes of accidents involving cyclists include:
Speeding is one of the leading causes of bike accidents. When drivers are driving too fast, they are less likely to notice cyclists.
Many drivers are in a hurry and may fail to stop at stop signs or red lights, which can be dangerous for cyclists who may be crossing the street or riding in a bike lane.
Drivers who are distracted are more likely to hit cyclists, especially considering that bicycles are less visible on the road compared to motor vehicles.
Careless drivers can forget to check their blind spots before changing lanes, which can result in a preventable collision with a bicycle.
Reckless drivers who speed, weave in and out of traffic, or drive erratically are more likely to cause collisions with cyclists.
Drivers who are impaired by alcohol or drugs are more likely to cause bicycle accidents because of their inability to drive safely.
Drivers who make illegal turns or turn without checking for cyclists can cause serious accidents.
When drivers or passengers open their doors when exiting the vehicle, they may hit cyclists who are riding in bike lanes if they don’t think to check beforehand.
If you were involved in a bicycle accident and believe the other party is at fault, it’s in your best interest to speak with an attorney to explore your legal options for financial compensation.
Florida Laws That Affect Bicyclists
Although bicyclists in Florida have the same rights and responsibilities as other road users, there are certain state laws that apply exclusively to bicycle riders:
When there’s no bike lane and a bicycle’s speed is lower than the normal speed of traffic, bicyclists must ride as far to the right as possible. The only exceptions are if the bicyclist is overtaking and passing, preparing for a turn, avoiding a hazard, traveling on a one-way street, or using a lane that is too narrow.
Bicyclists do not have an obligation to use bike paths adjacent to the roadway (bike paths are not in the roadway, bike lanes are).
In most areas in Florida, bicyclists are allowed to ride on sidewalks. However, the riding on the sidewalk, bicyclists must yield the right of way to pedestrians and give audible signals before overtaking/passing pedestrians.
Florida law requires cyclists under the age of 16 to wear a properly fitting and fastened helmet.
These are not the only laws that affect bicycle riders in the state of Florida. Failure to comply with these laws can affect the determination of fault and the bicyclist’s ability to obtain compensation.
Seeking Compensation After a Bicycle Accident
When seeking compensation after a bicycle accident in Florida—or any other accident, for that matter—it is important to understand the state’s no-fault law. According to the statute, a policyholder’s insurance company pays for the injuries and damages caused by their policyholder regardless of who was at fault for the accident.
However, unlike motorists, bicycle riders are not legally required to have insurance, which is why a cyclist may not be able to seek compensation through their own insurance policy. If that is the case, the bicyclist will most likely need to file a claim against the driver’s insurance company to obtain compensation. If the other party is not insured, filing a lawsuit may be the only available avenue for compensation.
Another law that may affect a bicyclist’s ability to seek compensation after an accident is the comparative negligence law. Under this rule, the injured party’s compensation is reduced depending on their own degree of fault. Unlike other states, Florida allows injured victims to recover damages even if their percentage of fault is greater than the other party’s.
How a Bicycle Accident Attorney Can Help
If you were involved in a bicycle accident, you might wonder whether or not you should hire an attorney. Below are some of the things a personal injury attorney in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, can do to help you obtain the compensation you deserve:
Explain your rights and legal options
A bicycle accident attorney can help you understand what compensation you are entitled to receive and evaluate your legal options. They will review your case in detail and advise you if it is suitable to pursue legal action.
Handle communication with other parties and insurance companies
Dealing with the other party, insurance adjusters, or lawyers can be a stressful and overwhelming experience. Moreover, your communication with them could affect the outcome of your case. A bicycle accident attorney can communicate on your behalf and deal with insurance adjusters.
Avoid mistakes and prevent legal pitfalls
One of the most critical roles of a bicycle accident attorney is to help you avoid making mistakes that could hurt your case. For example, they can advise you on what you should say and not say when giving a statement or what documents you should not sign. They can also help you avoid missed deadlines or other potential legal pitfalls.
Maximize your settlement
A bicycle accident attorney can help you maximize your compensation and ensure that you receive what you deserve. They can help you recover damages that you may not have known to include in your claim, such as pain and suffering or lost wages.
Take your case to court if necessary
If your case does not settle through negotiation, your attorney can take your case to court. In cases that go to trial, it is vital to have an experienced attorney on your side. We can represent your interests in front of a judge and jury, present a strong case, and secure the compensation that you deserve.
Bicycle Accident Attorneys Serving Fort Lauderdale, Florida
If you were involved in a bicycle accident, take charge of your situation and contact an attorney now. Our Florida attorneys can put our decades of legal experience to use and help you fight for the compensation you need. Reach out to the Law Offices of McCullough & Leboff, P.A., today to get a free case evaluation.