Bike & Pedestrian Accident FAQ
Answers from Aggressive Fort Myers Pedestrian Accident Attorneys
If you or someone you know has been involved in a bicycle or pedestrian accident in Florida, you’re likely feeling overwhelmed and unsure. You probably have a lot of questions, and that’s normal. Getting solid answers to those questions can help you make smart decisions in the hours and days ahead.
This page will answer some of the most frequently asked questions concerning Florida pedestrian law and the rules of the road for those who walk, jog, or bike. We’ll also explain how we can help by taking a stand against insurance companies and demanding maximum compensation in each case.
Viles & Beckman, LLC is an aggressive personal injury law firm in Fort Myers, FL, serving the broader Florida community since 1995. We care about our clients and we fight for them with the passion and zeal they deserve.
- Will my own auto insurance cover me in a FL bicycle or pedestrian accident?
- Can I still sue for an accident if I was partly at fault?
- What if I wasn’t wearing a bicycle helmet?
- Can I sue a driver even if the car never hit me?
- What if the driver fled the scene (Florida pedestrian hit and run)?
- How much will a lawyer cost me?
- Where can I get answers to my legal questions?
Will My Auto Insurance Cover Me in a FL Bicycle or Pedestrian Accident?
Many pedestrian accidents open more than one avenue for compensation. Yes, your own auto insurance policy may provide coverage for your injuries even if you’re injured while walking, jogging, or bicycling. The extent of that coverage will depend on the terms of your policies, which can be confusing and misleading, so we recommend asking a lawyer to look at them before drawing any conclusions.
In most cases, though, your own auto insurance policy won’t become your primary source of compensation. Rather, it is the at-fault driver and his or her insurance policy that have the principal legal obligation to pay for your damages.
The experienced Fort Myers pedestrian accident attorneys at Viles & Beckman, LLC can explore each and every path available for your compensation, making the most of your rights under the law.
Can I Still Sue for an Accident if I Was Partly at Fault?
In Florida, the answer is usually yes. Our state applies the comparative negligence doctrine, which allows a victim to recover compensation even if she or he shares in the negligence that caused the accident.
For example, if a pedestrian jaywalks and is hit by a car that’s speeding, both parties were arguably negligent. The pedestrian should have used a crosswalk and the driver should have obeyed the speed limit. It would be up to the court, then, to decide how much of the fault to assign to each person.
A jury might assign 20 percent of the fault to the pedestrian and 80 percent to the driver. The pedestrian’s total recovery would then be reduced by 20 percent. So, if the pedestrian had incurred $100,000 in damages, he or she would still receive $80,000 despite being partly at fault. (Please note that these numbers are purely hypothetical.)
Comparative negligence is a very complicated doctrine. Our Fort Myers pedestrian accident attorneys have handled many of these cases in the past and we can help you understand how comparative negligence might apply to your claim. Please don’t come to any conclusions without talking to us first.
What if I Wasn’t Wearing a Bicycle Helmet? Does Florida Bicycle Law Require Helmets?
While we strongly recommend that everyone wear a helmet while riding a bike, Florida bicycle law does not require cyclists aged 16 or older to wear a helmet.
Even if you were under the age of 16 at the time of your accident, the fact that you were not wearing a helmet does not necessarily prevent you from winning. If the person who injured you was behaving negligently, you may still be able to recover under Florida bicycle law.
Can I Sue a Driver Even if the Car Never Made Physical Contact with Me?
Yes. Under Florida law regarding pedestrians, the important question to ask is not whether there was a collision but, rather, did one party’s negligent behavior cause the other person’s injuries? There are many instances of driving negligently that can cause harm to cyclists or pedestrians even when there is no physical collision.
One common scenario is the bicyclist who swerves to avoid a car that is speeding toward them. In that case, the cyclist can still sue for the damages that are sustained in the subsequent crash.
If you have questions about how Florida pedestrian law might apply in your case, our Fort Myers pedestrian accident attorneys can help.
What if the Driver Fled the Scene (Florida Pedestrian Hit and Run)?
Unfortunately, hit and run accidents are a real problem in Florida, and that is especially true where bicyclists and pedestrians are concerned. There is good news, though: most hit-and-run drivers get caught. And even if they don’t, you still have hope.
The experienced and aggressive Fort Myers bicycle accident attorneys at Viles & Beckman, LLC can help you pursue compensation from other negligent parties.
These may include:
- Local governments
- Private third-party employers
- Bicycle manufacturers
- Vehicle manufacturers
- Other motorists
- Property owners
- Other negligent parties
- Your own insurance providers (depending on the facts and circumstances of your case)
How Much Will a Lawyer Cost Me?
We never charge our clients attorney’s fees unless and until we settle their case or secure a favorable verdict at trial. That means no out-of-pocket costs for you.
At Viles & Beckman, LLC, everyone is able to afford a lawyer. There’s nothing to lose.
Where Can I Get Answers to My Legal Questions?
We offer free case evaluations to bike and pedestrian accident victims in Florida. Simply call (239) 334-3933 or contact us online to get answers from our Fort Myers bicycle accident attorneys.