West Palm Beach Car and Bicycle Collisions

In West Palm Beach, many residents utilize bicycles both as a mode of transportation and for leisurely activities. The roads are also congested with heavy traffic, especially during peak hours. As a result, car and bicycle collisions are common occurrences throughout the area, especially when drivers act carelessly in residential areas. These collisions can cause serious injuries for bicyclists. When someone’s negligence causes a bicycle accident, they should be held legally liable for the harm that results. The West Palm Beach bicycle accident lawyers at Donaldson & Weston assist victims of these accidents in pursuing the proper legal actions to ensure that they receive the compensation that they need and are entitled to receive. Our firm assists clients in every step of the legal process, from investigating the circumstances surrounding a collision to handling settlement negotiations and litigation. If you have been injured as either a driver or a bicyclist, or if you have lost a loved one in a fatal collision, contact our office today to discuss your legal rights and options.

Dangers of Failing to Share West Palm Beach Roadways

According to research conducted by the Palm Beach Metropolitan Planning Organization’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety Team, the most dangerous roads for bicyclists and pedestriansin West Palm Beach include Okeechobee Boulevard to Military Trail and Lake Worth Road, as well as east of Jog Road leading into downtown Lake Worth via Lake Worth Road. After noting the dangers, the City of West Palm Beach has devised a Bicycle Master Plan that would section off 100 miles of bike lanes on some major streets like Lake Avenue, Flagler Drive, and Cumberland Drive. However, since this plan is still not complete, our bicycle accident attorneys know that West Palm Beach bicyclists and motorists still face dangers on the roads.

In 2012, 6,425 bicyclists statewide suffered injuries as a result of a motor vehicle collision. Cars and bicycles are supposed to share the roadways and respect each other’s presence. However, sometimes, a motorist does not use proper care while on the road. Common situations that lead to car and bicycle collisions include drivers failing to check for bicyclists when entering traffic, as well as when making turns at a light or stop sign. Bicyclists may also fail to use signals or check for vehicles when turning or switching lanes. When an accident leads to serious injuries, a victim can pursue legal action against the responsible party or parties with the assistance of a West Palm Beach bicycle accident attorney.

Negligence in Car and Bicycle Collisions

If a driver or bicyclist acts negligently, he or she can be held liable in a personal injury lawsuit. To show negligence, a defendant needs to have breached a duty of reasonable care owed to the plaintiff, or victim. That breach must have caused the plaintiff’s injuries and resulted in damages. All motorists and others on the road owe one another a duty to act as a reasonable and prudent person would act under the same or similar circumstances. Therefore, a driver who strikes a bicyclist because he or she was distracted and did not look before opening a car door or switching lanes can be found negligent. Under Florida’s pure comparative fault scheme of liability, plaintiffs can still receive compensation for injuries partially caused by their own negligence. Damages are awarded to plaintiffs in proportion to the other party’s degree of liability. Victims injured in a collision can receive damages for past and future medical costs, loss of income, diminished earning capacity, and pain and suffering.