Bicycle Accident FAQ
- What Are Bicycle Accidents?
- What Causes Bicycle Accidents?
- What Injuries Are Common After Bicycle Accidents?
- What Should You Do After a Bicycle Collision?
- Do I Have a Claim After My Bicycle Crash?
- Do I Have a Claim If I Wasn't Riding My Bicycle Correctly?
- Do I Have a Claim if My Bike Accident was Caused in Part by Road or Weather Conditions?
- Who Is Liable for My Injuries?
- Is There a Statute of Limitations?
- How Much Could My Bicycle Accident Be Worth?
- Do You Have More Questions?
In the United States, over 130,000 bicyclists are injured and over 1,000 die, on average, every year. If you're in a bicycle accident or are injured while out riding your bike, it's natural to have many questions. The legal team and bicycle accident attorneys at Flaxman Law Group have put together this FAQ to provide you with some answers.What Are Bicycle Accidents?
Bike accidents occur when a bicyclist collides with another user of the road or when a motorist causes the bicyclist to lose control and crash. There are many types of bicycle accidents:
- Rear-end collisions
- Head-on collisions
- Sideswipe collisions
- Crashes between a motorcyclist and bicycle
- Open-door crashes, when a driver opens a car door without checking and a bicyclist crashes into the open door
- Crashes between a cyclist and truck
- Road rage incidents
- Crashes between a cyclist and pedestrian
- Crashes between a cyclist and car
What Causes Bicycle Accidents?
Every bicycle accident is unique, but the most common causes include:
- Mechanical failure
- Distracted or negligent driving
- Poor road repair
- Sharing lanes or passing too closely
- Failure to yield
- Failure to obey traffic signs or rules of the road
What Injuries Are Common After Bicycle Accidents?
In a car accident, drivers and occupants are protected by seat belts, air bags glass, metal, plastic, and other layers of protection. Bicyclists have none of these safeguards. In a collision, they can easily be crushed or thrown from their bike, which can lead to serious and life-threatening injuries, such as:
- Head and brain injuries
- Internal injuries
- Road burn and scarring
- Back and spinal cord injuries
- Soft tissue injuries
- Facial injuries
What Should You Do After a Bicycle Collision?
Being in a bike collision is scary. You will want to:
Stay calm and evaluate the situation: If you're seriously injured, call 911. Also call 911 if you suspect a crime has taken place – if a driver is driving drunk, for example.
Get the insurance information of any driver involved: If it is a hit and run, try to jot down any information you remember about the car and driver
Avoid talking about the accident: One of the unfortunate things about bike collisions is that the bicyclist is often blamed for the crash, even if it's not their fault. Avoid getting in an argument about what caused the accident. Instead, focus on what needs to happen next. Anything you say, even innocent statements, can later be used against you by an insurer.
Get documentation: Take photos of your injuries, bike, and the scene, if you can. Write down whatever you remember about the accident and get the contact information for any possible witnesses, if possible. Keep your bike and your helmet in case you decide to file a legal claim and need evidence.
Get checked out: It's hard to overstate this: always get a full medical evaluation as soon as possible after a bicycle crash. One of the big dangers with this type of collision is that you can hit your head during the crash, even if you're not aware of it. This can lead to life-threatening brain injury, even if you don't develop symptoms right away. A doctor can determine if you need medical emergency care.
Do I Have a Claim After My Bicycle Crash?
In Florida, the law allows you to file a civil claim if your accident was caused by someone's negligence or action. If you were injured in a road rage accident, for example, or if a driver failed to notice you, you may have a claim.
Bicycle accidents happen in seconds, so you may not always know exactly what caused your accident. If you're not sure you have a claim, you may want to speak with an experienced bike accident claims attorney. An attorney can ask specific questions to determine if you have a claim.
Do I Have a Claim If I Wasn't Riding My Bicycle Correctly?
Even if you made a mistake while riding your bike, you may still have a claim and may be able to seek compensation. However, the best way to determine whether you have a claim and to establish how much your claim may be worth is to speak with an experienced bike accident claims attorney.
Do I Have a Claim if My Bike Accident was Caused in Part by Road or Weather Conditions?
In some cases, yes. If road conditions were partly to blame, you may have a claim against the municipality or the company tasked with fixing a specific trail or area. However, suing a government can be a big challenge. You will want to work with an attorney who has experience with premises liability cases and who has sued the government before.
You may also have a claim if weather played a role in your injuries. Drivers are expected to adjust their driving for road and weather conditions. If a motorist fails to do so and causes your collision as a result, they can be held liable.
Who Is Liable for My Injuries?
The parties you can pursue in a civil claim can vary, depending on what caused your crash. Your attorney can help you determine who the liable parties are and can pursue these parties to ensure you get fair compensation. In bicycle accident cases, liable parties can include:
- Car, truck, or bicycle manufacturers
- Other drivers
- The owners of a trail, park, or other area where the accident took place
- A road work company
- A municipality
- Other liable parties
Is There a Statute of Limitations?
Yes. In Florida, the statute of limitations for most personal injury cases, including traffic accidents, is four years. This can seem like a long time, but it's important to remember that evidence can start to be lost long before that, and if you wait too long judges and juries may question why you waited. For the best outcome, it is advised to contact an attorney as soon as possible after your crash, so your attorney can start taking steps to seek compensation for you.
How Much Could My Bicycle Accident Be Worth?
Every bicycle accident is different, and the compensation you seek will depend on the severity of your injuries and how much they cost and impact your life. In general, you can seek recovery for:
- Lost income, including any income you can expect to lose in the future because of your injuries
- Medical bills, including hospital stays, medication, surgery, and more
- Rehabilitation and other support or ongoing medical services
- Expected future medical costs
- Property damage, including the cost of replacing your bike
- Incidental costs, like the cost of taxis or at-home help you may need because of your injuries
Do You Have More Questions?
If you didn't see your question answered here or if you would like to speak to an attorney about whether you have a case, call Flaxman Law Group at 866-352-9626 or contact us online to schedule a free, no obligation case consultation. Through our offices in Miami, Homestead, and Hollywood, we have helped clients across South Florida recover more than $100 million in court wins and settlements, using our compassion and our more than 60 years of combined experience to seek fair compensation. Put our experience to use on your case today. Contact us to learn more.