All of the bicycle accident lawyers at Kerrigan Estess Rankin McLeod & Thompson LLP at one time or another have been avid cyclists. We have also each represented clients who have sustained serious injuries in bicycle accidents. Under Florida law, a bicycle is legally defined as a “vehicle”; therefore, cyclists have the same rights to the roads and must obey the same traffic laws as all other vehicles.
Motorists also have obligations under Florida law toward cyclists. They must “share the road.” One example of “sharing the road” is that when a motor vehicle passes a bicycle, the motorist must pass at a distance of at least three feet (See Florida Statute 316.083). Motorist must also yield the right of way to cyclist when appropriate.
Because of Florida’s No Fault Law, if a cyclist is injured because of a collision with a motor vehicle, and if the cyclist either owns a motor vehicle or resides with a relative who owns a motor vehicle, it is the cyclist’s or relative’s motor vehicle insurance that is responsible for at least 80% of his or her medical bills. The vehicle that caused the collision will ultimately be responsible for the remainder of the medical bills and any other damages the cyclist suffers.
Roads and streets are a cooperative system and must be shared, not just with other vehicles, but also with human powered vehicles such as bicycles.