Protecting Florida’s Bicycle Accident Victims
Many Gainesville bike crashes are the fault of other parties, most commonly drivers. Drivers have rules they should follow to share the road with cyclists, though many drivers fail to do so. If a negligent driver or another party causes your injuries in a bike crash, you should not wait to speak with a Gainesville bicycle accident lawyer from Meldon Law.
The Cost of Bicycle Accident Injuries
Aside from helmets, cyclists have little to no protection from impacts with motor vehicles, the pavement, or other objects. This means that cyclists often sustain serious—and multiple—traumatic injuries. These can range from fractures and sprains to catastrophic spinal or brain injuries. Even with a helmet, head trauma can cause severe traumatic brain injuries.
The losses from a bicycle crash-related injury can add up very quickly.
Medical expenses for emergency treatment, hospitalization, rehabilitative therapy, and more. You should also consider the estimated costs of treatment you will need in the future, as many people require ongoing medical care for years following a bike crash.
Lost income, as the recovery from serious injuries regularly causes people to miss work. Even a day of lost wages can throw off a household budget, and some people are out of work for weeks or months. Disabling injuries can prevent you from returning to your previous job, and you might lose earnings into the future.
Intangible losses are also common, which do not stem directly from bills or financial statements. Instead, these include physical and mental pain and suffering, disabilities or impairments resulting from the injury, or disfigurement, among others. Intangible losses are common with severe injuries, which are common in bicycle crashes.
Due to the overwhelming losses that can result, bike accidents can change your life in an instant. You will need to learn whether someone else can be held liable for your losses, and our legal team can evaluate your rights and options.
Who Is Liable in a Bicycle Accident?
Liability for personal injuries – such as those sustained in a bicycle crash – stems from negligence. When another party acts negligently and causes injuries, that party should compensate injury victims for their losses, including all of the losses discussed above. Our attorneys know how to examine what happened in your accident and identify all liable parties. Some common liable parties for bicycle accidents and injuries might include the following.
Negligent drivers are commonly responsible for colliding with cyclists.
The many different forms of negligence behind the wheel that can lead to bicycle crashes include:
- Distracted driving
- Drunk or drugged driving
- Failing to yield
- Following a bicycle too closely
- Cutting off a bicycle with a right-hand turn (right hook accidents)
- Not looking before opening a car door (dooring accidents)
- Improper passing
When a driver is responsible for causing a bicycle accident, their insurance coverage applies, and an injured cyclist will need to file a claim for compensation with the right insurance company. This can be a daunting process, and it is important to seek help with your claim from an experienced bicycle accident lawyer in Gainesville.
Corporations can also be liable for bicycle accidents, either due to negligence or a legal principle called respondeat superior. First, bicycle manufacturers can be negligent and sell defective bicycles, which can malfunction and cause a cyclist to crash. An injured cyclist could file a product liability claim against the manufacturer if this was the cause of their accident. These claims can be highly technical and often require expert analysis, so you want the help of a law firm with the necessary resources to handle a defective product claim.
Companies can also be liable for a bicycle accident if an employee of the company caused the accident while on the job. For example, a construction worker might be driving a work truck to pick up supplies when they became distracted and hit the cyclist. In this situation, the construction company that employed the worker can be held liable for the negligence of the driver. This can also apply to bicycle accidents involving commercial trucks, rideshare vehicles with active fares, and more.
Taking on a company in an insurance claim can be intimidating, so you want the right legal team on your side from the very start.
The Importance of Hiring the Right Bicycle Accident Lawyer
It is highly advisable to retain an experienced bicycle accident attorney after a serious bicycle accident. Insurance companies are in the business of making money and will do everything they can to settle your case for as little as possible. Fortunately, the right bicycle accident lawyer can ensure that the insurance company treats you fairly and that any settlement you accept adequately compensates you for all of your accident-related losses.
Some of the specific ways that a bicycle accident attorney can help you include:
- Determine whether you have a claim
- Evaluate your losses and draft a persuasive demand letter
- Attempt to negotiate a settlement with the at-fault party’s insurance company
- File a lawsuit on your behalf
A Meldon Law, we’re proud to take all of our bicycle accident cases on a contingency fee basis, which means you will not have to pay anything unless we obtain a settlement or judgment on your behalf. In fact, because consultations are completely free, you have nothing to lose and never have to pay upfront to learn whether you want to hire our qualified legal team.
Florida routinely has the most bicycle-related deaths of any state in the United States. At Meldon Law, we help cyclists seek compensation for their injuries and extensive losses. Contact us or call (352) 373-8000 to learn how our experienced bicycle crash lawyers can help you.