Due to Florida’s weather, people can be seen riding their bicycles for much of the year. While motorists are typically mindful of cyclists on the roads, accidents do happen. No matter the circumstances of your case, we can help. At Cohn & Smith, our motor vehicle collision attorneys have substantial experience advising crash victims in the Pembroke Pines area on how to pursue compensation after these types of accidents. Our Pembroke Pines bike accident lawyers are familiar with the many nuances of personal injury law and can apply this knowledge to the details of your specific case.Take Legal Action to Hold a Negligent Driver Accountable for Your Injuries
If you were hurt in a bike accident, you can sue the party who caused your injuries, which is usually the driver of a car or truck. In the state of Florida, an accident victim has four years from the date of the crash to file a negligence claim. Failure to file within this time period may bar the injured individual from being able to take legal action altogether. In order to prevail on a negligence claim, a cyclist must demonstrate the following elements:
- The defendant owed him or her a duty of care;
- The defendant violated this obligation with careless or reckless actions;
- The harm that the cyclist suffered was a direct result of the defendant’s carelessness; and
- The cyclist was forced to incur actual damages because of the accident.
The duty of care refers to the general obligation to exercise reasonable care in one’s actions, accounting for the specific situation and the potential risk of harm to others. This is held to apply to any person operating a vehicle. Reasonable care is defined as how an ordinary, prudent person would have acted in the same or similar circumstances. When applied to car accidents, it requires drivers to obey traffic rules such as yielding when required, stopping for red lights, and ensuring that they are sober when they get behind the wheel. Moreover, they must make allowances for unusual conditions, such as construction zones or inclement weather.
Once duty and breach have been shown, the victim must draw a direct causal link from the defendant’s careless action to the accident. This means proving that he or she would not have been hurt, or would have been less severely hurt, if the driver had not engaged in the conduct identified as the breach. In some situations, a defendant will argue that the victim was partly responsible for causing the accident. Even when this is true, the Florida rule of comparative negligence allows an injured individual to receive a compensation award that is proportionate to the percentage of damages caused by any defendant held liable.
A victim who is successful in proving liability can usually seek to recover medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, pain and suffering, and any other costs arising from the accident. If a bicycle rider died due to the negligence of someone else, the deceased person’s family members may be able to seek wrongful death damages, possibly including funeral expenses, loss of future earnings, and loss of companionship.Consult Knowledgeable Pembroke Pines Bike Accident Lawyers After a Bike Accident
For several decades, the personal injury lawyers at Cohn & Smith have dedicated their energies to asserting the rights of Hollywood residents and others who have been harmed on the road. Bike accidents can be a traumatic experience for a rider, due to the lack of structural protection that a bicycle offers. We understand that this is a stressful time for you and your loved ones, and you can expect respect and compassion from our entire team. Our firm proudly represents clients from Tamarac, Coral Springs, and Aventura, among other communities throughout South Florida. To learn more, contact us online or call us at 954-431-8100.