Motorcyclists love riding in Florida for its flat roads, beautiful landscapes, and warm ocean breezes. With great cities like Orlando, Miami, and Jacksonville, to name a few, motorcyclists have several fantastic places to visit, park, and hang out for a while.
The high number of motorcyclists in Florida also leads to motorcycle crashes happening on our roads frequently between bikers and other vehicles on the road. Regrettably, these accidents happen too often because drivers lack respect for motorcyclists due to certain stereotypes about bikers and their cultures.
If you suffered severe bodily injuries in a motorcycle crash that was not your fault, and you need help determining the legal steps you can take to seek damages, you could contact a Jacksonville motorcycle accident lawyer at Ben Crump Law, PLLC.
Our legal team knows the state laws about crashes involving motorcycles, what your rights are, and what financial compensation you could recover in a personal injury case. Call us at (800) 924-3113 for a no-fee initial consultation with a team member.
Motorcycle Accidents in Florida
According to data from the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV), nearly 9,200 accidents involving motorcycles happened on Florida roads in 2018. The state numbers show that 556 cyclists and passengers died that year, and almost 8,500 people injured, including over 2,100 severely injured.
For a free legal consultation with a motorcycle accidents lawyer serving Jacksonville, call 800-924-3113
The Popularity of Motorcycles in Florida
Motorcycle registrations are second highest in the nation, with Statista reporting 587,499 motorcycle registrations in Florida in 2018, second only to California nationwide.
Motorcycle popularity came of age in the 1960s and 1970s, with motorcycle lifestyles depicting freedom and the open road for free thinkers. The baby boomers who grew up with this cultural awareness have moved to Florida to retire here, making this a likely reason for the state’s high number of motorcycles.
Yet, as baby boomers age, their driving skills may erode over time, whether on a motorcycle or in a car. That leads to accidents between motorcycles and other vehicles, which can lead to traumatic injuries. Whether older or younger, motorcyclists and car drivers still need to drive safely, avoid reckless driving encounters, and not drive while inebriated.
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Types of Injuries from Motorcycle Accidents
Because a motorcycle rider does not have the same protection on their bike as car and truck drivers have, they can experience far worse injuries in accidents involving both types of vehicles. The personal injuries that a motorcyclist can suffer range from minor (e.g., scratches, bruises, or road rash) to much more serious injuries such as:
- Spinal cord damage
- Broken legs, necks, and collarbones
- Concussions and traumatic brain injuries
These injuries could lead to paralysis, permanent disability, or even death.
Lower body injuries in the legs, hips, ankles, and feet are quite common in motorcycle crashes. During the cyclist’s fall onto the pavement, these occur with the extra weight of a hot motorcycle landing on the driver.
In addition, injuries to a motorcyclist’s neck and head areas may cause serious permanent damage. Not wearing a helmet at the time of the accident could also lead to a cyclist’s death—the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) found that helmet use could have saved 749 lives in 2017.
Motorcyclists could also suffer injuries to their upper torso, including chest or back, and shoulders. Injuries in these areas can result in extended hospital stays.
What to Do After a Motorcycle Accident
When a motorcyclist suffers severe injuries in an accident, the priority must be about getting well. After a serious accident, the motorcyclist needs to receive the right medical treatment, take the right medications, see physical therapists, and do whatever else is necessary to regain their health.
The healing process could take a while, but insurance companies don’t want to wait. They will call you or your family immediately after a crash, trying to get you to settle for a fast payout. You might not want to take a quick cash payment from insurance companies without first consulting a personal injury lawyer.
A motorcyclist trying to heal their broken body after a crash shouldn’t have to deal with insurance companies or decide how to get their motorcycle repaired. A Jacksonville motorcycle accident lawyer can handle those responsibilities for you.
An attorney with Ben Crump Law, PLLC, could help gather evidence from the crash, collecting police records, driver’s records, and more. They can help build a case against the at-fault driver and negotiate with their insurance company, which will also ask questions and seek a quick settlement. Call our team today to get started.
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Filing a Claim Before the Deadline Runs Out
Unlike car accident victims, motorcyclists don’t have the protection of mandatory personal injury protection (PIP) insurance coverage required under Florida’s no-fault system. However, it also frees cyclists to pursue compensation outside the restrictions placed by this system.
A Jacksonville motorcycle accident lawyer can start the legal process by filing a case against the at-fault driver to help injured motorcyclists seek financial compensation. The claim will typically cover compensation for economic damages like motorcycle repairs, medical bills, and income loss due to missing work recuperating from the injury.
However, in cases when the motorcyclist suffered severe injuries, an attorney can also prepare a claim for noneconomic damages, like physical pain and suffering, and the emotional anguish resulting from the injuries and trauma from the crash.
Keep in mind that under Florida Statutes §95.11, you have four years from the accident date to file a personal injury lawsuit. A motorcycle accident attorney can help ensure your case gets filed before the statute of limitations runs out.
Work with a Jacksonville Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
Motorcyclists face higher risks of getting hurt in an accident, and the costs go way up for both the injured cyclist and society.
The Government Accountability Office (GAO) showed that in 2010, motorcycle crashes cost $16 billion in direct costs from:
- Emergency medical services
- Rehabilitative medical expenses
- Property damage repair bills
- Lost wages from injuries
- Insurance costs, including claims and defense attorneys’ fees
Other drivers might not see motorcycles as easily as they see other vehicles. Distracted drivers, drunk drivers, and fatigued drivers are especially susceptible. You don’t want to become a statistic. Ride your motorcycle safely and obey the rules of the road.
However, if you need assistance after a recent crash involving your motorcycle and a car, bus, or truck, you could contact a Jacksonville motorcycle accident lawyer at Ben Crump Law, PLLC. Our team stands ready to provide a free consultation where we’ll discuss your situation and how we can help you explore legal options. Call us today at (800) 924-3113 to get started.