Motorcycle Accident Attorneys
Riding a motorcycle shouldn’t be a life or death situation.
In 2012, Florida, Texas and California led the nation in motorcycle accident fatalities, and the number of accident-related deaths are expected to continue to rise. Thanks to the beautiful weather in Florida, enthusiasts can ride their motorcycles throughout the year, but the abundance of riders on the road only puts them at a greater risk for injury or death.
Many factors can increase the risk of a motorcycle accident, including inclement weather, traveling at high speeds, high volumes of traffic and alcohol consumption, and these factors can also affect the severity of injuries that result in a motorcycle accident. The lack of a helmet and the size of the motorcycle can also put a rider at a greater risk for more severe injury during an accident. Motorcyclists are at an obvious disadvantage when struck by another vehicle — even smaller sedans outweigh a motorcycle, and a driver of a truck, car or SUV is protected by a bumper, seat belt and airbags. At Warner, Sechrest & Butts, P.A., our personal injury lawyers work hard to fight for the rights of motorcycle accident victims because we understand these types of accidents can be tragic.
Motorcycle Injury Lawyers in Gainesville, FL
While there are plenty of videos on the Internet capturing motorcyclists showing off or topping out at great speeds, the reality is that the majority of motorcycle accidents are not caused by riders but by other drivers on the road. Our personal injury and motorcycle accident attorneys support motorcycle enthusiasts, and we believe that your choice to ride should not automatically put you in danger. Our attorneys are dedicated to raising awareness of the dangers presented to riders every day, and we fight for the rights of each of our clients who have been injured due to the carelessness or reckless behavior of others.
Motorcycle Accident Prevention in Florida
Florida is home to thousands of motorcycle owners, and its also a popular destination for tourists who bring their bikes to ride in the warm weather or to showcase at many of the bike shows around the state such as Daytona Bike Week. And while it seems that everyone in Florida should be on the lookout for motorcyclists, awareness campaigns have done very little to prevent fatalities in the state. In 2011, 91 percent of motorcyclists killed in an accident were Florida residents.
In order to keep our motorcyclists safe, all vehicle operators — including riders — must stay attentive to the road. Both parties are responsible for driving safely, and we’ve compiled a list of tips that riders and other drivers can use to help avoid motorcycle accidents in Florida.
Motorcycle Safety Tips for Riders:
- Take a motorcycle safety course. These courses can help you learn how to avoid accidents and react quickly when a driver doesn’t see you on the road.
- Wear a helmet. In Florida, the law does not require riders to wear a helmet, but protecting your skull should be a top priority. Other safety gear can make it easier for drivers to see you on the road during the day and night.
- Drive with a heightened sense of awareness. For motorcyclists, hitting the cruise control button isn’t an option. You need to stay aware of your surroundings at all times, and that means anticipating reckless driving behaviors from other drivers. Obeying the speed limit, avoiding tailgating and using turn signals can help reduce the risk of being in a motorcycle accident.
Motorcycle Awareness Tips for Drivers:
- Always look for motorcycles before pulling into traffic or crossing a lane when making a turn. Some tips advise drivers to take 3 seconds to look for incoming traffic before pulling out, which doesn’t sound like very long, but 3 seconds can help you identify a motorcycle heading in your direction.
- Don’t tailgate a motorcycle. Should the rider wreck due to uneven pavement or debris on the road, you could run the rider over with your vehicle. Maintain a safe distance.
- Look for motorcycles and scooters in your blind spots, at intersections and when pulling out into traffic. Sometimes drivers assume the absence of a car or truck means it’s safe to advance. A few extra seconds to make sure the way is clear is worth saving a life.
Want to learn more about what to do when a motorcycle or scooter accident occurs? Check out our Motorcycle Accident FAQs and contact an accident attorney today.
Contact Our Personal Injury Lawyers if You’ve Been Injured
If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident in Florida, contact our personal injury and accident attorneys. We have represented victims of all types of accidents, but there’s often a stigma that motorcycle accidents victims are always at-fault. This is rarely the case in our experience. If another party or an insurance company tries to make you take the blame for your injuries, contact a Gainesville attorney who will fight for your rights. We can speak to the insurance company on your behalf and ensure that you get the compensation you deserve for your injuries. If someone you love has died from injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident, don’t hesitate — contact our office immediately.
Florida Motorcycle Accidents FAQs
What is the best way to handle yourself after a motorcycle accident?
A motorcycle accident can cause individuals to feel frightened and angry, but it is crucial to handle yourself in a manner that does not reflect these types of feelings. There are several matters that you have to handle after a motorcycle accident, so it is best to behave calmly and politely under all circumstances. Avoid arguments with the other parties. Do not attempt to attack or blame individuals for what has occurred. Also, do not do anything that may intentionally lead to further damages or injuries.
If I am injured in a motorcycle accident, what should I do?
After being injured in a motorcycle accident, you should dial 911 and seek medical care. You will need to gain a full medical examination to be effectively diagnosed and treated. If you work with personal injury lawyers in Gainesville, FL to pursue damages at a later date, you will need medical records to prove how a motorcycle accident has impacted you.
What are some things that I should know before and after a motorcycle accident?
As a motorcycle rider, you should be mindful of the following considerations to prevent yourself from being involved in an accident and to protect yourself once an accident occurs.
Before the accident...
- As a motorcycle rider, you are required to obey traffic laws just as drivers are mandated to do so.
- Always avoid distractions on the road, such as usage of cellular devices.
- The makeup of motorcycle accidents do not provide the same level of response or protective covering that vehicles provide. As such, you should always wear heavy, bright clothing to protect your body and ensure that you are visible on the road. You should also wear protective gear, such as helmets and gloves.
- Avoid riding your motorcycle in adverse weather conditions.
After the accident…
- If you are able to, remove your motorcycle from the road to prevent additional damages and safety risks.
- Call 911.
- Exchange contact information with the parties involved.
- If you are alone, call a dependable friend for assistance.
- Request information from witnesses.
- Seek medical attention (even if you sustain minor injuries).
- Take photographs of the scene and your injuries.
- Keep a journal detailing your process of recovery.
- Keep track of financial records, such as expenses related to your injury and lost wages.
- Contact your insurance company.
- Contact Gainesville motorcycle accident attorneys.
If a car turned left in front of me while I was on a motorcycle, who is at fault for the traffic accident?
The driver of the vehicle is at fault for the accident. However, in cases in which motorcycle riders ran traffic lights or violated any other type of traffic law, the driver of the vehicle may not be considered at fault. It may be deemed as contributory negligence.
Will my health insurance coverage or paid sick leave from work affect my recovery for my motorcycle accident?
No. Health insurance coverage, paid sick leave, or workers’ compensation will not affect your recovery of damages at all. You should not worry about decreases in your limit because of these factors. You should, however, be aware that through the process of subjugation, the at-fault party may be responsible for reimbursing your health insurance company for your medical expenses, if your case is successful.
If I am a recreational rider, am I required to wear a helmet?
If you are at least 21 years old and have at least 10,000 dollars worth of insurance coverage, you are not required to wear a helmet in the state of Florida. If you meet this criteria, you may still wish to wear a helmet to protect your head while on the road.
If I was not wearing a helmet, is it still possible to recover damages?
If you are not legally required to wear a helmet (*see above), you can recover damages. If you are legally required to wear a helmet, you may experience significant challenges when attempting to recover damages because of your failure to obey basic traffic laws.
Should I call the police if I am in a motorcycle accident?
Yes. You should always call the local authorities to report your motorcycle accident.
If I am in a motorcycle accident in a state other than Florida, can I still get a Florida attorney?
Yes. Florida residents have the right to obtain a Florida legal representative.
Should I hire a Florida lawyer for an accident that occurred while driving to Florida for Bike Week?
Yes. Visit our accident law firm in Gainesville, FL.
Why is an investigation of my motorcycle accident case significant?
Investigation is necessary for identifying what factors may have exactly caused or contributed to an accident and may be helpful in determining the party that is at fault.
How much time do I have to file my motorcycle injury case?
After a motorcycle accident, you will have up to four years to pursue a claim. We recommend that you visit our Florida personal injury law firm as soon as you are able to following an accident. There are benefits to filing a motorcycle injury case early.
If I do not carry motorcycle insurance, is it still possible to sue the driver who hit me?
As a motorcycle rider, you are required to carry insurance. Your lack of policy coverage may make you appear irresponsible in a court for failure to adhere to laws. This will make suing the driver challenging. The best thing that you should do is to meet with accident attorneys to discuss your case and its likelihood of success. Solid legal defense and aggressive advocacy will be necessary if you wish to sure the driver who hit you without insurance.
For more information on Florida motorcycle laws and how to handle matters following a motorcyle accident, rely on attorneys at Warner, Sechrest & Butts.