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Articles Posted in Bicycle Accidents

It is shocking to learn that more than 1,000 people are killed and another 306,000 are injured every year in bicycle accidents across the US. However, another trend indicated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is even more disturbing: In its recent publication on Traffic Safety Facts: Bicyclists and Other Cyclists, 75% of bicycle accidents occur in urban areas like Miami. There have already been 304 of these incidents in Miami-Dade County as of early June, just at the halfway point of 2020.

 
You probably hear plenty of tips on wearing a helmet, preparing your bike, and putting on safety gear to protect yourself – as well as contacting a Miami bicycle accidents lawyer if you were hurt. What you may not know much about is the practice of “predictable” cycling. To a certain extent, you hold the key to reducing these incidents, so read on for some tips on how to be predictable while riding.

 
How Riding Predictably Decreases Bicycle Accidents 

You are probably aware of the risks of fatal and injury-causing car accidents in Miami, but you may not realize that the threats affect you even when you are not in a four-wheeled vehicle. When collecting data on crashes, the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) also includes incidents involving motorcycle riders, bicyclists, and pedestrians. These individuals are designated as “vulnerable” road users, and collisions involving them occur frequently. 

For victims, the legal process is similar to accidents involving motorized vehicles, but there are some unique characteristics that make these crashes far more devastating. As such, it is important to work with a Miami attorney who focuses on pedestrian, bicycle, and motorcycle accidents if you were injured. You might also benefit from reviewing some statistics and background information about your rights.

Vulnerable Road Users and Accident Statistics

Anyone who rides a bike around the streets and designated bicycle lanes of Miami knows that it can be a truly harrowing experience. You are sharing the road with sizable vehicles rushing through heavy traffic, and your feeling of vulnerability is amplified by the fact that you are not protected by a metal shell. As such, you would probably not be surprised to learn that South Florida is a hot spot for bicycle accidents. According to a South Florida Sun-Sentinel article published on March 3, 2020, several municipalities in Miami-Dade and Broward Counties fall far below the statewide average of 4.8 when cyclists ranked them on a scale of 1 to 10. 

Though you cannot always avoid bike collisions that are caused by negligent motorists, you can pursue the responsible driver for compensation. Trust a Miami bicycle accidents attorney to handle the details, but some basics on the risks and your rights may be useful.

Extreme Risks Involved with Bicycle Accidents

The pleasant South Florida weather means it is possible to head out for a bike ride any time of year, but data reported by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration are cause for alarm. Key statistics include:

  • There were 783 bicycle riders killed in the US in 2017. Of these, 125 victims were involved in incidents that occurred in Florida.
  • In the majority of fatal bicycle accidents, the victim was killed because a driver failed to yield right of way to the bicycle rider.

Miami Reporter & Photographer Escape Injury After Bicycle-Vehicle Accident

News anchor Johnny Archer and photojournalist Shane Walker were cycling on Key Biscayne when they were struck by a vehicle. The pair were near 180 Crandon Blvd around 10:30 a.m., on the island off of downtown Miami, when the accident occurred. The driver stayed at the scene of the accident and the Key Biscayne Fire Rescue responded. The frightening incident turned out well for the cyclists. Both Archer and Walker were treated at the scene and chose not to go to the hospital.

Unfortunately, not as many cyclists and pedestrians are as lucky. Many pedestrian and cyclists are injured or killed in Florida when struck by vehicles. If you were injured in a bicycle-vehicle accident, or you lost a loved one when they were hit by a car, do not hesitate to contact a Miami bicycle accident lawyer at Gerson & Schwartz P.A. (877) 475-2905.

Bicycle injuries are common across the world, and despite regulations and rules regarding bike safety, it does not appear that accidents have lessened. A recent case in Ireland is an example of how a cyclist can fight for his or her rights and obtain the compensation deserved following an accident. While not all cyclists have a case, if a bicycle accident was caused by another motorist, it may be wise to consider some type of personal injury lawsuit. This could help cover medical fees along with any other expenses related to the accident.

If you or a loved one have experienced a personal injury related to a biking accident, you may wish to seek an attorney that will help you obtain the compensation you deserve. The Miami personal injury lawyers at Gerson & Schwartz, PA provides a FREE initial consultation to discuss your case. Simply call (305) 371-6000 or toll free at (877) 475-2905. You can also contact us online at info@gslawusa.com.

Injured Cyclist Awarded Over $33,000

With the spring and summer months quickly approaching, we can all expect to be spending more time outdoors. For some people, this means engaging in more outdoor activities such as bicycling. Accompanied with the increase in bicycling comes an increase in injuries. As a matter of fact, the state of Florida is the most lethal in the nation for bicyclists. In Florida on March 24, officers responded to a call pertaining to a traffic crash involving a Ford F-150 truck and a bicyclist. The truck driver was traveling east on Lafayette Street. The bicyclist was entering the roadway from the south side of Lafayette Street. The bicyclist tried to cross north.  Unfortunately, the bicyclist, instead, traveled into the path of the oncoming truck. They collided and the bicyclist was thrown off of his bike. He was later pronounced dead. Again, bicyclist fatalities, occurring in Florida, are not uncommon. During last year, alone, more than 120 people killed while riding bicycles.

If you or your loved one was injured, or even killed, while riding a bicycle, and the accident was the fault of another person, it is imperative that you hire an attorney for your case. Doing so will help ensure that you are adequately compensated for your injury and loss. Luckily, the experienced Miami personal injury lawyers at Gerson & Schwartz PA are here to help! We know the law and will aggressively fight to protect your rights! We continue our more than 43-year tradition of representing injury victims and their families throughout Miami Dade, Fort Lauderdale, Coral Gables, and other areas of South Florida.   

The Lawsuit

We discuss causation (sometimes called proximate cause) often in this blog, and for good reason. It’s usually the most difficult part of an injury lawsuit to prove, and defendants often challenge proximate cause vigorously at trial. Additionally, the concept of causation is often so vague that different courts may appear to rule differently in every factual scenario.

What is Proximate Cause?

Just as it sounds, proximate cause asks whether the defendant’s negligence actually caused the injury. By way of example, assume a car rear-ends a vehicle driven by a person with a heart condition. Two days later, that person dies of a heart attack. Did the accident cause the death, or the heart condition?

Over the last year, our Miami personal injury lawyers have discussed the dangers associated with bicycling in Florida. Last September, 24-year-old bicyclist Jacob Landis was severely injured after being struck by a hit-and-run driver while riding his bicycle in the final leg of a cross-country cycling trip in Polk County, Florida. In October, a young couple, Rob Lemon and Hilary Michalak, died after being struck by a motorist while riding their tandem bike on the Memorial Causeway in Clearwater, Florida.

Florida a Dangerous Place for Cyclists

According to report by the NHTSA found that Florida’s bicyclist fatality rate consistently exceeded that of the rest of the United States and often ranked highest among the states. In 2011, Florida bicycle fatality rates were almost triple the national average, and, between 2010 and 2011, the bicycle fatality rate increased from 0.40 fatalities per 100,000 persons, to 0.63. In the same year, Florida made up only six percent of the U.S. population in 2011, but accounted for 17.4 percent of all U.S. bicycle fatalities.

Late last year, our Miami bicycle accident attorneys kept a close watch on the development of new legislation, entitled the “Aaron Cohen Life Protection Act,” that, if passed, would increase the minimum jail sentences for leaving the scene of a motor vehicle accident. Specifically, the measure would allow prison sentences of up to three years for an accident resulting in injury, seven years for serious bodily injury, and ten years for a hit-and-run resulting in death.

A recent brutal hit and run accident in Fort Lauderdale, Florida has emphasized the continuing need for such harsher penalties. In December, motorist Axel Inostroza, struck 53-year-old bicyclist Craig Camlin near the 5200 block of Northeast 18th Avenue in Fort Lauderdale. The force of collision caused Camlin to become wedged on the rear window of the vehicle, as Inostroza drove on for two more miles. Eventually, Inostroza dumped Camlin’s body behind a trash bin near his home in Pompano Beach.

Several hours after the accident, a landscaping crew discovered Camlin, who was rushed to a local hospital and listed in critical condition with a broken spine and other injuries. As for Inostroza, he took his car to a local body shop and then went home to take a nap. Inostroza later admitted to investigators to his involvement in the crash and confessed that he had been drinking before the accident.

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