Articles Posted in Bicycle Injuries

Auto Crash.001As parents, we do our best to protect our children from harm. As part of regular every day life, children are transported to and from school, sport practices, and other activities. It is common to see children in vehicles before and after school as well during the school day while attending field trips and other school related activities. Unfortunately, there are far too many drivers on the road who fail to pay attention to traffic, road conditions, weather, and, yes, the presence of children in passenger vehicles, school buses, day care center vans, and other vehicles.

When a child is injured as a result of the negligence of another driver, the parents on behalf of the child can pursue a personal injury claim or case. Certainly, as a passenger, there can be no fault attributed to the child passenger; however, it should be noted that only children under the age of 6 years old are immune from being blamed in part or whole for his or her actions. As such, let’s say a 12 year old is a passenger in a vehicle but fails to wear a seatbelt. The 12 year old may be blamed in part for the personal injuries if it can be established that there was an operational seatbelt and that the use of a seatbelt would have prevented the injuries in the entirety. If the seatbelt would have lessened the injuries, then a case or claim can still be pursued. In most instances, a child is wearing a seatbelt and this particular issue is avoided due to the child’s reasonable actions in wearing a seatbelt.

Moving beyond potential seatbelt issues, it is important that the injured child receive immediate care through an emergency room, urgent care center, clinic, or pediatrician’s office. From there, if the child is still experiencing pain and / or other medical complications, follow up care should be sought and obtained on behalf of the injured child. Handling a personal injury case or claim is not an easy task or endeavor. This is especially true when the parent is dealing with the challenges or issues on his or her own without the benefit of legal advice or legal representation. As such, when a child is injured, it is important to consult with a Child Injury Lawyer who can provide the necessary guidance, direction, and, yes, legal representation when the injuries warrant the involvement of an attorney.

Florida Bicycle Accident Injuries.001Florida is a state that is filled year round with bicycle rides and cyclists of all ages and skill levels.  During any given trip by a driver of a motor vehicle – long or short, there is a high probability that you will pass or see a bicyclist on or near the roadway. It is vital that all drivers slow down near bicyclists and treat each bicyclist with due respect.  Let’s face it – a bicyclist / bicycle is no match (weight, force, and speed) for any motor vehicle out on the roads.   Distracted driving is an ongoing problem in the State of Florida.  Drivers are unfortunately and tragically paying more attention to their phone, text messages, and e-mails than other drivers, pedestrians, and, yes, bicyclist on or near the roads, highways, and streets.
Florida has adopted a comparative fault set of laws applicable to automobile accidents, trucking accidents, bicycle accidents, and pedestrian accidents.  In other words, in order to pursue a case for compensation for personal injuries, the injured bicyclist can be partially at fault for the accident or incident.  In representing an injured bicyclist, it is preferable if the driver is 100 % at fault; however, there may be circumstances where the bicyclist is partially at fault. There also can be situations in which two or more drivers may be at fault for a bicycle accident leading to personal injuries.
It should be noted that under Florida Statutes a bicyclist is given the same rights as a pedestrian under many situations.  As such, drivers should keep the law in mind as well the safety of all bicyclists and pedestrians in mind when operating a motor vehicle in the State of Florida.  It should also be noted that Florida has adopted a Dangerous Instrumentality Law as it applies to automobile accidents and bicycle accidents.  As such, the registered owner of a motor vehicle is liable for the negligence of a permissive driver even if the owner did nothing wrong OR was not even present at the time of the incident or crash leading to the personal injuries of the bicyclist.

Red Bicycle.001In the State of Florida, a bicycle can be operated on a street, sidewalk, and crosswalk.   Pursuant to Section 316.2065 (9), Florida Statutes – Bicycle Regulations:

316.2065 (9) A person propelling a vehicle by human power upon and along a sidewalk, or across a roadway upon and along a crosswalk, has all the rights and duties applicable to a pedestrian under the same circumstances.

As such, a bicyclist is essentially considered a pedestrian when operating a bicycle on a sidewalk and crosswalk. It is important for all drivers to be on the look out for bicyclists in the community whether the bicyclist / cyclist is a toddler, child, teen, adult, or competitive cyclist of any age. Florida weather permits bicycle riding year round.  As such, drivers should always be on the lookout for cyclist at all times.  Unfortunately, far too many bicyclist are injured every year due to the negligent driving of others and / or distracted driving of others.

Red Bicycle.001In Florida, there is a common activity in every one of the 67 counties – children riding their bicycles.   From toddlers on trikes to teens on mountain bikes and racers, children enjoy the freedom and exercise of riding their bicycles on and near Florida roads and streets.  While it is a very enjoyable and normally healthy activity to participate in, it can also be quite dangerous.   The truth is that the road is filled with drivers who are in a hurry and drivers who are distracted.   Just a second of inaction or carelessness behind the wheel of a motor vehicle can have drastic and life altering effects on the child bicyclist.  As such, it is vital that ALL DRIVERS be on the look out for the child bicyclist in the community.   A child bicyclist can be seen in a variety of locations from the driveway to the neighborhood to busy streets and parking lots. Wherever you see a child bicyclist, SLOW DOWN and MAKE SURE that the child is not put in harm’s way.   Safety awareness and attention are keys to protecting our children in the community who are bicyclists / cyclists.

If a child bicyclist is hit by a motor vehicle while riding a bicycle, the family of the child can pursue a legal case or claim on behalf of the injured child.   There are four essential elements to prove in a Florida Bicycle Injury Case as follows:

1. Duty;

Bicycle Injury Rider.001In the State of Florida and other states, bicyclists are put at risk for personal injuries.  From the simple bicycle ride of a child to a more rigorous bicycle ride by an experienced cyclist, an injury, accident, or crash could take place at any place and time.  Some bicycle injuries are quite minor in the form of a scared knee or elbow that heal quickly; however, other bicycle accident related injuries can be quite significant and change the life of the injured cyclist.  Tragically, far too many cyclists from toddlers to elementary school age children to teens to adults to seniors die every year due to the negligent driving of an operator of passenger vehicle or commercial vehicle.  Any time that a driver gets behind the wheel of a vehicle, the driver should keep in mind that on any given trip there will be pedestrians, cyclists (bicycles), and bikers (motorcycles) on the roadway.  There is a common expression or theme out there – Look Twice for Motorcycles.  This simple but powerful advice applies the same and even more to pedestrians and cyclists especially those who are children.
When a cyclist is injured or a cyclist dies as a result of the fault of a driver, the cyclist and the family of the cyclist can seek compensation for the damages (personal and property) caused by the bicycle accident  Most states have adopted a comparative fault form of liability for bicycle accidents.  In other words, even if the cyclist was partially at fault, an injury claim or case can still be pursued on behalf of the injured cyclist and / or the family of the injured cyclist.  It should be pointed out that each claim or case involving a bicycle accident or injury should be evaluated on its own merits, facts, and circumstances. It is important that the injured cyclist and family retain the services of an experienced Personal Injury Attorney to review the facts, circumstances, insurance coverages, medical bills, and medical records to determine the recommended practical and legal courses of action.
A police report detailing the details of the bicycle accident can be helpful as part of the investigation; however, it should be noted that a case or claim can be pursued on behalf of an injured bicyclist even without a bicycle accident report and even without a favorable bicycle accident report. In other words, if the police officer places some or all of the fault for a bicycle accident on the injured cyclist, a civil claim or case can still be pursued on behalf of the injured cyclist. In most instances, the police officer, deputy sheriff, and / or highway patrol trooper arrive on the scene after the bicycle accident has already taken place.  As such, the police officer is merely assessing the information as he or she processed it at the time of the crash.  In most jurisdiction, for purposes of a bicycle accident, the police officer is not given the role of insurance adjuster, judge, or jury.  In other words, the conclusions and evaluations of the police officer are not completely dispositive of a claim or case on behalf of an injured cyclist.

Bicycle Injury Rider.001In every community, there are cyclists and bicyclists of all types and ages.  It is important for drivers to slow down any time a cyclist is on or near the roadway.  Let’s face it.  A bicyclist, even an experienced one, is no match for a vehicle that crashes into or cuts off the bicyclist.  The result of such an incident or crash can be devastating and tragically ends of the life of far too many bicyclist.  Many bicycle accidents are preventable with safer and more attention driving.   Drivers should slow down and be respectful of bicyclists and cyclists.  Many injured cyclists are children who lack the safety awareness and motor skills to avoid impact with a vehicle that is heading straight for the bicyclist or cuts off the bicyclist.
This leads to a question that is common in bicycle accident cases.  What the value of a bicycle accident case?  While this may seem like a simple question, there is no simple answer to such an question. There are a variety of factors that are considered when properly evaluating a bicycle accident case.  For instance, the value of a case depends in part of the seriousness of the injuries.  An abrasion to the shin that heals in a weeks is evaluated much differently that a fractured leg that requires surgery.  Another factor to consider involves the amount and type of automobile insurance coverage in place.  Let’s say that a cyclist is hit by a vehicle through no fault of the cyclist.  The cyclist was wearing a bicycle helmet but still suffered a traumatic brain injury (TBI) that required 1 year of treatment and the bicyclist now has ongoing headaches, memory problems, and cognitive problems.  One would think that this case has a significant value.  Let’s assume that the at-fault driver had $1,000,000 (One Million Dollars) in insurance coverage.  Then, yes, the case would have significant value and there is a good amount of insurance to cover the injuries.  One could even argue that the injuries exceed $1,000,000 (One Million Dollars).  For most injured bicyclists, the amount of automobile insurance coverage is much less than $1,000,000.  Let’s say that there is $25,000 in coverage.  Let’s further say that the case has a value from an injury standpoint of $750,000.  Even though the injuries are quite significant from a medical and value standpoint, the case may utimately be resolved (for practical reasons) for the Inusrance policy limits of $25,000.
Before making any decisions as to the settlement or a resolution of a case, the injured cyclist and his or her family should have an experienced Florida Personal Injury to evaluate the case and to provide advice, guidance, and legal representation.

medical_1000006509-120613intDuring the summer time and other parts of the year in Florida, it is common to see children especially toddlers on bicycles and riding toys on or near driveways.   A good question is the following:
What riding toys are dangerous on or near driveways?
The answer to this question may surprise you.  The answer is all of the riding toys are dangerous.   This is because there are risks of personal injuries to any child on a riding toy or bicycle on or near the driveway.   Let’s say an example to discuss.  A 4 year old child is riding his three wheel cycle on the drivveway.  Like many such toys, this three wheeler is low to the ground and below the vision of most drivers.   While there are backup cameras in many newer model vehicles, a child riding a low three wheeler can often times be missed by a driver who is backing out of of driveway or driving into a driveway.   Also, children lack good safety judgment.   A 4 year old who is not being supervised can easily ride right into the street and into traffic.  This can, in turn, lead to serious personal injuries to the child.  Here are some safety tips to keep in mind:

Vehicle - Large SUV OrangeHit and run accidents are unfortunately part of every community. There are drivers who carelessly cause accidents and injuries to pedestrians, bicyclists, and occupants of other vehicles and then simply flee the scene.  Some are caught in the act or thereafter. Others are never located.  For those who are located, there can be both criminal and civil law consequences to these actions.   For many of these hit and run accidents, the at-fault driver lacks insurance OR lacks good insurance to cover the accident related personal injuries, bills, and damages.  If there is no insurance or just minimal insurance, there are other sources of compensation to accident / injury victims in the State of Florida as follows:
Victim of Crimes Compensation Fund.  An injury victim can claim up to $10,000 through a fund set up through the State of Florida. The process can be started through the local sheriff’s office or the local state attorney’s office. 
PIP (Personal Injury Protection).   The injury victim can utilize available PIP benefits under a vehicle owned by the victim or owned by a resident relative of a victim.   If a parent has an automobile insurance policy, the medical bills for the injured child can be processed under the parents’ PIP insurance policy even if the child was injured as  pedestrian or a bicyclist.

Bicycle - Child InjuryIn Florida as well as other states, it is still common to read about children being injured in bicycle accidents with motor vehicles.  Let’s face it – a bicycle is no match for a vehicle of any size.  When a child is hit while riding a bicycle, tricycle, or riding toy, there can be significant personal injuries and, in some instances, the tragic death of a child.  It is important for drivers of all ages to slow down any time that there are children in the area whether they are pedestrians or bicycle riders.  It should also be noted that children have poor safety awareness.  As such, a driver should be on the alert for any sudden or unsafe actions by the children in the area.
When a child is injured as a result of the negligence or carelessness of a driver, there are many issues and challenges faced by the parents and the injured child.   Who is going to pay for the medical bills? Is a parent’s wage loss a covered expense under insurance policies? Where can the child get follow up care and treatment if there is no health insurance or Medicaid?  What insurance is required for the at-fault driver?  What insurance is required for the at-fault vehicle owner?  When can a child get the compensation he or she deserved for the accident related personal injuries?   Are there any restrictions when dealing with the settlement on behalf of a minor child?  These are just a few questions of many that arise in these situations.  Because of the complexity of these cases and the importance of acting in the best interests of the injured child, a parent should seek out legal representation from a Florida Child Injury Lawyer  for advice, guidance, and, yes, legal representation.
A crash or accident can take place at any time of the day and at any location.   A child could get run over or hit in a driveway, near a park, and even while just casually walking on or riding on a sidewalk.   In Florida, there is a concept called the Dangerous Instrumentality Law.  This means that the owner of a vehicle is liable for the injuries caused by an automobile / bicycle accident if the owner consented to the driver’s use of the vehicle. There can be implied consent and there can be express consent.

 Highway ViewSince people began driving automobiles, there have always been a problem with distracted driving.  Now that virtually every driver out there owns a mobile phone or has access to one, distracted driving is even more prevalent if there is any mobile phone use during the driver.   That’s right, any mobile phone usage.  Whether it is a quick check of a text message or a telephone call, mobile phones take a driver’s eyes, ears, and / or mind off the primary task and responsibility of driving.   It is estimated that in 2012, there were over 3,000 who died as a result of automobile accidents caused by distracted driving.  Another disturbing figure involves the number of people suffering personal injuries as a result of distracted driving. In 2012, over 420,000 people suffered personal injuries as a result of distracted driving.  Most such accidents are avoidable and preventable.   Children, as drivers or passengers, are often injured due to the negligence, fault, and / or distracted driving of another person.  Here are some types of distracted driving:
* Mobile Phone Use (talking – conversation);
* Text Messaging;