Sunrise Bicycle Accident Lawyer
A number of factors contribute to accidents between bicyclists and automobiles, trucks and buses. Such accidents are often the result of negligence on the part of the driver, not the cyclist. Some of the mistakes most often made by drivers include:
- Failing to yield the right of way
- Failing to provide enough room for the bike when passing
- Failing to see a bicyclist at an intersection
- Making a right or left turn into the path of a cyclist
When a bicycle collides with a car or truck that weighs 2,000 pounds or more, the odds of avoiding serious injury are, to put it mildly, not in the bicyclist’s favor. Broken bones, severe lacerations, head and/or spinal trauma, concussion, and paralysis are all fairly common. Severe injuries such as these typically require expensive, ongoing medical treatment. Paying for this care can prove financially devastating to the victim as well as to his or her family.
You do not have to bear the brunt of medical costs and other consequences of a bicycle accident alone. Sunrise bicycle accident lawyer David Benenfeld can help you obtain compensation to cover medical treatments, medications, future medical treatments, lost wages, and more. Claims can be made against the driver of the vehicle, his or her insurer, even third parties whose negligence may have been partially responsible for the bike accident. If a member of your family has been killed in a bike accident, Mr. Benenfeld can help you obtain compensation for wrongful death and other damages.
To make the best possible case and maximize the chances of obtaining compensation, it is important to take a number of steps immediately after a bicycle accident. These include:
- Contact the police as soon as possible and insist that the responding officer file a bicycle accident report. If the officer will not file a report, do so yourself within 72 hours of the accident
- Seek immediate medical care for any and all injuries
- Obtain as much information as possible about the driver who injured you, such as the person’s name, address, phone number, insurance company, license plate number and other details about the vehicle that hit you
- If there are any witnesses to the bike accident, try to get their names and contact information
- If possible, use your cell phone to take pictures of the scene of the accident, your bicycle, your injuries and the other vehicle
- Contact your experienced Sunrise bicycle accident lawyer David Benenfeld before you talk to the insurance company representing the driver who injured you
All Bargaining Takes Place in the Shadow of the Law
Most bicycle accident claims are resolved through private settlements, and not through courtroom verdicts. That doesn’t mean that the law doesn’t matter, however. What motivates a defendant or an insurance company to settle your claim rather than go to court is the prospect of losing in court – without that leverage, the defendant will have no motive to settle your claim.
What that means to you is that even when you are negotiating informally, you need to be able to show that (i) the law is on your side and (ii) you can gather enough admissible evidence to prove your claim in court. In addition, you need the negotiating skills to stand your ground against a stingy defendant. This is especially true when you are negotiating against an insurance company. Hiring an experienced bicycle accident law firm in Sunrise can make the process much easier and can help you receive more compensation.
Insurance Companies are Tricky
Insurance claims adjustors are notoriously skilled negotiators, and they are also not above using underhanded, deceptive and manipulative tactics to get you to accept a settlement offer that doesn’t even begin to cover your real losses. I know all their tricks, and I will not fall for any of them – there is absolutely no way I’m going to allow anyone to take advantage of my client.
Act Before Your Claim Goes Stale: Contact Your Sunrise Bicycle Accident Lawyer
A bike accident can grow stale over time if no investigation takes place and admissible evidence is not preserved and gathered. The memory of witnesses fades, for example, and physical evidence deteriorates. Meanwhile, the statute of limitations clock is always ticking. The time to act on your claim is now.
If you have been injured in a Florida bicycle accident, or if your loved one has been killed in such an accident, call David M. Benenfeld at 954-677-0155, or complete the online contact form. We can schedule a free consultation to discuss your claim and answer your questions.
Florida Bicycle Accident Video FAQs
What Are Some Unintentional Actions Which May Hinder A Bicycle Accident Claim?
What Role Can Social Media Play In A Bicycle Accident Case?
What Should I Do If The Other Party’s Insurance Asks Me For A Recorded Statement?
How Difficult Is The Average Bicycle Accident Case?
What Happens If I’m In An Accident With An Uninsured Person?
What If A Loved One Dies In A Motorcycle Accident Case?
Do People Get Emotionally Scarred That They Quit Riding Bicycles Altogether?
What Qualities Should I Look For In A Bicycle Accident Attorney?
Could An Attorney Help Negotiate Down Medical Bills Or Liens?
What Are The Difficult Aspects Of A Bicycle Accident Case For An Attorney?
What Are The Initial Steps A Person Should Take After A Bicycle Accident?
Are Courts Biased Against Bicyclists In A Bicycle Accident Case?
What Questions Do People Typically Have In A Bicycle Accident Case?
Do Bicycle Accidents Commonly Result In Traumatic Brain Injuries?
Are There Any Particular Case Studies That You Can Provide Examples Of?
The Most Common Scenario Associated With A Bicycle Accident.
Are There Any Rules Of Road That Differ Between Bicycles, Motorcycles, & Cars?
How Do Fault And No-Fault States Apply To My Bicycle Accident?
How Do Insurance Companies Come Into Play In Bicycle Accidents?
Is My Case Doomed If I’m Accused Of Being At Fault In A Bicycle Accident?
How Soon After My Florida Bicycle Accident Should I Contact A Lawyer?
Will It Cost Me Any Money To Bring a Florida Bicycle Accident Case?
Will I Have To Pay Back My Health Insurance Provider If I Recover Damages in a Florida Bicycle Accident Case?
Who Will Pay For My Medical Bills If I Am Injured in a Florida Bicycle Accident??
Florida Bicycle Accident FAQs
How Does An Attorney Get Paid In A Bicycle Accident Case?
We work entirely on a contingency fee basis, which means that unless we get money, you don’t pay a dime. The amount that we charge is thirty three and a third percent of any recovery that we get plus costs. That’s pretty standard in the industry.
Are People Hesitant About Pursuing their Bicycle Accident Claim?
A lot of people probably are very hesitant about pursuing their claim because they are afraid. Let’s face it, most people really don’t like attorneys, don’t want to call attorneys, they are afraid of attorneys and some attorneys really don’t talk to their clients and attorneys and have a very bad reputation. We try our best to talk to clients. If they call us, we’re not available, we call them back. We answer any questions that they have and make sure that they are comfortable with the entire process, so there really is no reason to be hesitant in pursuing their claim.
What Does an Attorney Generally Ask a Client that Has been in a Bicycle Accident?
Some of the typical questions that we’ll ask are how the accident happened? What their injuries are? How are they feeling? If they’ve ever had any accidents before? If they’ve ever seen any doctors before? What kind of work they do? If they feel they are going to be capable of going back to work? What kind of insurance they have? If they have any pictures? If there were any witnesses that saw the incident happen? Those are typically some of the questions that are asked, but depending on the answers, there may be a host of other questions.
How Long Do Bicycle Accident Cases Typically Take to Resolve?
It really is dependent on how long it takes somebody to heal. So, sometimes they can be done very, very quick in a matter of a few weeks and sometimes, they can take months and months and months and sometimes, they can take a year, a year and a half and sometimes even longer. But the typical claim takes, generally, about six months to a year or so.
When Should I Seek Medical Attention After Being Involved in a Bicycle Accident?
If you’ve had a bicycle accident, the quicker you can see a doctor, the better. The faster that you receive your medical care, will show how severely hurt you are. In addition, it helps you feel better that much quicker and, in addition to that, the quicker that you see an attorney, the quicker that the evidence can be preserved.
What Sort of Bicycle Accidents Are Not Worth Pursuing?
All bicycle accidents are worth pursuing. You really can’t say that there are some accidents that are not worth pursuing versus others. It really depends. As long as you’ve had a bicycle accident and you’ve been hurt, it’s worth pursuing.
Is it Helpful to Keep a Journal of Events Following A Bicycle Accident?
When somebody comes in to our office or we go out and see them if they can’t make it into our office, we hand them a notebook and inside that notebook, they are supposed to write down the dates, the times they go to the doctor, if there is anybody that calls them from their employer or anything pertinent towards the accident, then they are supposed to keep a journal of everything that happens. It is very important that it’s done and we encourage that. It actually helps bolster the value of a claim because there’s no way that four months from now, you can remember specifically how you felt on a certain date but if you have the notes, you’ll remember.
What Are the Top Concerns of Clients When They Meet With You After A Bicycle Accident?
Most people who have had bicycle accidents really just want to get to a doctor as quickly as they can and start feeling better. That’s probably the most important thing and certainly they are worried about how they are going to make their bills and if they are ever going to be able to work again and if they are ever going to feel better again. We help them with all those things, answer all the questions that they have and make sure that if they don’t have a doctor, we get them to a doctor as quickly as we can to assess exactly what’s wrong with them and to help them feel better as quickly as we can.
Is It Hard For Motorists To Operate A Vehicle When Close To A Bicycle?
Drivers do have problems with cyclists, because they don’t know the rules of the road and they don’t know how to respond to bicycle drivers. Sometimes they don’t even see the bicycle riders. It’s easier to see a car, a truck or vehicles, but to see a bicycle when you’re used to seeing two rear brake lights and now you only see one or it’s dark at night and the bicycle rider fails to have an adequate lighting system, it’s definitely more difficult for them. In addition, I don’t think automobile drivers see bicycle riders every day.
What Are the Different Types of Injuries Sustained in Bicycle Accidents?
There is a tendency for people to be hurt a lot more in a bicycle accident than there is for a normal car accident, because they don’t wear seat-belts and they are out in the open air. When an accident happens, they tend to fall off the bike or fly through the air and very significant things happen. I’ve seen people who have died because of these accidents or had broken bones, surgery, paraplegics, quadriplegics, some with horrendous injuries and some with minor injuries, so it really varies. The best thing you can do if you’re riding a bicycle is to follow the rules of the road, be very careful about the other driver surrounding you and wear a helmet at all times as well as all the protection you can, from kneepads to wrist pads to everything else that’s possibly available.
How Are Accidents Between Bicycles And Commercial Vehicles Handled?
When a bicycle rider gets hit by a commercial vehicle, usually it’s very bad for the bicycle rider. Those are the ones where we see the most horrific injuries and even where people die. It’s really handled in the same way that a normal car accident is handled, where we perform the investigation to see exactly who is at fault and how the incident could have been avoided and what the best course of action is to take to preserve the evidence to make sure that everything goes as smoothly as it possibly can during the time when somebody gets catastrophically hurt.
Do People Wonder About Why They Need An Attorney For A Bicycle Accident?
The problem is that when you have a bicycle accident, in theory, the insurance company is supposed to take care of everything. They are supposed to fix your bicycle, they are supposed to pay for all your medical bills and they’re supposed to, ultimately, give you money that not only will pay for your medical bills and your lost wages for the past but also for your pain and suffering and whatever kind of future lost wages and future medical benefits that you are going to need to cover your medical care for the future. Insurance companies are in the business of making money. They are not really in the business of paying claims, although they say that that’s their business. The more that they save on paying out your claim, the better they are doing. Ultimately, if you rely on them to do the right thing and pay the right amount of money, it’s almost as if you’re asking the fox who is guarding the henhouse to take care of the hens while you’re gone and make sure that no hens are missing. The question is, do you trust the fox to do the right thing?
What Would the Other Party Try to Use Against Me in a Motorcycle Accident Case?
They could try to use a lot of things against you. They could tell you that the accident was your fault that you failed to do everything you could to avoid the accident, or that because of a preexisting condition, you never hurt yourself in this accident or your injuries are not as bad as you’re saying. They might try to insist that you can work, even if you can’t, and because of that, you’re not doing everything you can to avoid costing them money, or you waited too long to go to a doctor or you didn’t go to the right doctor and that’s why your bills are so high.There are lots of things that they can ultimately say and do, and it’s our job to get you as much money as we possibly can and put you back together again as best as we can after an incident.
What Are The Top Misconceptions That People Have About Bicycle Accidents?
Some of the misconceptions that people have about bicycle accidents are that if you have an accident and you got hurt while you are on a bicycle, that automatically the accident was your fault and it’s not the other driver’s fault, which is entirely untrue.
What Are Some Unintentional Actions Which May Hinder Someone’s Bicycle Accident Claims?
One of the things that people can do unintentionally when they’ve had an accident is talk to the insurance company and give a recorded statement. Something seemingly as simple as that can really work against you and not be very helpful. They could take pictures, let’s say, or fail to take pictures or they could fail to talk to witnesses, or they could think, “I’m not really having pain, I’m not really having any problems right now, I think it will disappear and go away.” They wait and wait even though they are in pain, they just take aspirin and say, “I had an accident and everything will be okay,” and they wait. The longer they wait, the more difficult it is to prove that somebody actually is suffering with a significant injury.
What Role Can Social Media Play in A Bicycle Accident Case?
Social media can be very hurtful to a case. A lot of times when somebody has an accident, they are significantly hurt and they may post something on social media showing them at a birthday party or going bowling or whatever and they talk about what a great time that they are having. The problem with that is, even though they might have bowled one ball, and thrown it down the lane, you’re not going to post a picture on social media of you not bowling again, laying down unable to move for the next several hours because of that incident. You’re just going to show the one-time bowling and that ultimately can hurt you. When the other side sees that on social media, which they will, they are going to say, “Why should we pay any money? This person had an accident and they went bowling” and they are not going to realize that, yes, you threw the ball down the lane or you barely tapped the ball down the lane or somebody helped you throw the ball down the lane and regardless of that, you were incapacitated for the next several days because of it. So, it’s better not to post anything.
What Should I Do If the Other Party’s Insurance Asks Me for a Recorded Statement?
If the insurance company is calling and they want to take a statement, there is no reason to give them a statement. They can talk to their own insured, they can find out exactly how an accident happened. They don’t need to bother you. The only reason why they are doing it is ultimately to try to get you to say things that are not going to be helpful towards your case and then, ultimately, issue a denial. So, if they call you, the best thing to do: ignore the phone call and call your lawyer.
How Difficult is the Average Bicycle Accident Case?
There are no cases that are easy to win. They are all a pretty tough battle but we’ve been doing it for a long time and we continue to do it and we have very good success at it.
What Happens If I’m In an Accident With an Uninsured Person?
If you’ve had an accident and the other person doesn’t have insurance, unless they have assets that you can go after, it’s a problem, it’s a very large problem.
What If a Loved One Dies in a Motorcycle Accident Case?
In that case, we would file the claim, go against the driver, find out how much insurance coverage is available, get the policy from them and find out if there are any additional assets that the other party has. If so, we’ll go after them for those assets as well and we won’t leave any stone unturned until we get as much as we possibly can for something as terrible as that when that happens.
Do People Get Emotionally Scarred that they Quit Riding Bicycles Altogether?
When people have accidents and they get hurt, I have seen people who basically say, “I never want to ride a bicycle again.” It does happen. The most we can do is help them to get better medically and also if they need psychiatric care, we try to help them get that as well.
What Is The Most Common Scenario Associated With A Bicycle Accident?
Usually, what you see is somebody riding a bicycle that gets hit by a car or a truck or a semi-tractor trailer. Sometimes, the other driver runs through a red light, runs through a stop sign, is traveling in the wrong direction, or fails to yield the right of way for the bicycle rider while they are in the crosswalk.
Are There Any Rules of the Road that Differ Between Bicycles, Motorcycles, and Automobiles?
There really isn’t any differentiation between the rules of the road for bicycle riders versus motorcycle riders versus car drivers. The only main difference is that if there is a designated bicycle path, the riders of the bicycle are supposed to be inside that designated path. Short of that, they are still subject to the same rules of the road where they are supposed to stop at stop signs, they are supposed to yield to oncoming vehicles when other vehicles have the right of way and they are turning, they are supposed to use hand signals to signal where they are turning, and whether they are turning left or right. They are supposed to follow the same rules of the road as automobiles and motorcycles.
How Do Fault and No-Fault States Apply to My Bicycle Accident?
In the State of Florida, the no-fault statutes do not apply to a motorcycle or a bicycle. That means that under normal circumstances, when you have a car accident and you’re the driver of a vehicle or a passenger of a vehicle, you’re subject to no-fault law, which pays up to $10,000 for your medical bills, provided that the medical care you received is within 14 days of the time of the incident and it is considered an emergency minus whatever deductible that you have. In the State of Florida, bicycles and motorcycles are not subject to no-fault law and therefore, there is no $10,000 medical benefit that you can get from your own insurance but, by the same token, that also means that in the State of Florida, you do not have to prove what is called a permanent injury because you’re not subject to the no-fault statute.
How Do Insurance Companies Come Into Play When it Comes to Bicycle Accidents?
Insurance companies come into play when there is a bicycle accident, because most of the time, people do not have insurance on their own bicycle. Because they don’t, when an accident occurs and it’s the other person who is at fault, we look towards their insurance company to do several things:
- To help get the bicycle fixed and to get them to pay for it.
- To get the medical bills paid for all the medical treatment that you, as the injured party, are going to receive.
- Ultimately, to get a lump sum settlement on your claim which will also help cover whatever lost wages that you have as well as your pain and suffering because of this incident.
If I’m Accused of Being at Fault by the Other Party’s Insurance, Does That Mean My Case is Doomed?
Your case is not doomed. There are many times when people have accidents and one side says that the other is at fault. If the insurance company agrees that you are partially at fault and their driver is partially at fault, they will make a settlement offer, which will reflect that and sometimes that settlement offer is enough and everybody can go their separate ways. If it’s not enough, then a lawsuit has to be filed and ultimately the insurance company will sit down at the bargaining table again and see if they can come to terms and resolve the claim amicably. If it cannot be resolved amicably, from there, you go in front of a jury. The jury decides what the award will be and how the split will be and if you are at fault or the other side is at fault and how much of the accident should be attributable to you versus how much of a portion should be attributable to the other driver. Despite the fact that the other side may say that you’re at fault and you may feel that you’re at fault as well, your case is not doomed in the least. There still can be a settlement and settlements do occur quite often.
Will Pictures Taken at the Scene of the Accident be Helpful to my Claim?
Yes, they sure can. Whenever you have an accident, it’s a great idea to take pictures. Pictures are very helpful because there is no way that we can recreate your actual injuries, the position of the vehicles, the position of your bicycle and even the damage to your bicycle. Somebody may say, “After the accident, I was unconscious for 20 minutes.” Lo and behold, the picture showed right after an accident, somebody is up and walking around or somebody says, “I was discombobulated and I was sitting the entire time” or “I wasn’t wearing my seatbelt” or “I wasn’t wearing a helmet” or “I was wearing a helmet.” Those pictures can tell us a thousand words. It’s a great idea to take pictures as they can help tell a story and ultimately, it could mean the difference between getting a great settlement versus an okay settlement.
What Qualities Should I Look For In A Bicycle Accident Attorney?
Whenever you are looking to hire an attorney, you should always look for an attorney who you get along well with, who answers you honestly and doesn’t give you the answers that you want to hear, but tells you the truth about how a case is evaluated. The right attorney helps you get what you need when you need it as quickly as possible and will answer all questions. The best thing to do when you meet with an attorney is trust your gut. If your gut is telling you that you don’t like this person, don’t hire them. If they are not able to give you an answer that makes sense and they don’t take the time to explain the answer to you, don’t sign up with them. You want to keep looking until you find an attorney that you are comfortable with, that knows how to handle these cases and if they know how to talk to you, they are going to know how to talk to the other side and that’s really what you are looking for. Once you hire an attorney, you’re stuck with them for a while.
Could an Attorney Help Negotiate Down Medical Bills or Liens?
Part of our job when we handle a case is to get as much money as we possibly can from the insurance company. Second, we want to make sure we get you, the client, as much money as we possibly can in your pocket. The only way we can accomplish that is with a two-fold process; number one, getting as much money as we can from the insurance company and then, number two, negotiating your bills with the medical providers to get them to take as little as possible, which puts more money in your pocket.
What Are the Difficult Aspects of a Bicycle Accident Case for An Attorney To Deal With?
Some of the most difficult things to deal with in a bicycle accident case usually are the horrendous injuries that people suffer because somebody was used to being up and around and capable of taking care of themselves and now they are in chronic pain all the time. They are having difficulties functioning, they are having difficulties moving and they can’t afford to pay their bills. Usually it’s a scramble to try to get everything squared away as quickly as possible.
What Are the Initial Steps a Person Should Take After a Bicycle Accident?
Whenever a bicycle accident occurs, the first thing they should do is take pictures. Not only should they take pictures of their injuries, they should also take pictures of the position of the bicycle and the position of whatever is pertinent to the accident, such as weather conditions, skid marks, the damage to the other vehicle, the position of the vehicle, the position of the bicycle, and the license plate of the other driver. They should also take pictures of any stop signs or traffic lights. Any kind of safety equipment such as a cracked helmet or anything else like that should also be photographed. In addition, report the accident to the police and have them create a police report. From there, the quicker they get medical care, the better. If somebody is in pain, go to the emergency room, and from there, chat with a lawyer to make sure that all your rights and remedies under the law are not compromised in any way. Make sure that they get all the information that’s necessary and put it together in a cohesive format so that nothing gets lost, nothing gets destroyed, because they are going to be in the process of talking to witnesses and compiling a whole host of information that as time goes on, disappears, and, short of those two things, you’ll be on your road to recovery and put back together as quickly as possible.
Are Courts Biased Against Bicyclists in a Bicycle Accident Case?
People are not as familiar with bicycle riders as they are with car drivers. So, I don’t know if there is an inherent prejudice against them but certainly, because they are not as familiar with it, it’s more difficult to explain it to other people.
What Questions Do People Typically Have In A Bicycle Accident Case?
Clients, as a general rule, like to find out how much their case is worth right when an accident happens, but it’s literally impossible to tell right away. If you meet with an attorney and the attorney tells you how much your case is worth right when your accident occurs, you should run, because they are not telling you the truth. We don’t know how well you’re going to heal, we don’t know what your medical bills are going to be, we don’t know how long you’re going to miss time from work, and we don’t know if you’re going to be capable of returning to that kind of work or to any kind of work. We don’t know if you’re going to need surgery and if you do need a surgery, we don’t know how well you will heal after the surgery and if you’re going to need another surgery as well. We don’t know if there are going to be complications for the medical procedures that you receive. We don’t know what the defense is going to say as far as how the accident occurred as well. There may be a witness who says that you’re partially at fault or you’re 100% at fault. So, it’s impossible to know any of those answers right after an accident occurs.
Do Bicycle Accidents Commonly Result in Traumatic Brain Injuries?
Absolutely! Traumatic brain injury cases can happen with car accidents, they can happen with motorcycle accidents, they can happen with bicycle accidents and the best thing you could do to prevent traumatic brain injuries when you’re riding a bicycle is to wear a helmet and to follow the rules of the road. That’s the most important thing but injuries still do occur. It is horrendous when it happens and we have to be sure to get the injured person to the right kind of doctors from psychologists to psychiatrists to neuro-psychiatrists to neurologists, pain management doctors, orthopedics, etc. There are a whole host of different medical providers that are there to try to help put humpty dumpty, so to speak, back together again.
Are There Any Particular Case Studies that You Can Provide Examples of?
We’ve handled lots of bicycle accident cases. I had a client who was riding a bicycle and they were charged with the accident. The insurance company did not want to make a fair and adequate settlement. We fought for quite some period of time and ultimately, they settled the claim and the client was exceptionally happy. All of her medical bills were paid and she got a whole bunch of money in her pocket. Despite the fact that on the police report it listed her as the cause of the incident and there was even a witness that said that she was the cause of the incident and the other driver said she was the cause of the incident, we were still able to get a very large settlement for her and get all of her bills paid and get her money in her pocket as well.