One of the leading causes of biking injuries is biking on a dangerous road filled with cars and other hazards. These roads are high traffic areas and the chance of getting hit by a car is high. About 18 percent of all fatal bike accidents that involves automobiles occur in Florida. Nationally, about 800 people die each year in bike-car accidents. One of the biggest reasons for bike fatalities is the lack of designated bike paths.
Bike lanes exist in many cities in Florida. Some of these bike paths meander into private property or government lands. These entities may not maintain a safe zone for the rider to pass through. This is one area of concern for citizens. If they are injured on these bike paths because of poorly maintained grounds, the property owner or government could be liable for their injuries. A Florida car accident lawyer can explain the finer details of liability in regard to bike paths. Some of the avenues available to victims of dangerous bike paths include suing individuals involved in the design, construction, and maintenance of the bike path. A Florida car accident lawyer can investigate the responsibilities of the property owners and determine if your injuries fall within these guidelines.
A lawsuit against these individuals may be defended by these means:
- Inherent risks – Bicyclists should know that they could be injured because of the nature of biking. They could crash if they ride a bike.
- Assumption of risk – Bicyclists know the risks, and they accept the fact that they could be injured by this activity.
- Comparative negligence – The bicyclist accepts blame for his or her injuries
- Government immunity – This is a defense for government employees, but there are cases where it doesn’t apply.
- Recreational use immunity – This applies to property owners that allow their grounds to be used for free for recreational uses.
- Liability waivers – A wavier signed by bicyclists that removes responsibility from the property owner for any injuries that they may sustain while biking on the path or trail.
Even though there is inherent risk in bike riding, the people who designed and maintained the property through which the bike path extends are still responsible for the injuries suffered by bike riders that take the path. This involves addressing unreasonable risks, warning users of those risks, and plan for unexpected activities that may hinder bike riders that take the path.
There’s legal precedent for such an argument. Recently, a bicyclist sued a city department for failing to maintain a biking path. The biker’s front tire got caught in a crack and he fell. The biker alleged that the city was responsible for his injuries. The court didn’t agree with the biker; the government wasn’t held liable for the biker’s injuries. This case was tried in Illinois, and the Illinois Supreme Court upheld the ruling made by the circuit court.