Orlando Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
However dangerous driving a car is, riding a motorcycle is more dangerous by more than two orders of magnitude. In fact, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, riding a motorcycle is 26 times more dangerous in terms of fatality than driving in a passenger vehicle. In 2013, there were 449 motorcyclist deaths, accounting for 18 percent of all traffic fatalities, according to the Florida Department of Highway Safety And Motor Vehicles. Contact our experienced Orlando motorcycle accident lawyers for more information or assistance.
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Why Is Florida So Dangerous For Motorcyclists?
Florida is one of the most lethal states in which to ride a motorcycle for a variety of reasons. However, this, in no way, discounts the negligence of the party that caused the crash and the subsequent injuries and damages to the motorcyclist. If the motorcyclist was following the laws of the road and was hit by a driver that “didn’t see them,” or a driver that turned in front of them thinking they had more space than they did in reality (failure to yield), the driver of that vehicle can be held liable. Listed below are some of the reasons that motorcycle collisions are so commonplace in Florida:
- Lack of helmet laws for most motorcyclists in Florida means that the crashes that do happen are often more fatal than they would be if the rider were wearing a helmet. However, state statute 316.211 provides that operators under 21 must wear a helmet. The repeal of Florida’s universal helmet law occurred in 2000 and the rise in fatalities was immediate and significant in the following years. The proponents of the reversed helmet law argued that it would increase ridership (increased profits for motorcycle dealerships) and that it would drive motorcycle rallies and events to the state;
- The size of Florida and the warm weather mean that there are a lot of motorcyclists on the road. In some cases, safety in numbers means that there will be fewer fatal accidents per capita. Apparently, this is not the case with motorcyclists, or that critical number has not yet reached the tipping point for this to occur; and
- Distracted driving is on the rise in Florida and in every state. The frequency with which cell phones are used for talking, texting, looking up directions, and checking social media to stave off boredom is at an all time high. These selfish actions put everyone at risk, especially vulnerable road users such as motorcyclists.
Injuries are usually much more severe in motorcycle crashes due to the complete lack of protection when contacting the pavement or other vehicle. There is no roll cage, seat belt, or airbag for a motorcyclist. At most, there is a padded leather jacket and a helmet, if the rider decided to take precautions.
Injuries from a Motorcycle Accident Are Often Devastating
Not only are there more motorcyclists on the roads than in many other states, and an increase in the number of distracted drivers, both of which make the risk of a motorcycle accident greater, but the injuries that motorcyclists incur when they are involved in a collision are often more serious than those suffered by drivers in passenger cars, too. This makes sense, as motorcyclists often have few protections to help prevent against injuries – while the safest of motorcyclists may be helmeted and have on proper riding wear, like boots, gloves and long sleeves, this is not the norm.
When a motorcyclist is struck by a motor vehicle, it is the motorcyclist’s body that often takes the brunt of the force of the accident. The motorcyclist may be pinned between the motorcycle and the other vehicle or another object, or thrown from their bike. In either case, the injuries suffered are typically gruesome and heartbreaking. Some of these injuries might include:
- Traumatic brain injuries. Motorcyclists are at a heightened risk of incurring a traumatic brain injury, or TBI. This risk is increased when they are not wearing a helmet at the time of impact. Traumatic brain injuries can have long-term consequences, affecting an individual’s thinking, memory, cognition, sensation, motor functions, emotions, and more.
- Spinal cord injuries. Another particularly at-risk part of a motorcyclist’s body is the spinal cord. Running the length of the spinal column and protected by the vertebrae of the spine, the spinal cord is responsible for sending messages between the brain and the rest of the body. When the spinal cord is injured, this communication system is disrupted, and the result is partial or complete paralysis from the site of the injury downwards. Today, scientists have not yet discovered a cure for spinal cord injuries, making these injury types permanent.
- Road burn injuries. If a motorcyclist is thrown from their bike, they may skid along the ground before coming to a complete stop. If they are not wearing long sleeves and long pants, and sometimes, even if they are, the result can be severe road burn injury that is painful, at risk of infection, and even leaves permanent scars.
- Internal injuries. The internal organs of the body are critical to bodily functions, and while they are protected by things like the rib cage, they are often punctured or bruised in a serious accident, which can lead to internal bleeding and numerous other complications, some of which may be fatal.
- Bone fracture injuries. Bones can only withstand so much force applied upon them, and in a motorcycle accident, the bones may fracture under pressure. While some bone fracture injuries will heal with time, others pose long-term complications, and can even result in permanent disability.
Of course, the above list of injuries is not complete; soft tissue injuries, injuries to extremities, and even psychological injuries are all common in a motorcycle crash. Tragically, injuries suffered by a motorcyclist have the potential to be fatal. An Orlando lawyer can help you recoup compensation for harm.
Let Us Help You Today
If you have been injured, the medical bills, as you are aware, can be incredibly high. Don’t let another person’s negligence drive you and your family into debt. Contact The Pendas Law Firm at 1-888-573-6327 to talk to one of our experienced and aggressive Orlando motorcycle accident lawyers today.
What To Do In An Orlando Motorcycle Accident
Some motorcycle accidents can be avoided with cautious riding. As per the Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles motorcycle handbook, a motorcyclist has an option to choose their path within the lane better than a vehicle due to the smaller size, and it is wise to choose a strip of pavement that both stays out of blind spots of other vehicles, as well as avoids the oil spill section of road in the direct center of the lane. Additionally, in the event of a crash, injuries can be decreased with the use of full face helmets, riding boots, and riding jacket, gloves, and pants. Obviously there are steps to take to minimize the risks of riding, but that does not mean that riding a motorcycle is at all safe among much larger vehicles, often operated by distracted or impatient drivers. As a motorcycle rider, you know just how dangerous the roads can be in Orlando. While helmets are not required for riders 21 years old or older, all operators must have proof of $10,000 in medical coverage in case of a crash, according to the Florida Department of Motor Vehicles. However, $10,000 will not go very far if the injuries sustained are serious. Most complex medical procedures and time spent in the hospital during recovery will add up to be much greater than the bare minimum of $10,000, which is why securing financial protection in the form of a settlement or litigation against the negligent party is critical. If you were not at fault, it is in your best interest to seek legal counsel at once to discuss your options with a personal injury lawyer. Contact one of the best personal injury lawyers today.
What To Do After Getting Hit
Unfortunately, many motorcyclists are involved in catastrophic accidents due to no fault of their own. There are just too many vehicles that fail to pay attention and give motorcyclists the space and respect that they need. In the aftermath after a motorcycle accident, it is likely that you will experience shock that makes rational decision making difficult and clouds your judgment. The adrenaline pumping through a crash victim’s body is nearly impossible to overcome. Because of that, it is important to not make any rash decisions, such as remounting the motorcycle and riding away. Even seriously wounded victims are temporarily able to get up and ride off due to the huge amounts of endorphins masking the pain of their injuries. If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident by another vehicle, take note of the following vital steps to ensure your injuries and property damage are paid for by the responsible party:
- Call for medical help if needed. Otherwise, contact the police to respond and create an official accident report;
- If you can, move your bike to the side of the road and stay clear of traffic for safety’s sake;
- While you wait for the police to arrive, exchange insurance information, as well as contact information, with the other party;
- Ask for the contact information and statements of any eye witnesses, which will prove vital in piecing together the cause of the crash and who was at fault;
- Give your statement to the police;
- Seek medical attention immediately afterwards. Injuries may not be felt directly after the crash due to endorphins, and may surface in the hours or days afterwards. Immediate medical attention can help speed up recovery down the road. Additionally, you need to create a record of your injuries, which can be used in court; and
- Report the accident to your insurance provider.
Contact Our Experienced Orlando Motorcycle Accident Lawyers
Finally, you should contact an experienced Orlando motorcycle accident lawyer at once to discuss your legal options. The motorcycle accident lawyers with The Pendas Law Firm can be reached at 1-888-573-6327 and will begin working on getting you the financial help you need and deserve in this difficult time.