Articles Posted in Bicycle Accidents

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A teenager in Weston recently suffered serious head injuries when the bicycle he was riding on his way to school was struck by a car while crossing the intersection of Bonaventure Boulevard and Orchard Road. Authorities reported the student was not wearing a bicycle helmet at the time of the collision – something long-time traumatic brain injury attorney Dean Freeman has stressed for years as an imperative for bicycle safety. It’s necessary to point out that while F.S. 316.2065(3)(d) requires bicycle passengers under 16 to wear a properly-fitted, federally-approved safety helmet, state law expressly forbids using one’s failure to do so as evidence of negligence or contributory negligence. 

Local ABC-10 News reported the car driver remained at the scene of the crash (something unfortunately not all do, though required by law, as bicycling accidents are commonly associated with hit-and-run drivers). Investigators did not indicate whether the woman would be cited for failure-to-yield to the injured teen bicyclists, who was airlifted to a hospital in Hollywood and later upgraded to fair condition.

Fort Lauderdale Traumatic Brain Injury Attorney Underscores Florida Bicycle Safety

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that in just one recent year alone, more than 1,000 bicyclists died and nearly 467,000 were injured as a result of bicycle-related injuries, many of those involving some type of traumatic brain injury. Florida leads the pack. Continue reading →

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Auto insurance companies universally set per accident and sometimes per person limits on how much can be collected after a collision for which they are liable. These limits are based on the specifics of the policy in question, usually involving how much the insured pays.

While the question of how many accidents occurred is typically a simple one, there are scenarios wherein certain facts could raise doubt. This is commonly the case in multiple-vehicle accidents. It’s not uncommon in these situations for plaintiffs to argue more than one crash occurred. The simple reason for this the more accidents there were, the more insurance money will be available. In many cases, the number of claimants will not affect the per-accident payout (so the more claimants there are, the less can be paid to each individually). Meanwhile, proving there was more than one accident could mean more damages collected per claim.

In a case recently before the Wyoming Supreme Court, this issue was raised by a widowed bicyclist who was seriously injured – and her husband killed – when they were struck by a driver as they rode along a roadway.  Continue reading →

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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. 

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.

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.” 

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. 

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.
Continue reading →

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