In Florida, the law treats a bicycle as a vehicle and the bicyclist as a driver. Bicyclists have the same rights to the roadway as the drivers of motor vehicles. But bicyclists are also supposed to follow the same rules of the roads as everyone else.
So, when a bicyclist is involved in an accident with a motor vehicle, liability depends on who acted negligently, recklessly, or in violation of traffic and Florida bicycle laws. Work with the Montero Law Center if you were in a bicycle accident involving a motor vehicle. Call us at 954-767-6500.
How Do Florida Laws Affect Liability in Bicycle Crashes?
When a bicyclist pulls out into traffic without yielding to oncoming vehicles or goes through a red light, those actions are just as illegal as they would be if a car did them. When a vehicle encroaches into a cyclist’s lane, that is the same as running another car off the road.
Unfortunately, there are drivers out there who think that bicycles are “second class citizens” of the roadways compared to cars and that bicyclists must yield to them. If a bicyclist is following the rules of the road when struck by a negligent motorist, the liability is clear – the motorist is at fault.
On the other hand, if the bicyclist violates the rules of the road and causes a crash, the bicyclist is liable, even if he sustains significant injuries in the accident. In many accident cases, vehicle drivers attempt to point the finger at a bicyclist they think was in violation of traffic rules, when in fact the bicyclist was following all rules.
If you were riding a bicycle and were in an accident with a motor vehicle, it is vital to investigate the accident, present evidence, and build your case to prove the vehicle driver was negligent or violated traffic rules, thus causing your accident. The Montero Law Center can help you do this. Call us at 954-767-6500.
What Florida Laws Apply Specifically to Bicyclists?
In addition to the requirement of following the same rules of the road as other vehicles, bike riders in Florida must comply with helmet laws and other legal requirements:
- A bike may only transport the number of people for whom there are seats, except for an adult carrying a child securely in a sling or backpack.
- Bicyclists must use a light when riding at night, just like cars.
- Bikes should stay in the bike lane or far right lane, but are allowed to drive in other lanes when passing a vehicle going the same direction, getting ready to turn left, or avoiding a hazard in the far right or bike lane.
A driver may try to argue that the bicyclist was in violation of these or other bicycle laws, requiring the injured cyclist to present evidence that refutes those allegations. If you suffered injuries in a bike accident that was not your fault, call the Montero Law Center at 954-767-6500 to discuss your case.
You may also find this article helpful: Does Car Insurance Cover Bicycle Accidents in Florida?