While the number of children riding bicycles has decreased, the number of adult cyclists in the United States has steadily increased in recent years. Despite efforts by both private and government agencies to make cycling safer, bicycle accidents still occur at an alarming rate. In 2022, there were over 7,000 bicycle crashes in the State of Florida, according to the Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV). In Brevard County alone, five people were killed and another 259 injured in a bicycle accident that year. If you were involved in a bicycle accident, you likely have several questions and concerns. Whether you should sue the driver that hit you is likely your primary concern in the aftermath of a bicycle accident.
If you were injured in a Melbourne bicycle accident and another party (or parties) was at-fault, you could be entitled to compensation for your physical injuries and emotional trauma. It can be extremely challenging to try and coordinate medical treatment after suffering injuries in a bicycle accident. Worrying about if or how to file a lawsuit should not be added to your list of concerns. Instead, let an experienced Melbourne bicycle accident attorney at Layman Law Firm, P.L. help. We are committed to holding at-fault drivers accountable and ensuring that you receive the maximum compensation possible for all your injuries.
Florida Bicycle Laws and Statistics
The reasons why more adults are riding bicycles are varied. Some people ride to save money on gas. Some cycle for exercise while others do so because cycling is environmentally friendly. Regardless of the reason, more cyclists on the roadways have led to an increase in bicycle accidents throughout the state. There were over 7,000 bicycle crashes, causing 211 deaths and 6,652 non-fatal injuries in the State of Florida in 2022, according to the FLHSMV. In fact, the Sunshine State has the unwelcome distinction of consistently being named the most dangerous state in the nation for bicyclists.
Motorists frequently fail to notice and/or acknowledge bicycles sharing the roadway with them despite laws obligating them to do just that. Florida law makes it very clear that cyclists are required to obey the same laws and have the same rights as motorized vehicles. If a motor vehicle is required to stop at a stop sign, so must a cyclist. Conversely, if a motor vehicle has the right-of-way, so would a bicycle.
Melbourne Bicycle Accident Injuries
While bicycles offer riders numerous advantages over driving a motor vehicle, the primary disadvantage to cycling is how vulnerable a rider is in a collision. The lack of protection coupled with the size and weight difference mean that a cyclist is far more likely to suffer serious injuries when involved in a collision with a motor vehicle, such as:
- Spinal cord injuries, including paralysis.
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Neck and back injuries
- Broken bones
- Internal organ damage
- Road rash
- Scarring and disfigurement
Why Should I Sue the Driver If I Was Injured in a Florida Bicycle Accident?
Unfortunately, the odds are good that you suffered significant injuries and trauma if you were involved in a Melbourne bicycle accident. Along with medical bills and lost wages, you may also be dealing with the emotional impact of the accident. If the driver of a motor vehicle was partially or completely at-fault in the collision, you could be entitled to monetary damages to compensate you for the physical injuries, financial losses, and emotional trauma you experience because of the accident. Although you may be hesitant to pursue a lawsuit, there are several important reasons to do so, including:
- You lost income. Whether you are only supporting yourself or providing support to an entire family, every hour that you cannot work because of the injuries you sustained in a bicycle accident is lost income. If the driver of a vehicle caused the accident, that driver may be legally obligated to pay for your lost income.
- You incurred hospital, doctor, or other medical bills. Hospital and doctor bills can mount up quickly when your injuries result from a bicycle accident. If rehabilitative therapy or other long-term healthcare expenses are incurred because of the crash, you can easily rack up thousands of dollars in healthcare expenses following a bicycle accident. If the accident was not your fault, you should not have to pay your medical bills.
- You have lasting physical and/or emotional pain and suffering. As a cyclist, few things are more terrifying than colliding with a two-ton motor vehicle. For many injured cyclists, the emotional trauma caused by an accident lingers for months, even years. It may take extensive (and expensive) psychological counseling before you can get back on a bicycle. The person (or persons) responsible for the collision should be held financially responsible for the counseling you require.
- Negligent drivers should be held accountable. All too often, a primary cause in a bicycle accident involving a motor vehicle is the driver of the vehicle’s failure to notice the bicycle and/or failure to respect the cyclist’s rights. In legal terms, these failures frequently amount to “negligence.” When a driver’s negligence causes an accident, the driver should be held legally accountable.
What Compensation Might I Be Entitled to for My Melbourne Bicycle Accident Injuries?
If a driver’s negligence caused, in whole or in part, the accident that left you injured, you could be entitled to both economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages are intended to compensate you for the direct expenses incurred because of the accident, while non-economic damages address the indirect costs of the accident. Collectively, the compensation to which you may be entitled includes things such as:
- Hospital, doctor, and other medical expenses
- Rehabilitation expenses
- Lost income
- Loss of future earning capacity
- Physical and emotional pain and suffering
- Scarring and disfigurement
Contact An Experienced Melbourne Bicycle Accident Attorney at Layman Law Firm, P.L.
The injuries you sustained in a Melbourne bicycle accident may leave both physical and psychological scars that you have to live with for the rest of your life. Although nothing can turn back the clock and prevent the accident from happening, pursuing legal action against the at-fault driver can provide you with the compensation you deserve and ensure that the driver is held accountable.
If you were injured in a Melbourne bicycle accident, contact an experienced Melbourne bicycle accident attorney at Layman Law Firm, P.L. to discuss your legal options. We are dedicated to recovering full and fair compensation from negligent drivers for bicycle accident victims. Contact the team today for your free initial consultation by calling 321-773-2111 or by filling out our convenient Intake Evaluation Form online.