As Lawyers And Cyclists, We Understand Bicycle Accidents
Every year hundreds of people in Miami end up with serious injuries while bike riding. Miami has beautiful scenery but very few dedicated bike paths. So most bicyclists have no choice but to share the road with cars, motorcycles, buses and commercial vehicles. If you were involved in a bicycle accident and are looking for a lawyer who understands what you are going through, then Kaire & Heffernan, PLLC, is the firm for you. We are not only lawyers but also avid cyclists. We not only understand how bicycle accidents happen but also have the ability, from our years of handling medical malpractice cases, to understand your injuries. We work with the best experts to provide you with the best possible representation.
Similar to car accidents, a cyclist is entitled to compensation for the other person’s negligence. Our firm has won over $1 million in settlements for bicycle accident victims in Miami and greater Florida since 1997.
Who Will Pay For These Damages?
There are many costs after a bike accident. It may not be immediately clear to you how they will be covered. We provide some explanations below:
Your bicycle: The damage to your bicycle can be significant. If you were riding a carbon frame, then the bike is most likely a total loss. Even if you cannot see cracks in the frame, an accident can compromise the structural integrity of the bike. We will work with the insurance company to get you a new bike. We do not charge a fee for handling your property damage but rather offer this service as a courtesy. Either way, the at-fault driver is responsible for the damages to repairing your bike or for the cost of a replacement bike.
Your medical bills: The answer may surprise you. If you owned a car at the time of the accident or resided with a relative who owned a car then your car insurance company – or your relatives will pay your medical bills up to $10,000. This is known as PIP or no fault. It seemingly makes no sense, but that is the no-fault law. The most common question we get asked is: If I wasn’t at fault and not in my car, then why is my car insurance going to pay for my medical bills? However, if you do not own a car or live with a relative who owns a car, then the at-fault driver’s PIP insurance carrier will pay your medical bills, up to $10,000. The balance will be paid to you from the at-fault driver’s bodily injury liability policy. Future medical bills are part of your settlement.
Your lost wages: See medical bills above. The only difference is that lost wages are payable at 60% of your gross wages, as opposed to medical bills which are payable at 80%. Again, the damages payable under PIP are limited to $10,000, with any excess being claimed as part of your settlement. Future lost wages are part of your settlement.
Your injuries: This is all-encompassing and involves compensation for your pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, mental anguish, scarring, disfigurement and wrongful death damages. These damages are payable from the at-fault driver’s bodily injury liability insurance carrier or your uninsured motorist carrier. These are the damages, along with your past lost wages and medical bills (in excess of $10,000) and future lost wages and medical bills that we will seek to recover for you.
Fortunately for Miami bicycle accident victims, there is a lot of protection against economic damages. Sometimes, noneconomic damages are included to compensate victims for intimate and intangible injuries. Noneconomic damages are generally given for issues such as pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, and emotional distress. Because these injuries are so intimate and subjective, noneconomic damages can vary significantly in each personal injury lawsuit. You’ll need the assistance of a knowledgeable Miami bicycle accident lawyer to evaluate your claim.
Answers To Frequently Asked Questions About Bike Accidents
Below, we’ve answered some questions you may have about your rights as a cyclist and as a bike accident victim.
When Do Cyclists Have the Right of Way?
Cyclists have the right of way over drivers, but pedestrians always have precedence according to 2021 Florida statutes. If a bike lane is accessible, a cyclist must use it rather than the road. However, if a bike lane is not present and a cyclist chooses to ride on the sidewalk, they become a pedestrian and must obey the laws that pedestrians must follow. They also must yield to pedestrians on foot. When bicyclists ride their bikes, pedestrians should always have room on the sidewalk.
It’s important to signal when you need to stop or turn because it helps other people know where you’re going and will help prevent a bike crash! Bicyclists may also utilize crosswalks, although they must follow traffic rules and signs. If people are present, bicyclists must wait until it is safe to cross the street without blocking it. In this case, the pedestrian has precedence over the biker.
What are the most common bicyclist injuries?
There is no commonality when it comes to bicycle injuries. Every accident is different and horrific in its own way. That being said, the most common injury is probably a fractured collarbone. A rider will instinctively extend his arms when falling, and unfortunately, the force on impact can lead to a broken collarbone. Obviously, bicyclists have little to no protection against a vehicle and being thrown headfirst into oncoming traffic or smack onto the asphalt can result in life-changing injuries. Some examples include:
- Back and spine injuries
- Traumatic brain injury
- Broken bones
Sadly, death is a common outcome of bicycle accidents. Fatalities seem to be increasing due to the growing popularity of larger vehicles like SUVs, as well as increasing speed limits.
Can I be compensated if I was struck by a car door or was forced to collide with one?
Yes, you can! “Dooring accidents” are surprisingly common, and they are no joke. They can result in serious injuries or death. You can learn more by visiting our Dooring Accidents page.
What should I do immediately after a bicycle accident?
After a collision, remain calm and do not discuss who is at fault. If you are capable, you will need to exchange personal information and insurance Information with the other person. It is great to take photos and get witness information. Record as much as you can on the scene. Every detail is important in the evaluation of your case.
What options do I have if I was partially at fault for my bicycle accident?
Even if the driver was primarily at fault, it is very possible that a bicyclist contributed to the accident or their own injuries in some way. Thankfully, this does not bar you from financial recovery. Florida is a “comparative negligence” state. Each party to an accident may be assigned a portion of the blame, and the person who is less at fault can recover compensation, but their total award will be reduced by their percentage of fault.
One important thing to keep in mind: You don’t have to accept a narrative that you were partially at fault it’s not true. We will fully investigate your crash to determine exactly how it happened and why. If the driver is simply trying to deflect blame, we will work tirelessly to counter those allegations.
We Offer Free Consultations – Contact Us Today
The last thing you expected when you went out for that ride was that you would be looking for an attorney. We understand the process and choices can be overwhelming. If you contact us, we would be happy to answer your questions. We don’t advertise on TV, bus benches or taxicabs. Instead, we rely largely on word-of-mouth referrals from fellow lawyers and satisfied former clients.
We believe, as we hope you do, that choosing the right attorney is critical and should not be made on the basis of a commercial with a client holding up a check but rather on the basis of who is best equipped to help you get the results you deserve. To schedule your free consultation, call 305-376-7860 or fill out an online contact form. Se habla español.