Miami’s Bicycle Crash Epidemic

As a former bicycle racer and as a Florida bicycle injury attorney, I know that South Florida is a very dangerous place to ride a bicycle. The tragic death of Aaron Cohen, a 36 year old Miami father and husband, mowed down in a hit and run car crash Miami’s Key Biscayne–Miami-Dade’s most popular cycling circuit–causes one to question how these types of catastrophes can be avoided. Mr. Cohen’s death occurred nearly two years from the day that Christophe LeCanne, another cyclist, lost his life in virtually the same place. Triathlete Thomas Jennings is recovering in a Kendall trauma center after he was hit by a car in Northwest Miami-Dade. He suffered a shattered knee and an open fracture that required screws, bolts, and a plate to put back together. Like many Miami cyclists, Mr. Jennings and Mr. Cohen have the responsibility of supporting young children. A catastrophic car crash can leave a family both physically and financially devastated. According to statistics, severe head injuries account for about one third of hospital emergency room visits for all bicycle-related injuries. Florida has very specific laws regarding how to ride a bicycle on public streets. Florida Statute §316.003(2) defines a “bicycle” as a vehicle that is human powered and capable of achieving speeds over 20 mph. Florida Statute Section 316.2065 mandates that bicycles ridden after sunset and before sunrise have a front white light that is visible from at least 500 feet and a rear red light that is visible from 600 feet. Anyone riding a bicycle under 16 years of age must wear a properly fitting helmet that is certified...

Figuring Out Bicycle Accidents

As a Florida bicycle injury lawyer and former amateur bicycle racer I know a lot about crashes and the effect they have on both a cyclist physically and mentally. The most common question posed after most serious bicycle accidents is, “how did it happen?” According to a recent New York Times article, figuring out what went wrong just got a lot simpler with the use GPS device analysis. Serious cyclists now often train using Garmin-type cyclometers that are mounted on the handlebars. Traditionally, these devices would tell the rider information regarding speed, heart rate, watts and pedal cadence. For our Broward bike injury law firm, the GPS device produces valuable data used to prove fault and location in complex bike/car collisions, especially when there are no independent witnesses. Think of the bike GPS as the “black box for bicycle wrecks”. This poses an interesting question for both the defense and prosecution of injury cases. Our Miami cycling crash lawyers recommend that any cyclist involved in a crash immediately download and save the GPS data so that it will be preserved and that the defense does not claim a spoliation of evidence defense. Lastly, our Broward County bicycle injury lawyers always recommend that you use a helmet no matter where you ride. Make sure that the helmet is both properly fitting and not...

HOW TO START YOUR OWN LAW FIRM

On April 6, 2011 Miami personal injury lawyer Spencer Aronfeld will be speaking at the University of Miami School of Law.. The topic will be: how to make your own law firm upon graduation from law school and lunch will be served. The event is open to the public as well as students from both undergraduate and law school. He will be reading portions of the book and signing copies from noon to 1:30 pm. Attorney Bruce Shemrock the book’s editor will also be in attendance. Aronfeld, a 1991 cum laude graduate wrote “Make It Your Own Law Firm” a how-to-guide for law students and graduates starting their own practices. Aronfeld has been teaching law students around the country for nearly twenty years regarding flying solo so that no lawyer will have ever take a job for the wrong reasons or find no job at all. Spencer Aronfeld started his own law firm in 1991 upon graduation from University of Miami and has a nationally recognized Florida plaintiff’s personal injury and medical negligence practice in Coral Gables,...

Another Unfair Florida Law That Strips Justice From Those Injured in Car Accidents

As a Florida car wreck attorney I know that many laws are designed to prevent people from obtaining justice for their injuries. For instance, Florida Statute §627 prevents those injured in Florida car, truck, bicycle or pedestrian accidents from recovering for injuries caused by another unless those injuries result in: Significant and permanent loss of an important bodily function. Permanent injury within a reasonable degree of medical probability. Significant and permanent scarring or disfigurement. Death. This means that one could be injured in a car accident, through no fault of their own, end up with time in the hospital or doctors’ offices with pain, and not be able to obtain any compensation for their pain and suffering unless it falls withing those specific categories. Often, this is a surprise to our car accident clients and is one of the most hotly-contested issues in motor vehicle litigation in Florida. Moreover, this law is hidden in the insurance section of the Florida Statutes. It is nowhere to be found in either the Motor Vehicle or Torts sections. While our Miami car accident law firm hopes that if you are involved in a car accident that you are not injured, we urge you to seek the appropriate medical care immediately and follow up with your health care providers’ recommendations. We also recommend that you document all of your physical complaints as the defense will surely try to prove that your injury does not fall within the limited definitions of Florida...

There is no Excuse for a Child to Ride a Bicycle Without a Helmet

I want you to know as a parent, and as a Miami traumatic brain injury lawyer, nearly 300,000 children ages 14 and under are treated in hospital ERs for bicycle related injuries every year. Half of these kids are diagnosed with traumatic brain injuries. 75 percent of fatal head injuries among child bicyclists could be prevented with a bicycle helmet. So why don’t parents insist that their children wear them? Why don’t local, state or federal lawmakers make it a crime to allow children to ride bicycles without a helmet? Florida Statute Section 316.0265 has a mandatory helmet law for children sixteen years and younger. But why just stop at 16? That is an absurd and crazy law and literally suggest that 16-, 17-, and 18-year olds; do not need helmets. Hell, everyone needs a bicycle helmet, even professional racers. Now, thanks to the Epilepsy Foundation of Florida is offering free helmets. The program is funded by a grant from the Florida Department of...
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