Motorcycles are a popular way to travel, whether for recreation or as a primary mode of transportation. But if another driver fails to share the road, resulting in life-changing injuries for you, we can help. At Dolman Law Group and Sibley Dolman, we can provide the legal representation you need during this difficult time.
Do not try to handle your case alone. Trust the legal teams at Dolman Law Group and Sibley Dolman to protect your best interests in pursuing possible compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering following a motorcycle accident. For a free case evaluation, CONTACT our Bradenton Motorcycle Accident Lawyers without delay.
Common Causes of Bradenton Motorcycle Accidents
More than half a million motorcycles are registered in Florida, indicating just how popular they are among residents. Data from the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles shows that more than 9,000 motorcycle crashes occurred in one year—indicating the high risk of potential injury or death
Motorcyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as other drivers. When another driver fails to share the road, that driver places motorcyclists at risk for serious injuries and possible death. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that most motorists simply “look but fail to see” motorcycles. This lack of observation is dangerous for riders. Other examples of negligent driver behavior that place motorcyclists in harm’s way include:
Not adjusting their mirrors – Nearly 40 percent of the area surrounding a passenger vehicle contains blind spots. It only takes a few seconds for drivers to adjust their mirrors before entering busy highways or city streets. When drivers fail to take this precaution, it can result in a serious collision with a motorcycle.
Failing to yield in intersections – Data collected by the NHTSA shows that almost half of all motorcycle crashes caused by passenger vehicles occur in intersections. Whether the driver failed to see the motorcycle, or the driver aggressively tried to beat the traffic light, that negligent driver is likely responsible for your injuries.
Aggressive driving – According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, aggressive driving is among the key concerns of everyday drivers. A study conducted by the foundation revealed that nearly 80 percent of drivers express significant anger or aggression on the road. This alarming number indicates that it is not a matter of if you will encounter an aggressive driver, but rather when. The study also found the following statistics involving driver aggression:
- Fifty-one percent of drivers admitted to purposely tailgating another driver.
- Forty-seven percent of drivers admitted to yelling or making angry gestures at other drivers.
- Forty-five percent of drivers admitted to using the horn to express anger.
- Twenty-four percent of drivers admitted to purposely blocking a car from changing lanes.
Aggressive driving can escalate into road rage. When a driver’s anger reaches this level of rage, it is especially dangerous for a motorcycle. Road rage involves throwing objects and purposely running others off the road. The resulting injuries to the motorcycle operator and his or her passenger are often catastrophic. No one should experience such trauma due to a driver who is can’t control his or her emotions.
Impaired driving – Drunk driving continues to plague the nation, despite numerous public safety campaigns. Alcohol impairs a driver’s ability to judge distances, can blur his or her vision, and can delay reaction time. The same is true for drugs, and when combined with alcohol, the danger to other drivers increases.
If a negligent driver crashed into your motorcycle, our legal team can review your case for free. Dolman Group and Sibley Dolman have experience with personal injury cases involving a variety of reckless driver behaviors. Whether it was a Sunday afternoon ride or your commute to work, no one should pay out-of-pocket for medical bills that are the result of a drunk, distracted, or otherwise negligent driver. To learn more about how our legal team can help you, call us today.
Types of Serious Motorcycle Injuries
Motorcycle operators and riders are at high risk of being thrown from their bikes during a crash. The lack of seatbelts or airbags results can lead to serious injuries due to the striking of a hard surface upon impact with a passenger vehicle.
Florida does not require helmets for anyone age 21 and older. Those who choose to operate a motorcycle without a helmet must meet the state requirements for insurance. State law does require protective eye gear for riding a motorcycle, either.
Defensive driving and protective gear can only go so far in keeping a motorcyclist safe in a crash. No matter how defensively you drive, a negligent driver who fails to share the road may cause an accident that leads to the following serious injuries:
Spinal cord injury – The spinal cord performs an important function in exchanging communication with the brain. When a spinal cord injury occurs, this communication is disrupted, resulting in limited or no sensation or movement. The costs associated with a spinal cord injury can easily reach millions of dollars per year, throughout the patient’s lifetime. Power chairs for mobility and accessible transportation often need replacing throughout the years. Home modifications or relocating closer to a medical facility can also cause expenses to escalate.
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) – The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) defines a traumatic brain injury (TBI) as a bump, blow, jolt, or penetrating head injury that disrupts normal brain function. A TBI can range from a moderate concussion to a severe TBI where the patient experiences one or more of the following:
- Impaired cognitive function, affecting short term memory and thought-processing skills.
- Diminished vision, hearing, touch, and the ability to taste their favorite foods.
- Poor balance, coordination, and muscle weakness.
If your loved one experienced a serious TBI from a motorcycle accident that was not his or her fault, an attorney can help you. The cost of care can far exceed your personal budget, and you should not pay out-of-pocket for expenses that result from a negligent driver.
Broken bones – With more than 200 bones in the human body, the likelihood of breaking more than one in a motorcycle accident is very high. Broken bones may require extensive surgeries and prolonged physical therapy.
Internal injuries – The types of injuries that exhibit no visible signs or symptoms are especially dangerous. Internal bleeding is just one example of an injury that you may not realize you have and that can possibly result in death if left untreated. Internal injuries are why you must seek immediate medical attention following a motorcycle accident, even if you feel fine.
These are just a few examples of how a serious motorcycle crash can change your life. Mounting medical bills, time away from work, and your pain and suffering are serious burdens. Pursuing a civil claim against the person liable for your injuries is your right under Florida law. If you experienced life-changing injuries due to a negligent driver, our legal team can fight for the compensation you deserve. While each case is different, you may ultimately recover compensation for your damages, including medical bills, property loss, and more. Success depends on the specific circumstances of your claim, however.
The loss of a close loved one due to a negligent driver is especially devastating. Knowing that your loved one’s death was preventable had the other driver acted more prudently can lead to feelings of anger and frustration.
Depending upon your relationship with the decedent, you should consider filing a wrongful death claim. The statute of limitations for filing a wrongful death claim in Florida is generally two years. This time can pass quickly when you are mourning the loss of a loved one.
If eligible, you should seek compensation for funeral and burial costs, final medical expenses, loss of income, and other damages. With the average funeral costing approximately $9,000, and the fact that it is an expense that most people have not budgeted for, paying for a funeral may constitute a true financial hardship for your family. While no amount of money can replace your loved one, it can help ease your financial burden and stress.
Wrongful death claims are quite complex, and it is in your best interests to secure legal representation. If you lost a loved one in a motorcycle crash caused by a negligent driver, contact Dolman Law Group and Sibley Dolman today.
Bradenton Motorcycle Accident FAQ
The primary reason why most people choose to ride a motorcycle is the same reason that places them at risk for serious injury. The freedom of the open road means a lack of protection afforded to passenger vehicles. This vulnerability makes it imperative that other drivers watch for motorcyclists and share the road. When a negligent driver collides with your motorcycle, and you experience serious injuries, your life may change forever. If this happened to you, you should seriously consider contacting a Bradenton motorcycle attorney to discuss your case.
More than half a million motorcycles are registered in Florida. If you own one of them, here are some frequently asked questions that can help you determine your best course of action after an accident that wasn’t your fault.
Do I have to wear a helmet?
Whether you are new to the state or a long time resident, you should understand and follow Florida’s helmet laws. Helmets are not required for anyone over the age of 21; however, there are certain insurance requirements that operators must meet. While the law doesn’t require helmets, it does require protective eye gear.
Choosing not to wear a helmet is your right, yet it places you at risk for experiencing a serious head injury in the event of a crash. If a reckless driver collides with your motorcycle, the force of impact may throw you from your bike. Striking your head against a hard surface can result in a traumatic brain injury (TBI) that disrupts your normal brain function, which may lead to expensive and ongoing medical costs and a need for personal care.
A helmet doesn’t always provide the protection necessary in a violent crash. If your motorcycle accident resulted in a life-changing head injury, and the accident was not your fault, then you should seek justice and compensation. A personal injury attorney can help you during this difficult time by holding the individuals liable for your injuries accountable for their actions.
What causes most motorcycle accidents?
According to research by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), passenger cars often “look but fail to see” motorcycles. The danger for motorcycles is especially high at intersections. Failing to yield the right-of-way is a common cause of many motorcycle accidents due to the careless actions of other drivers. In fact, the study found that 42 percent of motorcycle fatalities occurred due to another driver failing to yield to a motorcyclist in an intersection.
The NHTSA report includes the following additional causes of motorcycle accidents:
Blind spots – Forty percent of a passenger vehicle contains blind spots, making motorcycles difficult to see. Motorcyclists are taught to purposely weave to increase their visibility to other drivers. Many drivers don’t understand that this type of driving is intentional and view it as reckless.
A-pillars – The pillars to the left and right of a windshield can obstruct a driver’s line of vision. A simple adjustment of a car’s mirrors can help drivers prevent a serious collision with a motorcycle.
Distracted driving – Smartphones and navigational devices are increasing serious dangers on the road according to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. An astonishing 78 percent of drivers surveyed stated that they believe texting behind the wheel is a significant danger, yet 35 percent of respondents admitted to engaging in the same dangerous behavior.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) identifies three main types of distraction:
- Visual: anything that takes your eyes off the road.
- Motor: anything that takes your hands off the wheel.
- Cognitive: anything that takes your mind off driving.
If you experienced serious injuries while riding your motorcycle, simply because a driver couldn’t wait to text, that isn’t fair. There is often nothing you can do to prevent a distracted driver from crashing into your motorcycle.
These are just a few examples of how motorcycle accidents occur. Other factors may involve drunk, drowsy, or aggressive drivers. Life-changing injuries are expensive and often prevent many motorcyclists from ever operating a motorcycle again. If your injuries put a sudden stop to your career and the activities you once enjoyed, you may want to consider discussing your case with a personal injury attorney.
I lost a close loved one in a Bradenton motorcycle accident. May I sue?
If you lost a close loved one in a motorcycle accident that was caused by a negligent driver, you should consider filing a wrongful death claim. Florida law regarding wrongful death is quite complex and requires the skills of an experienced attorney.
While each case is different, you may receive an award for such damages as:
- Final medical expenses for the decedent
- Funeral and burial costs
- Loss of income and potential future earnings
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of inheritance
Damages in a wrongful death case often involve economic and non-economic compensation. Economic damages are much easier to explain to a jury and involve expenses like medical bills. Non-economic damages, like loss of companionship, are much harder to evaluate. A personal injury attorney with trial experience is invaluable when it comes to cases involving wrongful death.
Under Florida law, individuals generally have two years to file a wrongful death claim. Twenty-four months can pass quickly when you are mourning the loss of a close loved one. To determine if your case qualifies for a wrongful death claim, you should consult an attorney. Most personal injury attorneys offer free case evaluations, leaving you nothing to lose by contacting one today.
An insurance company has offered me a settlement. Should I accept it?
No—not without consulting us first! Insurance companies like to settle cases quickly and for the least amount possible. They often contact accident victims during their most vulnerable time—soon after the accident. Whether you are dealing with serious injuries or grieving your loss, immediately following the accident is no time to deal with aggressive insurance agents.
If you do accept the insurance company’s initial settlement offer, you may forfeit your chance to pursue civil action later should your medical condition worsen. The initial offer may seem like a large sum to you and your family, but chances are that it isn’t enough to cover your financial needs, particularly your future costs.
Refrain from speaking with insurance companies and secure legal representation instead. A personal injury attorney has the negotiation skills you need to protect your best interests. Trying to negotiate with insurance companies on your own is a bad idea. They are simply too experienced at what they do. You have enough to deal with without the added stress of handling your case alone.
How much will my serious injuries cost me?
There is no way to predict your exact future medical costs. However, the rising cost of medical care is of real concern for anyone who experiences serious injuries due to a negligent driver. The following examples provide an estimated glimpse into the cost of care for certain injuries:
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI) – A serious TBI may require 24-hour care for your loved one. The costs associated with a skilled nursing facility are astronomical, with a private room in Florida averaging $9,000 per month.
- Spinal cord injury – A spinal cord injury is a catastrophic injury that affects movement and sensation. Motorcyclists who experience such a devastating injury often require power chairs for mobility, home modifications, and more. The costs associated with care for a spinal cord patient can easily reach into the millions of dollars every year throughout the victim’s lifetime.
If your injuries were not your fault, you should not have to pay out-of-pocket for your medical care. The physical, financial, and emotional stress associated with a serious motorcycle accident demands justice.
Can I wait to file a Bradenton personal injury lawsuit?
Time is of the essence when it comes to filing a personal injury lawsuit. Florida law allows four years for personal injury, unlike the two years allowed for wrongful death. Personal injury lawyers, however, need time to prepare their cases, as they must carefully review all of the evidence. Examples of valuable evidence include:
- Police reports of the accident
- Accident scene photos and/or video
- Witness statements
- Medical reports
Collecting this information takes time and is not something that you want to deal with on your own. Knowing an attorney is at work building the best case for you can ease your mind and allow you to concentrate on your health and recovery.
Two of the most important steps to take after an accident are:
- Do not speak with insurance company representatives.
- Secure legal representation as soon as possible.
Do I really need an attorney after my Bradenton motorcycle accident?
Securing legal representation is a positive first step after your accident. Personal injury attorneys understand that most motorcycle accident victims feel overwhelmed by their situations. Confusion, anxiety, and anger are certainly understandable emotions as you learn to adjust to your new life.
No matter how defensively you operate your motorcycle, a reckless driver can crash into you at any moment. The brief second it takes for an accident to occur can have a long-lasting impact on your life.
Personal injury attorneys enter this particular field of law to protect the rights of innocent victims. You want these attorneys’ knowledge, expertise, and years of experience when taking on insurance companies. Insurance companies are for-profit businesses that strive to protect their bottom lines. Representatives may appear friendly and helpful when, in fact, their goal is to protect their best interests and not yours.
Not only do most personal injury attorneys offer free case evaluations, but also most work on a contingency-fee-basis. This means they collect nothing unless they secure compensation for you. You truly have nothing to lose by reaching out to a personal injury attorney for a free case evaluation.
How can I protect my best interests after a Bradenton motorcycle accident?
Hire our Bradenton motorcycle accident lawyers.
When another driver fails to share the road, resulting in serious injuries for you, fight back. Like your injuries, there is no quick fix to your financial situation. Pursuing a personal injury or wrongful death claim is an option—and your right under Florida law—for possible compensation.
If the driver who caused your accident faces criminal charges, it has no bearing on any civil action. The right personal injury attorney will work hard to secure the compensation you deserve out-of-court. If your attorney cannot reach a settlement through negotiations, he or she should be willing and ready to go to trial.
Personal injury attorneys are both aggressive and compassionate. They understand how to hold insurance companies accountable for fair compensation, and they also treat their clients with care. Good communication between you and your attorney is essential for case updates and other important information.
If you experienced serious injuries while riding your motorcycle, or you lost a close loved one, give careful thought to litigation. Time is not on your side; you must act quickly before the statute of limitations expires. Once the time for filing a claim passes, you miss your opportunity for possible compensation.
The most recent data from the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles shows that more than 9,000 motorcycle accidents occurred in Florida during 2018. More than 500 crashes resulted in fatalities.
Riding your motorcycle should not result in serious injuries. Sharing the road is more than a courtesy; it is the responsibility of all licensed drivers. You may feel completely overwhelmed by your situation. Whether you are grieving over the loss of your loved one, or you are relearning basic skills, no negligent driver should go without facing accountability for his or her actions.
Don’t let an insurance company pressure you into accepting a low-dollar settlement. Protect your best interests by contacting a personal injury attorney without delay. The sooner an attorney reviews your case, the sooner he or she can get to work for you. If a negligent driver is responsible for your injuries or your loss, hold that driver accountable and consider pursuing civil action.
How Dolman Law Group and Sibley Dolman Can Help With Your Bradenton Motorcycle Accident Case
An initial offer from an insurance company may seem appealing to you and your family. The money that the insurance company offers to settle your accident is most likely a large sum; however, chances are that it isn’t enough to cover your future financial needs.
Insurance company representatives are very skilled at what they do. Their goal is to protect their employers’ best interests and not yours. Should you accept an insurance company’s settlement offer, you may lose your right to pursue civil action later if your medical condition worsens.
At Dolman Law Group and Sibley Dolman, we are well-aware of the tactics that insurance companies use to pay as little as possible—or nothing at all. We aggressively negotiate to secure the compensation our clients deserve. If we cannot reach a fair settlement out of court, we are ready to go to trial.
The statute of limitations for filing most personal injury claims in Florida is four years—twice the amount of time for a wrongful death claim. Four years can pass in the blink-of-an-eye when medical procedures and treatments consume your life. If you miss the deadline for filing your claim, your opportunity for pursuing civil action is lost forever.
Don’t miss your chance to hold those responsible for your injuries accountable for their actions. The sooner we review your case, the sooner we can determine the best course of action for you. Reviewing police reports, witness statements, accident scene photos, and your medical bills take time.
Don’t fall for the high-pressure tactics that insurance companies use to get claimants to sign documents. Secure legal representation instead. Our legal team will aggressively take on insurance companies while treating you and your family with compassion. At Dolman Law Group and Sibley Dolman, we keep the lines of communication open so that you never have to wonder about the status of your case.
Dolman Law Group and Sibley Dolman: Your Bradenton Motorcycle Lawyers
Motorcyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as other drivers. No one should suffer serious injuries in Bradenton due to the reckless actions of another driver. Your injuries may prevent you from returning to a career where you prospered or from participating in activities that you once enjoyed. This isn’t fair, and the other driver must face responsibility for his or her negligent actions.
If the Bradenton driver who caused your injuries faces criminal charges, the criminal proceedings will have little bearing on your civil litigation. Let our legal team review your case for free today. We can handle the insurance company negotiations on your behalf.
A Florida driver’s license is a privilege that many people abuse and mistake for a right. Holding those responsible for your injuries accountable for their actions may just prevent the same thing from happening to another motorcyclist in the future.
Do not delay securing legal representation for your Bradenton motorcycle accident injuries. Putting this important step off is a dangerous delay that may cost you possible compensation for your injuries and for other damages.
To learn more about how Dolman Law Group and Sibley Dolman can help you, call us at 833-552-7274 (833-55-CRASH), or contact us online for a free case evaluation. We work on a contingency-fee-basis, meaning you owe us nothing unless we secure compensation for you.
Pursuing civil action is your right under Florida law. What happened to you isn’t fair, and you deserve justice. Motorcycles are a common sight in Bradenton. There is no excuse for reckless behavior from another driver that results in tragedy. All drivers must use care when driving alongside motorcycles. When drivers engage in reckless behavior behind the wheel, they place Bradenton motorcyclists at risk for serious harm and themselves at risk for a civil lawsuit. Protect your future financial and medical needs by contacting our legal team today.
6703 14th Street West Suite 207
Bradenton, FL 34207
Phone: (941) 961-8841
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