After a bicycle accident occurs in Florida, it is essential to determine liability so that any injury or property damage victim can recover compensation for their losses. However, determining liability can be challenging, and there could be multiple parties responsible for the incident. Understanding the issues behind determining fault in a bicycle accident can be helpful. Data indicates that there were more than 6,400 total bicycle collisions reported to state officials during the most recent reporting year on file, and these incidents led to 197 fatalities, 740 incapacitating injuries, and more than 5,000 other injuries.
Florida is a No-Fault State – How Does This Affect Bicycle Accidents?
Florida operates under a no-fault insurance system for vehicle accidents, and this law affects bicycle accident liability as well. While the law does not necessarily change who is liable for an incident, it does affect where a person turns for compensation.
With Florida no-fault insurance, individuals turned to their own insurance carrier for compensation after an incident, regardless of who caused the crash. You may also see this no-fault insurance system known as personal injury protection (PIP). This type of insurance typically pays the following:
80% of reasonable medical expenses, which can include emergency care, doctor visits, rehabilitation services, nursing care, surgical care, etc.
60% of lost wages
Replacement services for things like lawn care, household assistance, childcare, etc.
Can You Still File a Claim Against the At-Fault Driver?
It is possible to file a lawsuit against an at-fault driver after a bicycle accident occurs in Florida. However, certain conditions must be met in order to step outside of the no-fault insurance system. Florida law allows individuals to file lawsuits against negligent drivers if they have suffered a serious injury, including significant scarring or disfigurement or loss of a bodily function.
Individuals who meet the threshold needed to step outside of the no-fault insurance process may be able to file a civil personal injury lawsuit against the alleged negligent driver. We strongly encourage individuals who think they have a claim against a negligent driver to speak to a bicycle accident attorney in Florida who understands these processes.
How Can an Attorney Help?
A skilled bicycle accident lawyer in St. Petersburg can be an amazing asset when it comes to helping you recover compensation after a collision. The role of a lawyer after a bicycle accident causes injuries or property damage includes:
Examining the claim to determine the best route to recover compensation
Enlisting assistance from trusted economic and medical experts to help calculate damages
Handling all communication with other parties involved, including insurance carriers
Negotiating to recover fair compensation on your behalf
Fully preparing the claim for trial if necessary
The goal of a bicycle accident claim is to help recover more compensation than you otherwise would by simply relying on the insurance carrier to tell you what you should get.
Economic damages refer to the calculable expenses bicycle accident victims in Florida usually incur, though each case is different. Typically, these include money for emergency medical expenses, ongoing medical treatment, lost wages, property damage expenses, and out-of-pocket household expenses. Non-economic damages revolve around less calculable losses, including a bicycle accident victim’s physical and emotional pain and suffering.