Miami Bicycle Accident Lawyer
801 Brickell Avenue, Suite 900
Miami, Florida 33131
Anyone who has driven a car in the South Florida – Miami –
Dade County area knows that bicycles and motor vehicles must occasionally
share some quite congested streets. Most of the time this sharing goes
without conflict, but there are times when things do not go so well and
an accident occurs. In a large number of cases these accidents result
in injuries to children under the age of 16.
Bicycle accident injuries can range from minor cuts and scrapes to broken
bones to brain and spinal cord damage and, occasionally, death. Of all
these injuries, damage to the brain or spine can lead to months of hospital
care followed by more months of rehabilitation. It goes without saying
that, aside from death, brain and spine injuries can be the most devastating
to family life.
Bicycle Laws Statewide And In Miami – Dade County
Under Florida Law, a bicycle is considered a “vehicle” and
its rider is considered a “driver.” State law requires that
all bicyclists must obey the state and local traffic laws as if they were
driving a car or a motorcycle. If a city or town allows bicycles to use
the sidewalk, as does Miami and most other municipalities, bicyclists
must obey the same rules as a pedestrian. The only law that that is specific
to bicyclists is that a bicyclist under the age of 16, or a passenger
under the age of 16 on a bicycle, must wear a helmet.
Who Pays For Injuries In Bicycle Accidents?
Responsibility for paying the medical bills for injuries for any type of
accident has is traditionally fallen to the party whose negligence caused
the accident. Over the years this tradition has changed in large part
due to Florida’s mandatory vehicle insurance law and its status
as a “no fault” state. These laws, and others, have led to
a rather complicated system of determining who is responsible for which expenses.
First of all, Florida is a “no-fault” state. This means that
an injured automobile driver must first turn to the driver’s own
automobile insurance’s Personal Injury Protection to pay medical
expenses related to an auto accident, regardless of which driver caused
the accident. Personal Injury Protection also extends to an auto owner
who is injured while riding a bicycle.
An injured bike rider must first file a claim with his or her auto insurance
company, even though they were on their bike rather than in their car
when the accident happened. If and when the car insurance medical benefits
are exhausted, the bike rider’s personal health insurance assumes
responsibility for medical expenses.
Should the bike rider be a child or someone without auto insurance AND
the rider lives with their parents, the parents’ auto insurance
will pay up to the policy’s limits and then the family’s health
insurance takes over.
If the bicycle rider does not own a car, does not live with their parents,
and does not have health insurance, the only way to meet medical expenses
will likely be to file a personal injury claim against the responsible
party by retaining a bicycle accident attorney.
From the above examples it is obvious that questions of liability and financial
responsibility can be more than confusing and quite often the only choice
in settling these issues is to take the matter to court in a bicycle accident lawsuit.
Filing A Lawsuit In Bicycle Accident Cases In Miami, FL
If you were injured in a bicycle accident and are considering a lawsuit
to recover medical expenses and other damages, you should be aware that
there are time limits for filing your lawsuit. These time limits are called
statutes of limitations and are the same as in most other personal injury
lawsuits: for personal injuries the lawsuit the must be filed within 4
years of the date of injury and for wrongful death the lawsuit must be
filed within 2 years of the date of death.
The bicycle accident lawyer at the Doan Law Firm understands how complicated
the legal issues of a bicycle accident injury can be and is ready to assist
those injured in such an accident, and their families, in claiming their
legal right to be compensated for their injuries.
The bicycle accident lawyer at the Doan Law firm can be reached by calling
(786) 671-0000 at any time. At the Doan Law Firm your first consultation
is always free and you are never required to use our firm to manage your
bicycle accident case. Should you ask us to handle your case, we never
ask for any up-front fees and we take on all the expenses that are necessary
to win your case in exchange for a percentage of you final settlement.
The Doan Law Firm
801 Brickell Center, Suite 900
Miami, Florida 33131