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Bike Accident Hit-And-Runs: A Problem for Miami Bicyclists

Another DUI hit-and-run case is drawing more attention to the dangers that face Miami bicyclists. A Key Biscayne defendant is expected to plead guilty to a fatal DUI hit-and-run that occurred back in January 2010. The crash killed a Miami biker.

Sadly, hit-and-run crashes affect bikers on a regular basis. This is the second high-profile incident to attract attention in Miami in recent years - another biker died in a similar crash on the Rickenbacker Causeway just a month later. Prosecutors resolved that case last year, settling for a surprisingly light sentence because they could not prove that the driver had been drunk at the time.

Some factors might contribute to the likelihood of a driver fleeing the scene of a bike accident. Many bikers use quiet backstreets where there are no other vehicles to report a description of a hit-and-run driver. More disturbingly, even drunk drivers can recognize that an accident involving a bicycle will likely cause severe and even fatal injuries. In light of these consequences, the temptation to run can win over any sense of moral responsibility for helping the victim.

With more attention focusing on hit-and-run bike accidents, there is some optimism among Miami's bike communities. However, because of factors like the ones explained above, hit-and-run bike crashes will likely continue to injure bikers and pedestrians. In many cases, the criminal penalties are not harsh enough to make a difference - in large part because police officers often struggle to find enough evidence when a driver flees the scene.

Injured bikers are entitled to hold hit-and-run drivers accountable for their reckless disregard for victim safety after an accident. An experienced Miami personal injury lawyer can help.

Source: The Miami Herald, "Motorist in Key Biscayne DUI hit-and-run to plead guilty," David Ovalle, Feb. 12, 2013

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