Bicycle Accidents in Florida

How common are bike accidents in Miami, Florida?

Throughout Florida, a substantial number of people have traded up their cars for a bicycle-whether for the purposes of transportation or leisure. In fact, it has been reported by the Bureau of Transportation Statistics that approximately 57 million people, meaning 27.3% of the American population over the age of 16, ride a bicycle at least once a year. In Miami, this number is undoubtedly higher. It is for this reason that Florida experiences some of the highest rates for bicyclist injuries and fatalities in the country. According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV), approximately 4,800 bicycle accidents take place in the state each year-injuring 4,400 and killing 80. This doesn't even account for the other 8,000 pedestrians that are concurrently injured or killed each year.

Examining Florida's Bicycle Laws & Regulations

Under the law, bicycles are seen as the equivalent of a motor vehicle when it comes to abiding by the rules of the road. This means that they must obey the same traffic laws as a motorist, but also that they are afforded the same rights to the roadways. Florida Code §316.2065 outlines some of the more specific laws that a bicyclist must follow, as there are a number of factors that separate a pedestrian from a motorist when it comes to safety. Some of these regulations include:

  • §316.2065 (3)(d) - Bicyclists under the age of 16 are required to wear a helmet that is properly fitted and securely fastened.
  • §316.2065 (5)(a) - Bicyclists who are traveling slower than the speed of traffic are required to ride in a bicycle lane, unless:
    • They are overtaking another bicycle or vehicle
    • They are making a left turn at an intersection
    • They are trying to avoid hazardous conditions
  • §316.2065 (6) - Bicyclists are prohibited from riding next to more than one other cyclist at a time when traveling down a roadway.
  • §316.2065 (7) - Bicyclists riding between sunset and sunrise are required to use front lamp that will be visible from at least 500 feet away.

Should a bicyclist fail to follow any of these laws and they are injured as a result, they would not be entitled to compensation. For this reason, it is important that you understand how to determine liability after an accident in Florida. Many people assume that the motorist is always at fault-since the bicyclist is usually the one who ends up being injured-but this is simply not true. In order to successfully recover compensation, you will need to be able to prove that the other party had acted negligently in some way.

Determining Liability after a Serious Bike Accident

If you or someone you love has been injured in a bicycle-on-vehicle accident, you will need to determine who was at fault for causing the collision. The motorist may try to prove that you had violated a traffic law or that you had impeded the flow of traffic-making you the responsible party-so it would be a good idea to discuss your case with a Miami injury lawyer as soon as possible. In doing so, you can ensure that all evidence is properly documented, that witness statements are collected and that your rights are subsequently upheld. In some cases, it may even be true that the local government is to blame. If your accident was caused by inherently dangerous road conditions, you may have grounds to pursue damages on the grounds that they had negligently failed to develop, construct or maintain a safe roadway.

Learn how our Miami personal injury attorney can help!

After being involved in a serious bicycle accident, it is imperative that you get in touch with an experienced legal professional. The insurance company will probably start pushing you to settle for a lowball offer-since they will want to close your case as quickly as possible, without paying you the money that you actually deserve-so it is highly recommended that you have a Miami injury attorney from Seltzer Law, PA in your corner. Our firm is well-equipped to handle negotiations with the insurance company, or even move forward with a personal injury lawsuit, so we ask that you give us a call today. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to answer any questions that you may have, and your initial consultation is free when you contact our office at 1-888-843-3333.

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