Last month, a 23 year old motorist was arrested for a hit and run bicycle accident that caused a fatality. According to reports, the bicyclist was traveling along an overpass on U.S. 92 when he was struck by the oncoming Ford Ranger pickup truck and then was sent flying over the guardrail. The victim died after falling over 80 feet into a retention area underneath the overpass. The Hillsborough County police investigators were able to match the chipped paint from the accident with the hood of the car owned by the young driver and he was arrested not long after their discovery.
Sadly, traffic accidents in Florida are all too common, with far too many victims being injured or killed on a regular basis. Particularly for those traveling on bicycles, there is great concern with how the roads can be made into a safer place for these travels. What many motorists don't realize is that by state law the bicyclist has the same rights on the road that a car would when traveling, including the right of way, yielding, passing, etc. Not only that, but there is a law in place which explicitly states that a motorist must remain at least 3 feet away from the riders side when on the road.
According to the executive director of the Florida Bicycle Association, accidents such as this are bizarre and it is extremely hard to tell how the motorist was unable to see the bicyclist prior to the crash. Jim Shirk, chairman of the Hillsborough County Bicycle Pedestrian Advisory Committee claims that he is very familiar with that particular section of road where the accident occurred. Shirk shares that although there is a bike lane, at points needs to be repaved, and at others there is often shattered pieces of glass, making it a dangerous place for the bikers to ride through. After assessing the accident, Shirk believes there is a good chance that the victim was required to exit the bike lane due to the unsafe debris on the road, therefore entering into the regular lanes on the overpass. He claims that accidents like this are a tragic reminder to drivers alike that they must share the roads with bicyclists.
In the event of a tragic accident such as this, the family will have the option to seek financial compensation from the person responsible from the incident by filing a wrongful death claim. What this means is that the court will in a way place a monetary amount for the death of a families loved one. They will take into account not only the pain and suffering that the family has experienced, but also the loss of income, funeral expenses and the like. For example, a stay at home mother may have just lost her husband in an accident, and by receiving compensation it will help take care of the many associated costs for his death.
If your loved one has been killed in a bicycle collision or another incident such as a car accident or motorcycle accident, please contact Smith & Stallworth, Attorneys at Law today for the highly experienced legal professionals you deserve on your side. While not monetary amount will ever make up for the loss you and your family have experienced, it can help you begin the steps to moving past the tragic event. At our firm, we will do whatever it takes to prove the negligence of the responsible party and fight relentlessly on your behalf for compensation. Please contact a Tampa injury attorney today by calling our office!