Bicycle Accident FAQs: Let Our Abogados de Accidentes en West Palm Beach Help
If you have been injured in a bicycle accident in the Palm Beach, Martin, or Broward county area, as well as other parts of South Florida, you will probably need to file an auto insurance claim to recover your medical expenses and other losses. However, you may have other options. If you have an insurance claim, you need to be careful to avoid mistakes that could reduce the amount of your financial recovery. Learn more in these FAQ answers from Searcy Denney’s abogados de accidentes en West Palm Beach.
FAQs: Do’s and Don’ts After a Bicycle Accident in Florida
Q: Should I contact my insurance company after a bicycle accident?
Yes. If you have auto insurance and you have been injured in a bicycle accident, you can seek coverage for your medical expenses and loss of income under your personal injury protection (PIP) policy. In fact, not only is this an option, but it is actually a requirement under Florida law. To improve your chances of filing a successful claim, you should report the accident to your insurance company right away.
Q: Who can I talk to about the accident?
For now, you should keep the details of the accident to yourself. While you are encouraged to file a claim with your auto insurance company, you should not give a recorded statement. Additionally, you should refrain from discussing the incident on riding forums and social media and schedule an appointment with an attorney as soon as possible.
Q: Is it okay to start riding again while my case is pending?
It depends on your doctor’s advice. When you file an insurance claim, mistakes like resuming physical activity or returning to work too soon can jeopardize your financial recovery. If you start riding again before your injuries are fully healed, the insurance companies will likely blame you for exacerbating your injuries.
Q: What if I disagree with my doctor’s diagnosis or treatment advice?
If you disagree with your doctor’s diagnosis or treatment advice, do not simply ignore it. Instead, seek a second opinion. Err on the side of caution when it comes to rest and rehabilitation, and do not assume that your body can recover faster than what your doctor says.
Q: My insurance company is offering to send me a check. Can I accept?
Before accepting any insurance payment, you need to be absolutely certain that accepting payment will not result in a waiver of your legal rights. If you settle your claim, it will be over, and you will not be able to seek additional compensation. If your insurance company is offering compensation for an accident that occurred in the Palm Beach, Martin, or Broward county area, or in other parts of South Florida, we encourage you to contact our abogados de accidentes en West Palm Beach promptly for advice.
FAQs: Types of Injuries That are Eligible for Compensation
Q: Can I seek financial compensation for a concussion? What if I wasn’t wearing a helmet?
Yes. A concussion is a form of traumatic brain injury (TBI), and all forms of TBI are eligible for compensation in the event of a bicycle accident. This is true whether you are limited to filing for PIP or you have a fault-based claim against the driver who hit you. Even if you weren’t wearing a helmet, you should speak with an attorney about filing a claim for financial compensation.
Q: Can I seek financial compensation for road rash?
Yes. Lacerations, burns and other external injuries are also eligible for financial compensation. To ensure that you can seek financial compensation, you should see a doctor promptly.
Q: Can I recover my lost wages if I am unable to work as a result of my injuries?
Yes. Your PIP policy provides partial coverage for lost wages (up to your policy limit). If you have a fault-based or product liability claim, you can seek full compensation for your loss of income, loss of benefits and loss of future earning capacity.
Q: Can I seek financial compensation for not being able to ride my bicycle?
Potentially, yes. If you are eligible to file a fault-based claim against the driver who hit you (i.e. if you have suffered a serious and permanent injury), or if your accident was the result of a vehicle or bicycle defect, then you can seek financial compensation for the non-financial losses you suffer as a result of your injuries. This includes loss of enjoyment of life due to inability to ride your bicycle and engage in other hobbies and pursuits.
Q: What other types of injuries are eligible for financial compensation?
Under Florida law, all physical and mental injuries are eligible for financial compensation and if you have a claim outside of PIP, you can seek to recover all of your financial and non-financial losses. Along with medical expenses, loss of income and loss of enjoyment of life, this includes:
- Other out-of-pocket costs
- Pain and suffering
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Emotional trauma
- Loss of companionship, consortium, services, society and support
- FAQs: Fault and Liability in Bicycle Accidents
Q: How can I prove that the driver who hit me was at fault in the accident?
Proving fault in a bicycle accident requires evidence. While your testimony will be helpful, the insurance companies are not likely to award compensation based solely upon your version of the events. Photos from the scene of the accident, details of the location where the accident occurred, witness statements, your medical records, the police report, traffic camera footage, cell phone records and various other forms of evidence could all potentially be available. You will need to hire skilled abogados de accidentes en West Palm Beach to collect this evidence as soon as possible.
Q: What if I didn’t take photos or collect witnesses’ contact information at the scene of the accident?
If you didn’t take photos or collect witnesses’ contact information at the scene of the accident, that is okay. There could still be a variety of other forms of evidence available to prove your claim for compensation. Write down everything you remember and be prepared to share as many details as possible with your attorney.
Q: What are my rights if I was partially at fault?
If you were partially at fault in the accident, you can still seek partial compensation for your injuries. Under Florida’s “pure comparative negligence” law, if you were 20 percent at fault in the accident, you would still be entitled to recover 80 percent of your injury-related losses. This applies to claims outside of PIP only. PIP is no-fault insurance, so you are entitled to coverage regardless of who is to blame for your injuries.
Q: Can I seek financial compensation for a tire blowout or other bicycle defect?
Potentially, yes. If you crashed because of a tire blowout, brake failure or other bicycle defect, you may be able to pursue a product liability claim against the bicycle or component manufacturer. Product liability claims involve some unique challenges, so you will want to work with an attorney who has specific experience in cases involving product defects.
Q: What if the insurance companies dispute liability and accuse me of being at fault?
If you are struggling to collect payment from the insurance companies after a bicycle accident, you are not alone. The insurance companies routinely deny accident victims’ claims for compensation. If you are entitled to compensation, our attorneys can help. We encourage you to give us a call so that we can deal with the insurance companies on your behalf.
FAQs: Our Abogados de Accidentes en West Palm Beach Can Assist With Settling Your Case or Going to Trial
Q: How will I know when to settle my case?
In order to make an informed decision about settlement, you need to have a clear understanding of the current and future costs of your injuries. Your future medical expenses, pain and suffering and other losses could easily make up the majority of your claim, and you will need to work with an attorney to determine what constitutes a fair settlement.
Q: What if the insurance companies refuse to offer a fair settlement?
If the insurance companies refuse to offer a fair settlement, your only option may be to take them to court. While most insurance claims settle, occasionally, bicycle accident victims need to go to court to enforce their legal rights. If you need to go to court, you will need an experienced personal injury attorney to represent you.
Q: What should I expect if I need to sue for just compensation?
If you need to sue for just compensation, going to court is a possibility, but you could still obtain a settlement as well. Personal injury claims routinely settle during the litigation process and your attorney will continue to negotiate while your lawsuit is pending.
Q: How long will it take to resolve my claim if my case goes to trial?
It depends. If your lawsuit triggers settlement negotiations, your case could still be over fairly quickly. But, if you need to fight for a verdict in court, your case could take a year or longer.
Q: When should I speak with abogados de accidentes en West Palm Beach about my bicycle accident claim?
If you have been injured in a bicycle accident in the Palm Beach, Martin, or Broward county area, as well as other parts of South Florida, you should speak with an attorney promptly. An experienced attorney will be able to help you avoid costly mistakes, deal with the insurance companies for you, and make sure you do not unknowingly settle for less than you deserve.
Learn More in a Free and Confidential Consultation
Have you been injured in a bicycle accident in the Palm Beach, Martin, or Broward county area, as well as other parts of South Florida? If so, the abogados de accidentes en West Palm Beach at Searcy Denney can help. To schedule a free, no-obligation consultation, call us at 800-220-7006 or request an appointment online today.