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
On its Crash Dashboard, the FLHSMV reports various figures regarding vulnerable road user collisions. For Miami-Dade County, disturbing statistics include:
- On average, almost 1,100 people are killed or injured in motorcycle accidents, including both drivers and passengers.
- There are more than 1,500 pedestrian-involved collisions every year, leading to 83 fatalities and injuries to 1,155 victims.
- Every year, almost 260 riders are killed in bicycle accidents and another 636 suffer injuries.
Unique Factors in Accidents Involving Vulnerable Road Users
Your rights as a pedestrian, bike rider, or motorcycle rider are similar to other vehicle crashes because these incidents are typically based upon the legal concept of negligence. You can recover compensation if you can prove that the other motorist failed to exercise reasonable care when driving, directly causing the collision.
However, there are other unique factors involved when the victim is a vulnerable road user:
- There is an enormous size difference between a motorized vehicle and a person walking, riding a motorcycle, or biking. Plus, vulnerable road users are not surrounded by a metal shell that offers some protection against severe injuries.
- Injuries for a pedestrian, biker, or motorcycle rider are much more likely to be severe or catastrophic. It is common for a victim to sustain head trauma, spinal cord injuries, amputation, broken bones, and road rash – a burn abrasion that occurs when skin skids along the road’s pavement.
- Losses for a vulnerable road user can be extreme. You could incur astronomical medical bills for treatment of serious injuries. Plus, you could be out of work for a long time, losing wages every day.
- Your pain and suffering as a vulnerable road user may be devastating, severely impacting your quality of life and relationships with loved ones.
Contact a Miami Personal Injury Lawyer About Your Legal Options
Our team at Gerson & Schwartz, PA has decades of combined experience representing victims of all types of traffic crashes, including those involving motorcyclists, bicycle riders, and pedestrians. We are prepared to fight for your rights when dealing with an insurance company, and we will take the battle to court if necessary to get the compensation you deserve. For more information, please contact our offices in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, or West Palm Beach, FL. We can set up a complimentary consultation to assess your situation.