Factors To Consider Before Settling Your Florida Bicycle Accident Claim
Bicycles are quite popular in the Sunshine State. Unfortunately, bicycle accidents in Florida are quite common to the extent that the Sunshine State has been named the most dangerous state for bicyclists. According to the FLHSMV, in 2020, there were 6,013 bicycle accidents in Florida, resulting in 2,687 serious injuries and 668 deaths. Unfortunately, if a bicycle accident, especially one involving a motor vehicle, does not leave a cyclist dead, it will most likely leave them with serious bodily injuries. This is because bicycles do not offer cyclists protection.
There are many different reasons why bicycle accidents happen a lot in Florida. Some of the most common causes of bicycle accidents in the Sunshine State include;
- Failure to yield
- Visibility issues
- Failure to obey traffic signs or signals
- Distracted driving
- Impaired driving
From the above list, it is evident that most bicycle accidents are a result of negligence, meaning that most bicycle accidents can be prevented. Fortunately, in Florida, if a cyclist gets involved in a bicycle accident because of a motorist’s negligence, they can recover compensation from the motorist.
If you just initiated a personal injury claim against an at-fault party after a Florida bicycle accident, the chances are, the at-fault party’s insurance company has already given you an initial settlement offer. It is understandable if you are thinking about accepting this offer. However, it is not advisable that you accept it. It would be best to consider several crucial factors before accepting this initial offer from the at-fault party’s insurance company. Accepting an insurance company’s initial settlement offer without careful consideration of crucial factors could mean accepting an unfair settlement.
The following are some of the most crucial factors to consider before settling a Florida bicycle accident claim.
Factor #1: Stage of Recovery
One of the most crucial things you need to consider before settling a Florida bicycle accident claim is the stage of recovery. It is advisable that you only accept a settlement after reaching maximum medical improvement (MMI). At this stage, your injuries have healed completely, or you understand the level of severity of your injuries. Once an individual reaches MMI, they can approximate how much they will require for future medical care. Therefore, waiting until you reach MMI can ensure you recover the compensation you deserve.
Suppose you accept a settlement before reaching maximum medical improvement only for you to discover later on that your injuries are worse than you thought. You cannot re-open your case and ask the insurance company to give you additional compensation in such a case. If you accept payment and then discover that your injuries are worse than you thought, you will have to find a way to cater to your medical expenses.
Factor #2: The Value of Your Pain and Suffering
Florida personal injury law allows victims of negligence to recover more than just economic damages from at-fault parties. In Florida, a bicycle accident victim can recover pain and suffering damages on top of other damages such as medical expenses and lost wages. Therefore, before accepting a bicycle accident settlement offer, you need to think about the pain and suffering that the accident has caused you. You should not take an insurance company’s settlement offer if the insurance company has not factored in your pain and suffering or if the insurance company has underestimated the value of your pain and suffering.
Remember, you are entitled to be compensated for both physical and emotional pain and suffering.
Protect Your Rights
If you were injured in Florida by a negligent driver while riding your bicycle, it is crucial that you retain the services of a skilled attorney. You should hire an experienced attorney who can help you conduct a thorough investigation and establish fault. It is crucial that you hire a skilled attorney who can help you understand and protect your legal rights. Insurance companies at times try to get out of compensating bicycle accident victims by claiming that the victim is also to blame for their accident. An attorney can help you recover compensation even if you are partly to blame for your accident. If a cyclist’s negligent conduct contributes to the injuries, losses, and damages they suffer, they can still recover compensation from an at-fault driver because Florida follows the pure comparative negligence rule when deciding personal injury cases.
Contact a Naples Bicycle Accident Attorney
If you were hurt in a bicycle accident in Florida because of another motorist’s negligence, you should speak with an experienced bicycle accident attorney as soon as possible. Do not accept a settlement offer from an insurance company before speaking to an attorney.
Contact a Naples bicycle accident attorney at The Law Offices of Marc L. Shapiro today at 239-329-8138 to schedule a consultation and discuss your bicycle accident case.