Naples Bicycle Accident Lawyer
Florida has long had a reputation as one of the most dangerous states for bicyclists. Indeed, in 2021 there were 183 fatal bicycle accidents in the state, according to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. And that represents just a small fraction of the thousands of bicycle accidents that occur every year in the Sunshine State.
While bicycles are a great way to enjoy fresh air and exercise, every bicyclist understands the risk they take when forced to share the road with motor vehicles. Motorists are often negligent and downright reckless when it comes to bicycles. If you have been injured as the result of such negligence, you have the right to take legal action. The skilled Naples bicycle accident lawyer at the Pendas Law Firm can represent you in seeking compensation for your physical injuries and other losses arising from a preventable crash.
Will Your Insurance Cover Your Bicycle Accident?
It may surprise you to learn that if you are covered by a Florida auto insurance policy, your insurer may be required to cover you even if you are injured while riding your bicycle. All Florida vehicle owners must carry “personal injury protection” (PIP) coverage, which provides “no-fault” benefits in the event of an auto accident. These benefits also apply to a bicycle accident involving a covered person.
This is, however, something of a double-edge sword. Florida law requires you to look to your PIP coverage first before taking any legal action against a negligent motorist. And most PIP policies only provide a minimum amount of coverage for medical expenses, often just $10,000. This is generally not enough to cover a serious bicycle accident, considering the relative lack of protection a bicyclist has when hit by a multi-ton car or truck.
It is possible to go beyond the no-fault system and file a personal injury claim against a negligent party if a bicyclist’s injuries are serious enough–for instance, if they are left with a permanent disability or disfigurement. But it is critical to work with an experienced bicycle accident lawyer who understands the law in this area, which is often quite complex and confusing for someone who is already struggling to deal with their injuries.
You also should never assume that the motorist–or their insurance company–will admit fault for a bicycle accident. They are just as likely to try and blame the bicyclist for causing the crash. Florida is a comparative negligence state, which means a defendant in a personal injury case can attempt to reduce their liability by shifting some (or even all) of the blame to the plaintiff. So you must be prepared to defend your own actions in court as a bicyclist.
Contact The Pendas Law Firm Today
The reality is that many bicycle accidents are the result of negligent motorists who refuse to share the road in a safe and responsible manner. If you have been the victim of such negligence and need legal advice on what steps to take next, contact the Pendas Law Firm today to schedule a consultation with our Naples bicycle accident lawyer.