Bicyclist Injured in Hit-and-Run Crash in Miami Gardens

The Miami Gardens police are investigating a hit-and-run crash involving a bicyclist. According to a news release, the crash occurred at NE 203rd Terrace and 2nd Avenue. Emergency responders arrived on the scene to tend to the victim and transported the victim to a nearby hospital. The crash is still under active investigation and the Miami Gardens Police Department have still not released the identity of the driver. Hit and run accidents usually occur because drivers illegally leave the scene of crash instead of pulling over and checking to see if the injured person is okay. These types of crashes are unacceptable but are unfortunately common across South Florida every year. At Suarez & Montero Car Accident Lawyers, we believe that traffic deaths and serious injuries are preventable and unacceptable. For us, the only acceptable highway safety goal should be zero serious injuries and fatalities.

Over the last few decades, the use of bicycles by adults both for transportation and for recreation has grown significantly. As a result, there has been an increase in the number of motor vehicle bicycle related accidents on the road. Many believe that driver attitudes toward bicyclists are the primary contributor to accidents between bicycles and motor vehicles. Members of bicycling organizations contend that some motorists, irate at having to share the road with bicyclists, do little to avoid them, and horror stories abound among bicycle enthusiasts as to accidents that are directly attributable to “bullying” by aggressive and inconsiderate motorists. In Florida, as in most states, the rights and duties of a driver of a motor vehicle and a bicyclist are governed by statutes and other laws which directly affect the question of a motorist’s negligence in bicycle accident cases. In Florida, motorists are required to exercise ordinary or reasonable care to avoid collision with bicyclists. A bicycle is a proper vehicle for use on public streets; and, in the absence of any specific regulation to the contrary, bicycle riders have the same rights as motorists to the use of the public highways and streets, and they are governed by the same traffic regulations and rules of the road applicable to motor vehicles. At the same time, bicyclists are required to exercise ordinary or reasonable care for their own safety. Thus, at least until such time as the motorist sees that the bicyclist is in a position of peril, motorists have the right to assume and to act on the assumption that any bicycle rider they encounter on the road will exercise due care, and will not negligently expose himself to danger but will attempt to avoid it. As with ordinary negligence cases involving motor vehicle accidents what constitutes reasonable care varies with and depends on the place, circumstances, conditions, and surroundings of the accident. In general, a motorist must drive at a reasonable rate of speed, maintain an adequate lookout, and keep his vehicle under control.

However, while the same duty of using ordinary care falls alike on the driver of a motor vehicle and the rider of a bicycle, usually more is required of the motorist than the bicyclist in discharging the duty of care owed to the other because of inherent differences in the two vehicles. Simply stated, the physical advantages that the motor vehicle has over the bicycle make it more dangerous to the bicyclist than vice versa. In a negligence action by a bicyclist to recover damages as a result of injuries sustained in a collision with a motor vehicle, as in any negligence case, the plaintiff has the burden of proving by a preponderance of the evidence that the motorist breached his duty of care owed to the bicyclist—that is, was negligent in failing to exercise the care required to avoid injury to the bicyclist—and that such negligence was the proximate cause of the injury suffered. A motorist’s duties with respect to avoiding collisions with bicyclists are interrelated and mutually dependent and are affected by a wide variety of linked circumstances that have a bearing on the issues of negligence and causation. The relevant considerations are the same as those in other accident cases, and may include the exact location of the motor vehicle and the bicycle at the time of impact; the proper operation of the vehicle’s equipment, including steering, tires, lights, brakes and horn; the presence or absence of any advance warning to the motorist of the potential danger; road, traffic, and weather conditions; and the existence of obstructions or conditions affecting visibility. What may be reasonable care on the part of a motorist in avoiding injury to a bicyclist under some circumstances may be negligence under others.

There are several traffic situations in which the danger of striking a bicyclist is particularly great, when the motorist should watch carefully for people on bicycles. Intersections and overtaking or passing situations are the settings for most accidents, and violations of the rules of the road resulting in motorist liability are usually compounded by improper lookout in these accidents. Although in most cases collisions at intersections will involve negligent operation of the bicycle

rather than the motor vehicle, the failure of a motorist to exercise reasonable care to avoid collisions with a bicyclist at an intersection may give rise to liability on the part of the motorist. For example, this may be the case where the motorist makes an improper turn, such as cutting the corner in turning at an intersection or enters an intersection at an excessive rate of speed. Liability may also attach where the motorist ran a red light or a stop sign, or where under the circumstances the bicyclist otherwise had the right of way. On streets and roads where traffic includes both motor vehicles and bicycles, overtaking and passing presents a particularly dangerous situation. When approaching bicyclists from behind on a narrow road, the motorist should give them a non-startling warning by a light tap on the horn, to make sure the cyclists know of the vehicle’s approach. In many jurisdictions there is a statutory duty for a motorist to sound his horn and warn a bicyclist of his intention to pass. Then, the motorist should give as much room to the bicycle as possible when passing. In general, a motorist must maintain a safe distance from an overtaken bicyclist. Another situation requiring great caution is when the motorist is pulling into and out of parking spaces. Motorists must watch for bikes in parking situations, even when the motorist might be justified in not anticipating a bicyclist’s presence.

The Law Offices of Suarez & Montero Car Accident Lawyers believe that all victims who have been injured by someone else’s negligence deserve to be compensated for their injuries. The Law Offices of Suarez & Montero Car Accident Lawyers represents accident victims injured in various types of accidents. Contact us today at 786 Lawyers for a free consultation!

We serve clients throughout Florida including those in the following areas:

Miami-Dade: Aventura, Coral Gables, Doral, Fontainebleau, Hialeah, Homestead, Kendall, Miami, Miami Beach, Miami Lakes, North Miami, Tamiami, and Westchester.

Broward: Fort Lauderdale, Hallandale Beach, Hollywood, Pembroke Pines, and Weston; and Palm Beach County including Boca Raton, Lake Worth, and West Palm Beach.