Wrongful Bicycle Accident Deaths

I help the survivors of deceased cyclists win compensation from the parties responsible.  Giving a powerful voice to the victims of fatal bicycle crashes is one of my greatest professional honors.

When families lose a loved one to a bicycle accident, their world seems filled with mourning and chaos.  It adds to their misery when they are being contacted repeatedly by law enforcement, insurance companies, and medical bill collectors.  

I will handle all of this for the family, and so much more.  Please read these “Frequently Asked Questions”, which will provide you with answers to how I do my legal work for you:

FAQs About Wrongful Bicycle Deaths

If you have a question about that isn't answered, please contact me.

What experience do you have in wrongful death cases for cyclists?

I have handled legal claims for cyclists killed in accidents all over the state of Florida.  More recent cases include deaths caused by a motorist who was  distracted by watching the map of his cell phone, a motorist who failed to give a safe cushion of 3 feet when passing, a park that created a dangerous trail, and a cyclist who was struck by an impaired motorist, who had just attended the Florida-Georgia football game.

How much time do you have to make a legal claim for compensation for the bicycle death of a family member?

By Florida law, generally you have 2 years from the date of the cyclist’s death to bring a lawsuit for compensation. If you miss the deadline, then your claim could become invalid as being brought too late.  It takes plenty of time to prepare to bring a wrongful death claim or lawsuit, so you should contact me right away.

Who may bring a legal claim to compensate the family for the loss of their loved one who died in a cyclist accident?

Under Florida law, the “personal representative” of the estate of the deceased cyclist is the only one who may bring the claim for compensation.  I assist the family with a legal proceeding to appoint one of the family members, often the surviving spouse, as the personal representative.  The personal representative then brings the claim for all of the family members who qualify for compensation.  When the lawsuit is won, the personal representative then distributes the money to the family members as appropriate and with the approval of the judge.

What compensation are we allowed to recover?
  1. Survivors of the deceased cyclist are allowed to recover for loss of financial support they received from the deceased.      
  2. The surviving spouse may recover for mental pain and suffering and their loss of companionship.
  3. Minor children, and all children of the decedent if there is no surviving spouse, may also recover for their mental pain and suffering.
  4. Parents of a deceased minor child may also recover for mental pain and suffering. Parents of an adult child may also recover for mental pain and suffering, if the deceased had no spouse or children.
  5. The personal representative can recover medical and funeral expenses.
  6. The personal representative may be able to recover “net accumulations”, which is generally the amount of money which the decedent would have saved if they had lived a normal life expectancy.
  7. The personal representative may recover for the bicyclist’s damaged bicycle, helmet, clothes, cell phone, glasses, or other related gear
Who is responsible to compensate the family for their loved one’s death?

Generally, any person or party who was negligent and contributed to causing the cyclist’s death is responsible.  This could be a motorist who operated their vehicle unsafely, the government who allowed the condition of a road to become dangerous, or many others.

How will you prove what happened?
  1. I will carefully investigate and analyze how the accident happened.
    I will review the law enforcement report of the crash, and find out the observations of witnesses.  I may likely inspect any car or truck who collided with the cyclist, and download the “black box” data.  I may have an expert witness analyze the vehicles.  I will determine if there is any video from one of the vehicles, traffic lights, or buildings close to the area.  I will consider whether the motorist was a distracted driver.  I evaluate the data in my bicyclist’s GPS unit on their bike, such as Garmin, Wahoo, Cat Eye, Hammerhead, Sigma, Lezyne, or Strava.
  2. I will monitor traffic citations or criminal charges arising from the crash.
    When a crash results in the motorist being issued a traffic ticket or being charged with a crime, I will stay informed about the progress of these charges and may attend hearings or trials related to them.
  3. I will find out what insurance is available to compensate the family.
    Insurance for a bike crash or e-bike accident can come from many different sources. This includes auto insurance, homeowner’s insurance, personal umbrella insurance, business insurance policies, rental vehicle policies, short and long-term disability insurance policies, and health insurance.   It is possible that the bicycle rider had a special bicycle insurance policy which covers the accident.
  4. I will determine the Law that applies to your bicycle or e-bike accident.
    Florida has adopted statutes (Florida Statutes Section 316.2065 and 316.20655) that apply only to bicycles and e-bikes.  These laws must be considered.  Furthermore, certain laws have been enacted for the express purpose of protecting cyclists.  Did the offending motorist follow these safety laws?  Did the motorist attempt to pass the bicycle rider without giving a 3 feet safety cushion, as Florida Statutes mandate?  Did the motorist fail to yield to the bicyclist?  Did the motorist enter a protected crosswalk?  Was the motorist texting or talking on their cell phone?  Did the motorist fail to use lights or turn signals? Was the motorist speeding?
  5. I will obtain and review the medical records, medical examiner’s reports, autopsy records, tax returns, and employment records for the victim.
    It is important to prove from the medical records, medical examiner’s reports, and autopsy that the bicycle crash was the actual reason for the death of the cyclist.  It is also important to confirm that the cyclist was not under the influence of alcohol or drugs.  It is important to document the victim’s lost wages through employment records or tax returns.
  6. I will file a lawsuit and go to trial.
    Sometimes, the at-fault parties or their insurers refuse to act fairly and reasonably.  They will not voluntarily pay a fair amount of money to the victim’s family, even when the facts and evidence justify it.  In that situation, I look forward to present the case for a trial and winning a fair and generous verdict for the victim’s family.

If you believe you might have a case, please contact me free of charge to discuss.

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