If you haven’t noticed, it seems as though more people are riding bicycles than ever before. This is especially true in many of our newer Riverview and SouthShore communities, where there is an emphasis now being placed on the active, outdoor lifestyle. With the growth of our communities, however, there is no avoiding the growth in vehicular traffic. As more cars and bicycles share our roadways, it is inevitable that there will also be an increase in bicycle accidents.
Bicycle accidents can result in serious injuries. Tragically, some of these bicycle-versus-car accidents can be fatal. For many local families, the reality of the dangers of bicycling in our area has already been experienced. While taking appropriate bicycle safety measures can help reduce the number of bicycle accidents, bicycle accidents will likely never be eliminated. That is why when you’ve been injured in a Florida bicycle accident, it’s important that you know your rights, and who you can turn to pay your medical bills.
How Can I Determine Who is at Fault for My Florida Bicycle Accident?
Both bicyclists and car drivers are bound by rules of the road. These rules include traffic laws for cars and any special state or local rules created specifically for cyclists. There is also often a common-sense aspect of sharing the road. Both cyclists and car drivers must exercise care when driving in traffic.
When a cyclist files a claim or sues a driver for injuries suffered in an accident, the behavior – specifically the negligence of one or both parties leading up to the accident – plays a key role in determining who will be responsible for the accident. Negligence by a driver can take many forms including, but not limited to, speeding, running a stop sign or red light, or the improper use of designated lanes. These are just a few examples of potential traffic violations according to state laws.
On the other hand, the cyclist’s negligence can also determine the outcome of a claim or lawsuit. Examples of biker negligence may include riding the wrong way on a one-way street, running a stop sign, or turning abruptly into traffic.
In these types of circumstances, a cyclist may not be able to recover for negligence at all, or the cyclist may not get a full damages award if his/her negligence played a role in the accident and caused or contributed to the complained injury. Ultimately, the outcome of a claim or lawsuit is highly-fact specific. These case-specific details will determine whether or not the cyclist can receive compensation for his/her injuries as well as the amount awarded for damages.
Does Auto Insurance Cover Bicycle Accidents?
Florida’s no-fault insurance law, also known as personal injury protection (PIP), states that regardless of who’s at fault, each driver, pedestrian or bicyclist who suffers injuries in an accident must file a claim under their own auto insurance policy to recover the following expenses and losses following the accident:
80% of reasonable medical expenses including doctor visits, surgery, X-rays, dental, rehabilitative services, and medically necessary ambulance, hospital, and nursing services
60% of lost wages under their own policy
Replacement services like babysitting or lawn care
If you don’t have your own no-fault coverage but live with a family member who does, their no-fault insurance may cover you. In the event the bicycle rider doesn’t have auto insurance, Florida law allows the cyclist to file a claim under the responsible driver’s auto insurance policy. In these cases, the injured bicyclist may be able to recover from the at-fault driver’s property damage liability (PDL) benefits, bodily injury coverage or other policy coverage.
Will My Uninsured Motorist Coverage Cover My Injuries After a Florida Bicycle Crash?
Yes. If a motor vehicle driver does not have insurance or does not have adequate insurance coverage, an uninsured motorist policy can prove enormously helpful in the case of a Florida bicycle accident. Based on how much coverage you have, you likely could receive a large amount of compensation to assist with your resulting injuries. It is a wise idea if you are a bicyclist who frequently cycles to consider increasing your uninsured motorist coverage.
If you have questions about your Florida accident case, you can download our Free Reports:
which are available on our website, or you can click the link provided. You can also contact us at (813)419-3866 to talk directly to a Riverview personal injury attorney now.