Injured Motorcycle Riders Are Entitled to Compensation From Negligent Drivers
Author: Attorney Daniel Villalobos
The state of Florida has 600,000 registered motorcycles and more than one million licensed motorcyclists. Add to that the increase in out-of-state motorcyclists who come to ride on the 80,000 miles of roadway in a state with ideal year-round riding conditions, and it is not surprising that there is a high accident rate. Out of 4,586 motorcyclists who died in crashes in the U.S. in 2014, 440 of them were in Florida. Almost 40 percent of those who were killed were not wearing helmets, which are not required in Florida for riders over the age of 20. According to the Insurance Information Institute, motorcyclists are approximately 26 times more likely to be killed in an accident than are vehicle occupants.
Also in 2014, 92,000 people across the nation were injured in motorcycle crashes. Nearly 10,000 of those who were injured were involved in crashes in Florida. Motorcycle riders and passengers are five times more likely to be in injured in an accident than are occupants of vehicles. Riders and passengers are vulnerable no matter how much protective gear they may be wearing.
Types of Motorcycle Accidents
The same rules of the road apply to motorcyclists that apply to vehicle drivers. Unfortunately, negligent vehicle drivers are responsible for the majority of accidents that cause injury or death to motorcycle riders and their passengers. The most common types of motorcycle accidents are:
· Head-on collisions: These account for 56 percent of all motorcycle/vehicle accidents with the vehicle plowing into the motorcycle and, in almost all cases, killing the motorcycle rider.
· Cars making left-hand turns: In 42 percent of all motorcycle accidents, the motorcyclist is struck by a vehicle when the vehicle is turning left and the motorcyclist is going straight. The motorcyclists may be passing the vehicle when the vehicle suddenly turns in front of the cyclists.
· Lane-splitting: This is when the motorcyclist drives between lanes. This is legal but results in crashes when the driver does not see the motorcycle and changes lanes in front of it.
· Hazardous road conditions: A car may splash through oil puddles, bounce over potholes or swerve slightly to avoid a dead animal in the road. Those same hazards can cause motorcyclists to lose control and crash.
Accidents are also likely to occur when motorcyclists speed or use alcohol. Riders over the age of 40 are more likely to be killed in an accident than are younger riders.
Common Motorcycle Accident Injuries
Some of the most common types of injuries include:
· Head, neck and spinal cord injuries.
· Traumatic brain injuries.
· Broken legs and arms.
· Road rash from skidding along the roadway.
How an Attorney Can Help
If you were injured in a motorcycle accident, your injuries may be severe, even life-long debilitating. If the accident was due to the negligence of another, an attorney can help you collect damages to which you are legally entitled. This includes your lost wages, current medical expenses and expenses you expect to incur in the future, your pain and suffering and other costs related to your injuries. Call our attorneys today for a free consultation.