According to a recent investigative report, very few New York City bicyclists killed or injured in car accidents ever get justice. In fact, in 2011 the Big Apple saw 21 bicyclist fatalities, but only two drivers were ever arrested in these cases. While similar numbers are not available for Miami, anecdotal evidence suggests that bicyclists in Florida also have a similar problem getting justice after an accident. There are many possible reasons for this:
1) According to some groups, including Transportation Alternatives, police are not tough enough on motorists. In many cases, budget cuts may mean that police have few resources for bicycle accidents. In 2008, bicyclist Rasha Shamoon was struck and killed by a motorist who had six prior traffic infractions. Despite this, police did not conduct accident reconstruction, made errors in the police report, and concluded that Shamoon was at fault. The bicyclist’s family took the case to court, where it was shown that Shamoon was not speeding, as police claimed, and the court found the driver 95% responsible for the accident.
2) Bicyclists are often assumed at fault. Some individuals assume that bicyclists take risks and are often at fault of accidents. Unfortunately, this kind of thinking can influence investigations into Miami traffic accidents that involve bicyclists.
3) There is a great disparity between bicycles and cars. In a Miami car accident involving two cars, the damage to both vehicles and parties can be comparable. In a Miami bicycle accident, however, the bicyclist is often killed or seriously injured, making it hard for that victim to provide their own statement of events during the investigation. As well, while such accidents often cause little damage to the car or truck, in some cases these accidents become hit and run accidents, making it harder to catch the driver and bring them to justice.
4) Bicyclists are not insured. In a Miami car accident involving two vehicles, insurance carriers need careful police reports and there are often insurance investigations as well. In a case involving a bicyclist, especially if the bicyclist is found at fault, there may not be the same investigation unless the bicyclist’s family works with a Miami personal injury attorney and filed a civil suit.
5) Laws. Since cars are so prevalent, laws have been passed to ensure that not all traffic violations are criminalized. This can make it harder for bicyclists and their families to argue that an accident was in fact vehicular manslaughter or another serious crime.
If you are a bicyclist injured in a Miami traffic accident, it is important to speak with an experienced Miami personal injury attorney about your case as soon as possible. A good attorney can gather evidence about your case and can investigate the cause of the accident so that you are not held at fault if the collision was caused by a motorist. A good attorney can also help you understand the steps you need to take to pursue fair compensation. It is common for a Miami bicycle accident to be very expensive. In addition to high medical bills, there are often transportation costs and lost pay to consider. A good attorney can help you understand the true costs of your injuries and can work with you as you pursue justice.
If you are seeking a Miami car accident attorney, contact the Flaxman Law Group. The Flaxman Law Group is a full-service law firm with three locations in South Florida. Our hand-picked legal team has decades of experience in Florida personal injury law and we even offer a free initial consultation to all new clients. Contact the Flaxman Law Group now to arrange for your free consultation.