If you’re hit by a car while riding a bike on the sidewalk, you may be entitled to compensation. You may also have a case if you’re riding on the sidewalk and you’re hit by a car while crossing the street to get back on the sidewalk.
Here are some facts that you need to know about those accident scenarios.
Can You Ride a Bicycle on the Sidewalk in Florida?
Florida Statute 316.2065(9) says “A person propelling a vehicle by human power upon and along a sidewalk, or across a roadway upon and along a crosswalk, has all the rights and duties applicable to a pedestrian under the same circumstances.”
This basically means that when a bike rider is on a sidewalk in Florida, he or she is treated as a pedestrian.
Bicyclist Hit by Car While Riding in the Road Between Sidewalks Gets $17,500
The crash occurred in Ft. Lauderdale, Broward County, Florida. The diagram from the crash report is at the top of this article.
My client, a bicyclist, was traveling west on the sidewalk. The car was traveling north through a parking lot and came to a stop at the stop sign.
A witness stated that the car driver was watching west, for eastbound traffic to clear. When traffic cleared, the car driver did not look east.
The car moved forward, to turn and enter NW 62 Street. At the same time, the bicyclist did not slow or stop at the driveway.
The bicyclist assumed the car driver would remain stopped. As the car moved forward, its front bumper area hit the bicyclist’s tire.
The bicyclist was ejected onto the roadway. An ambulance took her to North Ridge Hospital for cuts and abrasions.
She sustained lacerations to her chin. She received several staples to close up a gash in her skin on her abdominal area.
Officer Didn’t Give Anyone a Ticket
The officer didn’t give a ticket to the bike rider or the driver of the car.
In this case, the bicyclist had all the responsibilities of the car driver. Therefore, the bicyclist had a duty to use reasonable care while riding her bike.
In this case, I think that the bicyclist was riding reasonably. The car had a stop sign so I believe that the bicyclist had the right of way.
State Farm insured the vehicle driver. State Farm paid $17,500 to settle this case.
State Farm said that they placed 70% of the blame on its driver, and 30% on the bicyclist.
If a jury agreed with State Farm, then the full value of her case would be reduced proportionately to her fault.
This is one of my many Florida bicycle accident settlements.
Jury Gets to Hear About Florida Traffic Statutes if a Car Hits a Bicyclist
In Popejoy Ex Rel. Popejoy v. Harrison, 615 So. 2d 823 – Fla: Dist. Court of Appeals, 4th Dist. 1993, Larry Popejoy, was riding his bicycle on a sidewalk when an automobile, which was pulling into a driveway, struck him. This isn’t my case.
The appeals court ruled that under the facts and circumstances of that negligence case the trial court should have given the requested instructions for statutes section 316.130(15) and Section 316.2065(10). [Note: 316.2065(10) is now 316.2065(9).]
This means that the jury gets to hear these two laws, and gets to hear how these laws affect negligence.
Here are the two laws.
Section 316.130(15) says:
“Notwithstanding other provisions of this chapter, every driver of a vehicle shall exercise due care to avoid colliding with any pedestrian or any person propelling a human-powered vehicle and give warning when necessary and exercise proper precaution upon observing any child or any obviously confused or incapacitated person.”
The jury gets to hear that the driver of the car should exercise due care to avoid colliding with the bicyclist.
Section 316.2065(10) is now (9). It says:
“A person propelling a vehicle by human power upon and along a sidewalk, or across a roadway upon and along a crosswalk, has all the rights and duties applicable to a pedestrian under the same circumstances.”
So, the bicyclist in this case was treated as a pedestrian.
Jury Instructions in Bike Accident Cases
The appeals court said that the trial court should let the jury hear the requested instructions for these statutes. I believe that the instruction that the jury would get to hear is 401.9 Violation of Statute…As Evidence of Negligence.
This jury instruction says:
“Violation of this statute…is evidence of negligence. It is not, however, conclusive evidence of negligence.”
If a jury finds that the individual(s) claimed to have been negligent violated this statute, a jury may consider that fact, together with the other facts and circumstances, in deciding whether such person was negligent.
Thus, if a jury finds that a driver violated one of these laws, a jury can consider that fact, together with the other facts and circumstances, in deciding whether the driver was negligent.
A jury can find that a driver violated one of those traffic laws, and still decide that the driver wasn’t negligent.
Info About Sidewalk Riding in Certain Cities in Florida
The City of Miami Beach has a webpage that talks about the bicycle program safety rules and laws. It basically summarizes Florida’s bike laws.
It doesn’t list any specific Miami Beach ordinances or laws that apply to bikes.
I invite you to read more about bike accident and injury claim compensation.
Hurt from a Bicycle Accident or Other Accident in Florida?
Call me now at (888) 594-3577 to find out for FREE if we can represent you. We answer calls 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.