If you have driven an automobile in Florida then you have likely seen the signs that say, “Share the Road.” These are the ones with the stick figure on a bicycle just beneath the words. This sign is not just a reminder for drivers to keep an eye out for bicyclists that may be riding in the area. These words are command. Indeed, Share the Road signs indicate a legal obligation, while also helping make drivers alert of cyclists. Cyclists have a right to use roadways too, and this does not apply only where there is a clearly marked bike lane.
Bike riders are allowed to ride in the road with motor vehicle traffic, even in places where a shoulder or sidewalk exists. Sidewalks are typically reserved for pedestrians, and in some instances, particularly in urban areas, it is actually against the law for a cyclist to ride on a sidewalk. If a driver ignores his obligation to share the road and causes an injury or death to a cyclist, the driver can be held liable for those damages, and even charged criminally. There is more helpful information on roadway rules at the Florida Bicycle Association website.
If a driver is determined to have been negligent in causing an accident, he can be forced to pay for the damages suffered by the injured cyclist. Drivers owe cyclists, just as they do pedestrians, a standard of reasonable care in avoiding injury. Some cases involve reckless drivers who were drinking or under the influence of drugs at the time of the accident.
Others involve a mere carelessness, such as failure to be attentive or provide enough room when passing a cyclist. An attorney experienced can prove fault in an accident and build your case in a number of ways:
While inattentive and negligent drivers may be the main cause of bicycle accidents, there could be other parties responsible to injured cyclists. Sometimes the bike itself is defective, and manufacturers can be held legally accountable in a products liability lawsuit. Other accidents may be caused in part by a failure to design the road properly.
If you have been injured in a bicycle accident an experienced accident attorney can evaluate your case and help get you fair compensation. You can call us at (386) 777-7777 or fill out our online contact form below for a free case evaluation. Get the compensation you deserve.