Wrecks between bicycles and motorists happen far too frequently, often causing the cyclist to suffer significant injuries. Drivers focus on the road and sometimes miss a bicycle on the shoulder, or they might be distracted and pass a bike too closely or cut them off at a turn.
When you are seriously harmed while riding a bike, seek help from a seasoned local injury attorney. A Tavares bicycle accident lawyer could explain the claims process, evaluate your legal options, and help you obtain an appropriate damages award.
Florida has a no-fault insurance claim system for drivers, and it impacts a cyclist’s claim for damages. No-fault requires anyone registering a vehicle to obtain personal injury protection (PIP) to cover injuries the policy holder or a member of their household suffers in a vehicle crash.
If an injured cyclist has PIP, or if their family member does, the PIP will cover their medical expenses and a partial wage up to the policy limits. If no one in the cyclist’s household has PIP coverage, the driver’s PIP could cover them. A Tavares attorney could assist in filing the PIP claim with the insurance company.
PIP coverage is often insufficient to pay an injured cyclist’s accident-related expenses. If the cyclist suffered a serious injury, they could sue the negligent parties that contributed to the crash for their unreimbursed expenses and other damages.
A cyclist seeking damages in court must prove a responsible party was negligent, meaning they failed to use reasonable care to prevent an injury. A Tavares attorney could investigate the bicycle accident to identify the parties whose conduct contributed to the events.
Any negligent party is potentially liable for an injured cyclist’s damages. In a bike accident, negligent parties might include the:
A cyclist could also be partially negligent if they failed to follow traffic laws or did not exercise reasonable care.
A negligent cyclist is responsible for their injuries but could collect a percentage of their damages from other negligent parties. In the past, the state allowed a negligent person to collect partial damages even if they were primarily responsible for an accident. However, a new law that went into effect on March 24, 2023, says that a negligent person who is more than 50 percent responsible for an accident cannot collect damages whatsoever.
A cyclist could bring a motorist to court if they suffered serious or catastrophic injuries. Florida Statute § 627.737 defines a serious injury as:
A Tavares bicycle accident attorney could use medical records and other evidence to prove a cyclist’s injury entitles them to bring a negligent driver to court.
If the accident occurred after March 23, 2023, the cyclist has two years from the date of the crash to bring a lawsuit. If the accident happened before that date, the cyclist has four years from the date of injury to sue.
A successful claimant could receive reimbursement of lost wages and all medical and rehabilitation expenses PIP did not cover. They also could get compensation for their pain, inconvenience, disability, emotional trauma, and other non-economic losses they suffered due to the accident.
The law offers compensation for people who suffered injuries due to another party’s negligence, but when the state’s no-fault rules apply, accessing the courts can be complicated. Good legal advice is essential.
A Tavares bicycle accident lawyer could investigate the accident, identify the responsible parties, and ensure they pay for the harm they caused. Speak to The Umansky Law Firm about your situation today.
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