What if a Bicyclist is Hit by a Vehicle in Florida? Legal Rights of the Injured Cyclist
Florida is a state that is filled year round with bicycle rides and cyclists of all ages and skill levels. During any given trip by a driver of a motor vehicle - long or short, there is a high probability that you will pass or see a bicyclist on or near the roadway. It is vital that all drivers slow down near bicyclists and treat each bicyclist with due respect. Let’s face it - a bicyclist / bicycle is no match (weight, force, and speed) for any motor vehicle out on the roads. Distracted driving is an ongoing problem in the State of Florida. Drivers are unfortunately and tragically paying more attention to their phone, text messages, and e-mails than other drivers, pedestrians, and, yes, bicyclist on or near the roads, highways, and streets.
Florida has adopted a comparative fault set of laws applicable to automobile accidents, trucking accidents, bicycle accidents, and pedestrian accidents. In other words, in order to pursue a case for compensation for personal injuries, the injured bicyclist can be partially at fault for the accident or incident. In representing an injured bicyclist, it is preferable if the driver is 100 % at fault; however, there may be circumstances where the bicyclist is partially at fault. There also can be situations in which two or more drivers may be at fault for a bicycle accident leading to personal injuries.
It should be noted that under Florida Statutes a bicyclist is given the same rights as a pedestrian under many situations. As such, drivers should keep the law in mind as well the safety of all bicyclists and pedestrians in mind when operating a motor vehicle in the State of Florida. It should also be noted that Florida has adopted a Dangerous Instrumentality Law as it applies to automobile accidents and bicycle accidents. As such, the registered owner of a motor vehicle is liable for the negligence of a permissive driver even if the owner did nothing wrong OR was not even present at the time of the incident or crash leading to the personal injuries of the bicyclist.
Any time that a bicyclist is hit by a driver in the State of Florida - the injuries can be very significant. In many of these bicycle accidents, a bicyclist can even be fatally injured. When there is a death resulting from a Florida Automobile accident or bicycle accident, there will be a full traffic homicide investigation to determine the particular facts and circumstances of the crash including but limited to the foreseeability and preventability of such a crash. Keep in mind that the finding in the traffic homicide report may not be binding on a civil case or civil action. If a bicyclist has been injured as a result of a Florida Automobile Accident, it makes sense for the victim and /or the family members of the injury victim to seek out a Florida Bicycle Injury Attorney for advice, consultation, and legal representation.
David Wolf is a personal injury attorney who handles bicycle accidents throughout the State of Florida. He is the author or two books that focus on bicycle injury cases and personal injuries. The book titled - Bikes, Trikes, and Automobiles - Legal Rights of the Injured Cyclists - has chapters on Medical Treatment, Insurance Issues and General Questions, Liability, Comparative Fault and Proof Issues, and other topics. Get this book for free at Bikes, Trikes, and Automobiles. The other bicycle book is titled - When the Wheels Stop Spinning - Legal Rights of the Injured Child - What Parents Need to Know After the Accident. This book has chapters on Automobile Accident, Bicycle Accidents, Pedestrian Accidents, Wrongful Death, and other topics. Get his book for free at When the Wheels Stop Spinning.