Bicycle Accidents Attorney in Orlando, Florida
Cycling provides both an effective form of exercise and an efficient, eco-friendly form of transportation. Unfortunately, all too often, you must share the road with larger vehicles—and those drivers may fail to take notice of bicycles and other small forms of transportation on the road.
It happens too often in Orlando. Nearly all of the area’s 477 bike accidents that take place on average every year result in injuries, and seven cyclists per year even die.
Because those vehicles have far greater mass and your bicycle offers little protection, you may find yourself suffering from serious injuries after a bicycle accident. Do you need help seeking legal compensation after a bicycle accident? Contact us today at (407) 287-6757 to learn more about the legal services we offer or to set up a free consultation.
The Law Office of Jerry Jenkins: Your Orlando Bicycle Accident Attorney
When you need a bicycle accident attorney familiar with the Orlando court system and Florida law, Jerry Jenkins brings his exceptional determination to the table with every case. Jerry believes that lawyers help good people get what they need from the legal system, and he brings that dedication to the table with every case. With every case, he offers:
- Convenient meeting locations. You may struggle to get to a lawyer’s office, especially if you suffered serious injuries in your bicycle accident and need extra assistance. Jerry will come to you or choose a meeting location that provides you with a high level of comfort, making it easier for you to take care of those important case details.
- 24/7 availability. When you need information from your lawyer, sometimes, you need it immediately. Whether you suffered injuries in the middle of the night or you need an early-morning answer to a question, you can contact The Law Offices of Jerry Jenkins at any time. Not only that, The Law Offices of Jerry Jenkins have created easy contact options to make it easier for you to get in touch.
- Free case evaluations. Sometimes, you may not know for sure whether you need a bicycle accident attorney. You might not know if your injuries qualify for compensation, or you might struggle to understand how you should handle the legal challenges in front of you. Is hiring an attorney worth it? Can you really afford one? At The Law Offices of Jerry Jenkins, you will start with a free case evaluation that will help Jerry better understand your accident, your claim, and what you can gain from his services.
When you want an attorney who genuinely cares about you and your case, Jerry Jenkins can provide the legal assistance you need.
Bicycle Accidents and the Injuries They Leave Behind
In a bicycle accident, you may suffer substantial injury, due at least in part to the lack of protection offered by the bicycle itself. Whether you strike pavement, an object in the road, or the vehicle itself, you may experience a wide range of potential injuries and symptoms, including:
- Traumatic brain injury. Wearing a helmet may substantially reduce your risk of traumatic brain injury. Unfortunately, a helmet does not entirely eliminate the risk. TBI can leave you struggling with anything from difficulty with short-term memory to confusion, disorientation, or trouble controlling your emotions.
- Spinal cord damage. Depending on how hard the vehicle hits you and what else you strike, you may suffer substantial spinal cord damage. Spinal cord damage can limit mobility and, in some cases, cause full or partial paralysis.
- Amputation. Sometimes, doctors decide after an accident that limbs run over by a vehicle suffered too much damage for them to save. Other times, amputations may occur at the scene of the accident.
- Broken bones. Broken bones in the arms, hands, legs, and feet commonly occur in accidents between bicycles and vehicles. You may also suffer broken ribs, a cracked skull, or broken bones in the pelvis. Broken bones often leave victims struggling to return to their normal activities, especially if they work in jobs that require heavy lifting or high amounts of mobility.
- Organ damage. In addition to damage to your mobility caused by the accident, you may suffer damage to your internal organs. In many cases, organ damage can limit your enjoyment of common daily activities, including eating and drinking what you like or simply participating in your usual daily activities.
- Soft tissue damage. Sprains, strains, and bruising may seem minor compared to other types of injuries, but they can also leave you with significant limitations on your daily activities. Many people find themselves unable to return to their normal work schedules until soft tissue damage heals.
Who Pays for Your Injuries?
Immediately after a bicycle accident, when you head to the hospital, you will probably use your health insurance to help pay for your immediate medical care. Your bills, however, often mount fast after an accident, especially if you must miss work while you heal. By determining who bears responsibility for your bicycle accident, you can file a claim to help pay for your expenses during your recovery. First, however, your lawyer will help you identify fault so you know who to file your claim against.
Many simple mistakes on the part of a driver can cause a bicycle accident. They might:
- Fail to share the road appropriately, leaving you with no room to get out of the way.
- Not notice you in the road, especially if they need to turn as you cross the road.
- Open a door directly into you as you try to bike by.
- Have more focus on their phone or other distractions in the car than on the road.
- Fail to follow proper traffic laws, making it impossible for you to predict their behavior.
In many cases, the other driver bears full responsibility for the accident, especially if that driver failed to follow the rules of the road—including allowing adequate room for you and your bicycle if they attempted to pass you. In other cases, however, you may bear partial responsibility for your injuries. As a cyclist, you, like the drivers on the road, must follow all traffic laws. Cyclists must, for example, stay on the right side of the road. They must follow traffic signals, including stopping for traffic lights and stop signs. If you fail to follow those standard traffic laws, you may share responsibility for your accident.
Most of the time, you will receive a percentage assignment of your responsibility for your bicycle accident. If you caused more than 40 percent of the accident, you will not receive compensation from the other party. If, on the other hand, you caused 40 percent or less of the accident, you will simply have your compensation reduced by the percentage of the responsibility you bear. For example, if you caused 20 percent of the accident, your compensation will drop by 20 percent.
What Common Compensation Do Victims Seek After Bicycle Accidents?
Every accident looks a little different from any other. The compensation you can receive for your injuries depends on a variety of factors, including:
- The severity of your injuries
- Who caused your accident
- How much your injuries limit your life after the bicycle accident
- The limits of the other driver’s insurance policy
While the compensation you receive will vary, most people seek several key types of compensation in their claims after a bicycle accident:
- Payment for medical expenses. Medical expenses vary based on where you sought care, the severity of your injury, and your course of treatment. All of your medical expenses can count as part of the claim, including ambulance transport, emergency treatment, surgeries, ongoing visits with a medical provider, and physical therapy. If you need long-term care as part of your recovery or you need to make alterations to your home or vehicle due to your injuries, you will include those items as part of your medical expenses.
- Pain and suffering. Pain and suffering varies greatly from one person to the next. While one person may not let their injuries slow them down or prevent them from doing anything they want to do, another person may struggle to return to daily life after a serious injury. Payouts for pain and suffering, however, typically have their basis on a sliding scale at the insurance company. The insurance company usually bases those payouts on the medical expenses and extent of the injuries of the accident victim.
- Lost time at work. Accidents often cause people to lose time at work, taking away from their livelihood and leaving them struggling to pay their regular bills. You may miss a few days immediately after the accident while you recover or a handful of days throughout your recovery for physical therapy or medical visits, or you might find yourself out of work for weeks or months while your injuries heal. Many people include this lost time at work as part of their claim after a bicycle accident.
- Lost earning potential. Permanent injuries, including spinal cord damage, amputations, and traumatic brain injury, can leave many people struggling to fulfill their previous job roles. If you suffered those injuries in a bicycle accident, you might not be able to return to work in your former capacity–or you might not return to work at all, depending on the severity of your injuries. Lost earning potential refers to the lost potential to earn income to support yourself and your family, and you can include it as part of your claim after a bicycle accident if you cannot return to work the way you once did.
The Insurance Company Pays Automatically, Right?
In a perfect world, once you show an insurance company the extent of your injuries, they would immediately offer you the payment you deserve for those injuries–including payment for your pain and suffering as well as payment for medical expenses and lost time at work.
Unfortunately, many accident victims find exactly the opposite: instead of making life as easy as possible for them, the insurance company ties them up in paperwork and makes it difficult for them to obtain the compensation they deserve. In many cases, insurance companies use familiar tactics to reduce their financial burden following a serious accident, including bicycle accidents.
- Trying to prove you caused the accident. If you bear at least half of the responsibility for the bicycle accident, the insurance company that covers the other driver does not have to pay for your injuries. They may attempt to find footage or witnesses that show that you, rather than their driver, caused the accident.
- Trying to show that your injuries cause fewer problems than you suggest. You told the insurance company you cannot return to work, but they have evidence that you completed things usually within your job description just a few days ago. You claimed you cannot walk, but they have footage that proves otherwise. If the insurance company can prove your injuries less serious than you claim, they can reduce their financial burden—and as a result, they may make life difficult for you.
- Offering a settlement offer too low and too fast. If the insurance company that covers the other driver in your bicycle accident offers a settlement immediately after the accident, take a hard look at it. Often, insurance companies will provide extremely low settlement offers in those early days, rather than offering the victim the compensation they deserve. The victim often accepts the offer, rather than looking into it further, which takes the insurance company off the hook for many future payments.
Is Hiring an Orlando Bicycle Accident Lawyer Worth It?
If you suffered serious injuries in a bicycle accident, hiring a lawyer can offer many benefits. In many cases, an attorney can increase the compensation you receive, as well as communicating with the insurance company on your behalf to reduce the odds of miscommunication and make it easier for you to get the compensation you deserve. A lawyer can also streamline the claims process, getting your money in your hands sooner instead of leaving you waiting indefinitely. Not only that, at The Law Office of Jerry Jenkins, we start with a free consultation to better understand your unique circumstances.
Contact Us Today
Do you need legal help following a serious bicycle accident? Contact The Law Office of Jerry Jenkins today at (407) 287-6757 to learn more.