Melbourne Bicycle Accident Lawyers
Kids have always enjoyed riding bicycles. Over the past couple of decades, however, the number of adults riding bicycles has steadily increased. Whether you ride to save money or the environment, because it provides an easy way to exercise, or just for fun, riding a bicycle can be dangerous. Unfortunately, many motorists fail to notice or respect cyclists which can lead to serious injuries, including death, to the cyclist.
If you were involved in a bicycle accident, you probably suffered physical and emotional injuries. If another party was responsible (entirely or partially) for the accident you are also now faced with the need to navigate an unfamiliar legal system to pursue compensation from the at-fault party. You do not need to go it alone though. The experienced Melbourne bicycle accident attorneys at Layman Law Firm, P.L. are dedicated to making sure that the negligent party (or parties) is held accountable, and victims are fully and fairly compensated for their physical injuries and emotional trauma.
Melbourne Bicycle Accident Facts and Figures
According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NTHSA), 846 bicyclists were fatally injured in crashes in 2019. Sadly, Florida has consistently ranked at or near the top of the list in recent years of states with the most fatal bicycle accidents. In 2020, figures released by the Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) indicate that there were 5,952 bicycle crashes in the State of Florida. Those crashes caused 5,574 injuries and resulted in 169 deaths. In Brevard County, there were 197 collisions involving a bicycle resulting in 193 injuries and two deaths that same year.
Florida Bicycle Laws
While the number of adults riding bicycles continues to increase year after year, motorists often fail to recognize and respect cyclists despite efforts to raise awareness. In Florida the bicycle laws are straightforward. Governed largely by Florida Statute 316.2065 the law is clear that bicyclists have both the same rights and the same responsibilities as motorists. Cyclists must obey all motor vehicle traffic laws but also have the same rights as motorists. That means that while a cyclist must stop at the same red light that a vehicle stops at, the cyclist also has the right to proceed through the light when it turns green, just like a motor vehicle.
Bicycle Accident Injuries
When a bicycle is involved in a collision with a motor vehicle, the cyclist is clearly at a disadvantage. Not only does a cyclist have virtually no protection in a collision, but the motor vehicle outweighs the bicycle by thousands of pounds and is likely moving faster than the bicycle at the time of the collision. Not surprisingly, the cyclist typically suffers more serious injuries that may include:
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Spinal cord damage
- Head, neck, and back injury
- Internal organ damage
- Road rash
- Broken bones
Steps to Take Following a Melbourne Bicycle Accident
If you were involved in a bicycle accident, or you are the parent of a child who was, and that collision resulted in physical and/or emotional injuries, it is imperative that you know what to do next. To protect yourself (or your child) and your right to pursue the at-fault party for compensation, take the following steps:
- Call the police. Always report the accident to the appropriate law enforcement agency. Along with ensuring that you get the medical attention you need, reporting the collision triggers the creation of a police report that may be helpful down the road.
- Submit to a thorough medical evaluation immediately. If an ambulance arrives at the scene, accept transport to the hospital for an evaluation. If you do not go via ambulance, take yourself or have a loved one take you. Some potentially life-threatening injuries, such as a traumatic brain injury) will not result in immediately visible symptoms. Given the likelihood of a head injury, it is crucial that you get a thorough medical examination done as soon as possible.
- Preserve evidence. If you are able, gather the names and contact information of anyone involved in the accident as well as anyone who witnessed the collision. Also, take photos of the accident scene. If you are unable to take pictures at the time, return at a later date or ask a friend to do so to get a clear idea of relevant traffic signs, obstructions, vehicle patterns, and anything else that might be used as evidence.
- Consult with an experienced bicycle accident attorney. If another party (usually a motorist) caused or contributed to the accident, there is a good chance you will hear from their liability insurance carrier shortly after the accident. They may offer you what sounds like a decent amount of money to settle any claims you may have against their insured. Never speak to an at-fault party’s insurance company without first consulting with an experienced bicycle accident attorney. First, you may not realize the extent of your injuries until days, even weeks, after the accident. Second, you may be entitled to considerably more compensation than what the insurance company offers you initially. For both of these reasons, you should not discuss the accident with anyone – especially the responsible party’s insurance company – until after you have talked to an attorney.
Am I Entitled to Compensation for My Melbourne Bicycle Accident Injuries?
The injured victim of a Melbourne bicycle accident may be entitled to compensation for both the physical injuries and emotional trauma caused by the accident, including things such as:
- Medical expenses
- Rehabilitation and other care costs
- Lost income
- Loss of future earning capacity
- Physical and emotional pain and suffering
- Diminished qualify of life
If you are a surviving family member of a victim who was fatally injured in a bicycle accident, you may be entitled to compensation as the claimant in a wrongful death lawsuit. In a wrongful death lawsuit, compensation may be awarded to a claimant if the victim was a spouse or parent who can no longer provide the companionship, care, and support they provided prior to the accident.
Contact the Experienced Melbourne Bicycle Accident Lawyers at Layman Law Firm, P.L.
If you were injured in a Melbourne bicycle accident, or you lost a family member in a fatal bicycle accident, contact the experienced Melbourne bicycle accident attorneys at Layman Law Firm, P.L. to discuss your legal options. We are committed to ensuring that bicycle accident victims are fully and fairly compensated by the responsible party or parties. Contact the team today for your free initial consultation by calling 321-773-2111 or by filling out our convenient Intake Evaluation Form online.