Jacksonville Personal Injury Attorney law firm is well-versed with personal injury cases. Our experience and client satisfaction set us apart in defending clients' rights, such as the rights of cyclists who are injured in a bicycle accident.

Most people assume that a cyclist is at fault whenever a bicycle is involved in an accident, which may not always be the case. Therefore, it is necessary to have an experienced attorney who can help you seek compensation for your bicycle accident injury, and our lawyers are ready to help you through the claim process.

An Overview of Bicycles Use

Bicycles are approximately one billion in number since they were introduced in the 19th century. Many parts of the world use bicycles as a means of transport because it is considered an efficient and effective mode. Bikes offer many benefits, which include keeping physical fitness, reduce fuel consumption, which translates to less air pollution as well as reduction of traffic congestion and noise pollution. When riding a bicycle, it is easier to maneuver and access bike paths, roads, and rural trails. Among other disadvantages, cycling requires the cyclist to balance the bike to remain upright; otherwise, the cyclist is bound to crush. In the case of an accident, the cyclist is likely to sustain serious injuries or die because the bicycle doesn't have a structure that can offer protection to the rider.

Florida Bicycle Laws

The law designates bicycles as vehicles; therefore, bicyclists should abide by the traffic rules. In standard roads, bicyclists are required to ride in bike lanes. On non-standard roads, the bicyclist should ride as close to the side of the road as possible because it is considered safe. When riding on the sidewalk, the bicyclist should yield to pedestrians. Other regulations are:

  • Bicyclists should flow with the traffic. This is considered safe because in the event a bicycle is hit by a vehicle from the rear, there are no serious injuries as the cyclist is pushed ahead contrary to a head-on collision.
  • A cyclist should have at least one of his/her hand on the handlebars while riding
  • Every bicycle must have functional brakes capable of making a stop when necessary
  • A distance of 3 feet is required between the bike and the driver when overtaking. When there is limited space, the driver should wait until the cyclist turns or pulls over, or when it is safe.
  • When riding at night, you should wear bright colored clothes and a reflective strip to ensure you are visible.
  • Bicycles must have a front lamb visible from at least 500 feet and a rear red light visible from at least 600 feet. The lights are important when cycling at night.
  • A bicyclist should not ride unless they are sitting on a regular seat attached to the bike.
  • If a bicycle is made for a single person, you should not have a passenger on your bike. An adult cyclist can ride with a child, but have the child attached securely in a sling or a backpack.
  • A child under four years must be carried on a carrier designed to carry children of that age. The carrier should protect and secure the child from the bikes moving parts such as wheels, spokes, and pedals. You should not leave the child on the carrier when you are not on the bike or riding.
  • Every rider at the age of 16 and below must wear a helmet {Florida statute 316.2065[3d]
  • Bicyclists should use arm signals to indicate the direction they intend to turn.
  • When riding the bicycle on the road, only two riders can ride next to each other; the two cyclists riding together should ride in one lane. However, more than two cyclists can ride together on bicycle lanes.

Causes of Fatal Bicycle Accidents

Florida is ranked first in fatalities caused by bicycles. An average of 110 cyclists dies per year. This figure is alarming as there is the continued growth of these fatalities. The common attributes of this trend include:

Failure to yield way

Cyclists and drivers have equal rights on the road. However, many drivers deny bicycles, space on the road either intentionally or unintentionally. The common situations where the drivers fail to yield to bicyclists are;

  • Ignoring traffic signs like the stop sign
  • Backing out of other spaces or driveway
  • Entering an intersection


The right of way is not always for cars. Every road-user is supposed to follow traffic rules to avoid the rising numbers of bicycle accidents.

Road rage

This happens when a driver purposefully displays reckless behaviors, putting other people's lives at risk. When a driver acts in this manner with a fellow motorist, it is quite dangerous; but when a bicyclist becomes a target of aggressive and careless behavior, driving can be fatal. Some of the aggressive driving examples include

  • Risky lane change
  • Failing to signal
  • Tailgating {driving closely behind another vehicle}
  • Blocking the lane meant for bikes

Bicycle defects

Defects can present danger which can be discovered too late. A bicycle component can be faulty if manufacturing is improperly done. It is imperative for a bicyclist to wear a helmet that is well fitting and free of any defects such as cracks. A compromised helmet doesn’t help the cyclist in the event of an accident. If a bicycle has a defect, it may be recalled. Some of the defects that may be a reason for recall are; incorrect assembly, fork failure, defective tires, brake failure, or failure to meet safety standards.

Poor road conditions

In some instances, the road can be the cause of an accident. Poor weather conditions, and wear and tear are the common causes of potholes. A large vehicle can manage to go over a pothole and maintain balance, but when a bicycle encounters the same, it is likely to lose balance and crash on the road rails or an oncoming vehicle, causing an accident.


Control and reaction are significantly compromised by high speed. Many bicycle accidents have been caused by speeding. When a driver is at high speed, he/she can cause catastrophic injuries to an unsuspecting bicyclist because the force of impact is high at collision.

Distracted driving

To avoid hazards, it is essential that drivers and cyclists maintain focus all the time. The most common distracters are drinking and eating, cell phones, and navigation systems(GPS). The distracters take away the attention of motorists from the road, putting bicyclists at danger. Therefore, every road user should avoid multitasking in order to maintain cognitive, visual, and manual defensive driving abilities.


The traffic crash records database in Florida indicated that the contributing factor in over 100 bicycle accident was alcohol, between the years 2013 and 2016. A driver under the influence of alcohol or drugs suffers from impairment and loss of cognitive function required, and that may limit vision and lead to failure to see a bicyclist. A high level of alcohol in the blood of a driver can cause him/her to pass out on the wheel, thus losing control of the vehicle, thereby endangering the lives of other drivers and bicyclists.

Bad weather

Visibility is an essential aspect when it comes to driving or cycling and can be easily compromised by weather conditions such as fog, rain, and ice. Therefore, it is advisable to be cautious when cycling or driving during these weather conditions to avoid collisions.

Types of Bicycle Accidents

Fifty percent of bicycle accidents occur when the bicyclist ends up on the pavement due to loss of control of the bicycle. Crashes involving motor vehicles and bicycles account for only 20 percent of these accidents. There are different types of bicycle accidents such as bicycle-pedestrian accidents, bicycle on bicycle accidents, and bicycle on vehicle accidents.                                                                    

Bicycle on bicycle accidents

These are uncommon but can happen when another bicyclist crash onto you. In this scenario, the injuries are not as serious as when a vehicle is involved. The cyclist at fault compensates the other cyclist through their insurance coverage. However, if you don't agree with the offer, a personal injury attorney file a lawsuit and prove the other cyclist was negligent.

Bicycle-pedestrian accident

The insurance companies and police look at who failed to practice the duty of care. Being a pedestrian or a cyclist does not play any role in determining the party at fault. Depending on the level of damage and the injuries sustained, the court or the insurance company can assign a fault by judging who failed to play their part in the duty of care. A cyclist can breach their duty of care by riding under the influence, riding on a faulty bike, riding at night with improper lighting, riding while using a cellphone, failing to give way and failing to follow traffic light and road markings  

Bicycle accidents involving vehicles

The following are the most common types of bicycle and vehicle accidents.


Dooring is a scenario where a driver legally parks on the street and without checking, he /she opens the door to exit the vehicle. The bicyclist is knocked down, smacks into the door, or is knocked and forced to swerve into traffic, often run over or knocked by a vehicle.   Nationally, the accidents of this nature account for a small percentage of all crashes involving bicycles and cars, but the numbers are higher in areas that are heavily urbanized. Dooring is common for children bicyclists to experience compared with adult bicyclists.

Private drive exit

These accidents mostly occur in residential areas where a bicyclist carelessly exits from an alley, private drive, sidewalk or a side street into a roadway.

Motor vehicle driver overtaking a bicyclist

Bicyclists and drivers have equal rights on the road. In this scenario, the bicyclist is hit by an overtaking vehicle from behind. Considering that an overtaking vehicle is at a relatively high speed, the injuries are severe and often fatal on the cyclist. Mostly, these type of crashes happens at night when the driver sees the bicyclist too late or doesn't see them at all.

Cycling against traffic

Many bicycle fatalities and injuries are as a result of bicyclists ignoring the traffic flow and ride against the traffic. Bicyclists and drivers are expected to follow all traffic rules since they have equal rights on the road.

Motorist turning right

If the bicyclist rides on the right side of the lane while approaching an intersection, they might end up in the blind spot of a driver making a right turn. At some instances, the driver overtakes the bicycle and makes a turn to the right just in front of the bicyclist.

Traffic control lights

These crashes happen when a driver who had stopped at a traffic light pulls out into an intersection and hit an oncoming bicyclist. Another scenario is a driver and a cyclist moving in the same direction and stops at the stop signal. The safest thing a bicyclist can do is to stop behind the vehicle. If a cyclist stands to the left of the vehicle and the driver decides to turn to the left, then he/she is likely to be crashed.

What Should You Do if Involved in a Vehicle and Bicycle Accident?

It is vital to wait for the police to respond so that they can file a report officially. You should ensure that the accident report is accurate. The report should include the drivers' statements and any witness statements. In many instances, the officers fail to take the bicyclists statement because they assume he/she was at fault. So if possible, make sure to give your statement.

As soon as the accident happens, it is important to document anything vital about the accident by taking photos at different angles or taking notes if you can. This enables you to have the immediate state of the accident scene.

Many drivers who cause accidents will apologize and may accept the blame, but they may deny that they were negligent. Therefore, you should shun any attempt to negotiate with the driver at-fault because he/she may give inaccurate information about vehicle ownership, his/her identity or insurance coverage, and others may deny being present at the scene of the accident.

You should leave your damaged properties and your bike in the damaged state. You should not try to assemble anything or have anything fixed. Don't send any of your equipment to anyone other than your attorney.

You should seek medical attention for your injuries no matter how minor they may seem. In many instances, minor injuries may develop into permanent injuries or even death. The medical record you obtain after seeking treatment is clear proof that you were injured and they also establish the extent of your injuries. You should have some photos of the injuries taken and keep an injury journal where you record all the symptoms immediately after the accident.

Many people think that they will be considered reasonable and fair by contacting the insurance company, but the insurance company may take the opportunity to gather evidence to support their argument that you were the cause of the accident due to negligence. Therefore, you should consult with the attorney first before contacting the insurance company.  

Bicycle Accident Settlements

When a vehicle hits you while riding your bicycle, you can restore some, or all the loses you accumulated as a result of the accident by pursuing a legal case. Most people wonder whether the pursuit will be too expensive or worth the trouble because they don't know what to expect.

The money you receive in a bicycle accident settlement is to cover what is known as damages. Damages are the losses you have accumulated as a result of an accident.

There are two types of damages; economic and non-economic

If your medical bill is 50,000 dollars, then that sum is considered your economic damages. Likewise, if the injuries you sustained denied you a chance to do a job that would have paid you 15,000 dollars, that amount count towards economic damages as well. That is, economic damages can be quantified in monetary value.

On the other hand, non-economic damages are complicated because they are hard to quantify with money. These include the fear of riding after the injury, inability to do your household chores due to lack of independence as a result of injuries, among others.

Roles of Drivers on Road Safety

Hundreds of bicyclists die in motor vehicle accidents annually, and thousands sustain severe injuries according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. These accidents can be avoided if drivers can coexist with bicyclists peacefully. Drivers should treat the bicyclists as equals on the road rather than seeing them as being "in their way." The following are some of the rules drivers should observe while sharing the roadway with bicyclists

  • Use your side view mirror always before exiting your car. This enables you to see an oncoming bicyclist.
  • Always give the cyclist 3 feet space when overtaking.
  • Have the knowledge of all the traffic rules and more so what is expected of you while on the road for the sake of your safety and other road users.
  • Always use your indicators to signal your intention. By doing this, other road users will know the cause of action
  • Always check blind spots so you can be aware of the presence of a bicyclist
  • Control your road rage. It is a dangerous thing if a driver loses control of his/her temper. A bicyclist can cause aggression, but keeping the rage at bay can save lives by preventing an accident.
  • Avoid putting full light at night because it can blind a cyclist from the opposite direction and cause him/her to lose control and crash.
  • Be cautious when turning left or right. Most of the time, a driver says he/she had not seen the cyclist or underestimates the speed of the bicycle before they can make a turn. Whenever you are not sure, it is essential to yield to the cyclist as you would for another vehicle.

Roles of Bicyclist on Road Safety

Since bicyclists have equal rights as drivers on the road, they should take responsibility to ensure they promote safety and order on the road.

  • Ensure you are visible at all times. This is because most collisions happen because either the bicyclist was not seen or was seen too late. A bicyclist can ensure proper visibility by dressing in brightly colored clothes, putting on a reflecting strip, and having a rear flashing red light and a white light at the front.
  • Be knowledgeable about road rules. This will enlighten you about your responsibilities on the road as well as your rights, which can benefit you in case you are involved in an accident.
  • Signal to show your intention. All drivers should signal their intention but not assume everyone knows what they intend to do. The same applies to bicyclists; you should use a hand signal to indicate when turning either left or right, stopping or even slowing down
  • Avoid engaging an aggressive driver. It is advisable to ignore the behaviors of an angry driver because responding to yelling, or a gesture may lead to a confrontation which takes away the focus from the road
  • Maintain your bicycle. A properly maintained bike enables the bicyclist to focus on the traffic other than the faulty parts.
  • Drivers have a way of announcing their presence on the road, but since the bicycle doesn't have an inbuilt alert system, a cyclist should invest in a system to alert the pedestrians.

Contact a Personal Injury Attorney Near Me

With the alarming increase of bicycle accidents, it is important to have an experienced personal injury attorney to help you navigate the settlement process for bicycle accidents. While you might be at fault, it is the duty of your lawyer to represent you and determine the level of fault, and the possible compensation for your injuries.

The Jacksonville Personal Injury Attorney can help you to file a personal injury lawsuit for a bicycle accident. We also handle all types of personal injury lawsuits. We believe in great representation and the protection of our client's rights. Contact our Jacksonville Personal Injury Attorney today at 904-800-7557 so we can discuss your settlement and fair compensation.