Who is Typically at Fault in a Car Accident with a Bike in FL?
Bicycle accidents involving cars are responsible for the deaths of around 15 people per year in Miami-Dade County alone. In addition, Florida has the highest rate of bike accident deaths in the country with around .57 deaths per 100,000 residents each year – over double the national rate of .23. Because of the weather, bike accidents are common year-round in Florida. In many car accidents involving bikes, a court needs to look at the totality of the circumstances before determining who is at fault for the crash, but most bike accident victims are able to recover compensation for the injuries they faced. Miami bike accident lawyer Prosper Shaked explains how fault is determined and how you may be able to seek compensation if you were injured in a bike accident in Florida.
Who is at Fault for a Bicycle Crash in Miami?
Any time there is an accident where someone is injured, it is important to look at all factors when determining fault. Bike accidents are often extremely one-sided accidents since the driver in the car is protected from harm and the cyclist’s body is more exposed to danger. However, the risk of injury is not the deciding factors in determining fault.
The majority of bicycle accidents occur because of common scenarios that put bike riders at risk. One of the most common risks to cyclists is the lack of a dedicated bike lane for them to ride in. When cars are parked in bike lanes, cyclists may need to swerve into traffic, increasing the risk they will get hit. Parked cars also pose another risk of opening their car door into traffic and “dooring” a bike rider. Cars and trucks may also cause bike accidents when they fail to check their mirrors and make right turns into bike riders riding in the bike lane or on the shoulder.
In many of these accidents, the driver of the car is clearly at fault. However, the totality of the circumstances is important when deciding fault. Bike riders sometimes make unsafe or illegal moves that place them in unnecessary danger. Bike riders are held to the same legal standards as drivers and are required to follow speed limits, drive in the proper direction, stop at stop signs, signal during stops and turns, and follow other rules of the road. Many times, accidents occur because cyclists run stop signs or red lights, drive the wrong way down one-way streets, or otherwise take unnecessary risks. In many of these crashes, the cyclist could actually be at fault for the crash.
Even when a bike rider is partly at-fault for the crash, the driver could still share blame. In some cases, each driver’s fault combines to cause the injuries. When this happens, the court can assign partial blame to everyone involved in the accident, and the injured bike rider can still receive compensation for their injuries.
Recovering Compensation for Bicycle Accident Injuries
Many bike riders face serious injuries. The compensation you are entitled to for your bike accident injuries comes in different categories of damages. First, you could be entitled to compensation for the medical expenses you face. Especially if you were not wearing a helmet, you could face substantial injuries after a bike crash. Traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injuries, and even broken bones can require surgeries and ongoing medical care to repair injuries. This could become very expensive.
Second, you may be able to claim lost wages. If your injuries keep you from work, you might be entitled to claim compensation for the paychecks you missed. If, going forward, you are unable to go back to work or need to return to modified work tasks, any income or lost earning potential can also be compensated.
Lastly, you could be entitled to direct compensation for your pain and suffering. These damages depend on the severity of your injury, and long-term or permanent injuries usually come with increased pain and suffering. Talk to an attorney about how best to prove these damages in court by preparing a journal of your recovery process.
If the court finds that you are partly to blame for the accident, you can still generally recover damages. The court will assign a percentage of blame to each party involved in the crash, including yourself and any drivers. These rules are known as “comparative fault” rules, and never limit a victim’s right to sue for their injuries. Your damages will be reduced by the percentage of fault you share, but you can still recover compensation for your injuries as long as someone else shares in the blame.
Miami Bicycle Accident Lawyer Offering Free Consultations
If you have questions or concerns about your bike accident case, talk to an attorney today. Miami personal injury lawyer Prosper Shaked represents victims of bike accidents and helps them get compensation from the at-fault drivers who caused their injuries. For a free consultation on your case, contact The Law Offices of Prosper Shaked today at (305) 690-0244.