Bicycle accidents in Miami and throughout the state of Florida are, unfortunately, extremely common. You can become overloaded by hospital bills and expenses after a major bike crash in Florida at a time when the focus should be on proper recovery. Policies for personal injury prevention (PIP) are easily depleted and you can find that you must deal with insurance providers on your own. You need an accomplished and experienced Florida cycling crash attorney to represent you when this happens.
Florida Statute 316.003 describes bicycles as a vehicle with a pair of tandem wheels operated entirely by human control and all motorized bicycles operated using a mix of human power and an electric helper motor able to propel the vehicle on level ground on which any person may ride at a speed not to exceed 20 miles per hour, which may include any system commonly accepted as a bicycle.
If you were riding a bike and found yourself in an accident with a Florida driver, would you know what steps to take? Florida's no-fault statute places limitations on the right of victims of a cycling crash to take disciplinary action against the driver that may have caused the accident. Certain requirements must be met for an injured cyclist to bring an action against the at-fault driver to recuperate costs beyond the realm of no-fault insurance regulation.
The most prominent negligent driving habits leading to crashes with bicycles include:
- Failure by drivers to allow cyclists the right-of-way
- Engaging in distracted driving
- Driving carelessly
- Failing to heed stop signs
The Florida no-fault insurance law, which also goes by Personal Injury Prevention (PIP), provides that, no matter whose fault it was, any driver, pedestrian, or bicyclist involved in an accident must make a claim to recover costs and losses after the accident under their car insurance policy.
Cyclists have all the privileges and all the responsibilities common to the driver of every other car under Florida law. There are some exceptions, such as guidelines for cycling with a child under the age of four and wearing a bicycle helmet if you are under the age of 16, but riders usually have the right to share the lane. Bike riders should use the bike lane if they travel slower than the usual traffic flow, and if there is no such lane, they are expected to keep to the right whenever possible. However, as drivers make right turns into bike lanes and crash into cyclists who conform to the rules, right-of-way collisions are bound to occur. Often, drivers do not treat cycling lanes as true traffic lanes, but under Florida law, this does not justify being negligent.
The biggest challenge with a cycling accident lawsuit is whether the collision and the resulting injury were caused by someone's incompetence. A driver's neglect may take many forms, including missing traffic signals, driving too fast, wandering into a bike lane, or failing to uphold the essential duty of care owed to someone else on the route. In addition to the negligence of a driver, a faulty bicycle, misleading bicycle lanes, or poorly maintained roads can result in liability.
When you are involved in a cycling crash and you wish to file a lawsuit against the defendant in court over your bicycle accident, you and your counsel need to show that the defendant owes you a duty of care, that either their action or failure to act did not satisfy this duty of care, that the defendant was responsible for your bicycle accident, and that you suffered damage as a result.
If you or a loved one has been injured in the state of Florida from a bicycle accident, the Law Offices of Mark Eiglarsh may be able to help you file a lawsuit to recover compensation for your losses.
The general information provided above about bicycle accidents in Fort Lauderdale is meant for educational purposes only and is not a substitute for speaking directly with an attorney about the facts and circumstances of your case. Please call 954.500.0003 in Broward or 305.674.0003 in Miami to schedule a consultation with the Law Offices of Mark Eiglarsh.