Car and Bicycle Collisions
When an automobile and a bicycle collide, there can be significant injuries to both parties, depending on the circumstances. Most often, bicyclists suffer more severe injuries because they are not protected by the structure of a vehicle. Bicyclists are susceptible to drivers who are distracted and therefore fail to notice their presence, as well as other careless actions by motorists. The costs of medical treatment and other associated expenses can far outweigh what an insurance policy covers, making legal action necessary to a victim’s recovery. The Port St. Lucie car accident attorneys at Donaldson & Weston help victims injured in car and bicycle collisions receive the compensation that they are entitled to obtain from a responsible party. We have dedicated our careers to victims and their families, and we are committed to making sure that clients’ legal rights are protected and advanced fully. If you have been injured in a collision involving a motor vehicle and a bicycle, you should contact our office today to learn more about your legal options.Common Causes of Car and Bicycle Collisions
In 2012, a reported 6,425 bicyclists were injured in Florida after being involved in a collision with a motor vehicle. Some of these crashes involved fatalities as well. Some of the most serious injuries, such as paralysis, brain trauma, broken bones, and internal injuries, occur when a vehicle collides with a bicycle. Motorists and bicyclists both have the right to use the road equally; however, many drivers fail to respect a cyclist’s rights, creating dangerous conditions. Many times, a motorist hits a bicycle due to driver error. Some common causes of car and bicycle collisions include:
- Vehicles pulling into traffic from a side street, driveway, or parking lot and failing to check for cyclists or yield to them.
- Motorists making a right turn at a traffic light or stop sign without checking for oncoming bicyclists.
- Opening a car door after parallel parking without looking out for a bicyclist.
Additionally, drivers may “buzz” a bicyclist by passing them too closely while traveling at a high speed, an action that may be intentional or simply reckless. Under Florida’s “three foot law,” motorists are required to maintain a distance of three feet when passing a bicycle in order to decrease these types of accidents.Holding Responsible Parties Liable for Bicycle Crash Injuries
If drivers fail to safely operate their vehicles, severe accidents and life-altering injuries may result. When a driver acts carelessly, and those actions rise to the legal level of negligence, they should be held liable by a victim and their injury attorney for the harm caused. Negligence exists when one party breaches a duty of reasonable care owed to another party, and that breach leads to an injury and damages. Even if a bicyclist also acts negligently in contributing to their own injuries, compensation can still be available. Under Florida’s ‘pure comparative fault’ scheme of liability, damages are awarded based on each negligent party’s degree of fault. For example, a bicyclist found 30 percent at fault may receive 70 percent of their total damages from the other at-fault party. Once negligence is shown, damages for past and future medical expenses, property loss, diminished earning capacity and lost income, and pain and suffering may be awarded.Dedicated Attorneys Advocating for Accident Victims in Port St. Lucie
Victims injured by a negligent driver should seek capable legal counsel in pursuing the financial support that they need to aid in their recovery. Bicyclists face some of the most devastating injuries after being struck by a vehicle. If you have been injured by a careless motorist, the Port St. Lucie attorneys at Donaldson & Weston can help you determine your next legal steps. Our firm represents injured individuals and families in Stuart, West Palm Beach, and Jupiter, as well as elsewhere in Martin, St. Lucie, and Palm Beach Counties. You can call our office today at (772) 266-5555 or contact us online to set up a no-cost, risk-free appointment to find out more about how we can help.