What are the Rights of a Young Child Hit by a Vehicle While Riding a Bicycle in Florida?
In Florida, there is a common risk or danger in most communities. Children ride bicycles in most communities. This is the common risk and danger. It is well known or should be well known that children lack good safety awareness. Furthermore, the motor skills of small children are still developing when the children especially when the children are in pre-school and elementary school. Because of the risks of bicycle riding, it is important for all motorist to slow down any time that a driver is near a child riding a bicycle. Children enjoy riding bicycles in neighborhoods, parking lots, driveways and elsewhere.
When a child is hit by a vehicle while riding a bicycle, the personal injuries can range from minor ones to significant personal injuries including the wrongful death of a child. A child and bicycle are no match for the steel and weight of the typical motor vehicle. When you combine the size differential with any amount of speed, the situation can easily escalate to one with horrific and catastrophic personal injuries.
It should be noted that Florida is a comparative fault state. As such, for a particular accident or incident, there can be a percentage distribution of fault attributed to the bicycle rider and driver. It should also be noted that children under a certain age cannot be held comparatively at fault as a matter of law. In the State of Florida, a child under the age of 6 years old cannot be held comparatively at fault; however, a parent or supervisor of the child may be help proportionally at fault for the lack of supervision of the child.
Pursuant to Section 316.2065 (1) (d), Florida Statutes - Bicycle Regulations:
(d) 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 passenger’s head by a strap and that meets the federal safety standard for bicycle helmets, final rule, 16 C.F.R. part 1203. A helmet purchased before October 1, 2012, which meets the standards of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI Z 90.4 Bicycle Helmet Standards), the standards of the Snell Memorial Foundation (1984 Standard for Protective Headgear for Use in Bicycling), or any other nationally recognized standards for bicycle helmets adopted by the department may continue to be worn by a bicycle rider or passenger until January 1, 2016. As used in this subsection, the term “passenger” includes a child who is riding in a trailer or semitrailer attached to a bicycle.
Florida has the above bicycle helmet law in place. The bicycle helmet law only applies or is a factor in a personal injury case if there is a head injury suffered by the child that could have been prevented or lessened with the use of a helmet.
David A. Wolf is a Florida Child Injury Attorney with over 25 years of experience. He is the author of the book titled Bikes, Trikes, and Automobiles - Legal Rights of the Injured Child. The book has chapters on Medical Bills, Medical Treatment, Insurance, Settlement / Compensation, Wrongful Death, and other topics. You can get the book for free at Bikes, Trikes, and Automobiles.
When a child or other person is injured as a result of a bicycle accident, there are many challenges faced by the injured cyclist and the family. Medical care is a priority to make sure that the injury victim is stabilized and then has the ongoing medical treatment that he or she needs for the bicycle accident related personal injuries. Thereafter, the injury victim and family should have the benefit of legal advice, guidance, and representation by a qualified and experienced Florida Personal Injury Attorney. David A. Wolf provides a FREE CONSULTATION on all personal injury cases including bicycle accident cases.
An injured cyclist, who is injured as a result of the fault of a driver, will be entitled to compensation for medical bills - past and present pain, suffering, and loss of enjoyment of life. The claim or case process is quite complicated and full of twists and turns. Insurance companies and businesses have their respective attorneys in place. The injured cyclist and family should also have legal representation in place to make sure that the injured cyclist’s rights are protected and enforced.