Bicycle accidents can cause catastrophic injuries to the cyclist involved in these incidents. The state of Florida, unfortunately, has the highest number of fatal bicycle accidents in the United States. If you or someone you care about has been injured in a bicycle accident, retaining the services of a South Florida personal injury lawyer is an essential step in holding the responsible parties accountable for their actions and obtaining fair compensation for your injuries and expenses.
Risk Factors for Bicycle Accidents
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more commonly called the CDC, the major risk factors for bicycle accidents include the following:
- Men are six times more likely to die and four times more likely to be injured in a bicycle accident than women are.
- Adults between the ages of 50 and 59 are most likely to die in a bicycle accident compared with other groups.
- Children and teens aged 5 to 19 are most likely to be involved in non-fatal bicycle accidents and are responsible for more than 33 percent of all bicycle accident injuries that require emergency room treatment in the United States.
- Alcohol use by drivers or by cyclists is a factor in about 37 percent of fatal bicycle accidents.
- Distracted or careless driving can lead to motorists not seeing cyclists that may be traveling on the same roadways.
- Some drivers may not yield right-of-way to cyclists because they do not understand the law or do not feel they need to do so.
- Both cyclists and drivers can sometimes fail to stop at stop signs or stop lights, which can result in serious injuries to the bicycle operator.
These risk factors can not only make bicycle accidents more likely but can often increase the severity of injuries resulting from these accidents.
Common Injuries Resulting From Bike Accidents
Some of the most common injuries that can occur in a bicycle accident include the following:
- Scarring and road rash
- Injuries to the head, neck or back, including traumatic brain injuries
- Internal injuries
- Broken bones
- Injuries to the face, eyes or teeth
- Loss of one or more limbs
What to Do After a Bicycle Accident
After a bicycle accident, you may be confused about what has happened. If you have been injured, it is important to seek medical evaluation and treatment as soon as possible after the accident. You should refrain from providing any information other than your name, insurance information and contact data. In most cases, law enforcement officials will be on the scene quickly. Do not admit fault for the accident and call a qualified South Florida personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. This will help you to protect your legal rights more effectively and will preserve your ability to sue for damages if this becomes necessary.
Why Working With a South Florida Bicycle Accident Lawyer Makes Sense
Because Florida is a no-fault insurance state, insurance companies typically pay for the expenses and losses sustained by their policy holders up to the limits of the policy. If you sustain serious injuries or if a member of your family has been killed in a bicycle accident, however, the limits of your insurance may not cover all your expenses or losses. In these cases, you can typically file suit against the responsible parties to recover the expenses and damages that exceed your insurance policy limits.
Your South Florida personal injury lawyer will begin by collecting as much information as possible about the accident. This may include taking depositions from witnesses to the accident, requesting a copy of the police report and taking pictures of the scene of the accident to reconstruct what happened. Your attorney will also collect medical records and receipts from you and your doctors to establish the extent of your injuries and to begin to build a case that can be presented in court on your behalf.
Negotiating a Settlement or Going to Trial
In some cases, the responsible parties for the accident will agree to settle the case for an amount that will cover your medical bills and expenses. If you agree to this settlement, your case will be dismissed and you will receive the agreed-upon funds to manage medical bills and other costs of the accident. If you and the opposing parties cannot come to a fair settlement, however, your South Florida bicycle accident lawyer will go to court to fight for you.
The Attorneys at Pozo Goldstein Can Help
If you need the assistance of a qualified and experienced South Florida personal injury lawyer, Pozo Goldstein can provide you with the support and legal services you need to obtain fair compensation for your injuries and losses. With two former judges and over 50 years experience, we work with families and individuals throughout Southern Florida to provide the best possible representation for our clients. To learn more, give Pozo Goldstein a call today at 305-856-0400. We are here to serve you.