Residents of the Greater Orlando Area know just how dangerous the roads can be for a bicycle rider. Drivers are supposed to be vigilant for any potential bicyclists on the road. If a driver fails to take care while driving, ignoring blind spots or bicycle lanes, and makes aggressive or dangerous driving maneuvers without checking their surroundings, they are putting lawful bicycle riders at risk. When a bike rider is hit by a motor vehicle, the results can be catastrophic.
If you or a loved one has been hurt or killed by a driver while riding a bicycle, you may have a claim for damages. Goldman Law, P.A., can help you build your case and collect the damages you and your family are owed.
Florida Leads the Nation in Bike Collision Deaths
There are fewer bicycles on the road than automobiles, but accidents involving bicyclists are more likely to be deadly. Bike riders do not have the protection of a metal casing, seatbelts, and airbags; when they are hit by a car, they are directly exposed to the impact. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Florida has more bicyclist deaths than any other state in the country. In 2017, there were 125 reported bicyclist fatalities on Florida roadways. The number of bicycle crashes was even higher.
In 2018, there were 6,568 bicycle crashes across the State of Florida, resulting in 148 deaths and 6,175 injuries. Preliminary 2019 data suggests that the 2019 numbers are likely to be even worse. Florida has a serious bike safety problem, and lawful bike riders are at risk.
Bike Traffic Laws
In Florida, a bicycle is technically considered a vehicle, and riders are technically considered drivers. That means that bicycle riders are subject to the same traffic laws as any other driver on the road. They must stop at stop signs and stop lights, utilize turn lanes, ride with the flow of traffic, give pedestrians the right of way at crosswalks, and travel across intersections just as they would as an automobile driver. If you are riding a bike on a Florida roadway, it is important to follow traffic safety laws; failing to do so is likely to lead to injury, and the chances and amount of your legal recovery are lessened if you were disobeying traffic safety laws.
As for helmet laws, while we strongly encourage anyone riding a bike on a Florida road to wear a helmet, it is only required for riders under the age of 16. If you are a parent, you should require your child to wear a helmet whenever they ride. If you are an adult, it is worth it to wear a helmet whenever riding a bike, especially on public roadways. Traumatic brain injuries and death are much more likely if the accident victim was riding without a helmet.
Auto Insurance and Bicycle Crashes
Under Florida’s no-fault insurance laws, bicycles qualify as a “human-propelled vehicle” and are covered by the rider’s auto insurance policy. That means that if you are injured in a bicycle accident, you are technically required to file a claim with your auto insurance carrier. If you have no auto insurance, there are other options available for you. Your health insurance, for example, may be available to cover your bills resulting from your injury. Additionally, if you were seriously injured, Florida law allows you to sue an at-fault driver directly. Your Central Florida bike accident lawyer can answer any questions and help you maximize your available coverage, as well as assist you with any other claims.
Contact a Dedicated Bike Accident Lawyer Today
Bicyclists have a right to be on the road. If you or a family member were hurt or killed while riding your bike on a Central Florida roadway, you might be entitled to compensation. The seasoned bicycle accident injury lawyer at Goldman Law, P.A. is here to help. Reach out to our offices at 407-960-1900 today for a free consultation and let us see how we can help you recover after your bicycle crash.