Bicycle Accidents

The Law Offices of Jorge L. Flores, P.A., is dedicated to helping bike accident victims obtain compensation for their injuries.  We have successfully handled all types of bicycle accident claims for injured victims throughout Florida.

Miami’s beauty and warm weather invite thousands every day to participate in outdoor activities.  Therefore, it is no wonder people like to get out and bike; however, there are very few dedicated bike lanes in the City of Miami or Miami-Dade County in general, and where dedicated bike lanes are found, oftentimes motorists at best ignore traffic laws and at worst totally disregard them.  In the process, most cyclists end up having to risk sharing the road with uncooperative motorists.

For thousands of Miami cyclists every year, taking that risk results in serious injury.  Vehicles pull out in front of cyclists before the biker has a chance to stop.  Cars hit bikers at corners when they fail to double-check that they have room to turn.  Cars and trucks even run over cyclists.  For more than 100 Florida bike riders each year, a bike ride ends in death.

Jorge L. Flores is an avid cyclist himself, riding the same Miami roadways that our clients ride every day. Mr. Flores understands the law as it applies to cyclists and has first-hand experience in dealing with the challenges that cyclists face in roadways of the City of Miami and Miami-Dade County in general.

Cyclists are more exposed and are less visible to drivers, and therefore, are more likely to suffer serious injuries in a traffic accident.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that approximately 1,000 bicycle related fatalities occur each year; 51,000 injuries result from traffic crashes throughout the United States. A significant number of these accidents are caused by negligent drivers.

Common causes of bicycle accidents include:

Driving or riding while intoxicated
Turning in front of a cyclist
Speeding to overtake a cyclist
Turning or merging into bicycle lane
Misjudging buffer zone to safely pass
Failure to yield right of way
Violating the speed limit or a traffic signal
Driving into a crosswalk or intersection
Riding in urban areas at night
Failure to wear bicycle helmet
Failure to equip bike with light

Florida laws protect cyclists who are injured by negligent motorists.  Unlike other states, Florida law, except in certain municipalities, allows some cyclists to ride their bikes on the sidewalk, which may be preferable to riding beside speeding motorists.  Any prohibition of cycling is governed by local ordinance or the municipal code.  Cyclists should therefore familiarize themselves with the specific cycling laws in their area.

Under Florida’s Uniform Traffic Control Law, bicycles are treated as vehicles as such riders are treated as “drivers.”  Therefore, cyclists must follow the same traffic rules common to all drivers.  A cyclist riding on a sidewalk or crosswalk has the same duties and responsibilities as a pedestrian.  Every bicycle must be equipped with brakes and lighting equipment that make the bike visible from 500 feet away.  Any rider or passenger younger than 16 years-old must also wear a bicycle helmet that is properly fitted, securely fastened, and meets national consumer safety standards.

Negligent drivers may be held liable for damages caused as a result of any injury proximately caused by their negligence.  Drivers emerging from an alley, building, or private road or driveway must stop the vehicle immediately prior to driving onto the sidewalk and yield to all vehicles, including bicycles.  Failing to observe this rule is a one of the greatest contributing factors to accidents involving sidewalk cyclists.  Drivers who overtake cyclists must pass to the left at a “safe distance” and shall not re-enter the right side of the roadway until “safely clear” of the cyclist.  Florida law requires at a minimum, a 3-foot buffer zone when passing a bicycle.  In any case where a motorist shares the road with a cyclist, the driver must exercise “due care” to avoid colliding with any pedestrian or cyclist.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a bicycle accident, our first-hand experience and thorough understanding of the law can help you obtain the maximum compensation available under the law.  We have obtained compensation for many cyclists in Miami and other areas of Florida.  If the accident was caused by a negligent driver, the injured cyclist is entitled to damages for past, present and future medical expenses, lost income, and other benefits.  Our firm carefully identifies all liable parties, and helps victims achieve the best possible outcome for their claim.  At the Law offices of Jorge L. Flores, P.A., we understand that bicycle accidents can be traumatic and often deadly, and we are here to help you obtain the maximum compensation available under the law.