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Cyclist Accident in Pembroke Pines by Westfork Plaza

The cyclist accident involved a 15-year-old cyclist from Pembroke Pines who was riding his bicycle Monday when he was struck by a car, authorities said.

 

The boy, who was not identified by Pembroke Pines police, was riding on the sidewalk eastbound on the 15800 block of Pines Boulevard near Westfork Plaza when he tried to cross the entrance of the shopping plaza. The 68-year-old driver turned to exit the mall and dragged the cyclist under her vehicle, police said they found in a preliminary investigation.

 


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Bike riding is a four season activity in the Sunshine State, whether you cycle for your commute, exercise, or fun. Unfortunately, its year-round popularity may also put you at a higher risk of being hurt in a bicycle accident.

 


 

Data regarding bike collisions should be of particular importance to anyone living in Florida, the #1 US state for fatal bicycle crashes.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that in 2020, 127 Florida bicyclists lost their lives in bicycle accidents. Notably, this statistic appears to be heading in the right direction as 155 Florida bicyclists lost their lives in bicycle accidents in 2019.

According to a AAA study, fifty-three percent of motorists say one of their concerns is not having enough room to drive around cyclists. Similarly, 53 percent of motorists say they worry about cyclists swerving or falling into traffic, 35 percent are concerned they won’t see the cyclist in the first place, and 34 percent are uneasy about cyclists using the middle lanes in traffic. The study also noted:

  • 36% do not wear a helmet while riding a bicycle
  • 56% ride with traffic; 21% ride against traffic
  • 74% of those who ride against traffic do so because they prefer to see approaching vehicles

 


 

Most of the deaths are due to relatively mundane mistakes on the part of both bikers and motorists.

According to the NHTSA, the following statistics pertain to bicycle accidents in Florida as well as accidents across the US:

  • 38 percent of fatal cyclist accidents were caused by a biker or motorist failing to yield the right of way
  • 10 percent were due to a biker wearing clothing that’s difficult to see at night
  • 8 percent were caused by a failure to obey traffic laws, and another 8 percent happened because the cyclist or motorist made an improper turn.

 

The majority of serious and fatal cyclist accidents occur when a driver fails to yield to a cyclist at an intersection. Other bicycle accidents can occur on crowded side-streets, parking lot entrances/exits, or when a cyclist emerges from in between parked or stopped vehicles.

 


Cyclist Accident in Pembroke Pines by Westfork Plaza 1 Bike Accidents South Florida Injury Law Firm

 

Unfortunately, bicyclists tend to suffer catastrophic injuries when they are hit by large, fast-moving vehicles. As a result, they often need extensive medical care and may be unable to work for weeks or months. In severe cases, these injuries can result in disability, preventing the victim from ever working and earning a living.

 

The condition of the 15 year old who was involved in the cyclist accident has yet to be confirmed. Police are still investigating the scene by Westlake Plaza in Pembroke Pines.

 

What to Do After a Bike Accident

 

The most important thing to do after the accident is seek medical attention. Even if you believe you were not seriously injured, see a doctor and receive a professional medical diagnosis. You should also contact an attorney as soon as possible, as you only have three years from the date of the accident (in most cases) to file a personal injury lawsuit.

Florida bike accidents can leave serious injuries. As South Florida personal injury attorneys, let us help you obtain the compensation you deserve. You focus on getting better. Let us worry about your case.

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Auto Accident Liabilities: Finding Who Is At Fault

Accidents happen every day. In fact, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were 6,452,000 police-reported accidents in one recent year. That’s an AVERAGE of over 17,000 accidents per day! Thankfully, a great deal of these are minor accidents. Regardless of the severity of the accident, there is one critical factor that all insurance companies will want to know:  Who is at fault?

 


Determining liability in a car accident—whether pursued through the insurance company’s claim process or through a personal injury lawsuit—will only be paid out if the injured plaintiff can prove negligence.
There are times when the blame is clear, such as in most rear-end accidents. However, there are other times when there is more than one individual at fault.

 


 

Here is a look at some common car accident scenarios and the process of evaluation that goes into determining fault.

 

  1. Left-turn Accidents

    Left-turn accidents occur when one vehicle is going straight through the intersection while another car is making a left turn and collides into the side of the straight-moving vehicle. Like rear-end accidents, liability is generally easy to determine. Left-turning vehicles have a lower priority in this scenario, meaning that—unless there is a green arrow—they must yield to those moving straight through the intersection. A study from the federal government discovered that the left-turning driver most often committed a critical error, such as “turning with an obstructed view,” “misjudgment of gap or speed,” “inadequate surveillance,” or “false assumption of the other driver’s intentions.”These are all errors that place liability for an accident at the hands of the left-turning driver.

    Are there ever cases where the other driver is at fault, though?

    Yes. While rare, the driver of the straight-moving car may incur some liability for an accident. One such circumstance is in the case of an accident in which the driver of the straight moving car was traveling at a speed far in excess of the speed limit, making it impossible for the turning driver to either see him or her in time or to calculate how much time he or she has to complete the turn.

  2. T-Bone Accidents

    In a collision where one vehicle rear-ends another, the driver of the trailing vehicle is at fault far more often than the leading vehicle. Lawyers will look for signs of distraction, speeding, and following too close on the part of the trailing driver, while also keeping in mind that the lead driver could share blame. Mechanical failure can also contribute to these accidents, so lawyers will pay attention to any signs of a defective part.

    Typically, in a T-bone accident, one vehicle comes flying through an intersection without stopping. The driver might miss the presence of a stop sign or fail to notice that a light turned red. Drunk driving or distracted driving can increase the risk of a T-bone accident. Usually, in these scenarios, you might assume the driver who struck the side door of a vehicle bears liability for the accident. However, you should ask several questions to help determine liability in this scenario.Auto Accident Liabilities: Finding Who Is At Fault 2 Bike Accidents South Florida Injury Law Firm

  3. Running The Light

    Which driver ran the light? In an intersection with a red light, consider which driver ignored traffic laws and came through the intersection without stopping for a red light. Usually, other drivers can easily confirm which driver ignored the light.Which driver ignored a stop sign? In an accident at an intersection with a stop sign, the driver responsible for the accident may have failed to stop for the stop sign or came through the intersection after another driver had already started progressing through the intersection.

    Were both drivers moving at the time of the accident?

    Sometimes, in a T-bone accident, one driver might strike another, stationary vehicle. Sometimes, a car might stall in the middle of the intersection or get stuck due to traffic. While drivers should try to avoid sitting in an intersection, sometimes, circumstances make it impossible to avoid it completely. If one vehicle had to stop, and another one strikes it in the side, the driver who moved after the other vehicle stopped bears liability for the accident.

  4. Head-on Collisions

    Perhaps one of the most deadly types of accidents is a head-on collision. Sometimes referred to as a frontal crash, this type of accident occurs when two vehicles strike one another while traveling in opposite directions. When the fronts of two vehicles collide, it is often at high speed.Survival may depend upon the stretch of road, the reaction time of one or both drivers, and the type of vehicles involved. With the front end of the car receiving the brunt of the impact, larger and heavier vehicles protect occupants better than smaller, lightweight cars.

    Consider the weights of the following vehicles and the force of the impact when they meet, head-on, at high speeds:
    Car (SUV): 3,778 pounds
    Pickup truck: 5,217 pounds
    Minivan: 4,485 pounds

  5. Single-Car Accidents

    Single-car accidents occur when a motorist loses control of a vehicle rolls over, drives off the road, or collides with a stationary object. On the surface, one might assume single-car accidents are always the fault of the driver. But that isn’t the case. Drivers in single-car accidents too-often blame themselves for a crash. In fact, as often as not, fault for single-car accidents lies elsewhere.To begin, even without a collision there can still be another motorist who causes a single-car accident. Take, for example, the common scenario in which a car swerves and crashes into a tree or road barrier in reaction to erratic driving by a second vehicle that goes unharmed. In that case, the driver of the second vehicle has fault, even though he wasn’t technically involved in the accident.

Similar to other scenarios above, automotive manufacturers and municipal road contractors may also have fault for single car accidents if their actions create unsafe conditions leading to a crash. Another party who could have fault for a single-vehicle accident is a drug manufacturer, if it markets a medication with dangerous side-effects without warning about them, leading a driver to fall asleep or to become disoriented behind the wheel.

 

 


What to Do Immediately After a Car Accident

The most important step immediately after a car accident is to seek medical attention. Even if you feel fine, accept transport to the nearest hospital. Internal injuries are often invisible to the naked eye while causing serious harm to your organs. Only a medical professional can determine the true extent of your injuries.

Do provide as much information as you can to law enforcement. If possible, take pictures of the accident scene and if you are too injured to do so, ask a witness to take them for you. Collect the contact information for witnesses and most importantly, try to remain calm. Do not approach or talk to the other driver.

 


 

How a Florida Personal Injury Attorney Can Help You Fight Back

 

As we said at the outset, fault forms the core of the inquiry into who has legal liability for a car accident and the damage it inflicts on innocent victims. Accordingly, lawyers, insurance adjusters, judges, and juries focus a significant amount of effort on determining fault in car accident cases.

 

Finding fault means investigating facts in detail. An attorney representing a client injured in a car accident will usually try to collect as much evidence as possible about the accident, and then (sometimes with the help of forensic experts) will piece that evidence together to form a picture of whose actions led to the collision or accident. In performing this task, lawyers pursue the facts as far as they go until there is no longer a provable, reasonably foreseeable connection between someone’s actions and the accident and injuries.

The more time and information you can provide to your lawyer to do this work, the better your chances of recovering the compensation you deserve. Once fault has been determined, a personal injury attorney can help you file a personal injury lawsuit and fair compensation.

 

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A skilled Florida personal injury attorney can ease your burden in dealing with all of this and help you fight to get the compensation you deserve. Reach out today for a free case review. We will look over the details of your situation and let you know what options are available to you.

 

 

When your life has been turned upside down due to another’s negligence and you are drowning in bills and struggling to recover, you want to make sure you work with the best law firm you can find.

 

What is the difference between a high-quality injury firm and one that will only do the bare minimum?

The people who work there. That is why The South Florida Injury Law Firm is made up of some of the most well-respected and successful injury attorneys around.

Our lawyers have more than 60 years of combined injury law experience, and they have handled just about every type of Florida injury case you can imagine. They are members of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, an elite group of attorneys who have helped settle injury cases worth more than a million dollars. They have been named to Florida Trend’s Legal Elite. They are recognized by the Florida Workers’ Advocates group.

Perhaps even more importantly, they have received glowing reviews from clients – and they get results.

Florida Drivers Cause Bicycle Injuries -- Here's How

Florida Drivers Cause Bicycle Injuries — Here’s How

Florida Drivers Cause Bicycle Injuries -- Here's How

Cycling is not only a convenient and healthy way to get around in Florida, but it’s widely accepted as an effective means of reducing congestion on the road and improving the quality of our environment.

However, the relationship between drivers and cyclists in Florida has always been tinged with antagonism. Motorists often complain that cyclists don’t follow traffic laws. Conversely, cyclists feel that drivers are inconsiderate and unwilling to share the road.

While obviously this is not true across the board for both groups, it is absolutely true that many bicycle-car crashes in Florida can be attributed to reckless and negligent drivers. Unfortunately, when drivers engage in reckless or negligent behaviors, it is bicyclists’ safety that becomes the most compromised, with a high percentage of accidents resulting in serious injuries — and even death.

Given the fact that cyclists are surrounded by much larger, faster, and stronger vehicles, it’s no wonder that this is the case. How bad is it? In 2017, for instance, over 700 bicyclists in the US died in accidents with automobiles.

How are drivers responsible? Any person operating a motor vehicle on Florida roads has a duty of reasonable care to other road users — including cyclists.

Therefore, a driver who fails to act with reasonable care by, for instance, violating traffic laws can be charged with negligence if they hit a bicyclist as a result.

There are many different ways a driver’s negligence can cause a bicycle accident in Florida.

Driving While Intoxicated

Intoxication with either drugs or alcohol impairs a person’s driving capabilities in numerous ways. Intoxicated drivers are also less aware of other road users like bicyclists. It’s thus very easy for a drunk driver to drive right into a bicyclist on the road.

Making Dangerous Turns

Some drivers make the mistake of turning in front of an oncoming cyclist at an intersection. This can easily result in a crash — especially if the driver misjudged the speed of the cyclist.

A dangerous left-hand turn could potentially cut off the cyclist’s path and cause a collison. A right-hand turn, on the other hand, could easily knock over the cyclist or force him or her into the path of another oncoming vehicle. Either way, such dangerous turns may end up injuring or even killing the cyclist.

Refusing to Yield

Some drivers seem to think that they do not have to yield to bicyclists at all. Others neglect to yield because they were looking out for other vehicles on the road rather than bicycles. Either way, refusing to yield can lead to a crash.

Passing Dangerously

Many drivers do not give bicyclists enough space when passing their bicycles on the road. Consequently, the cyclist may be side-swept by the vehicle’s side-view mirror. Also, if the vehicle is an unusually large one, it may cause a strong draft force that pushes the cyclist off the road or into traffic.

South Florida Bicycle Accident Lawyer

Not Looking in the Mirror as They Back Up

Sometimes, drivers pull out of their driveways or parking spaces without looking in their mirrors — or even over their shoulders. Such a driver may fail to see an oncoming bicyclist and end up hitting and injuring them.

Disregarding Dedicated Bicycle Lanes

When driving in Florida, you always have to watch out for bicyclists if you’re driving near bicycle lanes. In particular, extra care is needed at intersections and driveways.

Carelessly Opening Car Doors

When drivers park their vehicle parallel to the road, one of the things they’re supposed to do is check to see if there are any approaching bicyclists. If there are any, drivers must wait for them to pass before opening their door.

Unfortunately, inattentive drivers may barely glance into their mirrors before opening their car doors. A bicyclist who comes in hot will inevitably ride right into the open door. If the cyclist tries to swerve to avoid the door, they may end up swerving into oncoming traffic and causing an accident with a different vehicle.

Boca Raton Injury Attorney

Regardless of what happened in your particular situation, if you were injured in a car-bike accident due to the negligent actions of a driver, you owe it to yourself — and other cyclists — to fight for the compensation you need to recover and get back on the road. Do not allow yourself to simply become another statistic in Florida’s ever-growing number of bicycle crashes. File an injury lawsuit and you can shine a light on bad driver behavior and potentially keep others like you from having to endure a similar fate.

 

 

About the Author:

Jeffrey Braxton is a trial lawyer in Fort Lauderdale who has devoted his career to the practice of personal injury law. As lead trial attorney for the South Florida Injury Law Firm, Jeff has litigated thousands of cases and is a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, an exclusive group of attorneys who have resolved cases in excess of one million dollars.

Riding a Bike to School in Florida: How to Keep Your Kid Safe

Riding a Bike to School in Florida: How to Keep Your Kid Safe

Riding a Bike to School in Florida: How to Keep Your Kid Safe

Did your child get a new bike over the holidays? Are they begging you to let them bike to school… but you’re feeling hesitant about it?

Your worries are understandable. Florida can be a dangerous place for cyclists, and kids aren’t exactly known for being careful.

However, children need to have some sense of autonomy, and if your kid is fighting hard to ride their bike to school, there are some safety techniques you can teach them to reduce their chances of getting into an accident.

Generally speaking, these can be divided into two categories: finding the best route and bike safety basics.

Finding the Best School Bike Route in Florida

Take a Safe Route

The safest route your child can take is a route with a sidewalk or bike path. This route is the best choice – even if it takes a few more minutes for them to get to school.

If your kid has no choice but to ride on the road, choose the route with the least amount of traffic. Take note of the traffic patterns during the school commute in the morning and afternoon. Routes with lower speed limits are generally safer for your child.

Watch for Intersections

If you have a choice, pick a route with fewer intersections. Your child is more likely to get injured in an intersection than you may realize. Also, practice using intersections when you are with your kid. Teach them to watch for the crossing signals and to make turns after looking both ways.

Look for a Distraction-Free Route

Routes with unrestrained pets, cluttered or cracked sidewalks, poor lighting, and any criminal activity can cause dangerous distractions for your child. Navigate the path with them and point out areas where he or she needs to pay closer attention.

Check with Authorities

Your child’s school or your local law enforcement agency may have helpful suggestions on the best routes for your child to take.

Check with Other Parents

Call the school to ask for a list of other parents who allow their children to ride bikes to school. Your child may be able to ride the same route and experience greater safety while making new friends.

The Basics of Bike Safety

Regular Bike Inspections

Help your child regularly check the bike’s chains, brakes, and tires. If you need to make repairs, don’t delay. A faulty bike can lead to serious injuries that you can easily avoid with regular bike inspections.

Keep the Helmet On

Your child can reduce his or her risk of head injury by at least 45 percent every time he or she wears a bike helmet. Because of this, it’s important to teach your child to never ride a bike without a helmet. Ever.

Wear Highly Visible Items

The right gear matters. Your child should wear light-colored or bright-colored clothing to be highly visible while riding their bike. If possible, choose jackets, shoes, and backpacks with reflective details that increase visibility. You can also add your own reflective tape to your child’s existing items.

Ride with Caution

It’s important that your child rides in a straight line and stays alert while riding. Your child’s risk of injury drops when he or she keeps both hands on the handlebars and eyes on the road. Also, make sure to teach your child the proper hand signals to use when turning and stopping.

South Florida Child Bicycle Accidents

Even after taking these precautions, it’s possible that your child may still be injured in a bike accident due to another’s negligence. However, arming them with these tips gives them the best chance at safely spreading their wings.

 

About the Author:

Jeffrey Braxton is a trial lawyer in Fort Lauderdale who has devoted his career to the practice of personal injury law. As lead trial attorney for the South Florida Injury Law Firm, Jeff has litigated thousands of cases and is a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, an exclusive group of attorneys who have resolved cases in excess of one million dollars.

Protect Yourself from Bike Injuries in Florida with This Safety Gear

Protect Yourself from Bike Injuries in Florida with This Safety Gear

Protect Yourself from Bike Injuries in Florida with This Safety Gear

While you can’t prevent every accident, you can protect yourself from many bike injuries in Florida with the right gear.

In this post, we’ll describe the safety equipment you should be using on your ride to decrease your chance of injury – and of getting into a bike accident in the first place.

Essential Safety Equipment for Florida Cyclists

When riding your bike, the best way to stay safe is to be alert to changing conditions and drivers while making good choices. In combination with that, though, it is important to have the right gear.

Some of the below items will be obvious, but others may surprise you. Ready to dive in?

Helmet

Everyone knows the importance of helmets, yet some riders still don’t use them.

A well-made helmet will protect you against a head injury, which can be life-threatening. The best helmets are snug-fitting and impact-absorbing while being aerodynamic.

You can even purchase helmets that integrate with other accessories like headlamps, cameras, and Bluetooth technology. Choose a helmet in a bright, vivid color to make yourself highly visible.

Lights

Cars have had daytime running lights for years because they’ve proven successful at reducing accidents. Well, the same is true for bicycles.

Using a light on your bike during the daytime can reduce your risk of accident by up to 20 percent. Additionally, a bike light is helpful for low-light times of day, such as sunrise or dusk, and essential for night riding. Make yourself visible to other drivers with a powerful bike light and you increase your chances of coming home safe.

Computer

A bike computer can track your ride and provide navigation – that’s right, it can help you find your way back to the main trail if you get lost. You can even sync your bike computer with your phone to automatically send location alerts to loved ones you choose.

First-Aid Kit

Bike accidents are so common, it’s essential for you to carry along a small first-aid kit to bandage minor cuts and scrapes. Kits made for bikers are lightweight and easy to strap on.

Bell

A bike bell can alert others to your presence. They can be especially helpful if you sense an oncoming collision. Bike bells are inexpensive and may enable you to avoid situations where you could be injured.

Reflective Features

You can purchase reflective stripes for your bike wheels to increase visibility, which may help you avoid an accident.

Clothing

Essential Safety Equipment for Florida Cyclists

Cyclists need clothing that fits snugly to the body while wicking moisture away and offering sun protection. If your clothing is brightly colored and features reflective materials, you’ll be even safer on the road.

Shoes

The best shoes for bikers have lots of traction on their soles and extra reflective coating. Your shoes need a good grip to balance and protect you in case of a fall.

Sunglasses

The best sunglasses for bicyclists fit well with a helmet, shield your eyes from glare, and protect your eyes from UV rays, flying objects, and insects. Guard your eyes from injury with the right pair of sunglasses.

Water Bottle

Staying hydrated while you ride keeps you alert, which can prevent you from getting injured. Look for a water bottle that clips to your bike, so you can easily reach down for drinks while you’re riding.

Mirror

A rear-view mirror can be a bicyclist’s best friend for preventing injuries. Some mirrors attach to helmets or sunglasses, while others attach to the bike’s handlebars.

Emergency Bracelet

If you are injured in a bike accident and can’t speak for yourself, an emergency bracelet can list medical conditions as well as emergency contact information. Don’t leave on a bike ride without one.

What’s Next If You Are Injured on a Bike Ride in Florida

Even if you take every precaution and use the best safety gear, you could still get in a bike accident that can cause significant injuries. If someone else is at fault, you shouldn’t be responsible for your medical bills, lost income, property damage, and other expenses. Reach out to an injury lawyer to learn your options.

These are the most common bike injuries that may qualify as grounds for a personal injury lawsuit:

  • Head injury
  • Neck injury
  • Broken bones
  • Lower back pain
  • Knee pain
  • Numbness in extremities
  • Muscle pain
  • Lack of concentration
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder

What’s Next If You Are Injured on a Bike Ride in Florida

If you are injured while riding your bike, note details at the scene if you are able. Get contact information for all witnesses and take pictures of your injuries, the bike, and the other vehicle if applicable. Don’t forget to file a police report as well. These details will be crucial to your personal injury case.

Most importantly: see a doctor. No matter how minor your injury, it’s important that you seek medical attention as soon as possible. You could experience symptoms that require many months of treatment or therapy, but they don’t always show up right away. A doctor will be able to detect problems you don’t even know you have.

 

 

About the Author: 

Jeffrey Braxton is a trial lawyer in Fort Lauderdale who has devoted his career to the practice of personal injury law. As lead trial attorney for the South Florida Injury Law Firm, Jeff has litigated thousands of cases and is a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, an exclusive group of attorneys who have resolved cases in excess of one million dollars.

A Florida Driver Hits You on Your Bike – What Do You Do Next?      

A Florida Driver Hits You on Your Bike – What Do You Do Next?      

A Florida Driver Hits You on Your Bike – What Do You Do Next?      

Have you gotten injured in a bicycle accident caused by a driver? In this post, we’ll describe the do’s and don’ts after you experience this type of injury.

After a Bicycle Accident – Do’s

Follow these suggestions to protect your rights after a bicycle accident that involves a vehicle.

File a Police Report

Even if you think your injuries are minor, be sure to wait until the police arrive at the scene of the accident. Many injuries may not show up for hours or even days after the event. Some injuries, such as whiplash, can require months of physical therapy that you will pay for out of pocket unless the police document the accident.

Document Your Side of the Story

When the police arrive, make sure they record your version of what happened. The police may ask the driver and not ask you unless you volunteer information.

Collect Driver Information

When two drivers get in a wreck, they normally exchange names, phone numbers, addresses, license data and insurance information. The same is true in an accident between a bicyclist and a driver. This is essential for getting compensation from the driver’s insurance company.

Talk to Witnesses

If any witnesses observed the accident, be sure to take down their personal information as well. If your case gets complicated, witness reports can be key to winning your claim.

See a Doctor Right Away

Your medical report can be the strongest evidence to support your injury. By seeking medical treatment right away, you’ll give the doctor a chance to diagnose problems that you may not feel or notice right after an accident.

Get Legal Help

With the help of a knowledgeable Florida injury attorney, you improve your chances of receiving a maximum payout for your claim. A skilled lawyer can help you receive compensation for medical bills, lost income, ongoing medical treatment, and pain and suffering. Call today for your free case review.

After a Bicycle Accident – Don’ts

Make sure to avoid these acts to get the best compensation for your injuries.

Don’t Move Your Bike

Keep your bicycle as is before the police arrive. It’s important to leave the scene untouched so the accident report is as accurate as possible.

Don’t Accept Fault

No matter how the accident occurred, don’t accept fault for it while speaking with the driver. The police report and your attorney’s investigation will help sort out the facts of the accident, which can look different from a single point of view.

Don’t Negotiate with the Driver

The driver may accept blame at the scene of the accident but deny any responsibility for your injury later. It’s best to rely upon the police report, which can help you get a better settlement from the driver’s insurance company.

Don’t Wait Too Long to See the Doctor

If you wait a few weeks to seek medical treatment, the driver’s insurance company could make the case that your injuries weren’t related to the accident. It’s imperative to see a doctor as soon as possible after an accident to have the best chance of compensation, particularly for injuries that will require ongoing treatment.

Don’t Take an Offer from an Insurance Company

The driver’s insurance company may give you a lowball offer to settle quickly. However, an attorney familiar with bicycle accident cases can often secure a better settlement.

The More You Know…

In the aftermath of a serious accident, most people aren’t thinking particularly clearly. Because of this, far too many of them make mistakes that can end up coming back to bite them later.

This is especially true where personal injury cases are concerned. Neglecting even seemingly small things can end up being the difference between winning your case and losing out on the compensation you need to recover.

South Florida Bicycle Accident Lawyers

By internalizing this list of do’s and don’ts now, you give yourself a better chance at making the right decisions to protect yourself in the event you ever are in a crash on your bike.

 

 

 

About the Author: 

Jeffrey Braxton is a trial lawyer in Fort Lauderdale who has devoted his career to the practice of personal injury law. As lead trial attorney for the South Florida Injury Law Firm, Jeff has litigated thousands of cases and is a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, an exclusive group of attorneys who have resolved cases in excess of one million dollars.

How to Help Your Child in Florida after a Serious Bicycle Injury

How to Help Your Child in Florida after a Serious Bicycle Injury

How to Help Your Child in Florida after a Serious Bicycle Injury

 

Bike riding is a fun activity for children. It’s a great way to enjoy the outdoors and get exercise. Unfortunately, it’s also a common way for kids to get injured.

 

How common?

 

Over 500,000 bicycle-related visits to emergency rooms occur in the United States annually. About 300,000 of these cases involve injuries to children, and about 10,000 of those cases require an overnight hospital stay. It’s important to know what level of care your child needs after sustaining injuries from a bicycle accident.

 

If your child has been injured in a bicycle accident, here are some things that you should do.

 

Initial Response

 

Take a deep breath and stay calm even if your child is crying and upset. Look them over carefully for injuries and assess the damage level. Your child may simply need reassurance from you to get riding again. A bag of ice applied to the injury can alleviate any swelling. If your child’s pain is persistent or if the injuries are significant, take your care to the next level.

 

Medical Help

 

Seek medical care for your child’s injury if it seems serious. It’s important to rule out significant issues like concussions, broken bones, and spinal cord injuries. Your child may also have bruising and scrapes from the accident that may require stitches. Don’t hesitate to get your child the medical help they need.

 

A visit to the chiropractor or physical therapist can relieve back pain, neck pain, or a misaligned spine due to the accident. They can prescribe healing exercises and therapeutic treatments to alleviate the pain and swelling.

 

Help Them Get Riding Again

 

South Florida Bicycle Injury Lawyer

 

It’s been said many times, but it’s worth repeating. Bike helmets are a must – they help save lives. Yet a national survey reported that only 48% of children between the ages of 5 and 14 years wear bicycle helmets.

 

Most deadly bicycle accidents occur because the person failed to wear a bike helmet. Even on short rides, bike helmets are crucial for protection.

 

The proper fit for a bike helmet matters, as it needs to be secure in the event of a crash. Always fasten the straps. If the straps are fastened correctly, the helmet should not shift on your head. Also, don’t ever wear a hat underneath your bike helmet, as it will affect the fit.

 

Be gentle when handling your bike helmet. If it is damaged, it may not offer you the protection you need in a crash. Replace your helmet if you do experience a bicycle accident. They don’t protect as effectively once they’ve gone through a crash.

 

Helmets are just the beginning, though. Other things to help your child get back out there include:

 

Pads. Elbow pads and knee pads are also helpful for children learning to ride. They will likely take a few tumbles as they are learning, but padding will cushion the blows. When a young child learns that padding and helmets are part of bicycling, they’ll be more likely to wear protective gear as they grow.

 

Bright colors. It’s also smart for your child to wear bright colors or light colors when riding as well, especially at dawn or dusk. Make sure their bicycles have reflective markings on the back and front to improve visibility.

 

Knowing bike safety rules. Make sure you review the rules of the road with your child. They must ride with the flow of traffic instead of against it. They need to obey traffic signals and signs and use hand signals. Children may need reminding to stop and look both ways several times before crossing a street on their bicycles. Some communities restrict bicycle riding to sidewalks and paths; check with your local ordinances.

 

Reviewing the accident. Talk with your child about what went wrong during the crash. Were they riding too fast, which caused them to lose control? Were they riding on a surface that didn’t have much traction, such as a rain-covered sidewalk or a driveway with loose gravel? Teach them smarter riding habits to keep them from making the same error again.

 

Child Injury Attorney South Florida

 

Positivity and encouragement. With a major injury, your child may be afraid to ride again. Stay positive and encourage your child to take it slow, perhaps practicing on flat parking lots. Some children bounce back very quickly after an accident. Pay attention to your child’s temperament, and encourage them without pushing them too hard. If you notice that your child is showing symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder related to the accident, don’t wait to get them the help they need.

 

If your child sustained a bicycle injury due to the negligence of someone else, contact an experienced personal injury lawyer for the help you need.

 

 

About the Author: 

 

Jeffrey Braxton is a trial lawyer in Fort Lauderdale who has devoted his career to the practice of personal injury law. As lead trial attorney for The South Florida Injury Law Firm, Jeff has litigated thousands of cases and is a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, an exclusive group of attorneys who have resolved cases in excess of one million dollars. 

 

 

Let's Talk About Bike Safety

Let’s Talk About Bike Safety

Let's Talk About Bike Safety

Summer is a great time to trade your hot car for a cool bike. Biking can help you cut down on gas mileage, enjoy the open road, and get a good workout on your commute. Unfortunately, many people are uncomfortable with the idea of sharing the road with motorists or not having a designated bike lane.

 

This is a completely rational fear, especially because bike safety is not considered a high priority in our state. In fact, Florida is one of the most dangerous states for bikers.

 

Studies from the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control revealed that Florida has the highest bike death rate in the county. While the United States has an overall bike death rate of .23 per 100,000 people, Florida’s is at .57 – that’s double the national rate!

 

More cars and more bikes will be out on the road during the summer months, so it’s important to pay close attention to everyone on the road with you and commit to safety to avoid bike accidents.

 

Ways to Stay Safe While Biking This Year

 

These tips are not just for avid bikers – motorists and pedestrians can benefit from learning bike safety too!

 

Wear a HelmetWe can’t stress this enough. Wear a helmet. Helmet use reduces head injury risk by 85%. And severe head injuries are responsible for the majority of bicycle crash deaths. Be sure that when you are wearing your helmet, it fits properly and feels comfortable.

 

Wear Bright Clothing and Attach Lights to Your Bike – Even if you prefer to ride during the daytime, you always want to make an extra effort to be visible to cars. In the daytime, light or bright clothing will still alert other drivers of your presence – especially in dense, clogged, or forested areas.

 

Use Hand Turn SignalsTurn signals are important on the road. This goes for cars and bikes. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has all the information you need to alert other drivers when you are making a turn. Hand turn signals are relatively simple and universal. Most drivers will recognize the message you are trying to communicate.

 

Talk To Non-Cyclists About Bike Safety – Bike safety is not just the responsibility of the person on the bike. Talk to your loved ones and friends about the use of turn signals on a bike and other bike-related policies. By getting in the head of a biker, a driver will have an easier time sharing the road with you.

 

Florida Bicycle Accident Lawyer

Read Over Florida Bike Traffic Laws – Florida does have some laws in place regarding bike safety and how to ride when you’re sharing the road with motorists (or sidewalk with pedestrians.) Know these rules to avoid bike accidents. For information about bike traffic laws, visit flbikelaw.org.

 

Take Out Your Earbuds – It’s nice to have a musical distraction while riding, especially if you need motivation to tackle a steep hill. Unfortunately, listening to music while biking is not only unsafe, but also illegal in Florida. Keep your eyes and ears open while on the road to prevent accidents.

 

Treat Bicycle Accidents Like a Car Accident – If you do happen to get injured in an accident, go through the same checklist you would need in the event of an auto accident. Exchange information with the driver, take pictures of your bicycle, yourself, and the other car, and do not take the blame for the accident. Contact a personal injury lawyer in order to get the compensation for your injuries as soon as possible.

 

Bicycle Safety for National Brain Injury Awareness Month

Bicycle Safety for National Brain Injury Awareness Month

Bicycle Safety for National Brain Injury Awareness Month

 

Your brain is one of the most vital organs in your body. And injuries to the brain can have lifelong ramifications.

 

According to the Centers for Disease Control, 2.5 million people sustained a traumatic brain injury (TBI) in 2010. Every day, 138 people die from injuries that include TBI in the United States, and TBI contributes to 30 percent of all injury deaths.

 

TBIs have been on the main stage recently in professional sports and the media, but anyone is susceptible to a TBI, even while going about their normal, everyday routine. That being said, there are certain activities that could potentially make you more likely to be harmed. Riding a bicycle is one of those activities. Especially riding a bicycle without a helmet.

 

That’s why, this March, we are observing National Brain Injury Awareness Month. By bringing awareness to this prevalent condition, we can understand TBI, the causes of TBI, and how to prevent TBIs in the first place.

 

What is Traumatic Brain Injury?

 

Traumatic brain injury is when the brain experiences dysfunction from an external force. This can be caused from a blow or a bump to the head or, in other instances, an object penetrating the skull can cause a TBI.

 

Symptoms for TBI can appear shortly after an injury occurs or even days later, and there are a wide variety of both physical and psychological symptoms for TBI, including:

 

  • Loss of consciousness
  • Consistent headaches
  • Headaches that get worse over time
  • Repeated nausea or vomiting
  • Seizures or convulsions
  • Loss of coordination
  • Unable to wake up from sleep
  • Numbness or weakness in fingers and toes
  • Extreme confusion
  • Slurred speech
  • Irritation, combativeness, and other unusual behavior
  • Comas and other consciousness disorders

 

So we know the symptoms, but what actually happens to the brain during a TBI?

Well, a number of things can take place depending on how you hit your head and the impact of the force. During a TBI:

 

  • Brain cells, blood vessels, and protective tissues can be damaged
  • Your brain can move back and forth in your skull
  • Brain cellular structures can be torn
  • There could be bleeding in and around the brain
  • There could be swelling or blood clots that prevent the supply of oxygen

 

And all of this can lead to lifelong complications such as altered states of consciousness, seizures, a buildup of fluid, infections, nerve damage, communication issues, cognitive problems, behavioral and emotional changes, and degenerative brain diseases.

 

Boca Raton Bicycle Accident Attorney

 

TBIs and Bicycles

 

Everyone knows that riding a bicycle with a helmet is important – but not everyone does it.

 

With 40 percent of TBIs caused by falls, it’s crucial to wear a helmet to prevent injuries in bicycle accidents. Helmets can reduce TBI and other head injuries be up to 85 percent.

 

So why doesn’t everybody do it? Because many people don’t like how their helmet looks or feels. But if the alternative is a brain injury, it shouldn’t matter.

 

In our state, children under 16 are required by law to wear a helmet on roads and trails, but private property is excluded. There isn’t a law regarding adults, but every bicyclist should take strides to protect themselves from a possible brain injury.

 

So in raising awareness for brain injuries, we’d also like to raise awareness for preventing brain injuries by insisting that everyone – regardless of whether you’re a child or an adult – wears a helmet when riding a bicycle.

 

 

About the Author:

Jeffrey Braxton is a trial lawyer in Fort Lauderdale who has devoted his 22-year career to the practice of personal injury law. As lead trial attorney for The South Florida Injury Law Firm, Jeff has litigated thousands of cases and is a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, an exclusive group of attorneys who have resolved cases in excess of one million dollars.

 

6 Alarming Facts You Don’t Know About Bike Accidents in Florida

6 Alarming Facts You Don’t Know About Bike Accidents in Florida

6 Alarming Facts You Don’t Know About Bike Accidents in Florida

The most lethal state in the nation for bicyclists.

 

That’s what reporters from News-Press.Com called Florida in a story that revealed some alarming facts and statistics about bike accidents in Florida. The report dug deep into records of bike crashes in Lee and Collier, two Florida counties that rank highly for fatalities and accidents involving cyclists.

 

Below, we’ve highlighted six disturbing facts about bike accidents and injuries discovered through the study.

 

Many Florida counties see hundreds of bike accidents every year. Last year, Miami topped the list for the most bike crashes and fatalities in Florida, with 985 accidents and 15 deaths. Broward, Hillsborough, and Lee were also high on the list. In the past three years, the number of bike accidents in Collier increased by 40 percent, while in Lee, the accident rate rose almost 71 percent. The skyrocketing bike accident rates may be attributed in part to the increasing number of cyclists on our roads, as more and more residents and tourists are choosing to get around via bicycle.

 

Drivers are twice as likely to be the cause of bike accidents. There has long been contention between cyclists and motorists, with the latter blaming cyclists for disobeying traffic laws and acting as though they “own the road.” However, the study found that drivers are two times as likely to cause a collision. The majority of accidents occur when a driver fails to yield at angles at intersections.

 

Florida drivers are some of the worst in the nation. Florida is lagging behind in terms of implementing road safety legislation, with insufficient laws geared toward impaired drivers and teens, as well as minimal distracted driving rules. Disturbingly, the study found that hit and runs have increased by 50 percent in Lee and 41 percent Collier within the past two years.

 

Drivers in their 20s and 40s pose the biggest threat. Though cyclists and safety advocates alike often point to senior drivers as the biggest threat to cyclists on the road, the study found that seniors are not the cause of the majority of accidents. 20 to 24-year-old drivers are most frequently the cause of bicycle collisions, followed by 45- to 49-year-old drivers.

 

Boca Raton Bike Accident Lawyer

Harassment of cyclists is common in Florida. Pickup trucks in particular have gained notoriety for bullying cyclists, with some drivers intentionally braking or releasing smoke when bikers are behind. Despite this, the study found that passenger cars were involved in the most bike accidents, followed by pickups and SUVs.

 

Drivers who kill cyclists face minimal repercussions. In Florida, the maximum fine a motorist will face after killing a cyclist is $1,000. Currently, Florida lawmakers are pushing a bill that would increase the fine for drivers who harm cyclists.

 

While Florida lawmakers and safety advocates have been enforcing safety measures to protect bikers, state roads remain a dangerous place for riders. If you or a loved one has been injured by a motorist, do not allow the negligent or reckless driver to escape with a slap on the wrist.

 

With the help of an experienced Florida bike accident attorney, you can hold the at-fault driver accountable for their grievous actions, while securing compensation for your medical bills, any lost wages, and other costs related to recovery. By pursuing a bike accident claim, you can raise public awareness to our state’s devastating problem with bike crashes and fatalities.