Motorcycle Accidents

Motorcycle Accidents

Residents in Florida enjoy gorgeous weather throughout the entire year, and the state has a vast array of highways that make for great motorcycle trips. Unfortunately, not every ride ends well. According to a report published by the Governors Highway Safety Association, Florida had more motorcycle accidents in 2016 than any other state in the country. Additionally, motorcycle fatalities have increased in recent years.

Motorcycle deaths started increasing in 2000 when Florida repealed the universal helmet law. The number of riders under the age of 21 that were killed in motorcycle crashes tripled within the 30 months after the repeal, even though these individuals were still required to wear a helmet. Helmet use dropped to 53 percent from 99 percent after the repeal, and only one in four riders that had to be hospitalized incurred medical bills that were less than $10,000, the amount of insurance required in Florida for bikers that do not want to wear a helmet.

Motorcycle Laws in Florida

It is crucial that all motorcyclists understand the Florida laws that govern them while they are on their bike. Under Florida law, motorcyclists must:

  • Wear a helmet at all times if they under the age of 21
  • Wear eye protection at all times
  • Have mirrors installed on both sides of the bike
  • Not have handlebars higher than the biker’s shoulders
  • Have mufflers that limit the sound of the bike to a maximum of 86 decibels
  • Use headlights at all times, even during the day
  • Ensure passengers have a footrest and a seat
  • Take a rider education course, if they are a first-time motorcycle licensee
  • Produce valid proof of medical insurance coverage in the minimum amount of $10,000 if they are over the age of 21 and do not wear a helmet
  • Carry the minimum amount of liability insurance required by Florida law

Liability for Motorcycle Accidents

One of the most difficult aspects of any motorcycle accident case is determining who was liable for the crash. Motorcyclists face a number of biases and stereotypes, as drivers and insurance companies often think that bikers are reckless and dangerous. Although every case is unique, liability in motorcycle accidents is determined by certain factors, including speed of the driver and biker, road conditions, driver error, and weather conditions.

Many motorcycle accidents are caused by negligent drivers that failed to provide the biker with an adequate right-of-way, typically because the driver did not see the motorcyclist. Other cases may involve a driver that did not see the motorcyclist as they backed out of a parking space or driveway. Dooring accidents are also common, which is when a driver opens the door of their parked vehicle into the path of an oncoming biker.

Defective Motorcycle Parts

In cases that do not involve a negligent driver, it is often found that a defect in the motorcycle is to blame for a crash. In these instances, injured bikers can file a claim against the manufacturer of the bike, or of the specific piece of equipment. To file these claims, a biker must prove:

  • The bicycle was unreasonably dangerous;
  • The motorcyclist was operating the bike in the manner intended, and
  • The performance of the bike had not changed since it was first purchased.

Common Injuries in Motorcycle Accidents

It is not uncommon for a motorcycle accident to leave victims with serious injuries. Often, these injuries are even life-threatening. The most common injuries after a crash are head injuries, including traumatic brain injuries. These injuries are so common because bikers do not have the same level of protection around them that drivers do, particularly when they choose not to wear a helmet. Brain injuries are devastating for accident victims and can completely change a person’s life, as well as the life of their family members. In the worst cases, accident victims cannot even perform simple daily tasks.

Concussions are extremely common in motorcycle accidents and while many people think this type of injury is minor, it can also be life-threatening. The most common symptoms of traumatic brain injuries include extreme fatigue, memory issues and neurological disorders, blurred or double vision, numbness in the extremities, difficulty walking, nausea, and loss of coordination.

Broken bones, spinal cord injuries, neck and back injuries, damage to internal organs, amputation, burns, disfigurement, and severe road rash are also common injuries in motorcycle accident cases.

Schedule Your Free Consultation

If you or a loved one were injured in a motorcycle accident, call Aventis Law Firm for a free consultation. We will work with you to learn about the facts of your case and let you know how we may be able to help you get compensation for your injuries.