Clearwater Florida Bicycle Accident Lawyer FAQs

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  • How Do I Prove My Florida Cycling Accident Case?

    At our law firm, we often receive calls from someone who has been hurt in an accident asking what they need to know to prove their bicycle injury case. Here are some key factors that need to be present in order to have the best chance of receiving financial recovery for any losses you suffered as the result of a collision or if tragically, your loved one died in a fatal cycling accident:

    • First, the driver must have been at fault in causing the accident.
    • Second, the driver’s improper act must have caused the injury or loss to the cyclist.
    • Third, the cyclist or the cyclist’s survivors suffered losses.

    Proving Who Is At Fault

    Sometimes the insurance company will argue that the cyclist contributed to causing the accident and is partly at fault or mostly at fault. When this happens, you will want to reach out to an experienced attorney who has the knowledge and ability to prove the fault of the driver and minimize arguments that you, the cyclist shared the blame. This is important, because the amount of the recovery will be reduced by any percentage of blame that can be proven against the cyclist. The legal term is known as comparative negligence.

    Have You Been Injured In A Bicycle Accident?

    If you've been hurt in a Florida bicycle accident you should speak with an experienced bicycle injury lawyer as soon as possible. Contact us online or call our office directly at 727.446.0840 to schedule your free, no obligation consultation.

    Or if you are looking for information and want to learn how to better protect yourself from the negligence of others, order your free copy of Jim Dodson’s Florida Bicycle Accident Handbook.

  • How Do I Choose the Best Cycling Helmet?

    Question: I share your concern for bicycle safety and plan to insist all family members wear helmets while cycling. How do I select a good helmet? How much do I need to spend to get a safe one? Eric, Tarpon Springs

    Answer: The good news is that there is not much safety benefit in buying a more expensive helmet. A CPSC (Consumer Product Safety Commission) sticker ensures that nationwide standards have been met. Here are a few guidelines for choosing helmets for you and your family:

    • Make sure your helmet fits properly for maximum protection. The helmet should be level on your head, should touch all around, and be snug but not tight. It should not move more than about an inch in any direction, and should be impossible to pull off without releasing the buckle.
    • Check inside for a CPSC sticker. All helmets currently being sold are required to have these.
    • Choose white or a bright color for better visibility to motorists.
    • Avoid helmets with anything sticking out that might snag—rigid visors, for example. The shell should be rounded with adequate, but not excessive, vents—enough to keep your head cool, but not so many that the padded area is substantially reduced. Straps should not be too thin and should be easy to adjust.

    Happy cycling! ~ Jim Dodson

    Have You Been Injured In A Bicycle Accident?

    If you've been hurt in a Florida bicycle accident you should speak with an experienced bicycle injury lawyer as soon as possible. Contact us online or call our office directly at 727.446.0840 to schedule your free, no obligation consultation.

  • After a Florida Cycling Accident, Is an Attorney Really Necessary?

    Is it Possible to Negotiate Your Own Settlement with the Insurance Company After Being Hurt in a Bicycle Accident?

    Yes, it’s possible to settle on your own case without an injury lawyer if you’ve only suffered minor injuries and are not expecting a high settlement. There are times that you may not need to hire a lawyer who handles bicycle accident cases. But be aware that some injuries often seem minor at first and can worsen with time. It’s not at all unusual for some accident victims to not realize how serious their injuries are until a few weeks have gone by. The insurance adjuster will be quick to offer to settle your claim for as little as possible before you know the full extent of your injuries so, be wary.

    Lawyer that Specializes in Bicycle Accidents

    Obtaining the compensation you deserve is a job for an experienced Florida bicycle accident lawyer who knows how to protect the rights of people who have been injured due to someone else’s careless act. While anyone who has been injured is free to try to negotiate a settlement directly with an insurance company, you need to realize that a person who does so is not playing on a level field when dealing with a claims adjuster who knows the ropes.

    Maximize Your Compensation

    On the other hand, an experienced attorney will prepare and present your case in such a way as to maximize your compensation, whether this happens in or out of court. A lawyer who only handles personal injury cases in their practice has the in-depth knowledge of Florida law and the workings of the insurance industry that is needed to successfully pursue a claim for your losses. Experienced accident attorneys have access to the kinds of engineers and other experts needed to prove your case. They will also know the medical and financial experts who can testify regarding the extent and expected future consequences of your injuries.

    Have You Been Injured In A Bicycle Accident?

    If you've been hurt in a Florida bicycle accident you should speak with an experienced bicycle injury lawyer as soon as possible. Contact us online or call our office directly at 727.446.0840 to schedule your free, no obligation consultation.

  • If I was in a Bicycle Accident But the Car Never Actually Hit Me and I was Seriously Injured, Do I Still Have a Case?

    You may be able to recover damages after a bicycle accident even if the motorist didn’t hit you. There does not have to be physical contact between the bicyclist and the motor vehicle for the driver to be held liable.

    There are several situations in which a bicyclist may need to take evasive action to avoid a collision with a car, truck or other motor vehicle, and as a result, the cyclist could still fall or crash and suffer injuries. In such instances, the driver could be held accountable if their negligence caused the bicyclist to take evasive action and crash.

    If you or a loved one has suffered serious injuries after taking evasive action to avoid a bicycle crash, you might be able to file a personal injury claim to seek compensation for:

    • medical bills;
    • lost wages;
    • lost earning capacity;
    • pain and suffering;
    • disfigurement; and/or
    • emotional distress.

    Bicyclists might be forced to take evasive action when a driver does any of the following:

    • speeds;
    • runs red lights;
    • drives recklessly;
    • drives while drunk; and/or
    • drives while distracted.

    Because there can be many details involved in a bicycle accident, it would be beneficial for you to seek the experience of an attorney who handles bicycle accident cases as soon as possible to preserve your legal rights.

    Have You Been Injured In A Bicycle Accident?

    If you've been hurt in a Florida bicycle accident you should speak with an experienced bicycle injury lawyer as soon as possible. Contact us online or call our office directly at 727.446.0840 to schedule your free, no obligation consultation.

  • I was seriously injured when a car failed to stop at a stop sign and ran into me on my bicycle. The car left the scene. I need surgery on my knee and and may need surgery on my ankle, too. Who will pay for my medical expenses and for my pain and suffering?

    When a car causes an accident and leaves the scene, it is generally referred to as a “phantom vehicle.” In your situation, where you’ve been injured in a collision with a motor vehicle, and do not know the identity of the driver of the car or their insurance company, you must look to your own insurance company for help.

    The No-Fault coverage on your auto policy, Personal Injury Protection (PIP), will pay up to its limit (typically $10,000) for your medical bills and lost wages, as required by law. For your Bodily Injury claim (pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life) you would look to the uninsured motorist coverage on your policy. If you have this valuable coverage, it will pay up to the coverage limit depending on how seriously you are injured. — a very good reason to carry uninsured motorist coverage— and one I often stress to my clients.

    Have You Been Injured In A Bicycle Accident?

    If you've been hurt in a Florida bicycle accident you should speak with an experienced bicycle injury lawyer as soon as possible. Contact us online or call our office directly at 727.446.0840 to schedule your free, no obligation consultation.

  • I was injured while riding my bike by a car exiting a parking lot. The collision damaged my bicycle frame which costs more than $1000. What should I do in order to be reimbursed for this loss?

    I recommend if your bicycle is hit by a car, you should always take it to an approved bicycle mechanic to verify its condition. Many modern bicycles are made of materials which are not easily repaired and might even become dangerous if they’ve been damaged. Once you have established that your bicycle needs to be repaired or replaced, you should make a claim against the driver responsible for the accident.

    People who are injured in a Florida bicycle accident may end up dealing with three separate adjusters:

    • The PIP/No-Fault adjuster of their own auto insurance company for their medical bills,
    • The property damage adjuster for the At-Fault party responsible for the accident, and
    • The Bodily Injury adjuster for the At-Fault party’s insurance company for their bodily injury and pain and suffering.

    Have You Been Injured In A Bicycle Accident?

    If you've been hurt in a Florida bicycle accident you should speak with an experienced bicycle injury lawyer as soon as possible. Contact us online or call our office directly at 727.446.0840 to schedule your free, no obligation consultation.

  • Does Florida have a Mandatory Helmet Law for Bicyclists?

    Florida does not have a mandatory helmet law for bicyclists who are 16 years or older. However, anyone who is younger than 16 years old and riding a bicycle is required by state law to wear a helmet that is properly fitted and securely fastened. It is generally recommended that people of all ages wear a helmet when riding a bicycle.

    Why require children to wear bicycle helmets? The reason Florida children are required to wear helmets when riding a bicycle is the same reason adults are advised to wear helmets: safety. Multiple studies have proven that helmets save lives. Why take a risk with one so important to you?

    Bicycle Helmets and Personal Injury Claims

    If you or your child were injured in a bicycle accident, even if you weren’t wearing a helmet, you may have the right to recover compensation for your injuries. In other words, if your child is struck by a car and not wearing a helmet but the driver who struck your child is determined to be at fault, they will still be held liable for your child's injuries.

    In many states, and for a time in Florida, someone's decision to forego wearing a helmet while riding a bike could be used to reduce the value of their injury claim. The argument was that by not wearing a helmet, the victim is contributing to his or her injuries. It is similar to the rule that allows people injured in car collisions to be held responsible for a portion of their injuries for not wearing a seatbelt.

    Fortunately, that ship has sailed. Florida Statutes section 316.2065(18) explicitly states, "the failure of a person to wear a bicycle helmet or the failure of a parent or guardian to prevent a child from riding a bicycle without a bicycle helmet may not be considered evidence of negligence or contributory negligence." The statutes forbid any consideration of fault for not wearing a bike helmet.

    Interestingly, in cases involving motorcycle riders, Florida law still allows for an apportionment of fault for choosing not to wear a helmet. This is often referred to as the “helmet defense” and can be a crucial factor in cases involving traumatic brain injuries.

    Have You Been Injured In A Bicycle Accident?

    If you've been hurt in a Florida bicycle accident you should speak with an experienced bicycle injury lawyer as soon as possible. Contact us online or call our office directly at 727.446.0840 to schedule your free, no obligation consultation.