Bicycle accidents can cause serious injuries and lifelong financial losses. Injury victims are entitled to compensation for injuries caused by a driver’s negligence, but insurance companies do not always respect this right. It helps to learn about your legal rights and who can help protect you from insurance company tricks. The experienced St. Petersburg bicycle accident lawyers at Nicoletti Accident Injury Lawyers are here to answer all your questions. Learn more about where bicycle accidents happen in St. Petersburg, who is at fault for a bike accident, the compensation you deserve for your injuries, and why our St. Petersburg personal injury lawyers are right to handle your bicycle accident case.Schedule A Free Consultation
Though you can suffer harm on a bicycle anywhere in St. Petersburg, there are some spots where accidents are most likely to occur. These include:
- Major roads and thoroughfares
- Busy tourist attractions (such as the Sunken Gardens and the Salvador Dali Museum)
- Concert and sports venues
- Water recreation areas (Gulfport Beach, Isla del Sol Yacht and Country Club, Fort DeSoto Park)
- Busy restaurants and shopping centers
Who Is At Fault for a Bicycle Accident
The person who is legally at fault (or liable) for causing your injuries also has the legal obligation to compensate you for them. An individual, company, or combination of defendants can cause an accident. This is just one of many reasons why you need to hire an experienced bike accident lawyer - if your attorney does not find all potential defendants, you can miss out on compensation from someone responsible for your injuries. The skilled legal team at Nicoletti Accident Injury Lawyers knows how to find all potential defendants in a bicycle accident case to ensure that you have access to all the compensation you need for your injuries. Here are some of the most common defendants in Florida bicycle injury cases:
Many bike accidents occur when a negligent driver crashes into a bike rider. If the driver was negligent, they are at fault for the accident and must pay for the biker’s injuries. Florida (like other states) requires drivers to carry auto insurance with minimum amounts of coverage. This rule helps ensure that funds are available for victims who suffer injuries due to negligent drivers. The driver can be in a car, truck, or van. It can be a work vehicle or a commercial big rig that hits you. You must first seek compensation from your personal injury protection (PIP) coverage. However, if you have serious injuries, you have the right to file an injury claim against the negligent driver’s auto insurance policy. Other insurance policies might also cover you. The injury lawyers at Nicoletti Accident Injury Lawyers investigate cases thoroughly to find all insurance policies that can potentially cover an accident. This critical work ensures that our clients do not miss out on sources of available compensation.
A Property Owner
Landowners are required to maintain their property in a safe condition. If they do not, you can hold them liable for injuries due to this negligence. This rule is known as “premises liability.” Some bike accidents are due to dangerous conditions - not a driver’s negligence. For example, imagine that rode your bike in a poorly lit parking garage. The garage owner is aware of several accidents on the property because there is not enough light to see. If you are involved in a bike accident because of the low lighting, the garage owner might be responsible for your injuries through the rule of premises liability. There are different legal standards that property owners must meet. Other legal issues arise in premises liability cases, so work with an experienced injury lawyer who knows how to handle this specific legal claim. Our bike accident attorneys have years of experience handling all types of premises liability claims.
The Manufacturer of a Defective Bike or Safety Equipment
Though it is less common, some bike injuries happen because of a defective bicycle or safety equipment. Manufacturers can be held liable for injuries caused by the defective products they sell through the strict products liability rule. Strict products liability claims present different legal issues than negligence claims against a driver. Sometimes, our lawyers must hire expert witnesses to testify about technical issues in the product’s design. We might also have to prove that you were using the product as intended at the time of the accident. Our accident lawyers are ready to handle this type of claim for your bicycle accident case.
The law entitles injury victims to compensation for several different types of losses. The accident attorneys at Nicoletti Accident Injury Lawyers know how to prove the full value of all your losses - both financial and emotional - so that you can receive fair compensation for your injury claim. Here are some of the different losses you can seek compensation for:
Defendants are liable for all medical bills stemming from their negligence. Your injury claim will include all medical bills related to the accident, and these costs include:
- Ambulance and ER bills
- Diagnostic imaging (such as X-rays, CTs, or MRIs)
- Doctors’ visits and consultations with specialists
- Pain management services
- Physical therapy, chiropractic care, and other rehabilitative services
If you are concerned about paying these bills before your case settles, talk to our lawyers about your financial options. Your health insurance carrier (including Medicare or Medicaid) must still cover its usual services even if the care was related to an accident. We can also help you find medical providers who will wait for payment until your case has settled.
The defendant must also pay for any lost wages resulting from the accident. Most injury victims lose some time from work, and serious injuries can keep you out of work for months. Regardless of how much time you missed from work, the time off represents lost wages, and you are entitled to get compensation for it. Lost wages are also more than your hourly rate of pay. You might have missed out on overtime pay or a shift differential. You might have lost commissions or bonuses because you cannot work. There are many different forms of employment-related compensation, and injury victims are entitled to compensation for any type of pay they lost because of the defendant’s negligence.
Pain and Suffering
Injury victims can recover compensation for their emotional and financial losses. These emotional losses are called pain and suffering. The category includes compensation for:
- The physical pain of your injuries
- Your emotional suffering
- The lingering effects of scarring or disfigurement
- Missing out on major life events (like graduations and weddings)
- Missing out on hobbies you can no longer participate in
- A general decrease in the overall quality of your life
These losses can be difficult to value because there are no receipts to prove an exact dollar amount. Despite this, pain and suffering is often the largest part of an injury victim’s overall settlement. Insurance companies fight hard to decrease the amount of your pain and suffering compensation, so you want to be sure you have an injury lawyer on your side who can fight for your legal rights. Our firm has helped hundreds of clients get fair compensation for their pain and suffering.
Your financial and emotional losses do not stop as soon as your claim resolves. Many injury victims have medical bills and lost wages that continue for years after an accident. Pain and suffering can also persist for years - especially in complicated or permanent injuries. You are entitled to compensation for your future losses, even if they have not yet occurred by the time we resolve your case. The team at Nicoletti Accident Injury Lawyers has access to a network of expert witnesses who can testify about the projected value of your future losses. A life care planner can estimate the cost of your future medical care. An economist can testify about the value of your future lost wages. You might also have a permanent decrease in your earning capacity if you can no longer work after the accident, have to take a lightened workload, or work fewer hours. Our expert economists can accurately project the value of lost wages (including employment benefits) or a permanent decrease to your earning potential. We will also prove the value of ongoing pain and suffering. This work can take time, but it allows our team to prove the full value of all your future losses.
What if I am hit by an Uber or Lyft?
Uber and Lyft drivers are liable for accidents they cause, just like any other driver. These companies require their drivers to carry personal auto insurance policies to cover injuries they cause. Uber and Lyft also have large corporate insurance policies that can provide supplemental coverage if the driver’s policy is not enough to pay the full value of your losses. Uber and Lyft cases have created new legal issues, but the team at Nicoletti Accident Injury Lawyers knows how to handle these unique cases.
What if I am hit while making a delivery?
If you regularly make bike deliveries for your employer, workers’ compensation insurance probably covers you. Workers’ compensation pays for medical bills (and a portion of lost wages) that result from any injury which occurs on the job. Workers’ compensation is often not available for independent contractors who do not have a designated employer. It also does not cover pain and suffering, so you may have both a personal injury claim against a negligent driver and a workers’ compensation claim against your employer’s insurance policy. Our bike accident lawyers know how to determine which legal claims you have and what insurance coverage is available to you to ensure that you do not leave any money on the table.
When should I call a bike injury lawyer?
You have legal rights the second an accident occurs. As a result, your legal rights are in jeopardy as soon as you suffer injuries. The defense can even use something you blurt out at the accident scene against you later. The sooner you have an experienced injury attorney fighting on your side, the better protected your legal rights will be. Our office handles all communications with the insurance company to protect you from accidentally saying anything that can hurt your case. We also start working to preserve evidence as soon as you hire us. If you delay in hiring a lawyer, others can lose or destroy important evidence before you can get to it. These are just a few of the many reasons it is important to hire a bike accident lawyer as soon as possible after an accident occurs.
You can search online for hours to find “bike accident lawyers near me,” but you have already found the right injury law firm in Florida. Our bicycle accident attorneys have years of experience handling personal injury claims. We understand all types of injuries and know the unique legal issues involving bicycle accident cases. We only practice personal injury law. This allows us to best serve our clients and protect their legal rights. We fight hard to ensure that our clients have access to the fair compensation they deserve, and we know what tricks the insurance companies use to try to get out of paying fair compensation. You don’t have to fight the insurance company on your own. Let the experienced team of legal professionals at Nicoletti Accident Injury Lawyers handle your claim and protect your legal rights so that you can focus on recovering from your injuries. Call us today at (727) 797-2020 or write to us through our contact page today and let us show you what we can do to help you.