Injured in a Miami Bicycle Accident?
Bicyclists suffer severe injuries far too often due to the negligence of motorists. When they do, they face a mountain of expenses – and they will typically not have any idea how they’ll be able to deal with them. This adds an incredible amount of stress on top of the physical pain they’re having to endure.
If this has happened to you, there’s a pretty good chance you’re already doing your research to find the best personal injury lawyer to handle your case. At Keller, Melchiorre & Walsh, we deliver results in these kinds of cases on behalf of our clients on a regular basis. We’ll work extremely hard to do the same for you.
Are Miami Streets Safe for Cyclists?
Florida as a whole is an incredibly dangerous place to ride a bicycle, and the Miami area is no exception. There were nearly 6,000 bicycle collisions in 2021 that led to 169 fatalities and 5,574 injuries. The vast majority of fatal accidents – 83% took place due to a negligent driver. Between the years 2010-2014, nearly 50 riders died in Miami, and nearly 3,600 were hurt.
Causes of Miami Bike Accidents
There are a lot of ways a negligent driver can injure a bicyclist. Here are a few of them.
- Distracted driving. You’ve no doubt seen someone on the road using their phone while behind the wheel. Even though we all know it’s wrong, far too many of us do it – and do it far too often. If a driver’s focus is on anything else except their surroundings, they can easily hit a bicyclist.
- Not leaving enough space. A lot of drivers view bicyclists as nuisances. They’ll often crowd them on streets, and do anything they can to get around them. In many instances, they’ll fail to leave enough space between themselves and the rider as a result, hitting the bike and causing a catastrophic injury.
- Weaving in and out of lanes. Motorists can be in such a hurry that they’ll try to change lanes in a reckless manner. If a rider happens to be in the way, they’ll very likely be seriously hurt. An accident can also occur when a driver has to swerve to avoid debris in the road, colliding with a bicyclist in the process.
Injuries Associated with Miami Bicycle Accidents and How They Affect One’s Life
Along with motorcycle riders, riders on bicycles are at the highest risk of a severe injury when they’re struck by a car. It’s not at all uncommon for them to suffer severe spinal cord injuries, internal bleeding, broken bones and severe lacerations. These can all lead to severe complications, and can also completely rob a victim of their quality of life.
As horrible as all of these injuries can be, a traumatic brain injury (TBI) is just as bad. The consequences of a major TBI can leave a victim unable to care for themselves, requiring constant care because they can’t perform the everyday tasks the rest of us take for granted.
How to Prove a Driver was Negligent
Even though you may be completely convinced that the driver who hit you was at fault, you’re still going to need solid proof in order to have any chance of obtaining full and fair compensation.
There a four elements of a bicycle accident lawsuit that must be satisfied:
- The driver owed you a duty to keep you safe.
- The driver violated that duty.
- That violation was the direct cause of the injury you suffered.
- You incurred significant financial losses, or “damages,” due to your injury.
So, how do you go about gathering the proof needed to satisfy all four elements? You hire an attorney to investigate the accident. This will include taking a close look at the accident scene, and obtaining any nearby surveillance camera footage that might show how the collision took place. Something called comparative negligence may also need to be taken into account.
Your attorney will also obtain a copy of the police report, interview witnesses, and, if distracted driving is suspected, obtain the driver’s phone records to show they were talking or texting at the time of the accident.
Learn more: Florida’s Bicycle Laws
Damages You Can Recover in a Miami Bicycle Accident Case
There are several types of damages you may be able to obtain by filing a lawsuit. Here’s a look at just a few.
- Medical bills. With any sort of injury, of course, comes medical bills – a lot of them. Your attorney will work to make sure you’re compensated for your current bills, but also any others you may accumulate in the future.
- Lost wages. If you’re badly hurt, it’s probably going to be quite a long time before you’re able to work again. It’s possible that you’re already losing wages, since you’ve gone through all of your sick time and vacation days.
- Loss of future earning capacity. There’s also a chance you might not ever be able to go back to your old job. You might miss out on future raises, as well as other pay such as commissions, bonuses and more. If you can work in the future, you might have to take a job that doesn’t pay as much because of your physical limitations. A skilled attorney will be able to calculate all of the money you’ll lose in the future and work to make that part of your overall compensation.
Why Do I Need to Hire a Miami Bicycle Accident Attorney?
A bicycle accident lawsuit can be extremely complex. Only a qualified attorney will be able to navigate those complexities. Victims who try to act as their own legal representatives almost always fail to get the compensation they truly deserve, and have to endure a lifetime of financial misery as a result. An experienced lawyer can make sure you avoid that fate.