Motorcycle Accidents – A Brief Overview
With the weather, vistas, and scenic roads and bridges, driving a motorcycle around Miami can be an enjoyable experience, but with the high number of motor vehicle related accidents that occur in and around Miami-Dade County, also a dangerous one. If you or a loved one have been involved in a motorcycle accident in Miami and have suffered damages, injury or wrongful death, you may be entitled to receive compensation for medical expenses and receive the relief you deserve. A Miami motorcycle accident lawyer can help you navigate the complex legal process and claim damages for the cost of your medical bills if you’ve been wrongfully injured on the road. Give the professionals at Jugo & Murphy a call to schedule your free consultation today. Learn more about motorcycle accident statistics and frequently asked questions below.
Common Injuries Related to Motorcycle Accidents
Some common injuries that occur as a result of motorcycle accidents include:
- Burn Injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
- Neck and Back injuries
- Broken and fractured bones
- Wrongful death
Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
According to 2014 fatal crash data, you are 27 times more likely to have a fatality in a motorcycle incident than you are in other types of motor vehicles and six times as likely to be injured. The leading cause of motorcycle accidents in Miami are caused by negligence that leads to injury and/or death. For example:
- Driving while intoxicated (DUI)
- Failure of car and truck drivers to notice or detect motorcyclist
- Failure to recognize and yield the right of way
- Cutting off or swerving in front of motorcyclists
- Driving over or under the speed limit
What to do after a Motorcycle Accident?
Stay safe: get out of traffic or away from things like a car or motorcycle that is leaking gasoline or is on fire, damaged buildings or road debris.
- Call the police and get medical attention: Even if you are not severely injured you may have injuries that appear later, and it is better to get checked out by health professionals if you or someone else has been in a motorcycle accident.
- Get evidence: take pictures and video of your motorcycle, other vehicles involved in the accident, skid marks on the road and any injuries you or others might have sustained.
- Exchange information: such as name, driver’s license, insurance and contact information with any other people involved in the accident, as well as any witnesses to what happened.
- Do not leave: until you’ve exchanged information and/or police have arrived.
- Call your Insurance company: as soon as you can and provide them with: names of the people involved in the accident, general information on the crash and the names and contact information of any witnesses. Also, if you have been injured or your vehicle sustained damage, let them know you will provide that information when you have been examined by a doctor and taken the vehicle to a mechanic.
- Contact a lawyer: given the complex nature of motorcycle accidents, your best opportunity to obtain compensation would be to hire a Miami motorcycle lawyer to help you take all the right steps in your case and not get taken advantage of by other parties.
Liability and Comparative Negligence
While some people may be under the impression that motorcycle accidents are primarily stand-alone incidents, it’s an incorrect assumption, as 58% are multi-vehicle accidents. Motorcycle accidents fall under the umbrella of negligence law, and to win a motorcycle accident lawsuit, your lawyer must prove that the accident was caused by the other party’s negligence that resulted in your injuries and loss, as every driver on the road has a duty towards others and can be held liable if they are found negligent or lack reasonable care. This can mean speeding, driving while intoxicated, or simply driving while distracted. If it causes an injury you may be able to sue for damages.
Florida operates under the comparative negligence principle. This means that the insurers or the courts will determine the proportion of responsibility for the accident and weigh the damages accordingly. For example, if you were hit by a drunk driver but you were lane splitting (driving between two lanes, which is illegal in Florida) the fault may be split 50% each way and the drunk driver would only be liable for 50% of the damages. Another example would be a motorcycle driver not wearing a helmet. It may be found, that even if the accident was entirely the other party’s fault for the accident, that the resulting damages were exacerbated by the fact that the motorcycle operator wasn’t wearing safety equipment.
You may be entitled to both economic and non-economic damages as compensation for the injuries you sustained.
Economic Damages would include:
- Medical Bills
- Loss of income and potential earning capacity
- Damage to property
- Future medical expenses
- Other costs
Examples of Non-Economic Damages:
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of a relationship
- Emotional and mental anguish
- Diminished work capacity and quality for life
- Loss of enjoyment of life
Statute of Limitations
The state of Florida allows plaintiffs to file motorcycle accident lawsuits within two years of the accident if it involves a wrongful death or four years for injuries. There are additional deadlines where the responsible party is a government entity. After that, it will not be possible to file a lawsuit, so contact an attorney immediately following an accident and before the deadline to recover damages.
Motorcycle Accident Statistics
Most years, Florida leads the nation in motorcycle accident fatalities. This may be due to a combination of an unusually high number of unlicensed drivers as well as year-round motorcycle riding weather. No matter the reason, a seasoned Miami motorcycle accident lawyer will tell you that they happen far too often and in many cases, are the fault of the other driver. Learn more about Miami motorcycle accident statistics below.
- Miami-Dade County routinely leads the State of Florida in the number of fatal crashes each year.
- Motorcycles are involved in approximately 20% of all crashes in Florida, even though there are far fewer motorcycles on the road.
- More than 1,000 motorcycle accidents occur in Miami-Dade County each year.
- Well over 500 motorcyclists are killed as a result of a collision annually in Florida.
- A recent study concluded that 40% of motorcycle collision deaths occur as a result of the driver not wearing a helmet.
Motorcycle Accident FAQ
What is the Most Common Cause of Motorcycle Accidents?
A quick glance at Miami motorcycle accident law statistics indicates that there is a myriad of reasons that contribute to motorcycle accidents. Some of the most common include speeding, driving while under the influence, left-turn accidents, unsafe lane changes, speeding, sudden stops, lack of lighting on the road, and unsafe weather conditions, etc.
How do You Tell if a Motorcycle Has Been in an Accident?
An experienced Miami motorcycle accident attorney will quickly tell you that riding on a motorcycle that has previously been in an accident can lead to more accidents in the future. Some signs of an accident to look for in a motorcycle include damaged frame, cracked fiberglass, scratches, bent handlebars, unstable wheels, overall unsmooth ride.
How Many People Die From Motorcycles Each Year?
Roughly 5,000 people die in motorcycle accidents throughout the United States each year. There are between 500 – 600 motorcycle fatalities that occur in Florida each year. Miami-Dade routinely has the highest number of motorcycle accident-related deaths in Florida.
What Are The Most Common Injuries After a Motorcycle Accident?
Due to the nature of riding a motorcycle, injuries often occur. Some of the most common injuries include head injuries (brain injuries, concussions, a cracked skull, etc.), road rash, broken limbs, nerve damage, spinal cord, and back injuries. If you or a loved one have suffered any of the aforementioned injuries (or others) due to a motorcycle accident caused by the negligence of another driver, contact a Miami motorcycle accident attorney immediately after you have sought medical attention. Give the professionals at Jugo & Murphy a call to schedule your free consultation today.
Finding a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer in the Miami area
Motorcycle accidents can be harrowing experiences in and of themselves, further complicated by insurance companies and lawsuits. Whether you’ve been injured in an accident or a loved one has died, it’s in your best interest to contact an experienced and professional motorcycle accident lawyer. A good motorcycle accident lawyer will be prepared for negotiations with insurance companies, and if those fail, ready to go to trial. At the Law Offices of Jugo & Murphy, our motorcycle accident attorneys won’t settle for less than full compensation and will go above and beyond for our clients. Read our FAQ about personal injury or call us today!
Other Practice Areas
- Car Accidents
- Truck Accidents
- SUV Rollovers
- Slip and Fall Accidents
- Nursing Home Abuse
- Aviation Accidents
- Maritime Accidents
- Premises Liability
- Negligent Security
- Medical Malpractice
- Boating Accidents
- Construction Accidents
- Insurance Bad Faith
- Tobacco Litigation