Due to the year-round sunny weather in Miami, bicycling is a common activity. Moreover, the city of Miami offers a bike-sharing and rental system, and hundreds of people each day are out in the community riding along the busy streets. While we all know the many agreed benefits of bicycling— helping with reduced carbon emissions usage and exercise, we often forget the dangers.
Bicyclists are just as vulnerable on the road as pedestrians, and yet they often interact closer to vehicles and must follow the same traffic rules as vehicles in some cases. A bicycle accident can lead to severe injuries, property damage, and even death. If you were injured or suffered a loss in a bicycling accident, seek legal counsel immediately.
Bicycle Accidents Attorney in Miami, FL
Bicycle accidents can be dangerous, as bicycle riders are not under secure structures like motorists and can suffer a higher ejection risk when colliding with a car. If you are involved in a bicycle accident, you might have suffered severe injuries. At Abrams Justice, we represent clients aggressively until they are compensated fairly due to someone else’s carelessness.
Bicycle accidents can amount to thousands of dollars in medical bills and property damage. If the party liable for the accident does not have insurance or has failed to pay adequately for your losses, you can pursue a lawsuit for compensation if it is determined that the person has assets that are recoverable. Otherwise, recovery may be very difficult.
Call our attorneys at 305-709-0880 to speak with an attorney today about your situation. We work with clients in the cities of Miami, Homestead, Cutler Bay, Coral Gables, Hialeah, and more.
Bicycle Accidents Information Center
- Miami Bicycling Statistics
- Bicycling Laws in Florida
- Bicycling Accidents Liability
- Additional Resources
Miami Bicycling Statistics
Multiple bicycling organizations, along with state and local authorities, have moved towards improving infrastructure and policies for bicyclists to reduce the number of accidents on the road. As of now, 44 U.S. states, including Florida and 124 cities, including Miami, offer protected bike lanes. Miami itself has implemented a bike to workday annually. And, while the state is in current works to update its Florida Transportation Plan in 2020, expected to address bicycling, they have a long way to go before certifying the city of Miami and other major Floridian cities as biker-safe cities. Additional bicycling statistics include the following:
- The 2017 NHTSA Traffic Safety Facts sheet revealed Florida has the highest rate of pedal cyclists fatalities of any other state regardless of ridership.
- The League of American Bicyclists released the Bicycle Friendly State report card for 2019 and ranked Florida 10 out of 50. While the initial ranking is not bad, considering the continuing growth of biking in the state, it certainly has a lot to improve. While biking ridership was calculated at 18 out of 50 scores, were 0.7% of Floridians are biking to work, safety was measured at 47 out of 50 ranks in which were found to be 23.7 fatalities per 10K bike commuters.
- The latest definite data crash report from The Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) agency from 2018 lists bicyclists under the vulnerable road users group alongside pedestrians and motorcyclists. Florida: In 2018, there were 6,183 bicyclists injuries cited. Miami Dade County: In 2018, there were 744 bicyclists injuries mentioned.
Bicycling Laws in Florida
Multiple bike laws have been passed in Florida concerning the joint effort of reducing crashes between vehicle drivers in conjunction with bicycle riders on Florida roads. While pro-bicycling innovators have celebrated recent broke, laws, others continue to be a significant focus for rallying. Major bike laws impose the following:
- Fla. Stat. §316.083(1): “The driver of a vehicle overtaking a bicycle or other nonmotorized vehicle must pass the bicycle or other nonmotorized vehicle at a safe distance of not less than 3 feet between the vehicle and the bicycle or other nonmotorized vehicle.”
- Florida laws pronounce bicycle riders as a “vulnerable road user,” to which vehicle road users must exercise due care when approaching. Hit and runs are more criminally severe when they involved a “vulnerable road user” (Fla. Stat. §316.027).
- Cyclists must ride as close to the right-hand edge of the road as practically possible, except in the following circumstances:
- A separate bicycle lane is available;
- When passing/overtaking another bicycle or vehicle riding in the same direction;
- When turning left at an intersection or into a private road or driveway;
- When necessary to avoid any condition or potential conflict (Fla. Stat. §316.2065(5).
- Florida law allows bicycle riding on a sidewalk when applicable.
- Bicycles must follow all traffic rules when on the roadway, including while in designated bicycle lanes, unless specific traffic rules do not apply to bikes.
- Fla. Stat. §316.2005: “No person shall open any door on a motor vehicle unless and until it is reasonably safe to do so and can be done without interfering with the movement of other traffic, nor shall any person leave a door open on the side of a vehicle available to moving traffic for some time longer than necessary to load or unload passengers.”
Bicycle Accidents Liability
Bicycle accidents involving a motor vehicle are similar to other liability cases like car accidents, except a bicycle is involved as opposed to another car. Bicyclists are closer to pedestrians than they are to regular motor vehicles. While bicyclists are not required by law to carry insurance, most motor vehicle insurances offer liability coverage against another motor vehicle, pedestrian, or bicyclist. Therefore, victims of bicycle accidents and motor vehicle drivers must both follow standard post-accident protocols following an accident. Steps can include filing a police report, exchanging contact and insurance information, and taking photographs at the scene.
A hit and run accident involving a bicyclist will likely weigh twice as heavy on liability determinations than it would for regular non-pedestrian motor vehicle accidents. Liability is decided upon reviewing the party’s negligence-based behaviors during the accident. Per Florida’s comparative negligence law, compensation can be reduced by one’s contribution to the accident. If said gross negligence, like that of a hit and run, is revealed, the plaintiff may recover punitive damages if an investigation is able to reveal the identity of the perpetrator.
Florida’s Pedestrian & Bicycle Focused Initiative | Campaign — Alert Today, Florida is a state-wide campaign for the safety of pedestrians and bicyclists on Florida roadways supported by the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT). Florida’s Pedestrian & Bicycle Focused Initiative page provides safety tips for bicycle riders and spreads awareness to Florida road users for the reduction of accidents.
Bicycle Traffic Law | Florida Bicycle Association – The Florida Bicycle Association provides resources for bicyclists and Florida residents to access state programs and services related to bicycling. The page offers in-depth, visual information regarding bicycle traffic laws and regulations.
Attorney for Bicycle Accidents in Miami-Dade County
While most pedestrians can walks safely on sidewalks, bicyclists often have to navigate the treacherous roadway with vehicles along their side. A bicycle accident can lead to long-term health conditions and treatment.
Healthcare costs resulting from bicycle accidents are high, not taking into account the emotional trauma that is suffered from each accident. At Abrams Justice, we can represent you in a bicycle collision if the facts show that liability rests with the other party.
Call to schedule a consultation at 305-709-0880 or fill out a case review form at the bottom of the page. We work with residents of the Miami-Dade County area.