West Palm Beach Bicycle Accident Lawyer
Bicycle riders in West Palm Beach have the same duties and rights as motorists under Florida law, but drivers sometimes are not looking for bicycles on the road, and a crash happens.
In that case, the rider needs to retain the services of a skilled injury lawyer experienced handling bicycle accidents in order to be compensated for expenses and losses resulting from the event.
Bicyclists also should know the laws specific to bicycles so that the rider can avoid bearing some fault in the crash, which would reduce the amount awarded for damages. Florida has adopted the comparative negligence doctrine which limits the award by the percentage of fault. A West Palm Beach bicycle accident lawyer can help fight for their client’s rights to compensation.
Florida Bicycle Laws
Florida’s bicycle statutes cover a range from requiring a proper seat to brakes that can stop a bicycle traveling at 10 mph in 25 feet in ideal conditions.
The following includes some of the laws cyclists need to know to prevent accidents and have a strong legal case should a West Palm Beach bike accident occurs.
- While traveling slower than the speed of traffic, riders must use a bicycle lane or stay close to the right-hand curb or edge of the road. Exceptions are when avoiding a fixed or moving object, a parked or moving vehicle, pedestrian, animal, road hazards, or traffic lanes that are too narrow for the bicycle and a vehicle to safety move side-by-side
- When riding on a one-way highway, stay as near the left-hand curb or edge as practical
- Only one person can ride a bicycle built for one person
- An exception is a child younger than four years old or weighing up to 40 pounds who is securely attached to the rider or in a backpack, sling, or a trailer. The child cannot remain in the carrier when the bicycle rider is not in control of the bicycle
- Riders younger than 16 are required to wear a helmet that meets federal safety standards. If cited for not wearing a helmet, a judge may dismiss the charge if the person cited can prove they bought a regulation helmet
- Riders cannot ride two abreast except on bike paths
- Riding on a sidewalk is legal but riders must yield the right-of-way to pedestrians and audibly alert the pedestrian before overtaking
- Crossing guards can issue citations to riders in violation of the law
Avoiding Bicycle Accidents
Because motorists commonly do not look for bicycles they do not see them, a cyclist must take responsibility to avoid being hit by paying attention to what is going on along the roadway. Riders should continually look ahead and to the side, have a rearview mirror and use it.
Others on the road need to know what a cyclist is going to do, so using hand signals for turning is crucial. West Palm Beach bicycle accident lawyers would recommend riders to travel with the traffic, not against it, wear highly visible clothing colors, and obey all traffic signs and not take risks.
Contacting a West Palm Beach Bicycle Accident Attorney
Because a bicycle offers no protection in a collision, chances are, the cyclist will be the only person injured if struck by a car or truck and the injuries can be significant.
Cyclists who are hit by a vehicle should promptly call a West Palm Beach bicycle accident lawyer for advice. The attorney can explain your rights and legal options and evaluate the strength of your case.
If the accident was the result of another person’s negligence, a bike accident lawyer in West Palm Beach can work to prove that and take the necessary steps to build a timely, strong case and achieve the compensation their client deserves.