Florida weather lends itself to a lot of outdoor activities throughout the year, including bicycle riding. Unfortunately, many cyclists are injured every year in accidents that could have been prevented. As a bicyclist in Florida, you have rights. If you are a cyclist who was injured due to the carelessness of another, you may be able to seek compensation for your injuries.
Bicycle accidents can take place in a variety of ways. Many times, bicycle accidents are caused a negligent driver who:
- Fails to yield to the right of way of cyclists;
- Fails to stop at a stop sign or red light;
- Fails to look both ways before driving through a light or stop sign;
- Ignores cyclists or simply fails to see cyclists;
- Carelessly opens the door of a parked vehicle; or
- Drives in a lane reserved for bicyclists.
The Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles 2011 Crash Statistics Report, for example, indicates that 4.632 bicyclists were injured and 120 bicycled were fatally injured that year.
An injured bicyclist can file a lawsuit against the at-fault party. Typically, the lawsuit will be based on the theory of negligence. Negligence is the failure to take reasonable care in one’s actions or omissions. Reasonable care is defined as how a prudent person would act in the same or similar circumstances. For example, a reasonable motorist would pay attention to a bicycle crossing sign with an understanding that disregarding the sign could lead to foreseeable harm to a cyclist. Thus, a motorist who drove through a bicycle crossing and struck a cyclist would likely be deemed negligent, considering that a reasonable motorist in the same situation would have obeyed the sign.
In order to prevail on a negligence claim, the plaintiff must demonstrate the following elements: i) the defendant owed the bicyclist a duty of care; ii) the defendant breached the duty of care owed to the bicyclist; iii) the defendant’s breach was the direct cause of the accident; and iv) the bicyclist incurred quantifiable damages.
Personal injury lawsuits in the state of Florida must be filed within a certain time frame, known as the statute of limitations. In general, a bicycle accident victim has four years from the date of the accident to file a claim. If a bicyclist has died in an accident, a wrongful death claim must be filed no later than two years from the date of death. Failure to file a claim within the statute of limitations could mean losing your legal right to be heard by a court altogether.
If you or someone you know has been injured in a bicycle accident, we can help. At the Law Offices of Robert Dixon, our bicycle accident attorneys have helped countless South Florida clients resolve their injury claims. We are prepared to aggressively represent your rights and seek the compensation you deserve for your harm. We understand that a bicycle accident can have life-changing consequences for you and your family. For more information about your legal rights and options, do not hesitate to contact us online or call us today at 1-877-499-HURT (4878).
More Blog Posts:
Workers’ Compensation Case May be Subject to Time Frame – Limith v. Lenox on the Lake, South Florida Injury Lawyer Blawg, May 20, 2015
Can You Be Considered Comparatively Negligent in Florida for Wearing High Heels?, South Florida Injury Lawyer Blawg, May 13, 2015