Motorcycle Accidents FAQs
Florida records thousands of vehicular crashes every year. As the third-largest state of the USA, with a population of 20 million people, it comes as no surprise that a significant number of such incidents occur in Florida.
In 2018, Florida had a total of 403,626 vehicular accidents, where some proved fatal, and some people escaped with mild to severe injuries. Out of these, 9,143 accidents involved a motorcycle, where 531 resulted in the loss of life, unfortunately.
Some of the most dangerous roads, freeways, and highways which have reported the highest number of vehicular crashes in all of Florida include Interstate 4, Interstate 95, Interstate 10, and the Florida Turnpike.
The majority of accidents in Florida also occur in Miami-Dade, which comes as no surprise as it always has the highest population. As populations and vehicles on the road increase, so will traffic incidents.
Road accidents are not always a driver’s fault. Sometimes, the road conditions and obstructions make an accident inevitable. Because of the smaller and less stable nature of the motorcycle, even seemingly harmless road hazards can become dangerous. While cars and other vehicles can pass through such obstacles, motorcycles can become imbalanced, lose control or slip precariously, causing other vehicles on the road to collide into them. Road hazards can include large stones, dead animals, standing water or potholes.
Lane splitting is one of the most common causes of motorcycle accidents and accounts for many accidents. This happens when motorcyclists drive between two lanes, either with running traffic or still. Because the motorcycle appears in cramped spaces where it is not expected or supposed to be, it becomes a victim easily. Lane splitting is a dangerous thing to do and must be avoided.
Over speeding is a bane to everybody on the road. Despite several laws against it, speeding continues to be one of the main causes of all sorts of accidents on the streets. Whether it is the motorcyclist who’s speeding or the other drivers of other vehicles, someone’s bound to get hurt. While over speeding, it can be difficult to estimate the distance between the vehicles and brake in time. Motorcycles can be even trickiest to spot and often fall prey to fatal accidents.
Cruisers are heavier motorbikes with more horsepower, greater performance, and stronger bodies. They are American-style bikes that were manufactured by Harley Davidson and other American companies. The size and weight of the motorbike, along with the greater speeds it can reach, make it one of the most dangerous motorcycles on the road.
Street bikes are meant to be driven on paved roads and for normal, everyday use. Since these bikes can be driven in all streets and around neighborhoods, it can come across unintentional accidents.
Adventure tourers are well-adapted to rough, rocky terrain as well as the well-paved roads of the city. Many take these motorcycles and traverse across the country on these, covering highways and highlands alike. Their superior horsepower and speeds often get them involved in accidents.
Enduro motorcycles are usually modified by their drivers, with the addition of a horn, lights, effective silencing and a number plate. These heavily-modified, but legal bikes meant to be driven off-road too, often compete in Enduro competitions, and the greater speed potential could cause accidents.
This is the retro style of motorcycles that many struggling students and artists use, as it is the lightest, least fancy, and the most affordable of the lot. They are generally the ones that cause the least damage due to its lighter weight and smaller size.
Traumatic Brain Injuries Including a Concussion
Brain injuries are pretty serious, and if due medical attention and timely treatment are not provided, it can turn fatal. Traumatic Brain Injuries, or TBI, are caused by a sudden jolt or jerk to the head that causes the brain damage. TBIs are very common in motorcycle injuries, even with the helmet on, as a motorcyclist is relatively more exposed than drivers of other vehicles.
TBIs can range from mild to severe. In severe cases, brain tissue can even be damaged. Traumatic brain injury can be from a blow to the head in milder cases, or perforation of brain cells and tissues due to the insertion of sharp objects, in more severe ones. Types of traumatic brain injuries include concussion, skull fracture, hematoma, hemorrhage, etc.
Spinal Injuries Including Paralysis
Spinal cord injuries, or SCIs, are classified as damages to the spinal cord that temporarily or permanently alters its ability to perform necessary functions. Spinal cord injuries are of three types: Tetraplegia, Paraplegia, and Triplegia.
The spinal cord is one of the most essential organs to humans as it is one that connects the entire body and receives messages from the brain. The spinal cord indirectly controls all the limbs and bodily movements. In case of severe damage to the spinal cord, a person can lose all control over body functions and parts, leaving them paralyzed or disabled for life.
Broken or Fractured Bones
Broken bones are to be expected in a motorcycle crash. Due to the impact, or from being pinned underneath heavy vehicles, or other objects can put unbelievable weight and stress on a victim’s bones, causing them to get fractured or broken. The damage can vary; the bones could be partially broken or completely fractured. If there is any indication of broken bones, get medical help immediately to provide support to the weak bone and give it the rest and relief needed to heal. Most fractures and surrounding tissue heal between 6-8 weeks, in an ideal situation, but can take longer.
Internal bleeding or internal hemorrhage occurs when a blood vessel gets punctured or perforated, causing blood leakage that collects on the inside of your body. Internal bleeding, if not spotted and treated, can become fatal very quickly. What makes internal bleeding and damage so scary is the fact that it is often not visible on the outside and gives no symptoms of the havoc inside. Mild symptoms include headaches, light-headedness, and low blood pressure. An immediate medical examination is necessary post-accident to rule out internal bleeding and other internal organ damages, or the victim’s life can be at stake. Surgery is required to stop the bleeding after traumatic accidents such as a motorcycle crash.
Neck injuries also occur due to a sudden movement or jerk that causes the muscles and nerves in your neck to be damaged. Neck injuries include whiplash, repetitive strain, nerve pinch injury, and disc injury and can be extremely painful. There are a variety of treatment options that victims are recommended depending on the severity of the injury and the trauma associated with it.
Though you can't guarantee the elimination of motorcycle accidents, by understanding the reasons behind it, we can work to reduce the occurrence to a degree. Of course, it is the responsibility of everyone on the road to take care of each other and exercise the duty of care.
Some actions that the motorcyclists themselves can take to prevent an accident and protect themselves are listed below.
Wear Bright Clothing
Donning on a bright jacket is a smart move. Bright colors catch the eye and will stand out on the road to drivers of bigger vehicles. Neon colored, reflective clothing and helmets can enhance your visibility on the street.
Wear a Helmet
This goes without saying; if you are a motorcyclist, you must always wear a helmet. In an accident, the head is the most vulnerable part of your body, and the presence of a helmet can potentially mean the difference between life and death for some people. A brightly colored helmet can also make it easier for people to spot you on the road.
Use Reflective Tape
Reflective tape can be a real lifesaver. Put strips of reflective tape on the back of your jacket, on your motorbike, or on your helmet so the headlights of cars approaching from behind can highlight your presence.
Utilize the Horn
Larger vehicles have larger blind spots and the drivers of such vehicles are simply unable to see motorcyclists. Due to this reason, motorcyclists must get in the habit of using their horn when changing lanes or approaching a vehicle. Even if they can't see you, they can hear you and will take the necessary course of action to ensure that an accident doesn’t occur.
Turn on High Beam
Motorcycles are small vehicles and can often be missed by other vehicles. If you are driving a motorcycle at night or in unfavorable weather, it is best to keep the headlights on full beam to maximize the probability of drivers noticing you on the street. If every driver on the street is careful, the chances of these accidents can go down drastically.
Motorcycle crashes are often the fault of the drivers on the road. Motorcycles are generally the smallest vehicles on the road and can be easy to miss if the other drivers are not paying attention to the road. Bigger vehicles such as trucks or trailers have a greater blind spot, which may result in not seeing the motorcycle and colliding with them.
It could be that the motorcycle crash is the result of the faulty or unqualified parts of the motorcycle that did not allow it to brake, or proceed in time. If the motorcycle parts are proven to be the cause of the accident, then the motorcycle manufacturer may be held liable for the damages.
If the accident leads to injuries to the head despite the helmet the motorcyclist was wearing, the helmet manufacturer may also be investigated and deemed partly responsible for the injuries, as the helmet did not do the job of protecting the victim as it promised.
The dealership from where the victim bought their bike may also be considered responsible for such an accident.
Repair Shop or Service Provider
If there was a problem with the bike, and the repair shop where the victim took the bike was unable to spot it or repair it or fixed it temporarily, they could possibly be held liable for clearing a motorcycle that was not fit to be on the road yet.
Florida Statute of Limitations states that a victim of a motorcycle accident has only 4 years from the time of the accident to file a lawsuit against the at-fault party to hold them accountable and pursue compensation from them. If this time limit is exceeded, the Statute of Limitations expires, after which your case will likely be dismissed.
For any questions please contact an experienced motorcycle accident attorney.
Past and Future Medical Care and Treatment
Your medical expenses can include everything from the immediate hospital bills and surgical operations costs to physical therapy and long term care facilities. Depending on what kind of injury you have sustained, the costs will vary. The medical bills, along with supporting devices such as wheelchairs and walkers, and other long-term care items, as well as rehabilitation and therapy, can be substantial.
Lost Wages and Loss of Future Income
Due to the injury, the victim might not have been able to work for some time. The earnings to himself and his household might have come to a halt. Some might be unable to work in the same capacity again.
Pain and Suffering
The pain and suffering the person goes through in the wake of the accident or injury might be deeper than an observer could imagine. Besides the physical pain from the injury, there is a lot of mental anguish involved too. Though it cannot be quantified, most lawsuits would try to compensate the victim for the pain, both physical and mental, that they had to go through.
Wrongful Death Charges
If the motorcycle crash results in someone losing their life, the lawsuit that would be filed will be of a wrongful death one, which will have additional damages that the at-fault party must pay for, such as the funeral and burial costs, loss of consortium and some amount based on the life expectancy of the victim.
Many hesitate when filing lawsuits because hiring a lawyer and fighting a case is too ‘expensive,’ and they wouldn’t be able to afford it all. But the compensation that the lawyer will help you recover will far outweigh the lawyer costs.
At Frankl Kominsky, we offer a contingency fee agreement, which means that the plaintiffs will only be required to pay if we recover compensation on your behalf.
Additional costs such as copying medical records or employing other experts will also be charged if they apply.
Having an experienced accident lawyer by your side may prove to be invaluable to you during the course of your motorcycle accident claim.
At Frankl Kominsky Injury Lawyers, we are ready to help investigate the crash, determine liability and establish your claim. If necessary, your attorney will work with the police, gather evidence, collect medical reports from the hospital, the police report of the crash from the local police department and gather other documentation such as a journal of your injuries and any pictures and videos that you might have. We handle all communications and negotiations with the at-fault party, the insurance company and their attorneys. If necessary, we will file a lawsuit on your behalf.
Let us help you with your Florida motorcycle accident claim. We are dedicated to pursuing the compensation you deserve.