Motorcycle accidents are one of the leading causes of death and personal injury in the US. According to figures from Statista, over 5000 people die every year due to motorcycle accidents. Motorcycle accidents also make up over 10% of traffic deaths.
If you have been the victim of a Clearwater motorcycle accident, there are certain legal remedies you can pursue. Our competent personal injury lawyers have extensive experience in handling motorcycle accident lawsuits. We will offer you professional legal representation with a free consultation and ensure that you are justly compensated.
Causes Of Clearwater Motorcycle Accidents
Like in all other places, motorcycle accidents in Clearwater are caused by several factors such as;
- Distracted driving; Drivers may be cognitively, manually, or visually distracted. Texting while driving is a common occurrence that leads to motorcycle accidents.
- Over-speeding; Drivers exceeding recommended speed limits contribute a lot to Clearwater motorcycle accidents.
- Changing lanes recklessly; Closely tied to over-speeding, reckless drivers change lanes unsafely and increase the incidence of motorcycle accidents.
- Driving while intoxicated or exhausted; Drivers who are drunk, under the influence of drugs, or simply exhausted have impaired judgment and poor situational awareness. This leads to reckless driving that can lead to motorcycle accidents.
- Refusal to yield right of way; Yielding the right to way is a regulation that helps to ensure the smooth flow of traffic with minimal confusion. Contravening this regulation can lead to misunderstanding and cause a serious motorcycle accident.
- The poor state of roads; Roads in poor conditions such as those with potholes are a potential hazard as they make navigation of both motorists and motorcyclists difficult, something that can easily lead to an accident. The same applies to adverse weather.
Injuries Caused By Motorcycle Accidents
The fatality rate among motorcycle accident victims is very high. Victims also sustain grave physical injuries that may cause permanent damage to them.
This is mainly because compared to motorists, motorcycles are not shielded and so riders are very exposed. Motorcycles also lack such safety features as airbags and hence riders suffer harder physical impact.
Some of the injuries caused by motorcycle accidents include;
- Grave injuries to the head, face, and neck
- Chest injury
- Back and spinal cord injuries
- Broken ribs and bones
- Severe brain injury and trauma
- Internal organ injuries
The Consequence of Motorcycle Accidents To Victims
The grave physical injuries caused by motorcycle accidents can lead to;
- Permanent handicap
- Amputation of limbs
- Wrongful death
Motorcycle Accident Statistics In Florida
Unfortunately, the state of Florida has one of the highest incidences of motorcycle accidents in the United States. This is according to data provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
In 2017, 550 motorcycle riders died due to motorcycle accidents in Florida. This high number was only significantly challenged by California’s 515 riders. The high incidence of motorcycle accidents in Florida is attributed to the fact that it is the second state with the highest number of registered motorcyclists standing at over 550,000.
Another cause of the many motorcycle accidents in Florida is the festive bike rallies and events which draw participants from all around the country. Participants in events such as Daytona Beach Bike Week and Biketoberfest come to enjoy Florida’s beautiful weather and roads as well.
This leads to an increase in motorcycling activities which in turn increases the incidence of motorcycle accidents.
What Are Your Rights Under Florida’s Motorcycle Insurance Law?
Motorcycle insurance law in Florida differs a bit from car insurance laws. In the event of a motorcycle accident, one’s specific case has to satisfy certain requirements. These are;
- The motorcycle accident must have caused serious bodily damage that is either permanent or long-term.
- The motorcycle accident must have resulted in a serious handicap that prevents normal function.
- The motorcycle accident has to have been fatal resulting in wrongful death.
To insulate themselves in case of a motorcycle accident, motorcyclists can acquire uninsured motorist coverage to facilitate their compensation for treatment costs, lost wages, and physical and emotional suffering.
What Damages Can a Motorcycle Accident Victim Seek Compensation For?
Victims of Clearwater motorcycle accidents can seek monetary compensation on several grounds. These grounds take stock of the short-term and long-term impacts of motorcycle accidents. They include;
Physical Pain And Suffering
The severity of motorcycle accident injuries varies from minor to catastrophic injuries. Victims may sustain small cuts, bruises, and scratches in some cases. In others, the physical injury is much worse and can involve traumatic head injuries, broken spinal cords, and lost limbs.
Regardless of the severity of the injuries, victims get compensated for the pain and suffering caused. The amount of compensation that varies depending on the severity of the injury and hence the level of pain endured.
Emotional Trauma And Distress
Besides causing grave physical injury, motorcycle accidents also cause victims a lot of distress emotionally. Motorcycle accidents leave you shaken and fearful as they are near-death experiences that could end up very badly.
Therefore, victims are allowed to seek monetary damages to compensate them for the mental shock and suffering they have to endure as a result of motorcycle accidents. If the trauma is so severe as to necessitate professional psychological therapy, the costs are catered for in the compensation for medical expenses.
Present And Future Medical Expenses
A victim who has sustained injuries in a motorcycle accident requires professional medical attention. To cater to these medical expenses, the victim is entitled to compensation for treatment costs.
The compensation must cover the cost of any treatment already received and any future treatment that will be necessary with the accident as a direct cause.
The monetary compensation should also cover both simple and complex medical procedures like reconstructive surgery and any other procedures that may be deemed necessary by medical practitioners.
Lost Wages And Diminished Future Earning Capacity
This is another category of economic damages that victims of motorcycle accidents get compensated for. Lost wages refer to the financial remuneration that a victim loses at their place of work due to hospitalization and time taken to recover from a motorcycle crash.
Motorcycle accidents can also lead to serious handicaps and permanent physical disfigurement. This can greatly undermine a victim’s future earning prospects as they may become partially or completely unable to work.
To insulate them from the poverty and suffering that arises from the inability to work and earn, therefore, forfeited future income is taken into consideration when coming up with the appropriate compensation for the victim.
What To Do If You Are Involved In A Motorcycle Accident
Motorcycle accidents could be very injurious and fatal. The following are some of the things you should do if you get involved in a motorcycle accident;
- Before anything else, ensure that you get yourself out of any potential danger from oncoming vehicles. Nothing is more tragic than suffering injuries twice in two separate accidents. If you are too injured to move, ask for assistance from those nearby.
- Once you have guaranteed your safety, contact the authorities. Do this immediately as it is a very crucial step that will prove useful in your Clearwater motorcycle accident claim. Police will not only collect critical evidence but also assist in getting you medical attention. They will clear the scene and prevent other accidents from occurring at the same spot.
- While you may be injured due to a motorcycle accident, the law requires there to be sufficient evidence for your claim to be valid. Therefore, ensure that you acquire the contact and personal details of any eyewitnesses to the accident as they will be useful in verifying your claim.
- The majority of our phones nowadays are equipped with cameras. Therefore, take photos of all the details at the scene of the motorcycle accident to strengthen your evidence further. Capture skid marks, damaged vehicles, bodily wounds, and any other information that can help confirm there was indeed an accident.
- Ensure you seek medical attention as soon as possible whether your injuries are severe or not. Failure to do so might result in complications later as you never know if you sustained internal injuries.
- Being the victim of a motorcycle accident leaves you with both physical injuries and emotional and mental trauma. Ensure you get yourself a qualified and competent Clearwater motorcycle accident lawyer for legal representation in seeking compensation for damages suffered.
Who Can Be Held Liable For Damages After a Clearwater Motorcycle Crash?
When it comes to motorcycle accidents, the state of Florida has comparative fault laws. What comparative laws make it possible for the liability for a motorcycle accident to be assigned proportionately according to how much each party’s actions contributed to it.
Each motorcycle accident has a unique set of circumstances surrounding it. Generally, however, liable parties may include drivers, other motorcyclists, truck and bus drivers, pedestrians, cyclists, vehicle manufacturers, truck drivers, bus drivers, and even the government.
What If I’m Blamed For The Motorcycle Accident?
In many instances, motorcyclists are unfairly presumed to be the ones at fault in the event of such accidents. However, let this not worry you and prevent you from filing a claim for compensation for damages.
We have skilled lawyers who are conversant with motorcycle accident suits that will do a stellar job at defending you and proving your innocence. If you contributed by a minimal margin to the accident, our lawyers can still win you a favorable statement from which an equivalent percentage of your liability will be accounted for.
The bottom line is that we will ensure you are compensated fairly and protect you from any attempts to pin the blame on you.
What You Should Do To Maintain Safety While Riding
As noted earlier, motorcycle accidents are very preventable. To reduce the chances of getting involved in a motorcycle accident, do the following;
Observe Speed Limits
Riding motorcycles at a very high speed increases the risk of being involved in a motorcycle accident. This is because motorcycles are fairly small and hence riding at high speeds makes it harder for other motorists to see you. As such, they are unable to avoid crashing into you in case of a high-risk situation.
There are also certain areas like junctions and intersections with high traffic activity and hence motorcyclists are required to ride at lower speeds.
This is because the chances of accidents at such places are high. Therefore, ensure that you always adhere to recommended speed limits and avoid riding at high speeds.
Ensure You Use Safety Gear
Some of the safety gear used by motorcyclists include helmets, gloves, knee pads, closed-toe boots, and designated riding pants and leather jackets.
This safety gear goes a long way in reducing the impact that occurs due to a motorcycle accident. Reflective clothing also helps increase visibility thereby minimizing the risk of being crashed into.
Therefore, always ensure you have high-quality safety gear on whenever you ride your motorcycle regardless of the distance or the speed. Florida may have beautiful, sunny weather to enjoy while riding with shorts and a vest but do not let that get in the way of your safety.
Take Your Bike For Service Regularly
While in many cases motorcycle accidents may occur due to the negligence of other motorists, riders sometimes contribute to accidents. This is especially so if an accident occurs due to the malfunctioning of a motorcycle’s breaks, bursting of a tire, or engine problems.
Therefore, always ensure that any mechanical problems with your motorcycle are fixed immediately by qualified personnel. Do not wait for mechanical components to completely wear out, replace them as soon as possible.
Also, take your motorcycle for regular service to ensure optimal performance and to have any potential problems fixed before they result in fatal consequences.
Do I Have to Get a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer?
While it is not mandatory to have legal representation, it is strongly recommended that you enlist the services of a Clearwater motorcycle accident lawyer if you are a victim of a crash. This is especially so if you are seeking compensation for damages from insurance.
Insurance companies will always contest demands for compensation and try to pay the least amount possible or avoid paying anything altogether. A qualified motorcycle accident lawyer helps you to navigate the complexities of such lawsuits so that the settlement or court verdict works out in your favor.
Why Hire Us As Your Clearwater Motorcycle Accident Lawyer?
Any motorcycle accident victim who sustains injuries as a result of someone else’s action deserves to be compensated. The compensation should cover the physical and emotional pain endured, medical expenses, and lost wages.
To be awarded a just settlement amount that adequately compensates you for your trouble, you need a personal injury lawyer with the requisite expertise to successfully represent you. We have a team of highly skilled lawyers with extensive experience and a successful track record in motorcycle accident lawsuits.
We are committed to ensuring that our clients are fairly compensated. To achieve this, our motorcycle accident lawyers offer the following;
Free Consultation and Evaluation
Drawing from their extensive experience and expert knowledge, our Clearwater motorcycle accident lawyers do a thorough assessment of your case and let you know if your claim is valid.
If so, they then present you with the options you have and then advise you on the best one to take. The consultation is free so no need to fret about the fees.
To strongly defend your claim for damages, you need to have valid, irrefutable evidence to prove your case beyond any reasonable doubt. Our motorcycle accident lawyers assist you in collecting all the necessary evidence and documents to back your claims.
All this is done to ensure that you get a favorable settlement amount befitting of you’re the trouble you went through.
Demand For Compensation
After putting together irrefutable evidence to support your claim, our experienced lawyers in consultation with other experts estimate the rightful compensation amount you should get. The lawyers then present the figure to you and if you approve it, they go ahead to make a demand for it from the liable parties.
Representation In Court
If the liable parties accept the settlement offer, the matter is amicably solved out of court. However, if both parties cannot come to a consensus on the rightful compensation amount, our very competent motorcycle accident lawyers pursue litigation in court to get the court to award you the appropriate compensation.
Let Us Represent You Today
As a firm, we are defined by quality, excellence, and professionalism. If you are in need of a Clearwater motorcycle accident lawyer, enlist our services and get to enjoy expert legal advice and guidance as well as exceptional legal representation in your suit.
You do not have to worry about legal fees as we offer a free consultation. You also do not need to pay us any money upfront. Rather, we offer our services on a contingency basis meaning that we only get paid once we win the case and deliver you a favorable settlement.
Therefore, if you have been the victim of a Clearwater motorcycle accident, do not hesitate to contact us today and get the best of our legal services. Our services are very affordable and we will ensure you get the best settlement outcome possible.