Anyone who rides a bike around the streets and designated bicycle lanes of Miami knows that it can be a truly harrowing experience. You are sharing the road with sizable vehicles rushing through heavy traffic, and your feeling of vulnerability is amplified by the fact that you are not protected by a metal shell. As such, you would probably not be surprised to learn that South Florida is a hot spot for bicycle accidents. According to a South Florida Sun-Sentinel article published on March 3, 2020, several municipalities in Miami-Dade and Broward Counties fall far below the statewide average of 4.8 when cyclists ranked them on a scale of 1 to 10.
Though you cannot always avoid bike collisions that are caused by negligent motorists, you can pursue the responsible driver for compensation. Trust a Miami bicycle accidents attorney to handle the details, but some basics on the risks and your rights may be useful.
Extreme Risks Involved with Bicycle Accidents
While any traffic-related collision can lead to serious injuries or fatalities, there are certain factors that make bicycle accidents more dangerous. For instance:
- Compared to an average passenger vehicle, a bicycle and rider weigh far less. Applying the laws of physics, you can assume that the person riding the bike will bear the brunt of a violent impact.
- In almost all bicycle collisions, the bicyclist will be tossed from the vehicle. As such, there is a secondary impact that can be just as violent and life-threatening as the initial collision. When riding on the streets of Miami, there is a good chance that the surface you hit will be rock-hard concrete.
- By definition, a bicycle is a two-wheeled vehicle. Balance and gravity are unique factors that make it difficult to avoid an accident, as well as making it hard to control the vehicle at the point of impact.
Your Rights if Injured in a Bicycle Accident
Even though you were not riding a motorized vehicle, many of the same personal laws related to motorized vehicles apply. You need to show that the motorist did not exercise reasonable care when driving and that this negligence was a direct cause of the bicycle accident. Your first step will be filing an insurance claim with the responsible driver’s insurance company and attempting to settle. If the insurer refuses to pay a reasonable amount, you will need to file a lawsuit. Through these options, you may be able to recover monetary damages for your medical costs, pain and suffering, and many other losses.
Contact a Miami Bicycle Accidents Lawyer to Discuss Your Claim
As you can see from this description of the legal process, it is wise to retain an experienced personal injury attorney to assist with your bicycle accident claim. Dealing with an insurance company is already challenging, but it can be even more frustrating if you need to overcome allegations of comparative fault. For more information about our legal services, please contact Gerson & Schwartz, PA to set up a free consultation. We can meet with you at our offices in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, or West Palm Beach, FL to review your circumstances.