Marion County Bicycle Accident Lawyer
Increasingly, people in Marion County use their bicycles as an alternative means of transportation. As a consequence of this, however, bicycle accidents and injuries are becoming more commonplace as well. Even though they may see bicyclists on the road more frequently, not all automobile and truck drivers are aware that bicyclists have the same rights as four-wheeled vehicles.
The days following a bike accident can be filled with confusion, pain, and concern about how you will pay your medical bills. You should not have to worry about these matters when recovering from an accident, so if you find yourself in a bicycle accident due to a negligent driver, get in touch with a Marion County bicycle accident lawyer who could determine if you have a valid civil claim. Call an experienced attorney today to get started on your claim.
Common Causes of Bicycle Accidents
In 2015, the National Traffic and Highway Safety Administration found Florida to have one of the highest incidences of bicycle accidents in the nation. One of the most common reasons that bike accidents occur is because automobile drivers are not always aware of bicycles sharing the road with them.
Because of this oversight, bicyclists are often involved in serious accidents stemming from an instance of driver negligence. These negligent acts often include but are not limited to:
- Driving in the bicycle lane
- Following too closely
- Running a red light
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Distracted driving
- Road rage
Rights of Bicyclists in Marion County
The law in Marion County gives bicycle riders the same basic rights as motor vehicles. However, there are various specific regulations that a bicyclist operating at the same capacity of a motorist must follow, as noted in Florida Statutes 316.2065.
For example, a bicyclist cannot carry more people on their bicycle than it was designed to carry, with the exceptions of a child secured in a backpack or sling or in a seat or carrier designed to secure a child weighing 40 pounds or less. Furthermore, all bicycle riders under 16 years of age are required by law to wear a helmet while riding, and all bicycle riders of any age must ride in a designated bike lane or as close to the right-hand curb as possible unless they are passing someone else, preparing to turn left, or need to do so to avoid crashing.
Filing a Bicycle Accident Claim
Because bicyclists have the same basic rights as a motorist, a Marion County bicycle accident attorney may be able to help an injured cyclist pursue a claim of negligence in court. To prove a claim of negligence, a civil plaintiff must prove the following elements:
- Duty – Florida law provides that the driver of a motor vehicle has a duty to exercise reasonable care when driving
- Breach of Duty – The driver failed to act with a duty of care
- Causation – The driver’s breach of the duty of care caused the plaintiff’s involvement in the accident
- Damages – Because of the accident, the plaintiff suffered physical injuries and/or damages
Florida Statutes §95.11(3)(a) allows bicycle accident victims in Marion County four years from the date of their incident to file a claim in civil court. There are two types of damages that may be compensated by a successful claim: economic and non-economic. Economic damages may include medical bills, lost wages, and bicycle repair or replacement costs. Non-economic damages may involve pain and suffering or psychological trauma resulting from the accident.
Talk to a Marion County Bicycle Accident Attorney Today
Being struck by a car while on your bicycle is often a traumatic and debilitating event. However, do not allow the severity of this event and its potential consequences to distract you from seeking legal recompense for damages you suffered because of someone else’s negligence.
If you are hurt in a bike crash caused by a negligent driver, a Marion County bicycle accident lawyer may be able to help. Call today to schedule a consultation with a dedicated local attorney and get started on your case.