In Florida, bicycles are an affordable and effective mode of transportation. However, since a bicycle does not provide physical protection, severe injuries and death can result from accidents.
A total of 170 pedal cyclists died in Florida out of 938 pedal cyclists in the nation in 2020. The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) reported 5,952 bike crashes in 2020, resulting in 759 incapacitating injuries.
If you or a loved one has suffered an injury in a bicycle accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and other financial losses. You can refer to a Florida bike accident attorney to help you file your bike accident claim.
The bicycle accident lawyers at Nessler & Associates understand the unique challenges of these types of cases. We can review your bike accident claim and build a strong case for you.
What Are the Rights of Florida Bicycle Riders?
The state of Florida recognizes bicycles as vehicles. Therefore, every person who uses a bicycle has the same rights and duties as any other vehicle driver. The bicycle rider must obey traffic laws like drivers, such as not driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs, following stop signs and traffic lights, and yielding the right-of-way at intersections and pedestrians.
Bike riders must follow these other bicycle laws:
- Bicycle riders must use front and back lights and reflectors when traveling between sunset and sunrise.
- Children under 16 must wear a properly fitted bicycle helmet that meets the federal safety standards for bicycle helmets. However, the DHSMV recommends everyone wear helmets for safety.
- You cannot ride more than two bicycles on the same road unless it’s a bicycle lane. If you and another rider obstruct traffic, you must ride in a single file.
- If two or more marked traffic lanes are on a one-way highway, a bicycle rider can ride as close as possible to the left-hand curb.
- Riding a bicycle on a right-hand road requires the cyclist to keep a reasonable distance from the curb. A few exceptions to this law include passing, making a left turn, or avoiding potential collision on a narrow road.
- Florida law states that bicyclists have the right to use the entire lane when making a left-hand turn as close to the left of the intersection as possible.
What Duties Do Florida Drivers Have to Bike Riders?
Florida law requires motor vehicle drivers to take the duty of care when driving near bicyclists. This means that drivers must be vigilant and take care to avoid hitting a cyclist.
- When sharing the road, drivers turning must yield to bike riders in bicycle lanes and turn behind them.
- Motor vehicle drivers must give cyclists at least 3 feet of space when passing them on the road.
- If a driver is overtaking and passing a bicycle traveling in the same direction at an intersection, they can make the right turn only if the bike is at least 20 feet away.
- Whenever there is a no-passing zone marked with a sign, drivers cannot drive on the left side of the road with the sign. However, drivers aren’t subject to the no-passing zone law when they overtake bicycles safely and quickly on the left side.
- Bike riders traveling on a sidewalk or crossing are considered pedestrians. As a result, motor vehicle drivers must yield to pedestrians who would be an immediate hazard whenever they emerge from a business, alley, or road.
The DHSMV warns motorists not to use their high beams around bike riders. Additionally, they advise drivers to check for bicyclists approaching from behind before opening a car door.
Florida bicyclists are subject to specific legal standards and protections that make bike accident law a complex field. However, an attorney experienced in Florida’s bicycle laws understands that Florida cyclists have the same rights as drivers when using the road and that motorists should respect those rights.
What to Do if You’re in a Florida Bicycle Accident
If you are involved in a bicycle accident with a motor vehicle, you should take these steps to protect your rights to compensation:
- Call the police to report the accident. You could ask for emergency services if you suffered any injuries.
- Getting the contact information of any witnesses who saw the accident is vital. This will help obtain an unbiased account of what happened.
- Take photographs of the accident scene, your bike, and any sustained injuries. These will serve as valuable evidence in establishing liability.
- Speak about what happened before and after the accident with the police. Never apologize or admit fault after an accident, as your statements could be used against you when you file your claim.
These guidelines give you the best chance of receiving payment from your insurance company when you contact a Florida bike accident lawyer for guidance. An attorney can help you explore your legal options for pursuing compensation for your bike accident injuries.
How a Florida Bicycle Accident Lawyer Can Help You With Your Bike Accident Claim
A bike accident lawyer can help you secure a settlement covering all your losses. Depending on your injury, you may be eligible for compensation to cover your medical expenses, pain and suffering, and lost wages.
Our personal injury lawyers at Nessler & Associates can help you with the following:
Determine Your Legal Options for Compensation
If you own a car, you can file a claim with your auto insurance company for personal injury protection (PIP) benefits. However, you may have to file a personal injury claim against the at-fault driver’s auto insurance policy if you don’t have a car.
Investigate the Accident
An experienced lawyer will seek all relevant information regarding your case, including witness statements and medical records. They will also obtain police reports from any law enforcement agency involved in the accident. Your attorney can identify all parties who may be liable for your injuries, including the car’s driver.
Handle Communication with the Insurance Company
Negotiations with the insurance company on your behalf can help you get the maximum compensation possible. They can work hard towards getting you fair compensation for any lost earnings due to time off work because of your injuries and additional medical costs incurred since the accident occurred.
Take Your Case to Court
A lawyer will fight for your right to compensation in court if the auto insurance company refuses to settle your claim or denies it altogether. They know how to use the evidence in your case to make a strong argument for your compensation.
Why Choose Nessler & Associates for Your Bike Accident Case
If you have been involved in a bicycle accident and need compensation, Nessler & Associates will stay with you throughout the legal process. We take the time to explain everything clearly and keep our clients informed of every step in the bike accident claim process.
We have helped many clients win compensation in various personal injury cases:
- $2.1 million for an injured cyclist who was hit by a state vehicle
- $1.1 million for a victim in a slip and fall accident
- $15 million for a 13-year-old client who suffered permanent brain damage as a result of a roll-over crash
The Bike Accident Attorneys Can Protect Your Rights to Compensation
If you are a bicycle accident victim, Nessler & Associates can work on your claim and help you obtain a fair settlement on your behalf. We have a team of experienced lawyers who have successfully handled thousands of cases, and we’re here to take legal action.
We work on a contingency fee arrangement, so you don’t pay legal fees unless we win a settlement or verdict for your case. Call our law firm at (800) 727-8010 to schedule a free consultation.