As a Coral Springs bicycle accident attorney, I know that there’s always at least some tension between bicyclists and drivers of cars and trucks. But according to a Sept. 8 article from the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, that tension has gotten higher lately after a series of confrontations and deadly bicycle accidents in South Florida communities. The article recounts at least two accidents this year, one fatal, in which cars hurt bicyclists, and one case in which a bicyclist was charged with assault and battery for attacking a driver he said nearly hit him. In response, local traffic authorities and advocacy organizations are stepping up their efforts to educate both groups and advocate nonviolent ways to resolve disputes.
The problems the article outlines are mostly the same problems cyclists and drivers have in every urban area. Cyclists say some drivers behave as if the cyclists are not entitled to use the road, honking angrily and buzzing or clipping the bicycles and sometimes knocking them down. Drivers, in turn, say cyclists take up too much space on the road and don’t follow traffic laws. According to Bret Baronak, pedestrian and bicycle coordinator for the Metropolitan Planning Organization of Palm Beach County, part of the problem is South Florida’s car culture, which allows cars to dominate the roads. Baronak expects to soon see efforts at “share the road” education, explaining the rights and responsibilities of people on both kinds of vehicle.
As a bicycle accident attorney in Broward County, I do not believe either group is entirely innocent. However, I notice that this article doesn’t note the most important part of this power struggle: the fact that a car can kill a bicyclist, regardless of who caused the accident. When a bicycle accident turns into an assault or a preventable death, the at-fault person can face serious consequences, including a wrongful death or injury lawsuit as well as criminal charges. Everyone gets annoyed with other people on the road sometimes, but when it crosses the line into potentially fatal road rage, people can be killed or disabled for life. With that much at stake, it is essential for both groups to calm down and think before acting.
My firm, Cohn, Smith & Cohn, represents people who were seriously injured or lost a loved one because of someone else’s carelessness. In most cases, that means a driver who simply wasn’t paying attention, but road rage, improper road maintenance and defective bicycle parts all play a role. Our Plantation bicycle accident lawyers have more than 25 years of experience in serious injury cases, so we understand the legal and medical issues bicycle accident victims face. We also know the most common tricks insurance companies use to deny fair compensation to injured bicyclists, and we will counter them aggressively. We work hard to get our clients the compensation they need to pay their medical bills, make ends meet while they recover and compensate them for devastating injuries.
If you were involved in a bicycle accident caused by someone else’s carelessness and you’re struggling to deal with the medical and financial results, you should call Cohn, Smith & Cohn right away. To learn more at a free consultation, please contact us through the Internet or call our main office in Hollywood at (954) 431-8100.