Bicycle Accidents in Florida and Safety Tips

bicycleWith the spring and summer months quickly approaching, we can all expect to be spending more time outdoors. For some people, this means engaging in more outdoor activities such as bicycling. Accompanied with the increase in bicycling comes an increase in injuries. As a matter of fact, the state of Florida is the most lethal in the nation for bicyclists. In Florida on March 24, officers responded to a call pertaining to a traffic crash involving a Ford F-150 truck and a bicyclist. The truck driver was traveling east on Lafayette Street. The bicyclist was entering the roadway from the south side of Lafayette Street. The bicyclist tried to cross north.  Unfortunately, the bicyclist, instead, traveled into the path of the oncoming truck. They collided and the bicyclist was thrown off of his bike. He was later pronounced dead. Again, bicyclist fatalities, occurring in Florida, are not uncommon. During last year, alone, more than 120 people killed while riding bicycles.

If you or your loved one was injured, or even killed, while riding a bicycle, and the accident was the fault of another person, it is imperative that you hire an attorney for your case. Doing so will help ensure that you are adequately compensated for your injury and loss. Luckily, the experienced Miami personal injury lawyers at Gerson and Schwartz PA are here to help! We know the law and will aggressively fight to protect your rights! We continue our more than 43-year tradition of representing injury victims and their families throughout Miami Dade, Fort Lauderdale, Coral Gables, and other areas of South Florida.   

The Lawsuit

If you (“Plaintiff”) sustain an injury, and it is at the fault of another (“Defendant”), that person’s insurance should pay for the damages caused. Such damages include pain and suffering, lost wages, medical bills, etc. These claims are almost always settled outside of court. In other words, it is doubtful that your case will make it into court. Why? Well, these case are normally settled.  The Plaintiff’s attorney will gather evidence of all expenses incurred from the accident, such as medical bills and all medical records. The attorney will put together a thorough “demand packet” to be sent to the Defendant’s insurance adjuster. Instead of taking the case to trial, Defendant’s insurance adjuster will normally present a settlement offer for the Plaintiff to accept or reject. If accepted, Plaintiff will then be prompted to sign a “release.” This waives Plaintiff’s rights to later bring a suit against the Defendant or the Defendant’s insurance carrier. Once the retainer is signed, Defendant’s insurance adjuster will typically mail Plaintiff the check for settlement purposes.

Say, for example, the case is not settled. What happens then? The case will go to trial. At this stage, Plaintiff must be able to show that Defendant at least acted negligently in causing the accident. In Florida, this requires that the Plaintiff show that Defendant owed Plaintiff a duty of care. Plaintiff must then show that Defendant breached said duty of care. Plaintiff must then show that the breach actually and foreseeably caused the accident. Lastly, Plaintiff must show his or her damages or injuries.  

However, please note that if you decide to file a personal injury lawsuit in Florida, you must do so within four years of the accident (or three years if it was caused by the state or government).  This time limitation is known as Florida’s statute of limitations. If you do not file within such time frame, you are most likely barred from a later filing. Therefore, it is vital that this rule is strictly adhered to.

Hire an Attorney for Your Case

In all, if you or your loved one were injured while riding a bicycle, and it was at the fault of another person, it is critical that you hire an attorney to ensure adequate compensation for your loss or injury. The Miami personal injury attorneys at Gerson and Schwartz PA are here for you.  We are experienced Miami personal injury attorneys, resourceful advocates and aggressive litigators for clients seeking to recover damages for the full extent of their losses from negligent individuals, business operators and corporations. Contact our attorneys for a free consultation

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