Florida Bicycle Accident Lawyer
Bicycle Injuries are Common in Florida
Take a moment to consider the fate of Rob Lemon. Mr. Lemon was an avid cyclist who frequented Tampa Bay roads. He always wore a helmet, tried to avoid roads and take trails instead and even rode with an anklet containing his contact information. In September of 2013, Mr. Lemon was struck by a vehicle on Memorial Highway in Clearwater. The impact flung Mr. Lemon fifty feet and despite his helmet, he died at St. Joseph’s hospital. Riding a bicycle is dangerous, even if you take all reasonable precautions and safety measures, sharing the road with motor vehicles can be extremely dangerous. Especially so in Florida, according to the Tampa Bay Times, Florida has for years been near the top of the nation when it comes to bicycle fatalities and injuries. Florida also had 125 bicycle fatalities in 2011, the most of any state.
An Overview of Florida Bicycle Laws
The causes of bicycle accidents vary. In many cases, the at fault driver simply was not paying attention to the bicyclist. In other cases, the motor vehicle negligently drove too close to a bicyclist or may have hit the bicyclist while making a left hand turn in front of the oncoming bicycle. In Florida, bicycles are regarded as vehicles and the general rule is that all users of the highway have equal rights as applied between motor vehicles and bicycles. Motorists have an obligation to exercise reasonable care when driving so as to avoid injury to cyclists.
Regarding sidewalks, bicycles can be legally operated on all Florida sidewalks and crosswalks unless a local ordinance says otherwise.
Fla. Stat. 316.2065 (9) A person propelling a vehicle by human power upon and along a sidewalk, or across a roadway upon and along a crosswalk, has all the rights and duties applicable to a pedestrian under the same circumstances.
Fla. Stat. 316.2065 (10) A person propelling a bicycle upon and along a sidewalk, or across a roadway upon and along a crosswalk, shall yield the right-of-way to any pedestrian and shall give an audible signal before overtaking and passing such pedestrian.
Sources of recovery:
If you are injured on your bicycle and struck by another vehicle you may have several options available for recovery. What many people don’t realize is that an auto-insurance policy may provide coverage for no-fault benefits or PIP coverage if you have been hurt in a bike accident. Further, if you are hurt by the fault of someone else, you may be able to recover from their liability insurance carrier. Remember, regardless of what insurance policies are in effect, you may be able to obtain recovery directly from the at fault party for your injuries.