Serving the Areas of Ft. Lauderdale, Sunrise, and West Palm Beach
Usually, what you see is somebody riding a bicycle that gets hit by a car or a truck or a semi-tractor trailer. Sometimes, the other driver runs through a red light, runs through a stop sign, is traveling in the wrong direction, or fails to yield the right of way for the bicycle rider while they are in the crosswalk.
Are There Any Rules of the Road that Differ Between Bicycles, Motorcycles, and Automobiles?
There really isn’t any differentiation between the rules of the road for bicycle riders versus motorcycle riders versus car drivers. The only main difference is that if there is a designated bicycle path, the riders of the bicycle are supposed to be inside that designated path.
Short of that, they are still subject to the same rules of the road where they are supposed to stop at stop signs, they are supposed to yield to oncoming vehicles when other vehicles have the right of way and they are turning, they are supposed to use hand signals to signal where they are turning, and whether they are turning left or right. They are supposed to follow the same rules of the road as automobiles and motorcycles.
How Do Fault and No-Fault States Apply to My Bicycle Accident?
In the State of Florida, the no-fault statutes do not apply to a motorcycle or a bicycle. That means that under normal circumstances, when you have a car accident and you’re the driver of a vehicle or a passenger of a vehicle, you’re subject to no-fault law, which pays up to $10,000 for your medical bills, provided that the medical care you received is within 14 days of the time of the incident and it is considered an emergency minus whatever deductible that you have.
In the State of Florida, bicycles and motorcycles are not subject to no-fault law and therefore, there is no $10,000 medical benefit that you can get from your own insurance but, by the same token, that also means that in the State of Florida, you do not have to prove what is called a permanent injury because you’re not subject to the no-fault statute.
How Do Insurance Companies Come Into Play When it Comes to Bicycle Accidents?
Insurance companies come into play when there is a bicycle accident, because most of the time, people do not have insurance on their own bicycle. Because they don’t, when an accident occurs and it’s the other person who is at fault, we look towards their insurance company to do several things:
- To help get the bicycle fixed and to get them to pay for it.
- To get the medical bills paid for all the medical treatment that you, as the injured party, are going to receive.
- Ultimately, to get a lump sum settlement on your claim which will also help cover whatever lost wages that you have as well as your pain and suffering because of this incident.
If I’m Accused of Being at Fault by the Other Party’s Insurance, Does That Mean My Case is Doomed?
Your case is not doomed. There are many times when people have accidents and one side says that the other is at fault. If the insurance company agrees that you are partially at fault and their driver is partially at fault, they will make a settlement offer, which will reflect that and sometimes that settlement offer is enough and everybody can go their separate ways.
If it’s not enough, then a lawsuit has to be filed and ultimately the insurance company will sit down at the bargaining table again and see if they can come to terms and resolve the claim amicably. If it cannot be resolved amicably, from there, you go in front of a jury. The jury decides what the award will be and how the split will be and if you are at fault or the other side is at fault and how much of the accident should be attributable to you versus how much of a portion should be attributable to the other driver.
Despite the fact that the other side may say that you’re at fault and you may feel that you’re at fault as well, your case is not doomed in the least. There still can be a settlement and settlements do occur quite often.
Will Pictures Taken at the Scene of the Accident be Helpful to my Claim?
Yes, they sure can. Whenever you have an accident, it’s a great idea to take pictures. Pictures are very helpful because there is no way that we can recreate your actual injuries, the position of the vehicles, the position of your bicycle and even the damage to your bicycle.
Somebody may say, “After the accident, I was unconscious for 20 minutes.” Lo and behold, the picture showed right after an accident, somebody is up and walking around or somebody says, “I was discombobulated and I was sitting the entire time” or “I wasn’t wearing my seatbelt” or “I wasn’t wearing a helmet” or “I was wearing a helmet.” Those pictures can tell us a thousand words. It’s a great idea to take pictures as they can help tell a story and ultimately, it could mean the difference between getting a great settlement versus an okay settlement.
For more information on Bicycle Accident Scenarios, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you’re seeking by contacting us or calling (954) 677-0155 today.