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Are Bicyclists Ever Responsible for Their Own Injuries?

Are Bicyclists Ever Responsible for Their Own Injuries?

Bicyclists have virtually no protection against passenger vehicles, trucks, and other motorists on the road. Because of this, bicycle accidents are known for devastating results, often with riders suffering serious injuries. While all bicycle accidents are unique, many are caused by the negligence of other drivers who fail in their legal obligation to take reasonable measures of driving safely. By pursuing a personal injury claim against the at-fault driver, riders injured in these types of wrecks have the ability to recover financial compensation for their damages. But what happens if a rider played a role in causing their own accident and injury?

When it comes to any type of traffic accident, it is not always the case that one party is entirely at fault. In some cases, including those involving bicycle accidents, the injured victim themselves may have played a role in contributing to or causing the accident in which they suffered harm. Even riders who may be responsible – at least partially – for their own injuries, may still have the right to recover at least some compensation for their damages. This is because Florida uses the rule of pure comparative negligence in personal injury cases.

At Roman & Gaynor, our firm’s founding Clearwater personal injury lawyers are avid cyclists passionate about supporting the local cycling community and fighting behalf on injured riders. By drawing from nearly 50 years of combined experience, our legal team is able to affectively advocate for bicyclists who depend on compensation to help them cove their medical expenses, lost work wages, and pain and suffering, among other losses. We strive to secure the maximum compensation possible – even if a rider is believed to have be partially at-fault for causing their own accident and injuries.

To understand how injured riders may still be eligible to recover compensation even if they contribute to their own wreck, you need to understand Florida’s pure comparative negligence law:

  • Fault and liability – One of the most difficult yet important aspects of a personal injury case is determining fault and liability. If you or a loved one have suffered injuries in a bicycle accident, Florida law says that you can recover compensation depending on the percentage of fault each party had in causing the wreck. As such, apportioning fault and liability becomes a critical aspect, as it can dictate how much compensation you may be eligible to receive.
  • Pure comparative negligence – Pure comparative negligence is a rule Florida applies to personal injury cases, including bicycle accident cases. Under this standard, your compensation recovery will be based on how must at fault the other party was and how much at fault you were for contributing to the crash.
  • Reduced recovery – Under the pure comparative negligence rule, your recovery will be reduced by your percentage of fault. If, for example, an injured rider is found to be 20% at fault for contributing to a crash and the other driver is found to be 80% at fault, the injured rider’s compensation recovery will be reduced by 20% - which is how much their negligence contributed to the crash. If a riders damages were $100,000, they would be able to recover no more than $80,000; the full amount of damages reduced by their percentage of fault.

Ultimately, Florida’s pure comparative negligence law means that injured riders can still seek and recover compensation even if they contributed to the crash. This is important because riders often depend on compensation to help them cover their expenses, including medical bills. By ensuring that fault and liability are accurately determined, and by disputing fault pinned on riders, riders can work to ensure that they recover what they need to cover at least some of their losses.

Establishing fault in any type of traffic accident is no easy task, especially when insurance companies are using their extensive resources to skirt liability away from their policy holders. Because the apportioning of fault and liability is so critical to a victim’s eventual recovery, it becomes extremely important that injured victims and their families work with seasoned personal injury attorneys who know how to fight back against insurers and establish fault in a way that minimizes any reduction in compensation for victims.

Our legal team at Roman & Gaynor has helped many injured riders after they were harmed in accidents, even when riders contributed in some way to their own accident and injuries. If you have questions about a recent bicycle accident and how the pure comparative negligence rule may work in your case, do not hesitate to reach out to use to personally discuss your potential case and rights. Our firm is available 24/7 to help. Contact us today for a FREE consultation.

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