When Bicyclists Are Responsible For A Florida Car Accident?

Florida offers fantastic bicycle riding weather pretty much all year round. When most people think of accidents involving bicyclists on the roadway, they think of the incident as being the driver’s fault. However, what happens when a bicyclist is responsible for a Florida car accident? Who is responsible for paying compensation for damages in these cases?

These are complicated questions, but they are important. If you were the operator of a vehicle involving a bicycle versus car accident, you may need to speak to an attorney as soon as possible.

Bicycle accident stats can be alarming

According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV), there were 6,590 total bicycle crashes during the latest reporting year across the state. Out of these incidents, there were 160 reported fatalities and 6,183 reported injuries. Those numbers are astounding, and they show just how vulnerable a bicyclist is in these incidents.

When it comes to bicycle accidents, people usually discuss the injuries to the cyclist. However, those inside vehicles can also be seriously injured, particularly if the incident causes them to crash into another vehicle or a stationary object.

When is a bicyclist liable for a crash in Florida?

What the numbers above do not show is who was at fault for the incidents. While there are certainly many bicycle accidents in which a vehicle driver is at fault, there are also times when a bicyclist causes a crash. Bicyclists in Florida are required to follow all traffic laws and they should always operate their bicycles safely.

Florida bicyclists have several laws they must obey when they are on the roadway, including the following:

  • Riding in the same direction as traffic (contrary to popular misconception)
  • Staying in the bike lane or as close to the edge of the road as practical
  • Always granting the right-of-way to the correct person (not always the cyclist, sometimes a driver)

Most bicycle accidents arise over issues dealing with who had the right-of-way. Proving right-of-way in the aftermath of an accident can be complicated. For example, while riders are required to stay in a bike lane or as close to the right of the roadways practical, they are permitted to leave these areas and enter the roadway to avoid a hazard, to make a left turn, or to pass someone. When a bicycle rider performs one of these actions, drivers are supposed to give them three feet of space.

Drivers are also required to give bicyclists three feet of space when they are passing them or traveling next to them. While a bicyclist may very well be at fault for performing certain maneuvers without indicating their intention to do so, proving this can be difficult.

Florida’s no-fault insurance laws

In Florida, we follow a no-fault insurance system for car accidents. This means that anyone involved in an accident recovers compensation for injury expenses and lost income through their personal insurance policies. Drivers injured in bicycle accidents caused by the cyclist will generally only be able to file for additional coverage from the bicyclist’s insurance or through a personal injury lawsuit if their injuries reach the “serious injury” threshold, meaning the following occurred:

  • significant disfigurement
  • permanent limitation of use of a body organ or member
  • a significant limitation of use of a body function
  • bone fracture
  • substantially full disability for 90 days
    From day one, Zachary worked my case with diligence, professionalism & compassion.

    “When faced with the repercussions of a personal injury, choosing the right lawyer for the work ahead is absolutely imperative. When this daunting task fell upon me following a motor vehicle accident, ...”

    - Josh N.
    It is because of your help that I am in a better position now than I was before.

    “I felt always that you had my best interests at heart and looked out for me. Thank you team you have changed my life and I think of you with gratitude.”

    - A.S.
    I cannot recommend them enough!

    “They have been attentive, knowledgeable, and personally invested in our case. Having them on our side has put us at ease in this very difficult time. Thank you guys so much!”

    - David G.
    He will definitely fight for your cause.

    “Mike is an incredible attorney and is very knowledgeable, hard-working, and caring. He will definitely fight for your cause and will keep you in the loop while doing so!”

    - Esther A.
    He took the reins and made everything so easy for me.

    “As a personal injury lawyer, he is one of the most intelligent, caring, and committed professionals I have ever had the pleasure of working with. Zach personally guided me every step of the way, through insurance companies, doctors, etc.”

    - Lisa C.

When it counTsTM

Make the Right Choice
  • Please enter your first name.
  • Please enter your last name.
  • Please enter your phone number.
    This isn't a valid phone number.
  • Please enter your email address.
    This isn't a valid email address.
  • Please make a selection.
  • Please enter a message.