Orlando Bicycle Accident Lawyers
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Using your bicycle for transportation is not only good for you, it’s fun. Unfortunately, too many cyclists in Orlando are seriously injured by drivers in accidents that could have been prevented.
If you are reading this, you have probably been injured while riding your bicycle. Being hurt by a motor vehicle while on a bike can be devastating since you don’t have the protection of being surrounded by a vehicle. You’re probably in pain. You may still be dealing with medical procedures or treatments. If your injury has prevented you from being able to work, you may also be stressed about money. You are also likely very frustrated, wondering whether you have a bicycle injury claim and how you can find someone to give you answers.
Our Orlando bicycle accident lawyers are here to help. Call us today for free legal advice.
You don’t need to worry about upfront costs. Give us a call at your convenience to set up a free consultation to get answers to your legal questions.
The information below will give you the basics of bicycle accident claims. First, you’ll find out about the most common mistakes people make when dealing with bicycle accident cases in Orlando. Next, we’ll use a story to show you some of the aspects to be aware of regarding a claim. Be sure to read on to the end.
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Common Mistakes in Bicycle Accident Injury Claims
When filing an accident injury claim, no one wants to damage the value of their case by making mistakes. Being aware of the most common missteps in this type of accident claim will allow you to build the strongest case you can.
Not Going to the Doctor After the Accident
After a bicycle accident, it’s not uncommon to be unaware of the severity of your injuries. This may sound unlikely, but traumatic events such as bicycle accidents flood the body with stress hormones. These hormones are meant to help you through traumatic events. They often hinder more than help, however, as they lower our ability to feel pain when injured.
Whether you don’t actually feel any pain or you don’t want to make a big deal out of it, there are two important reasons to be examined by medical professionals.
The first reason is to make sure that you are in fact, uninjured. Your physical wellbeing must remain a priority, now and always.
The second reason is that getting examined will create a record of the injury and a timeline of the accident. This will become valuable evidence if you pursue a claim.
Without this evidence, you run the risk of the insurance company of the driver who caused the accident challenging your injuries.
If it’s been a few days or weeks since your accident and you haven’t had an exam, it’s better to go now then not at all. Be aware, though, that such delays also open the door for the insurance company to claim you weren’t injured in the accident, but on a different date.
Not Completing Your Doctor’s Plan for Treatment
We see this a lot. People get treated for injuries, and then receive a plan to continue treatment after leaving the hospital. Though the immediate injury has been treated, the doctor emphasizes the importance of following through with the rest of your care on your own to recover as completely as possible.
If you forget or intentionally discontinue any additional care the doctor prescribes after leaving the hospital, it will hurt both your health and your case.
There are all kinds of ways to help medical professionals help you after leaving their facilities. You may need regular physical therapy appointments for six weeks to strengthen a limb after a broken bone heals and bring it back to a full range of motion, for example.
If you don’t do your part, you leave an opening for the insurance company to use your lack of conscientiousness to devalue your case. Don’t give them the chance to say that any lack of progress in healing is your fault.
Agreeing to Give the Insurance Company a Recorded Statement
You can expect to receive a call from the liable party’s insurance company not too long after the accident. The insurance adjuster will ask you for a recorded statement under the guise of helping your case along.
Do not give them that recorded statement.
It’s vital to remember that insurance adjusters are trained to ask questions to get information that can be used to devalue your case. The less you say to them, the better protected your case will be.
It may go against your instincts, but the best way to handle a call from the insurance company is to hang up. You can be nice about it, but don’t stay on the line and get drawn in to letting them try to convince you to talk.
This doesn’t mean you stay on the phone until they agree with your decision. That probably won’t happen. You will likely need to state politely but firmly that you are not willing to provide a statement and hang up.
Despite what the insurance company wants you to believe, you are under no obligation to speak with them. The best thing to do is let your lawyer advise you on this, and possibly have your lawyer handle all communications with them.
Not only do your Orlando bicycle accident lawyers know how to handle insurance companies, they look forward to doing it on your behalf.
Not Calling a Lawyer As Soon As Possible
When you’ve been injured in a bicycle accident, getting an accident claim started may not be the first thing on your mind. It’s probably somewhere on your list, but in the midst of dealing with pain, recovery, financial stress, and trying to get back to your life, it has probably been pushed to the bottom.
In Florida, the deadline to file a personal injury claim is four years after the bicycle accident. While this may give you a larger window than many other states, don’t forget that evidence and witnesses don’t usually stick around that long.
Your strongest case will be made with the strongest evidence, including witness testimony. Don’t give it a chance to slip away. Even if you know where to find a witness months or years after your injury, the longer you wait, the more faded their memory will become.
Even if you’re sure your witness testimony accurately reflects the accident, the more time that passes, the less credibility a jury will give it.
Give your case the strongest footing by hiring a lawyer as soon as possible.
Choosing the Right Lawyer
Once you decide to open a case, the decision that is going to have the biggest impact on it will be who you hire to represent you.
It’s important to know that there are dozens of practice areas within the law. Each one is unique and requires a knowledge base specific to the rules and regulations of that practice area.
Even within personal injury law, your best move is to hire a lawyer with experience handling bicycle accident injury cases, including at trial.
Just as not every lawyer is familiar with bicycle accident cases, not every lawyer is skilled before a jury. Many bicycle accident cases are settled before they go that far, but not all. You need a lawyer with a proven track record who can go the distance.
Our Orlando bicycle accident lawyers have helped many others, both in and out of court, who’ve been injured in accidents similar to yours. We want to help you.
Orlando Bicycle Injury Client Story
The following story will give you answers to questions you probably have about your bicycle injury case. The names and some of the details of this story have been changed to protect the privacy of our client, but this should still paint a clearer picture for you.
On a cool Saturday morning a couple of years back, 26-year-old Alicia Sanders hopped on her bike to ride from her home in Sorrento to the state reserve at Rock Springs.
Alicia first explored the reserve when she moved to Florida the previous summer from Western New York. Happy to leave the chilly Buffalo winters behind, the reserve’s 17 miles of trails quickly became her favorite Saturday morning escape.
On this particular morning, Alicia was looking forward to her ride more than ever.
Work had become more stressful than ever in the past few weeks. Her employer was gearing up for a big event in one of the local convention centers. As the company’s sole event coordinator, Alicia wore many hats and needed to tie up several loose ends to keep the event on track. She had two weeks left to be ready for the big day.
As Alicia reached the end of Holopaw Trail and prepared to turn left onto Wekiva River Road, a car sped up behind her, colliding with the left side of her bike. Alicia hadn’t seen the car coming, but she heard its approach just in time to avoid turning directly into its path.
The impact was devastating, nonetheless. Alicia was thrown off her bike into the intersection.
EMTs and police arrived after the neighbor on the corner heard the car tires screech when the distracted driver attempted to brake at the last minute.
Alicia came to as EMTs lifted her into the ambulance. She was disoriented and frightened. It wasn’t long before she was overcome with pain and blacked out again.
Alicia suffered a concussion, but was alive, thanks to her helmet. She had a broken shoulder and clavicle, and a neck sprain that would put her in a protective collar for weeks. She also suffered extreme trauma to her left leg when it was briefly pinned between the car and the bike. Doctors determined it was necessary to amputate it below the knee.
Alicia was in the hospital for three weeks, missing the event she worked so hard to coordinate. She would also be missing at least the next six months of work as she recovered from her injuries. It was clear that months of physical therapy awaited her. She would need to learn to walk using her prosthetic leg once her amputation healed.
During her time in the hospital, Alicia and her fiancé Rob called us after reading about our Orlando bicycle injury lawyers on our website.
We met the couple in Alicia’s hospital room, where she greeted us with a smile, even though her sad green eyes gave away her devastation. During our conversation, she confessed that after making the decision to call us, she began interviewing therapists to help her emotionally deal with the loss of her limb.
Not long after we arrived, Alicia told us she had three primary objectives for our meeting in order to decide whether or not we were a good fit. The logical event coordinator was back in spirit, if not yet strong in body.
Her three questions were about cost, case value, and the timeline. Read on to learn what we told her about her bicycle accident claim.
How much is it going to cost to hire a lawyer?
“How much is it going to cost to hire you?” she asked, reaching for Robs hand as she braced for the answer.
Our lawyer responded, “Actually, our firm doesn’t charge anything upfront, and this consultation is absolutely free. We are here to answer your questions and give you legal advice.”
We went on to explain that her case would be taken on a contingency basis. This meant that we would only get paid after we had brought her case to a successful resolution. In the meantime, we assured both Alicia and Rob that we would fund the entire case.
They breathed a collective sigh of relief and moved on to the next question on the list.
How much is my case worth?
Alicia asked, “How much could my case be worth?”
We explained that it’s difficult to know early on.
“First, we need to do an investigation and be sure of what the damages are.”
We also told Alicia we could start her investigation immediately upon being hired. This would include, among other things, collecting evidence at the scene and getting statements from witnesses, such as the neighbor who called 911. We would begin to prepare all aspects of the case, as if it were going all the way to trial.
We emphasized the need for Alicia to reach maximum medical improvement. This was the point where her doctors could tell her she was either back to normal, or that she had reached the best health she could expect going forward.
Our lawyer explained, “When you’ve reached maximum medical improvement, we’ll know that you won’t need further surgeries, and we’ll know what you can expect regarding future medical care. This is important in order to know your economic and non-economic damages, both now and in the future.”
We told Alicia that getting clear on her damages would allow us to know what her bicycle injury case is really worth.
How long will my bicycle injury accident claim take?
Satisfied with the answer they received about Alicia’s case value, Rob and asked about a timeline for Alicia’s case.
Our lawyer told them that this, too, can be tough to gauge early on.
Our lawyer told them, “Your case timeline is going to come down to two things: Alicia’s damages and how willing the insurance company is to work with us.”
Upon hearing this, Alicia became concerned about dealing with the insurance company.
“Right now, we need you to focus on your recovery. We’ll handle communications with the insurance provider. They may turn out to be reasonable. If not, our firm is more than ready to take your case to trial.”
We assured Alicia and Rob that not only do we have a very successful record of results at trial, but that it may not even come to that. Many insurance companies became quite willing to negotiate a settlement to keep from facing a jury.
“This is why no matter which way the insurance company behaves, you will always get the best result from hiring a trial lawyer.”
Both Alicia and Rob were reassured by having this information. Alicia decided then and there to hire us to take on her case.
We are pleased to report that the insurance company settled for a very large sum not long before Alicia’s case was scheduled to go to trial.
Alicia has adjusted to the use of her prosthetic leg and has found a new normal. She and Rob have gotten married and are turning their sights to starting a family.
Call Our Orlando Bicycle Accident Lawyers Today
We hope this story has answered some of your bicycle accident claim questions. Keep in mind that every bicycle accident case is unique. Let us guide you through this and give you the best possible chance for compensation. Call us for free claim advice today.
“In October 2015, My husband was a passenger in a horrible car accident and was hospitalized for two months. After being in ICU for a little over a month , I reached out to Mr. Corzo and He met me in the hospital a day after. Since my husband was still unconscious and in ICU I decided to hire Mr.Corzo for Davids personal injury and workers compensation case. From the moment I met Mr.Corzo he was very emphatic and attentive to all my questions and concerns. Anytime I would email him with a question he would get back to me right away. I would even email/text his paralegal Denise after hours if I had any questions and she would get back to me within a hour. Mr. Corzo made sure he fully explained and went over everything with us before we made any decisions. Mr. Corzo went out of his way to make sure David was taken care of. After my husband was released from the hospital, Mr. Corzo called and checked up on David and made sure he was getting the care he needed. I truly believe Mr. Corzo went above and beyond for my husband in winning both cases. We are extremely blessed with the outcome and would highly recommend him to anyone that may need a lawyer. Due to my husbands injuries we will need to apply for disability, Mr.Corzo offered to help us fill out the paper work and make sure everything is done correctly. We can’t THANK him enough for all that he has done for our family. #Thankful”
– David and Jennifer Alvarez