Fort Lauderdale Bicycle Accident Law Firm Explains Your Legal Rights After a Collision
When seeking just compensation for injuries sustained in a bicycle accident, proving that you are entitled to a financial recovery typically requires proof of negligence. “Negligence” is the legal term for fault; and, although there are many forms of negligence, proving that a negligent driver is responsible for your losses is not always as straightforward as it sounds. As a Fort Lauderdale bicycle accident law firm, we have seen all types of collisions, and we are intimately familiar with the complex issues involved.
Examples of Driver Negligence in Bicycle Accidents
What constitutes negligence in causing a bicycle accident? In any case proving negligence requires a comprehensive assessment of the facts and circumstances involved. Everything from weather conditions to timing can influence the determination of who was at fault, and the auto insurance companies will refuse to pay if there is any question as to their insured drivers’ liability. With this in mind, some common examples of driver negligence include:
- Unsafe turns
- Rear-ending cyclists
- Opening a car door in a cyclist’s path
- Distracted driving
- Reckless driving
- Running a red light or stop sign
- Driving under the influence
However, in order for one of these mistakes to constitute “negligence,” it must actually cause an accident. For example, if you got rear-ended but the accident occurred because you suddenly swerved out of the bike line and into the path of a car that was traveling at the speed limit, then there is a possibility that the driver would be deemed not at fault in the collision. Likewise, if you ran into a car door because you were looking at your phone, not because the driver suddenly opened it in front of you, then this could be a situation where the driver is deemed non-negligent as well.
Comparative Negligence: What Happens When a Cyclist is Partially at Fault?
This brings us to the concept of “comparative negligence.” While you should never assume that you were partially at fault in an accident, there are circumstances in which the driver and the cyclist can both be partially to blame. When this is the case, Florida law applies the concept of comparative negligence. Basically, a percentage of fault is assigned to the driver and the cyclist, and then the cyclist’s financial recovery is reduced by his or her percentage. So, for example, if your total losses are $100,000 but you are deemed 20 percent at fault, then your financial recovery would be limited to $80,000.
Even taking comparative negligence into account (which, again, may or may not be relevant in your particular case), the amount that injured cyclists can recover can still be substantial. This is true for cases involving all types of serious injuries, including:
- Broken bones
- Neck injuries
- Organ damage
- Severe lacerations
- Soft tissue injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
Discuss Your Bicycle Accident Claim in Confidence
If you would like more information about your legal rights after a bicycle accident in Fort Lauderdale, please contact us to schedule a free initial consultation. To request an appointment at your convenience, call 855-999-5297 or inquire online today.