Sadly, a bicyclist died and another bicyclist sustained injuries after being struck by a Miami-Dade police vehicle. The accident occurred on June 28, 2020, near Sewage Plant Road and Arthur Lamb Road. The collision occurred around 7:17 a.m. in Virginia Key Park.
Several fire and rescue units responded to the accident. Emergency services transported the bicyclists to Ryder Trauma Center at Jackson Memorial Hospital. The investigation is ongoing at this time.
Bicycle Accidents are Common in Miami
Thousands of bicycle accidents injure or kill riders each year in the United States. Florida led the country in the number of bicycle fatalities for 2018. The state had the highest fatality rate per million population for bicycle deaths in the United States.
The causes of bicycle accidents vary. In many cases, human error is the main contributing factor in the reason for the bicycle accident.
Common causes of bicycle accidents in Miami include:
- distracted driving and distracted bicycling
- speeding drivers
- reckless driving
- drowsy driving
- failing to yield the right of way
- drunk driving
- failure to obey traffic laws
- inexperienced riders
- road conditions
- poor weather conditions
Proving fault for the bicycle accident is crucial. A rider cannot recover compensation for injuries and damages unless the rider can prove that the driver caused the crash. If the bicyclist can prove that the driver was entirely responsible for causing the bicycle accident, the rider may be entitled to full compensation for all damages, injuries, and losses.
Common Bicycle Accident Injuries
Bicycle accidents tend to cause catastrophic and life-threatening injuries. The bicyclist has no protection from the impact of the vehicle.
In many cases, the rider is thrown from the bicycle and may be crushed under the vehicle or between the vehicle and another object. The resulting injuries can be severe. Common bicycle injuries include:
- lacerations and abrasions
- broken bones and fractures
- head and brain injuries
- back and spinal cord injuries
- loss of limbs
- skull fractures
- neck injuries
- soft tissue injuries
- scarring and disfigurement
- wrongful death
The severity and type of injury, along with the total of the financial losses, have a significant impact on the value of a bicycle accident claim. Carefully documenting your damages helps increase the chance of recovering maximum compensation for your personal injury claim.
What Damages are Available for a Miami Bicycle Accident?
The damages available for a bicycle accident claim vary. However, several types of damages are common in most bicycle accident cases:
- the cost of medical treatment and care, including hospitalizations, surgeries, therapy, counseling, and in-home health care
- the cost of personal care and services
- lost wages and income, including loss of benefits, overtime pay, and commissions
- decreases in earning potential
- pain and suffering, including physical pain, emotional distress, and mental anguish
- scarring, permanent impairments, and disabilities
- loss of quality of life or enjoyment of life
- property damage
Calculating the value of a bicycle accident claim can be challenging. There is not a standard formula for valuing a person’s pain and suffering. Also, numerous factors affect the value of the claim, such as:
- the severity of your injuries
- total financial losses
- the duration of your recovery
- whether you sustained disabilities or permanent impairments
- the available insurance coverage
- whether you are partially at fault for the cause of the accident
Before accepting a settlement offer from an insurance provider, talk to a personal injury lawyer. The insurance company wants to pay as little as possible to get rid of your claim. Therefore, claims adjusters tell victims the settlement offer is fair, even though many offers are far below the actual value of the injury claim.
Can I Recover Compensation if I am at Fault?
Florida’s comparative fault laws do not bar an accident victim from recovering compensation if the victim is partially to blame for the accident. However, your compensation may be lower if you had any fault for the cause of the bicycle accident.
Under a pure comparative fault system, your compensation is reduced by the percentage of fault assigned to you for the cause of the crash. For instance, if you are 50 percent to blame for the bicycle accident, the compensation you receive is reduced by one-half.
Insurance companies like to blame bicyclists for accidents to get out of paying valid claims. Be cautious of this fact. The claims adjuster may try to get you to say something that could be used to argue you were at fault.
Talk to a bicycle accident lawyer before you provide any statements or answer questions for an insurance company. Do not wait too long to talk to a lawyer. There is a deadline for filing bicycle accident claims, and the deadline could be shorter if a government employee or vehicle were involved in the accident.