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BIKE RIDING SAFETY AND ACCIDENTS IN MIAMI

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INJURED WHILE RIDING YOUR BICYCLE? In Miami, the Perazzo Law Firm knows that bike riding accidents happen all the time, and they are usually the result of negligent motorists that either do not see bike riders or don’t give them the riding respect they deserve. Sadly, Florida ranks atop most U.S. states when it comes to the risk of being injured or killed while riding a bicycle. But why is Florida, and Miami in particular, so dangerous for bike riders, and what can cyclist do to stay safe? Also, what should bike riders that fall victim to a negligent motorist do, especially if they suffer injuries, damages or losses as a result of a bike accident? The Perazzo Law Firm strives to provide the best possible answers to bicycle accident victims and their loved ones following an incident that involves a motor vehicle in Miami or in any of the cities where our professional staff of attorneys provides clients with profession representation and just compensation for injuries and losses from bicycle accidents. Injured in a bike accident? Contact the Perazzo Law Firm for a FREE initial consultation and ZERO COSTS to our personal injury clients.


WHERE DO BIKE RIDING ACCIDENTS HAPPEN?

In Miami, a bicycle accident can occur anywhere and perhaps the only safe place to ride a bicycle is inside an empty football field. Many bike riders take to city avenues and streets and peddle among traffic; this is perhaps one of the most dangerous activities a person can do. Apart from motorcycles, a bicycle is the riskiest way to get around in Miami. The Perazzo Law Firm also knows that bicycle riders are consider pedestrians according to Florida Statute 316.027; thus, even sidewalks and lawns present the risk of injury to bike riders. This is why, it’s safe to say, that bicycle riders, regardless of age, must take measures to guarantee safety and lower the chances of suffering personal injury from a bicycle accident. Though Miami has designated biking lanes for riders to move about more freely and risk-free, this does not guarantee that motorists will stay out of their path or cut them off when making a turn. Though motorists must yield to bike riders, this does not always happen. Furthermore, a negligent motorists may pull out of a parking spot without checking their side mirrors and cause a bike rider to crash and fall. Parked cars represent dangers to bike riders as doors tend to swing open as a bike rider approaches. This can lead to serious personal injury to an unsuspecting rider that cannot react in time to prevent smashing into a driver or passenger that opens their door without checking for an oncoming bike rider. Roadways are among the most dangerous places for bike riders as high speed impact with a cyclists will most certainly lead to serious personal injury or even wrongful death. In Miami, the Perazzo Law Firm urges cyclists to avoid riding on highways or roadways where motorists operated their vehicles at high speeds, especially in poor weather or road conditions. Bike riders are also advised to ride with caution on suburban streets and back roads. Sadly, there has been a steady rise in bicycle related accidents on quite suburban streets given the increased use of GPS services by motorists looking for shortcuts. In order to save time and avoid habitually congested trajectories, motorists are taking to suburban streets and instilling danger and fear on unsuspecting residents. Thus, riding a bicycle in the suburbs requires equal caution by riders and the parents of children riding their bikes on quite suburban streets. Keep reading for tips on safe bike riding in Miami and suburban streets.


WHAT TO DO AFTER A BIKE ACCIDENT

accident-1317029-300x226In Miami, the Perazzo Law Firm knows that a bike accident victim may find him/herself in a state of shock, especially if evident signs of injury are present. Nevertheless, bike accident victims must try to stay calm and proceed accordingly in order to attend to any injuries and prevent further harm. Also, it is important to verify the circumstances that led to the bike accident in the event an insurance claim for compensation is to be sought by the bike accident victim. Read below a quick guideline for dealing with a bicycle accident:

  • Stay calm, check for serious injury and contact the police immediately if physically able to do so. If your injuries are severe, have someone contact the authorities and request emergency medical treatment regardless of evident signs of injury. Keep in mind that blows to the head should not go unattended to.
  • Only move if you are in danger of further injury and find somewhere safe to wait for help. Otherwise, do not let anyone except a trained medical professional move you.
  • Gather eye-witness testimony and get their contact information.
  • If possible, document the accident scene via cellphone images or video. Furthermore, check for overhead video surveillance cameras or any other video cameras in the vicinity.
  • Keep copies of the police accident report.
  • Seek medical attention following the accident and keep all medical reports.
  • Contact the Perazzo Law Firm in Miami-Dade County and find out if you can receive compensation for any injuries or damages sustained as a result of the negligence of the motor vehicle operator that struck you while riding your bike.

The Perazzo Law Firm understands bicycle accidents and offers a FREE initial consultation to accident victims, with ZERO-OUT-OF-POCKET costs to their bicycle accident clients. If you, a friend or relative has suffered personal injuries or losses from a bicycle accident in Miami, or in Miami-Dade or Broward County area, the Perazzo Law Firm urges you to contact us ONLINE or CALL 888-PERAZZO now!


HOW TO STAY SAFE

Bike riders in Miami need to make sure they do not place their lives in danger when they take to busy city streets or avenues. They must keep in mind that many motorists are behind the wheel and spending more time on their cellphones than on the road. Cellphone related accidents are on the rise and rank at the top when it comes to the reasons for accidents and collisions. However, it’s not only drivers that are negligently using their cellphones; motorcycle riders, scooter riders, and other bike riders are constantly in the flow of traffic with their eyes looking down at their phones. With so much distraction, biking accidents are practically inevitable.


BICYCLE LANES AND BIKING SAFETY IN MIAMI-DADE

Bicycle lanes are not always welcomed with open arms in Miami-Dade County communities; and Coral Gables is just one of them. Since 2004, the city commission has rejected every proposal to build bike lanes; mainly from complaints on behalf of the disapproving neighbors and home owners. In 2014, a plan was presented to build 27 miles of new bike lanes, sidewalks and crosswalks, but that never developed. In 2018, residents voiced their opposition at a commission meeting to add bicycle lanes along Riviera Drive. According to Robert Ruano, the chair of the Bike Walk Coral Gables nonprofit; “There’s very little really safe bike infrastructure in the city right now to actually increase people using the road for biking safely.” For 2020, a new proposal aims to create bike lanes & broaden sidewalks along Alhambra Circle from Coral Way to the University of Miami. This 2.3-mile stretch could result in the loss of trees, according to concerned residents; thus, the plan for more bike lanes may be scrapped once again. However, Silvia Pinera-Vazquez, an attorney residing on Alhambra Circle, is pushing for bike lanes through an open letter to dated December 6th to city officials, Pinera-Vazquez wrote; “It is evident that there is a concerted agenda by certain city staff members and special interest bicycle groups to forge ahead with bicycle lanes throughout the city despite the position of our residents and our elected officials.” On December 10th, the local attorney spoke before the City Commission and some fifty opposing residents and homeowners. Though a final decision is months away, Vice Mayor Vince Lago stated that the commission’s ruling to ditch the Riviera Drive project “set a precedent” that will make it difficult to not side with opposing homeowners once again. In 2015, a $597,000 grant was given to Coral Gables on behalf of the Florida Department of Transportation to carry out the Alhambra Circle project, which led to an important connection that included residential neighborhoods, the downtown area, UM, and the Underline, which included a 10-mile-stretch for pedestrians, joggers, and bikers below the elevated Metrorail tracks. However, when it comes to building Alhambra Circle bike lanes raises concern over of damage to almost 200 trees and potential changes to their quality of life. Motor vehicle traffic and potential accidents are also a concern as the construction of bike lanes lead to narrower driving lanes. Thus, increasing the potential for motor vehicle accidents involving pedestrians and bikers alike. In the meantime, Coral Gable residents will have to wait till later in 2020 when the project is expected to come up for a vote.


BIKE LANE ACCIDENTS AND MOTORISTS

Bike lanes seem very practical and indeed they are; to bike riders. For motorists, bike lanes present danger; both for them and those sharing the street. Biking to and from a destination can be easy, inexpensive and fun. However, biking amid the flow of traffic can be quite dangerous. In fact, bicycle related accidents have been on the rise, mainly due to distracted drivers behind the wheel of motor vehicles.  However, motorists are not always at fault for bicycle accidents in Miami. Many times, bike owners neglect the fact that bicycles require maintenance. Thus, the Perazzo Law Firm staff of attorneys that handle bicycle accident claims remind bike riders to make sure that their bikes are in good shape, especially when they take to the streets and join the flow  of traffic. Proper equipment, attire, and precautions play a major role in avoiding bicycle accidents in Miami. Wearing a helmet for example, is a very important way to lessen the chances of brain or head injuries from a bike accident that involves a moving vehicle. The Perazzo Law Firm recommends to avoid zigzagging in traffic and high speeds.

Avoiding the use of cellphones while riding a bike, regardless of whether along a bike lane or street, is highly recommended by the Perazzo Law Firm staff. Distracted bike riders are just as dangerous as distracted motorists. Children riding in baby seats should wear helmets as well since children are at high risk of being severely injured in bike accidents involving cars in Miami. The responsibility of safely transporting a child on a bicycle should never be neglected through cellphone use while in motion. The use of a helmet and/or reflective gear to enable easier visibility for those sharing the road. Intersection must approached with caution as well given that motorists do not always give bike riders the right of way and many time do not even see them when making a turn. Texting and Driving is one of the main causes of most car accidents in Miami and the chance of an accident on a Miami avenue or street increases when distracted bike riders are negligent. Bicycles should be fitted with proper features to make them more visible at a distance. Miami bicycle riders must take these factors into account as jurisdictions readily issue tickets to those who fail to follow these rules. Moreover, if you fail to abide by these safety regulations, it can be used to deny you compensation for your injuries. Why? Because insurance companies look for reasons to deny or reduce the compensation owed to you for a personal injury in a bicycle accident. Failure to follow safety rules and regulations can be used as a defense by the insurance company to avoid paying just compensation in any subsequent litigation. Equip your bike with reflectors to help motorists detect you at night or in poorly lit areas. Car accidents in Miami involving bicycles usually occur at night when distracted or negligent motorists are at fault for the accident. Reflectors and proper gear such as lights, increase the chances of a successful personal injury claim for compensation.


THE PERAZZO LAW FIRM SHARES COMMON CAUSES FOR BICYCLE ACCIDENTS IN MIAMI

  • A motorist drives to close to a cyclist while passing, thus causing the bike rider to lose control and/or the vehicle comes into contact with the bicyclist. This may lead to very serious personal injury or even death.
  • A parked motorist inadvertently opens his/her door and a bicyclist slams into it. This may lead to serious personal injury. bicyclists should be allocated time to pass before they swing their door open.
  • A motorist crashes into a bicyclist when making a sudden turn at an intersection. Motorists are required to use their rear-view mirrors and turn signals when turning or changing lanes.
  • Bicycle riders are not given the right of way. Miami motorists continue to hold little respect for bicyclists.
  • Motorist rear-ends the bicyclist when trying to pass them.
  • Alcohol. Drunk drivers have a hard time seeing the road let alone bicyclists.

Visit the Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center for further info.

SOME ACCIDENT SCENE SUGGESTIONS:

  • Seek immediate medical attention for injuries from a bicycle accident.
  • Get written record of any injuries in order to prove you have sustained personal injury in a Miami bike accident.
  • If safe to do so, take note of your surroundings, weather conditions, direction in which you were traveling etc.
  • If there are witnesses, jot down their names or get their contact information.
  • Pay attention to any surveillance cameras around the area where the collision took place. Video recordings can be easily used to prove your case and get you the compensation you deserve.
  • Subsequent to your accident, it is important to keep a diary or a log of any personal injuries or physical therapy you may be undergoing. Memory tends to fail over time and insurance companies employ every tactic possible to prolong litigation and ultimately jeopardize your personal injury claims.

The Perazzo Law Firm highly recommends the following for cyclists taking to city streets:

AVOID USING YOUR CELLPHONE

IMG_0160-e1572180804320-252x300Do not use your cellphone while you are riding your bike. If you need to use your cellphone, pull over and get on the sidewalk or stop somewhere free from moving traffic. The chances of a bike rider being crashed into by a car or any other moving vehicle are practically nil when they are on the sidewalk or clear of traffic. A motorist may not see a bike rider that has stopped beside a parked car or even behind a typical city obstacle like a light pole, dumpsters, etc. Furthermore, using your cellphone while riding a bicycle greatly reduces your ability to react to any sudden obstacles or maneuvers by motorists that involve dodging or braking. Keeping your eyes on the road and hands on the handlebars of your bike is equally important as when driving a car. Staying alert and avoiding distraction by your cellphone are key to lowering your chances of being in a bicycle accident.

USE PROTECTIVE GEAR AND PROPER ATTIRE

bike-riders-e1572179132246-289x300Just like motorcycle riders, cyclists are highly advised to wear a helmet since they are designed and aim to prevent injury to the head and minimize the chances of brain injury. Blows to the head can cause long term brain injuries that can greatly reduce a person’s quality of life. Though not very popular among cyclists, knee and elbow pads are very useful to prevent scrapes and bruises. Sadly, most bike accident victims may suffer injuries to limbs that go beyond cuts and bruises. Fractures are very common in more severe accidents in which a bike rider is struck by a vehicle traveling at high speeds. In Miami, intersections are a hot spot for accidents as cyclists may think they have right of way and peddle at high speeds, failing to take in account a motorist trying to jump a green light. In any bike accident involving a car, truck, or any other motor vehicle, a helmet will greatly reduce the chances of head injuries. Wearing reflective clothing is highly advisable when operating a bicycle after sundown or riding along poorly light areas. Cyclists should refrain from wearing dark clothing when riding their bikes at night or in places where the lighting is poor, especially along roadways at night. Proper footwear is another key area worth mentioning to prevent bicycle accidents. Wearing flip-flip or sandals may sometimes lead to mis-peddling or injuries upon losing balance or during falls. Toes are sensitive to injury when a bike rider must use their feet to land properly avoid falling. Also, a bicycle rider’s toes can easily get stuck in the spokes of a moving bicycle or even caught in the chain. Thus, sports shoes or other footwear covering the entire foot, and which will not fall off in the event of an accident are highly recommended for safe bike riding and reduced chances of foot injuries.

EQUIP YOUR BICYCLE PROPERLY

bicycle-riding-safety-perazzo-law-miami-300x225Riding a bike goes beyond peddling and applying the brakes. It is highly recommended that bike riders inspect their bikes regularly to make sure their brakes are functioning properly and brake lines in good condition. They should also make sure that their tires have good treading and are properly inflated. Furthermore, all bolts must be properly fastened, and that the chain is adjusted to meet the need of pedaling at high speeds. When a chain is loose, it is more prone to popping. When a chain pops unexpectedly at high speeds while peddling, the chances of a bike rider losing control is very high as it causes a sudden loss of balance. Losing your balance amid traffic can result in serious personal injury. In Miami, the Perazzo Law Firm urges bike riders to make sure their bikes are in good operating condition before they take to the streets. Rusty chains, gears, brakes can lead to an accident. Keep you bike properly oiled and tires properly inflated to help prevent premeditated injuries.  Furthermore, equipping your bicycle with reflectors and installing mirrors or signaling devices are key to enhancing the chances of being seen by motorists, especially when riding at night or along side traffic.

AVOID RIDING YOUR BIKE WHILE UNDER THE INFLUENCE

Just like drunk driving, an intoxicated bike rider increases his/her chances of suffering an accident. Sadly, a cyclist that rides his/her bike drunk, may suffer severe personal injury. Furthermore, an accident claim for compensation may fly right out the window as an experienced insurance claim lawyer may hold the bike rider at fault for an accident. Many bike accident victims are under the false impression that they can easily sue a motorist after they are crashed into. Being drunk or intoxicated, if proven by an insurance or accident investigator, can work in the defendant’s favor and hold the bike rider liable for third party damages or injuries. In Miami, the Perazzo Law Firm bike accident attorneys urge bike riders to refrain from cycling while drunk or intoxicated. If in doubt, hire a ride-share service.

OBEY THE RULES OF THE ROAD

By law, a bicycle is considered a vehicle. Thus, rules apply when riding in traffic.

In Miami, the Perazzo Law Firm attorneys recommend the following:

  • Do not ride your bicycle against the flow of traffic. Riding against traffic is illegal.
  • Avoid high speeds. Bikes should not be riding faster than cars, especially when low speed limits apply.
  • Right on the right of moving vehicles.
  • Do not zigzag in between motor vehicles, especially in heavy or stopped traffic.
  • Do not ride your bike while drunk or intoxicated. If hit by a moving vehicle, you may be found at fault or ineligible for compensation,
  • Avoid cycling at night. If so, wear reflective clothing and equip your bike with lights.

BICYCLE ACCIDENTS AND CHILDREN

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When bicycle riding accidents involving children occur in Miami, the attorneys at the Perazzo Law Firm know that bicycle accidents involving children and motor vehicles can only be adverted by staying off avenues and streets. Even though children will most often ride along side or together with an adult when having to cross at an intersection or follow behind on a bike path, the negligence of a motorist can sometimes take them for surprise and cause a bike accident with a child suffering bodily injury. Children that are struck by motor vehicles run a much higher risk of suffering more serious personally injury from the accident. Furthermore, children are not as easily spotted by motorists distracted by negligent cell phone use behind the wheel. A negligent motorist may too often not detect a small child peddling along in his/her blind spot and may attempt a left-hand turn without noticing the child cyclist. Sadly, a child that is hit by a car making a sudden turn, may suffer life threatening injuries or even wrongful death from a bike accident. The Perazzo Law Firm highly recommends that children stay off avenues, streets, and roadways, and opt for safer places to enjoy riding a bicycle. Parents and legal guardians are advised to proceed with extreme caution when crossing at intersections with child bike riders. In Miami, paths that flow adjacent to moving traffic are not as safe as they would seem. The attorneys at the Perazzo Law Firm that handle child bike accidents cases know that bicycle accidents are not only caused by a distracted or negligent motorist, but also as a result of the condition of the bicycle itself. Bicycles, just like any other product used to carry out some sort of activity, must be safe to use. A defective bicycle part can also cause accidents that may cause personal injury to a child while riding a bicycle. Tires, brakes, chains, and handlebars must all be in proper operating condition to make sure a child is not riding a bicycle that is dangerous or that can lead to a bike riding accident. In Miami, the attorneys at the Perazzo Law Firm recommend that parents and guardians, as well as bicycle repair shop owners and operators, make sure that the bicycle that the child is riding, is in good conditions, especially, if they ride their bike along avenues and streets.


injured-in-miami-294x300The Perazzo Law Firm understands bicycle accidents and offers a FREE initial consultation to accident victims, with ZERO-OUT-OF-POCKET costs to their bicycle accident clients. If you, a friend or relative has suffered personal injuries or losses from a bicycle accident in Miami, or in Miami-Dade or Broward County area, the Perazzo Law Firm urges you to contact us ONLINE or CALL 888-PERAZZO now!

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