Bike Lane Accidents
Bike lanes are designed to give bicyclists a safe space to travel on the roads. However, even where they exist, vehicle drivers don’t always respect that space, and can carelessly cause accidents and injuries to bicyclists in bike lanes. Many South Florida residents utilize bicycle travel for leisure as well as in their commutes. Miami bicycle accident lawyer Robert Dixon and his staff at the Law Offices of Robert Dixon assist victims injured in bike lane collisions in seeking the compensation they need to aid in their recovery. Our firm represents clients throughout South Florida, including in Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach Counties, who have been injured or lost a loved one as a result of another party’s negligent or wrongful acts. We understand legal action may be the furthest thing from a victim or family’s mind when trying to deal with the healing process, but it can often be necessary to cover costs associated with your losses. Our firm is dedicated to making sure the legal issues are dealt with properly to help you and your family protect your rights. If you have questions regarding your legal options following a bike lane accident, please contact our office today to set up a free consultation to speak with an attorney.Common Causes of Bike Lane Accidents
A bike lane is a lane designated on the road for use by bicyclists. Pursuant to Florida Statute 316.2065, if a designated bike lane exists, cyclists are required to travel in that lane, subject to specific exceptions. When no bike lane is present, bicyclists are entitled to use a portion of the road and are not confined to the sidewalk. However, when travelling on the road, a bicyclist is required to travel as far to the right edge of the road, or curb, as possible. Many times, a negligent driver of a vehicle is at fault for causing injuries to bicyclists riding in bike lanes. Some common causes of bike lane accidents are:
- Drivers failing to yield the right of way or look for a bicyclist when making turns.
- Drivers distracted by their phones or other device and swerving into a bike lane.
- Motorists “buzzing” bicyclists by speeding up to pass them too closely.
- Drivers failing to monitor bike lane traffic when pulling out of a parking space or driveway.
“Dooring injuries” also occur when a driver of a parked car fails to look for oncoming bicycles before opening the door, causing a collision between the door and the cyclist. Other factors that can contribute to a bike lane accident include uneven surfaces on the road, obstructed lanes, as well as other road hazards that cause injuries to cyclists. Depending on the circumstances, different people or entities may be liable for harm caused by a bike lane accident.Liability for Injuries Caused in Bike Lane Accidents
Because bike lanes are intended to keep bicyclists safe by separating them from drivers, when a vehicle hits a bicyclist travelling in a bike lane, the driver is often liable for the injuries caused by negligence. Negligence refers to one party’s breach of a duty of care owed to another to act in a reasonable manner. All road users owe each other a duty to act as a reasonable and prudent person would under the same, or similar circumstances. A motorist who swerves into a bike lane while texting, or opens a car door without checking a bike lane, thereby causing a victim’s injuries, can be found to have acted unreasonably. Unfortunately, because of the vulnerability a bicyclist faces from the impact of a car, some of these accidents can be fatal. Families of loved ones killed by negligent drivers may file wrongful death claims against responsible parties to recover compensation for outstanding medical costs, as well as burial and funeral arrangements.Bike Accident Lawyers Helping Miami Area Residents
Bicyclists have the same rights to use the road as motorists, especially when they are travelling in bike lanes specifically designed to keep them safe from harm. Negligent drivers should be held accountable for the injuries they cause in Miami and beyond, and the bicycle accident attorneys at the Law Offices of Robert Dixon are committed to helping victims pursue the financial recovery they need. If you’ve been injured or lost a loved one in any type of bicycle accident in Miami, West Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale, or the neighboring areas, please call (877) 499-4878 or contact us online to schedule a free, no obligation consultation to see how we can help.