Any cyclist knows that their main traffic risks come from three sources: reckless, belligerent or blindsided motorists; swinging car doors; and jaywalking pedestrians. Cyclists must somehow be alert to these dangers while simultaneously keeping a close eye on the pavement for potholes, metal plates and other ground-level hazards.
The most common type of serious pedestrian accident is that involving a negligent motorist. Well over 5,000 pedestrians perish at the hands of negligent automobile drivers. Another 78,000 victims are seriously injured in car or truck accidents—often the fault of the automobile driver. Countless pedestrians are seriously injured in non-vehicular accidents each year. These may be attributed to defects in sidewalks or parking lots, poor property maintenance, construction-related accidents, or harmful debris or materials on public walkways.
Because of the detailed nature of bicycle accident claims, seek the assistance of the experienced bicycle accident attorneys of Holland & Lamoureux as soon as possible to immediately begin protecting your rights.
Frequently Asked Questions
- What are my rights and responsibilities as a bicycle rider?
- Does the State of Florida require all bicyclists to wear a bicycle helmet?
- Does a bicycle have to yield to pedestrians?
- Are bicycles that are ridden in the evening required to have a light?
- Does my auto insurance cover accidents when I am on my bike?
- Can I recover damages even if the motorist never hit me?
- Can I sue for my bicycle accident?
- Can I be found at fault in my bicycle accident?
- Who can I recover damages from for my injuries?
- Why is it important to hire an experienced bicycle accident attorney?
What are my rights and responsibilities as a bicycle rider?
Bicycle riders have the same rights and responsibilities as motor vehicle drivers. They must stop at traffic signs and signals and observe traffic laws. Bicyclists must display lights and reflectors while riding at night and must stay as close as possible to the right-hand side of the road. In the case of a bike accident in which a bicyclist was out of compliance with any of these conditions, he or she may be partially at fault, but still has the right to recover damages.
Does the State of Florida require all bicyclists to wear a bicycle helmet?
No. A bicycle rider or passenger who is under 16 years of age must wear a bicycle helmet that is properly fitted and is fastened securely upon the rider or passenger’s head by a strap.
Does a bicycle have to yield to pedestrians?
Yes. A person riding a bicycle upon or along a sidewalk or across a roadway upon or along a crosswalk must yield the right-of-way to any pedestrian and give an audible signal before overtaking and passing a pedestrian.
Are bicycles that are ridden in the evening required to have a light?
Florida statue requires that every bicycle in use between sunset and sunrise be equipped with a lamp on the front of the bicycle exhibiting a white light visible from a distance of at least 500 feet to the front and a lamp and reflector on the rear, each exhibiting a red light visible from a distance of 600 feet to the rear. A bicycle or its rider may be equipped with lights or reflectors in addition to those required by the statue.
Does my auto insurance cover accidents when I am on my bike or walking?
Many auto policies will cover you if you are injured in a bicycle accident or while on foot.
Can I recover damages even if the motorist never hit me?
Yes. Many people are under the misconception that there has to be physical contact between a cyclist and a motor vehicle for the motorist to be liable. There are many situations where cyclists are injured when they take evasive action to avoid being hit and crash as a result. The motorist can still be held liable if their negligence required the cyclist to take the evasive action.
Can I sue for my bicycle accident?
If you or a family member was injured or killed due to the negligence or fault of a motorist or other party while riding a bicycle, you can bring a lawsuit against the negligent party to recover damages.
Can I be found at fault in my bicycle accident?
If a bicyclist violates the laws set forth for safe operation of a bicycle and that violation is found to be a contributing or causing factor of the accident, then the bicycle rider may be found at fault. If a bicycle rider is found to be operating their bicycle under the influence of drugs or alcohol, they may be arrested for a DUI and can lose their driver’s license as well.
Who can I recover damages from for my injuries?
- Negligent drivers of automobiles, buses or trucks if the accident was caused by the driver of a vehicle;
- Negligent manufacturers or retailers of bicycles, bicycle parts, bicycle accessories and/or vehicles if the accident was caused by a defective product;
- The City, County or State who maintains the roads if the accident is caused by a dangerous condition created by an unsafe roadway;
- Negligent repair shops or mechanics if the accident was caused by negligent repair of a vehicle or bicycle;
- Dangerous condition of public property if the accident happened due to negligent design, maintenance, or upkeep of public property, including construction, tree trimming, etc.;
- Dangerous condition of private property if the accident was caused by the negligent maintenance or upkeep of private property.
Why is it important to hire an experienced bicycle or pedestrian accident attorney?
Our bicycle and pedestrian injury attorneys can maximize your settlement by fully investigating every case, seeking to establish driver liability related to speeding, running red lights, driving recklessly, driving distracted or driving drunk. We can also successfully represent bicyclists or pedestrians injured because of dangerous road conditions and defective products in incidents involving:
- Construction site gravel
- Sand and gravel on roadways
- Road resurfacing
- Railroad tracks
- Grooved pavement and uneven sidewalks
- Bike helmet failure
- Mechanical failures
- Rims collapsing
- Chains breaking and catching
If you have a question that was not covered in the above Frequently Asked Questions or if your question was not fully answered, call or contact us today for additional information.