Clearwater Motorcycle Accident Lawyers
At Dolman Law Group, we are Clearwater motorcycle accident lawyers that are exceptionally well versed in Florida personal injury laws. If you have been injured as a result of a motorcycle accident, specifically a collision that caused substantial damage, it is essential to have a thorough understanding of your attorney’s qualifications and the unique dynamics surrounding a motorcycle accident case in Florida.
Motorcyclists do not have the benefit of the surrounding steel as compared to the chassis of a car. Thus, in the event of a motorcycle collision, the biker is not afforded the same
Insurance carriers often try to take advantage of bikers and label them as careless or reckless, based solely on their decision to travel on two wheels. We all know that this is a fallacy. Even the most reasonable and careful motorcyclist cannot always guard against negligence and other dangers found on the road.
Don’t select a motorcycle lawyer merely off an advertisement
Many attorneys fashion themselves as the best option for bikers involved in a motorcycle accident; they pass themselves off as authentic bikers and try to create the impression that being a biker equates to being the most competent to handle a claim or case on behalf of a victim. Some of these purported biker attorneys, only fashion themselves as bikers as a marketing tool, when, in reality, they are not a motorcycle enthusiast. We find such actions to be disingenuous.
Even more troubling is the puffery and misrepresentations offered by such attorneys. A victim should be more concerned with the skills and qualifications of their attorney than they are with whether the attorney looks good on a bike or is legitimately a rider. The attorney should have substantial experience in representing injured motorcyclists and should be educated on the dangers and common problems that riding a motorcycle can cause clients. Further, the motorcycle accident lawyer or firm must be experienced in litigating on behalf of motorcycle accident victims and have the resources, willingness and ability to take the case to trial if necessary.
A number of personal injury lawyers, including some of the biggest advertisers either do not litigate themselves or pass the litigation work off to another law firm. It important for the injured party to inquire about the attorney’s experience litigating cases, whether the attorney or law firm handles its own litigation, and whether the firm or attorney has the resources necessary to zealously advance the case to trial if necessary. It is essential to consult with an experienced and competent Clearwater motorcycle accident and injury attorney.
The Florida Statute governing Motorcycle Operation is available for review here.
Perhaps the most common cause of motorcycle accidents is when a car makes a left-hand turn in front of a motorcycle. One cannot underemphasize the very reason why it is so important for a biker to be aware of all surroundings. Unfortunately many motorists fail to pay close attention to their blind spots. Motorcycles often are either not noticed or noted far too late by a driver.
Other common reasons for a motorcycle accident:
1.) Hit and run
2.) Distracted and inattentive drivers
3.) Drunk driver causing motorcycle accident
4.) Product defects
5.) Road work zone motorcycle injuries
6.) Bad road conditions
We are beginning to notice more dooring accidents in recent years. This often occurs when a motorcycle rider is attempting to get around either a slow or stalled lane of traffic. The biker will proceed to ride between the barely moving vehicles and parked cars. In turn, the motorcyclist runs the risk that an individual will attempt to exit a parked car and open the door impeding such path.
Another common reason behind motorcycle accidents is grabbing too much of the front brake. In turn, the motorcyclist can go tumbling over the handlebar. Hence, why it is so important for the biker to be familiar with using the front brakes.
The act of lane splitting, is a very serious dangers and risk to the biker. Lane splitting occurs when a motorcyclist is travelling between two lanes of traffic heading in the same direction. Lane splitting usually occurs in areas of heavy traffic. The motorcyclist attempts to ride in-between traffic in an effort to expedite their trip. The biggest danger in lane splitting is the motorist who fails to see the motorcycle coming up quickly and attempts to change lanes or merely veers over and side swipes the bike.
Please follow the important steps in minimizing motorcycle accidents:
- Wear highly visible and protective safety gear.
- Avoid vehicle blind spots to remain visible to all.
- Always wear a Department of Transportation (DOT) approved motorcycle safety helmet. You can check the DOT ratings for potential safety helmets. DOT approved motorcycle safety helmets have been tested for impact, force and ability to stay on the head of the biker.
- Choose a helmet with removable inner-padding. Such safety helmets will last longer since the padding can be washed to remove sweat and road debris.
- Follow the posted speed limit. We note than many of the motorcycle accident victims Dolman Law Group has represented possibly contributed to their loss by allegedly riding their motorcycle in excess of the speed limit. Avoid speeding for many obvious reasons and the mere fact that it creates a greater chance that you will end up in a vehicles blind spot before the driver has an opportunity to take notice of you.
I have blogged extensively on the subject of motorcycle safety equipment:
Please see this article for more information.
Minimizing the amount of distracted drivers on the road is a real passion at The Dolman Law Group. We aggressively litigate cases with the intent to hold negligent drivers responsible for the carelessness of inattentive driving. The impact of this negligence is even more evident in cases involving motorcycles, which is why The Dolman Law Group is dedicated to zealously representing the Tampa Bay motorcycling community. Even though a motorcycle may be less visible than a car, bikers have just as much right to safety on the road.
In accidents between a motorcycle and a car, we generally learn that the operator of the automobile simply did not notice the biker. Either the driver of such car was not paying attention or the motorcycle was in the vehicle’s blind spot.
Most common injuries from a motorcycle accident
Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) – We cannot stress enough just how important a DOT approved motorcycle safety helmet is. Head injuries are extremely common in motorcycle accidents where the biker is thrown from the bike.
- Road Rash – this term depicts cuts, abrasions and bruises to the skin caused by the motorcyclist impacting the pavement.
- Broken Bones/Fractures – Again, this is yet another common injury when the biker is thrown from the motorcycle.
- Spinal Cord Injury – being thrown violently from the motorcycle and the mere impact of the collision can leas to an injury to the spinal cord.
- Amputation – we tragically note a disproportionate number of amputation related claims to motorcycle accidents.
- Death – in the most tragic cases, a motorcycle accident can lead to death. Dolman Law Group is experienced in handling wrongful death claims.
Do not Wait to Retain a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
Time is of the essence on all motorcycle injury claims in order to preserve the evidence and obtain witness statements while the memory is still fresh.
- Existing medical bills
- Projected or anticipated future medical bills
- Loss of income and earning power
- Diminished quality of life due to physical injuries
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Loss of consortium
- Costs of equipment for potential rehabilitation
- Permanent physical impairment
Electing to pursue an accident claim on your own without the guidance of a motorcycle accident lawyer is a tremendous risk and a gamble you cannot afford to take. Insurance carriers take full advantage of those who are not represented by legal counsel let alone those represented by big advertising mill law firms where the attorney fails to pay close attention to the unique factors concerning each case; specifically those involving motorcyclists. We have seen far too many horror stories concerning consumers who initially chose to be represented by a large volume law firm and never met nor spoke with their attorney. In fact, we have taken over a number of such cases after our client terminated their relationship with a law firm that fits the characteristics of a settlement mill.
An experienced and competent motorcycle accident attorney should have a thorough understanding of closed head and traumatic brain injuries. Many motorcycle accidents result in mild to very serious and even fatal traumatic brain injuries due to the structure of the motorcycle itself.
Why do I Need a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
It is extremely difficult for Florida motorcycle riders to recover compensation to pay for their injuries. Florida Statute only requires personal injury protection (PIP) on a vehicle with four or more wheels. If you own a vehicle, the PIP coverage on the automobile does not extend to accidents, which occur to your motorcycle.
Thus, it is essential to retain a lawyer experienced in handling motorcycle claims. Our foremost goal is to maximize the damages and settlement of your claim. In other words, our objective is to ensure you receive the largest recovery possible. Further, we will work with all medical providers to negotiate your bills down so more money ends up in their pocket.
Keys to avoiding a motorcycle accident
1.) Break with both hands: This reduces the possibility of flipping over the handlebar, which can occur when you use only the front break.
2.) Utilizing both the front and rear brakes increase friction on both wheels. This results in a significantly reduced stopping distance.
3.) Maintain proper following distance: avoid acts such as tailgating or lane-splitting as they contribute to the likelihood that the motorcyclist will be in the driver’s blind spot.
4.) See and be seen: We highly recommend wearing bright colors. Further, be careful around large passenger vehicles and commercial trucks. It is also a good idea to keep your headlights on (standard on most motorcycles).
5.) Always wear a helmet: Motorcycle safety helmets prevent the possibility of death from a skull fracture or sustaining a traumatic brain injury. You must ensure that the helmet is properly sized and certified by DOT and SNELL. Finally, be certain that your helmet is bright and reflective to provide for ultimate visibility.
6.) Proper motorcycle safety gear: Kevlar jackets are top of the line and rely on the same technology as bullet-proof gear. At a minimum, a biker should cover as much skin as possible (preferably with leather) to reduce the incidence of road rash.
For more information about Dolman Law Groups’ qualifications and knowledge in handling motorcycle accident related injuries, please turn your attention to our blog section where we routinely post articles regarding this fluid and rapidly evolving area of science and the law. We have built a strong reputation in the Tampa Bay area legal community for the aggressive and personal representation we offer to our clients.
At the Dolman Law Group, each client is provided the cell phone number and email address for their handling attorney. This fosters proper client communications that are generally not seen at the largest personal injury firms and the firm with the prolific advertising.
As Tampa Bay motorcycle accident lawyers, we regularly represent the interests of victims who have been treated unfairly by an insurance company. Whether you are the motorcycle rider or a motorist, Dolman Law Group is committed to handling your injury claim and advancing the case into litigation if the insurance carrier refuses to evaluate the claim in a fair and prudent manner. Have you been injured as a result of a motorcycle accident contact Dolman Law Group to speak with a Clearwater motorcycle accident attorney at (727) 451-6900.
The Dolman Law Group is centrally located in Clearwater and we regularly represent motorcycle accident injury victims in Clearwater, St. Petersburg, Tampa, Pinellas Park, Largo, St. Petersburg Beach, Seminole, Treasure Island, Sand Key, Clearwater Beach, Palm Harbor, Safety Harbor, Ozona, Dunedin, New Port Richey, Port Richey, Trinity, Bradenton and Sarasota.