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Riding your bicycle is a wonderful way to stay healthy while saving money on gas. Unfortunately, negligent Florida car drivers can put bicycle riders at great risk of serious injury. If you or a loved one has been injured in a Miami bicycle accident, you may be able to pursue compensation for your losses. A knowledgeable bicycle accident attorney can help you assess liability for the crash and help you understand your legal rights and options.Florida Bicycle Laws
If you are involved in a Florida bicycle accident, it may become important to prove that you were following the laws that regulate bike use. There are many important Florida-specific laws every bicyclist should know:
- Florida bicyclists must adhere to all traffic control devices and signals.
- Riders must always have at least one hand on the handlebars.
- Riders who choose to use the sidewalk will be granted the same right-of-way rights as pedestrians.
- Florida bicyclists must have a front white light, a red back reflector, and a rear light if they decide to ride after sunset.
- Bicycle riders riding in groups may not ride more than two abreast while on the roadway.
- Florida bike riders are not allowed to wear listening devices as they ride under Section 316.204 of the Florida Statutes.
No amount of safety precautions and reasonable riding habits can prevent all bicycle accidents. A few common causes of Miami bike crashes include:
- Drunk Drivers: Motorists under the influence of alcohol have an increased chance of failing to look out for bicycle riders.
- Distracted Drivers: When a driver is distracted because of a cell phone or because he or she was texting while driving, it can result in serious accidents, including bicycle accidents. Looking at a cell phone or changing the dial on the radio may be all it takes to look away from the road and cause a serious bike crash.
- Inexperienced Riders: While there are more bikers on the road, few take the time to learn about their legal responsibilities as a rider. Riders must at the very least be aware of which vehicle has the right of way, how to correctly pass through an intersection, and when turns may be safely completed. Bicyclists who are unfamiliar with Florida cycling rules and culture are more likely to create traffic congestion and an accident.
- Dangerous Roadways: Some roads are inherently dangerous for bicyclists. Failure to provide bike lanes, adequate shoulders, and sidewalks may put bicyclists in great danger. The failure to maintain a roadway may also result in hazardous conditions such as potholes and uneven surfaces.
Bicycle accidents often cause devastating injuries including broken bones, spinal cord injuries, and head injuries. Bicycle accident victims who are injured as a result of someone else's negligence may seek compensation to cover medical expenses, loss of wages, hospitalization, physical therapy, and other related costs. To obtain more information about how to pursue your legal rights in a bicycle accident case, please contact the Law Office of Ruth E. Johnson. Our skilled and knowledgeable personal injury lawyers offer free, comprehensive, and completely confidential consultations to injured victims and their families.