HAVE YOU SUFFER FROM MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENT INJURIES?
Miami is a popular place for motorcycle enthusiasts due to the city’s warm weather, beautiful beaches, and scenic views. Unfortunately, the exhilaration of a ride can be cut short when careless drivers and hazardous road conditions cause accidents. Because a motorcyclist doesn’t have the benefit of being surrounded by a steel frame, airbag, or other safety features found in most automobiles, a collision can have potentially devastating effects.
Motorcycle accidents can happen to even the most experienced riders, often from no fault of their own. If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle accident, you could be left with irreparable emotional and physical pain, along with costly insurance and medical bills. Don’t let a financial burden add to your stress after an accident—contact the attorneys at Neufeld, Kleinberg & Pinkiert, PA as soon as possible to discuss your legal options. In the meantime, here’s some helpful information to prepare you for the next steps if you find yourself involved in a motorcycle accident.
FLORIDA MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENTS
Motorcycle accidents can be especially tricky because some motorcycle wrecks do not involve collisions with cars, trucks, or any other vehicle—often, the biker has to take evasive maneuvers and lay their bike down to avoid crashing. Bikers must do what is reasonable in a given situation, and our motorcycle accident lawyers will work to prove that it was, in fact, reasonable for our client to lay down their bike in order to avoid incurring more serious injuries.
WHAT CAUSES A MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENT?
One of the most common culprits is inattentiveness by other motorists, making it vital for bikers to always be alert, pay close attention to their surroundings, and actively look out for danger. Motorcyclists should know what to watch for in order to mitigate dangerous situations.
Here are some common causes of motorcycle accidents:
- Poor road conditions
- Impaired/drunk drivers
- Failure to check blind spots
- Texting or distracted driving
- Failure to check oncoming traffic before opening a car door
COMMON MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENT INJURIES
Due to their relative lack of protection when compared to car drivers, motorcycle riders often suffer catastrophic injuries. The rider often takes the brunt of the impact, rather than the motorcycle itself. Oftentimes, injuries can be sustained from a rider being thrown off the motorcycle, as well as the impact of a collision. There are several substantial types of injuries that motorcyclists can suffer if they are in an accident.
These injuries include:
- Road rash
- Leg fractures
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Skull fractures
- Cuts and lacerations
- Spinal cord damage
- Internal organ damage
Significant injuries can have lasting effects. For example, road rash from scraping against asphalt can possibly result in lasting scars and fractured bones or torn ligaments that may require surgical treatment—not to mention the detrimental impact of a traumatic brain injury.
The effects of a motorcycle accident can be lasting. However, injuries aren’t the only thing that can present problems for victims seeking compensation. This is why it is critical to get in contact with an experienced attorney to help fight your case.
MOTORCYCLE LAY DOWN ACCIDENTS
Motorcycle accidents can be especially tricky because some motorcycle wrecks do not involve collisions with cars, trucks or any other vehicle – often the biker has to take evasive maneuvers and lay their bike down in order to avoid collisions. Motorcycle lay downs were actually taught to riders in the past as an important safety precaution. Bikers must do what is reasonable in their given situation. Our motorcycle accident lawyers will work to prove that it was reasonable for our client to lay down their bike in order to avoid more serious injuries, due to the negligence of another motorist. In these situations, identifying the at-fault driver (who are more likely to leave the scene) can be the most difficult part. Having uninsured motorists coverage, admittedly more expensive for motorcyclists, is important when our investigators are unable to find witnesses or find traffic-camera footage (we know where to look and how to obtain this footage) to help identify the offending driver who caused the motorcycle wreck.
FLORIDA MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENT STATISTICS
In 2017, Florida had the second highest number of registered motorcyclists in the United States. With this amount of registered motorcycles on the road comes an increase in chances for accidents. According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, 2019 saw a total of 8,854 motorcycle crashes, with 7,717 injuries recorded from those crashes, and 516 fatalities. So far, in the year 2020, there have been 986 motorcycle crashes and 46 fatalities in the entire state of Florida. Of those numbers, 133 crashes and 4 fatalities happened in Miami-Dade county alone.
WHAT SHOULD I DO AFTER A MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENT IN FLORIDA?
If you’ve recently been in a motorcycle accident, you may be worrying about how you’re going to pay for medical and insurance bills—particularly if your injuries are causing you to miss work. Hiring a qualified motorcycle personal injury lawyer can allow you to get the compensation you deserve, so that you can recover without added financial stress. Here are several steps you can take to assist in the preparation of your motorcycle claim after an accident.
1. CALL 911
First and foremost, you should call 911 immediately following your accident. The police will be able to document your accident properly and file a report, which can be invaluable in court. Your personal injury lawyer will be able to use this police report as evidence in order to assist you in your case.
You will also want to make sure that there is an ambulance on its way to help get you medical care for your injuries. If you don’t believe that your injuries are significant enough, or you do not require an ambulance, you should still seek medical attention as soon as possible. You may only see some minor cuts or scrapes, but some injuries take a while to show up or aren’t noticeable to an untrained professional.
2. DOCUMENT THE WRECK
If possible, you should take photos of the accident and the surrounding area. If you are not capable of doing this, ask a witness to help you or, at the very least, have someone you trust return to the scene and photograph the area where the accident occurred. In addition, photograph your injuries and any damage to your motorcycle itself. You can never be too safe by having your own photos to document the incident.
You should also write down the facts of the accident. Memories tend to fade over time, and you want to ensure you have every detail accurate in order to help your case. Seek out witnesses’ contact information and get their version of events, as well. Having a witness helps to add credibility to your claim.
3. HIRE A MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENT ATTORNEY
Last, but certainly not least, you should call an experienced, trustworthy motorcycle accident attorney. Your attorney will be able to use the information you’ve gathered as evidence to begin building your case. A good lawyer will work to secure compensation for your injuries, as well as lost wages, pain and suffering, property damage, and more.
FLORIDA MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENT LAWS
There are several laws pertaining to motorcyclists that are taken into account in motorcycle accident claims. Motorcyclists are required to abide by the general traffic laws set in place by Florida statutes in chapter 316. However, there are some specific regulations that pertain only to motorcyclists. For example, in 316.211, the law states that a motorcyclist must be wearing the proper protective eye and headgear. One exception to this is if a motorcyclist over the age of 21 is covered by a $10,000 insurance policy, they are not required to wear a helmet. Motorcyclists are also required to use their headlights all hours of the day as per 316.405. There are several other motorcycle-specific laws, so be sure that you are in compliance when on the road.
HOW DO YOU DETERMINE WHO IS AT FAULT IN A FLORIDA MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENT?
There is often a misconception that motorcyclists are reckless and dangerous drivers. The truth is that many motorcyclists take appropriate safety precautions, due to the higher risks associated with riding a motorcycle on the road.
When you’ve been involved in a motorcycle accident, how do you determine who is at fault? There are a variety of scenarios that will place the fault. It is best to consult with an experienced motorcycle accident attorney who can properly investigate the crash and determine all the responsible parties.
Here are a few examples of who could be considered at fault in a motorcycle accident:
- The driver of the other vehicle
- The motorcycle manufacturer
- The motorcycle mechanic
- The motorcycle driver
In the state of Florida, it is important to take into consideration the “pure comparative fault” rule. This means that your compensation as the motorcycle driver may be limited by how much of your own negligence contributed to the accident. For example, if the other driver is found to be 75% at fault and you are 25% at fault, this means that your damages will be reduced by 25%. Unfortunately, jurors often find the motorcycle driver partially at fault, due to the misconception that they are dangerous drivers.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO SETTLE A MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENT CASE IN FLORIDA?
Once you have filed your claim, you may be wondering how long it will take to settle your case. The answer isn’t so simple. The length of time it takes to receive a settlement will largely depend on the circumstances of your accident. This is why it is vital to hire a motorcycle personal injury attorney as quickly as possible in order to speed up the process and secure the compensation you deserve.
WHAT IS THE AVERAGE SETTLEMENT FOR A MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENT CASE IN MIAMI, FLORIDA?
We work diligently and tirelessly to ensure our clients receive the best possible settlement or favorable verdict. The amount of money you receive will depend on the compensatory and punitive damages that are awarded. Compensatory damages refer to payment for medical expenses, property damages, and the like, while punitive damages cover things like pain and suffering or emotional distress. Punitive damages are not awarded as often as compensatory damages are, and there is often a cap on the amount that can be awarded in a personal injury case.
WHAT IS THE STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS ON A FLORIDA MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENT?
It is crucial to get in touch with a qualified attorney as soon as possible following a motorcycle accident to stay within the statute of limitations for filing a lawsuit. In the state of Florida, there is a four-year statute of limitations for motorcycle accident claims. This means that the injured person has four years from the date of the accident to file in court. However, if the case is a wrongful death suit, the statute of limitations is reduced to two years from the date of the victim’s death.
EXPERIENCED MIAMI MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENT INJURY LAWYERS
If you or a loved one has been in a motorcycle accident in South Florida, you need to contact an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer as soon as possible. The lawyers at Neufeld, Kleinberg & Pinkiert, PA have successfully handled many motorcycle accident cases in Miami and throughout South Florida. We understand the emotional, physical, and financial damage an accident can put you through, which is why we will fight aggressively to get you the compensation you deserve.
Having strong legal representation can make or break your case, and with the professionalism and preparedness of our team on your side, you’ll know you’re in good hands. If you’ve been involved in a motorcycle accident, contact us today to schedule a free consultation.
KNOW YOUR RIGHTS SPEAK TO A PERSONAL INJURY LAWYER TODAY
A motorcycle accident personal injury lawyer at Neufeld, Kleinberg & Pinkiert, PA will fight for your rights and your financial well-being to give you the best chance of recovery. Contact us today for a free consultation.
Florida Statutes requires riders to wear helmets if under 21 years old. Once you turn 21 you can avoid wearing the helmet if you carry minimum $10,000.00 motorcycle insurance coverage. However, just because the law doesn’t require you to wear a helmet after turning 21, doesn’t mean you should avoid wearing one. Florida is a comparative negligence state, which means that you can be held responsible for the portion of your injuries caused by your own negligence. Many motorcycles can easily go faster than 150 miles per hour, which means the rider is travelling 220 feet per second! At these high speeds, reacting timely is difficult. Motorcycles are stereotyped to be fast and reckless drivers, failing to wear a helmet will likely be used against you. Ride carefully, use a helmet and– in our opinion – you should use an inflatable protective vest such as RevZilla. However, if you are in an accident, seek medical attention and call the motorcycle-accident lawyers at Neufeld, Kleinberg & Pinkiert, PA.