West Palm Beach Bicycle Accident Lawyers Fight for the Rights of Injured Cyclists
Bicycling is a popular way to exercise and commute, especially in urban areas. Bicycle lanes and trails provide cyclists with safer spaces to ride, but bike paths are not always available in Palm Beach County, forcing bikers to travel near traffic. Bicycles are granted the same rights and responsibilities as other vehicles on the road under Florida law. Still, many drivers do not pay adequate attention to bikes on the roadway, leading to accidents.
The consequences of a bike accident can be severe and long-lasting. If you are suffering from injuries and losses after a bike crash, RTRLAW can help you navigate the claims process. Insurance companies often try to convince victims to settle for less than their claim is worth. Our personal injury lawyers are skilled negotiators who will fight to recover the full value of your claim. Call (561) 331-6920 or toll-free at 1-833-HIRE-RTR (1-833-447-3787) today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.
What Injuries Can Bicycle Crashes Cause?
Bike accident injuries can vary widely based on the severity of the accident. If riders are pushed off the road by a slow-moving car or another bicyclist, they may sustain mainly scrapes and pulled muscles. Being struck by a vehicle moving at a higher speed can lead to even more serious injuries from the impact of the car and the ground. Crush injuries are also possible if the rider becomes pinned between the vehicle and an object or is run over.
Some bicycle accident injuries commonly suffered by victims include:
- Back and neck injuries
- Fractured and broken bones
- Strains and sprains
- Spinal cord damage, possibly causing paralysis
- Head and skull injuries
- Lacerations and bruising
- Internal organ damage
- Loss of life
What Are TBIs and How Can They Impact Your Life?
A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is caused when the head is struck hard enough to cause the brain to bounce around the skull cavity. This impact causes tears, bruising, and bleeding in the brain. If not treated rapidly, this injury can be life-threatening, with brain hemorrhaging, blood clots, and even possibly strokes.. Even with immediate treatment, victims may face long-term or permanent brain damage. The ongoing challenges experienced by TBI sufferers may involve the following:
- Difficulty with speech or hearing
- Personality changes
- Chronic, severe headaches
- Depression and anxiety
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Memory issues
- Vision changes
While helmets are not required by law for riders over 16 in Florida, they are strongly recommended for all cyclists because of their ability to prevent head trauma such as TBIs. However, even riders wearing helmets can suffer TBIs in violent accidents. If you or a loved one are dealing with the lasting physical and mental effects of a severe bike accident, a skilled, experienced personal injury lawyer from RTRLAW can help you seek a settlement that not only covers your current medical expenses, but also your costs for ongoing care and treatment.
Who May Be Held Liable for a Bicycle Accident?
The circumstances surrounding every bicycle accident are unique. To prove that an individual or entity was liable for your crash, injuries, and subsequent losses, you must show that they acted negligently. The Legal Information Institute (LII) defines negligence as “A failure to behave with the level of care that someone of ordinary prudence would have exercised under the same circumstances.” Possible negligent parties in a bicycle accident may include:
- Car, truck, or motorcycle drivers
- Other bicyclists
- Government entities responsible for the design and maintenance of crosswalks, sidewalks, bike trails, and roadways
- Property owners who fail to repair parking lots or other unsafe surfaces or structures
In some cases, there may be multiple liable entities. A qualified bicycle accident attorney can identify those responsible for your accident, so that you have the opportunity to recover full compensation for your injuries and damages.
How Can You Protect Your Legal Rights After a Bicycle Accident?
Car-involved bike accidents can be particularly traumatic for victims. You may have severe injuries and feel shocked at how quickly everything has happened. Bicycle crashes should be taken just as seriously as car accidents because the damage caused to your body can be significant.
It can be helpful to your case to follow these steps, which can protect and enhance your ability to file a claim for your losses:
- Seek a medical evaluation promptly: Even if you only have minor injuries, it is essential to get medical treatment as soon as possible to have your injuries documented and to ensure that they are conclusively linked to your accident.
- Write down your recollection of the accident soon after it occurs: Memories fade quickly, and you may forget important details. Having a written record helps you maintain a consistent narrative of the crash throughout the case.
- Request the police report reference number for your accident: The police report contains information that may be vital to your claim, so it is critical to ask the responding officers how you can obtain a copy.
- Follow your treatment plan: If your doctor recommends follow-up visits, physical therapy, or other treatment, make sure to heed their recommendations. Failing to do so provides the insurance company with the opportunity to claim that your injuries were not as serious as you said and you did not take the necessary steps to heal.
- Keep records of expenses: Keep copies of medical bills, out-of-pocket costs for medical supplies, and a running total of your mileage for doctor appointments. Having clear records can make the claims process much easier.
- Be mindful of your statements: Never apologize or discuss fault while speaking to the police, insurance adjusters, or other drivers. Even if these statements are made innocently, they may harm your claim.
- Contact a trusted bicycle accident attorney: An attorney from RTRLAW can advise you on any further actions you need to take and will work diligently to protect your legal rights.
What Damages Are Possible in a Bicycle Accident Claim?
A bicycle crash can significantly disrupt your life. You will likely need time to recover from your injuries, which may mean lost paychecks, not to mention the expense of medical treatments, medications, physical therapy, and other steps necessary for healing. For severe injuries, there may also be long-term costs related to care and help with daily living.
The damages a personal injury lawyer can help you secure are split into three categories:
- Economic damages: This compensates you for damages that have harmed you financially. From medical bills to lost wages to the loss of earning capacity you could experience due to a serious injury, you deserve to be compensated for the monetary losses you’ve suffered.
- Non-economic damages: Many losses victims experience in a bicycle accident go far beyond financial damage. There can be considerable emotional, physical, and mental impacts as well. Non-economic damages provide remuneration for these losses, including pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, scarring and disfigurement, and mental anguish.
- Punitive damages: While much less common than the other types of damages, the at-fault party may be required by the court to pay punitive damages if the case goes to trial. These damages are typically seen in situations where the offender’s actions were intentional, malicious, or particularly egregious, such as in the case of a repeat drunk driver who caused a major crash. Punitive damages are awarded to punish the offender for their harmful choices, and the extent of the damages is at the court’s discretion.
How Can an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney Assist You?
Navigating a bicycle accident claim with insurance companies can be challenging, particularly if you are attempting to heal from a severe injury. Insurance companies often offer victims settlements that are much lower than they deserve, and the companies count on accident victims not having the legal knowledge, time, or energy to continue negotiations.
At RTRLAW, our experienced bicycle accident lawyers are determined to recover the maximum possible settlement for your claim. We have the time and resources to devote to your case and can make the claims process easy for you. Our helpful bicycle accident lawyers provide a free, no-obligation case review, and you never owe us unless we secure a settlement for you. If you’ve been hurt in a bike accident, make sure you protect your legal rights and options. Contact RTRLAW today at (561) 331-6920 or toll-free at 1-833-HIRE-RTR (833-447-3787) to learn how our experienced Lake Worth and West Palm Beach area lawyers can help you.