Experienced Attorneys for Cyclists and Pedestrian Accident Victims in Central Florida
More people in the Sunshine State are enjoying exercising and commuting on the roadways as pedestrians or cyclists. In addition to the traditional bicycle, there are various modes of alternative transportation, such as electric bicycles, mopeds, and scooters. By law, cyclists must follow many of the same rules as motorized traffic, including riding with traffic flow rather than against it. Cyclists must follow all traffic control devices, including traffic signal lights, stop signs, and roadway signs.
Sadly, bicycle and pedestrian accidents usually result in significant injuries and fatalities. Pedestrians and cyclists have little protection against the impact of a vehicle. Injuries can be severe, with exorbitant medical costs for recovery. Common injuries include:
- Traumatic Brain Injuries
- Road Rash
- Nerve Damage
- Bone Fractures
- Emotional Trauma
- Spinal Injuries
If you or a family member is involved in a pedestrian or cyclist accident, it is crucial to seek experienced legal counsel. Investigating a claim requires fast action to obtain photographs and witness statements. There are special statutes and rules for cyclists and for motor vehicles that encounter cyclists and pedestrians. There are also special statutes requiring upfront insurance payments for medical bills and income loss due to these accidents. Victims need a law firm that knows these rules and can advocate for them.
Klausman Law has been negotiating favorable insurance settlements and awards for over three decades in Central Florida. We are knowledgeable about pedestrian and bicycle accident law. We can help victims win full compensation to cover their medical costs, lost wages, and other damages.
Multiple Factors Contribute to Pedestrian and Cyclist Injuries and Death
The cases we have handled for injured bicyclists often occur when cars are exiting driveways, businesses, and side streets. There may be an obstruction, such as a row of bushes, that prevents the motorist from seeing oncoming traffic. The driver pulls across the path of the oncoming bicyclist, who is often approaching on a sidewalk. When bicyclists travel against the flow of oncoming traffic, the motorist exiting a driveway or business to turn right may look only to the left for oncoming traffic and never see the oncoming bicyclist. When these impacts occur, the bicyclist always loses.
Pedestrian accidents and deaths are on the rise in Florida. Many pedestrians are unaware of the laws that govern their activities on the roadways. For example, a pedestrian may not cross an intersection diagonally. They must cross only where and when traffic control devices authorize the crossing. Pedestrians should only be on the roadway when sidewalks are unavailable. If they need to walk on the roadway, they should use the roadway’s left side facing traffic. In Florida, motorists must yield to pedestrians, but this is not always the case.
Helpful Tips on Florida Laws Specific to Cyclists and Pedestrians
- If a bike lane exists on a road, a bicyclist must use the bike lane if going slower than other traffic speeds. If no bike lane exists, the bicyclist should stay close to the right except when passing another bicyclist or vehicle. Left turns are handled in various ways for cyclists under Florida law. Bicycles are entitled to use a left turn lane — but please check to make sure crossing to the turn lane is safe from oncoming traffic, and please signal the intent to turn.
- Cyclists cannot ride more than two abreast except on paths or parts of roads set aside for bicyclists. Bicyclists riding two abreast cannot impede traffic when going slower than the average speed of traffic. The number of people on a bike cannot exceed the number of seats on the bike.
- Some cities have local laws or ordinances concerning riding on sidewalks, especially in downtown areas. When there is a safe alternative to riding on a sidewalk, the bicyclist should choose the safe alternative. Sidewalks are not designed for the speed of bicycle riders. Bicyclists are required to yield to pedestrians and give an audible warning when approaching and encountering a pedestrian.
- Required bicycle equipment includes front- and backlights that must illuminate for all riding between sunset and sunrise. More than half of Florida’s bike fatalities occur at night. Bicyclists cannot wear headsets, headphones, or listening devices other than hearing aids. They must hear traffic sounds, including traffic horns and emergency vehicle sirens.
- Riders under the age of 16 are required to wear a properly fitted helmet. Helmets are also strongly recommended for adults. Helmets can prevent brain injuries that can cause a lifetime of devastating issues for the bicyclist and their family.
- Pedestrians need to be seen! Wear bright, reflective colors of clothing and at night, carry a flashlight.
- Refrain from texting or using your cell phone when walking. Distracted walking is a danger.
- Pedestrians should never enter a roadway by walking in between cars. Be mindful of yielding the right-of-way to traffic on the roadway.
Pedestrian and bicycle accidents harm countless numbers of persons across Florida every year. Florida leads the nation in bicycle fatalities. At Klausman Law, we are strong advocates against the negligence and recklessness of motor vehicle drivers. Call us. We are here to help.
Call 407-917-1718 to schedule a confidential legal consultation with Orlando and Central Florida Bicycle and Pedestrian Accident Injury Attorneys. Klausman Law will help you pursue every legal option to build the best case possible for maximum compensation.