The driver of an SUV struck and killed a cyclist riding her bike along Nursery Road. According to police, she was riding her bicycle south on a bike trail when she entered the road and the SUV struck her.
The accident happened around 8:30, Wednesday, May 8, 2019. The victim exited the Duke Energy Trail 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. This will help 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. In addition, 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 a car strikes them, 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; yet prevail in civil court in a personal injury trial. Like most states, Florida law states you cannot use a violation of a traffic law to prove or disprove negligence in a personal injury case. Instead, a civil court will review the circumstances to see if the driver 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 the cyclist did something wrong as well as the motorist. 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. You should talk to an attorney who can advise you of your rights and of the law. The attorneys at RHINO Lawyers 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!”