The warm weather and sunshine make Florida a great place to ride a bicycle; however, it may not be a safe place for bicyclists. Florida has the highest fatality rate in the nation for bicyclists with bicycle rider deaths accounting for over five percent of all traffic accident deaths, according to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA). If you were injured, or a loved one was killed, in an Orlando bicycle accident, you could be entitled to compensation for your injuries or loss.
The Orlando bicycle accident attorneys at Malik Law have seen the physical, emotional, and financial damage a bicycle accident can cause and are committed to helping victims and survivors recover. If another party caused, entirely or partially, the bicycle accident that resulted in your injuries or loss, the law allows you to hold the at-fault party accountable and recover compensation for all your injuries. An Orlando bicycle accident attorney can review the facts of your case and explain your legal options to you. Contact an experienced Orlando bicycle accident attorney at Malik Law today by calling 407-500-1000 to find out how we can help you secure compensation for your physical injuries and emotional suffering.
Florida Bicycle Laws
Just like for motorists, the law has promulgated a set of rights and responsibilities for bicyclists. Those rights and responsibilities can be found in Florida Code Section 316.2065. Florida law essentially treats a bicyclist as if he/she were operating a motor vehicle, meaning that bicyclists have most of the same rights and responsibilities as motorists. The rules of the road that apply to vehicles also apply to bicycles and bike riders must obey the same traffic lights and signs as motorists do. Florida law also requires motorists to check for bicyclists and treat them with the same deference and respect that they would another motorized vehicle. In reality, however, not all drivers do that.
What Are Some Common Orlando Bicycle Accident Injuries?
Injuries sustained in a bicycle accident can run the gamut from bruises and scrapes to life-threatening; however, the possibility of experiencing serious injuries in a bicycle accident is extremely high given that when a bicycle collides with a motor vehicle the bicycle offers virtually no protection to the rider. Consequently, a bicyclist may suffer injuries such as:
- Internal organ damage
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Spinal cord injuries
- Bone fractures and breaks
- Road rash
- Soft tissue injuries
- Muscle, ligament, and tendon strains and sprains
- Permanent scarring
- Emotional trauma
What Should I Do After an Orlando Bicycle Accident?
Being involved in a bicycle accident is a traumatic event for most people. As a result, you may not know what steps to take when you find yourself injured in a bicycle accident. Unfortunately, the time period immediately following the accident is the most important in terms of both healing your injuries and protecting your legal rights. With that in mind, it is in your best interest to take the following steps after being involved in an Orlando bicycle accident:
- Contact the police. If someone else has not already done so, summon the police to the scene of the accident. Ensuring that a police report is filed can help you identify and contact parties involved and witnesses to the accident. The report may also serve as evidence of the time, place, and conditions surrounding the accident.
- Arrange for a complete medical evaluation. You may not feel as though you suffered serious injuries in the accident; however, some of the most serious, potentially life-threatening, injuries can fail to exhibit clear symptoms immediately after the injury. Having a thorough medical examination can rule out life-threatening injuries such as TBI or organ damage and document other injuries that were caused by the accident.
- Document the accident. When you are able to do so, take pictures of the scene of the accident, paying particular attention to traffic signs, road hazards or obstructions, and road markings (such as the presence or absence of a bike lane). Also start keeping a folder for documentary evidence, including hospital and doctor bills, estimates for repairs to your bicycle, and treatment plans for your injuries.
- Talk to an experienced Orlando bicycle accident attorney. It is not unusual for a driver’s insurance company to contact an injured victim shortly after an accident if the insurance company believes their insured was liable. If you are contacted by anyone, do not speak to them without first consulting with an experienced Orlando bicycle accident attorney. Do not agree to make a statement “just for their file.” Do not entertain an offer of money because they will undoubtedly offer you far less than the case is worth in the hope that you will take the easy money. Before you do anything or talk to anyone, consult with an experienced Orlando bicycle accident attorney who can evaluate your case and explain your legal options to you.
Am I Entitled to Compensation for My Orlando Bicycle Accident Injuries?
If another party (or parties) caused or contributed to a bicycle accident in which you were injured, you may be entitled to compensation from the at-fault party for the physical and emotional injuries you suffered as well as for the financial hardship you have endured because of the accident.
Both economic and non-economic damages may be available to you. Economic damages are intended to compensate you for the direct expenses related to the accident, such as medical and hospital bills, the cost to repair or replace your bicycle, and lost wages. Non-economic damages are intended to compensate you for the indirect costs of the accident, including things like mental anguish, scarring and disfigurement, and pain and suffering.
If you lost a loved one in a fatal Orlando bicycle accident, you may be eligible for compensation in a Florida wrongful death lawsuit, including the value of lost future earnings, support, and services as well as the loss of companionship, guidance, and protection.
Get Help from an Orlando Bicycle Accident Attorney
Trying to navigate the complex healthcare and legal systems simultaneously after a bicycle accident can be overwhelming for an injured victim. There is no need to try and do so alone. An experienced Orlando bicycle accident attorney at Malik Law, P.A. can help identify the at-fault party (or parties) to ensure that they are held accountable. Because we understand the physical, emotional, and financial ramifications of a bicycle accident for an injured victim, the team at Malik Law is committed to using their experience and resources to secure the maximum compensation possible for injured victims and surviving loved ones. If you were injured in an Orlando bicycle accident, we can help. Call us at 407-500-1000 or submit our online form today. One of our experienced Orlando bicycle accident attorneys will explain your rights to you and discuss your legal options at no cost.