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Countless people in Florida rely on motorcycles as their primary mode of transportation, while others treat their motorcycles as a hobby. Florida has the second-highest number of registered motorcyclists in all U.S. states, but unfortunately, Florida also leads the country in the number of fatal motorcycle crashes every year. It's important to know that even if you practice safe riding on the road, you can't prevent other drivers and vehicles from behaving negligently and causing accidents. If you or someone you loved is suffering from injuries and other damages as a result of an accident, call Heyman Law Firm today. With decades of experience handling personal injury cases, our St. Petersburg motorcycle accident attorney can listen to your story and offer you compassionate support during a painful time. We're also aggressive in our pursuit of justice for our clients and have recovered millions of dollars in past cases.
Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
Some motorcyclists crash as a result of their own mistakes, and outside factors like poor weather conditions can contribute to accidents, too, but in many cases, the drivers of other vehicles cause motorcycle accidents.
Some common causes of motorcycle accidents include:
- Drunk driving: Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs impairs a driver's ability to drive safely and follow traffic laws. Their response time is slowed down, giving them less time to brake for stopped traffic and other hazards, and they're more likely to speed and drive through red lights and stop signs.
- Distracted driving: All drivers must always be focused on the road. Even a glance at a text message on your phone can prevent you from detecting a hazard or emergency and can cause a serious collision. When drivers are on the phone, eating, or otherwise distracted, they can fail to notice a motorcyclist who has merged into their lane or has moved into their blind spot.
- Defective motorcycle parts: Sometimes drivers aren't responsible for motorcycle accidents. If a faulty or dangerous part contributes to a motorcycle accident, the manufacturer could be held liable for damages, as the manufactured part should have worked correctly.
- Road hazards: Motorcyclists can often be injured as a result of road hazards that drivers of vehicles don't have to worry about. Loose asphalt or broken roads, for example, are enough to cause a motorcyclist to lose control or fall over. In these cases, the government entity responsible for the maintenance of the road could be responsible.
Motorcycle Crashes Often Result in Catastrophic Injuries
The unfortunate reality of being involved in an auto accident as a motorcyclist is that you're more likely to suffer severe injuries than drivers and passengers in cars and other vehicles. This is because motorcyclists don't have the structural and outer protection that passengers have. While motorcyclists wear helmets, they don't have seat belts or airbags to cushion the blow.
Motorcyclists are known to suffer from catastrophic injuries, or injuries that can be permanent or have long-term consequences. Some of these can include burns, which require extensive cosmetic surgeries, spinal cord and neck injuries that can result in paralysis, and head and brain injuries. Brain injuries could be as mild as a slight concussion and as serious as permanent brain damage.
Helmet Laws in Florida
Florida repealed the universal helmet law in 2000 for riders over the age of 21. So, if you are over 21 years of age, you do not have to wear a helmet legally while riding a motorcycle or motor scooter. However, if you choose not to wear a helmet, you are legally required to carry $10,000 of Medical Payment Insurance.
There are risks that come with not wearing a helmet when operating a motor vehicle, which include:
- If you are in an accident and not wearing a helmet, you are 3x more likely to suffer a serious brain injury and the hospital bills will be more than double.
- There are 20+ states in the United States that have a universal helmet law for all motorcyclists. So be aware when riding out of Florida.
How Our Attorney Can Help You
The more serious the injuries, the more expensive damages tend to be after a motorcycle accident. For instance, a paralysis diagnosis can mean time spent in the hospital, hours of physical therapy, the purchase of a wheelchair and car lifts, and much more. Our attorney takes all of these emergency and future costs into consideration when determining how much financial compensation you're entitled to after an accident.
With our help, you may be able to secure the following damages from those who caused your accident:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages and future earning capacity
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
We can protect you from the driver or party who caused your injuries as well as insurance companies, as they may attempt to put the blame on you or employ other tactics to avoid liability. You deserve to recover the maximum amount of compensation available to you under Florida law.