Jim Dodson: Hi there, it's Jim Dodson the Florida Bike Guy.
It occurred to me that there's a question in the mind of many people I think sometimes of 'Why should I hire a lawyer who's a cyclist? What's the benefit to me?'
You know, I think a lot of people who watch our broadcast may not have met me, they may not have seen us talk at an event, or met us at an event, or seen any of the things that we publish on cycling safety and advocacy for safety and so I thought I would just talk about my experience as a bike lawyer and how I think that translates into what it does for someone who's looking for representation after an injury from a serious crash.
You know, I talk to a lot of people and I think one of the most common expressions I hear when someone calls us or meets me after a bike event or after a bike crash is, 'I feel so comfortable knowing that you're one of us. I feel so comfortable that you, Jim, are a rider. That you understand what we go through, what it's like out there.'
I've been a, I started out as a mountain biker and I've been a road cyclist since about 2011. So I'm out there doing the same things that everyone else does. I ride multiple times a week, encounter the same issues that everyone encounters. And I think that really provides a certain level of comfort to a lot of people. I have developed, quite frankly, a passion for representing cyclists. Cyclists are a unique group of people in our personal injury practice. They are, I respect so much that everyone's commitment to do the thing that they love so much and their desire and intent to get right back out there and get riding as soon as they can.
I've been in the hospital with people suffering from serious consequences of a crash. The doctor comes in and the question asked is: 'Hey doctor, when do you think I can get back on my bike?' It is just a recurring theme. So I'm so respectful of people who are cyclists to really have that ambition, that desire, that drive to get out and do everything that we love because there's so many positive things that come out of it in our personal life, and our fitness, an in our health and in our mental attitude I think in life as well.
So, you know. One of the things that comes out of representing cyclists is that we see a volume of cases. We see, although I'm not a high volume practice, but when you represent multiple cyclists over the course of a year, you see many of the recurring types of injuries and the consequences of the injuries that we run into. Concussions, unfortunately, AC joint separations in the shoulder the clavicle fractures, pelvic fractures, ankle and other fractures. We see a lot of those because they're sort of a common type of injury in a cycling crash.
And one of, I guess, one of the advantages from my perspective, not that someone has that injury, but our ability to see so much of that is that we continually do research. We have, I think, a significant database and research on concussions, for instance. If anybody has dealt with us in terms of a concussion, when we present our settlement demand to an insurance company, we have literally a dozen pages of studies, all since 2016 on the most cutting edge developments in the world of concussions, and how they affect people down the road. And we tailor our settlement demands specifically to a person's need. Whether this is a first time concussion, or a third concussion for instance, there's a difference in the literature in what someone might expect.
What happens to someone after they have an AC joint separation with or without surgery? What are the likelihood that that person may develop post-traumatic arthritis in the future? The same issue with a pelvic fracture or some other fracture of the joint. You know there's significant research that says when you have those types of injuries there's a likelihood of some things happening in the future that we articulate to a claims adjuster and make sure they understand the full nature of the injury.
We like to say that claims adjusters tend to look at a claim like a photograph you know, like a snapshot in time and we are always reminding them that someone's injury is like a motion picture. It is a moving event. We have the now, and you have the future. And what we are always talking about is 'What does the future hold? What's the most likely outcome for someone five years from now? Ten years from now? How does that affect what we ought to be doing right now in terms of trying to get the most advantageous settlement for them?'
I think another thing, too, is that being a cyclist, I understand the mechanics of how people ride. I had one case years ago that my client was in the road, and a witness and a police report wanted to indicate that my client was actually riding on the sidewalk. And being a cyclist, I was able to convince the officer, and the adjuster quite frankly, that no serious cyclist riding a carbon frame $4,000 bike is gonna bump-bump-bump up and down sidewalks on a route like that. So being out there and doing what we do makes a difference in terms of our ability to communicate the position of the cyclist to those that need to understand mechanics of what happened and how to put an accident together and what the mechanics were, causing it.
I understand as well you know, the affect of not being able to do what you love to do for weeks or months at a time. Being ordered by the doctor or prevented, quite frankly, because of an injury from being able to get back on the bike for weeks or months or even further has a devastating effect on someone. And we as a cyclist, I understand what that means and we can communicate that, I think, quite effectively to someone who's trying to evaluate a case who probably hasn't ridden a bicycle since they were in high school, and doesn't really understand why someone would want to ride a bicycle 200 miles a week, you know? So we're always trying to advocate and make them understand the passion and the commitment that people have and the loss that they have, quite frankly, if they can no longer do that even on a temporary basis.
We have this frame up that says 'We've got Florida covered.' and I'm not sure, Kati, if that's up there when I'm talking but one of the things that we do in our practice is a willingness to help cyclists, wherever they are in Florida. This graphic that you might see really shows that some of the cities where we've represented cyclists and this actually is a couple years old now, but we've been asked to help cyclists in a number of cities across the state and although my practice is located in Clearwater, we're active in terms of our involvement throughout the state and currently represent clients throughout Florida as well, so. Location is never an issue for having us help someone who's a cyclist throughout anywhere in Florida.
I think, too, you know, I've helped a lot of people who call us with something that I don't need to represent them for. It was an accident or a crash that they got some injuries, but not something that they need a lawyer to represent them on. Many times I walk them through what's happened, and give them advice as to what's the best course to follow, sometimes it's simply a matter of 'How do I get my bike replaced and what's the process we go through to get it repaired or replaced?' I talk to cyclists all the time on those type of cases, where we're not really involved as a lawyer, but I feel good about being able to help someone and give them sort of the route to follow that I think will help them get the best recovery for their frame, or replacing it.
We have, if you heard me talk, you know that I'm a huge advocate for safe cycling. We talk to every group that I can get in front of not only about visibility, the importance of why we need to obey the traffic laws, you know same rights, same rules as cars, the issue of lighting front and back, visibility in clothing. The importance quite frankly, of insuring ourselves through an insured motorist coverage to make sure that we're protecting ourselves against those cars out there, that huge percentage, some 40% of the cars on the road, with no insurance that will pay us a penny if they hurt us in a crash. And how the affect of the uninsured motors on your auto policy covers you. So we advocate for that constantly in our conversations online and in person when we do meetings and discussions with groups throughout the state.
I think from everything that I know and what we have put out, I think I am probably one of the most recognized cycling safety advocates in the state. I don't say that by way of boasting, but by way of fact. I think that I don't know of another lawyer who makes and effort to be at as many places talking to as many people as we do and as I do in my practice, on advocating for cycling and advocating for safety and visibility and accident prevention and insurance and what have you.
I think that if you look at what we have done in terms of our website, you'll see that, and I'm pretty comfortable that there's no other cycling lawyer in Florida who has published as much information on behalf of cyclists in terms of our Bicycle Accident Handbook, our Uninsured Motorist book, and all the various things we publish on our website that help cyclists, not to mention our newsletter, which we put out every month, which I will talk about here in a minute.
So I think that the question would be, if someone's been involved in a cycling crash, how much of a difference does it make to have a cycling lawyer who is a cyclist? You know, unfortunately, in the day of advertising and internet and search engine optimization any lawyer can create content on their site that says they represent bicycle people or represent bicycle crashes. The reality is that the vast majority of those lawyers wouldn't know a bicycle from a motorcycle, quite frankly. But, so I think that you have to ask yourself or talk to someone who's looking for a lawyer does it really make a difference?
I think if you look at the reviews we have on Avvo and lawyers.com and on our website, Google reviews, you'll find out what other people have said about whether it makes a difference and I think I'd leave that to our readers. You know, and I can't read who's got this. Oh, Harris! How are you? I appreciate your comment there, thanks, Harris.
I think that, you know, cycling is a huge part of our practice, but it's not all that we do. I mention from time to time that cycling, people who ride bikes, quite fortunately have a much greater likelihood of knowing someone or a family member or friend or even in their own lives of being involved in a car accident, for instance than they will be in a cycling crash. So if you or your family or friends need a lawyer in not only a cycling crash but in a car accident, or a fall or a medical malpractice issue, we have those issues covered as well.
So if you're not a member of the Jim Dodson Law family, if you're not currently one of our newsletter subscribers, we're offering an opportunity to sign up for our newsletter today We have a Bitly link 'Bike Newsletter'. I'd urge you to go there. I create the newsletter every month. It's things that I'm interested in writing about. It's not, we don't buy the content somewhere, it's not some canned stuff. I think a lot of people enjoy our recipes, quite frankly. But I'd love to have you on our newsletter mailing list. Become part of our Jim Dodson Law family.
If I can be of assistance to anyone in the future, whether it's something that you need a lawyer for or not, I welcome you to call and talk to me about it. Be safe out there, this is Jim Dodson, the Florida Bike Guy. I look forward to hearing from you. Take care. Bye.