Fort Lauderdale Bicycle Accident Lawyer
Bicycling is a healthy and environmentally friendly way to get around Fort Lauderdale. Tens of thousands of bikers hit the streets and sidewalks throughout Fort Lauderdale every year. Unfortunately, not every cyclist makes it home alive. In 2015, 818 bicyclists died throughout the United States in traffic collisions. Bicycle crashes may not happen as often as other motor vehicle collisions, but they are more likely to result in serious injury and death. Cyclists have nothing protecting them from impacts in collisions, expect perhaps helmets. The right team of attorneys can stand up for bicyclist rights after a harmful accident. Our experienced Fort Lauderdale bike accident attorney’s are the perfect choice for you and your family, they can help mount a claim that maximizes your compensation in an organized and efficient manner.
Speak to a Skilled Bicycle Accident Attorney
Our firm handles claims for accidents involving bicyclists in Fort Lauderdale, and we are available for free consultations. Contact Chalik & Chalik today for a no-obligation legal consultation – (855) 529-0269. Chalik & Chalik is available 24/7 for legal counsel regarding a recent bicycle accident in Fort Lauderdale. These crashes can involve myriad state and citywide laws, such as helmet regulations and roadway rules. It’s often in your favor to get counsel from a professional personal injury lawyer before making a decision about your settlement or claims options. If you were involved in a car crash and injured another bicyclist, you may need to speak to one of our car accident lawyers.
Compensation Available in a Bicycle Accident Claim
In the event of a bicycle-car accident, the legal ramifications depend upon who was at fault for the accident. If the driver was at fault, he or she will be responsible for paying for all the cyclist’s damages, including hospital bills, lost time from work, and pain and suffering.
However, if the driver can show that the cyclist was partly at fault for the accident (e.g., not following a traffic law), the cyclist won’t be entitled to receive the full amount of compensation.
Bike Accidents and Negligence
Bicycle accidents occur due to a number of different factors. Potholes can eject bicyclists from their seats. Lack of bike paths can lead to collisions on the roadway. Drivers can open their car doors into oncoming cyclists. Many bicycle accidents are preventable with proper care and attention. It is up to every roadway maintenance crew, driver, and cyclist to reduce the number of collisions in Fort Lauderdale. A breach of duty, such as texting and driving, resulting in an accident, is negligence.
Bicycle accidents involving someone else’s negligence open the floor to litigation on the victim’s end. Accident victims that suffer broken bones, concussion, road rash, property damage, and other harms can file personal injury claims against the at-fault parties after bike collisions in Fort Lauderdale. These claims can result in greater compensation than filing through the party’s insurance company. In some cases, such as a hit-and-run, there may not be a party to file against. In these situations, uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance may cover damages. Bicyclists and pedestrians are often injured or even killed in Fort Lauderdale car accidents. They may sustain broken bones or dislocations, back or neck injuries, or even head or brain injuries. These injuries may take years to fully heal, requiring extensive medical treatment along the way.
More than 650 bicyclists lost their lives in bicycle accidents in 2011, and another 48,000 were seriously injured, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. In fact, Florida has the highest number of bicycle accident fatalities in the nation, according to NHTSA.
To reduce the risk of a crash, it’s important to identify the common causes of bicycle wrecks and take the necessary safety precaution discussed below.
Fort Lauderdale’s Vision Zero Program
In 2014, three bicyclists died in Fort Lauderdale. Fort Lauderdale has a vision of zero fatalities. The city has launched “Vision Zero” as an initiative to improve the safety of the traveling public – including bicyclists. There are marked issues within the city that contribute to pedestrian and bicycle crashes, such as dangerous crosswalks and limited availability of bike paths. There are three main principles in Vision Zero that comprise the effort to increase bicycle safety:
- No level of injury or fatality is acceptable on the city streets.
- Traffic injuries are not accidents but preventable incidents.
- The public should actively participate in efforts to make the city streets safer.
The city aims to improve the condition and availability of sidewalks, availability of biking paths, management of traffic congestion, and the safety of biking. Citywide efforts to help bikers can go a long way toward decreasing the number of collisions, but, unfortunately, it can’t end them altogether. Many bicycle accidents aren’t due to poor roadway conditions, but factors like negligent drivers and bikers under the influence of alcohol. Regardless of the cause, injured bicyclists may be eligible for compensation.
Common Causes of Bicycle Accidents
One of the most common contributing factors to bicycle accidents is failure of a bicyclist to see another vehicle or failure of a driver to see the bicycle. This might be the result of careless, distracted, or reckless riding or driving. Other causes of these accidents include:
- bicyclists riding on the wrong side of the road;
- drivers making unsafe turns;
- bicyclists riding directly into the path of a car;
- drivers drifting into the path of a cyclist;
- bicyclists making an unsafe left turn;
- bicyclists weaving in and out of traffic;
- drivers or passengers in a car opening a door as a bicycle passes; and
- bicyclists riding without visibility gear such as headlights or reflectors.
Essentially, what most bike crashes boil down to is some form of either driver or bicyclist error or negligence. Bicyclists may take steps to prevent many accidents by following the rules of the road and taking simple safety measures. All these instances can have disastrous consequences for those involved. Negligent drivers, who knowingly or unknowingly violate the rules of the road, can cause serious injuries or loss of life in car wrecks. Bicyclists can seek financial compensation for their injuries and related costs, recovering damages to fix a problem caused by someone else.
Preventing Bike Crashes in Fort Lauderdale
Whether it’s your source of exercise, recreation or primary mode of transportation, take precautions to protect yourself on the road:
- Traffic laws – Traffic rules were put into place for a reason – to maintain order and keep everyone safe on the road. Take a class, know the rules and abide by them. Important safety laws include rules such as always riding with traffic, staying in the bike lane and using proper signaling when turning.
- Safety gear – Wearing proper gear will help protect you, should a wreck occur and using reflective clothing and equipment means more cars will see you.
- Bike maintenance – Make sure your bike is in proper working order and periodically check for broken or defective parts. Poorly maintained or malfunctioning bikes can cause serious accidents.
- Pay attention – It’s really as simple as that. Keep your eyes on the road, be aware of your surroundings and don’t listen to your headphones as you ride. This is really the best way to see (and avoid) approaching danger.