Florida has the second-highest number of registered motorcycles in the United States. Unfortunately, Florida also has the highest amount of fatal motorcycle accidents in the country.
Unsafe lane changes by a car or truck driver are one of the most common causes of road accidents involving a motorbike and can severely injure a motorcyclist. A motorcyclist in Fort Myers can go undetected if they are a driver’s blind spot and consequently the driver fails to check the area before changing lanes, resulting in accidents.
If you have been injured or have lost a loved one in a Fort Myers motorcycle accident, it is a smart idea to get in touch with one of our skilled motorcycle accident attorneys. Here at The Law Place, we have been dealing with incidents like this for over 75 years collectively. Get in touch today for a free consultation.
Our law firm is available 24/7. Contact us today at (941) 444-4444.
Statistics on Florida Motorcycle Accidents
With wonderful beaches, beautiful weather, and open, uncongested highways, Fort Myers appears to be a motorcycle paradise. But the reality is pretty different. Fort Myers and Florida, in general, are one of the most dangerous places in the United States to be a driver, cyclist, or pedestrian. In 2016 there were 600 motorcycle accidents that resulted in a death in Florida alone.
Motorcycle accidents are common in Fort Myers and Florida as a whole. According to The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA):
- There were 10,331 motorcycle accidents in Florida 2016, and 600 of them were fatal, with another 8,256 drivers suffering injuries in motorcycle accidents in the same time period.
- Out of these fatal motorcycle accidents, 191 of them were single-vehicle collisions.
- 9% of all two-vehicle, deadly motorcycle crashes were head-on collisions.
- 7% of the multi-vehicle fatal motorcycle crashes were rear-end collisions.
- Research conducted in 2014 by the SAE on unsafe lane changes concluded that 50% of the time drivers fail to indicate that they are changing lanes.
What Florida Law Says about Unsafe Lane Change Accidents
Fort Myers, FL, is subject to Florida State Law, and Florida classifies improper lane change as a non-criminal moving violation. That means you most likely will not be arrested (unless you are currently facing other charges ), but you do run the risk of:
- Hundreds of dollars in fines and court costs (or Fort Myers community service).
- Administrative costs.
- County and municipality costs.
- Up to 3 points added to your driving record (with the possibility license suspension if you have points already).
- An Impact on your current employment (especially if you must drive regularly for work).
- Mandatory traffic safety course.
- Increase in your insurance premiums and the possibility of your provider dropping you altogether.
The law surrounding these accidents is complicated, and the outcome of a case often depends largely on the reliability of the testimony from the arresting or reporting officer. A driver in Fort Myers can be cited for this offense regardless of whether it resulted in a crash.
Fort Myers, FL is subject to state law that outlines this offense in Florida Statute 316.085, outlining the limitations for passing, overtaking, changing course, and changing lanes when driving.
Specifically, the law says:
- That you should be driving to the left of the center of the road when overtaking and/ or passing another car traveling the same direction. Apart from the case where the left side is plainly visible and free of oncoming traffic for an appropriate distance ahead, to allow the overtaking to be done without interference from vehicles driving in the other direction.
- When overtaking/passing another vehicle, you should return to the authorized lane of travel as soon as practical, or before you come within 200 feet of any car approaching from the opposite direction.
- You should not take any course of action on a highway or road until you have made certain that you are not being approached or are about to be passed by another car on either side of the road. You should be able to make any move safely without the possibility of interfering with the operation of any other vehicle traveling the same direction.
Arguably this statute is subjective in parts. For example, some may disagree on what was is “as soon as practical.” Others could disagree on whether a lane change was “safe,” especially if it can be shown that the driver of the other vehicle was engaged in reckless driving.
Due to the complex nature of the laws surrounding this traffic offense, if you have been injured in a Fort Myers motorcycle accident, you should speak with a personal injury lawyer straight away. We advise that you contact one of our accident lawyers before speaking with the insurance companies. An experienced Fort Myers accident attorney can often help mitigate the impact on your life.
Common Examples of Lane Change Motorcycle Accidents in Fort Myers, Florida
For a free legal consultation with a unsafe lane change motorcycle accidents lawyer serving Fort Myers, call 941-444-4444
These types of accidents are some of the most common causes of road accidents involving a motorbike and can seriously injure a motorcyclist. Cars and large trucks have blind spots, or areas that cannot be seen through their side or rear-view mirrors. To change lanes safely, a driver should physically turn around and check their blind spots before switching lanes, A Fort Myers motorcyclist can be difficult to see if they to be in a driver’s blind spot and this can lead to serious accidents.
Accidents in Fort Myers may occur when:
- Two vehicles merge into a middle lane at the same time.
- A driver fails to check their blind spot.
- One driver at a junction tries to turn when another is attempting to pass.
- A driver moves into a lane from a parking spot and fails to check for oncoming cars and motorbikes.
- The driver merges onto a highway in a dangerous manner and side-swipes another vehicle.
- The driver makes the lane change or turn and fails to signal this to others on the road.
- The driver does not see a fast-approaching vehicle in a parallel lane or judges its speed incorrectly.
- The driving is using their mobile phone or distracted in another way whilst driving.
- The driver falls asleep as the wheel.
Liability in a Fort Myers Car Accident
Motorcyclists in Fort Myers are often regarded as individuals who travel at excessive speeds with no consideration for other road users. The reality is completely different, with statistics confirming that in 2/3 of collisions between cars and motorcycles, car drivers are at fault.
Drivers can be held accountable for their negligence and for any injuries this causes. An injured motorcyclist can file a personal injury civil lawsuit, by establishing driver’s liability to obtain compensation for an injury.
Florida law requires drivers to operate their vehicles in a prudent manner and careful manner, making proper use of their turn signals, and making safe manoeuvres. This includes only switching lanes when it is safe to do so, or be charged with a traffic violation.
To hold a driver liable for a motorcycle accident in Fort Myers, a plaintiff must prove the liability of the driver by showing how they were negligent:
- Duty of care– the defendant had a duty to exercise reasonable care under the circumstances.
- Breach of the duty of care– the defendant violated a duty of care (by making an unsafe maneuver due to driver distraction).
- Causation– The breach by the defendant caused the plaintiff’s injury.
- Damages– The plaintiff suffered damages due to his or her injuries.
Fort Myers Unsafe Lane Change Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Near Me 941-444-4444
Florida like all states, has a statute of limitations, or time limit, for all personal injury claims. A claim must be filed within four years of any accident in Fort Myers; otherwise, your claim will be time-barred. Therefore, we suggest that you speak with a Fort Myers accident attorney as soon as possible.
Common Injuries in a Fort Myers Motorcycle Accident
Accidents that involve a motorcycle are usually so serious because a motorcyclist has little or no protection. Florida does ask that all motorcyclists wear helmets, and some motorcyclists in the county choose not to do so. However, even with a helmet, motorcyclists can still endure life-changing injuries.
Common injuries from a Fort Myers motorcycle accident include:
- A traumatic brain injury.
- Skull fractures.
- Fractured collarbones.
- Fractured ribs.
- Broken jaws, noses, or cheekbones
- Eye injury.
- Broken arms, wrists, or hands.
- Leg fractures.
- Soft tissue sprains, strains, and tears.
- Neck or back injury.
- Internal organ injuries,
- Internal hemorrhaging.
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If you have suffered a serious injury in a Fort Myers motorcycle accident, you should not have to suffer the additional stress of finding the money to pay for treatment. Serious accident injuries can require emergency medical attention, including an ambulance ride to the emergency department, immediate surgery, and other treatments to stabilize injuries. Additionally, accident victims may require physical and rehabilitative therapy, pain medication, home health assistance, and medical equipment. Let a Fort Myers accident attorney from The Law Place fight for the compensation you deserve.
Recovering Damages in a Fort Myers Motorcycle Accident
Everyone in Fort Myers has the right to enjoy the roads without having to worry about being involved in a motorcycle accident, and you should not be forced out of pocket if another person causes your personal injury or damage because they have acted without care.
If you can successfully establish liability, you would be able to obtain damages for your any pain and suffering, even if you are in some way also responsible for the motorcycle accident. Unlike many other states, Florida does not prevent those who are partially at-fault from recovering damages. This is because the state follows a comparative negligence standard. This means that in the county of Fort Myers you can recover damages in proportion to your degree of liability, even you are largely responsible for your own injuries.
Damages you may be able to claim include:
- Medical bills – Bills for medical care that you have had to pay since the motorcycle accident. This includes ambulances, surgery, and any other medical-related costs.
- Future bills – If a medical professional has diagnosed you with long-term injury because of the motorcycle accident, this long-term injury will be accounted for.
- Loss of enjoyment – If the motorcycle accident has caused you to change how you live your life, you may be owed compensation for your pain and suffering.
- Property damage – Compensation for motorcycle or car repairs.
- House/vehicle modifications – If you have been forced to adapt your home due to injuries sustained in the accident, this will be accounted for.
- Wrongful death – Under Florida Statute 768.21, if the motorcycle accident led to the wrongful death of a loved one then you can claim for funeral expenses and loss of income to a family household.
If you are not aware of what damages you could claim for, or if you are being accused of being at fault for a Fort Myers motorcycle accident, then speak to an accident attorney at The Law Place today. We have dealt with motorcycle accidents in Fort Myers many times and can advise you on what stops to take next.
Avoiding Fort Myers Motorcycle Accidents
When you learn to drive, and you get your license, you are trained on how to use your turn signals. There is no reasonable excuse not to use them properly. Motorcycle accidents can lead to very high damage pay-outs, and therefore you should always consider the consequences of your actions. It is important that you:
Signal – Motorcycles, cars, and trucks all have turn signals. They are important in order to show other drivers on the road what move you are about to make. When planning to change lane or direction, use your turn signals, drivers may be in your blind spot and unaware of what is about to happen. Dive as if no one else is paying any attention and you need to make them pay attention by using your signals.
Yield to merge – Many motorcycle accidents occur in Fort Myers when drivers do not follow the yield to merge signs. When the road merges, be considerate and allow drivers to merge and be patient if you are attempting to merge on to a busy road.
What to Do After Being Involved in a Motorcycle Accident in Fort Myers
After being involved in a motorcycle accident in Fort Myers, you should follow the following procedures to give yourself best chance and guaranteeing that you have enough evidence to make a personal injury claim if necessary:
- Safety – Without endangering others, make yourself as safe as possible following a collision. If possible, check that other people are safe too. Move to the side of the road and away from on-coming traffic. When everyone involved is in a safe place, call the emergency services.
- Evidence – When everyone is safe and the police are on their way, it is time to start collecting evidence. Start by taking photos of everything, the accident scene, the cars, and any injuries you have suffered. Ask for the details of the other driver including their address, name, and insurance provider. Also, ask for the details of any witnesses to the accident. Take all the badge numbers for any Fort Myers police on the scene too.
- Sketch – If you are able, sketch the scene of the accident. Draw the road on which the accident took place and make note of where each car was on the road at the time. Try and mark the directions travelled with arrows.
- Medical aid – After you have collected enough evidence from the accident, you need seek medical attention. If you are going to make a claim for your injuries, they need to be logged by a healthcare professional. Even if you feel ok now, you should still go. Some injuries can lay dormant due to adrenaline, and you will struggle to claim for them at a later date.
- Consult – Now is the perfect time to get in touch with a Fort Myers car accident lawyer. They instruct you on the best course of action to follow now.
Time is always vital when you are talking about making a claim after a Fort Myers motorcycle accident; the sooner you speak to your accident attorney, the sooner they can begin building your accident case, ready to negotiate for a better settlement. Get in touch with The Law Place today to discuss your Fort Myers motorcycle accident case with a qualified car accident attorney.
The Benefit of Car Accident Lawyers in a Fort Myers Motorcycle Accident Lawsuit
To get the compensation that you deserve after a Fort Myers car accident involving a motorcycle, you are going to have to claim it from the other party’s insurance provider.
Insurance companies are known for making any attempt to devalue your injury claim. They will have strong legal teams of their own who are ready to fight you at every turn. Florida accident law is complex and unless you know it extremely well, you will find this difficult without the support of a Fort Myers motorcycle accident lawyer.
By hiring the right accident attorney to fight your case, you will give yourself a fighting chance and will avoid the common tricks that insurances companies use to devalue a claim.
What Will a Law Firm Do for Me?
Insurance companies are difficult to deal with by yourself. An insurance adjuster knows how to devalue claims and lower liability. A Fort Myers personal injury lawyer with experience in motorcycle injuries will ensure that you are not taken advantage of.
When you decide to hire an accident attorney, they will offer you a free consultation which will give you an idea of your position. They will then give you invaluable no-strings-attached advice on the next bests steps to take following an accident.
If choose to instruct our law firm to represent you, we will then do all communicating on your behalf, complete all your investigations, and do your paperwork.
We will build a strong defense on your behalf and seek to negotiate for a fair and reasonable settlement with the district attorney. If the insurance company agrees on a fair settlement that you are comfortable with, we take our fee, and the matter is settled.
If we are unable to come to an agreement, we will then support you in court and use our defence to convince a judge and jury you are entitled to the compensation you are asking for.
Contact a Fort Myers Car Accident Attorney at The Law Place Today!
Unsafe lane changes can cause serious accidents, especially if they involve a motorbike.
After any accident, you should speak to a car accident lawyer to understand what rights you have. Let the personal injury attorneys at The Law Place review the circumstances of your case and look at what your options are. We will do our very best to make sure that you get the compensation that you are rightfully owed.
If you have suffered an injury as a result of the negligence of someone else in a Fort Myers motorcycle accident, don’t let their mistake ruin your life. Here at The Law Place, our law firm has over 75 years of combined experience in dealing with accident cases just like yours across the state of Florida, including Fort Myers.
Our law firm is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Contact us today at
(941) 444-4444 to schedule your free consultation.