When a car accident involving a bicycle or an E-scooter occurs, Fort Myers car accident lawyers treat it similar to a car-on-car accident. However, when E-scooters and bikes are involved, it can make the insurance claim process difficult.
At Viles & Beckman, our team of personal injury lawyers in Fort Myers explains how a car and E-scooter or bicycle accident is handled. Read on to learn more about how we can help you handle a car accident with a bicycle or E-scooter.
Where Are E-Scooters and Bikes Allowed to Be?
In the state of Florida, there are specific regulations that determine where e-scooters and bicycles can travel. Generally, both e-scooters and bicycles are permitted to use roadways that contain designated bicycle lanes. This allows them access to most city streets and some county roads across Florida.
Riders must use the bike lanes when present unless performing a turning maneuver or going around an obstruction in the lane. Limited access roads like interstates and highways that prohibit bicycle traffic are off-limits to both e-scooters and bicycles per state rules.
Sidewalks fall under pedestrian use primarily, so operating an e-scooter or bicycle on most sidewalks is not allowed unless explicitly permitted by signage. Some multi-use paths and recreational trails allow both bicycles and e-scooters to share the space off-road. Riders must follow any guidelines posted along these routes.
Florida also enforces speed limits for e-scooters, typically restricting them to no more than 15 miles per hour. Knowing the regulations for different areas helps ensure safe and lawful transportation by e-scooter or bicycle in Florida.
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How Is Liability Determined in a Car Accident With an E-Scooter or Bicycle?
Determining fault in a collision between a vehicle and a bicycle or e-scooter follows the same process as other vehicle accidents. Professionals will do an investigation to establish which party is responsible based on factors like:
- Compliance with traffic laws and road signage by both the motorist and cyclist or scooter rider. This includes issues like right of way, signals, and speeds.
- Road conditions at the time of the incident, such as visibility, traffic flow, and any obstructions, could have impacted one party more than the other.
- Accountability for behaviors by all involved, examining any potential distractions, errors in judgment, or failure to follow safe operating procedures.
- An expert analysis may reconstruct the accident details through evidence collection, eyewitness testimony, and understanding of the capabilities and limitations of the vehicles and bicycle or E-scooter.
The Elements of Negligence Still Apply
To determine who is at fault in a car accident and an E-scooter or bike accident, our Fort Myers car accident lawyer uses the four elements of negligence. These elements include:
- Duty of care: Both drivers and cyclists and E-scooter riders must operate their vehicles safely and responsibly, observing traffic laws and taking precautions to avoid harming others.
- Breach of care: If the actions of either party fall below a reasonable standard of care, such as distracted driving, speeding, or running a red light, this constitutes a breach of the duty owed and could contribute to liability.
- Causation: There must be a direct link demonstrated between the breach of care, such as a driving maneuver or rider error, and the resulting collision between vehicles for it to be considered the true cause of the accident.
- Damages: Injuries sustained like broken bones, medical bills, property damage to vehicles, and lost wages are examples of damages that could be compensated through an insurance claim or lawsuit.
What Is the Insurance Claims Process for E-Scooter and Bike Collisions With Cars?
Depending on who is at fault for the accident, the insurance claims process will differ. Here is what will happen depending on the liable party:
If the Car Driver is At Fault
When the driver of the car is at fault, it is the easiest scenario to handle because the driver will likely have insurance. Here is the process:
- The bicycle or E-scooter rider files a claim with the driver’s auto insurance company.
- Medical bills, lost wages, and property damage are documented for the insurer.
- If the driver’s liability is clear, the claims process pays out compensation.
- A car accident attorney in Fort Myers may assist with negotiations if needed.
If the Bicyclist is At Fault
However, if the bicyclist is at fault for the collision, it can be a little more complicated. Our Fort Myers car accident lawyers at Viles & Beckman can help you through the following process:
- The driver’s insurer denies their claim since their client was not responsible.
- The bicyclist’s health insurance pays medical costs.
- Property damage to the vehicle is paid out of pocket, or the driver can sue for damages.
- The bicyclist’s homeowners or renters insurance may provide liability coverage.
If the E-Scooter Rider Is at Fault
Finally, if the E-scooter rider is liable for the accident, it’s similar to if the biker is at fault. Here is the process:
- The scooter rider’s health insurance covers their injuries.
- Any vehicle damages are paid by the rider or through legal costs if sued.
- Rider’s liability insurance provides coverage of claims against them.
- Driver pursues reimbursement directly if costs are not covered otherwise.
Learn More About How Car Accidents Involving Bikes and E-Scooters Are Handled
At Viles & Beckman, our Fort Myers car accident attorneys can help you if you’ve been in a car accident involving a bicycle or an E-scooter. Regardless of what party you are in the accident, our team can help you.
Contact us to learn more about how we handle car accidents involving bikes and E-scooters in Florida.