West Palm Beach Bicycle Accident Lawyers
Top-rated Palm Beach County personal injury attorneys
If you've been injured in a bicycle accident in West Palm Beach
Your path to recovery is within reach...
By Joshua Winegar | Winegar Law, P.A.
Getting injured in a bicycle accident can be a very challenging and overwhelming experience. That’s why it’s so important to have experienced legal representation on your side. At Winegar Law, our team of bicycle accident attorneys has the knowledge and skills to help you get the compensation you deserve.
What to do immediately after a bicycle accident in West Palm Beach
- Assess your injuries. If you are seriously injured, call 911 immediately. If you are not seriously injured, you should still seek medical attention as soon as possible.
- Contact the police and file a report. The police report will be important for any claim you may want to pursue.
- Exchange information: Get details of the other other parties involved in the accident. This includes their name, address, insurance information, and driver’s license numbers.
- Take pictures: Capture images of the accident scene, including the condition and position of the bicycle and the other vehicle involved.
- Get witness statements if possible.
What to do in the days and weeks after the accident
Keep track of all of your medical expenses.
- Doctor’s visits
- Hospital stays
- Prescriptions & over-the-counter medications
- Physical therapy
- Transportation costs (to and from medical appointments)
Document any lost wages or other financial losses.
- Lost wages and income
Paystubs, tax returns, employment records, etc.
- Future earnings
If injuries involve long-term disability consult financial experts to estimate future income losses.
- Injury-related childcare
If unable to care for your children due to sustained injuries
- Bicycle damage and repair costs
Additional tips to help you recover damages in a West Palm Beach bicycle accident
- Do not speak to the other driver or their insurance company.
- Be mindful. Insurance companies will look at your social media. Think twice about broadcasting details on social media or other public forums.
- Do not sign anything without first speaking to an attorney, especially a medical authorization release
Should you contact an insurance company or a bicycle accident lawyer first?
Obtaining legal representation from an experienced Florida bicycle accident lawyer is the best place to start. If you contact your insurance company without representation, you leave yourself open to potential legal pitfalls like:
- Being pressured into accepting a settlement that is less than what you deserve.
- Insurance companies may not be familiar with all of the laws that apply to your case.
- Insurance companies are not obligated to fight for your interests if the at-fault party’s insurance company denies the claim.
Most common causes of bicycle accidents throughout Florida
Although not every bike accident involves collisions with motor vehicles like cars, trucks or motorcycles, a large percentage do. When automobiles are involved, its not uncommon to cite: Failure to yield, running red lights / stop signs or distracted driving.
Some other causes for a Florida bicycle accident include:
Unsafe Passing: When drivers pass cyclists too closely or recklessly, they can cause accidents. Florida law requires drivers to give at least three feet of clearance when passing a cyclist.
Dooring: When a motorist or passenger opens a car door without looking first. This can result in a cyclist colliding with the open door.
Driveway and Parking Lots: When drivers reverse from driveways or parking spaces without checking for approaching cyclists.
Impaired Driving: Drunk or drugged driving can impair a driver’s judgment and reaction time, increasing the risk of accidents involving cyclists.
Right Hooks and Left Crosses: Improper turns. A “right hook” occurs when a vehicle turning right collides with a cyclist going straight, and a “left hook” involves a vehicle crossing the path of an oncoming cyclist..
Lack of Visibility: Cyclists can be difficult to see, especially at night or in low-light conditions. Without proper lighting and reflective gear, cyclists may not be visible to drivers.
No Bicycle Lanes or Infrastructure: The absence of dedicated bike lanes or inadequate cycling infrastructure can force cyclists to share the road with motor vehicles, increasing the risk of accidents.
Inadequate Education: Lack of awareness and education about bicycle safety for both cyclists and motorists can contribute to accidents. Promoting safe practices and awareness campaigns can help mitigate this issue.
Poor Road Conditions: Potholes, debris, uneven road surfaces, and inadequate road maintenance can pose hazards to cyclists and lead to accidents.
Construction: Construction zones can create hazards for cyclists, including uneven surfaces, detours, and traffic pattern changes. If your bicycle accident was due to a poorly maintained area or infrastructure, you might be eligible for a premises liability lawsuit.
West Palm Beach Bicycle Accident Statistics
The following data analyzes all crashes reported that involve bicycles or pedestrians struck by motor vehicles resulting in serious injuries or fatality.
2023 (Year-to-date through June 29)
Palm Beach County: 107
West Palm Beach: 11
Palm Beach County: 203
West Palm Beach: 32
Palm Beach County: 190
West Palm Beach: 28
Palm Beach County: 198
West Palm Beach: 30
By comparing the information at the state, county and city level, over the recent years, we've noticed the following trends:
- The city of West Palm Beach contains about 15% of the pedestrian/bicycle accidents occurring in Palm Beach County
- Palm Beach County hovers at around 6% of the pedestrian / bike accidents happening throughout Florida
- 2021 reported the highest number of serious injuries / fatalities in the state of Florida, but year-over-year there isn't much fluctuation in the amount of pedestrian / bicycle accidents reported in the city of West Palm Beach
Where do most West Palm Beach bicycle accidents occur and why?
According to an article posted on WFLA News Channel 8, Florida leads the nation in bicycle fatalities.
Data from the FLHSMV has linked the higher-than-average number of bicycle accidents in Florida to various contributing factors, such as:
- Surging Popularity of Bicycling: The growing appeal of cycling as a mode of transportation and recreation has increased the risk of accidents.
- Inadequate Cycling Infrastructure: The lack of proper cycling infrastructure, including bike lanes and safe routes, contributes to accident occurrences.
- Distracted Driving: Drivers' distractions behind the wheel pose a significant hazard to cyclists on the road.
- Failure to Yield Right of Way: Instances where motorists neglect to yield the right of way to cyclists heighten the risk of accidents.
Common Locations for Bicycle Accidents in Florida:
- Major Public Roads: Cyclists face risks even in designated bike lanes due to high speeds and traffic density on major public roads.
- Residential Areas: Near residential neighborhoods, drivers may neglect to check for cyclists when entering or exiting driveways.
- City Centers: Dense urban areas and downtown hubs have a high volume of cyclists and vehicles sharing the road.
- Intersections: While intersections are notorious for various traffic accidents, including car, motorcycle, and pedestrian accidents, a report issued by the National Highway Traffic Safety administration shows that 63% of bicycle accident fatalities do not occur at intersections.
Signalized vs. Un-signalized Intersections
While signalized intersections means traffic lights are present,
Unsignalized intersections include:
- Stop signs
- Yield signs
- No control measures
Data from The Federal Highway Administration indicates that fatalities at unsignalized intersections are slightly more than double those at signalized ones.
- Unsignalized Intersection Traffic Fatalities: 7,089
- Signalized Intersection Traffic Fatalities: 3,537
The FHWA aims to reduce traffic fatalities and injuries, with a particular focus on safeguarding Florida pedestrians and bicyclists. This is achieved through the Safe System approach, which incorporates measures to lower vehicle speeds, separate road users, and minimize conflicts on the roadways.
Common injuries from a West Palm Beach bike accident
Head Injuries: Such as concussions or more severe traumatic brain injuries (TBIs).
Fractures: Broken bones, especially in the arms, legs, and wrists.
Road Rash: Abrasions and skin injuries from sliding on the road.
Sprains and Strains: Injuries to muscles and ligaments, often in the neck, back, or extremities.
Cuts and Bruises: Minor injuries like cuts, scrapes, and bruises.
Internal Injuries: Damage to internal organs from the impact.
Spinal Cord Injuries: Injuries to the back or neck that can result in paralysis.
Facial Injuries: Including dental and facial fractures.
How Winegar Law can help to prove your West Palm beach bicycle accident case
The initial step is to prove the other side was negligent. Motorists must follow Florida’s traffic laws and exercise reasonable caution. If it can be found your accident was due to the negligence of a driver, the next step is proving it.
Proving negligence in a Florida bicycle accident lawsuit or settlement
- Phone records: May prove texting or talking while driving
- Witness Account: Statements from eyewitnesses at the scene
- Traffic Camera footage: (if available) red-light running, failing to yield, reckless driving
- Police Reports: Detailed account by law enforcement
Linking Injuries and income loss to the accident
- Medical Records: Document your injuries, treatment, and recovery process.
- Medical Bills: Expenses related to medical treatment, rehabilitation, and ongoing care.
- Wage Loss Documentation: Use pay stubs or tax returns to demonstrate income loss due to the injuries.
- Expert Testimonies: Medical professionals, accident reconstruction experts.
Comparative negligence considerations
Assess whether you, as the cyclist, may have contributed to the accident (e.g., not obeying traffic signals). Even if you were partially at fault, Florida law provides a way to seek compensation but the amount awarded will be affected by the percentage of fault assigned to your role in the accident.
Legal Entitlement to Compensation:
Regardless of where your bike accident occurred, you may be entitled to compensation under Florida law. The bicycle accident attorneys at Winegar Law are here to assist you in recovering from your injuries. Even if you weren’t directly hit, but reckless driving caused you to swerve causing injuries and bike damage, you could still have a case.
Your first consultation: What to expect
When you reach out to us, we understand the challenges you face are tough. There's no obligation and we're here to help.
During your first meeting:
- Share what happened in the accident and any injuries you had.
- We'll listen carefully, assess your case, and give you an initial idea of where you stand.
- We'll explain your rights and what you can do next.
- You can ask questions and talk about any worries you have about your case.
NO FEES UNLESS WE WIN
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