Alex asked: I was riding in a marked bicycle lane when a vehicle made a right turn through me. I was already at the hospital by the time the police officer arrived at the accident site. The driver of the vehicle told the officer I was riding on the sidewalk so the officer didn’t issue a citation for hitting me because, he latter told me, “You were in the wrong.” and there were no witnesses to confirm or deny either story. Is there any way to get the driver cited to make the insurance process go more smoothly for me?
Your best option is to go to the police station and ask for a full investigation into the incident. A letter to the police chief with copies to the mayor, the city council and the local Bike/Ped Advisory Committee may help. At a minimum, you should ask to provide a statement for the crash report or investigation and talk to the officer making the report. You should ask what laws and facts led the officer to claim that you were at fault.
You should educate yourself with the information on this site in the cloud tags bike lane, sidewalk and right turns. An attorney will be able to assist with the proper approach, but you will probably have to educate the attorney, since few of them are fully knowledgeable in the laws about bicycling. There is a list of attorneys that have shown an interest in representing bicyclists on the FBA website.
Even if you had been on the sidewalk or crosswalk, you are not automatically at fault in a crash. Bicyclists in a crosswalk have the rights and duties pedestrians. See the posts in the tag cloud for sidewalks and crosswalks.
The crash report, as soon as it is filed, should be immediately available to any party involved in the crash (http://www.flhsmv.gov/fhp/html/general/Bulletin.pdf ). Be sure to request a copy of the crash report from the agency that reported it. Regardless of who may or may not have been cited, the crash report should show the positions and movements of crash participants (as deduced by investigating officer) and indicate supporting physical evidence. If a party was taken to an emergency room and not interviewed by the investigating officer, the report should reflect that.
The report must include the insurance information for each party (http://www.leg.state.fl.us/Statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&Search_String=&URL=0300-0399/0316/Sections/0316.066.html ).