A car hit a cyclist in a gas station parking lot killing the cyclist. The accident happened early Sunday, June 16, 2019, when the driver of a passenger car rear-ended a man riding his bicycle. EMS responded to the Racetrac gas station parking lot along South Suncoast Boulevard and rushed him to a local hospital, but unfortunately, he died of his injuries. Police say that the crash is still under investigation and that charges were pending, although they didn’t specify which ones.
Parking Lot Bicycle Injuries
Just about any crash on a bike can be deadly or produce serious bodily injury. This is because of the unprotected nature of cycling, and the fact that the average car outweighs a cyclist by as much as 20 times. Parking lots pose a problem for cyclists who often go unseen by motorists.
For any accident, the at-fault person has to pay for the injuries and financial losses for the injured person. This is true when a car and bicycle tangle up and if it happens in a parking lot. In Florida, the law creates certain right-of-way patterns in parking lots.
A parking lot has lanes of travel, intersections, stop signs and of course parking spaces. Generally speaking, the rules of the road apply as if it were in traffic. Requiring each person to obey the rules and yield to the right-of-way of others.
For example, a car has the right of way in a “lane” and the driver has to treat the marked area in front of the store like a crosswalk. Also, bicycles have the same right-way and code violations as cars. Yet, when it comes to an accident and liability for a personal injury, things take a different turn.
Negligence and the Duty of Care
In a parking lot, the driver of a car has a duty of care to operate his or her vehicle so that others may proceed in safety. This doesn’t mean that all rules of the road (and parking lots) are thrown out, but the law will look at the circumstances of each incident to see if the driver used reasonable care.
If the cyclist violated a right of way, but the vehicle could have easily stopped, then a jury might feel that since a car is so much bigger and heavier, the driver should use extra care when bikes are present. So even though the cyclist may have violated the right-of-way, the law allows a jury to find that the driver was negligent.
What do I do if I was Injured in a Parking Lot?
If you were riding your bicycle in a parking lot and were injured by a motorist, then you should talk to an attorney to find out your rights. Most personal injury attorneys have a free consultation where you can get a case evaluation to see if the law will allow you to seek compensation for your injuries. Loved ones left behind after a crash should speak to an attorney as well about wrongful death claims.
Talk to the RHINO Lawyers today. We are a 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!”