Fatal Bicycle Accidents
South Florida is known for its year-round sunshine, making bicycle riding an activity suited for the region. However, the state’s infrastructure is not set up to accommodate these bicyclists, and drivers often are not aware of their presence on the roads. As a result, there is a greater likelihood of serious or fatal accidents involving bicycles. The Miami fatal bicycle accident lawyers at the Law Offices of Robert Dixon help families who have lost loved ones pursue proper legal action against those responsible. The death of someone close to you is traumatic, and although financial compensation does not fill the void of such a loss, retaining a bicycle accident attorney to pursue compensation helps ease part of the burden as well as make sure that a liable party is brought to justice. Our firm offers compassionate and seasoned representation for families in Miami, West Palm Beach, and other cities throughout Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach Counties. If you have lost a family member as a result of a bicycle accident, contact our office today to set up a free consultation and discuss your possible legal claims.Causes of Bicycle Accident Deaths in Florida
Florida has the highest number of fatal bicycle accidents nationwide, with three times more bicycle-related deaths than the national average. These accidents occur mostly during the daytime hours, when more cyclists as well as more cars occupy the roads. A bicycle accident carries with it a greater potential for a fatality than other traffic collisions, given that a bike offers little to no protection for its riders, compared to the safety of a car. Florida law does not require bicyclists who are 16 years old and older to wear helmets, and therefore, many do not, making the potential for severe, life-threatening injuries more prevalent. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has stated that young adults between 15 and 19 years old have the highest bicycle-related fatality rates nationwide.
Even though the roadways are intended to be shared among vehicles, bicycles, and pedestrians, many motorists fail to pay attention to the rights of others. Often, a negligent driver is the cause of a fatal bicycle accident. Some common practices that may lead to a cyclist fatality are “buzzing,” when a vehicle speeds past a bicycle without maintaining the proper distance, failing to look for oncoming cyclists when making a turn at an intersection or light, distracted driving, and motorists pulling out of driveways without appropriate caution. A fatal bicycle accident attorney in Miami can help families seek recourse in these circumstances.
Pursuant to Florida’s Wrongful Death Act, children, spouses, parents, and other dependent family members may pursue a wrongful death claim against those responsible for a loved one’s death. To establish liability, a defendant must be shown to have been negligent in causing the accident. Negligence requires proof that the defendant owed a duty of reasonable care to the victim. All drivers owe other road users a duty to act as a reasonable and prudent person would act under the circumstances. Next, it must be established that the defendant breached that duty and caused the victim’s death as well as the resulting damages. A driver who fails to look for oncoming traffic, including bicycles, while turning at an intersection may be found in breach of their duty.
Damages in wrongful death cases depend on the type of relationship that a plaintiff had with the deceased person, as well as whether there are any surviving spouses or children. Generally, compensation available in these claims includes any medical costs incurred, burial or funeral expenses, loss of support, and loss of consortium. Timing is also important in making sure that a wrongful death claim is preserved, since Florida’s statute of limitations is two years from the date of a victim’s death.Protect Your Rights by Retaining a Fatal Bicycle Accident Lawyer in Miami
Losing a loved one in a fatal bicycle accident is a devastating event. The wrongful deaths at the Law Offices of Robert Dixon offer compassionate and knowledgeable legal guidance for families during this trying time, and we are dedicated to making sure that the appropriate parties are held responsible. If you need assistance following the death of a loved one, call 877.499.4878 or contact us online for a free, no-obligation consultation with a Miami fatal bicycle accident attorney.