florida cycling accident attorneysFlorida Cycling Accident Attorneys

Bicyclists have the same legal rights and responsibilities as motorized vehicles when driving on public roadways (streets, highways). It’s important to know Florida’s cycling laws and your rights if you are injured by a car, truck, motorcycle, or pedestrian while on your bike.

Did you know that Florida is one of the most dangerous states in the nation for cycling, accounting for 1 in every 6 cycling deaths nationwide? The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that of the 2,978 traffic fatalities in Florida in 2008, 125 were bicyclists. Nationwide, 716 bicyclists died in 2008, and 52,000 more suffered a cycling accident-related injury. Cycling injuries often include broken bones and fractures (collarbone, ribs, hip, and wrists), catastrophic injuries (brain injuries, spinal cord injuries), and even death.

Some of the common types of collisions include:

Additional causes for a bicycle accident include unsafe conditions or premises, such as an uneven sidewalk, poor roadways, and unmarked curbs or crosswalks. Cycling accident can also be caused by equipment or accessories (forks, handlebars, seat post, pedals, helmet) that are defective or fail to perform consistently with reasonable consumer expectations or with applicable standards imposed by federal and state consumer protection laws and regulations.

By law, a bicycle rider or passenger under 16 years of age must wear a bicycle helmet. Wearing a bike helmet is recommended to reduce the risk of a serious head injury while biking. However, if you are in an accident where your helmet hits the street, ground, vehicle, etc., the helmet should be replaced—the safety features of the helmet have most likely been compromised and won’t protect you in the event of another crash or bike accident. The good news is that many reputable helmet manufacturers will replace your helmet for free after a crash to promote cycling safety and to avoid liability for a helmet that has ceased to work.

Some of the bigger locations people deal with cycling accidents are:

What to do after a cycling accident

The most important thing for you to do after you’ve been involved in a cycling accident is to seek medical attention for anyone who has been hurt, including yourself. Be sure to be cooperative with police as they complete their initial investigation, but do not admit any fault or confirm that you may have violated a traffic law. Also, it is important to consult with an experienced South Florida cycling accident attorney before giving any official statement to law enforcement.

It is imperative that you do not underestimate any sort of injury – no matter how small it may seem at first. We’ve seen many clients end up with long-term injuries after a cycling accident even if it just started out as a sore knee. Injuries such as an injured back or head trauma can turn into much more severe medical conditions that require long-term care and costly medical treatments down the road.

There are certain aspects of a bicycle that could call for a lawsuit against the product’s manufacturer, such as a twisted or broken fork, a brake failure, a cracked frame, and so on. Our South Florida cycling accident law firm will investigate this matter to ensure you receive the compensation you are entitled to should the product be defective.

If there were hazards on the road or surface with which you were riding your bicycle on, you may be able to recover compensation for damages or injuries. Items such as potholes, uneven pavement, road construction, etc., can lead to a lawsuit in order to gain compensation for any injuries incurred while riding on the defective surface.

Yes, you are eligible to collect compensation from another party if their actions were deemed the reason for your cycling accident. Our South Florida cycling accident attorneys will review your case in-depth to determine whether this is a potential next step or not.

Contact Our Florida Cycling Accident Attorneys

If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in a cycling accident due to the negligence of a car or truck driver, motorcyclist, pedestrian, or a defective product and would like to learn more about your legal rights, please contact Zimmerman & Frachtman by calling (954) 509-1900. Our personal injury and cycling accident law firm offers free consultations and charges you only if we win your case.

Cycling / Bicycle Accident FAQs

A bicycle is classified as a vehicle. A person in control of a vehicle on a street or highway is a driver. As a driver, a cyclist must follow the traffic rules common to all drivers. As the driver of a bicycle, he or she must also obey regulations adopted specially for bicycles. A person riding a bicycle has all the rights applicable to any driver, except as to special regulations for bicycles.
Yes, cyclists are allowed on the roadway by law. A person operating a bicycle on a roadway at less than the normal speed of traffic under the conditions existing must ride in the lane marked for bicycle use or, if no lane is marked for bicycle use, as close as practicable [safe] to the roadway's right-hand curb or edge, except under any of the following situations:
  • when passing another vehicle
  • when preparing for a left turn
  • when reasonably necessary to avoid conditions including (but not limited to) a fixed or moving object, a parked or moving vehicle, a pedestrian, an animal, or a surface hazard
  • when a lane is too narrow for a bicycle and another vehicle to travel safely side by side
A bicycle rider or passenger who is under 16 years of age must wear a bicycle helmet that is properly fitted and is fastened securely on the passenger's head by a strap. The helmet must meet the standards of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI Z 90.4 Bicycle Helmet Standards), the standards of the Snell Memorial Foundation (1984 Standard for Protective Headgear for Use in Bicycling), or any other nationally recognized standards for bicycle helmets adopted by the department.
As used in this subsection, the term "passenger" includes a child who is riding in a trailer or semitrailer attached to a bicycle.
Bicyclists and cyclists are often vulnerable because they do not have the protection of a vehicle or airbags. Common causes of accidents can include:
  • Failing to yield at an intersection or crosswalk
  • Running a stoplight or stop sign
  • Making unexpected turns or lane changes without checking blind spots
  • Distracted driving or aggressive driving
  • Driving under the influence
  • Opening a door in path of bicyclists
Bicycle accidents may also be caused by poor road conditions, including road construction, overgrown vegetation, gravel, debris, loose drainage cover, bridge grating, lack of signage, etc.
Some common bicycle accidents injuries can include head trauma (brain injuries), spinal cord injuries (back injuries), broken bones (collar bone or broken pelvis), cuts, scratches, gashes, bruises, and even death.
Here are some steps you can take after a bicycle accident:
  1. Seek Medical Attention. Seek immediate medical attention if necessary.
  2. Report the Crash. Always report the crash to the police, even if you don't think you are hurt or your bike has been damaged. If you are in a crash with a motor vehicle where there are personal injuries or damage to property that exceeds $500, Florida law requires you to report the crash.
  3. Collect Information. Collect and obtain the names, addresses, and telephone numbers of those involved in the crash and any witnesses. Document your physical condition, take photographs of the location, the crash, the other vehicle, your injuries, etc.
  4. Don't Divulge Information. Do not apologize, admit guilt, or say anything to the other party involved or the insurance company. If the other party makes a statement, write it down and document it.
  5. Preserve Evidence. Do not give up your bike to an insurance company or have it fixed at the bike shop until you have talked with an experienced cycling lawyer to ensure your rights are protected. Take photos of the bicycle (any your injuries) and document the exact nature of the damage.
  6. Report to Insurance Company.
  7. Consult a Reputable Attorney. Crashes can have ramifications in traffic court, criminal court, or civil court. Contact an experienced cycling and bicycle accident attorney to discuss and protect your rights.
Your own auto insurance is the primary insurance to cover your medical expenses. If there is an at-fault party, you can go after their bodily injury insurance. If the at-fault party does not have insurance or does not have enough insurance, you may be able to go under your own underinsured or uninsured motorist coverage policy.
  1. Follow all state bicycling laws.
  2. Ride with the flow of traffic.
  3. Always use bike lanes when present.
  4. Use proper hand signals when stopping or turning.
  5. Avoid riding on freeways or busy highways.
  6. Don't hitch rides by hanging onto the back of another vehicle.
  7. Do not wear headphones while riding.
  8. Always wear an approved safety helmet.