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Involved in a Bike Accident? Get Answers to Commonly-Asked Questions

Posted in Bicycle Accident,News on February 15, 2016

All too often, cyclists are overlooked or even missed altogether on Florida roadways. In some cases, automobile drivers do not see them alongside their vehicles and in other instances, drivers simply do not know the rules when it comes to sharing the roadway with cyclists.

One thing is for sure — if you or a loved one is involved in a bike accident with a motor vehicle, the results can be devastating. Those involved in the incident may have many questions with respect to their legal rights and obligations. That being the case, it is crucial for bikers and motorists to know and follow the rules of the road.

The following information is provided to give cyclists guidance and answers to frequently-asked questions that riders often have after an accident or near-accident occurs. Please contact our office to speak with a Fort Lauderdale personal injury attorney about your specific set of circumstances further.

Q:  Are the traffic rules the same for cyclists and automobiles?

A:  Yes, cyclists are required and expected to abide by the same traffic rules as automobiles. Additionally, Florida has laws that are specific to bike riders. You are encouraged to read them to ensure you are in compliance in the event of an accident.

Q:  Does the law require cyclists to wear helmets?

A:  Currently, adults are not required to wear helmets under the law; however, bikers and/or passengers who are under the age of 16 must wear a properly-fitted helmet that meets national standards. Still, for your safety, we encourage you to consider wearing a helmet, even as an adult. Statistics show that approximately one-third of emergency room visits are for head injuries related to bike riding. Don’t become a statistic.

Q:  Should bikers ride with or against traffic when traveling on the roadway?

A:  Bike riders should always ride in the same direction with traffic, not against traffic. Why? Because riding against traffic has been shown to increase the risk of collision and has been demonstrated to be a factor in approximately 15 percent of accidents involving bikes and automobiles. It should be noted, however, that if a biker is riding on the sidewalk (if permitted by current local ordinances), he or she can ride in either direction, as a cyclist on the sidewalk will have the same rights as a pedestrian at that point.

Q:  Am I covered by my car insurance if I’m in a bike accident?

A:  In some instances, your car insurance policy may provide you with coverage for your injuries, even if you were on your bike at the time of the crash. How much coverage you may be entitled to will be based on your policy’s specific terms.  That said, you are encouraged to speak with a knowledgeable personal injury attorney who can properly advise you based on your specific set circumstances. In the majority of cases, your vehicle policy will not be your primary source of compensation after the accident. Instead, the at-fault driver will likely have the main obligation under the law to compensate you for your injuries and damages incurred.

Individuals who have been involved in an accident while riding their bikes should seek legal help as soon as possible to ensure all their rights under the law are preserved. Contact The Law Offices of David I. Fuchs today for assistance.