The Florida Highway Patrol is seeking assistance in locating the driver of a vehicle involved in a Vero Beach hit-and run-accident on Saturday, November 12th. According to News Channel 5 WPTV.com, in a news release issued by the Florida Highway Patrol, two bicyclists were riding their bikes on Saturday evening at approximately 9:35 p.m. on the 3900 block of 1st Street SW, south of Vero Beach, when they were struck by an unknown driver. One of the victims, a 38 year-old, died at the scene of the accident, and the other victim sustained minor injuries, was treated and released at the Lawn Ridge Medical Center.
Also, according to the report, the bicyclists were traveling east when the vehicle, believed to be a black Toyota Camry or Solara, manufactured between the years 2007 and 2010, traveling in the same direction, partially left the road and hit the deceased victim. Continuing to travel south, the vehicle then collided with the second cyclist. The impact caused each of the cyclists to be ejected onto the south grassy shoulder of the road. The driver then left the scene of the accident.
This is devastating news and further disturbing when the wrongdoer is not taking responsibility for his or her conduct. Under Florida law, leaving the scene of an accident without providing your name, address, vehicle registration and driver’s license is considered a criminal offense which has serious consequences. Moreover, drivers who negligently operate a motor vehicle and causes injuries or death to another can be sued in a civil action. Under the negligence theory, Florida motor vehicle operators must exercise reasonable care during the course of driving, and failing to do so and causing the death or injury of another makes one liable for damages the victim incurs. There are unique legal claims involved in Florida hit-and-run collisions which may entitle a victim, or family members, the right to recover damages such as medical expenses, lost earnings; and pain and suffering.
Regrettably, Florida bicycle accidents do occur and often results in serious personal injuries or death. In 2010, the Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles’ (FHSMV) annual traffic crash statistics revealed there were 4,600 cyclists injured and 76 cyclists who suffered death when involved in a crash with a motor vehicle during the year. Although this represents a 29 percent decrease from 2009, each year in Florida, there are thousands of reported traffic crashes involving motor vehicles and cyclists, as reported by the FHSMV. This trend will likely continue since more individuals use bicycles for purposes other than for recreational use. The League of American Bicyclists reports that the 2010 American Community Survey compiled by the United States Census Bureau reveals during the years 2000 – 2010, there was a 40 percent growth in the number of American workers who use a bicycle as their primary mode of transportation to and from work. If you are the victim, or a family member has been involved in a motor vehicle-bicycle crash it is important that you consult with a Florida car accident attorney who can advise you of your legal rights.
Anyone with information regarding this fatal accident should contact the Florida Highway Patrol at 1-800-273-8477.
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