Each year, over 8,000 motorcycle accidents happen in Florida. About 500 of these crashes lead to fatalities and thousands more cause severe injuries. Motorcycle accidents tend to be catastrophic as the rider is more exposed than any other kind of motorist on the road.
If you or a loved one has sustained an injury due to a motorcycle accident in Florida, it is advisable to get in touch with professional personal injury lawyers like those from Winters and Yonker. Our team has been in the industry for ages and has dealt with a wide array of motorcycle accident claims. Our Winter Haven motorcycle accident lawyers will review your claim, look at your options and work to ensure you are fairly compensated.
Call us today at (888) 373-7770 for a free initial consultation!
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How Can a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Help With My Compensation Claim?
Traditional auto accidents usually have straightforward resolutions. If you have been involved in a car accident in the past, it is easy to assume that a motorcycle accident claim runs in a similar manner- you provide evidence, the insurance company takes your damages and injuries into consideration, and you get a check.
However, when it comes to severe injuries following a motorcycle accident, things tend to be a bit different. Most, if not all, insurance companies look to save as much money as they can and therefore use every trick in the book to reduce their financial burden. Without a professional lawyer, the compensation process quickly becomes an arduous task.
An auto accident lawyer will have a better understanding of your situation, your legal rights, and how much money you deserve as compensation. They will negotiate on your behalf, offer valuable legal advice, and tell you what to expect during the claims process.
Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
Most of the motorcycle accidents in the streets of Winter Haven, Florida, are both avoidable and preventable. However, they still happen, mostly due to:
Distracted driving, both on the part of drivers and riders, contributes to motorcycle accidents. For instance, a car may drift into oncoming traffic if the driver is on the phone, rather than paying attention to the road. Similarly, a rider may be enjoying the freedom of the open road and fail to notice the traffic slowing down.
We all know that alcohol impairs judgment, but not everyone heeds to this advice. Riding a motorcycle calls for extreme reflexes, and one drink is enough to slow down reaction times. According to stats, over 40% of motorcycle fatalities are a result of drunk driving.
More often than not, motorcycles move at high speeds. When an unexpected pedestrian gets on the road, the rider will most likely swerve to avoid hitting them and possibly end up crashing.
When motorists are stuck in traffic, it becomes tempting for them to drive between lanes. A motorcycle’s small frame makes it easy to navigate between cars, but the close proximity reduces the space available to maneuver, which makes it very dangerous when riding at high speeds.
What are the Motorcycle Specific Rules in Florida?
When heading out for a ride, it’s imperative to know the rules of the road. Here is what you need to know about motorcycle laws in the State of Florida:
In Florida, adults have the option to either wear an approved helmet or carry insurance of at least $10,000 in medical benefits, in case you’re involved in an accident. If you are under 21, however, you must wear a helmet.
Good Working Order
You are expected to keep your motorcycle in an ideal condition. Your horn and brakes need to work properly. Also, your license plate needs to be attached in a manner that prevents it from coming loose or flipping up.
You have the right to use the full lane as a rider. You can ride next to another motorcycle, but you’re not allowed to pass a vehicle using the same lane. Also, in Florida, riding between lanes and rows of cars, also known as lane splitting is illegal.
The Most Common Motorcycle Accident Injuries
Injuries are quite common in motorcycle crashes, even at low speeds. The most common ones are:
A hard impact with other vehicles or the road can easily result in broken bones. Commonly broken bones in these accidents include the skull, collarbone, ribs, and bones in the arms or legs.
Head & Brain Injuries
A traumatic brain injury or TBI resulting from an impact to the head during an accident can have long-lasting effects. This includes difficulty thinking, seizures, sleep apnea, etc.
This is an injury that’s sustained when a motorcycle rider slides sideways across the road following a wipeout. If your clothing is thin, the road will scrape through the clothes, reaching your skin. A road rash isn’t your common bruise or cut; it can result in permanent damage accompanied by infections, nerve damage, and irritations.
Spinal Cord Injuries
These also tend to be quite rampant with motorcycle accidents. Depending on where the injury occurred and the severity of the impact, a spinal injury can lead to numbness below the injured site or even paralysis in one or more parts of the body.
How is Fault Determined in a Winter Haven Motorcycle Accident?
It is important to note that Florida follows a comparative fault principle. This means that any degree of your own negligence results in a decrease in the amount of settlement you can get. In order to prevail in a motorcycle accident claim, you need to show that the other party was negligent. Your lawyer will consider the following in order to determine negligence:
- Duty of Care– This is the legal obligation of the party at-fault to drive and act safely. All drivers and riders are expected to try to avoid accidents.
- Breach of Duty– The party at-fault needs to have breached their duty of care, such as splitting lanes or speeding.
- Causation– The party at-fault’s actions must have caused the accident, thus resulting in damages/injury.
- Damages– You should be able to prove that you experienced damages due to the accident.
What Type of Compensation Can I Receive for My Motorcycle Accident?
In Florida, you are entitled to economic and non-economic damages if the party at fault is found guilty. Economic damages are the financial losses experienced, while non-economic entail non-monetary losses such as losing a limb, compassion, pain, or suffering. As for punitive action, this is meant to punish the party at-fault and warn others against doing similar negligent actions.
Contact Our Winter Haven Motorcycle Accident Lawyers
Motorcycle accidents usually lead to severe consequences, including broken bones, spinal cord injuries, brain injuries, etc. These injuries can be life-altering, and so, if you or a loved one has been a victim, do not hesitate to seek professional help. Our personal injury firm is always available to help in such cases. Call us today at (888) 373-7770 for a free initial consultation.