Motorcycle riders put themselves at risk every time they take to the road. Their complete lack of protection makes them especially susceptible to accident injuries and fatalities. Depending on the circumstances of the accident, if you or a loved one was injured in a motorcycle accident, you may be able to hold the negligent driver liable for your injuries. Call a motorcycle accident lawyer in Fort Lauderdale for help today.
The accident attorneys at Coffey Trial Law in Fort Lauderdale have decades of experience representing injury victims and helping them get the compensation they need and deserve. Give them a call today: 954-541-3194.
What are some common causes of motorcycle accidents?
Many people believe that riders themselves are the cause of many accidents because of their reputation for speeding and lawbreaking, but in many cases, the other driver’s negligence is the cause. Other common causes include:
- Smaller size, harder to see: Motorcycles are much smaller than the average passenger car which can make them very difficult to see. Passenger car drivers can neglect to see motorcycles in their blind spots or at intersections.
- Road hazards: Potholes, oil spots, debris, gravel, and other road hazards can pose more of a risk to motorcycle riders than other drivers.
- Speeding: If the driver of a passenger car is speeding, it can be much more difficult to stop to avoid a motorcycle.
- Left turns by passenger vehicles: Drivers commonly hit riders when they do not double check before turning left at an intersection.
Common Motorcycle Accident Injuries
Because of the lack of protection, motorcycle accidents often result in more serious injuries than other types of accidents. Some of the most common injuries in motorcycle accidents include:
When a motorcycle collides with another vehicle, the bike can throw the rider or crush him underneath, leading to broken legs, arms, and feet.
When the impact throws a rider from his bike, the rider may slide across the pavement. If the rider is not wearing the proper safety gear (and sometimes even if he is), his skin may tear as it scrapes against the pavement.
Road rash can result in cuts and bruises, but can also cause severe skin irritation, infections, and nerve damage. Motorcycle accident victims suffering from road rash may need treatment and antibiotics to prevent infection.
Many times, the impact of a motorcycle accident will throw a rider from his bike. In some cases, he may land and only suffer limb fractures and bruises; in many cases, especially if the rider is not wearing a helmet, he can sustain serious head trauma.
Any sort of trauma to the head can cause a traumatic brain injury (TBI). TBIs range from mild to severe, and can result in numerous temporary or long-term health issues and symptoms including:
- Cognitive difficulties (e.g., loss of memory, trouble concentrating, etc.)
- Speech impairments
- Loss of consciousness
- Psychological issues
- Paralysis and loss of bodily function
- Permanent disability
Treatment for a brain injury is expensive and may include physical therapy, cognitive therapy, psychological treatment, surgery, rehabilitation, and ongoing medical care.
Back and Neck Injuries
Back injuries occur when there is damage to the spinal cord and vertebrae. These injuries can limit your mobility and cause severe pain. In some cases, accident victims will suffer permanent disability and paralysis. Treatment will depend on the severity of the injuries, but may involve scans, physical therapy, injections, and surgery.
As with head injuries, back and neck injuries can also result in lifelong disability and paralysis.
Who will pay for my injuries?
Florida requires all drivers to have personal injury protection (PIP) insurance which covers part of the driver’s medical expenses and lost wages, regardless of fault.
However, Florida law does not require motorcyclists to have PIP coverage. This means that unless your insurer offered PIP coverage, you will likely have to file a claim against the at-fault driver to recover compensation for your injuries.
Proving Fault in a Motorcycle Accident Lawsuit
If you decide to file against the other driver involved in your motorcycle accident, you will need to prove that:
- You were injured in the accident;
- The other driver breached his or her duty to you by behaving negligently and causing the accident
In order to prove that the other driver was at-fault for the accident, you will need to find evidence to prove the driver’s negligence behind the wheel. Some common examples of driver negligence include:
- Failure to follow traffic laws
- Disregard of weather or traffic conditions
- Driving under the influence or while distracted
- Reckless driving (i.e. excessive speeding, improper passing, etc.)
An attorney can assist you with collecting and analyzing your evidence, and presenting it to the court. Evidence may include:
- Police Reports: Officers who report to the scene of an accident will typically make a report summarizing what happened and the officer’s opinion on liability.
- State Traffic Laws: The vehicle code for your state may help you prove that the other driver broke a law during the accident, thereby making him or her liable.
- Eyewitness Testimony: Statements from those who saw what happened may help you prove the other driver was at-fault.
If your personal injury case is successful, you will be able to recover damages to help you cover the following:
- Medical expenses: You can hold the driver liable for your medical bills, transportation costs, in-home care costs, etc.
- Lost wages: It is likely that you will be out of work for a while. You can hold the driver liable for any wages you lost while recovering or attending doctor’s appointments.
- Loss of future earning capacity: If you are unable to return full-time, or at all, to a job you had before the accident, the driver is responsible for a loss of future earning capacity.
- Pain and suffering: These damages cover mental and physical distress caused by the accident. The amount of damages will depend on the severity of the injuries and future prognosis.
- Loss of consortium: If your loved one died in a motorcycle accident, you can hold the driver liable for loss of consortium, comfort, guidance, etc.
Filing a claim or lawsuit against the driver responsible for your motorcycle accident can be challenging. The attorneys at Coffey Trial Law have helped hundreds of accident victims recover compensation from at-fault drivers. See how we can help you next.
To schedule a free consultation, call 954-541-3194.