Hallandale Beach Bicycle Accident Attorney
With ample sun and tree-lined boulevards, tourists and residents alike enjoy taking in the sights of Hallandale Beach on a bicycle. Due to the large number of tourists who wind up moving here to live after retirement, the city ranks as one of the fastest-growing areas in the Miami metropolitan district.
Unfortunately, the combination of bicyclists and a densely packed population that features many new and aging residents unfamiliar with the roadway can lead to dangerous or even deadly accidents between motorists and bicyclists. Indeed, Florida ranks as the most dangerous state in the country for bicyclists, accounting for more than 800 bicyclists killed in the nation each year.
If a Hallandale Beach bicycle accident injured you, an experienced attorney from the Law Offices of Jared Spingarn can help you understand the process of seeking compensation for your injuries through a bicycle accident lawsuit. Generally, you must file your bicycle accident claim within four years from the date on which the accident occurred.
Table of Contents
- How Do Hallandale Beach Bicycle Accidents Happen
- Hallandale Beach Bicycle Accident FAQ,
- Get legal help today!
How Do Hallandale Beach Bicycle Accidents Happen?
Florida law considers bicyclists, along with pedestrians, to be vulnerable road users.
- Distracted drivers: Driving distractions cause all types of accidents and pose a particular danger to vulnerable road users, such as bicyclists and pedestrians. Driving distractions are divided into three main categories: (1) manual distractions, which cause drivers to take their hands off the wheel; (2) visual distractions, which avert the driver’s eyes from watching the roadway; and (3) cognitive distractions, which draw the driver’s attention from the task of driving safely. Texting and other types of cell phone use constitute a particular concern for city and state officials, as these activities present all three types of driving distractions. In the time it takes for a driver to read or respond to a text, the driver may travel the entire distance of a football field without looking at the road. This amounts to plenty of time for an unsuspecting bicyclist to enter an intersection and for a faster-moving vehicle to strike the bike. An estimated 40 percent of all bicycle accidents involve a bicyclist suffering a rear-end accident with a motorist.
- Inattentional blindness: Drivers that cause accidents with a bicyclist often claim that they didn’t see the bike. While this sounds like an easy attempt to shift liability off of the driver and onto the bicyclist, drivers often don’t see bikers that share the road. Inattentional blindness refers to the way the brain prioritizes hazards. In a perfect situation, in which a driver is paying attention to the road and constantly scanning the surrounding area for dangers, that driver’s mind prioritizes identifying the largest objects that could potentially cause the most damage. The largest objects on the roadway rarely include bicycles, motorcycles, or pedestrians, but rather passenger vehicles, SUVs, and commercial trucks and buses. Because of this, a driver may look right at a bicyclist directly ahead and not actually notice the bike’s presence.
- Failure to yield: All roadway users must yield the right-of-way to other roadway users in certain circumstances, such as at red lights or stop signs, crosswalks, when pulling or backing out onto the roadway from a parking lot or private drive, when making a left turn at an intersection that doesn’t feature a green turn arrow, or when making a U-turn. Failure to yield constitutes the leading cause of intersection accidents and a major hazard for bicyclists. Motorists often fail to realize that bicyclists have the same right to use the roadway as any other vehicle, leading to many failure-to-yield bicycle accidents.
- Riding at night: Inattentional blindness aside, bicycles are far less visible than other vehicles on the roadway, and this is particularly true at night when visibility is already reduced. While slightly more bicycle accidents occur during the daytime hours, the rate of bicycle accident fatalities goes up during the evening and late-night hours.
- Alcohol impairment: An estimated 37 percent of all bicycle accidents involve liquor. Alcohol impairment degrades the skills needed for safe driving, including the ability to pay attention to the task of driving, to multitask, to track moving targets, to brake or steer effectively, to maintain one’s lane of travel, and to exercise good judgment.
- Speeding: Speeding not only reduces the time the driver has to perceive danger and respond by braking, but it also increases the distance that the brakes need to pull the vehicle to a complete and safe stop. Additionally, speeding can make it difficult for other roadway users to accurately judge if the gap in traffic will allow sufficient time to cross the travel lane. All of these issues create life-threatening dangers for a relatively unprotected bicyclist.
Most Common Victims of Bicycle Accidents
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the individuals most likely to suffer injuries in a bicycle accident include:
- Adults. Many people believe that bicycle accidents most commonly involve children; however, the average age of a bicyclist killed in an accident has been increasing over the past many years. Currently, the average age is 47.
- Males. The vast majority of bicyclists killed in accidents on U.S. roadways are male. Men in the 50 to 54-year-old age group are the most common victims, and men die in bicycle accidents at eight times the rate of women.
- Urban bicyclists. 75 percent of fatal bicycle accidents occur in the city, compared to 25 percent outside of the city.
Injuries Caused by Bicycle Accidents
Florida only requires bicyclists under the age of 16 to wear helmets when riding their bikes on roadways in the state. An estimated 36 percent of bicyclists in the state do not wear helmets. Without a helmet, a rider is more likely to suffer traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), which involve damage to the brain caused by a sudden, violent blow to the head or body. About 166 brain injury-related deaths occur in the U.S. each day, and around 1.5 million people sustain a TBI each year.
The brain, despite controlling nearly all of the body’s functions and involuntary responses, has only a limited ability to heal itself after an injury. Because of this, TBI victims often face permanent disabilities that disrupt every aspect of their lives.
Other common injuries that occur in bicycle accidents include:
- Facial trauma, including cuts, bruises, and abrasions to the skin, fractures to the teeth or facial bones, or damage to the eyes.
- Spinal injuries, including damage to the spinal cord, fractured vertebrae in the back or neck, or bulging or ruptured discs. Individuals involved in bicycle accidents also often suffer soft tissue injuries in the neck. Back and neck injuries can prove extremely painful, can alter your ability to carry out daily tasks, and can even cause paralysis over some or all of your body. Paralysis involves a loss of sensation and function below the site of the injury and most often results due to damage to the spinal cord, which extends from the base of the skull to the waist.
- Road rash, also known as friction burn, occurs when the skin makes contact with a rough surface, such as asphalt. While this type of injury often heals fully within days or weeks with at-home care, injured individuals face a risk of infection with the injury, particularly if the injury cuts deep enough to expose muscle or bone; involves a foreign object, such as a pebble or a piece of glass embedded in the wound; covers a large portion of a limb; occurs on a sensitive spot on the body, such as the hands, face, feet, or genitals; or bleeds excessively.
- Bone fractures. Bicyclists can break bones due to contact with the windshield or side of a vehicle, or from becoming airborne after impact by a vehicle. Bicyclists commonly suffer fractures to the arms and wrists in an accident due to the body’s instinctive urge to catch itself when falling by outstretching the arms.
- Damage to the joints. The knees, ankles, shoulders, and wrists of a bicyclist involved in an accident with a motor vehicle often become injured due to the force of the collision and the brain’s attempt to protect the body from falling or impact through the use of the limbs.
- Internal damage. The impact of the body against a vehicle or other objects can result in damage to the internal organs. Organs that most frequently suffer damage in bicycle accidents include the lungs, spleen, kidney, and liver.
Hallandale Beach Bicycle Accident FAQ
Following a severe bicycle accident, many people have multiple questions about their right to compensation, including the steps they need to take next to maximize their odds of recovering the compensation they deserve. Jared Spingarn can help. Contact our office with specific questions related to your bicycle accident claim.
1. Who has to pay my medical bills after a bicycle accident in Hallandale Beach?
Whether you receive treatment through progressive Medical Center, Aventura Hospital and Medical Center, or one of the many other medical care facilities in the Hallandale Beach area, you may find that your medical bills mount quickly following a severe accident. Dealing with those bills can feel like an impossible task, especially as you try to manage your recovery.
However, as the injured party, you will need to make arrangements to pay all the medical bills from your Hallandale Beach bicycle accident. Fortunately, you have some options that can make it easier for you to take care of those expenses.
Use the Funds From Your Bike Accident Claim
If someone else’s negligence caused your bicycle accident, you could use the funds from a personal injury claim to take care of your medical expenses. However, it may take time to get those funds in hand. In the meantime, you may need to let your medical care providers know that you intend to use the funds from a personal injury claim to pay for your medical expenses.
Use Your Health Insurance
Do you carry health insurance? If so, you may use that health insurance to help cover many of the initial medical costs associated with a serious accident. Talk to your health insurance provider to learn more about your coverage, including whether it might cover in-home medical care or the cost of durable medical equipment, including mobility aids.
Negotiate the cost of needed medical care.
Some Florida hospitals may assist patients who have suffered serious injuries and need substantial medical treatment. Others will work with low-income patients so they have the help they need to pay their medical bills. Talk to your medical care provider about the challenges you may face and your next steps.
2. If I do not wear a helmet and suffer a brain injury, do I still have the right to file a bicycle accident claim in Hallandale Beach?
Wearing a bicycle helmet can significantly reduce the risk of brain injury in an accident. Riders who wear helmets not only suffer fewer head and neck injuries in general, but they may also suffer less-severe injuries than other riders involved in similar accidents. Florida law does require riders under 16 to wear a helmet but does not offer the same restriction for older riders.
If you suffer injuries in a bicycle accident due to someone else’s negligence, you have the right to file a compensation claim, even if you suffer traumatic brain injury because you did not wear a bicycle helmet. Talk to our lawyers about the injuries you sustained and how the other party’s negligent actions may have contributed to them.
3. If a car door opens as I ride past, and I suffer injuries, do I have grounds for a claim?
If a passenger in a car, or the driver of that car, causes injuries as he opens a door, you have the same right to compensation that you would have if the liable party struck you with the vehicle directly. You can apply for compensation through the driver’s auto insurance policy, just like you would if you had an accident because the driver lost control of the vehicle while on the road or failed to notice your presence.
4. What should I do to protect myself after a bicycle accident in Hallandale Beach?
If you have a bicycle accident that involves another party’s negligence, you need to carefully protect yourself to reduce the potential financial strain associated with your accident and ensure that you do not miss any injuries that could cause serious problems later.
First, make sure that you contact the Hallandale Beach Police Department to report the accident. Let the police know about the location of the accident, and wait for an officer to arrive. If you have suffered injuries in your bicycle accident, you may also use your 911 call to bring an ambulance to the scene of the accident.
Give the police a clear assessment of what led to the accident, whether the driver opened a door into you as you tried to bike by or the driver hit you on the road. Share any information you may have noticed about what contributed to the bicycle accident, including any notes about the driver’s other behaviors.
Next, seek medical attention. If you can clearly see or feel that you suffered serious injuries in the accident, you may need to proceed to the emergency room immediately. On the other hand, if you do not have clear injuries, you may want to go to an urgent care center for a medical evaluation. Either way, do not ignore the potential for injuries or avoid medical care. Often, accident victims fail to get the medical attention they need, which can lead to more severe injuries later.
Finally, contact an attorney to learn more about how to progress with a bicycle accident claim. An attorney can investigate the accident and collect evidence to prove your right to compensation and the compensation you deserve.
5. Do I need an attorney to help handle a Hallandale Beach bicycle accident claim?
Any time you suffer injuries in an accident, having an attorney on your side can prove critical to your ability to recover the full compensation you might deserve for those injuries.
An attorney can help assess the compensation you might deserve and provide you with more evidence about it as well as helping you as you move forward with your claim: negotiating with the insurance company, collecting evidence related to the accident, and even, in some cases, fighting to help you get the compensation you deserve.
Many Hallandale Beach bicycle accident victims find that working with an experienced personal injury attorney offers the best chance of recovering the full compensation they deserve.
6. How much does it cost to hire a bicycle accident lawyer in Hallandale Beach?
Hiring a lawyer to help handle your bicycle accident claim may prove less expensive than you originally thought. At The Law Offices of Jared Spingarn, we start with a free consultation to help go over your bicycle accident and the compensation you may deserve.
In many cases, we accept our cases on a contingent fee basis, which means that we take our compensation out of a percentage of the settlement or court award our clients receive, rather than asking for payment for our legal services upfront. By taking cases on a contingent fee basis, we make it easier for many people to afford the quality legal representation they need in a serious accident claim.
In addition, you may need to carefully consider how much it can cost not to have an attorney on your side. Often, an attorney can help make sure that you get a fair settlement offer: one that genuinely reflects the financial losses you have sustained as a result of the accident.
Without an attorney, you may not even fully recognize the compensation you deserve for your injuries, and you may have a hard time getting the insurance company to issue a reasonable settlement offer. Contact The Law Offices of Jared Spingarn today.
7. What should I do if the insurance company issues a settlement offer after my Hallandale Beach bicycle accident?
Insurance companies often try to get ahead of a potential personal injury claim by sending out a settlement offer soon after the accident. You may get a call from an insurance adjuster with an offer that the adjuster claims will provide you with the essential compensation you need for your injuries.
On further examination, however, you may uncover the truth about that offer: it reflects only a small percentage of the damages you may have sustained in your bicycle accident, and it does not reflect your needs.
If you receive a settlement offer from the insurance company, do not accept it immediately. Instead, ask for time to think the offer over. You can then take the offer to your lawyer, who can provide you with a better assessment of how much compensation you might deserve for your injuries. If that offer does not reflect your needs, you do not have to accept it, nor should you give in to pressure from the insurance company to accept any offer that does not fit your needs.
You should not receive a time-limited offer from the insurance company. If the insurance company pressures you to accept an offer quickly, without time to look it over, it often means that it knows the offer will not fit your needs—and that the insurance company wants to limit its financial liability for the accident as much as possible.
Working with an attorney can give you a better idea of what rights you have when considering an insurance settlement offer and what steps you need to take to protect those rights, including your right to compensation.
8. Does the driver involved in a bicycle accident always bear liability for the accident?
Often, drivers in Hallandale Beach may bear liability for a bicycle accident. Tourists may not realize that they have to pay attention to bike riders around them or may not recognize the road. Even residents may get in a hurry and fail to allow adequate room and time for a bicycle to maneuver safely. Furthermore, it can be more challenging to pick out the visual profile of a bicycle than it is to pick out a passenger vehicle on the road since bicycles take up so much less space.
However, that does not mean drivers always bear liability for bicycle accidents. Sometimes, the bicycle rider may cause the accident due to inattention or negligence, including ignoring the rules of the road. When on the road, bicycle riders must follow the same laws as other drivers, including exercising caution to reduce the risk of an accident.
Furthermore, sometimes, other factors can contribute to bicycle accidents. For example, the manufacturer of the bicycle might bear liability when a mechanical failure with the bicycle ends up causing an accident. If a driver’s employer has dangerous policies that increase the risk that the driver will cause an accident, the employer might also bear some liability for the accident. Talking to an attorney can offer your best chance of determining all parties that may share liability for the accident. Contact The Law Offices of Jared Spingarn today.
9. If I ride in the middle of a lane of traffic, and a vehicle hits me, do I bear partial liability for the accident?
In Florida, you have the right to use an entire lane of traffic when riding on your bicycle as long as you keep up with the traffic around you if there is not a bike lane available.
Using a bike lane offers a safer way to get around, when possible. Throughout much of the primary areas in Hallandale Beach, you can get around on your bicycle using bike lanes and other convenient alternatives to biking on the road, use them when possible.
However, if a driver causes an accident with you, the driver may bear liability for the accident.
Talk to an attorney if you have questions about liability regarding your Hallandale Beach bicycle accident. We are here to help you. Contact The Law Offices of Jared Spingarn as soon as possible.
How a Hallandale Beach Bicycle Accident Lawyer Can Help With Your Case
When you’ve suffered serious injuries in a bicycle accident, life can prove extremely stressful and confusing. You have priorities in your life that your injury prevents you from attending to, expenses mount, and the severity of your injury may even impact the relationships that you have with your family and friends. A Hallandale Beach bicycle accident lawyer from the Law Offices of Jared Springarn can provide the legal experience and deep understanding of the accident claim process that you need to pursue maximum compensation through a bicycle accident lawsuit. An experienced attorney will know when to continue negotiating with insurance companies and when to take your case to trial.
To receive compensation for your injuries through a bicycle accident lawsuit, you must prove that your injuries occurred as the result of someone’s negligence.
To do this, you must establish:
- The at-fault party owed you a duty of care, which refers to the way a reasonable person would act in similar circumstances to prevent others from suffering harm. The duty of care that a driver owes to other roadway users is to drive safely and legally.
- The at-fault party breached the duty of care. Drivers breach their duty of care to other users of the roadway by exhibiting behavior contrary to the duty of care, such as driving while distracted, while impaired by alcohol and/or drugs, or too fast for road conditions.
- The at-fault party’s breach of the duty of care caused an accident that resulted in your injuries and subsequent financial and psychological impacts.
Florida allows bicycle accident claimants to use the legal process to recover economic and non-economic damages. Recovering damages involves obtaining compensation for the expenses (economic damages) and impacts (non-economic damages) that you’ve incurred already and will continue to incur because of your injury.
Economic damages that you may qualify to recover include:
- Medical expenses, such as emergency treatment, ambulance transport, hospitalization, the services of physicians and surgeons, prescription medication, physical therapy and rehabilitation, and the provision of assistive devices such as prosthetics, a wheelchair, or crutches.
- Lost wages resulting from being too injured to work.
- Loss of future earning capacity if you acquire permanent disabilities from your injury that impact your ability to earn an income in the future.
Examples of the type of non-economic damages you can claim include:
- Physical pain and suffering.
- Emotional distress.
- Loss of the enjoyment of life, if your injury prevents you from participating in hobbies and activities you previously enjoyed.
- Loss of consortium, which involves compensating an injured individual’s spouse for loss of physical intimacy and companionship.
Let an experienced Hallandale Beach bicycle accident lawyer from the Law Offices of Jared Spingarn provide more information about the bicycle accident claims process and outline the services that our legal team can provide for you, such as determining liability, establishing a value to your case that is based on the expenses and impacts you have already incurred as well as those you will likely face in the future, handling all settlement negotiations, collecting evidence and witness testimony that you need to prove your case, providing litigation services, and collecting your settlement or award.
“What a great team. Took care of my accident case and got me a very great settlement. Thank you so much to the team for their great efforts and always being transparent with all the information they provided. Highly recommend they will take care of you like family.”
2500 E. Hallandale Beach Blvd., #808
Hallandale Beach, FL 33009