Bicycling has become a popular mode of transportation in Boca Raton, Florida. With its sunny climate and beautiful scenery, it’s no wonder many people ride their bicycles to work, school, or just for leisure.
However, with the increasing number of bicyclists on the road, the risk of accidents has also increased.
According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV), there were 6,516 bicycle crashes in Florida in 2020, resulting in 157 fatalities and 5,675 injuries.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a bicycle accident in Boca Raton, it’s important to seek the advice of an experienced bicycle accident lawyer.
At Fetterman & Associates, PA, we have represented bicycle accident victims for over 40 years. Our Boca Raton bicycle accident lawyers have the knowledge and expertise to help you navigate the legal process and get you the compensation you deserve.
If you have been injured in a bicycle accident, contact our office to schedule a free consultation.
Understanding Florida Bicycle Laws
Florida has specific laws that govern the rights and responsibilities of bicyclists on the road.
Under Florida law, bicycles are considered vehicles and are subject to the same rules of the road as motor vehicles. Bicyclists have the right to use the full lane, and motorists must give them at least three feet of space when passing. Bicyclists must also obey traffic and stop signs and are prohibited from riding on sidewalks in certain areas.
Unfortunately, many motorists are unaware of these laws or choose to ignore them, putting bicyclists at risk. If you have been involved in a bicycle accident in Boca Raton, it’s important to have a lawyer who understands these laws and can help you navigate the legal system.
Here are some of the important Florida bicycle laws:
- Bicycles are considered vehicles under Florida law and must follow the same road rules as cars and other vehicles. (Florida Statutes, section 316.2065)
- Bicyclists can use the full lane and are not required to ride in a bicycle lane or on the shoulder. However, if a bicycle lane is present, bicyclists must use it unless they are passing, making a left turn, or avoiding a hazard. (Florida Statutes, section 316.2065)
- Motorists must give bicyclists at least three feet of space when passing them. (Florida Statutes, section 316.083)
- Bicyclists are required to obey all traffic laws, including traffic signals and stop signs. (Florida Statutes, section 316.2065)
- Bicyclists can ride on sidewalks in Florida, but some municipalities have specific regulations on where and when bicyclists can ride on sidewalks. (Florida Statutes, section 316.2065)
- Bicyclists under the age of 16 are required to wear a helmet while riding. (Florida Statutes, section 316.2065)
Common Causes of Bicycle Accidents
Bicycle accidents can happen for a variety of reasons, but some of the most common causes include:
- Distracted driving: Drivers who are distracted by their phones, passengers, or other factors may not see bicyclists and may cause an accident.
- Speeding: Drivers traveling at high speeds may not have enough time to react to a bicyclist who enters their path.
- Failure to yield: Drivers who fail to yield to bicyclists at intersections or while turning can cause serious accidents.
- Door accidents: Bicyclists riding near parked cars may be hit by a driver who opens their door without looking.
- Riding at night: Bicyclists riding at night without proper lighting or reflectors may not be visible to drivers, increasing the risk of an accident.
- Poor road conditions: Road hazards like debris and potholes can cause bicycle accidents.
- Intoxicated driving: If a driver has drunk or done drugs, they may have slowed reaction time or impaired judgment, which increases the likelihood of an accident.
Both bicyclists and drivers must be aware of these common causes of bicycle accidents and take steps to avoid them. Bicyclists should wear helmets and bright clothing, obey traffic laws, and ride defensively. Drivers should give bicyclists plenty of space, be alert for their presence, and avoid distracted or impaired driving.
Common Injuries in Bicycle Accidents
Bicycle accidents can result in many injuries, from minor scrapes and bruises to serious, life-threatening injuries. Common injuries in bicycle accidents include:
- Head injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Broken bones
- Road rash
- Soft tissue injuries
Even minor injuries can significantly impact your life, resulting in medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. If you have been injured in a bicycle accident in Boca Raton, it’s important to seek medical attention immediately and contact an experienced bicycle accident lawyer.
Proving Negligence in Bicycle Accidents
Proving negligence is a crucial part of any bicycle accident case. Negligence is the failure to exercise reasonable care that harms another person. In a bicycle accident, negligence may include distracted driving, speeding, or failing to yield to a bicyclist.
To prove negligence, you must collect evidence that the other party was at fault. This can include eyewitness testimony, police reports, medical records, and photographs of the accident scene and the vehicles involved. It’s important to collect this evidence as soon as possible after the accident while the details are still fresh in everyone’s minds.
Investigating the Case
Your attorney will also investigate the case to gather additional evidence. This may involve talking to witnesses, reviewing traffic camera footage, and hiring accident reconstruction experts to analyze the accident and determine how it happened.
Establishing a Breach of Duty
To prove negligence, you must establish that the other party breached their duty of care. In a bicycle accident case, this means showing that the motor vehicle driver did not exercise reasonable care while driving. This could include texting while driving, driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or failing to yield to a bicyclist.
Causation and Damages
Once you have established a breach of duty, you must also show that the breach caused your injuries and resulted in damages. The damages you can recover depend on the circumstances of your case.
Recovering Damages in Bicycle Accident Cases
If you have been injured in a bicycle accident in Boca Raton, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries, medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. However, recovering damages in bicycle accident cases can be complex.
The first step in recovering damages is to file an insurance claim. This involves contacting the other party’s insurance company and providing them with information about the accident and your injuries. The insurance company will investigate the claim and may offer a settlement.
Negotiating a Settlement
If the insurance company offers a settlement, your attorney will review the offer and negotiate on your behalf to ensure you receive fair compensation. Your attorney may recommend filing a lawsuit if a settlement cannot be reached.
Filing a Lawsuit
If you file a lawsuit, your attorney will present evidence and argue your case in court. The judge or jury will then determine whether the other party was negligent and, if so, the amount of damages you are entitled to.
Working with an Experienced Bicycle Accident Lawyer
Recovering damages in bicycle accident cases can be complex and time-consuming. It’s important to have an experienced bicycle accident lawyer who can guide you through the legal process and ensure that you receive the maximum compensation available under the law.
Wrongful Death Claims in Bicycle Accidents
Tragically, some bicycle accidents in Boca Raton result in fatalities. If you have lost a loved one in a bicycle accident, you may be able to file a wrongful death claim. Wrongful death claims can compensate for medical bills, funeral expenses, lost income, and pain and suffering.
We understand the devastating impact a wrongful death can have on a family. Our Boca Raton bicycle accident lawyers will work tirelessly to hold the responsible party accountable and get you the compensation you deserve.
Why Choose Fetterman & Associates, PA?
Our legal team understands bicycle accident victims’ challenges. We are committed to providing our clients with the highest legal representation and personalized attention.
When you hire our firm for help with your bicycle accident claim, you will receive the following:
Experience in Bicycle Accident Cases
With over 40 years of experience representing victims of bicycle accidents, Fetterman & Associates, PA, has the knowledge and expertise to navigate the legal system and get you the compensation you deserve.
Personalized Attention to Every Client
We understand that every case is unique and requires individualized attention. Our Boca Raton bicycle accident lawyers will take the time to understand your specific needs and goals and develop a legal strategy tailored to your case.
Proven Track Record of Success
Our firm has recovered millions of dollars in compensation for our clients in bicycle accident cases. We will work tirelessly to ensure that you receive the maximum compensation available under the law.
Free Consultations and Contingency Fee Basis
We offer free consultations and work on a contingency fee basis. You do not pay for our legal services unless we help you recover compensation. This allows you to focus on your recovery without worrying about the cost of legal fees.
Contact Our Boca Raton Bicycle Accident Lawyers Today
If you or a loved one has been injured in a bicycle accident in Boca Raton, contact Fetterman & Associates, PA, today. Our experienced bicycle accident lawyers can help you understand your legal options and guide you through the legal process.
We offer free consultations and work on a contingency fee basis, which means you don’t pay us anything unless we recover compensation for you.