Around 450,000 bicycle accidents involving vehicles occur every year in the United States. While wearing a helmet and other protective gear can help bicyclists stay safe on the road, you never know what drivers on that road might do. A distracted driver talking to others in the car may stray into your bike lane, pinning you under a vehicle that weighs several tons. As a cyclist injured in an accident, you must prove that you were not at fault and that the driver acted in a negligent manner. The Ellsley Law Firm can help you gather that proof.

Proving fault

Any lawsuit involving a bike accident begins with evidence collection, which we’ll present to prove that you were not at fault. Florida is a unique state that allows for shared fault. As long as you were 49% (or less) responsible for the accident, you may file a claim. Our injury lawyers in Plantation strive to collect evidence that proves the driver was primarily responsible. That evidence may include a report filed by police officers who responded to the scene and statements from witnesses who were nearby when the accident occurred.

What about shared fault?

It is likely that the driver’s attorney will claim that you had some degree of fault in the accident. They might argue that you changed lanes at the last minute, rode too close to the vehicle or stopped abruptly in front of the car. If their attorney succeeds in showing that you shared fault in the accident, the court will determine the exact percentage that you contributed and lower your compensation by that same amount. For example, if you were deemed to be 30% responsible for the accident and are awarded $100,000 in compensation, receive $70,000.

Personal Injury & Wrongful Death

State laws for cyclists

Florida law states that cyclists:

  • must use signals before changing lanes or turning
  • must pass other vehicles on the left side of the road (The sole exception is if you need to pass a car making a left turn)
  • must not ride bicycles on the sidewalk

There are also laws against riding your bike while distracted, and some districts require that cyclists use a light when riding at night. Violation of these laws could result in the court finding you partially responsible for the accident.

Helmet regulations

Florida is one of several states that does not require bicyclists to wear specific helmets. State law does; however, require that riders under the age of 16 must wear some type of head protection. In 2014, 50 bike riders under the age of 16 lost their lives in bike accidents throughout the United States. More than 70% of all bike accidents occurred in urban areas, and the majority of those who suffered minor injuries were wearing helmets. Those who suffered brain and other major injuries were not.

Filing a civil claim

Depending on the severity of your bike accident, you might stay in the hospital overnight or for several weeks or more as doctors observe you. The Ellsley Law Firm strives to help our clients through all steps in the process. If that means traveling to the hospital and taking your statement at bedside, we will do that. Once we have the basic information, we can begin the filing process and start gathering evidence to strengthen your case.

It only takes a split-second for a bicycle accident to occur. If you’ve been injured due to the negligence of a motor vehicle driver, count on us to fight for your rights as a cyclist and for the maximum compensation allowable under state law. To schedule a free, no-obligation consultation and start the process today, call our office at (954) 888-7720./