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New Times reported earlier this month that a local bicyclist and Critical Mass Ride organizer sustained injuries after his bicycle was hit from behind by a hit-and-run driver. Fort Lauderdale Critical Mass is a movement of bicyclists who ride together once a month in celebration of bicycles and in protest of car culture.

The bicycle injury resulted in fractures in his T9 vertebrae and several deep cuts in the head. He was taken to the emergency room where he received treatment for his injuries and would remain in the hospital for several days.

The victims daughter, said her father had been cycling westbound on the bridge when his bicycle was knocked off by a young male driver. The impact caused him to black out. The driver of the vehicle fled the crash scene.

Florida Bicycle Accidents

Florida roads are considered very dangerous for bicyclists and pedestrians because many motor vehicle drivers are often speeding up when they see cyclists sharing the road with them or pedestrians crossing the street. According to Green Mobility Network, a bike advocacy group, South Florida is one of the country’s most dangerous places for and bicyclists.

According to a survey by Transportation for America, four metro areas in the state of Florida ranked as the most dangerous places in the country for pedestrian accidents. The organization’s communications director said the state “has been built up so quickly in that era of the automobile-oriented design.”

Taking the top spot in the country’s most dangerous regions for pedestrians is the Orlando-Kissimmee region with 550 pedestrians killed between 2000 and 2009. In the second place was Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater region, followed by Jacksonville and Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach region.

Bicyclists’ Rights

Florida law states that bicyclists have a right to share all roadways with motorists, unless they specifically prohibited from doing so. Under the state law, bicycles are considered vehicles, share the same rights as any other motorists, and should also obey traffic laws. Additionally, motor vehicle drivers must be alert to the presence of bicyclists and pass only when it’s safe to do so.

Cyclists injured in a car-bicycle collision are entitled to claim for compensation from their own auto insurance company. This policy typically applies even when the policyholder was not driving their motor vehicle at the time of the accident. Injured cyclists who don’t have any insured vehicles may make a compensation claim against the driver at fault. This type of claim requires injured bicyclists to prove at least some fault on the part of the driver of the motor vehicle involved in the accident.

At the Law Offices of Philip DeBerard, our experienced bicycle accident attorneys can help injured cyclists or their families understand what they may eligible for when it comes to financial compensation for their injuries, pain and suffering, and other losses.