Bicycle Accident Attorney in Winter Haven
About 78 people use bicycles as a means of transportation for work in Winter Haven. However, many others use bikes for recreational use. The warm weather all year makes Winter Haven an ideal cycling destination.
But bicycle accidents make cycling a risky hobby. Some motorists put cyclists at risk by acting in negligent or reckless ways. At times, their actions cause serious accidents. If a negligent motorist collides with a cyclist, they could be responsible for paying the expenses. You can work with a bicycle accident attorney in Winter Haven to hold the driver responsible.
What Happens After a Cycling Accident?
Much like car accidents, biking accidents usually involve insurance. According to Florida laws, all motorists must have car insurance. If a motorist hits a cyclist, the victim can open a claim with the insurance company.
The claims process is similar to that of a car accident. First, the company assigns you with an insurance adjuster. Keep in mind that the insurance adjuster works for the insurance company. Therefore, they have the company’s best interest at heart. They may try to get you the lowest possible settlement.
For that reason, you should be cautious about accepting the first offer you get. Before dealing with the insurance company, you should consider contacting a lawyer. With professional guidance, you can earn more about the claims process and what to expect.
Getting Around Insurance
Florida is known as a no-fault state. If you are a victim of any type of accident that involves a vehicle, you are expected to go through your own insurance.
But there are exceptions. If the other party is at-fault for the accident, you may be able to go through their insurance. Additionally, you could be eligible to file a personal injury claim. After filing a successful claim, you can recover damages from the accident.
As you consider your options for compensation, remember that the fault doesn’t need to be 100% on the driver’s shoulders. For example, you might not have the proper safety gear on your bike. If the other driver was speeding and hit you, they still could be on the receiving end of a personal injury claim..
Basic Bike Laws
If you want to prevent a bike accident, it helps to know some of the basic cycling laws. Here are some of the most relevant biking laws of Florida:
- Bikes should be treated as any other vehicle
- Cyclists must follow all traffic signals and controls
- There can be no passengers on a bicycle unless it is intended for multiple passengers
- Cyclists need a fixed and regular seat
- Bicycles need a braking system
- Parents are responsible for ensuring their minor children don’t violate any of the laws
- While on the sidewalk, bicycles have the same rights and responsibilities as pedestrians
- Between sunset and sunrise, bicycles need lamps
- When traveling slower than traffic, cyclists need to use the bike path
If you break one of the above laws, you may still be able to file a lawsuit. However, there must be evidence showing that the driver or another party acted in neglect and contributed to your accident.
How Much Money Can You Receive?
If you file a personal injury lawsuit against a negligent party, you may receive compensation for damages. That value varies depending on your situation.
However, there are a few basic damages you can expect to receive. For one, you could receive money for all of your medical expenses. This includes copayments, medications, and procedures. If you need long-term medical care, your settlement could include money for future expenses.
You can also recover lost wages. If you missed work due to your injury, you may be able to recover the lost income. The same is true of future lost wages. If you will miss more work in the future or will be unable to work, your lawsuit could cover those earnings.
Finally, you might receive compensation for your pain and suffering. The more serious the injury, the higher the amount. However, Florida does have some damage caps on personal injury claims. If you want to learn more about those caps, you should speak with a lawyer.
What Should You Do?
The way that you react to the accident can impact your financial future. First, you should call the police. When they arrive, they will document the accident and collect evidence. If you file a claim against the driver, the police report could be to show negligence.
You should also seek medical assistance. If you have no obvious injuries, you should still visit a medical professional for a check-up. Sometimes, the effects of the injuries are apparent. It could take weeks for you to realize you have an injury.
Be sure to keep records of all your doctor appointments and bills. If you file a personal injury claim, you could receive compensation for your medical expenses.
In 2017, one Winter Haven cyclist was struck by a pick-up truck and suffered serious injuries. When a vehicle hits a cyclist, a fatality is a possibility. If an accident caused the death of a loved one, you should also keep records of everything. You should also contact a lawyer for advice on dealing with the situation.
The Importance of Working with a Bicycle Accident Lawyer in Winter Haven
Personal injury claims are complex legal matters. You can only file up to four years from when the injury occurs. If the accident causes a wrongful death, then the family only has two years to file. In claims against the government, the timeline changes. There is an investigation period of 180 days and a statute of limitations of three years for personal injury claims. For wrongful death suits against the government, the timeline is two years.
But the statute of limitations isn’t the only challenge. Building a successful personal injury claim takes work. Furthermore, it takes strategy. Often, the claim is against a large company with ample resources. To improve your chances of success, you need to match those resources with a skilled legal professional. A personal injury attorney in Winter Haven can do just that. Here at Abercrombie, P.A, we want to help you. Contact us today to get started.