Boca Raton Bicycle Accident Lawyer
Hersh Kirtman Injury Law represents bicycle accident victims throughout Palm Beach County and elsewhere in Florida who have suffered an injury because of another party’s negligence. Our practice spans the spectrum of personal injury, from muscle tears and sprains to catastrophic injuries and wrongful death, and we apply the same level of skill, attention, and care to every case because we know that what matters to you is that you get the right medical care and compensation to help you recover to the fullest extent possible. Our attorneys bring their extensive experience handling every case with a personal touch so we can be sure we are meeting your needs.
Who Can I Hold Liable for My Bicycle Accident?
In a bicycle accident, liability can be attributed to various parties depending on the specific circumstances. Potentially liable parties may include:
- Motorists: If a motorist’s negligence caused the accident, they may be held liable.
- Local government: Poorly maintained roads, inadequate signage, or hazardous conditions caused by negligence on the part of the local government can make them liable.
- Property owners: If the accident occurred due to dangerous conditions on private property, like poorly maintained pathways or obstructions, the property owner may be liable.
- Bicycle manufacturer or repair shop: In rare cases, a defective bicycle or negligent repair work could lead to an accident, making the manufacturer or repair shop accountable.
- Pedestrians or other cyclists: If the accident resulted from the negligence of a pedestrian or another cyclist, they might be held responsible.
To determine liability, it is crucial to gather evidence and witness statements. Each case is unique, so it’s essential to consider the specific details surrounding your bicycle accident.
Proving Who’s at Fault in a Bike Accident
Proving fault in a bike accident requires establishing the elements of negligence. The key elements to prove negligence and determine fault are:
Duty of Care
The injured party must demonstrate that the other party owed them a duty of care. In this case, it means showing that the responsible party had a legal obligation to exercise reasonable care to avoid causing harm to others, including cyclists.
Breach of Duty
The injured party needs to show that the responsible party breached their duty of care. This involves demonstrating that the person’s actions or lack of action did not meet the standard of reasonable care expected in similar situations.
The injured party must prove that the breach of duty directly caused the bike accident. In other words, the negligent actions caused or contributed to causing the harm suffered by the cyclist.
Finally, the injured party needs to show that they suffered actual damages as a result of the bike accident. These damages can include medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
To successfully prove fault in a bike accident, the injured party or their legal representative must provide evidence and documentation to support each of these elements of negligence. Witness statements, photographs, police reports, and medical records can all be valuable evidence in establishing fault and pursuing compensation for injuries and losses.
What Can I Claim as Part of My Bicycle Injury Lawsuit?
In a bicycle injury lawsuit in Florida, you can claim various types of damages and harm, depending on the specifics of your case. The following are common forms of damage that can be claimed:
- Medical expenses: You can claim reimbursement for all reasonable and necessary medical costs related to your bicycle accident injuries. This includes hospitalization, surgeries, doctor visits, medications, rehabilitation, and future medical expenses.
- Lost wages: If your injuries caused you to miss work, you can seek compensation for the wages you lost during your recovery period.
- Pain and suffering: Non-economic damages, such as physical pain, disfigurement, disability, emotional distress, and diminished quality of life resulting from the accident, may be claimed.
- Property damage: You can seek compensation for the repair or replacement of your damaged bicycle or any other personal property damaged in the accident.
- Loss of consortium: In certain cases, the spouse of the injured party may be able to claim damages for the loss of companionship, affection, and support resulting from the injuries.
To pursue these claims successfully, it’s essential to gather evidence such as medical records, bills, receipts, photographs of the accident scene, witness statements, and any other relevant documentation that supports your case. Consulting with an experienced personal injury attorney in Florida can help you navigate the legal process and ensure you seek appropriate compensation for your bicycle accident injuries.
Causes of Bike Accidents in Boca Raton, FL
Bicycle accidents nearly always result in injury to the rider. According to Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, out of the 6,404 bicycle crashes that occurred in 2021, 5,958 included in injuries, and 197 included fatalities. Some of these crashes may be attributable to bike defects or maintenance issues, road defects or rider negligence, but often they are caused by the negligence of a motor vehicle driver who either collides with the bicycle or forces the cyclist off the road, into traffic, or makes them lose control of the bike. Common types of bicycle accidents caused by driver negligence include the following:
- Driving in a designated bike lane or encroaching on the bike lane when a bicycle is approaching
- Opening a door into traffic or a bike lane when a cyclist is approaching
- Turning left into the path of an oncoming bike
- Turning right when a cyclist is approaching or already in the intersection
- Failing to yield the right-of-way
- Executing an unsafe lane change
- Tailgating a cyclist
- Unsafe passing
- Failing to obey traffic signals and signs
- Texting while driving
- Drinking and driving
Cyclists who are injured in a bike crash can file a claim for no-fault benefits through their personal injury protection (PIP) coverage. PIP covers 80% of medical expenses and 60% of lost wages up to $2,5000 or $10,000 if a doctor determines the cyclist had an emergency medical condition. If the accident was the other driver’s fault and the cyclist suffered a serious injury as defined in the law, they can sue the negligent driver and recover the full amount of their economic damages plus get compensation for their pain, suffering and mental anguish.
Hersh Kirtman Injury Law helps bicycle accident victims with serious injuries recover the full amount of compensation due to them for the damages they suffered. Our Boca Raton bicycle accident lawyers have amassed an impressive record of successful results including out-of-court settlements and jury verdicts in a wide diversity of cases. We’ve handled cases like yours before, and we’ll apply the same zeal and dedication toward your case that we have with others where we’ve achieved excellent results. Call our office for a determination of whether you suffered a serious injury and what your rights are under Florida law for compensation for your injuries.
Drivers Are Obligated to Share the Road With Cyclists
The definition of negligence is the failure or breach of a duty of care owed to another person that causes them injury. Motorists might not like sharing the road with slower-moving bicycles, but they are required by law to treat bicycle riders with respect and give them sufficient space when driving in their vicinity. Bicycles can lawfully take up a lane of traffic even when designated bike lanes are present. Sometimes this is the safest way for cyclists to travel, especially when turning or traveling through an intersection. Drivers who drive recklessly or aggressively around bicycles are breaking the law and can be held liable for any accidents they cause. Distracted driving such as texting while driving is also extremely dangerous for cyclists, as motorists who text while driving or don’t pay enough attention to the road are less likely to notice a bicycle in their vicinity and more likely to negligently collide with one.
Contact Our Bicycle Accident Attorneys in Boca Raton, FL Today
Hersh Kirtman Injury Law can help you when you’ve been injured in a bicycle accident caused by a negligent driver or if you lost a beloved family member in a fatal bike crash in Palm Beach County. We work with you on a personal level to make sure your needs are being met and that we get meaningful results on your behalf. Contact our experienced Boca Raton bicycle accident lawyers today by calling Hersh Kirtman Injury Law for a free consultation at 561-208-3700.