You can sue if you got hit by a car on a bike. However, you would first start by filing a claim with your own personal injury protection (PIP) policy. This applies whether you were involved in a car, bicycle, or pedestrian accident.
Here, you can recover damages up to the liable policy’s limits for your healthcare costs, lost income, and other related expenses (depending on your policy). If your losses exceed the liable policy’s limits, then you may consider filing a lawsuit against the at-fault party.
Things You Should Know About Filing a Bicycle Accident Lawsuit
If you’re considering litigation, here are some things you should know:
You Have a Limited Time to File Your Lawsuit
Florida Statues § 95.11(3)(a) notes that you generally have four years to file your injury lawsuit. Your filing deadline begins the date of your bicycle accident. Failing to file your lawsuit within the four-year period would forfeit your right to damages.
A Lawsuit May Not Be Necessary
If your accident just happened, and you’re already considering a lawsuit, you might be thinking a few steps ahead. Many bicycle accident claims resolve through insurance settlements. Your lawyer can file your insurance claim and explain whether litigation will be necessary.
You Can Sue the At-Fault Party
Many people get fault and liability confused – especially when you file a lawsuit. When you file a claim, you deal with the claims adjuster. You don’t go to court. However, when you file a lawsuit, you file directly against the party that caused your accident – and you may have to go to court.
The at-fault party in your case could be:
- Another motorist or road user
- A government agency responsible for maintaining a roadway
- A bicycle or vehicle manufacturer
You Can Recover These Damages with a Successful Lawsuit
If your lawsuit succeeds, you could recover your economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages, which have financial values, include:
- Past and future lost wages
- Past and future medical expenses
- Property damage
- Household services
- Lost earning capacity
- Vocational rehabilitation
- Out-of-pocket expenses
Your non-economic damages, which mostly relate to your mental and physical suffering, include:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional anguish
- Loss of enjoyment of activities
- Worsening of prior injuries
- Disability or disfigurement
- Loss of companionship or consortium
- Loss of enjoyment of life
You Must Prove Negligence
To recover compensation for your injury-related losses, you must demonstrate:
- Another party (like a motorist) owed you a duty of care to safely use a public roadway.
- Another party acted carelessly or recklessly, breaching their duty of care.
- You suffered harm in a bicycle accident.
- You have various losses stemming from your injuries.
Traffic camera footage, the police report, and eyewitness statements can prove these elements.
The Steps You Take After Getting Hurt Could Affect Your Case’s Outcome
You want to build the strongest lawsuit possible. However, that involves more than gathering evidence; it also involves taking some precautions. Consider the following:
- Retain all documentation about the accident – The bicyclist will often be given a police report after the crash, and this report should be given to the attorney handling the personal injury case. Other documentation to support your case could include your injury-related invoices and billing statements.
- Avoid social media – While social media websites are the immediate go-to for discussing major events, bicycle accidents should not be discussed here. The liable insurance company could see your posts and use them against you.
- Document your physical condition and injuries – It is incredibly important to take photographs of all injuries before they begin to heal. Pictures of injuries at their worst will be invaluable later when asserting your case to the insurance company.
- Speak to a lawyer – Filing a lawsuit on your own isn’t just difficult, it’s also emotionally taxing. When you partner with a bicycle accident lawyer, they can manage everything your lawsuit requires from start to finish. They can investigate your collision, determine the at-fault and liable parties, and prove your case at trial.
Our Injury Firm Is Ready to Start Building Your Case Today
If you were injured in a bicycle accident in Florida, it’s important to consider legal aid. Our team has advocated for injured claimants since we first opened our doors in 2006. Additionally, we have multiple offices and service locations throughout the Sunshine State.
We will do everything possible to recover what you need to move past your bicycle accident.
Call the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine
If you or a loved one suffered harm in a bicycle accident, our injury lawyers will fight for what you need. You can explore your options during a free case review with our team. Here, we can discuss your situation and what legal services meet your needs.
We Can Help.