Articles Posted in Bicycle Accidents

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A 37-year-old man on a bicycle was killed in a hit-and-run accident in Rockledge, about an hour east of Orlando. bicycle

WESH NBC-2 reports an alleged wrong-way driver was traveling west bound in an eastbound lane when he struck the bicyclist. He then exited the vehicle briefly, then got back in and drove away, according to a witness. He then came back a short time later, with police at the scene. He was reportedly very emotional and apologetic, but his apologies could not save the life of the man he’d struck. The cyclist was soon thereafter pronounced dead.

While the driver faces serious felony charges, the question of what legal options the family may have in this case still lingers. We don’t know much about the victim, other than his age and gender. However, we do know that bicyclists in general are at great risk in Florida. The most recent Dangerous by Design report indicates 8 of the top 10 most dangerous metro regions for pedestrians and bicyclists are in Florida. The Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford area ranks No. 3.  Continue reading →

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Former New York City Mayor David Dinkins, 89, has been accused of colliding with a bicyclist deliveryman on the Upper East Side recently, causing the cyclist to suffer a broken ankle.bicycleincity

Dinkins was not arrested for hit-and-run, but the 31-year-old cyclist, who says he’s been unable to return to his restaurant job since the accident, is suing Dinkins for personal injury. According to The New York Daily News, the cyclist had just finished making a delivery and was returning to his employer when he stopped at an intersection to make a left turn. Dinkins was reportedly traveling in the opposite direction and clipped the cyclist’s bike, according to reports.

An eyewitness to the incident saw the bike spin 180 degrees and was alert enough to take note of the license plate of the car. This was around noon on June 30th. They tracked the vehicle to the former mayor, who lives nearby. Continue reading →

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Last fall, a 54-year-old cyclist was struck by a pickup truck driver in Melbourne. The impact sent her flying over the handlebars. First responders, fighting to save her life, found her phone and sent her husband a text message: “Been an accident on Post Road.” bicycle3

In the end, they couldn’t save her. Her husband of six years says he lost everything that day. The driver, however, walked away unscathed. As Florida Today reported, he did not face any criminal charges.

In fact, very few motorists face criminal charges following bicycle accidents or pedestrian accidents – even when someone dies. As one traffic sergeant explained, so long as you weren’t impaired by alcohol or drugs and didn’t intentionally hit the person, there are typically no penalties. This is true even if you are at-fault for the crash.  Continue reading →

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City leaders and safety advocates in Fort Lauderdale have a goal: Zero traffic deaths. pedestrians1

No one dying on bicycles. No one killed in car accidents. No one fatally struck while crossing the street.

It’s a lofty one, considering Fort Lauderdale has a horrible track record when it comes to traffic safety. In the last five years, there have been nearly 41,000 auto accidents, 134 deaths and 1,450 injuries just of bicyclists and pedestrians, according to state and federal data.  Continue reading →

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The collateral source rule is one that limits or prohibits evidence of benefits paid by third parties to plaintiffs in injury lawsuits. The basis for the rule is that defendants should not be permitted to pay less for wrongdoing simply because an injured person was protected by third-party insurance or other benefits. bicycle2

Primarily, this applies to evidence of health insurance and workers’ compensation insurance. However, there was a narrow exception carved out for evidence pertaining to free or low-cost benefits, such as those provided through the government via Medicare or Medicaid.

Now, the Florida Supreme Court has changed that in the recent case of Joerg v. State Farm, following an appeal from Florida’s Second District Court of Appeal. The court ruled that all defendants will be precluded from presenting evidence of future government benefits because: Continue reading →

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Two vehicles crashed at an intersection in January 2012, with the impact sending one of those vehicles careening toward the sidewalk, where it struck a bicyclist. bicycle1

The cyclist was seriously injured.

Subsequently, he sued both drivers, whom we will refer to here as V1 and V2. He alleged both had been negligent in their operation of motor vehicles, causing him to suffer injury.

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A number of recent bicycle deaths underscore the unfortunate truth here in Florida: That this is the most lethal place in the country for cyclists, and that South Florida in particular is especially dangerous. bicyclists1

One recent case occurred in Danie Beach earlier this month, when a 46-year-old cyclist was struck and killed around 3 a.m. The driver who hit him fled the scene, leaving behind the vehicle’s fog light cover. Emergency crews arrived and pronounced the rider dead at the scene.

The driver was on-the-run until a man in Hollywood contacted authorities after seeing a news report on the case, and notifying them of his neighbor’s vehicle, which was under a tarp in the back yard. Authorities determined the vehicle matched the description of the one involved in the crash, and damage to the windshield and passenger side – plus the missing fog light cover – confirmed these suspicions.

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Bicyclist and pedestrian safety are among eight emphasis areas in Florida’s 2012 Strategic Highway Safety Plan (SHSP). The SHSP has identified six strategies on which to focus safety efforts.

In the detailed Florida Pedestrian and Bicycle Strategic Safety Plan, officials are working to provide a comprehensive framework to reduce the risks of injuries and fatalities among bicyclists and pedestrians along our busy public roads. Key areas in this plan are focusing on aggressive driving habits, intersection accidents, vulnerable road users, lane-departure accidents and looking closely into traffic information throughout the state.
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In 2011, the state’s pedestrian fatality fate was close to double the nation’s average and bicycle deaths were close to triple the national average. According to the National highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the Sunshine State had the highest fatality rates among all states in 2011 for pedestrian fatalities, at close to 3 per 100,000 people. Even though the fatality rate decline a little bit from 2010 to 2011, our bicycle fatality rate increased from about .40 fatalities per 100,00 people to about .63 — a jump of about 50 percent.

Our personal injury attorneys in Coral Springs understand that Florida only accounted for about 11 percent of the nation’s population in 2011, but we accounted for more than 17 percent of all bicycle fatalities in the nation that year. The “Dangerous By Design” report shows us that the top four metropolitan areas on the list for areas most dangerous for pedestrians were all in the state of Florida, including Orlando-Kissimmee, Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, Jacksonville and Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach. Miami-Dade County was ranked as the most dangerous for pedestrian fatalities and injuries from 2007 to 2011.
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A fast-traveling pickup truck recently hit and killed a high school-aged bicyclist, according to The Daytona Beach News-Journal. After the accident, the teen was taken to Halifax Health Medical Center and was listed in critical condition, according to the Florida Highway Patrol (FHP). He later died from injuries sustained during the accident.

The accident happened on a road that posted a 55 mph speed limit for motorists. The road also had no shoulder or sidewalk available for bicyclists or pedestrians. It’s merely a four-lane highway that’s divided by a tree-lined grassy median.

Bicycle accidents in West Palm. Parkland and Wellington have once again landed Florida at the top of the list for most dangerous states for bicycles, according to Transportation For America.
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Our bicycle accident lawyers in Royal Palm Beach and Pahokee understand that four metropolitan areas in the state of Florida were ranked as the most dangerous areas for bicyclists. We understand that our bicycle riders face so many dangers in our area because so much of the state has been constructed to accommodate the automobile and fast-moving traffic with little regard to on foot and two-wheeled travelers.

The teen bicycle accident is still being investigated. A FHP spokesman says that he was unable to confirm whether or not the teen’s bicycle was equipped with a light. In the state of Florida, law requires riders to use lights on their bicycle when riding after dark. He was also reported to not be wearing a helmet, which is a law in Florida for all riders under the age of 16.

“It’s sad that these deaths and accidents are happening right now. It’s just
all about being aware of your surroundings, letting drivers know what you’re doing. A lot
of motorists feel like we as cyclists are intruding on their territory, but state law says that
we’re entitled to the road as well,” said Christine Prokosch, president of the Sarasota Manatee Bicycle Club.

According to 2008 statistics, more than 17 percent of bicyclists who were killed in traffic-related accidents were killed on Florida roadways. Florida only carries about 6 percent of the country’s population, according to USA Today.

Florida has been ranked in the top three for most dangerous states in the country for bicycle and pedestrian fatalities every year since 2001.

Factors contributing to fatal bicycle accidents in Florida:

-Population growth: Florida has nearly seven times as many people now than it did in 1950. The population has increased from less than 3 million to nearly 19 million.

-Tourists: In 2010, more than 80 million people make Florida their vacation spot.

-Weather: Since Florida has beautiful weather year round, more bicyclists and pedestrians can be found traveling outside taking advantage of our climate.

-Driver behavior: Drivers oftentimes disregard the presence of these travelers. Driver awareness may be one of the most effective ways to reduce the number of these accidents.
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The inflated gas prices the last few months have motorists considering whether biking is a more viable option when it comes to commuting to and from work and in and around the city streets and roadways.

The expense of bicycling is much more cost efficient but there are other things to consider, like the risk of being involved in a bicycle accident in West Palm Beach. Injuries sustained in a bicycle accident can often be severe or even fatal so our Fort Lauderdale bicycle accident attorneys want to remind cyclists to use caution when opting to bicycle to work.
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May is Bicycle Safety Awareness month so in order to increase awareness, Florida Today reported about the recent promotion of National Bike to Work day where commuters swapped from four wheels to two.

League of American Bicyclists, an enthusiasts group based in Washington, D.C, urged workers to get a free ride to work by bicycling instead of driving to both, enhance public health and save money in the family budget.
In 2008, approximately 800,000 people opted to bicycle as their primary mode of transportation. Today, bicyclists represent .5 percent of commuters sharing U.S. roadways. Improving safety would likely get people to bike more, especially with gas prices on the rise and no clear outlook of them every getting back to what they were.

Florida is no stranger to the danger involved with bicycling accidents as our state lead the nation in the number of fatalities reported in 2008 as we posted previously on our South Florida Injury Lawyers Blog. Florida reported a total of 125 bicyclist fatalities in 2008 which was significantly higher than any other state.

Naples News recently reported that improving safety with the addition of bike lanes will lead more people to cycling as a means of transportation. Naples contains over 200 miles of bike lanes throughout the city which makes it easier for bicyclist to get away from vehicles and maintain a safer ride. The reasons for opting to bike to work rather than drive are plentiful and many online resources offer assistance in motivating this effort. These resources include:

-Counting how many calories you burn during your commute at Livestrong.com.

-Counting how much money you saved on gas at commutebybike.com.

-Calculate how much carbon dioxide you freed the atmosphere of at Metro.net.

No matter what your motivation is, the following are tips to keep in mind while bicycling to work:

-Pick a safe route with less traffic congestion or cycle to work during non-peak rush hour traffic.
-Make riding fun by picking a scenic route or finding a friend to ride with to work.

-Ride a bike that is comfortable, fits your size and height, and properly maintained with air in the tires and reflectors properly located on the bike.

-Keep a set of clothes at work to wear so all you need to tote is a small bag while you are biking.

Motorists and bicyclists are reminded to share the roadways in order to reduce the risk of bicycle accidents in Florida by being cautious and aware of each other on the roadways.
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