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Woman Cyclist Killed by SUV in Clearwater
A cyclist riding her bike along Nursery Road was struck by an SUV and later died of her injuries. According to police, she was riding her bicycle south on a bike trail when she road out onto the road and was struck by the SUV.
The accident happened around 8:30, Wednesday, May 8, 2019, when the victim exited the Duke Energy Trial at the intersection of Nursery Road. The driver of the SUV wasn’t injured, and police say the accident is still under investigation.
Bicycles in Traffic
Bicycle use in on the increase in most of the major cities in the U.S. including Clearwater. City leaders are looking to bicycles as a way to get more cars off the road and close the transportation gap in many areas underserved by other means of transportation.
With the increase of cyclists in and among the cars, bicycle accidents are on the increase too. Florida law treats bicycles as vehicles in many circumstances, and cyclists have to obey the traffic and right-of-way rules the same as motor vehicles.
So does this mean that if a cyclist breaks a vehicle code and is struck by a car, that the injured or the deceased’s family can’t get compensation for their losses? While this seems logical, it isn’t the law.
Liability in Bicycle-Car Accidents
It’s possible to get a ticket for a vehicle code violation on a bicycle and yet prevail in civil court in a personal injury trial. The reason for this is that Florida, like most states, has a law that says the violation of a traffic law can’t be used in a personal injury case to prove or disprove negligence. Instead, a civil court will look at the circumstances and see if the driver of the car was operating their car with the care due to bicycle riders.
This is because like pedestrians, cyclists are especially vulnerable to injury or death from a car or truck. Even a simple bump can be deadly as the cyclist can easily be ejected from their bike. If the court determines that the cyclist did something wrong, but that the motorist also did not operate their vehicle with the care due a cyclist, then under Florida’s comparative fault personal injury law, the cyclist could be awarded some compensation for their injuries.
Do I need an Attorney in a Bicycle Crash?
Although it’s not a requirement to get an attorney to file a claim, you should talk to a professional who can advise you of your rights and of the law. The attorney’s at RHINO Law understand how the law of both traffic and civil personal injury suits work when there has been an injury.
If you were injured as a cyclist, then you need someone who can stand up for you and get you the justice you deserve. RHINO Lawyers is the powerful, results-driven law firm, that takes Insurance Companies and Bullies “head on!” We describe our bold modern approach to “Accident & Personal Injury Law” and “Our Personal Mission” to empower Florida’s families to “Take Charge!”