Nothing beats a bike ride along the coast in the cool Florida evenings, and a bike can be excellent transportation for the budget-conscious and the health-conscious alike. Florida’s weather makes for great riding year-round, but there are risks inherent with biking that a rider must be aware of. However, being aware of the risks — and even taking defensive actions as often as possible — does not guarantee that a rider will avoid an accident that someone else causes. Fortunately, being hurt in an accident that someone else causes often entitles a victim to compensation through a tort claim or insurance payment.
Filing an insurance claim is a simple process, but getting the money you deserve is far more complicated than submitting a claim and waiting for a check. Insurance companies focus on settling claims for less than what a defendant owes to protect their bottom line, and the adjuster handling your case is working to reach this low settlement as quickly as possible. You will benefit significantly from working with an experienced, diligent attorney dedicated to getting you the money you deserve.
Contact Fasig | Brooks For a Free Consultation About Your Bicycle Accident Today
We offer a free initial consultation for victims of a range of personal injuries, including bicycle accidents. This initial consultation is a valuable tool for victims to understand their legal rights and options better and learn how the award-winning team at Fasig | Brooks can help you in this situation. We know how stressful these first days and weeks can be after an accident, especially as your medical bills continue to mount and you are likely missing work as you try to recover. We are here to give you peace of mind by taking on your legal issues while focusing on your recovery and getting your life back on track.
Read more below about bicycle accidents, and request your free consultation to connect with our legal team as soon as possible.
Bicycle Accident Statistics for Florida
In 2019, Florida had a total of 6,664 reported bicycle accidents, 156 fatalities, 774 incapacitating injuries, and 5,455 other injuries, as reported by the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles yearly crash report. Overall crashes increased by 1.12%, while fatalities decreased by 2.5% from 2018, but there is a significant risk of injury or death each time you take to the roads on your bike.
Also, keep in mind that overall, accidents are likely underreported since many people choose not to call 911 or file an accident report. We highly recommend that you call 911 as soon as possible, overall, no matter what, to ensure that you have access to medical care and that an officer arrives to gather evidence and compile an accident report.
What To Do After a Bicycle Accident
No two accidents are the same. The following steps are meant to provide you with a reference, but under no circumstances should you ever take any actions that may jeopardize your safety or negatively impact your health. Your absolute top priority should be your health.
Take a moment before adrenaline kicks in, and you need to decide how to act next. Unfortunately, in some instances, people will let adrenaline take over and not listen to their bodies. This can cause your injuries to be complicated and worsened, which leads to more severe outcomes. This may cause an insurance company to push back on paying for the extent of your injuries, claiming that you caused some of them on your own.
Call 911 as soon as possible, even if the driver tries to convince you to handle it between the two of you. It can be extremely frustrating to learn that the other party changed their story after there was no accident report or established information. More importantly, you will be able to get examined by an EMT to ensure that you get the care you need from the start.
Document the Details Of the Accident
If possible, take a video of the accident scene and narrate it with specific details. Memory can become unreliable shortly after a traumatic and painful experience, so the more information you can gather and record while the incident is still fresh, the better. However, do not do this if you are injured, as this can lead to worse injuries and make things worse.
Get Medical Attention
Being looked at by an EMT at the accident scene is essential to start, but you should always follow up with your doctor. Like whiplash and other soft tissue injuries, some injuries may take time to show themselves, and you may not recognize the signs of these injuries until later. In addition, each visit with your doctor will create necessary documentation that will help inform your attorney about the nature and extent of your suffering.
Contact an Attorney
Before even contacting the at-fault party’s insurance company, we encourage you to reach out to the team at Fasig | Brooks to connect with an attorney. We will be able to guide you from the start of your claim and help to ensure that you do not make any errors that insurers will capitalize on to try and reduce your final award.
Types Of Damages In A Bicycle Accident
The two types of damages that your Destin & Miramar Beach bicycle accident lawyer will fight for are economic damages and non-economic damages. Economic damages will compensate you for your financial losses including your medical bills, lost wages, future earning potential, the cost of your damaged bike, and valuables you had on you. The liable party can be held responsible for the cost of your physical therapy, assistive medical devices, prescriptions, and even out-of-pocket expenses like grocery delivery services since your injuries limit you from taking care of yourself.
The law recognizes that accidents lead to more than financial losses. Destin & Miramar Beach bicycle accidents lead to non-pecuniary damages such as pain and suffering. These types of noneconomic damages compensate you for your emotional distress, mental anguish, and the physical pain you have suffered as a result of the accident. A bicycle accident attorney demonstrates how much this experience has negatively affected your life.
Common Bicycle Injuries
Bicycles do not provide the same amount of protection that a car does. Since bikes do not have doors or bumpers, the injuries tend to be more severe than in car accidents and can be lethal. The resulting injuries will require expensive medical treatments, but your bicycle accident lawyer will help you recover your damages to receive the care you need. Among the types of serious injuries that can occur after a Destin & Miramar Beach bicycle accident are the following:
Traumatic Brain Injuries
Although helmets can protect the head from severe injuries, victims can still suffer from traumatic brain injuries (TBI) that could lead to lifelong physical, cognitive, and emotional problems. The most common types of TBI caused by bike accidents are concussions, brain contusions, intracranial hematomas, and diffuse axonal injuries.
Back and Spine Injuries
The spine is divided into four sections with 24 vertebrae surrounding the spinal cord, a vertical column of nerves that run down the spine and send communications throughout the rest of the body. Wherever an injury to the spinal cord occurs, the nerves from that point down can no longer communicate with the body, which means that the victim can no longer voluntarily control the affected muscles. Back and spinal injuries can lead to paralysis, loss of bowel and bladder control, tingling or numbness below the site of the injury, and the inability to walk.
Road rash is a type of skin injury that occurs when the cyclist hits the asphalt or other rough surface after falling off their bike, causing extreme scrapes to both the outer and inner layers of the skin. Road rash is extremely painful and puts the victim at risk of skin infections. Road rash can also lead to permanent scarring on the victim’s arms, legs, and other exposed body parts.
Contact Us Today
Take advantage of our free consultation and learn more about how we can help you get the money you deserve. We have represented several bicycle accident cases in the past, and we will explain your situation using these past cases as examples. Of course, we take a unique approach to each case, but knowing that you are not alone in your experience of suffering can give you some comfort. It is incredibly comforting to know that others in a situation similar to yours were compensated fairly.