Florida is home to some of the best motorcycle roads and rides in the country including: The Ozelloe Trail Ride, Naples to Key West, Scenic SR-13 (just south of Jacksonville), St. Augustine to Flagler Florida, Indian River Lagoon, and Gulf Coast Cruise. Florida's warm weather means motorcyclists are able to ride year round. It should be no surprise then that Florida ranks among highest in motorcycle accidents.
According to the Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, in 2018, there were 8,706 motorcycles accidents across the State of Florida. Of those, 497 involved fatalities. Palm Beach County accounted for 436 of the total accidents and 26 of the total fatalities.
How Do Motorcycle Accidents Differ from Car Accidents?
Motorcycle accidents differ from car accidents by the amount of protection provided by the vehicle. In a car, truck, or van, the driver and any passengers are better protected because they are physically covered by the vehicle itself. Motorcyclists are only protected by whatever protective gear they are wearing at the time of the accident. This lack of protection for motorcyclists is why there is about a 10% fatality rate in a car and a 61% fatality rate on a motorcycle.
What Increases the Chances of a Motorcycle Accident?
Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles reported 9,143 motorcycle crashes in 2018 and a three-year average of 520 motorcycle fatalities. There are a number of reasons why these accidents happen, but some common causes are good to keep in mind. For example, bad weather and rough road conditions can inhibit a driver. You may not be able to see a motorcyclist in the rain or at night, or a motorcyclist may hit a pothole in just the right way to throw the entire bike off its course and into your path. Blind spots, in general, will always be a concern and it is strongly encouraged to use your mirrors with caution. Lane splitting, or driving a motorcycle between two cars instead of waiting to pass legally, is another common reason for accidents. It takes patience and responsibility on everyone's part to adhere to traffic laws and be mindful of each other on the road.
What Kind of Injuries are Common for Motorcycle Accidents?
Since there is nothing built around you for protection when riding a motorcycle, wearing the right kind of gear becomes even more necessary. In addition to a helmet, consider covering your body with clothing because anything left exposed can become seriously damaged on the road. Road rash on skin is a constant concern and is one of the milder injuries one can sustain in an accident. On a more serious scale, injuries to a person's brain or spinal cord are also common. Broken bones can be easily attained, and amputations can be necessary.
If I am involved in an accident on my motorcycle, who will pay my medical bills?
Unlike automobile insurance, Florida does not require require motorcyclists to carry Personal Injury Protection (PIP) benefits. That means if you are involved in an accident on your motorcycle and you do not have Personal Injury Protection (PIP) benefits on your motorcycle insurance policy, you may be personally responsible for you medical bills. If you do have Personal Injury Protection (PIP) benefits on your motorcycle insurance policy, this means your insurance will pay up to eighty percent (80%) of up to $10,000.00 of your medical bills. These Personal Injury Protection (PIP) benefits of your insurance will help pay for your medical bills regardless of who was at fault for the accident. In other words, your insurance will pay this amount whether you caused the accident or another person was at fault and cause the accident.
If you were not at-fault for the accident, you may be able to recover against the at-fault person to recover for any past medical bills and for any future medical bills.
If I am involved in an accident on my motorcycle, can I file a claim for my injuries?
Yes. If you are injured while riding your motorcycle as a result of the negligence of someone else, then you can file a claim for your injuries. Usually, an accident is caused by the negligence of someone else. Far to often driver's are distracted, preoccupied with other things, or just not paying attention.
Should I hire a motorcycle injury attorney?
Yes. If you have been injured while riding your motorcycle and someone else was at-fault for the accident, you should contact a motorcycle injury attorney as soon as possible. An attorney will be able to guide you through the claims process and explain your options for pursuing compensation for past medical bills, future medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Your attorney will be able to obtain the accident report, locate witnesses and take witness statements, photograph the scene, obtain video of the accident, obtain your medical records and medical bills, and handle all communication with the involved insurance companies.
If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident, contact us now.
The attorneys and staff at Keller, Melchiorre & Walsh, PLLC have the experience, resources, and reputation to take on the insurance company and get you the compensation you deserve. Click here to read what our clients say about us and click here to see our recent results. Contact us now for a free strategy session.