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.
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