Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Serving Delray Beach
Known for its contemporary art museums, Japanese gardens, and nature walks, Delray Beach is located in Palm Beach County, Florida. With a population of over 69,000 people, it’s safe to say that the city sees plenty of vehicle traffic, and with that comes the possibility of crashes.
In 2016, Atlantic Avenue in Delray Beach saw 62 vehicle crashes, whereas Congress Avenue saw 89 crashes. Despite a number of laws in the state of Florida requiring motorcycle drivers to wear helmets when riding, lane sharing with other motorcyclists, and more, accidents with injuries still occur.
From here on, we’re going to proceed to look at the various ways motorcycle crashes occur, what types of injuries are typically sustained in these types of accidents, and what damages you can claim from the at-fault party.Motorcycle Accidents and Injury Claims
Motorcycle accidents occur in different ways and may directly be the fault of the driver or due to external factors. Some accidents are more dangerous than others, and we’re going to take a look at some of the most serious types of motorcycle accidents:Motorcycle Crashes Involving a Distracted Driver
According to the NHTSA, distracted driving was the cause of 400,000 people sustaining injuries in crashes in 2018. A distracted driver is anyone whose attention is not primarily focused on their driving. This includes visibly looking away from the road, taking your hand off the steering wheel, or being mentally distracted. Distracted drivers may be talking on the phone, texting, fixing their hair, adjusting their helmet, smoking, looking at the GPS on their phone, and so on.
Texting while driving has been prohibited by the government in the state of Florida. Apart from the fact that a distracted driver will be breaking the law, they will also be involved in injuring themselves and those they crash into severely.Motorcycle Accidents Involving Drivers Who Fail to Obey Traffic Laws
Some motorcyclists fail to yield or stop at a stop sign with the assumption that their vehicle is compact enough to make it before the sign turns red. Such careless behavior can lead to large scale accidents that can injure the driver and those around and can even lead to death.
Failure to obey traffic rules includes driving above the speed limit, running a red light or a stop sign, driving the wrong way, and more. This also includes personal safety measures such as not wearing a helmet when driving/riding on a motorcycle.Hit & Run Motorcycle Crashes
Although motorcycles make up a very small percentage of road traffic, 1/5 highway accidents involve motorcyclists. Given the seriousness of a motorcycle crash, not only is it immoral to leave the scene without turning back, but it is also illegal. A “hit and run” basically means that one of the parties involved in the collision leaves the scene before the arrival of the police and medical assistance. In fact, in Florida, it is a legal requirement for anyone involved in the crash to provide their name, address, and other essential details.
Drivers may leave the scene due to a number of reasons: if they were drunk, didn’t have their license, or didn’t even realize that an accident had occurred. Hit and run cases can be quite complicated, especially if you can’t locate the at-fault party, which is why you may need to consult an attorney when filing for claims.Motorcycle Accidents Involving Company Vehicles and Commercial Trucks
Motorcyclists may get involved in accidents with larger vehicles, including company cars, trucks, and others. There are a number of different accidents, including:
- Rollovers where trucks roll onto their side, affecting motorists in the vicinity
- Tire blowout where the vehicle may go out of control, damaging those around
- Blind spots where truck drivers fail to see other vehicles and may hit or crush smaller autos along the way
Reckless driving on the part of any driver can lead to road accidents, and motorcyclists are especially at risk of getting seriously injured in the process.Motorcycle Accidents Caused by a Defective Product or Design
Motorcycle defects are another cause of road accidents. It is imperative for drivers to check before starting their vehicle to check if the brakes are working properly, the tires are in working order, and so on. Sometimes, the design of the bike may be defective and may go unnoticed by the rider leading to a high risk of an accident occurring.
Accidents due to defective design can be tricky to handle in terms of who is responsible for the crash. Liable parties can potentially be anyone from the manufacturer to the parts supplier to the seller.Most Common Causes for Motorcycle Accidents in Delray Beach, Florida
Motorcycle accidents may be caused by a number of mistakes on the part of the driver, including:
- Failing to Follow Posted Speed Limits
- Driving Under the Influence
- Misjudge the Motorcyclist’s Speed or Distance
- Failure to see a Motorcyclist Changing or Entering Lanes
- Panic & Stop in the Motorcyclist’s Path
- Rely On the Judgment of another Driver, Who Also Fails To See the Motorcyclist
A major cause of automobile crashes includes driving above the speed limit. This keeps riders from noticing other drivers with enough time to prevent a collision from occurring. High speed also means that the impact of the crash will be greater, leading to greater injuries.
Driving while being intoxicated or high on drugs can lead to dangerous accidents and head-on collisions. Such cases make the at-fault party liable to those they caused harm to as well as criminal punishment.
Not realizing when a vehicle is too close to you may be the result of being an inexperienced driver, being under the influence, or not paying enough attention to the road. When the vehicle gets too close, the results may be fatal and life-threatening.
Drivers are at risk of crashing into motorcyclists when they fail to see their blind spot while changing lanes. If the motorcyclist is unable to swerve in time, accidents may be inevitable.
Vehicles that tail motorcycles too closely or come to a sudden halt may lead to rear-end accidents, which may seriously harm the motorcyclist and may even lead to death.
Drivers, especially those who are inexperienced or not used to dealing with traffic, may leave taking precautions and following road rules up to other drivers who may also miss passing motorcyclists. This may be the result of not checking their blind spots, sudden stops, and more and may become a cause of motorcycle accidents.
Injuries caused in motorcycle accidents range from minor scrapes and bruises to full-scale lifelong injuries as well as certain injuries that may not even surface until some time has passed. Common injuries caused by motorcycle crashes include:
- Bone Fractures
- Spinal Cord Injuries
- Internal Bleeding
- Severe Head Trauma
- Neck Injuries
Motorcycles may not be stable and usually fall over when an accident occurs. Crashes happen within a few quick moments, and in this time, the motorcyclist may not be able to dismount and may find their legs crushed by the weight of the bike or may fracture their arms and wrists in the fall.
A spinal cord injury due to a motorcycle accident may lead to permanent or temporary paralysis leaving the victim disabled. In some cases, the victim may not be paralyzed, and the injury may start off as back pain and show other symptoms like reduced bladder control. It is important to get checked by a healthcare professional, even if you don’t experience visible signs of spinal cord injury just yet.
A blunt blow to any part of the body during the accident or any sharp debris that may pierce your skin can lead to internal injuries such as internal bleeding. Some common symptoms and signs of internal bleeding include weakness, severe headaches, impaired vision or hearing, and so on. These injuries are particularly dangerous because their signs may not become visible until some time has passed after the accident.
According to the NHTSA, the chances of suffering from traumatic brain injury are significantly reduced if the motorcyclist wears a helmet. Severe head trauma can lead to lifetime impairment and paralysis in the victim.
Neck injuries are particularly common among motorcyclists involved in road accidents. These may range from mild injuries that may heal over time, such as fractured collar bones, but in severe cases, they may cause lifetime paralysis or even death.
Instead of getting severely injured in a motorcycle crash, you can take preventive measures to prevent an accident from taking place or cushioning the blow at least:
- Although all motorcyclists under the age of 21 must wear a helmet by law in Florida , those above 21 years should also wear one to avoid head injuries in the case of accidents.
- Motorcyclists should make use of riding gloves for a steady grip on the handlebars and to avoid rashes.
- Motorcyclists should wear fully covered shoes at all times to protect their skin from road rash.
- Riders should wear fully covered clothing to protect all parts of their body from road rash.
- Riders should be completely sober when driving a motorcycle at all times.
A statute of limitations is the law that establishes the time limit within which any party can take legal action in case of a crime or an injury. These vary across different states, and there are set statutes for motorcycle accidents in Delray Beach in the State of Florida:
- The parties who sustained injuries must file a lawsuit within 4 years of the accident after which the court will likely dismiss the case (very rare exceptions may apply in cases where injuries were discovered late, etc.)
- Family members of someone who died due to a motorcycle accident must file their case for wrongful death within 2 years of the victim’s death.
- Accidents due to defective parts must be filed within 4 years of the date of the accident. If the involved party dies, the lawsuit must be filed within 2 years.
- Motorcycle accidents due to poor road conditions may possibly allow the driver to file for claims against the government. The Statute of Limitations is 3 years; however, there are very specific rules and procedures which must be followed and should be discussed with an experienced motorcycle accident attorney.
- Damage to property in a motorcycle accident enables the victim to file for claims up to 4 years after the accident.
As the victim in a motorcycle accident, you can pursue a claim for damages, including the following:Medical Bills and Related Expenses
Although quite obvious, medical and related expenses cover everything from transport to emergency surgery to the cost of X-rays, etc., medication, the cost of staying at the hospital, and long term therapy and treatment. Your doctor can help you figure out if the injuries sustained will require future treatment, and you can claim for damages accordingly.Current and Future Lost Wages, and Loss of Earning Capacity
This doesn’t just include temporarily lost wages while the victim is still recovering. It also includes reduced earning potential due to disabilities caused by the accident, being unable to do the job they used to do, and so on. This means that they’ll have lost income in the past (while they were in recovery) and the future when they don’t have the same ability to earn as much as they used to before the accident.Pain and Suffering, Mental Anguish
Being unable to perform certain tasks due to injuries sustained in the accident can cause mental trauma. This may include grief and pain from being unable to engage with family members, not participating in leisurely physical activities like sports and other activities that used to be a part of their regular lifestyle.Repair or Replacement of Your Vehicle
In most cases, if the cost of vehicle repairs exceeds the cost of the bike, your insurance company will only pay you the market price of the bike. If you plan to sue the at-fault party for damages, you’ll need a repair shop to give you a complete estimate of the cost incurred.Loss of Consortium
This includes the loss of support and services of a loved one such as a spouse.Who is at Fault for my Motorcycle Crash?
Before filing for claims, you need to find out who is responsible for the accident in the first place. You should consult an injury lawyer for guidance in determining the at-fault party. Some parties who may be at fault include:
- The driver of the vehicle that caused the accident
- The government entity for poor road maintenance
- The manufacturer or seller of the motor vehicle
- The motorcycle rental company
In some cases, more than one party may be responsible for the accident. There is also the comparative fault case where if the victim is also partly at fault, they can still pursue a claim; however, the percent of damages will be determined based on their percentage of fault.Steps to Take After a Market Motorcycle Accident
If you are involved in a motorcycle accident, here are some suggested steps you may follow on how to handle the situation:Scene of the Crash
If you have been in a crash, do not leave the scene of the accident. Immediately call 911 or the local police department and wait for them to arrive at the scene of the accident. You will need to file an accident/crash report with the Delray Beach Police Department. Be sure to get a copy of the report.
If you were injured in the accident, have emergency services or medics examine you for injuries and transport you to the hospital if necessary. The Delray Medical Center has a 24-hour emergency center to treat such cases. You may also seek treatment at your own qualified physicians office.
Take plenty of photos and videos of the accident scene, including the damaged vehicle and any traffic signs in the vicinity. Take photos of your injuries as well.
Gather witness information, including essentials like a phone number, email address, physical address, etc.After the Crash
Gather all your medical bills and records, including your discharge papers from the emergency room, hospital, and other care after the accident. Get a copy of the driver’s exchange and crash report.
Once you have these documents, consult with an injury lawyer experienced in handling motorcycle accident cases to help you file a claim for damages.
If you are contacted by an insurance agency on behalf of the at-fault party, it is advisable not to speak to them or give a recorded statement without consulting with your injury lawyer.How Frankl Kominsky Can Help
Determining who the at-fault party is in a motorcycle accident can be confusing, and it is important to do so before the statute of limitations runs out. Frankl Kominsky Injury Lawyers will help you through every process of filing a claim, including collecting the necessary documentation and dealing with the defendant’s insurance company. Our experienced team of motorcycle accident lawyers are prepared to fight for you and help you pursue the compensation you deserve.Start Your Free Consultation with Our Injury Lawyers
With plenty of resident and tourist traffic in Delray Beach, motorcycle accidents are bound to occur. Such accidents can lead to grave losses, including the death of a loved one, property damage, physical and mental injuries. If you or someone you love has been hurt, we recommend that you consult a dedicated Delray Beach personal injury lawyers working for Frankl Kominsky Injury Lawyers.
An experienced lawyer will be able to review the minute details of your claim, including analyzing the scene of the accident and the cause, injuries sustained, and their relevant medical records and the effect of these injuries on your life.
With over 40 years of legal experience and countless settlements and verdicts as Delray Beach motorcycle, Frankl Kominsky will provide dedicated representation and case management to help pursue your rightful compensation.