With amazing beaches, gorgeous weather, and clear and uncongested highways, on paper, Sarasota is a motorcycle paradise. But the reality is pretty different. Sarasota, and Florida in general, is one of the most dangerous places in the United States to be a driver, cyclist, or pedestrian. In fact, every single year, there are over 400,000 accidents, according to the Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FHSMV). Over 200,000 of these end up in injuries that require hospitalization, and more than 3,000 of these accidents end up in fatalities.
Motorcycle accidents are, unfortunately, very common. All it takes is a lapse in concentration, a bad blind spot, or some reckless driving, and the resulting accident could change your life forever. If you have been injured or have lost a loved one in a motorcycle accident that happened as a result of an unsafe lane change in Sarasota County, contact our experienced Sarasota personal injury lawyers can help you get the compensation you deserve.
Unsafe lane changes are one of the most common motoring incidents that cause accidents every single day. Most of the time, both parties come away unscathed. The driver at fault could be looking at their phone, changing the radio, or eating something while driving, and this lapse in concentration could lead to an accident. With the person at fault being oblivious to what is happening on the road, it is simply impossible for the victim to predict what is about to happen, which means they have no time to react.
Unsafe lane change accidents are so common that in research done in 2014, the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) found that in 50% of lane changes, drivers fail to indicate.
Here at The Law Place, our Sarasota motorcycle accident lawyers have been dealing with both sides of incidents like this for over 75 years collectively. Get in touch today for a free consultation on 941-444-4444.
Common Examples of Unsafe Lane Change Motorcycle Accidents in Florida
So, what exactly is an unsafe lane change? We see a wide range of different cases in Sarasota county. Here are some of the more common motorcycle accidents:
- Changing lanes when other drivers are unaware of your actions.
- Ignoring mirrors and failing to check blind-spots so that you do not see a car approaching in the next lane.
- Purposefully not using lane indicators to tell other users of an upcoming lane change.
- Straddling more than one lane for an unreasonable amount of time.
What Are the Penalties for Unsafe Lane Change Motorcycle Accidents?
Part and parcel of owning a motorcycle are accepting that in the eventuality of a motorcycle accident, you have a much higher chance of receiving a serious injury than a car driver. Everyone has the right to enjoy the roads without having to worry about being involved in a motorcycle accident, though, and it is unfair that you should be out of pocket if somebody else causes you personal injury or damage through their own negligence.
When motorcycle accidents happen as a result of an unsafe motorcycle lane change, you may have to deal with both criminal and civil charges. You will be required to pay the following damages if you are found to be liable:
- Medical bills – Any medical bills that you have had to pay since the motorcycle accident. This includes surgery, ambulances, and any other medical-related costs.
- Future bills – If a healthcare professional has diagnosed you with long term injury as a result of the motorcycle accident, this long term injury will be accounted for.
- Loss of enjoyment – If the motorcycle accident has caused someone to change how they live their life, you will have to pay for their pain and suffering.
- Property damage – Car or motorcycle repairs and anything in the vehicle that was broken.
- House/vehicle alterations – If the patient has had to adapt their house due to their injuries, this will be accounted for.
- Wrongful death – If the motorcycle accident led to the wrongful death of a loved one, then you should be able to claim for funeral expenses and loss of income to a family household.
If you are unsure what damages you should be claiming for, or you are being accused of fault in a motorcycle crash, then speak to an accident attorney at The Law Place for a free case review. We have dealt with motorcycle accidents in Florida before and will be able to advise you on what your next steps should be.
How to Avoid Committing Unsafe Motorcycle Lane Change Infringements in Sarasota, Fl
When you learn to drive, you are taught how to use your signals. There is no excuse not to use them, and when motorcycle accidents can lead to such high damage payouts, you should bear in mind the consequences of your actions if you do not do the following in Sarasota:
- Signaling – Motorcycles come fitted with turn signals. These are for showing other drivers what direction you plan to move. Every time you are planning to change lane or change direction, use your signals. Drivers could be in your blind spot or simply unaware of what is about to happen. Try and imagine that no one else is paying attention, and you need to make them pay attention by signaling.
- Yield to merge – Many motorcycle accidents happen in Florida because people are too stubborn and do not follow yield signs. When a road merges, try and be considerate and let people merge and be patient if you are trying to merge into a busy road.
What Should I Do After being in an Unsafe Lane Change Motorcycle Accident?
After being involved in a motorcycle accident in Florida, you should follow the following protocol to ensure you have the best chance at protecting yourself and ensuring you have the right evidence to make a claim if necessary:
- Safety – Make yourself as safe as you can possibly be without endangering others. If you can, make sure other people are safe too. Move to the side of the road and out of on-coming traffic. When everyone is in a safe location, call the emergency services.
- Evidence – Once everyone is safe and the police have been called, it’s time to start collecting evidence. Start by taking photos of everything, the crash scene, the cars, and any injuries you have obtained. Collect the other driver’s details, their address, name, and insurance company. Also, collect details for any willing witnesses. Take all of the badge numbers for any police on the scene too.
- Sketch – If you are able, sketch the scene. Draw the road and mark where each car was on the road at the time of the accident, as well as marking the directions traveled with arrows.
- Medical aid – After you have collected enough evidence, you need to head to a hospital or health professional. If you are going to claim for injuries, they need to be properly logged by a healthcare provider. Even if you feel fine now, you still need to go. Some injuries lay dormant, and you will have a harder time claiming for them later if you do not see medical professionals immediately.
- Consult a lawyer – Now is the perfect time to get in touch with motorcycle accident lawyers. They will advise you on the best course of action to follow now.
Time is always vital when you are talking about making a claim; the sooner you speak to an attorney, the sooner they can begin building your case, ready to negotiate for a better settlement. Under Florida state statutes, you have a time limit of four years from the day of your accident to make a claim, after that, you will be barred from making a claim regarding that injury forever.
Do I Need Help From Motorcycle Accident Lawyers to File a Lawsuit?
To get the compensation that you deserve, you are going to have to seek it from the other party’s insurance company. Insurance companies are notorious bullies and will try their hardest to devalue your claim. They will have strong legal teams ready to fight you every step of the way. Unless you know Florida accident law extremely well, you will struggle without the help of motorcycle accident lawyers.
By hiring motorcycle accident attorneys to back your case, you instantly give yourself a fighting chance. The insurance companies will not be able to use their tricks to devalue your claim when they have to deal with your attorneys who will see straight through them.
What Will a Law Firm Do For Me?
As we have just discussed, insurance companies are hard to deal with alone. An insurance adjuster will know how to devalue claims and lower liability where they can. A personal injury lawyer with experience in motorcycle injuries will ensure that you are not taken advantage of.
When you decide to hire an attorney, they will give you a free consultation to get an overview of your accident and position. They will then give you no-strings-attached advice on the best course of action.
If you decide to hire us, we will then get you to sign the dotted line, allowing us to represent you. We will then do all liaising on your behalf, as well as carry out investigations for your claim and complete any paperwork.
We will build a strong case around your incident and use that as a position of power to negotiate for a fair and reasonable settlement. If the insurance company agrees and offers a fair settlement you are happy with, we take our fee, and that’s that.
If we can’t come to an agreement, we will then use the strong case we have built for you to convince a judge and jury you deserve the compensation you are asking for.
Contact The Law Place Today!
If you have suffered as a result of someone else’s accident in Sarasota, don’t let their mistake ruin your life. Here at The Law Place, we have over 75 years of combined experience in dealing with car accident cases just like yours across the state of Florida and Sarasota. Get in touch today for a free consultation. Our phone lines are open 24/7, just call us at a time that suits you on 941-444-4444.