Florida Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
Serving Orlando, West Palm Beach, Tampa, Fort Myers, Jacksonville, Fort Lauderdale & Miami
Florida motorcycle crashes and injuries increased every year from 2001 to 2007. Crashes then declined in 2008 to 2010 before increasing every year from 2011 to 2013. In terms of fatalities, motorcycle accidents result in approximately 400 per year, and account for about 8 percent of all traffic fatalities in the State. Clearly, from these statistics, Florida has a problem when it comes to motorcycle accidents. Contributing factors could include the fact that Florida plays host to a number of motorcycle enthusiast events, and the fact that too many Florida motorcyclists do not wear helmets. If you have been involved in a motorcycle accident in Florida, whether as a motorcyclist, driver, or pedestrian, you may be able to recover compensation for injuries stemming from the accident. Our Florida motorcycle accident lawyers serve Orlando, Tampa, Fort Myers, Jacksonville, West Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Miami, Broward County & Miami-Dade County.
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Negligence is a Common Basis of Liability in Motorcycle Accidents
As with car accidents, negligence is a common basis of liability in motorcycle accidents. In plain language, negligence speaks to carelessness or irresponsibility. In a court of law, more importantly, negligence exists when a party breaches a duty owed to another that is both the actual and proximate cause of damages suffered by the non-breaching party. In terms of duty, operators of motor vehicles owe a duty of safe driving to one another, regardless of whether the vehicle is a car, truck, or motorcycle. This duty can be breached by driving too fast or slow, swerving between lanes, not making required signals, not obeying traffic signals, and, all too often, driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. If the breach of one of these duties can be proven to be both the actual and proximate cause of injuries suffered by a non-breaching motor vehicle operator, cyclist, pedestrian, or property owner, then the non-breaching party can recover compensation for any damages suffered. Contact our experienced Florida motorcycle accident lawyers for more information.
Who is Most Likely to Blame, Drivers or Motorcyclists?
There is an incorrect notion among most drivers that motorcyclists are reckless, zip in and out of lanes, drive dangerously fast, and “come out of nowhere,” which, of course, is impossible. The truth is that drivers are responsible for the majority of serious motorcyclist injuries and deaths. A recent study conducted by the University of South Florida’s Center for Urban Transportation Research found that 60 percent of motorcycle crashes involving another vehicle were the fault of the other vehicle, not the motorcyclist, as reported in the Sun Sentinel. The cause of most of these crashes was the other vehicle not yielding the right of way to the motorcyclist. Common examples of this includes when a car or truck driver pulls out from a side road in front of an oncoming motorcyclist either by not paying attention or somehow expecting the motorcyclist to yield its right of way to them; drivers of cars changing lanes without checking their mirrors or looking over their shoulders; and drivers that turn left across oncoming traffic directly in front of a motorcyclist. Sadly, one of the reasons that drivers “didn’t see” a motorcyclist is that they really did see the motorcyclist and decided to pull out or turn in front of it anyways. This is because drivers tend to associate size with speed, and size with intimidation as well. They may pull out in front of a motorcyclist because there is no physical risk to them, but not pull out in front of a large semi truck that is is going 10 miles per hour slower than the motorcyclist because of this. Additionally, cell phones play a very large roll in driver distraction these days. Cell phone-caused crashes are a growing problem. Cell phone use is estimated to be involved in 26 percent of all motor vehicle crashes, though cell phone use is actually underreported for various reasons. According to the National Safety Council, current number estimates on cell phone-caused auto collision are inaccurate because of the following:
- Police often rely on forthcoming admittance of cell phone use, which is rare because drivers do not admit to being at fault in most cases and many go out of their way to hide the truth;
- Witness memories are often poor or also deceitful if they were the passenger of the cell-phone user;
- Investigating cell phone use may seem pointless to the police if cell phone use is not illegal in their jurisdiction (it is illegal to text while drive in Florida but it is still legal to use a hand held phone to talk);
- Crash reports may not be updated even after it is later found in court that a cell phone was a leading contributor to the crash (leading to inaccurate national data);
- Even if a cell phone record is obtained, the data must perfectly align with the exact moment of the crash. The exact moment of the crash is rarely known, and a cell phone record would not show an impartial text that the driver was working on at the time of the crash and did not send.
However, if you believe that a driver hit you because they were distracted by a cell phone, which is a likely scenario, an experienced lawyer can help you prove this in court by obtaining records and talking to witnesses. We will prove that the driver was at fault for their heinous actions, and that their distraction lead to your injury or family member’s death.
Motorcyclists in Florida Have the Same Rights and Responsibilities as Other Motorists
It is important that Floridians understand that motorcyclists in Florida have the same rights and responsibilities as other motor vehicle operators. In terms of rights, for example, motorcyclists have the right to use a full lane of traffic. In terms of responsibilities, motorcyclists are to refrain from riding between lanes of traffic (e.g. riding along the yellow line between two cars).
What to Do If You Have Been Involved In a Motorcycle Accident in Florida
Besides establishing liability, you must file a timely claim under Florida’s statute of limitations to recover compensation from the parties at fault in a motorcycle accident. An experienced Florida motorcycle accident lawyer is invaluable in satisfying both requirements. Having such an lawyer on your side is the first step in obtaining compensation for medical bills, property damage, lost income, and pain and suffering. The Pendas Law Firm – one of Florida’s most prominent in the area of personal injury – provides precisely the highly effective and experienced lawyers needed to handle motorcycle accident related personal injury claims. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us today to learn how we can serve you in this time of need. The Pendas Law Firm has offices in Orlando, Fort Myers, Tampa, Jacksonville, West Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale & Miami, and is dedicated to serving the community with its highly effective and experienced team of motorcycle accident lawyers.
Yearly motorcycle fatalities are increasing at a rate faster than car and truck fatalities. In 2012, motorcycle fatalities rose to nearly 5,000, and accounted for 15 percent of the year’s total motor vehicle fatalities. Besides traditional risk factors like alcohol, warming weather appears to be correlated with an increase in fatalities in comparison with the winter months. Moreover, despite the existence of ample evidence supporting the importance of wearing a helmet, there were 10 times as many fatalities in states not requiring motorcyclists to wear helmets. If a loved one has been the victim of a fatal motorcycle accident in the state of Florida, you may be able to recover compensation under the state’s wrongful death statute. Similarly, if you or a loved one suffered injuries to your person or property as the result of the careless or reckless driving of another motor vehicle operator, you may be able to recover compensation for the injuries suffered, the cost of present and future medical treatment, and pain and suffering under Florida’s negligence law. To find out, contact an experienced Florida motorcycle accident lawyer.
Practical Steps to Take After a Motorcycle Accident
If you have been injured in an accident, it is necessary that you take specific measures in order to strengthen your claim to recover compensation. Speak with the police, and ensure that a police report is taken on the scene. Preserve any evidence of the accident that you can, and gather contact information from any witnesses to the accident. Furthermore, seek medical treatment immediately, and retain all evidence of this as well, as it can prove to be useful evidence in a motorcycle accident claim.
You May Be Able To Recover Compensation for Damages Suffered During Your Motorcycle Accident in Florida
All drivers on Florida roads owe others a duty of care. Specifically, drivers must operate in a certain way that does not put others at risk of being injured. When a driver fails to adhere to this duty of care, the injured party may be able to file a motorcycle accident claim or civil suit in order to recover compensation.
Contact our Experienced Florida Motorcycle Accident Lawyers
If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident as a result of another driver’s careless or reckless driving, you may be able to recover compensation for damages suffered to your person and or property. Or, if you have lost a loved one due to the negligent driving of another, you could seek payment to cover funeral costs, pain and suffering, and other related expenses. To understand your legal options, contact a skilled and experienced Florida motorcycle accident lawyer today. The Pendas Law Firm – one of Florida’s most prominent in the area of personal injury – provides precisely the highly effective and experienced lawyers needed to handle motorcycle accident related personal injury claims. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us today to learn how we can serve you in this time of need.
The Pendas Law Firm has offices in Orlando, Tampa, Fort Myers, Jacksonville, West Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Miami, Broward County & Miami-Dade County, and is dedicated to serving the community with its highly effective and experienced team of lawyers.