In South Florida, many people choose bicycles as their primary form of transportation. Biking is a great way to stay in shape, save gas money, and help the environment. Additionally, the sunny weather permits biking all year round in Florida.
Sadly, South Florida continues to be one of the most dangerous places in the nation for cyclists. In 2017, there were 125 pedal cyclist fatalities in the state, making Florida the state with the highest fatality per million population.
If you are amongst the many individuals who have suffered injuries in a bike accident, you may wonder if it is possible to receive compensation. In this article, we will break down all the details of accident compensation.
Frequent Causes of Bike Accidents in South Florida
In cities like Weston, Pembroke Pines, Key Biscane, Boca Raton, Deerfield Beach, and Hillsborough Beach, the number of bike accidents has continued to rise during the pandemic. Since people are looking for ways to stay active and get outside, more cyclists are on the roads. In turn, there are more accidents.
In Palm Beach County alone, there were 1,024 collisions, resulting in 138 serious injuries. Most often, these crashes are a result of speeding or impaired drivers. However, crashes are also caused when bicyclists fail to obey traffic laws or use reflective lights at night.
How to Improve Your Chances of Receiving Accident Compensation
If a vehicle hits you while riding a bicycle, there are some essential steps that you can take that will make it easier to get a bike accident settlement. Of course, if you are unconscious or severely hurt, it may not be possible to do anything. However, if you are not critically injured, you should do the following.
Wait for the Police
When you are in a collision with a motor vehicle, even while riding a bicycle, you must stay at the crash scene. Even if you believe that you are not hurt, you should report the crash. You may not realize your injuries until later, and it will be impossible to find the motorist.
Never Argue or Negotiate with the Motorist
Even if the driver accepts the blame or apologizes, you should never negotiate with them. Your injuries may be more severe than you realize, and without a formal police report, it will be difficult to prove the details of the accident.
Get the Driver’s and Witnesses’ Information
It is essential to exchange information with the driver. This includes his or her license plate number, phone number, address, driver’s license number, the car’s make, and insurance policy number.
If there were any witnesses, urge them to stay until the police arrive to give their statements. This will help your case since they are third parties. You should also get their contact information.
Take Pictures and Document the Details
After being in a collision, you will likely feel shaken up or confused. Before the police arrive, try to take pictures or video and document the details of the crash.
If you aren’t able to write it down, take a voice memo on your phone recording your explanation of everything that happened. You may also need to draw a map or diagram of the position and directions of everyone involved.
Even if the details start to get fuzzy over time, you will have clear documentation to look back on and serve as proof in your case.
Tell Your Version to the Police
Sometimes, the police forget to get the cyclist’s version of the story. It is crucial to make sure your statement is in the accident report and detail your injuries, even if they are minor. Also, you should be sure to get the accident report number from the police.
Seek Immediate Medical Attention
It is imperative to consult a doctor after getting in an accident, even if you only have minor injuries. These may not feel severe at the time but could develop into something more serious over time. Moreover, your adrenaline levels are high after being involved in an accident, hindering your ability to feel pain as usual.
Even if you are not in pain, you should go to the doctor and get checked out after a bike accident. Schedule an appointment with your primary doctor as soon as possible and record any out of the ordinary symptoms you feel in the meantime.
Don’t Negotiate with Insurance Companies.
The driver’s insurance company may call you in an attempt to settle. Never negotiate with the insurance company or give them any unnecessary information.
Seek Professional Help
If you want to receive compensation, you must prove that you were injured due to another party’s negligence. While that may seem easy, it isn’t always a straightforward process. Therefore, it is best to hire an attorney who understands how to win a personal injury claim.
How Can an Attorney Help Me Get Compensation?
Attorneys can help you collect and display evidence. This may include surveillance footage, pictures of the accident, medical records, police reports, and witness statements. Your case will also incorporate any other evidence that your attorney finds useful to get you the compensation you deserve.
An attorney can also negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf. This will prevent the insurance companies from using any of the information you give them against you later on.
Call an Experienced Bicycle Accident Attorney in South Florida
Remember that as a cyclist, you have the same rights to use the road as motorists. If you want to receive bike accident compensation, your best bet is to hire a professional. We are aware of the laws and protections available to Florida cyclists, enabling us to create a stronger case on your behalf.
If you or a family member has been involved in a bike accident in South Florida, be sure to give us a call. We serve Weston, Pembroke Palms, Key Biscayne, Boca Raton, Deerfield Beach, Hillsborough Beach, and the surrounding cities. Call us today to get the settlement that you deserve!