If you hit a cyclist with your car, you may be held accountable for any of the injuries and losses the victim experiences. Beyond your own recovery from the incident, you should be prepared to defend your rights and become familiar with your insurance coverage as well as the laws surrounding bicycle regulations in your state and town.
Generally, cyclists in Florida are permitted to ride on public roadways where there are no bike lanes. In addition to sharing the road with motorists, cyclists must make an effort to share the road safely and follow the same rules and regulations of other vehicles. However, cyclists are not required to pass any kind of certification test before pedaling onto a roadway. If you hit a cyclist with your car, consider what rights and legal options you have.
Share-the-Lane Laws and Obligations
Cyclists and motorists are meant to use public roadways in harmony, but that is not always the case. If you hit a cyclist with your car, the victim could make claims for anything from personal injury to property damage. In the event of a fatality, a relative or beneficiary of the victim could file for wrongful death. As bicycle use rises, keep share-the-lane laws in mind to prevent accidents from happening:
- Cyclists can ride on the road, and follow regular traffic laws.
- Cyclists may take up an entire lane of traffic, and share a lane with a maximum of one other bicycle.
- Give plenty of clearance (at least 3 feet) when passing a bicycle.
- Cyclists and drivers are expected to use signals when switching lanes; cyclists will typically use hand signals.
- Keep a safe distance from cyclists on the road, and look out for cyclists before opening your doors while parked.
If you hit a cyclist in Florida, you must stay at the scene of the accident. Otherwise, it is considered a hit and run, as outlined in the Aaron Cohen Life Protection Act, and can result in severe penalties, including possible prison time.
For a free legal consultation, call 800-761-5225
Bicycle Personal Injury Claims
After a bicycle accident, the victim has four years from the date of the accident to file a personal injury claim in Florida. Protecting your rights and getting back to normal life are important for you and the victim.
Unfortunately, bike accidents will result in various types of pain and suffering, or losses. Common injuries cyclists may experience after an accident may include the following:
- Traumatic head or brain injuries.
- Nerve damage.
- Road rash.
- Injuries to the spinal cord.
- Broken or fractured bones.
This is a non-exhaustive list of injuries that a cyclist may claim after an accident, and each case is unique. However, if a cyclist is making any kind of claim after an accident, chances are that the nature of the injury is serious. You could be liable for any of the following damages in a bicycle accident case:
- Emergency medical evaluations.
- Surgery required after the accident.
- Prescription medication costs after the accident.
- Physical therapy costs.
- Hospital bills.
- Continued care costs.
- Loss of work.
- Loss of potential to work.
This is a non-exhaustive list of costs that a cyclist may have after seeking treatment for injuries in an accident. While the cyclist will bear the burden of proving your negligence in the accident, the chance of injury for cyclists in an accident is already so high that even small instances of negligence can have serious consequences.
Know Your Legal Rights and Options After a Cyclist Accident
If you hit a cyclist with your car, the biker who is injured in the accident may suffer serious injuries and losses. As a driver, it is important for you to be knowledgeable about bicycle riding laws and regulations that are intended to protect everyone on the road. However, you may find it helpful to deal with the case along with a legal expert who is familiar with bicycle law.
The bicycle accident lawyers at Ben Crump Law, PLLC, want to protect your rights when you hit a cyclist with your car. We can talk about your legal options, explain bicycle accident laws to you, and advise you on your best moves after an accident. Do not hesitate to call our office for a free consultation. We can begin working on your case today when you call: 800-761-5225.
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