A bicycle is an important way of transportation that is healthy for the rider and the environment. It is also a convenient form of transportation for beach areas like Florida’s coasts. Unfortunately, Florida is one of the top states for bicycle fatalities in the nation. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Florida is 2nd in the US for fatalities involving a bicycle (4% in 2017.) Add that to the many non-fatal accidents involving a motor vehicle and a bicycle each year and you have quite a big number of bicyclists getting hurt or killed. This is mostly caused by negligent drivers.
Florida motorists have a legal responsibility to respect bicyclists on the road. Have you or a loved one been injured from the negligent or reckless actions of a motorist? An experienced and compassionate Fort Lauderdale bicycle accident lawyer in Broward County could help you while you get your life back on track.
Get Help from our Fort Lauderdale Bicycle Accident Attorney
Lisa Levine of Lisa S. Levine P.A. is a personal injury attorney with over 35 years of experience. She has a passion for helping people get the compensation they deserve. If you’ve suffered an injury on a bicycle due to the actions of a Florida motorist in Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, Boca Raton, Jupiter, Aventura, Coral Gables, Hollywood, or Sunrise – call the caring legal team at Lisa S. Levine P.A. We will treat your case with respect while aggressively fighting for the restitution you deserve. Call (954) 256-1820 today to set up your free case consultation.
Causes of Bicycle Accidents in Weston, FL and Broward County
Even the most cautious, compliant bicyclist with the most advanced safety gear is still vulnerable when it comes to an accident with a motor vehicle on the roadways. Many motorists have a “me-first” mentality. Instead of driving defensively with respect to others on the road, they don’t take the extra care needed around cyclists and pedestrians. Any of the following motorist actions are negligent or reckless behaviors commonly at fault for an accident involving a bicycle:
- Failure to yield
- Failure to stop completely at red light or stop sign
- Lack of attention to cyclist while passing
- Distracted driving – including texting while driving
- Failure to look both ways at intersection
- Pulling into traffic in front of a bicyclist
- Turning directly in front of cyclist
- Impairment by drugs or alcohol, DUI
If you have an injury as a result of an accident that occurred under any of the above circumstances, you deserve compensation for medical costs, lost wages, and even pain and suffering. Even if you believe your actions as a cyclist increase your liability percentage, you could still qualify. A skilled Fort Lauderdale bicycle accident attorney will be able to fight for maximum damages while you focus on healing.
Broward County Bicycle Laws
According to Florida Statute §316.2065, every person riding a bicycle on a roadway has the same rights as any other motor vehicle. The exception is when a bicyclist is riding on a sidewalk or other pedestrian pathway. In that, case he or she has the same rights as a pedestrian. However, just as a person on a bicycle has the rights of a motorist or pedestrian, he or she also has the same or modified legal responsibility to operate the bicycle safely.
The same statute giving the bicyclist rights and responsibilities also provides regulations to follow while operating a bicycle. These promote the safety of the cyclist as well as the people and vehicles in his or her surroundings. It is important to make sure you abide by these laws while on your bicycle. This is so that if you are in an accident and need to bring a civil suit, your percentage of liability under Florida law is small or nonexistent.
Regulations While Operating a Bicycle in Florida
These regulations are:
- A bicycle must have a fixed, regular seat for riding
- Every bicycle must have brakes capable of stopping the bike within 25 feet of the initial brake point at 10 mph in regular conditions
- At least one hand must be kept on the handlebars while riding
- A bicyclist must obey all traffic controls and signals on a roadway
- No bike may be used to carry more people than for which it was specifically designed. An exception is for in the instance of an adult carrying a small child in an approved device
- Any bike operated between sunset and sunrise must be equipped with a lamp on the front and a lamp and red reflector on the back
- All bicyclists must ride as far to the right as practicable given the conditions of the road and any obstacles in it
- When riding on sidewalks or in crosswalks, a cyclist has the same rights and duties as a pedestrian. They also have the additional responsibility of yielding right-of-way to all on-foot pedestrians as well as giving an audible signal before passing.
Fort Lauderdale Bicycle Accident FAQs
Comparative negligence in Florida personal injury claims is used to assess what percentage each party was at fault in an accident. If the injured person is found to be partially at fault, the amount of compensation they can recover will be reduced by their percentage of fault.
For example, a bicycle rider was struck by a car, but it is determined that the rider was 10% at fault for the accident. If the court awards the rider $50,000 in damages, that amount will be reduced by the 10% that the rider was found to be at fault.
It’s important to note that a person who is more than 50% responsible for an accident will not be able to recover damages.
Read more about comparative negligence
In short: No! While many of us post on social media sites as part of our daily routines, when you are in the middle of a bicycle accident claim, the other party’s insurance company may use your social media activity against you to try to discredit your case.
Find out more about social media posting and accident claims
In a bicycle accident claim, Lisa S. Levine, P.A. makes sure our clients are receiving proper medical treatment for their injuries. We communicate directly with insurance companies and thoroughly investigate the accident.
Our firm will seek out and analyze evidence such as police reports, medical records, witness statements, photographs, and expert opinions. We will evaluate injuries to determine how much compensation is owed for lost wages, medical costs, and any other expense related to the bicycle accident. We will analyze any long-term financial needs, future wage loss, or medical care.
After the investigation and evidence gathering is complete, we will handle the legal aspects of litigation, communicating directly with the insurance companies, negotiating your claim and fighting in court if necessary to achieve the most favorable ruling.
Finding a Fort Lauderdale Bicycle Accident Lawyer in Broward County
When you are acting responsibly on a bicycle, the last thing you expect is to be in an accident with a negligent driver. You deserve the same consideration as a cyclist on the road as one motorist gives to another.
If you’ve suffered injury due to an accident involving a reckless motorist in the Broward County area including Miami-Dade County and Palm Beach County, contact the experienced personal injury team at Lisa S. Levine P.A.. We won’t charge you until you receive your compensation, so you can rest assured we will fight for you to the final judgment. Your first consultation is free and honest, so schedule yours today by calling (954) 256-1820.