We are Personal injury lawyers that represent bicycle accident victims throughout the state of Florida. We are avid cyclists and keenly aware of both the benefits and risks of cycling.
On the benefits side, cycling is a wonderful workout that offers a wealth of benefits. For many residents of Miami, it is a preferred mode of transport. Bicycling is an inexpensive and pollution-free mode of transportation for getting around the city. The use of bicycles can alleviate traffic congestion and lower greenhouse emissions by reducing the number of cars on the road.
Unfortunately, on the risk side, Miami is one of the most dangerous cities for fatal and injury-causing accidents in the country. Miami drivers are notorious for showing off their fancy cars, speeding, and not following traffic regulations. Excessive heat, wet weather and aggressive drivers can make your bicycling experience on the roads of Miami uncomfortable and possibly dangerous.
Accidents involving bicyclists are on the rise in Miami and are a concern for city officials and administration. Along with pedestrians, bicyclists are most vulnerable on Miami roads.
Bicyclists involved in accidents often require months or even years of intensive medical treatment and rehabilitation before they recover. Bicyclists have no protection when they are involved in an accident, unlike motorists who are surrounded by metal and protected by seatbelts and airbags.
SOME IMPORTANT FACTS AND STATISTICS ON ACCIDENTS INVOLVING BICYCLES IN FLORIDA AND THE COUNTRY.
- An estimated 675 cyclists were killed in the United States in accidents in 2020.
- More than 25% of bicycle fatalities were caused by hit-and-run accidents in 2020.
- Each year, 2% of motor vehicle crash deaths are of bicyclists.
- 62% of bicyclists killed in 2019 were not wearing helmets.
- In majority of cycling deaths, the most serious injuries were to the head.
- Florida had the second-highest number of cyclist fatalities in the country with 90 deaths in 2020.
- Arterial roads are most dangerous for cyclists, accounting for over 65% of cycling fatalities.
- In 2020, the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles recorded 5,082 bicycle crashes.
- Florida laws provide bicyclists all the rights, duties, and protections of a pedestrian. Florida bicyclists are permitted to ride on sidewalks.
PROVING NEGLIGENCE IN A MIAMI BICYCLE ACCIDENT CASE.
Bicycle accidents due to human error and negligence are the greatest causes of deaths and serious injuries in Miami and throughout Florida.
Negligence is defined as “Failure to take reasonable care to avoid causing injury or loss to another person.”
To prove negligence, the plaintiff (the injured party) must establish the following four main elements:-
- The defendant (the accused party) owed the plaintiff a reasonable duty of care.
Drivers, motorcyclists, bicyclists and even pedestrians owe a duty of care towards others on the roadways.
- The Defendant breached his or her duty of care.
The breach of care by the defendant is the crux of the personal injury law. It is the plaintiff’s burden of proof to convince the judge or jury that there was a breach of care committed by the defendant.
- The breach of duty by the Defendant caused the accident.
It is not enough to show that the Defendant was negligent, careless or reckless, it has to be established by a preponderance of the evidence that his or her act of negligence was the main cause of the accident.
- The accident caused compensable damages.
The plaintiff must establish that he or she suffered damages due to the breach of duty by the Defendant. Damages may include physical injury, pain and suffering, mental anguish, emotional distress, lost wages, loss of enjoyment of life and/or property damage.
WAIT FOR THE POLICE TO ARRIVE.
Most bicyclists involved in accidents with cars make the mistake of not contacting the police following the accident and obtaining a copy of the police report. Many bicyclists leave the scene of the accident before the Police arrive.
Victims are usually of the opinion that the damage to their bicycle is minor, and they have suffered few or no injuries. However, they could experience symptoms of an injury in the days or weeks after their accident.
Although a police report is not mandatory while filing a claim with the negligent driver’s insurance company, it is an important piece of evidence which provides the insurance company with important information regarding your claim. A police report is an impartial third-party account by a police officer that summarizes the police’s interpretation of what happened and who bears responsibility.
You should do your level best to get your side of the story into the police report.
Absence of a police report can weaken your claim for compensation.
The police might issue a traffic citation against the driver. A traffic citation will not ultimately prove who is responsible, but it can be useful at the time of settling your claim.
FLORIDA IS A PURE COMPARATIVE NEGLIGENCE STATE.
Comparative negligence simply means that when there is an accident, multiple parties can share fault. When such negligence is alleged, there is apportionment of fault between the parties involved in the accident.
If you are the plaintiff, you will not be barred from recovering damages, but it may reduce the amount of damages you receive. Insurance claim adjusters use comparative negligence to reduce the value of claims.
Under pure comparative negligence rules, courts treat levels of negligence in terms of percentages. For instance, if you are held 30% at-fault and you are awarded $100,000 in damages, you will eventually receive $70,000 after your percentage of fault in the accident is deducted from the amount of damages awarded to you.
An experienced Miami bicycle accident lawyer knows how to effectively deal with claim adjusters of insurance companies who try to deny the plaintiff’s claim or reduce the claim value significantly.
COMPENSATION FOR A VICTIM OF A BICYCLE ACCIDENT IN MIAMI.
Our Miami bicycle accident lawyers help victims recover compensatory damages mentioned below:-
- Medical Bills.
- Lost Wages.
- Lost earning capacity.
- Property damage.
- Estimated future medical expenses.
- Out of pocket expenditure.
- Pain and suffering.
- Mental anguish.
- Loss of companionship.
- Emotional distress.
- Loss of enjoyment of life.
KAIRE AND HEFFERNAN – EXPERIENCED AND TRUSTED LEGAL REPRESENTATION IN MIAMI.
Our law firm provides genuine support and compassionate advocacy for clients who are victims of personal injury. Our lawyers know how stressful being injured in an accident can be – especially when you are not at-fault.
Our bicycle accident lawyers in Miami present a strong and solid case to insurance companies and demand full and adequate compensation for our clients.
Our lawyers are renowned for their excellent command over accident laws and flawless presentation of cases in the Court rooms.
Our team of personal injury lawyers carry out the following duties for our clients:-
- Conduct a thorough investigation of the accident case.
- Consult medical, legal, and accident reconstruction experts.
- Identify liable parties.
- Determine the value of the claim.
- Coordinate and communicate with legal representatives of the defendant/s and insurance companies.
- Strive for a fair settlement on victim’s behalf.
- Take the case to trial if required.
CONTACT A BICYCLE ACCIDENT LAWYER IN MIAMI.
All accident cases handled by our compassionate and knowledgeable accident lawyers are taken on a contingency basis, which means our clients pay nothing unless we recover money.
If you or your loved one has been injured due to somebody else’s carelessness or negligence on the roads of Miami, you deserve to be duly compensated for the injuries suffered and other damages.
Initial consultations are free. Call an experienced bicycle accident lawyer at our firm for a free case evaluation right away.
Mark Kaire has been practicing law in Miami for nearly 30 years. He is dedicated to helping the injured people of Miami receive compensation. Mr. Kaire has been blogging on Miami’s legal issues for many years.