Gainesville Bicycle Accident Lawyer | Whittel & Melton
Our Gainesville bicycle accident lawyers help injured victims get the compensation they need to recover.
Bicycles are an affordable transportation option that also provides the added benefit of exercise. However, bicycles also lack some of the safety and protection measures of cars and other motor vehicles, which increases the risk of serious injury after an accident. Our lawyers represent the interests of victims injured in Gainesville bicycle accidents by pursuing available claims against the responsible party.Different Types of Bike Accidents That May Cause Personal Injury
Gainesville, Florida is a busy city home to a world-class university and a vibrant community. It’s common to see students and other residents use many different types of transportation, including the use of bikes. Cyclists may use their bikes on roads, sidewalks, and other walkways – all of which can create the risk of an accident. Some of the bicycle accident situations that may create a personal injury claim include:
- Collisions between a bicycle and motor vehicle
- Bicycle on bicycle accidents
- Collisions between bikes and pedestrians
The nature of the bicycle accident will contribute to the severity of related injuries that can range from minor cuts and bruises to more permanent and impairing injuries such as:
- Broken bones
- Internal bleeding and organ damage
- Neck and back
- Traumatic brain injury
The Damages an Injured Person Can Recover After a Bicycle Accident
Both economic and non-economic damages are available to people injured due to the negligence of others. Our Gainesville bicycle accident lawyers help clients identify and recover the different types of compensation they can receive because of their injury.
Economic damages are compensation for the quantifiable harms from the accident. It includes compensation for property damage, medical expenses, and the costs of pursuing a claim. Other available economic damages are lost wages because of necessary recovery periods after the bike accident in addition to lost future earnings from resulting disability.
Less quantifiable damages from a bike accident injury are non-economic damages. They compensate for the pain and suffering from the injury and provide overall monetary relief from the accident’s negative effect on a person’s life.
The party (or parties) responsible for a bicycle accident will generally be liable for compensating injured persons either directly or through their available insurance. Florida relies on its negligence laws to determine who was at fault in a personal injury accident, which requires proof of the following items:
- The party owed a duty to the injured person
- The party breached that duty through their action or inaction
- The party’s breach of duty caused the injury
- The injured party has related damages (e.g., to themselves or their property)
During the consultation process, our attorneys help the firm’s clients identify responsible parties and lead the charge in recovering owed compensation through private settlement or filing a negligence claim in court.
How Florida’s Comparative Fault Law Affects Available Damages
Bicycle accident cases sometimes involve more than one party who is at fault, and this can occasionally include the injured party. In such cases of negligence, Florida applies its comparative fault rule to determine each party’s liability and compensation obligations.
The comparative fault law assigns a percentage level to a party’s contribution to the cause of a bike accident or other incident. For example, a case involving two at-fault parties may share equally in liability (i.e., 50% each) and would only be liable for 50% of the resulting damages.
In cases where the plaintiff contributed to the cause of an accident, the comparative fault rule reduces their available damages by their percentage of fault. For example, a damages award of $100,000 would reduce to $60,000 for a plaintiff who was 40% at-fault for the accident.
Applying Negligence Per Se to a Bicycle Accident Case
Drivers, cyclists, pedestrians, and others who use our roads and highways are bound to follow applicable Florida state law that regulates their use. When parties disobey existing laws (and it causes an accident), it creates a potential case of negligence per se. This can make it easier to prove a personal injury claim through the defendant’s failure to follow applicable law.
Bicycle accidents are often the result of a party’s failure to comply with driving laws. Examples may include a vehicle that speeds or runs a stop sign, or even a bicycle that fails to use proper turn signals or other safety measures (e.g., a lack of helmet, reflectors, etc.)
What to Do After a Bike Accident in Gainesville
The immediate aftermath of a bike accident can be unsettling and confusing for those involved and injured. The following are some steps that a person may consider taking:
- Contact the police and other emergency responders: Notifying the police about the bike accident is an important first step to receiving initial medical treatment and for accurate reporting of the accident.
- Seek additional medical attention: It may be obvious that a person needs further medical attention after a bike accident. However, those without visible injury should also receive medical observation to look for injuries that may be internal or have a delayed effect.
- Notify insurance provider: Many insurance policies have requirements that insureds must notify them of accidents soon after they occur to preserve rights under the policy.
- Gather police reports and other documents: Get copies of records about the bike accident that may exist with local Gainesville law enforcement, witnesses, and medical providers. Our firm can help collect relevant records from third parties.
- Consult our Gainesville bike accident attorneys: Meet with one of our attorneys to understand your rights and available remedies under Florida’s personal injury laws. We help carry the administrative burden of a personal injury claim so our clients can focus on what matters – their health and recovery.
Below are some brief answers to other common questions about personal injury legal claims arising from a bicycle accident.
Can You Be Sued for a Bike Accident?
Yes, a person may have liability for a bike accident that caused injury to another if their actions contributed to the cause of the accident. However, Florida’s negligence laws require that damages must exist to have a valid claim.
What to Do If You Have an Accident with a Cyclist?
A person should first seek emergency medical and law enforcement help. Afterward, steps may include notifying your insurance carrier and speaking with a bicycle accident attorney in Gainesville.
Can You Sue a Cyclist?
A cyclist can be subject to a lawsuit from a bike accident if their actions caused (either fully or in part) the wreck. This may be the case if the cyclist failed to follow applicable road rules or otherwise acted with negligence while operating the bike (e.g., was intoxicated).
Does Insurance Cover Bike Accidents?
Insurance may be available to cover some of the damage from a bike accident depending on the nature of the accident. For example, bike accidents involving motor vehicles or business activity (e.g., a bike delivery person) may have a related insurance policy that could apply.
What Happens If a Cyclist Hits You?
If a cyclist hits you, the available remedies will depend on the severity of the accident. A cyclist that hits a car may not have much personal injury other than damage to the car. In comparison, an accident between a cyclist and a pedestrian could cause serious injury. Either can be cause for a possible lawsuit.
How Long After an Accident Can You Sue for Personal Injury in Florida?
The statute of limitations for a personal injury claim in Florida is generally four years, which extends to bicycle accidents in Gainesville.Consult a Gainesville Bicycle Accident Lawyer Today
Whittel & Melton is a personal injury firm bringing years of experience and knowledge about claims involving bicycle accidents in Gainesville and all other parts of Florida. If you have any questions about the information concerning bike accident claims on this page or were recently injured, please consider scheduling a free consultation with one of our attorneys nearest you.
Schedule a free consultation with one of our Gainesville bicycle accident lawyers.