Hit-and-Run Accidents Involving Bicycles, Pedestrians and Other Motorists
For bicyclists and motorists injured in hit-and-run accidents, recovering financial compensation presents some unique challenges. But, it is not impossible. In many cases, it will be possible to identify the hit-and-run driver; and, when this is the case, victims can pursue auto insurance claims just like they can under “normal” circumstances. Even if it is not possible to identify the driver, there may still be options available, and Fort Lauderdale hit-and-run accident lawyer Joseph Maus has decades of experience helping bicycle riders and other accident victims recover just compensation under a broad range of circumstances.
Pursuing a Hit and Run Accident Claim Against the At-Fault Driver
Depending on the circumstances involved, there are a number of potential ways to identify a hit-and-run driver. From your own recollection of relevant details to witness statements and traffic camera footage, it may be possible to piece together various pieces of information in order to determine who hit you. Our firm can quickly launch an investigation, and we can work with local law enforcement in Fort Lauderdale in order to try to identify the driver who is liable for your losses.
If our Fort Lauderdale bicycle accident law firm is able to identify the driver, then we can pursue a claim under his or her auto insurance policy on your behalf. This is true whether you were injured in a vehicle-on-vehicle collision or a bicycle accident. Auto insurance covers all types of liability-based claims, and Mr. Moss can use his experience to make sure you receive the financial compensation you deserve.
Pursuing Hit-and-Run Accident Claims When the Driver Cannot Be Identified
In some cases, it will not be possible to track down a hit and run driver, or it may be the case that the driver who hit you is uninsured (which may be why he or she fled the scene). In this scenario, Mr. Maus will look to other sources of financial recovery. Potential alternate sources of financial compensation in hit-and-run accident cases include:
- A Vehicle, Bicycle, or Helmet Defect Claim – Vehicle, bicycle and helmet defects can cause and contribute to serious accidents and injuries. If your injuries are partially the result of a product defect, our Fort Lauderdale bicycle accident law firm can fight to hold the product manufacturer accountable.
- A Road Defect Claim – Road defects can also play central roles in car and bicycle accidents. If faulty road design or negligent road construction or maintenance played a role in your accident, Mr. Maus can seek just compensation on your behalf.
- Another Third–Party Liability Claim – There are various other potential third-party liability claims in hit-and-run accident cases as well. If any other person or company is partially at fault for your injuries, Mr. Maus can file a claim for financial compensation.
- An Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist (UIM) Claim – Finally, if you have UIM coverage, you can file a claim under your own auto insurance policy (this is true for drivers, passengers and bicycle riders). However, these are challenging claims, and you will want an experienced attorney on your side.
Tips for Maximizing Bicycling Safety in South Florida
Though you certainly want to protect yourself from injuries, ensuring that you protect your safety can also help you being considered liable for your bicycle accident. Our Fort Lauderdale bicycle accident lawyer outlines the following tips to help minimize your potential fault and maintain your safety.
- Maintain your bicycle properly. Always check your bicycle before every journey to be sure it’s in good working condition. Make sure you take it in for regular maintenance so that you won’t be caught off guard by weak breaks or other problems;
- Never wear or carry distracting devices. It’s always a mistake to where any music headphones or “ear buds” since these can keep you from hearing critical sounds that might otherwise alert you to danger;
- Check the weather forecast before every excursion. Always use your best judgment and avoid using your bicycle when rain or other inclement weather is in the forecast;
- Always wear a helmet. Although many older riders recall the days when few people wore helmets, statistics clearly prove that they help prevent serious injuries and even death. Be sure to wear one — even when just planning a short excursion;
- Map out your riding path in advance. Regardless of how you’ll be traveling, it’s always wise to choose your path in advance. Consider always carrying a map with you and have alternate routes in mind in case unexpected problems arise;
- Dress appropriately so everyone can easily see you. Bright clothing and reflective tape on both you and your bicycle maximizes your visibility;
- Use proper headlights and tail lights. These can make it much easier for others to see you and avoid hitting you as it becomes dark;
- Always carry a bicycle repair kit and spare inner tube for your tires;
- If you must carry heavy items, try using a backpack. If necessary, you might also want to place heavy items in a firmly attached basket or under a clamp above your rear wheel. Use stretch cords to secure your items as needed;
- Obey all traffic laws. One of the chief complaints against bicyclists is that they often speed through stop signs and red lights. You must obey all traffic rules like everyone else. Make sure you use all proper hand signals when turning and drive defensively;
- Always ride with the flow of traffic. Don’t do anything that requires special consideration and always ride close to the curbs or in designated bike lanes;
- Watch out for pedestrians. They have enough to worry about with large vehicles on the rood and don’t need to be monitoring wayward cyclists. Do not ride your bicycle on sidewalks with pedestrian traffic.
- Walk your bike across busy intersections and over railroad tracks. This will help you avoid falling and increase your ability to maneuver your bike as you monitor oncoming traffic;
- Keep your eyes peeled for road hazards. Unexpected potholes, gravel and oil slicks can easily cause you to fall off your bicycle and into the pathway of an oncoming vehicle;
- Watch out for vehicles suddenly darting out from alleys and driveways.
Although no safety list can be fully comprehensive, our firm hopes this one reduce your chances of having a bicycle accident in Florida.
Schedule a Free Initial Consultation With a Fort Lauderdale Hit and Run Accidents Lawyer
For more information about your legal rights after a hit and run accident in Fort Lauderdale, schedule a free initial consultation at Maus Law Firm. Call us at 855-999-5297 or contact us online 24/7. You pay nothing until we win.