Across the entirety of the U.S., the State of Florida has the second-highest number of motorcyclists. This also means that motorcycle accidents are much more likely to happen in Florida. In fact, Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FHSMV) reported a tragic number of 8,043 motorcycle crashes in 2020 alone. In a motorcycle accident, all that is between the motorcyclist and the ground is what they are wearing as, unlike other vehicles, a motorcycle rider does not have four walls of protection. A serious motorcycle accident can occur when traveling at high speed, as there is little to protect their skin from the ground. This can result in serious injuries, which vary greatly in intensity, but nonetheless, come with consequences for those involved.
If you or someone you know were hurt in a motorcycle crash, then it is in your best interests to hire a motorcycle accident lawyer as soon as possible. It is recommended that hiring a motorcycle accident lawyer should be one of your first moves after seeking medical treatment for your injuries. The faster that you hire a motorcycle accident lawyer, the sooner that they will start to protect your legal rights. At The Law Place, we boast 75 years of combined experience in handling motorcycle accident claims that are similar to yours. We have a full understanding of the Floridian legal system and will be able to assign you an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer who can help you get the compensation you deserve.
Contact us today for legal advice and a free consultation with a member of our team. Our telephone lines are open 24/7, meaning someone will always be available to take your call. Call today on (941) 444-4444 to begin the legal process.
What Are the Most Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents in Florida?
As a motorcyclist, it is important that you understand the causes that surround motorcycle accidents in order to help you prevent them. Listed below are some of the most common causes of these accidents:
- Blind spots – It is no secret that motorcycles are small, meaning other vehicles can easily miss them. This is a recipe for accidents, especially when they are changing lanes, turning, or merging.
- Drunk driving – Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs causes a lack of focus and control of your vehicle. This is why it is a leading cause of all road traffic accidents in Florida.
- Distracted driving – Distracted driving is becoming an increasing problem in the state of Florida. It can be caused by drivers using their cell phones and other electronic devices, talking to other passengers, or just general fatigue while driving.
- Tailgating – Tailgating, which means following other motor vehicles too closely, is particularly dangerous for motorcyclists. To avoid this, drivers should take extra care to give motorcyclists space, especially when there are poor weather conditions outside.
- Poor road conditions – This refers to when there are sometimes pot-holes, debris, uneven surfaces, or bad weather conditions that can lead to a motorcycle accident.
- Defective parts – In some cases, a motorcycle part can malfunction as a result of improper maintenance, which can lead to complications on the road. If this happens, the motorcycle manufacturer can be held liable for any accident that occurs.
- Traffic violations – Motorcyclists accidents happen as a result of other drivers’ negligence. This happens when a negligent driver fails to follow the traffic laws in place by speeding, making improper turns, or failing to lead.
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Steps to Take Following a Motorcycle Accident in Florida
If you or a loved one have been involved in a motorcycle accident, it is necessary to take appropriate steps in order to seek medical attention and find out what your legal options are. Listed below are the steps you should follow after a motorcycle accident:
- Check for injuries – Following a Florida motorcycle accident, your main priority should be your personal health and the health of accident victims. If you are able to, once you have checked for injuries, you should call an ambulance to the scene if necessary. If you are badly hurt, remain there until the emergency responders arrive.
- Contact the police – Under Florida Statute 316.062, it is vital that you contact the police at the scene of an accident that involves personal injury or serious damage to property. In this case, a police report can be filled out, and your personal injury attorney will be able to use it as evidence for your personal injury claim.
- Gather evidence – Evidence gathered from the accident scene will be important for your motorcycle accident attorney to have for your case. Evidence includes taking pictures of the other vehicles involved, the road at the time of the accident, any injuries sustained, or anything you think is relevant to your case.
- Contact information – If possible, collect the contact information of the law enforcement officers at the scene of your accident. Equally, take the details of any witnesses and other drivers, including names, phone numbers, vehicle registration numbers, and insurance information.
- Seek medical treatment – In some accidents, minor injuries are visible, but more severe injuries aren’t visible right away. It is important that no matter the severity of the accident, you seek medical attention as soon as possible. As found in Florida Statute 627.736, if you fail to seek medical attention within 14 days of your accident, you will be unable to claim against the at-fault party for the accident.
- Seek a free consultation from a reputable law firm – Even if you are the at-fault driver, it is important that you seek counsel with an experienced motor accident lawyer. We understand that following the accident is a stressful time, and all of the information necessary might not be readily available. Still, it is important to seek a free consultation so you can make the appropriate next steps.
- Contact your insurance company – Most insurance companies have an insurance policy where they require you to inform them within 24 hours of an accident. If you contact them, it is important to be cautious of the information you give them. Stick to the facts and, when possible, avoid admitting fault. It is often the case that insurance companies will try to devalue your claim, so it is important not to give them the tools to do so.
- Report the accident – In accordance with Florida Statute 316.066, even if law enforcement were not called to the scene of an accident, or even if it was a minor one, you are still required to report it within 10 days of it happening. This can be done either online or at your local police station.
Types of Injuries Sustained in a Motorcycle Accident
The injuries that follow a motorcycle accident are often found to be more severe than that of other types of road traffic accidents. Motorcycle accident victims are at more risk than other drivers, usually with the impact causing them to be thrown from their bikes.
The most common types of injuries include:
- Eye Injuries – Motorcyclists are at a high risk of sustaining eye injuries following a motorcycle accident, and for this reason, eye protection is necessary.
- Sprains – Ankle, knee, wrist, and elbow sprains are common side effects following a motorcycle accident and can vary from minor to severe.
- Internal damage – Internal bleeding is regarded as a serious injury and requires immediate medical attention.
- Fractures – Legs, ribs, collarbones, arms, jaws, and skull fractures.
- Dislocations – A dislocation can lead to damage to the soft tissue in the joints, which is why it is important to get medical attention.
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI) – If the rider is not wearing a motorcycle helmet, a blow to the head can result in a concussion or even a traumatic brain injury.
- Paralysis – Paralysis may be the result of a number of things. In particular, spinal cord injuries and head or neck injuries. In turn, this affects various areas of the body and can have serious consequences in the future.
- Death – In the worse cases, motorcycle accidents can be fatal.
We understand that following a road traffic accident, adrenaline is a huge factor in masking pain. It does not matter if you have visible injuries or not. Following this kind of accident, you should get a medical report and strictly follow your doctor’s advice.
What Is a Motorcycle Road Rash?
Road rash is a common side effect following motorcycle accidents. It is a type of skin abrasion that occurs to the exterior of the skin when it gets scraped against something rough. In the case of a motorcycle road rash, the skin is scraped against the ground and removes the outer layer of skin. Those involved in a motorcycle accident can find rocks, metal, gravel, and other objects or road debris in the areas where the skin has been removed.
In a lot of cases, road rash is considered to be a minor injury and can be treated at home. However, some road rash injuries can leave the person with several layers of skin missing. This could require surgery or extensive medical care in order to ensure that it heals properly. Unlike motor vehicle accidents, a serious motorcycle accident tends to occur more frequently in the spring or summer months, as people tend to wear less clothing, thus leaving more skin exposed.
The most common places on the body where road rash occurs include:
- Lower legs.
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What Are the Different Types and Degrees of Motorcycle Road Rash?
Following a motorcycle accident, there are different types of road rash that can occur. It is important you have an understanding of them, as some motorcycle accident injuries can experience more than one type. These types include:
- Open wound – This occurs when the rash results in an open wound. An open wound road rash usually requires medical treatment such as stitches, skin grafts, or, in more severe cases, plastic surgery.
- Avulsion – This is known as the most common type of road rash and refers to when the skin of the body is scraped off. An avulsion road rash may leave parts of the body under the skin exposed.
- Compression – This type refers to when a part of a person’s body is stuck between two objects. For example, the motorcycle and another vehicle or the street. This kind of compression can result in bruising, muscle damage, broken bones, or a severe road rash.
In addition to different types of road rash, there are also different degrees to which the person can be suffering. The different degrees of road rash are as the following:
- First-degree road rash – This is the least severe degree. It typically refers to bruising, scrapes, redness of the skin, or minor bleeding. It can often be treated at home if not too dangerous to do so.
- Second-degree road rash – This degree is when the scraping of the person’s skin causes it to break, leaving layers under the skin exposed yet still intact. Following an accident, victims can experience all kinds of debris, such as glass, gravel, or dirt, in their wounds. If you have experienced a second-degree road rash, you will require medical attention.
- Third-degree road rash – This is the most severe kind of road rash and often leaves abrasions to muscles, nerves, and tendons that have become exposed as a result of the accident. In the case of a third-degree road rash, you will be at a higher risk of infection, as well as permanent scarring or disfigurement. This is the most severe type of road rash and often involves severe abrasions that leave nerves, tendons, muscles, and bone exposed. The risk of infection is highest with a third-degree road rash. Permanent scarring and disfigurement can also occur. Many people will need extensive medical treatment such as skin grafting to recover.
Emotional Suffering As a Result of Motorcycle Road Rash
Although road rash might seem less severe than most motorcycle accident cases, such as traumatic brain injuries or broken bones, road rash can mean negative impacts on the victim’s emotional well-being. The person experiences pain and suffering, causing emotional distress. More examples of psychological and emotional suffering a victim might include are the following:
- Discomfort and pain.
- Financial difficulties.
Although pain and suffering aren’t as visible as other injuries, your Florida motorcycle accident lawyer will be able to fight your case to make sure you receive the maximum compensation you are entitled to.
What Are the Other Forms of Compensation I Can Receive Following a Motorcycle Accident?
If another party was at fault for the motorcycle accident causing you road rash or any other injuries, then you should be able to claim compensation in a personal injury claim. An attorney can help you through the process and can work to maximize the amount you receive. Listed below are the other damages you can claim compensation on:
- Medical bills – All medical expenses that are related to your accident can be compensated. This relates to current medical bills, future expenses, or any other surgery, physical therapy, and more. It is important you retain any documentation from your doctor in order to give them to your Florida motorcycle accident lawyer.
- Lost wages – Any loss of income because of the accident, including future income and future earning potential, could be compensated for.
- Wrongful death – If you have lost a loved one in a motorcycle accident, you are owed compensation for this wrongful death. While we understand that no amount of financial compensation will make up for this loss, you do not need the extra financial burden adding to your stress. The money can go towards funeral and burial costs.
The Statute of Limitations in Florida
The statute of limitations is set in place to map out the amount of time you have to make a claim following an accident. In accordance with Florida Statute 95.11, you have four years from the date the accident happened to make a personal injury claim. If it was the unfortunate case that you lost a loved one to wrongful death, the statute is reduced to two years.
Although it is a significant period of time to make a claim, it is crucial that you seek legal representation as soon as possible. The quicker you do, the quicker your Florida motorcycle accident attorney can get to work on your case.
Why Should I Hire Motorcycle Accident Lawyer?
Should you choose The Law Place to represent you, we will worry about all things legal, so you don’t have to. Your attorney will deal with the following aspects of your case:
- Conduct a thorough investigation into your motorcycle accident.
- Collate evidence from the accident scene. This includes photographs, videos, statements, and any other relevant information.
- Negotiate with your insurance company and the other insurance companies involved from other parties.
- Speak firsthand to witnesses.
- Review the police reports.
- Determine who is liable for the motorcycle accident.
- Calculate the amount of compensation that you are entitled to.
- If necessary, take your case to court.
Contact The Law Place Today
If you or a loved one have been involved in a motorcycle accident that has caused road rash, or any kind of injuries, you are entitled to seek compensation. It is important you retrieve legal counsel as soon as possible to strengthen your chances of winning your motorcycle accident case.
At The Law Place, we will be with you every step of the way during this legal process. Many of our attorneys are AVVO rated 10.0, which is the highest possible rating. This rating is awarded due to client reviews, years in service, and awards. Given these facts, it is safe to say that when you put your faith in us, you will be in good hands.
Contact The Law Place on (941) 444-4444 to schedule a free consultation today.