The leading Fort Lauderdale cycling accident lawyers at Anidjar & Levine are dedicated to helping bike accident victims obtain compensation for their injuries. We have successfully handled all types of cycling accident claims, recovering millions of dollars in compensation for injured victims throughout Florida.
Bicycles provide a convenient and environmentally-friendly mode of transportation in Florida and other states. Riding a bicycle is a great way to enjoy the outdoors while getting to your destination. But because cyclists are more exposed and less visible to drivers, they are more likely to suffer serious injuries in a traffic accident. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that approximately 1,000 bicycling fatalities occur each year; 51,000 injuries result from traffic crashes throughout the United States. Many of these accidents are caused by negligent drivers.
Common causes of cycling accidents include:
- Turning in front of a cyclist
- Speeding to overtake a cyclist
- Turning or merging into bicycle lane
- Misjudging buffer zone to safely pass
- Failure to yield right of way
- Violating the speed limit or a traffic signal
- Driving into a crosswalk or intersection
- Riding out into the roadway from a residential driveway
- Riding in urban areas at night
- Failure to wear bicycle helmet
- Failure to equip bike with light
- Driving or riding while intoxicated
Florida laws protect cyclists who are injured by negligent motorists. Unlike other states, Florida law allows some cyclists to ride their bikes on the sidewalk, which may be preferable to riding beside speeding trucks and cars. Riding on the sidewalk is permitted so long as it is not in a business district or on sidewalks with posted signs that prohibit the activity. Any prohibition of cycling is governed by local ordinance or the municipal code. Cyclists should therefore familiarize themselves with the specific cycling laws in their area.
Under Florida’s Uniform Traffic Control Law, bicycles are treated as vehicles and riders as other “drivers.” Cyclists must therefore follow the same traffic rules common to all drivers. A bicyclist riding on a sidewalk or crosswalk has the same duties and responsibilities as a pedestrian. Every bicycle must be equipped with brakes and lighting equipment that make the bike visible from 500 feet away. Any rider or passenger younger than 16 years-old must also wear a bicycle helmet that is properly fitted, securely fastened, and meets national consumer safety standards.
Drivers emerging from an alley, building, or private road must stop the vehicle immediately prior to driving onto the sidewalk and yield to all vehicles, including bicycles, that are “so close” as to constitute an “immediate hazard.” Failing to observe this rule is a one of the greatest contributing factors to accidents involving sidewalk cyclists. Drivers who overtake cyclists must pass to the left at a “safe distance” and shall not re-enter the right side of the roadway until “safely clear” of the cyclist. Florida law prescribes a 3-foot buffer zone when passing a bicycle. In any case where a motorist shares the road with a cyclist, the driver must exercise “due care” to avoid colliding with any pedestrian or cyclist. At-fault drivers may be liable in damages for any injury proximately caused by their negligence.
If you were injured in a cycling accident, the experienced Fort Lauderdale bike accident attorneys at Anidjar & Levine can help. We have obtained compensation for many cyclists in Fort Lauderdale and other areas of Florida. If the accident was caused by a negligent driver, the injured cyclist is entitled to damages for medical expenses, lost income, and other benefits. Our firm carefully identifies all liable parties, and helps victims achieve the best possible outcome for their legal claim. At Anidjar & Levine, we understand that cycling accidents are traumatic and are dedicated to helping you get back on your feet. Call 800-747-3733 for a free consultation or contact us online.