One of the best ways to explore West Palm Beach is on two wheels. The area contains plenty of beautiful scenic trails, including Lake Trail, a five-and-a-half-mile-long path that lets you explore the city’s culture, see gorgeous mansions, and observe stunning views of endless white-sand beaches on the way to West Palm Beach’s delicious restaurants.
Unfortunately, even though cycling in West Palm Beach is a favorite activity for both residents and tourists, it is not without its issues. Cycling in the area can be dangerous, especially on busy streets where traffic is heavy, and the devastating accidents that result can lead to a lifetime of pain and suffering.
For these reasons, if you were in a bicycle accident in West Palm Beach, you should reach out to a bicycle accident lawyer as soon as possible. At the law offices of the Shiner Law Group, our knowledgeable bicycle accident lawyers are ready to review the details of your accident, figure out if you have grounds to file a lawsuit, and help you fight for the damages you deserve.
The Shiner Law Group – Let Our West Palm Beach Injury Law Firm Help You
The Shiner Law Group is dedicated to helping individuals who were injured or wronged by others, including those hurt in slip and fall accidents, motor vehicle accidents, motorcycle accidents, and other cases where another person’s carelessness or negligence caused the injuries.
Our law firm consists of dedicated attorneys who make it a goal to get injured victims and businesses the justice they deserve after suffering losses because of another person’s actions. We handle all types of cases, including small settlement claims and multi-million dollar cases, because we know what it takes to manage a case from start to finish. As a result, we have won millions of dollars for our clients through settlement awards and jury verdicts. While we can guarantee no results, contact us at Shiner Law Group today to see what we can do for you.
The Grim Statistics
Florida is consistently ranking as one of the deadliest states for bicyclists. According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) Traffic Safety Facts, Florida has the highest fatality rate for cyclists in the entire nation at 6.7 fatalities per million residents. That is almost two and a half times more than the national rate of 2.6 deaths per million residents.
However, these grim statistics do not end there. Based on the Palm Beach MPO Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety Study, Palm Beach County has ranked as one of the top five counties out of 67 counties in Florida with the highest number of bicycle crashes. Even more troubling is road cyclists are not the only ones being killed or injured in the county. In fact, the overwhelming amount of crashes, injuries, and fatalities involve everyday people that are on their bikes riding for pleasure or for purposes of commuting or running errands.
Common Causes of Bicycle Accidents in West Palm Beach
Bicycle accidents in West Palm Beach often occur for a whole host of reasons.
However, some of the more common causes of this terrifying accident include:
- A motor vehicle rear-ending a cyclist trying to maneuver around a parked car in the bicycle lane.
- A motor vehicle cutting off a bike by either making a dangerous right turn or when the bicycle attempts to enter the roadway.
- A motorist of a parked motor vehicle opening their car door into the path of a bicyclist.
- A motorist running a red traffic light or failing to yield to the bicyclist.
- A motorist failing to stop at a stop sign.
- A motorist making an unexpected and dangerous move.
Although motor vehicle crashes make up a significant amount of bicycle accidents and injuries, other situations can also lead to serious bicycle accidents in West Palm Beach.
These other causes often include:
- A bicyclist colliding with an object on the road.
- A bicyclist falling off their bike when a dog or another animal attacks them.
- A bicyclist colliding with another biker or a pedestrian on the path.
- A bicyclist is hurt because of a faulty bike part.
- A bicyclist is injured because of poorly maintained streets.
Common Bicycle Injuries in West Palm Beach
Cycling accidents in West Palm Beach can result in numerous different types of injuries, often ranging in type and severity. Yet, still some common bicycling injuries tend to show up more frequently than others.
These injuries include:
- Traumatic brain and head injuries: If a cyclist falls and hits their head during an accident, they can suffer a significant head injury, ranging from a mild concussion to a serious traumatic brain injury. A traumatic brain injury (TBI) often occurs when there is a violent blow or jolt to the head. Typically, mild TBIs affect brain cells temporarily, while more severe TBIs can result in bleeding, bruising, torn tissues, and other physical damage to the brain. These injuries can often lead to long-term complications and even death.
- Road rash: Falling or skidding off a bike on the road can result in dangerous flesh injuries often known as road rash.
- Fractured bones: Some bicycle accidents are severe enough that they can result in a fractured bone. These fractures usually occur when the physical force exerted on a bone is stronger than the bone itself. Yet, even though these fractures are often treatable, they can still result in lifelong pain and various medical issues that can affect an individual’s quality of life.
- Spinal cord injuries: These injuries stem from a sudden or traumatic blow to the spine that often breaks or dislocates the vertebrae. Generally, damage to the spinal cord can result in a loss of function, feeling, and mobility. Yet, even though there is currently no cure for these types of injuries, treatments include drugs to reduce symptoms, surgery to stabilize the spine, and rehabilitation to help people with a spinal cord injury lead an independent and productive life.
- Soft tissue injuries: They include tears, bruises, dislocations, lacerations, and sprains. Although many of these injuries only require minimal medical intervention, they can still leave the victim to endure debilitating pain and issues that stop them from working or enjoying everyday activities for a significant time. Plus, these injuries can also lead to permanent scarring that can impact the victim’s overall wellbeing.
- Facial trauma: If a bicyclist falls and hits their face, it can lead to significant facial trauma and dental issues that can cost hundreds of dollars in dental bills.
- Internal bleeding and organ damage: Particularly traumatic bicycle accidents can cause internal bleeding and internal organ damage. These injuries can result in permanent damages and have a serious impact on the victim.
- Emotional trauma: Emotional trauma is a type of trauma that occurs from extraordinarily stressful events. Typically, this trauma can shatter a victim’s sense of security and make them feel helpless in their daily lives. If individuals are involved in a bicycle accident, they can struggle with difficult emotions, upsetting memories, and severe anxiety that can last the rest of their lives.
Unfortunately, most bicycle accidents, especially those that involve a motor vehicle, can result in devastating losses and life-changing injuries. That is why if you have were in such an accident, you should work with a West Palm Beach bicycle accident lawyer, like those at Shiner Law Group. These attorneys can help you go after the wrongful parties that caused your harm and fight for the justice you deserve.
Actions to Take After a West Palm Beach Bicycle Accident
No matter how safe you are trying to be while riding your bicycle, accidents still occur. In these instances, you need to know what actions you need to take, as these steps can make a huge difference in how well you protect yourself and your rights. That is why if you were in a West Palm Beach bicycle accident, you should review this checklist, which can help you maintain control of this challenging situation and preserve helpful information that could benefit your injury claim.
Following a bicycle accident, you should contact 911 immediately after the crash. This is the fastest way to get the accident on record and notify EMS that you or another victim needs medical assistance. Once the police arrive, they can investigate the bike crash and document their findings in their police report. If you decide to pursue a bicycle accident injury claim, this report can provide your claim with helpful evidence, specifically regarding what happened and who was at fault.
Gather Evidence From the Scene
If the area is safe and you do not require any immediate medical help, try to take as many pictures and videos of the accident scene as you can. This should include photos of your bike, your visible injuries, the vehicles involved in the crash, the placement of these vehicles on the road, any skid marks, the weather conditions at the time of the accident, any traffic signs near the crash scene, and any other evidence that can show what happened.
Get Medical Help as Soon as Possible
Even if you believe your injuries appear to be minor, you still need to get to a doctor after your bicycle accident and get checked over. In some instances, you can suffer a serious injury such as brain trauma, and not even know it. In fact, symptoms of this injury can take days to even weeks to manifest. Yet, the longer you wait to get medical help, the more deadly the condition can become.
Besides, obtaining medical help after your accident can be helpful for your personal injury claim. Following an accident, the insurance company may look for reasons to deny your claim.
By not getting examined by a doctor immediately after the crash, the insurance company can argue that your injuries are not that serious or are due to a subsequent event. However, when you get checked over by a medical professional shortly after your bicycle crash, these doctors would document your injuries in their medical report, providing you with evidence of a direct link between the harm you sustained and the bicycle collision.
Obtain Driver Details
If your accident involves motor vehicles, make sure you get the name of all the drivers involved, their contact information, driver’s license numbers, and insurance information.
Get Witness Contact Information
If there were people at the accident scene who saw what happened, get their name and contact information as well. These witness statements can often provide you with valuable evidence regarding what happened while also backing up your claims. However, if these individuals do not want to offer you their information or speak to you about the event, do not force them. Once a West Palm Beach bicycle accident attorney takes over your case, they could work to obtain these details and testimony for you.
Be Careful What You Say
Following your bicycle crash, you need to watch what you say. As you talk to witnesses and other people at the scene, make sure you do not make any definitive statements about what happened, apologize for any part of what occurred, or admit fault. These statements can hurt your claim and reduce the compensation you can collect.
In addition, do not post anything on social media accounts or discuss what happened on online forums. Although it may feel like a great way to release your stress and frustrations, this can provide the defense team with evidence it can use against you down the road.
Commonly Asked Questions From Victims of Bicycle Injuries
At the Shiner Law Group, we know that victims of a bicycle crash will often have numerous questions and concerns following their tragic accident. That is why if you were harmed in a West Palm Beach bicycle accident, we have prepared the below frequently asked questions. We hope with the answers provided that you will better understand your legal remedies and the financial compensation you could pursue. For more specific information about your matter, contact us today.
1. What is the statute of limitations for filing an injury claim following a bicycle accident in West Palm Beach?
If you were harmed in an accident, there are specific timelines that you need to be aware of. The statute of limitations is a law that indicates the maximum amount of time you have to bring a claim following an alleged offense. If you do not bring your lawsuit within this deadline, you cannot collect compensation for your injuries.
In Florida, the statute of limitations to bring a personal injury claim following a bicycle accident is four years from the accident date. However, there are numerous exceptions—and even exceptions to the exceptions—that can lengthen or shorten the applicable filing deadline.
As a result of these stringent time frames, you should not wait to get legal help. Following a West Palm Beach bicycle accident, reach out to a bicycle accident lawyer, such as the attorneys at the Shiner Law Group, as quickly as possible. These lawyers can promptly go over your case, figure out how much time you have to file, and help ensure that all of your documents and legal motions are prepared correctly and submitted before time expires.
In addition, just because you may have years to file your injury suit, you not should hold off for too long. In many injury cases, the longer you wait to file a claim, the higher the chance that memories will fade, evidence will disappear, and witnesses can no longer testify. All of this can affect the success of your claim and the amount of compensation you can obtain.
2. What types of compensation am I entitled to after suffering an injury following my West Palm Beach bicycle accident?
If you were injured in a bicycle accident because of another person’s wrongful actions, you may be entitled to compensation for the harm you sustained. In Florida, this compensation may include:
Economic damages: These damages include actual and verifiable losses the victim endured due to their accident.
These damages can include:
- Past, present, and future medical bills such as doctor visits, hospital stays, emergency room visits, prescription medications, and surgeries.
- Lost wages.
- Lost earning capacity.
- Personal property damage.
- At-home nursing care.
- Replacement services such as child-care services and grocery shopping services.
- Rehabilitative therapy such as occupational and physical therapy.
- Other out-of-pocket expenses.
Non-economic damages: These damages include rather subjective losses that are not easy to quantify, which may include:
- Pain and suffering.
- Emotional anguish.
- Loss of companionship.
- Loss of consortium.
- Loss of enjoyment of life.
- Loss of a limb.
Punitive damages: Depending on the facts of the case, Florida courts can award punitive damages in addition to the above compensatory damages. However, unlike compensatory damages, which compensate the victim for their losses, punitive damages punish the defendant for their egregious actions and deter them and others from committing this act again. In addition, the court only awards these damages if it finds the defendant’s behavior especially harmful. Consequently, courts only award these damages in exceptional cases.
3. How much money can I collect following my West Palm Beach bicycle accident?
Unfortunately, an attorney cannot tell you exactly how much money you can collect following a bicycle accident. This is because there are just too many factors that can impact the value of your claim.
Take, for example, the elements that can play a role in the amount of compensation you could receive:
- The severity of the injury and whether it is permanent.
- The total amount of medical expenses.
- The total amount of insurance available.
- Whether future medical care is required.
- Whether a full recovery is possible, and how long the recovery will take.
- Whether you have lost wages.
- Whether there is a loss of earning capacity.
- Whether the injury impacts your everyday activities and the ability to work.
- The reliability of the witnesses and the evidence presented.
- The wrongful party’s culpability.
Although an attorney cannot guarantee that you will receive money following a bicycle accident, when you work with a West Palm Beach bicycle accident attorney, you can rest assured that these lawyers fight hard to try and secure every last dollar your injury has cost you in financial losses and medical expenses.
4. Do I have to obey all the same traffic laws in West Palm Beach on my bicycle, as other vehicles on the road?
In Florida, bicycles are considered a vehicle, and the bicyclist a driver. Bicyclists have the same rights to the roadways as other motorists, but this also means they must obey the same traffic rules and regulations as the other drivers. This means that bicyclists need to stop at stop signs and red lights, ride with the flow of traffic, yield to the right-of-way when entering a roadway, yield to pedestrians in crosswalks, use lights at night, wear adequate safety equipment, and obey all other traffic laws.
5. Can I recover damages, if an unsafe road condition in West Palm Beach caused my bicycle accident?
If you were in a West Palm Beach bicycle accident due to uneven pavement, potholes, or other dangerous road conditions, you may have a case to recover compensation for your injuries. Typically, cases like these involve premises liability laws, which can hold property owners, landowners, maintenance companies, and governmental agencies responsible for harm and losses that occurred on a property due to unsafe conditions.
To determine if you can bring such a claim, you should contact a personal injury lawyer at the Shiner Law Group. Our attorneys can go over your case, investigate what happened, and determine if you have a viable legal claim.
6. If I was involved in a West Palm Beach bicycle accident, is the crash covered by insurance?
If your bicycle accident involved a motor vehicle, you may be entitled to receive certain benefits from your own car insurance. This is because, even if you were not driving a motor vehicle, under Florida laws, your car insurance may need to pay you PIP or personal injury protection coverage no-fault benefits for your bicycle crash. These benefits can cover some of your medical bills and the lost wages you incurred because you could not work due to the collision. In addition, your insurance may also provide you with uninsured motorist benefits.
However, to ensure that you receive all the benefits you are entitled to, you should reach out to a bicycle accident lawyer, such as those at Shiner Law Group. These attorneys can go over your insurance policy and make sure you receive all your benefits. They can also help you fill out the required insurance forms to begin your PIP benefits.
7. If the insurance company is calling me following my West Palm Beach bicycle accident, should I speak with them?
It is possible that following your bicycle accident, the insurance company will be calling. Yet, before you speak with them, it is recommended that you first discuss the case with a skilled bicycle accident lawyer. This is because insurance adjusters may try any tactic they can to get you to admit fault for an accident so that they can reduce the amount of your claim or deny it altogether. Insurance companies are businesses. Like other businesses that want to make a profit, by paying you out less, they make more.
For these reasons, if the insurance company is calling, you should be careful what you discuss with them. Never lie about what happened, but make sure you only provide them with the basic details regarding the accident. Then you can let them know that all future communications will be through your attorney. If you decide to retain the attorneys at Shiner Law Group, our lawyers can help ensure that you do not say anything that can affect your case while fighting for a settlement amount that is fair to you.
8. If the insurance company offers me a settlement amount following my West Palm Beach bicycle accident, should I accept it?
Before you accept any settlement offer from the insurance company, you need to consider certain factors. Although accepting this money may seem like an easy decision, it is not always the right one. This is because the money that you receive from the insurance company will need to cover all of your expenses, including your current bills, future medical expenses, and even your ongoing care.
However, many times, when the insurance company offers you a settlement amount, they do this as quickly as possible so that you do not take all of these factors into account and accept the money without a second look. Unfortunately, what ends up happening is you might accept a minuscule settlement that barely covers any of your expenses; and because you already accepted it, you cannot ask for more compensation down the road.
That is why you may need to wait to accept any settlement from the insurance company until after you finish all of your medical treatments and not until you speak to a knowledgeable bicycle accident attorney. This can give you a better idea of the future care you will need and determine if the proposed amount is fair to you. If it is not, these lawyers can head back to the negotiation table and fight for a settlement offer that is.
9. How can the bicycle accident lawyers at Shiner Law Group help me following my West Palm Beach bicycle accident?
Bicycle accident lawsuits often require the individual bringing the claim to have a solid understanding of Florida’s injury laws and produce relevant evidence and solid legal arguments that can show what happened and who was at fault for the crash. However, following a bicycle accident, it is very likely that this is the last thing on your mind.
Fortunately, when you retain the lawyers at Shiner Law Group, you do not have to handle these complicated legal battles on your own. Our bicycle accident attorneys can provide you the legal help you need and help you go after the compensation you deserve.
We do this by:
- Evaluating your potential legal claim and going over your legal options.
- Answering all of your questions and concerns and ensuring you receive the support you need during this challenging time.
- Investigating your West Palm Beach bicycle accident and securing the necessary evidence to prove liability and damages.
- Holding all those liable for your injuries accountable.
- Handling all the negotiations and discussions with the insurance company and making sure to fight for a fair settlement offer.
- Bringing in experts such as accident reconstructionists, engineers, and doctors to substantiate your claims.
- Taking your case to trial if the other side is unwilling to settle, and working tirelessly to bring your case to a successful decision.
Do not wait to get legal help if an injury from a bicycle accident impacts your life or the life of a family member. Contact Shiner Law Group today for a free case review at (561) 777-7700, and let our bicycle accident lawyers show you how we can help you pursue the financial recovery and justice you deserve.
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