Tampa Accidents Results in Death for Bicyclist
A man on a bicycle was struck and killed by a car in Tampa, Florida. The accident happened at approximately 5:10 a.m. on U.S. 41 near St. Paul Street. This is the ninth bicyclist in recent months to have died from an accident with a car in the Tampa Bay area. The man riding the bicycle was not wearing his helmet and had no light on his bike.
There is no requirement in Florida that adults wear bicycle helmets. I can speculate that the impact on the man's body is what killed his as opposed to a head injury that may have been prevented with a helmet. While bicycle helmets do save lives in general, I do not believe that the driver of the car will be able to successfully argue the defense that the bicyclist should have been wearing a helmet. However, I do believe that the driver of the car should have seen a bicycle (presumably with reflectors even if he does not have lights required by law) if the driver is paying attention to the roadway. The cars headlights would have shined on the reflectors and the reflectors should have been visible as there is no indication that visibility was limited due to fog. This case is very likely a comparative negligence case because the bicyclist is under an obligation to have a blinking red tail light and a functional headlight after dusk and before dawn. Likewise, while I believe that the driver of the car gets to argue the defense that the rider should have had lights, such defense is only a partial defense and will not completely absolve him of liability for this accident. In the event that the bicyclist did not have reflectors on his bicycle and was wearing dark clothing, then this case may turn out completely different. I have to believe that the bike had reflectors though.
If you have been injured in a car accident or have lost a loved one in a car accident, please contact a Central Florida personal injury or car accident attorney to discuss the particular facts and circumstances of your case. You may be entitled to make a claim against the driver or owner of the car involved or you may have a claim against your own insurance policy. A consultation with a Central Florida personal injury or car accident attorney is free of charge.