The popularity of motorcycles has led to an increasing number of them on the road, and unfortunately, more motorcycle accidents. In Florida, the number of motorcycle injuries and crashes has nearly doubled over the past decade. Jacksonville is no exception.
Approximately 80 percent of motorcycle accidents cause injury or death to the motorcyclist. Although motorcycles make up only about two percent of the vehicles on our roads, they account for approximately eight percent of all traffic fatalities. The number of fatalities has increased since Florida law was changed in 2000 to no longer require that motorcyclists to wear helmets.
Although most personal injury law firms routinely handle car accidents, motorcycle accidents involve unique issues. For example, Florida law does not require motorcycle drivers to have personal injury protection (commonly referred to as PIP) coverage. This can lead to difficulty in getting medical care for serious injuries. By working with local doctors, we can usually obtain medical care in such situations. Because of the nuances specific to motorcycle cases, it is important that you hire an attorney familiar with motorcycle accident cases.
In addition, the investigation required for motorcycle accidents can be much more difficult. Often, an at-fault driver fails to observe a motorcyclist prior to an accident and will be mistaken as to how the accident occurred. Witnesses often believe a motorcycle is traveling much faster than it actually is, due to its smaller size. In addition, a motorcycle typically makes more noise than a vehicle which can also lead a witness to believe it was traveling at a greater speed than it actually was. Finally, some witnesses have negative opinions about motorcyclists and such a bias can creep into a witness' testimony without the witness even being aware he or she is doing it.
The failure to observe motorcyclists can result in a motorist unknowingly turning directly into the motorcyclist’s path, causing a dangerous head-on collision for the motorcycle driver. Sometimes, inexperienced motorcyclists push the limits of their vehicles by speeding and taking unnecessary chances. When you consider how vulnerable motorcycle drivers are, with no seatbelt and very little to protect them from impact, it is not surprising that these types of accidents frequently cause serious injury and death. are usually serious and frequently fatal.
Motorcyclists can reduce the likelihood of getting struck and seriously injured by following these safety tips:
- Don’t ride in the blind spot of a car or truck.
- Always wear a helmet. Even though they are not required by law, a helmet can make the difference between life and death or serious brain injuries.
- Be extra observant on the road. Pay attention to brake lights and turn signals and drive defensively.
- Never ride in between lanes or share a lane with another vehicle.
- Drive the speed limit.
With severe injuries, it is important to hire a law firm with the resources to hire expert witnesses, such as Life Care Consultants, Vocational Rehabilitation Experts and Economists, in order to be able to claim the full amount of future medical expenses and wage losses. Our Jacksonville based motorcycle accident attorneys have the experience, knowledge and resources to thoroughly pursue your right to full compensation.