According to reports filed by Florida law enforcement agencies, more than 7,000 bicycle crashes occurred in the last compiled year (2014). These are just the accidents that involved a motor vehicle in some way. Of the cyclists in these accidents, 135 were fatally injured.
Accidents involving motor vehicles may be the most dangerous type of bicycle accidents, but they are far from the only ones. Imagine how many more people suffer some form of injury from a bicycle accident! Cycling is popular in Florida, but it is not without risks.
If a person suffers an injury from a bicycling accident because of another person’s negligence, the injured party may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit and seek compensation for his or her suffering. Should a person suffer a fatal injury in a bicycle accident, his or her surviving family can file a wrongful death lawsuit against the negligent party.
Causes of Bicycle Accidents
Filing a lawsuit can only result in gaining compensation for injuries; this may help a person or family cover medical expenses and other bills, but it cannot always restore peace of mind. Even if we can get compensation for injuries or deaths for our clients, it is still preferable to avoid bicycle accidents altogether.
Many factors can play a part in causing a cycling accident. Various weather conditions (darkness, wet roads, low visibility, etc.), improperly maintained equipment (worn tires, dull reflectors or none at all, loose helmets, etc.), and more can all result in an accident. A cyclist always needs to ensure his or her bike is in good condition and that he or she is wearing all suggested safety equipment. If visibility is low due to weather or time, cyclists need to be sure that there are reflectors on them and/or their bike and that they are clean and shining bright.
Perhaps the biggest factor, however, is alcohol. Whether on the part of the cyclist or the person at fault for the accident, drinking alcohol and then attempting to operate a vehicle can have drastic repercussions. Do not drink and drive, and do not drink and bike.
Types of Damages in Bicycle Accidents
No matter how careful people are, accidents will happen. If they happen to an individual in Florida, that person should contact the offices of the SteinLaw family. We will gladly pursue the case to the fullest extent of our abilities. Our expertise is in both personal injury cases and wrongful death lawsuits, so no matter what type of bicycling accident has impacted a person’s life, we can help.
Lawsuits filed for bicycle accidents almost always fall under these two types of cases: personal injury or wrongful death. In a personal injury case, the injured party is attempting to sue a negligent party for compensation for his or her injuries. Most of the damages in a personal injury case are compensatory. That is, they pay to compensate the injured party for the recovery costs: medical bills, lost income, property damage, pain and suffering, etc. Some personal injury cases may also include punitive damages.
Damages in wrongful death cases are a little more complicated. They are usually divided into three types: economic damages, non-economic damages, and punitive damages. Economic damages include loss of the victim’s income, loss of inheritance, loss of benefits, and more. Non-economic damages are more emotional in nature, including the anguish of the survivors, loss of companionship, loss of guidance, etc.
Punitive damages are those leveled against the negligent party to punish them for exceedingly ill conduct. Many personal injury and wrongful death cases are not eligible for punitive damages.