Still reeling from a wreck? Talk to an expert Florida motorcycle injury lawyer about your personal injury claim and right to compensation.
Florida is known for its sunny days that often bring motorcyclists out in droves to enjoy the open road. The expansive interstates offer easy riding without the hassle of traffic signals or tight turns that require riders to constantly stop or slow down. All of this freedom, however, can come at a cost.
The expert legal team at Lorenzo & Lorenzo believes that motorcyclists have the same rights and privileges as any other driver.
Learning how to share the road is the key to safety. Unfortunately, sometimes no matter how much you try to make yourself visible on the road, accidents can happen—and when they do, it’s time to talk to an expert accident attorney.
Where do most motorcycle accidents occur in Florida?
Even when a motorcyclist is careful, they still have to share the road with other drivers who may not use the same level of caution. In Florida, motorcycle accidents are more likely to occur on busy interstates, particularly:
The combination of congested lanes and higher speed limits creates the perfect storm for motorcycle collisions.
Motorcycle Injury Statistics
Recent data shows that motorcyclists are much more likely to be killed in an accident than drivers of closed vehicles. In fact, according to the 2020 data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA):
- 5,579 motorcyclists were killed in 2020 alone, accounting for 14 percent of all traffic fatalities. This is the highest number of motorcycle fatalities since they began collecting data in 1975.
- Motorcyclists were about 28 times more likely than passenger car occupants to die in a crash per vehicle mile traveled.
- 82,528 motorcyclists were injured in 2020. This is a 2-percent decrease from the prior year.
Additionally, the following statistics provide some information on how roadways, weather and other factors affected motorcycle crash frequencies across the U.S. in 2020:
- 97 percent occurred in clear or cloudy conditions.
- 2 percent occurred in the rain.
- 1 percent occurred in snow, sleet, or fog.
- 57 percent occurred during the day.
- 37 percent occurred in the dark.
- 4 percent occurred at dusk.
- 1 percent occurred at dawn.
- 92 percent occurred on non-interstate roads.
- 8 percent occurred on interstates.
Our expert Tampa injury lawyers won’t settle for less than you deserve.
Contact Lorenzo & Lorenzo today for a free case evaluation.
Common Causes of Tampa Motorcycle Wrecks
Deadly and serious accidents in Tampa are frequently caused by a number of factors—due to the actions of motorcyclists and drivers alike. These common causes include:
- Dangerous road conditions
- Changing lanes without looking
- Tailing too closely
- Cutting off a rider
- Failing to yield
- Colliding with stationary objects
- Malfunctioning equipment
- Pulling out in front of a motorcycle without giving adequate time or space
- Distracted and negligent driving, such as texting while driving
Learn how motorcycle and auto accidents are treated differently when it comes to filing a claim and getting compensation for your injuries.
What are the most common motorcycle accident injuries?
The injuries that motorcyclists sustain during an accident are often more severe than those sustained by people who are driving a traditional car or truck.
Most of these injuries occur from the blunt force that’s generated when a cyclist’s body hits the ground or other objects in their path. A motorcyclist may also get trapped between a vehicle and the road, which increases the rate and severity of injuries.
Below are some of the most common motorcycle injuries.
Road rash is frequently seen on motorcyclists, since their bikes and clothing don’t provide much protection from their bodies rubbing against the pavement. Road rash can range from a mild scrape to a deep wound that penetrates the skin and muscles. Road rash is also prone to infection, which can lead to further complications that require medical treatment.
Traumatic brain injuries
Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are among the more devastating types of motorcycle injuries. If a motorcyclist gets thrown from their motorcycle during a crash, long-term brain damage can occur that limits their ability to work or enjoy their former recreational activities.
Paralysis, difficulty with speech, personality changes and difficulty with coordination are all potential lingering effects of a TBI. Wearing a helmet can help to prevent this type of injury, but severe accidents can still lead to injuries that affect your brain.
While fairly common after a motorcycle accident, with proper treatment, most broken bones can heal. However, you could be left with issues like nerve damage, weakness in the affected limb and chronic pain. Severe breaks may also require surgery along with a lengthy recovery period.
Spinal cord injuries
Similar to TBIs, spinal cord injuries can cause long-term damage that you might never fully recover from. The severity of a spinal cord injury depends on which part of the spine is injured. Chronic pain is common among people who receive a spinal cord injury, and there is a risk for paralysis that affects your quality of life.
Learn the truth about personal injury lawsuits so you can understand your rights and get the compensation you deserve.
Florida’s Motorcycle Laws
In order to protect both motorcyclists and motor vehicle drivers alike, Florida has enacted a number of laws. Whether you’re a weekend warrior, daily commuter or merely visiting the Sunshine State for Biketoberfest or Daytona Bike Week, every motorcyclist should be aware of the laws—specifically your legal rights in the event of an unforeseen accident.
Below is a summary of Florida’s motorcycle laws, which can be found in Florida Statute 316.2085.
- All people riding a motorcycle must sit on a seat that is attached to the vehicle. Although 2 people may ride the same motorcycle, they cannot share a seat. Passengers must sit in their own seat that is attached behind or to the side of the driver.
- Drivers and passengers must face forward and have 1 leg on each side of the motorcycle. Both wheels of the bike should be touching the ground at the same time. However, there is some leniency regarding the unintentional lifting of the wheels due to road conditions that are beyond the control of the driver.
- As with other vehicles, motorcycles must have a license tag affixed to its rear that is visible from behind. Any effort to conceal or obscure the license tag to make it illegible is prohibited.
- Drivers are also required to keep both of their hands on the handlebars at all times. A motorcycle operator shouldn’t be carrying any bundle or parcel that requires them to hold it in such a way as to be unable to hold the handlebars. The same also applies to carrying passengers on the motorcycle. Drivers are responsible for making sure that a passenger does not obstruct their view or limit their ability to hold onto the handlebars.
- All motorcyclists under the age of 21 must wear a helmet. Drivers over 21 must also wear a helmet—unless they have an insurance policy with at least $10,000 of coverage for damages. Protective eyewear is also required, which can take the form of goggles, special eyeglasses or a visor.
Compensation in Florida Motorcycle Accident Cases
The costs from motorcycle injuries are shown to be 4 to 12 times higher on average than other car accident cases. After being involved in an accident, you’ll likely want to seek compensation for the damages that you incurred. Typically, you’ll file a claim with the at-fault party’s insurance company, and you may be entitled to compensation for some or all of the following:
- Medical expenses (both current and future), including doctor visits, hospital stays, surgeries, medication, rehabilitation and assistive devices
- Pain and suffering
- Lost wages or loss of earning capacity
- Property loss
In certain instances, punitive damages may also be available. Punitive damages are when fines are levied to punish the at-fault party in rare cases, typically involving road rage or drunk driving.
Learn how much your personal injury case may be worth after a motorcycle accident in Florida.
How do you prove liability after a Florida motorcycle accident?
Unfortunately, pursuing an injury claim after a motorcycle accident case is often more difficult and prolonged due to the nature of the case. Florida negligence law requires the plaintiff to prove that the wreck was caused by the other party or individual being sued.
On top of that, motorcyclists must often overcome the unfair preconception held by judges, juries and insurers that bikers are reckless and careless drivers. Defense attorneys and insurance companies will attempt to pay out the least amount possible by playing this card.
Even if it can be proven that the other driver was at fault, the other side might try to reduce your claim amount by trying to find ways to hold you partly responsible.
According to Florida’s comparative negligence laws, a portion of fault can be attributed to more than 1 party in a Tampa motorcycle accident. So, for instance, if a biker was not wearing their helmet at the time of the crash, they could be held comparatively liable for damages.
What To Do After a Motorcycle Crash
You can improve your chances of winning your injury claim by taking the following steps immediately after a motorcycle accident:
- Get out of harm’s way if possible.
- Contact the authorities.
- Get a police report.
- Gather eyewitness testimonies and contact info.
- Take photographs of the accident scene.
- Notify your insurance company.
- Seek medical treatment and follow up with doctor checkups.
- Document everything.
- Contact an experienced attorney.
Everything you need to know to file a successful personal injury lawsuit and get maximum compensation.
How can an attorney help after a motorcycle accident case?
In motor vehicle crashes, there is no “cut and dry” approach when it comes to litigating your case. Whether you want to file a claim for a car accident, truck accident or motorcycle accident, the best thing you can do is to consult with an expert personal injury lawyer who specializes in your specific type of case.
With motorcycle wrecks, in particular, finding an expert lawyer who fully understands Florida laws and how to navigate the complexities of proving fault is necessary to building a strong case. The injuries sustained in motorcycle wrecks are typically much more severe and may require extensive and expensive medical treatment. Additionally, because of unfair bias against motorcyclists, insurance companies often try to offer injured riders far less compensation than they deserve.
Because of this, it’s essential to find an attorney familiar with complex medical issues who can compellingly argue your case. Also, keep in mind that there’s a statute of limitations for filing an accident claim, and if you don’t file your claim before that deadline, you’ll lose your chance to be compensated.
Consult a Tampa Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Today
As an accident victim, you’re likely entitled to certain compensation benefits. However, motorcycle crash cases are not as simple as they seem. If you or a loved one were injured in a wreck, one of the first things you should do is call a law firm near you that specializes in these types of cases.
An experienced motorcycle accident attorney can help investigate the details of your accident and collect evidence to protect your rights and prove the other party’s liability. They’ll also help you file a claim and work on your behalf to negotiate with the insurance company and represent you in court, if necessary.
At Lorenzo & Lorenzo, we specialize in motorcycle injury cases around Tampa, Clearwater and St. Petersburg, Florida. Our highly skilled and top-rated expert lawyers provide personal attention and quality representation to ensure that you receive the maximum compensation possible.
Call us today for your FREE consultation.
“I appreciated the personal attention I received from Mr George Lorenzo during this difficult time. I was kept up to date throughout the ordeal by Mr Lorenzo and his staff. Their recommendations for my physical recovery was exactly what I needed to help me heal. They worked really hard, making sure I received the compensation I deserved. I highly recommend the Law offices of Lorenzo & Lorenzo. Thank you Mr. Lorenzo and the Lorenzo and Lorenzo staff.”