Sharing the responsibility of safe traveling is something that all drivers have an obligation to take seriously. However, far too often, motorists do not give people on bikes the respect that they deserve. This can lead to drivers cutting them off, not yielding when required, or failing to check blind spots before changing lanes. The resulting collisions can have a devastating effect on a cyclist. With these potentially life-changing losses, it is essential that bike riders take appropriate steps to protect their rights.

If you have been injured in a bicycle crash, you may be able to file a claim for compensation. Through this type of personal injury lawsuit, you may be able to recover money for your property damage, medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. You could potentially bring the claim against a number of parties, including an at-fault driver, another cyclist, a manufacturer of a dangerous or defective part, or even a city responsible for maintaining the road.

Contacting a Wesley Chapel bicycle accident lawyer could be a step in the right direction. An experienced personal injury attorney at Distasio Law Firm could help explain the law as it applies to bike accidents, gather the evidence needed to pursue a claim and help injured riders collect the payments they need to set things right.

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Filing a Lawsuit for a Wesley Chapel Bike Crash

If you were hurt in a bicycle accident, you may be able to file a lawsuit against the at-fault party for your injuries. These types of cases are typically based on a theory of negligence, which is a type of carelessness. For example, if a driver makes a turn without checking for a bicyclist, they may be considered negligent.

Even in cases where a car did not cause a bicycle accident, you may still be able to file a personal injury claim for your losses. For example, if you were involved in a single-vehicle crash caused by poor road conditions (such as a pothole), you could file a lawsuit against the government agency that is responsible for maintaining the road. If you crashed your bike because one of its parts was dangerous or defective (such as faulty brakes), then you could file a product liability claim against the manufacturer of that part.

To win a negligence claim, you will need to prove four things (elements):

  1. Duty: the at-fault party (defendant) owed you (plaintiff) a duty to use reasonable care
  2. Breach: the defendant violated that duty of care in some way, such as by running a stop sign
  3. Causation: the defendant’s breach was the cause of the crash
  4. Damages: you suffered injuries as a result

If you can prove these four elements, then you will be able to recover financial compensation for your losses.

In some cases, the defendant wasn’t just negligent – they may have acted intentionally or recklessly. They can still be held responsible if they caused an accident that injured you. A good example of this type of case is a crash caused by a driver who was under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs at the time of the accident.

If you can prove that the defendant was at fault for the collision, then you can recover financial compensation for your losses. In a typical negligence case, this will include money for both economic and non-economic damages. In cases where the defendant acted intentionally or recklessly, you may be entitled to punitive damages.

Economic damages compensate an accident victim for their direct financial losses. Examples of economic damages include lost wages, reduced earning capacity, property damage, medical expenses, and future medical treatment. They are often proven through documentation like medical bills, estimates, pay stubs, and invoices.

Non-economic damages pay for intangible losses – or the types of losses that don’t come with a bill. In essence, these damages pay for the losses that you experienced that cannot easily be quantified. Examples of non-economic damages include pain and suffering, emotional distress, scarring, disfigurement, and loss of enjoyment of life.

Finally, punitive damages are only available in rare cases involving intentional or reckless conduct – not negligence claims. The goal of these damages is not to compensate an injury victim but to punish a wrongdoer. In Florida, punitive damages are capped in most cases at the greater of three times the amount of compensatory damages (economic plus non-economic damages) or $500,000.

If you have some questions about whether you are able to file a lawsuit for a bicycle accident in Pasco County, a Wesley Chapel personal injury lawyer can help. During a free initial consultation, they will listen to your story and then offer you advice about your rights and options for pursuing a claim. If you decide to hire the law firm, they will then fight for your right to maximum compensation.

Working to Obtain Fair Compensation for a Plaintiff’s Losses

A core concept in the law states that an at-fault party for an accident is liable to provide compensation for all their victim’s losses. However, obtaining these full payments is only possible if a plaintiff is able to articulate those losses. A Wesley Chapel cyclist injury lawyer could help with this vital process.

The core of any bike accident case is the plaintiff’s physical injury. Bike riders are especially vulnerable to collisions and can suffer injuries to their heads, necks, backs, and legs. Whether an injury requires only a trip to the emergency room or necessitates extensive surgery to correct, a defendant is always liable for the full cost of their actions.

Plaintiffs must also be sure to evaluate how the incident has affected their mental health. Many car crashes that involve bicycles are traumatic incidents that can leave a rider suffering from PTSD, flashbacks, and nightmares. While difficult to measure, this loss in quality of life is another measurable loss.

Finally, many bicycle crash injuries may leave a cyclist unable to return to their job. When this is the case, a claim can also demand reimbursement for any lost wages. In short, a qualified bicycle accident attorney in Wesley Chapel could help evaluate how an injury has affected a person’s life and demand the compensation needed to help them move forward.

Studies show that injury victims who are represented by counsel recover an average of 40% more in personal injury claims compared to those who represent themselves. If you have been hurt in a Wesley Chapel bike crash, you can’t afford to not have an experienced personal injury lawyer by your side. They will take on the insurance company for you, and fight to ensure that you get the money that you deserve for your injuries.

Importantly, personal injury law firms typically work on a contingency fee basis. This type of fee agreement means that you will pay nothing upfront, and will only pay a fee if your lawyer recovers money for you. In this way, you won’t be taking a risk when you decide to hire an attorney – and you will potentially see the benefit of achieving a much higher settlement or verdict at trial.

Insurance companies may tell you that they accept liability or that they want to give you a fair settlement. In reality, these settlement offers are usually not enough to cover the full scope of your losses – and may leave you holding the bag financially. The best way to get the money that you deserve for your injuries is to hire a Wesley Chapel bike crash lawyer to advocate for your rights.

The Duties of Drivers and Bike Riders

Best Personal Injury Lawyer Tampa Florida Drivers of motor vehicles and bike riders must follow many of the same rules of the road. In exchange for the ability to use most public streets in the same manner as motorists, bikers must be sure to follow speed limits, yield when appropriate, and signal all turns. However, given the massive difference in size and weight between a motor vehicle and a bicycle, drivers have a particular responsibility to ensure that they do not cause a bicycle accident.

Bike crashes are almost always caused by negligent drivers who don’t take their responsibility to share the road seriously. Unfortunately, insurance companies often try to shift blame onto the accident victim to try to reduce the amount of money that they have to pay them for a Wesley Chapel bike accident.

If an insurance company claims that a bicyclist was partially at fault for a collision, then a court will consider the actions of both parties when determining fault. According to Florida Statute § 768.81, if the court believes a cyclist shares some of the blame for the crash, they will reduce a plaintiff’s award by the relevant percentage. This is known as comparative negligence.

For example, if you were hit by a car while riding your bicycle, then the driver may argue that you were partially at fault for the accident because you should have been paying closer attention to the road. If a jury agrees, it will assign a percentage that you were at fault (such as 30%). As long as that number is 50% or less, you can still file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver – but then your total recovery will be reduced by 30%. If you had $100,000 in losses in this hypothetical, then you’d be able to recover $70,000 due to the comparative fault rule.

As a result, it is essential for a bike accident victim to prove that a defendant driver was responsible for the collision. This evidence can include police reports, dashcam footage, third-party witness accounts, and accident reconstruction studies. A proactive Wesley Chapel bike crash attorney like Scott Distasio is ready to gather this vital information and build powerful cases against negligent drivers.

Insurance companies are in business to make money – and part of how they achieve that goal is by paying out as little as possible on accident claims. They use a variety of tactics, including arguing that an accident victim was at least somewhat responsible for a crash. Having an aggressive Wesley Chapel bicycle accident lawyer on your side is the best way to ensure that you get full compensation for your injuries.

Common Causes of Bike Accidents

Bicycle accidents happen far more often than many people believe, particularly in Florida, where residents can ride their bikes year-round. In 2022 alone, there were 7,253 bicycle crashes in our state. These accidents led to 6,763 people being injured – and 220 people dying.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the most common cause of bike accidents is a bicyclist getting hit by a motor vehicle. Other crashes may be caused by falling, hitting something in the road, striking a fixed object, poor road conditions, or swearing to avoid something.

Drivers may strike a bicyclist for any number of reasons, such as:

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that some groups are at higher risk of being hurt or fatally injured in a bike crash. Generally, adults between the ages of 55 and 69 have the highest bicycle death rates, while people aged 10 to 24 suffer the highest rate of bicycle accident injuries. Male bicyclists are far more likely than female bike riders to be hurt or killed in a bike accident.

There are some steps that any bicyclist can take to reduce the risk of being seriously injured in a bike crash. Wearing a helmet and adding reflective clothing and lighting to your bike can lower the risk of being in a crash. If you are in an accident, you may be able to file a lawsuit to recover financial compensation for your injuries.

Speak with a Wesley Chapel Bicycle Accident Attorney Now

Few incidents in a person’s life can have as dramatic an effect as a bike crash. The riders are always in a vulnerable position and have little protection from the thousands of pounds of force that a collision with a motor vehicle may inflict. This can result in a variety of physical injuries that affect not just your physical health but also your mental well-being and finances.

If you were injured in a bicycle accident, working with a Wesley Chapel bicycle accident lawyer could increase your chances of success in a lawsuit against the negligent driver. One of the skilled attorneys at Distasio Law Firm could evaluate the circumstances of your case, compare those facts with established law, and demand fair financial recovery from the at-fault driver. Call as soon as possible to protect your rights.

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