Fort Lauderdale DUI Bicycle Accident Lawyer

Cowen Edwards represents anyone that’s been hurt in a bicycle accident in Fort Lauderdale. The area has near ideal conditions for riding a bike, from Hollywood Broadwalk to Coral Ridge. But that unfortunately also increases the risk that you’ll be hurt in an accident with a driver that’s under the influence. If you are, you can turn to our team for legal guidance and support. Contact us today for a free consultation to learn more about your options.

When Do You Need a Lawyer?

Hopefully, your bicycle accident and injuries are only minor and won’t require legal action on your part. That said, a bicycle accident–particularly with a driver that’s under the influence–often means serious injuries. To make sure you receive fair financial support under the law, presenting a strong case is crucial. That’s where you really need a lawyer, and our team can help. Here’s how we approach these types of cases:

  • Simplifying the legal process – We’ll handle negotiations and provide a clear roadmap for your claim from our first meeting. Things can and do change, but you’ll have a better idea of your claim after our initial meeting. And there’s no obligation to work with us afterward.

  • Investigating and gathering evidence – If you decide you want to go forward, we’ll investigate what happened and help you gather crucial evidence like medical records and police reports to build a compelling case.

  • Claims and settlement – We’ll assist with filing insurance claims or lawsuits, negotiating fair settlements, or taking your case to trial if necessary.

Even in cases where liability is fairly straightforward, Insurance companies will try to minimize payouts. We’ll stand up for your claim and guide you through the process with confidence. That said, taking the right steps immediately after the accident is also important to how your claim plays out.

What Do You Need to Do If You’re in a DUI Bicycle Accident?

Any bicycle accident you’re in is going to cause some level of injury. However, when it involves a driver that’s under the influence, the situation is usually much more dire. This is largely due to the intoxicated driver’s dulled senses and slower reaction times, coupled with higher-speed collisions and a lack of protection on a bike. Still, you have to do what you can to protect your claim. Here’s what you can do after the accident to do that:

  • Report the accident and get help – If you can, the first thing you should do is call 911 so that an ambulance and the Fort Lauderdale police can arrive at the scene. Inform the police if you suspect the driver was under the influence. Allow the EMTs to take care of any injuries when they arrive.

  • Document the accident scene – If it’s safe, take photos of the scene with your phone. Get images and videos that show what happened, including your injuries. Also, take pictures of the car that hit you to document its damage, if it’s still at the scene.

  • Gather pertinent details – If possible, collect the drunk driver’s contact details, insurance information, and license plate number. If you can’t do this, ask the police for assistance. Additionally, get the names and contact information of any witnesses. We can talk to them and get their account of what happened

  • File a claim with your insurance company – Report the accident to your insurance company once you have everything together. This enables them to start the claims process and assist you as needed.

  • Keep track of your damages – Keep track of all medical bills and important documents related to the accident. These records will be essential when seeking compensation for your injuries and damages.

As a bicyclist, you know you can only control your actions, not those of other drivers. This is especially true if another driver is under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Always stay alert and wear proper safety gear. If you suspect another driver is impaired, pull over and notify the local police so they can handle the situation.

Is the Driver Always Liable for a DUI Bicycle Accident?

A DUI accident brings nothing but hardship. From physical injuries to emotional distress, these incidents rank among the most severe types of accidents, especially when they happen to a person on a bicycle. However, one potential benefit of filing a claim is that determining who is financially responsible–or liable–for your damages typically isn’t complicated.

Usually, the majority of liability falls on the intoxicated driver who caused the accident. They are not only liable for covering your for injuries and losses but will also probably face criminal charges and fines.

Nevertheless, similar to other accidents, liability in DUI incidents can involve various parties: 

  • Other drivers
  • Other bicyclists
  • Pedestrians
  • Fort Lauderdale city or Broward County governments
  • Bicycle or parts manufacturers
  • Property owners or renters that serve alcohol or provide drugs
  • Establishments like bars or restaurants that serve alcohol
  • Employers

Every accident involves factors that influence liability, including those involving DUI. Thus, determining liability is crucial as it shapes your entire case and lets you know who is accountable for covering your damages.

What Damages Are Available in a DUI Bicycle Accident Claim?

Regardless of where or when the bicycle accident happens in Fort Lauderdale, the process of recovering your damages is the same. Typically, you have two options to file your injury claim: an insurance claim or a lawsuit. Both processes are fairly similar, with a few key differences:

  • Insurance claim – This is handled outside of court and involves a less formal process. Insurance companies wield significant influence throughout this process as they manage it.

  • Personal injury lawsuit – This involves the court system and is a more formal and time-intensive process. However, it offers the opportunity to seek higher “damages.”

“Damages” is simply the legal term for your injuries and other losses that come up because of the accident. In a claim, you can potentially recover things like:

  • Medical expenses and ongoing care needs
  • Lost wages or earning potential
  • Repair/replacement costs for any damaged property
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress
  • Loss of quality of life or companionship
  • Wrongful death expenses
  • Punitive damages, which are extra damages awarded separate from these other damages. They’re meant to punish those that are intentionally negligent.

If you’re like most bicycle accident victims, tabulating the full extent of your damages can be challenging. Our experienced team can assist by carefully tracking and compiling all your damages. We’ll also make sure you meet all the procedural deadlines, namely Florida’s statute of limitations, which gives you two years from the accident date to file.

Missing this deadline could prevent you from recovering damages, regardless of the strength of your claim or if the responsible party was intoxicated while driving.

Free Consultation For DUI Bicycle Accident Victims in Fort Lauderdale

Every bicycle accident is stressful, but DUI accidents add an extra layer of severity due to their preventable nature and typically more serious outcomes. At Cowen Edwards, we understand the challenges you’re facing. Our team is dedicated to supporting you through this difficult process and helping you regain a sense of normalcy in your daily life. Contact us today for a free consultation if you’ve been involved in such an accident.