Were you recently injured in an accident while riding your bicycle? You don’t have to suffer alone. Steinger, Greene & Feiner is here to pursue justice on your behalf and get the compensation you deserve. Keep reading to see why Jacksonville residents choose our lawyers time after time to represent their bicycle accident cases.
How Common Are Bicycle Accidents in Florida?
Despite the growing popularity of designated bike lanes in cities across Florida, bikers are still extremely vulnerable to motorists sharing the road with them. Bike helmets and padding can only provide so much protection when you’re up against motorized vehicles.
Florida is actually one of the most dangerous states in the country for cyclists. Between January 1 and August 17, 2023, 4,916 crashes occurred, resulting in 127 fatalities and 4,612 injuries. With statistics like that, it’s more important than ever to know the causes and risks of bicycle accidents so you can adequately protect yourself.
The Causes & Risks of Bicycle Accidents in Jacksonville
Most bicycle accidents occur due to human error (i.e. negligence). Here are the most common causes of bicycle accidents in Jacksonville.
- Distracted driving
- Drunk driving
- Failure to yield the right-of-way to cyclists
- Failure to share the road
- Veering into the bike lane (dangerous passing)
- Aggressive driving
- Dangerous lane changes
- Failure to watch for bicyclists when turning
- Running a red light or stop sign
- Driving under the influence of drugs
- Fatigued driving
- Road hazards
- Lack of dedicated bike lanes and infrastructure
- Malfunctioning traffic signals
- Dangerously designed intersections
Bicycle accidents can result in injuries that range from mild to severe, including the following:
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Broken bones and fractures
- Cuts and lacerations
- Soft tissue damage
- Spinal cord damage
- Nerve injuries
- Head and neck injuries
- Crushing injuries
- Back injuries
- Organ damage
- Burns and road rash
- Wrongful death
What to Do After a Bicycle Accident
1. Seek Emergency Medical Care
First and foremost, take a minute to check for any injuries. If you need emergency medical attention, call 911 immediately. First responders will arrive at the scene to take care of you.
2. Contact the Police
If you don’t sustain any serious injuries, call the police to report the accident. For major accidents, officers will arrive to ensure everyone’s safety, gather witness statements, and fill out an official police report. Be sure to request a copy of the police report for your attorney and insurance company to use as evidence down the road.
For minor accidents, police officers might not respond. If this is the case for your accident, gather your own witness statements, and file an accident report through the local DMV. Just like with the police report, obtain a copy of the accident report. Your lawyer and insurance provider can use the accident report in place of a police report.
3. Gather Evidence
Having sufficient evidence to support your personal injury claim is essential for its success. Your lawyer, insurance company and a potential jury will look at this information to determine who was at fault, how much damage was caused, and who deserves to be compensated.
Here’s a breakdown of the key information you need.
- Photos and videos of the accident scene
- Contact and insurance information for the driver(s) involved
- Police or accident report
- Medical records
4. Seek Primary or Urgent Medical Care
If you didn’t receive emergency medical care, go to either an urgent care clinic or your primary care doctor. You might not feel injured, but you could have sustained minor or internal injuries that won’t appear for days or even weeks later. At that point, your insurance company would question whether the accident even caused your injuries, which could jeopardize your chance of securing compensation.
Before heading home, ask for copies of any notes the medical provider took along with an itemized bill. These details will serve as key evidence in your personal injury claim.
5. Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer
The next thing you should do is contact a personal injury attorney who specializes in bicycle accident cases. An experienced bicycle injury lawyer will know the particular laws that apply to your case and have the expertise needed to fight for your rights.
6. Notify Your Insurance Provider
Last but not least is to notify your insurance provider about the accident. Insurance companies require policyholders to report accidents of any kind before a claim can be filed. Many insurers also put a time limit on the reporting period, only providing a window of 24 to 48 hours. Don’t miss out on your chance to file a claim and receive rightful compensation. Notify your insurance company as soon as possible after your accident.
Understanding Your Rights & Legal Options
When you suffer losses due to an accident that someone else caused, you’re entitled to financial compensation. There are two types of damages you can recover: economic and non-economic. Here’s a brief explanation of each type.
- Economic Damages: These are calculable losses, like lost wages, loss of future earnings, medical bills, property damage, and rehabilitation.
- Non-Economic Damages: These are incalculable losses, like pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, emotional trauma, mental anguish, disability, scarring and disfigurement, and loss of companionship.
The amount of compensation you can recover depends on various factors, including who is at fault for the accident and the total of injuries and property damage. Four elements must be present to establish fault.
- Duty: The motorist owed the cyclist a duty of care.
- Breach: The motorist breached their duty of care to the cyclist
- Causation: The motorist’s breach of duty caused the cyclist’s injuries
- Damages: The cyclist suffered a form of identifiable harm—whether physical, mental, or emotional—as a result of their injuries
Florida’s modified comparative negligence principle is another key factor. Under this law, the plaintiff can seek damages from the defendant even if they’re partially liable for the accident. Their compensation will just be reduced by their percentage of liability. In Florida, the plaintiff can be up to 50% liable for the accident and still seek compensation. If they’re 51% or more liable, though, they cannot seek damages. Here’s an example: Let’s say a court decides the plaintiff is 20% at fault for an accident that’s awarded $100,000 in damages. The plaintiff’s compensation will be reduced by 20%, which will leave them with $80,000.
If you want to know how much your case is worth, schedule a free case evaluation to discuss your case with one of our Jacksonville bicycle accident lawyers. We’ll review the details of your case to determine fault and calculate your losses.
How a Jacksonville Bicycle Accident Lawyer Can Help
Unless you’re a licensed bike accident attorney, navigating the claims process on your own is complicated. That’s why Steinger, Greene & Feiner is here to help. Our lawyers will:
- Provide expert legal advice
- Investigate your accident
- Gather evidence
- Calculate your economic and non-economic losses
- Determine fault
- Negotiate a fair settlement
- Deal with insurance companies
- Represent you in court
- Secure compensation
- Meet deadlines
The most important deadline to keep in mind is Florida’s statute of limitations, which is two to four years depending on when your accident occurred. If your accident occurred on or before March 23, 2023, you have four years to file a claim. If your accident occurred after March 23, 2023, you have two years to file a claim. If you file a personal injury claim once the statute of limitations has passed, you cannot seek financial compensation. Take legal action as soon as possible to ensure you get the compensation you deserve.
Why Choose Us as Your Jacksonville Bicycle Accident Lawyer
Here’s why Steinger, Greene & Feiner is the firm you can trust to handle your bicycle accident case.
With years of experience handling—and winning—bicycle accident cases in Jacksonville, you can count on us to win yours.
Our attorneys will hold the at-fault party responsible for their actions. That includes securing maximum financial compensation on your behalf so you don’t have to cover your losses out-of-pocket.
Don’t worry about legal fees on top of your medical bills and other accident-related costs. You don’t have to pay us a dime until we win your case.
Our team is available 24/7 to address all your questions and concerns and put your mind at ease. Contact us by call, text, or online chat. We can handle your entire case online.
Contact Your Jacksonville Bicycle Accident Lawyer Today
Don’t wait to get the compensation you need to recover from your bicycle accident. Contact our team today to schedule a free case evaluation. After discussing the details of your case, we can take the next step in your journey toward justice. Steinger, Greene & Feiner will be by your side every step of the way.