Bicycle accidents are far too common in Florida, and when they happen to you or someone you love, it’s painful. You’re not alone: according to the National Highway Traffic Administration, in Florida, fatal accidents among bicyclists ages 20 and older have tripled since 1975.
If you’ve been injured in a bicycle accident, contact Tonya Stewart Law PA for a free consultation. I will help you seek fair compensation for your injuries. I serve clients in Lake Wales and Lakeland, as well as Winter Haven, Davenport, and Haines City.
Bicycle accidents fall under the category of personal injury which is defined under Florida law to include any of the following:
A permanent injury
Significant and permanent scarring or disfigurement
Significant and permanent loss of a bodily function
Florida follows a comparative negligence system to determine the amount of liability, or fault, of each party. This means that each person who is at fault for an accident or injury is liable to the extent of their portion of the fault. Essentially, if you are determined partially at fault for an accident in which you suffer harm, your recovery of damages may be reduced according to your fault percentage. For example, if it is determined that you are 20% responsible for the accident, then a payout of $10,000 would be reduced to $8,000.
Under Florida Statute Sect. 316.2065, a bicyclist has specific requirements that they must maintain any time they are on the road including:
A permanent and regular seat attached to the bicycle
Anyone under 16 years of age must wear a bicycle helmet, properly fitted and fastened securely by a strap
A bicycle may not be used to carry more people than that for which it is designed (except if an adult rider is carrying a securely attached child)
Any passenger under 4 years of age, or who weighs 40 pounds or less, must be in a protective seat or carrier
A bicycle may not attach to any other vehicle on the roadway (with the exception of a commercially available bicycle trailer)
Every bicycle in use between sunset and sunrise must be equipped with a lamp on the front exhibiting a white light visible from a distance of at least 500 feet to the front, and a lamp and reflector on the rear exhibiting a red light visible from 600 feet
A rider moving less than the normal speed of traffic must ride in the lane marked for bicycle use or, if no lane is marked, as close as possible to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway
A bicyclist on a sidewalk or a crosswalk has the same rights and duties as a pedestrian
A bicyclist on a sidewalk or a crosswalk must yield the right-of-way to any pedestrian and give an audible signal before passing
Florida’s no-fault insurance law, also known as personal injury protection (PIP), requires each driver, pedestrian, or bicyclist who suffers injuries in an accident, regardless of who is at fault, to file a claim under their own auto insurance policy to recover losses.
Cyclists that don’t have auto insurance may be able to file a claim against the responsible driver where serious injury has been sustained.
The statute of limitations in Florida is four years, meaning you have four years from the date of injury to file a claim. In the case of wrongful death, the limit is two years from the date of the accident.
Legal counsel can help secure a favorable outcome for you and your loved ones. An experienced lawyer will take you through the initial paperwork and help you understand the process from beginning to end.
A knowledgeable attorney, experienced in working with insurance companies and navigating the finer points of comparative liability, can help you pursue fair compensation for your damages and injuries resulting from a bicycle accident in Florida.
Born and raised in Lake Wales, I’ve helped secure over $1 million in settlements for injured clients. At Tonya Stewart Law, I will use my experience and expertise to help you fight for fair compensation for your injuries. I will guide you through the claims process and discuss your options. Contact me for a free consultation. I serve clients throughout Lake Wales, Lakeland, Winter Haven, Davenport, Haines City, and surrounding areas.