Cyclists are vulnerable road users, and bicycle accidents may lead to severe injuries with lasting consequences. If you’re a bicycle accident victim, the person responsible for the accident should be liable for your injuries. Look for a Tampa bicycle accident lawyer to seek compensation for your injuries.
How to Determine Whether You’re Eligible for Bicycle Accident Compensation
If you’ve suffered a severe injury and want to sue the at-fault party, some factors to consider include proving that the defendant owed you a duty of care, and failed to perform as such, and that this driver’s action led to your injuries. The following is a breakdown of these three aspects.
Proving Another Person Owed You a Duty of Care
Motorists have a duty of care toward bicyclists in the following ways:
- By understanding that bicyclists have similar rights and responsibilities on the road
- Looking carefully for bicyclists before turning, merging into a bicycle lane, or opening doors
- Respecting a bicyclist’s right of way
- Carefully overtaking bicyclists from the furthest left side
Proving Motorists Didn’t Perform Their Duty of Care
In this step, you’ll have to prove that the motorist didn’t perform their duty of care, hence the bicycle accident. The following are some of the actions that show a motorist didn’t fulfill their duty of care:
- Illegal turns
- Illegal passing
- Following too closely
Proving You Suffered Injuries
You cannot collect compensation in a bicycle accident without valid injuries. This means you must have enough evidence proving that you suffered injuries due to the at-fault party’s failure to perform their duty of care. You may use the following evidence to prove your injuries.
Photo and Videos about the Accident
It’s easier to gather photo and video evidence of a bicycle accident with a smartphone and surveillance footage. You may use this evidence to connect your injuries to the motorist’s failure to perform their duty of care.
Medical records are relevant evidence that proves that you suffered injuries from a bicycle accident. They include the date and type of treatment, doctor’s visits, and rehabilitation information related to the treatment.
A victim’s statement may be powerful when proving that you suffered injuries from a bicycle accident. You may use this to prove critical aspects, such as whether you had protective gear at the accident.
You may involve mechanical and medical expert witnesses to prove that you suffered injuries from a bicycle accident. A mechanical expert witness will reconstruct the accident to show a connection between the motorist’s actions and the injuries you’ve suffered. A medical expert witness will confirm that your injuries are associated with your bicycle accident.
Types of Compensation from a Bicycle Accident
Any party that contributes to a bicycle accident should compensate for all the expenses suffered by the victim. You may recover the following damages from the at-fault party.
Medical costs refer to all expenses associated with your treatment. It includes all costs, even if you visited the doctor for a few stitches or spent time in the hospital to heal your injuries. It also involves all post-accident medical expenses associated with your rehabilitation.
If your bicycle accident caused you to miss work, whether to visit a doctor or recover from your injuries, you’re eligible for compensation. You should seek compensation for the amount equal to what you would have earned if you could return to work. You may also seek compensation for future lost income if you suffer severe injuries that interfere with your ability to return to work.
A bicycle accident attorney in Tampa can help you fight for the compensation you need.
Pain and Suffering
Pain and suffering refer to a host of emotional and physical damage that results from an accident. This includes physical pain from injuries and emotional suffering associated with disfigurement, anxiety, and other lingering psychological issues related to the accident.
These are unique damages that punish the at-fault party for their gross negligence and malicious actions. You may seek punitive damages through a civil lawsuit rather than filing a claim with the insurance company.
The Statute of Limitations for Bicycle Accident Lawsuits in Florida
According to Florida’s statute of limitations, you have four years to file your bicycle accident lawsuit. This timeline starts from the date of the bicycle accident. If you fail to meet this deadline, the court will most certainly dismiss your case, so you will lose your right to seek damages for the injuries you’ve suffered.
However, specific exceptions to this four-year timeline apply. These factors include:
- If you’re incapacitated during the time of the accident. However, note that there is a seven-year limit for the date of the accident and filing of the lawsuit without a guaranteed extension.
- The person responsible for the accident or your injuries has fled the state of Florida after the accident and before you filed the lawsuit.
- The at-fault party changed or concealed their name or identity to prevent being served with a summons.
You should note that the statute of limitations for a claim against the government is different. You may seek a claim against the government if your bicycle accident was a result of a road hazard created by the city government. Your Tampa bicycle accident attorney may advise you on the way forward for this kind of case.
Seek Help from a Bicycle Accident Lawyer in Tampa
Eltringham Law Group accident injury attorneys are here to help you get compensation for your Tampa bicycle accident. We will work hard for you to hold the at-fault party liable for your injuries and to compensate for your damages. Contact us today and schedule a complimentary consultation.