St. Petersburg Bicycle Accident Lawyer

With Florida’s sunny weather and growing environmental awareness, many residents are turning to bicycles for their daily commutes. While this reduces traffic congestion and emissions, it also presents a unique challenge on the roads. Unfortunately, not all drivers are accustomed to sharing the road with cyclists, which can lead to serious accidents.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a bicycle accident in Florida, it’s crucial to have an experienced St. Petersburg bicycle accident lawyer on your side. At Lopez Accident Injury Attorneys, we’re dedicated to helping victims secure the compensation they deserve for their injuries and losses.

Our knowledgeable legal team understands the complexities of Florida bicycle accident law and will fight for your rights throughout the entire legal process. Contact our law office to learn more about how our legal team can help. We offer a free case evaluation and are ready to take your call as soon as possible.

Why Choose Our St. Petersburg Bicycle Accident Lawyers?

How Lopez Accident Injury Attorneys Can Help After a Bicycle Accident in St. Petersburg, FL

When bicycle accidents occur, the consequences can be catastrophic. And while you may be entitled to damages if you got hurt due to someone else’s negligence, getting the money you need can be challenging.

That’s where our personal injury lawyers in St. Petersburg, FL can help. While you focus on getting better, Lopez Accident Injury Attorneys will:

  • Handle your personal injury claim from start to finish.
  • Conduct a thorough investigation into the bicycle crash.
  • Determine why it happened and who’s at fault.
  • Defend you if the insurance company or other parties attempt to blame you for getting hurt.
  • Negotiate with other parties to get you the best possible terms in a settlement agreement.
  • Prepare your case as if it’s going to go to trial in case the insurance company refuses to give you a fair deal.

We’re here to help make things as easy as possible after your bicycle crash. Give our St. Petersburg bicycle accident attorneys a call or reach out to us online to learn more about your legal rights and options today.

How Common Are Bicycle Crashes in St. Petersburg, Florida?

St. Petersburg is one of the most beautiful places to ride a bike in the nation. It’s also one of the most dangerous when it comes to bicycle accidents. In fact, bicycle accidents have always been problematic in Pinellas County, and they’ve only gotten worse in recent years.

Recently, there were 513 auto accidents involving bicyclists in St. Petersburg and across Pinellas County. By the following year, the number of bicycle-involved collisions increased to 518.

On top of that, there were at least 545 bicycle crashes reported in St. Petersburg and surrounding cities another recent year. Bicycle accidents accounted for nearly 11 percent of all motor vehicle accident fatalities.

As a result of those 545 collisions,

  • 17 people were killed, and
  • 503 bicyclists were injured.

What Causes Most Bicycle Accidents in St. Petersburg, Florida?

Most bicycle crashes in St. Petersburg happen because someone is negligent. In other words, someone is careless and fails to use reasonable caution while sharing the road with a cyclist.

Some common examples of things that cause bicycle accidents in St. Petersburg include:

  • Speeding
  • Failure to maintain lane.
  • Failure to yield the right of way to bicyclists, especially at an intersection.
  • Distracted driving
  • Drunk driving 
  • Failure to leave an adequate cushion between cars and bicycles.
  • Limited visibility
  • Road construction
  • Road defects
  • Inadequate or non-existent bike lanes or dedicated bicycle infrastructure

In some situations, bicycle accidents happen because a vehicle or component of a bike is defective or malfunctions. Other times, inclement weather can make road surfaces slick and increase the odds of a crash, even when everyone is using caution.

What’s My Personal Injury Case Worth After a Bicycle Crash in St. Petersburg?

It depends because every person is different. There are, however, certain factors that will influence the valuation of your case, such as:

  • What types of injuries did you suffer?
  • Did your bike accident aggravate any pre-existing injuries or medical conditions?
  • Will you be able to make a full physical recovery?
  • What are your out-of-pocket costs?
  • What kind of long-term impact will the bicycle accident and resulting injuries have on your life?
  • How much pain and suffering have you endured?

Generally, cases involving more catastrophic bicycle injuries or wrongful death are worth the most. But that’s not to say that cases involving more moderate injuries aren’t valuable. In fact, we know that every penny counts when you’re putting your life back together after a bike accident.

Contact a St. Petersburg bicycle accident attorney from our law firm to find out how we can help you maximize your financial recovery. We’ll be your fiercest advocate and work tirelessly to secure an award that reflects the full value of your bicycle accident case.

What Damages Can a St. Petersburg Bicycle Accident Attorney Help You Recover?

When it comes to bicycle accidents, you may be entitled to recover compensation for both your financial losses and the intangible impacts of the accident. These two categories of damages are generally referred to as economic damages and non-economic damages.

Economic Damages

Economic damages are those that have a clear and verifiable financial cost due to a bicycle accident. These can include:

  • Medical expenses: This covers the costs associated with your bicycle accident treatment, such as hospitalization, surgery, medication, and physical therapy.
  • The cost of medical equipment or devices: If you require any assistive devices due to your injuries, these costs can be included.
  • Property damage: This covers any damage to your bicycle or other personal belongings in the accident.
  • Lost wages and benefits: If you missed work due to the accident, you can be compensated for your lost income and any benefits you missed out on.
  • Reduced earning capacity: If your injuries have impacted your ability to work in the future, you can be compensated for the income you are likely to lose.

Non-Economic Damages

Non-economic damages, on the other hand, are meant to compensate for the non-financial impacts of your injuries. These are often subjective and can be more challenging to quantify, but they are still very real and impactful. Examples of non-economic damages include:

  • Chronic pain: This can include physical discomfort as well as the ongoing challenges of managing pain.
  • Mental anguish and suffering: This encompasses the emotional distress you experienced due to the accident, such as anxiety, depression, and fear.
  • PTSD and depression: If the accident caused you to develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or depression, you can be compensated for the associated challenges and treatment costs.
  • Embarrassment: If the accident caused you emotional distress related to scarring, disfigurement, or other long-term effects, this can be considered.
  • Loss of consortium: This refers to the loss of companionship, intimacy, and support you experience due to the impact of your injuries on your relationship with your spouse or partner.

It’s important to note that this list is not exhaustive, and other damages may be applicable depending on the specific circumstances of your case. Additionally, if there is clear evidence that the other party acted with intentional malice or reckless disregard for your safety, you may also be eligible for punitive damages. However, these are awarded much less frequently than economic and non-economic damages.

St. Petersburg Bicycle Accident Attorneys Help You Seek Compensation for Your Bicycle Accident Injuries

While wearing a helmet is undeniably crucial for bicycle safety, it’s important to remember that it’s not a complete shield. Even with a helmet, riders remain vulnerable to a range of potentially life-altering or even fatal injuries in the event of a crash.

Here are some of the serious injuries’ cyclists can sustain:

  • Broken bones and fractures: These commonly affect the arms, wrists, legs, collarbone, and ribs, requiring extensive recovery time and potentially surgery.
  • Burns: Road rash is the most common type, but more severe burns can occur from contact with hot engine parts or fires.
  • Neck injuries and back injuries: These can range from muscle strains to whiplash to spinal cord damage, causing significant pain, limited mobility, and long-term complications.
  • Spinal cord injuries: These can result in paralysis or limited mobility, dramatically impacting a person’s life.
  • Amputation: In severe crashes, especially involving large vehicles, amputation of limbs can occur.
  • Degloving injuries: These involve the tearing away of skin and tissue from the underlying bone, muscle, and nerves, requiring complex surgical reconstruction.
  • Eye and face injuries: These can range from minor cuts and scrapes to serious damage requiring specialized medical attention.
  • Joint injuries: Dislocations, sprains, and ligament damage can cause significant pain, instability, and long-term limitations in movement.
  • Soft tissue damage: This includes injuries to muscles, ligaments, and tendons, causing pain, swelling, and potentially affecting mobility.
  • Nerve damage: This can lead to persistent pain, numbness, tingling, and weakness in the affected area, depending on the severity.
  • Internal bleeding and organ damage: These are life-threatening situations requiring immediate medical intervention.

Always seek medical care as soon as you can after getting into a bicycle collision in St. Petersburg, FL. Prompt medical treatment will keep you safe and limit the chances of complications. It will also help establish a link between the crash and your resulting trauma. This can make it easier to win your case and maximize your financial recovery. 

How Do I Prove Negligence After a Bicycle Accident?

Following a bicycle accident, establishing negligence on the part of another party is crucial for seeking compensation for your injuries and damages. Here’s what you need to know:

Elements of Negligence:

Similar to car accidents, proving negligence in a bicycle accident case requires demonstrating four elements:

  1. Duty of Care: Both motorists and bicyclists owe each other a duty to act with reasonable care on the road. This means following traffic laws, maintaining awareness of surroundings, and taking necessary precautions to avoid causing harm.
  2. Breach of Duty: The other party must have failed to uphold their duty of care. This could involve actions like speeding, distracted driving, disobeying traffic signals, or driving under the influence, which ultimately contributed to the accident.
  3. Causation: The breach of duty must be a direct cause of the accident and your resulting injuries.
  4. Damages: You must have suffered damages as a result of the accident, such as medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, or property damage.

Can I Still Get Money if I’m Blamed for a Bicycle Collision in Florida?

As long as you’re 50% or less at fault, yes.

Florida has a modified comparative negligence system in place that prevents a monetary recovery if your share of fault exceeds 50%. You can share 50% or less of the blame for a bike accident and still recover compensation.

However, your settlement or jury award will be adjusted to reflect your role. Damages are reduced in direct proportion to your degree of fault.

If you’re assigned 40 percent of the blame, your damages will be reduced by that amount. That could mean getting $60,000 for a case valued at $100,000.

Insurance companies and at-fault parties will want to take advantage of this rule. So, they’ll probably try to blame you for the bike accident by saying that you weren’t paying attention or veered out of your dedicated bike lane.

When you’re represented by Lopez Accident Injury Attorneys, our bicycle accident lawyers in St. Petersburg will be prepared for these tactics. We’ll stand up and fight back, working to minimize the amount of blame you’re assigned (if any).

What’s the Difference Between a Bicycle Accident Claim and a Bicycle Accident Lawsuit in FL?

In Florida, the key difference between a bicycle personal injury claim and a lawsuit lies in how you seek compensation and the level of formality involved:

Bicycle Accident Claim:

  • Informal process: You typically file a claim with the at-fault party’s insurance company, outlining your injuries and requesting compensation.
  • Negotiation: The insurance company assesses your claim and negotiates a settlement amount with you.
  • Faster resolution: Claims can generally be resolved quicker than lawsuits, sometimes within a few weeks or months.
  • No guarantee of compensation: The insurance company may deny your claim or offer a lower settlement than you deserve.

Bicycle Accident Lawsuit:

  • Formal process: You file a lawsuit in court against the at-fault party, formally initiating legal proceedings.
  • Judge or jury decides: A judge or jury determines fault and the appropriate compensation based on the evidence presented.
  • Longer resolution: Lawsuits can take months or even years to resolve.
  • Potential for higher compensation: A successful lawsuit can result in a higher award than a settlement offer, but there’s also a risk of receiving nothing if you lose the case.

Additional factors to consider:

  • Severity of injuries: In cases with severe injuries and substantial damages, a lawsuit might be necessary to obtain fair compensation.
  • Legal representation: An experienced personal injury attorney can guide you through the process, whether pursuing a claim or a lawsuit, and advocate for your best interests.

Remember, this is a simplified explanation, and the specific details of your case will influence the best course of action. Consulting with a qualified personal injury lawyer in Florida is crucial to understand your options and navigate the legal process effectively.

How Long Do I Have to Seek Compensation After a Florida Bicycle Accident?

Under Florida law, the statute of limitations is two years from the accident date. Historically, personal injury lawsuits had a four-year statutory deadline, but the state law was changed on March 24, 2023.

For cases involving wrongful death, lawsuits must be filed within two years of the date of death to be valid. Don’t miss the deadline that applies to your bicycle accident case. If you do, you’ll forfeit the opportunity to recover the compensation you need and deserve.

Schedule a Free Consultation with a St. Petersburg Bicycle Accident Lawyer

You’ve got enough to worry about after a bike accident without the added stress of an insurance claim or lawsuit. At Lopez Accident Injury Attorneys, we can help. Let a bicycle personal injury lawyer from our law firm fight for your compensation.

We have 25+ years of combined experience and have won millions for injury victims and families in Florida. In addition to that, your first case evaluation is free, and we work on a contingency fee basis, which means there’s no attorney’s fees unless we win your case. Give us a call today so we can help you move forward with your life after experiencing a bicycle accident due to negligence.

Visit Our Personal Injury Office in St. Petersburg, FL

Lopez Accident Injury Attorneys
700 7th Ave N Suite B St. Petersburg, FL 33701
(727) 933-0015

We are available 24/7 to take your call; contact us today.

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