Although many motorists are surprised to hear that the driver of a four-wheel vehicle is often at fault for a motorcycle collision, any experienced biker already knows this to be true. Moreover, motorcycle accidents on Florida roadways are inherently more dangerous than auto accidents and have a higher likelihood of resulting in serious injury to the rider(s). The single most dangerous situation for motorcyclists occurs when a four-wheel vehicle fails to yield the right of way to the motorcycle. This frequently happens when a driver is making a left-hand turn at an intersection and fails to see the biker. Although many cars and trucks are involved in similar collisions, motorcyclists and their passengers are about five times more likely to be injured in a collision and twenty-five times more likely to be a fatality.
Safety Tips to Avoid a Motorcycle Collision
Since one-fourth of the motorcycle accidents reported each year are single-vehicle crashes, it is important for two-wheel enthusiasts to get the proper training for riding a motorcycle as well as to wear the proper gear. This includes long pants and sleeves, gloves, boots, proper eye protection, and a DOT-approved full-face helmet. Listed below are ways of avoiding collisions, such as:
- Wear Bright Colors – Although the most popular protective motorcycle gear comes in black, you can always add reflective materials to both your clothing and your bike.
- Make Sure You Are Easily Seen – Since most motorcycle accidents involve a driver that did not see the biker, it is crucial to be seen. This includes using your lights and turn signals 24/7 and riding in a visible section of your lane.
- Beware of Intersections – Approach every intersection with extra care and attention. Being ready for drivers to make left-hand turns, as well as sudden lane changes, can save your life.
- Obey All Traffic Laws – Never drink and ride. Although it is tempting to goose the throttle, obey all speed limits. Speeding and reckless driving are the most common causes of single-vehicle motorcycle accidents.
- Stay Alert – Beware of drivers who are distracted by talking on a phone or texting. Plus, avoid distracting yourself, check your blind spots, and clearly signal your attention to other drivers. Also, anticipate road hazards like uneven pavement and potholes.
Even though a helmet may not be required, it is important to protect your head from traumatic brain injuries. It is estimated that motorcycle accidents cost the country about $16 billion annually. More than half of the serious bodily injuries to motorcyclists involve traumatic brain injuries. If you are new to the sport, get the appropriate training. It is not the same as driving a car.
How to Seek Compensation for a Florida Motorcycle Accident
Unlike car and truck drivers, motorcyclists in Florida are not included in the state’s no-fault laws that require Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance. This means the insurance coverage from one rider to the next can differ greatly. Typically, the motorcyclist is responsible after an accident to seek compensation for economic losses. Since no-fault regulations do not apply, a rider does not have to show permanent injury to be compensated for medical expenses, pain, and suffering, loss of income, etc. However, proving negligence on the part of the automobile driver is one of the critical issues in presenting a motorcycle accident case. Since Florida statutes allow for comparative negligence, the amount of a settlement can be reduced by the percentage of fault assigned to the motorcyclist.
As is the case with all personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits, there is a limited amount of time for a motorcycle rider (or passenger) to pursue compensation for damages. Determining fault, correctly calculating the number of damages, and establishing the long-term impact on your livelihood can be difficult without legal help. If you or someone you know has been involved in a motorcycle accident that resulted in injuries, contact Schackow & Mercadante today to schedule a consultation to discuss the details of your case. Chances are, you have a right to pursue compensation against the driver who was responsible for your injuries. Our motorcycle accident attorneys have the experience and legal knowledge to help you recover the maximum amount of compensation available to you.