Were you injured in a bicycle accident in Boca Raton?
As bicycles increasingly become a more popular mode of transportation in Florida, it is important for riders to understand their legal rights and responsibilities when sharing the roadway. Bicycles provide considerably less protection when compared to other vehicles, especially large commercial trucks, so even the best precautions may fail to mitigate the risks for personal injury.
At the Shiner Law Group, our nationally recognized and award-winning law firm has over a decade of experience advocating for victims who have sustained a physical injury in Florida bike accidents. We have the legal resources to help you build and present a compelling case to obtain the financial compensation you deserve.
Call our Boca Raton bicycle accident lawyers today or visit us online to discuss the details of your case in a free consultation. Shiner Law Group operates on a contingency-fee-basis: you pay nothing unless we win your case.
Table of Contents
2. Bicycle Safety Guide
3. When You Cannot Prevent Your Bicycle Accident
4. Pursuing a Personal Injury Claim For A Bicycle Accident
5. Speak with a Shiner Law Group Bicycle Accident Lawyer
Florida’s Bicycle Laws
For the past few years, Florida has unfortunately become a leading state in the number of bicycle accident fatalities. And while protective gear, helmets, and other safety measures can ultimately prevent severe and debilitating injuries from occurring, negligence remains a critical factor. Under Florida law, bicycles are considered a vehicle that must adhere to state and local traffic safety laws, which includes right of way, stopping at stop signs, and obeying traffic lights. As Florida’s no-fault insurance law requires accident victims to pursue an injury claim with their respective insurance company, certain provisions must be met for a bicycle rider who has sustained a personal injury.
If an injured bicycle rider does not maintain an auto insurance policy, an experienced attorney can help you pursue other options, such as utilizing other forms of insurance to protect you in the event of an accident; however, when a bicycle rider uses the sidewalk as traveling lane, bicycle riders are considered pedestrians and must obey the safety standards associated with using a sidewalk. For example, bicycle riders are required to alert pedestrians when passing from behind or yield the right of way.
Bicycle Safety Guide
By being aware of your surroundings while on the road and taking extra safety precautions ahead of time, virtually all bicycle accidents and injuries can be prevented. If you are a bicyclist in Boca Raton and beyond, please view our handy Bicycle Safety Guide for some smart tips to keep you out of harm’s way and riding happily.
General Bicycle Riding Safety Tips
Bicycle accident prevention begins with you, the bicyclist! Before you hit the road, make sure you follow these safety tips so you can do your part in bicycle safety.
- Helmets and gear: The days of trying to look “cool” by not wearing helmets and gear while riding your bicycle are long gone. Modern technology and style has made wearing a properly fitted bicycle helmet knee and elbow pads as essential gear you shouldn’t ride without.
- Maintenance: Your bicycle should be well-maintained. Check tire inflation, chain quality, and more before heading out. Do not ride a bicycle that is not appropriately sized for you, as this will make it more difficult for you to control it.
- Reflective clothing: Don’t be in the dark when it comes to dressing appropriately for bicycle rides. You should have at least one bright, reflective piece of clothing on your body and at least one tail end reflector on your bicycle. Always remember, dark bicyclists are invisible bicyclists, even before the sun sets completely.
- Hazard avoidance: Whenever you can use dedicated bicycle routes and lanes, use them. Do not travel at night or along bumpy, debris-filled roads unless absolutely necessary. You should also never take both hands off your handlebars when riding, and all items you are carrying should be done so in a bag or box strapped to your bicycle.
When You Cannot Prevent Your Bicycle Accident
Here at Shiner Law Group we only want to see you safe and sound, but we also know firsthand how dangerous it can be for a bicyclist using public streets. Sometimes, drivers simply do not pay any attention to the lanes around them, or they drive in a way that is so sporadic, there is no chance you could anticipate their actions and avoid a collision. If you have been injured in a bicycle accident, let our personal injury attorneys know during a free consultation. Together, we can fight for your right to fair compensation for your injuries.
Bicyclist Rules of the Road
When you ride your bicycle on a public street, you should be treated like another vehicle by other drivers, but you also have to treat yourself as a vehicle. Follow the
- Direction: You should never ride against the flow of traffic. If there is no dedicated bike lane, stick to the right side of the lane, as long as it is safe and clear, and ride in the same direction as the cars.
- Traffic signals: You might not be an automobile, but all traffic signals and signs still apply to you when riding on the road. Never roll straight through a stop sign or an intersection without first checking to see if it is safe and if you have the right of way.
- Manual signals: Clue other drivers in when you intend to change lanes or make a turn by using hand signals. Left hand straight out for left; left hand up, or right hand straight out, for right; and left hand down for slowing down or stopping.
- Straight paths: Do not weave between vehicles to try to get ahead of the flow of traffic. You should also not ride too closely to parked vehicles, as a door may unexpected swing open into you, causing an accident. Additionally, when entering a street from a sidewalk, choose a corner or driveway, rather than appearing between two parked vehicles.
Pursuing a Personal Injury Claim For A Bicycle Accident
Bicycle accident victims can suffer from a broad range of injuries, including, but not limited to, abrasions, broken bones, bruising, joint pain, head injuries, and even wrongful death. With the benefit of a Shiner Law Group attorney, you can secure the pecuniary compensation to avoid severe financial hardship.
If you or your loved one has been injured in a Florida bike accident, it is important to call emergency services to report the accident and receive medical attention, as these critical steps can protect you and bolster your claim in a complex legal proceeding.
Insurance agents, however, may seek to take advantage of the situation by requesting a written or oral statement in regard to the accident. Bicycle accident victims are not legally required to provide such information, and statements should only be given after first consulting with legal counsel.
Your Shiner Law Group personal injury attorney can help you quantify your damages and secure relief for past and future medical expenses, lost earning potential, and other economic losses and non-economic losses.