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What Should You Do After a Bike Accident in Miami?

Florida has the most bicycle fatalities of any state with 6.2 deaths per 100,000 people on a per capita basis. In 2018, there were 6,586 bike crashes causing 148 bicycle deaths and 6,175 bicycle injuries in Florida. More than 100 bicyclists have been killed in collisions in 2020 thus far. Miami-Dade County, with its large population, high density, and attraction as a tourist destination, consistently has the highest bicycle fatality rate in Florida.

Common causes of bicycle accidents include: not yielding the right of way, wearing hard-to-see clothing at night, improper turns, failing to obey traffic laws, distracting driving, impaired driving, fatigued driving, speeding, and road rage. The pandemic has led to skyrocketing bicycle sales — and bicycle accident rates — in Florida. Coupled with an increase in reckless driving, many bicyclists have suffered pandemic-related bicycle injuries.

Whatever the cause, those who survive a bike collision often suffer catastrophic injuries due to bodily impact with a moving vehicle. From head, face and eye injuries to blunt force trauma, fractures and pelvic injuries, bicycle accident victims face a long road to recovery.

What Should You Do After a Bike Accident in Miami

What Should You Do After a Bike Accident in Miami

The steps you take in the aftermath of a bike accident in Miami could make a significant difference in your physical, emotional, and financial recovery. What should you do after a bike accident in Florida? Below are some important steps to take:

1. Seek medical care. This should be obvious in a catastrophic bike accident, but you’ll also want to seek medical care even if you or your loved one is alert and seems fine. A medical professional’s thorough evaluation is crucial, both for your recovery and your peace of mind. Should you later need to pursue legal action, your medical records will become evidence, documenting the extent of your injuries from the bicycle collision. Your compliance with instructions and physician orders can be an important issue in your case at a later time.

2. File a police report. A police report is another important component, one that documents the accident scene, evaluates the driver and bicyclist for drug or alcohol impairment, and helps to establish fault.

3. Contact your insurance company. As a bicyclist, you might not realize that your auto insurance may provide coverage for your bicycle injuries. If the other party does not have car insurance or has inadequate coverage, you may have a claim against your own uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage and medical payment insurance coverage. This is an important resource that should not be overlooked, and it’s essential to notify your insurance company promptly to get your bike accident on the record.

4. Document the scene of the accident — Use your smartphone to document the scene of the accident, ideally at the time it occurred. This may be the furthest thing on your mind if your loved one has been hit by a car, but it could be vitally important in the future. Thus, once emergency responders are on the scene and attending to your loved one, take a few minutes to videotape the scene. This may help your personal injury lawyer later establish contributing factors. Afterward, consider posting on your community’s social media page, asking if anyone witnessed the accident or has dash cam footage they can share. Dash cam and security footage is evidence, but it’s also short-lived and at risk of being recorded over by newer footage.

5. Gather evidence. In addition to taking photos and video of the accident scene, there may be video footage available to you that has captured the accident. For example, another driver’s dash cam or a home or business’s outdoor video surveillance system may have footage of the accident. It’s important to inquire about this sooner rather than later as these systems tend to overwrite video with new footage within a few days.

6. Keep detailed records. Start a bike accident binder and use it to store everything related to the accident including notes, medical records, pictures of the accident scene, pictures of bodily injuries, new symptoms related to the injury, hospital bills, correspondence from insurance companies, bicycle repair estimates, and so forth.

7. Never Discuss Fault — While you likely feel terrible about the accident, resist the urge to express remorse, apologize, or admit fault. Stick to the facts when the police officer asks you about the accident and do not admit fault. Let the police and insurance companies reach their own conclusions based on the evidence. Remember, the only people looking after your best interests are medical professionals, your insurance company, and your personal injury attorney. When the other party’s insurance adjusters reach out to you for a statement, it’s best to refer them to your personal injury attorney and let us handle these conversations and any correspondence.

8. Retain an experienced Miami bike accident lawyer. Few people walk away from a bike accident involving a moving car without injuries. If you’re seriously injured, you could be facing a long, painful, and costly future. Who will pay for your medical bills, lost income, medical equipment, future medical costs, rehabilitation costs, or 24-hour care? The person responsible should be held accountable, but that doesn’t happen automatically, especially if they are uninsured or underinsured or if their insurance company offers a low settlement. An experienced trial lawyer specializing in bicycle injuries can pursue an equitable award covering all of your losses. It is important to act promptly, since a lot of evidence can disappear. Witnesses can forget what happened or, even worse, the insurance company investigators or lawyers might get to them and manipulate a statement in their favor. Having a top-flight, experienced personal injury lawyer working for you early can make the difference between winning and losing. Leighton law has obtained some of the most substantial bike accident verdicts and settlements in Florida and is led by a board-certified personal injury lawyer specializing in catastrophic injuries.

The road ahead is long and challenging, but you don’t have to face it alone. Leighton Law’s experienced trial attorneys work on contingency, so there are no upfront costs. Schedule a free, no obligation consultation today.

Article by:

John Leighton

A nationally-recognized trial lawyer who handles catastrophic injury and death cases. He manages Leighton Law, P.A. trial lawyers, with offices in Miami and Orlando, Florida. He is President of The National Crime Victim Bar Association, author of the 2-volume textbook,Litigating Premises Security Cases, and past Chairman of the Association of Trial Lawyers of America’s Motor Vehicle, Highway & Premises Liability Section. Having won some of the largest verdicts in Florida history, Mr. Leighton is listed inThe Best Lawyers in America (14 years), “Top Lawyers” in the South Florida Legal Guide (15 years), Top 100 Florida SuperLawyer™ and Florida SuperLawyers (14 years), “Orlando Legal Elite” by Orlando Style magazine, and FloridaTrend magazine “Florida Legal Elite

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