Motorcycle Wrecks in Cocoa Beach
The fun and carefree vibe of Cocoa Beach and the beautiful scenery along the city’s roadways makes it a popular destination for motorcyclists. However, the roads here often fill with other traffic, including vacationers unfamiliar with the route and drivers engaging in risky driving practices.
If a motorcycle accident injured you, let a Cocoa Beach motorcycle accident lawyer help. Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA can help you seek compensation for the financial and psychological costs you incurred due to the accident. We have been assisting the injured in Florida for many years as they navigate the personal injury claims process, and we can evaluate your case for free.
Table of Contents
- Motorcycle Dangers in Cocoa Beach
- Ways Drivers in Cocoa Beach Cause Motorcycle Accidents
- Types of Injuries Commonly Sustained in Motorcycle Accidents
- Contact a Cocoa Beach Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Today
- Cocoa Beach Motorcycle Accident FAQs
What Makes Cocoa Beach a Dangerous Place for Motorcyclists?
Cocoa Beach is not only popular with motorcyclists but also with beach-goers, Space Coast tourists, and others who come to the area to have fun. Often that fun involves alcohol, as well as drivers who are so distracted by the sights and sounds of the area that they forget to focus on driving safely.
During popular vacation times of the year, such as Spring Break, the traffic becomes thick on the roads leading into and throughout the city. Finding a parking space becomes more difficult for drivers, leading to people parking and opening their doors in unexpected areas of the roadway.
Motorcycles are less crashworthy than other types of vehicles traveling through Cocoa Beach, and riders can quickly lose traction in certain situations. Beach sand regularly finds its way to the road, causing a risk of a motorcycle accident from the tires slipping. Hurricane season presents a whole new list of hazards for riders.
The Ways Drivers in Cocoa Beach Cause Motorcycle Accidents
According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, Brevard County sees nearly 300 motorcycle accidents annually, many of which occur in Cocoa Beach. More than 250 of these accidents result in injuries, and around two dozen motorcyclists are killed on Brevard County roadways yearly.
Many motorcycle accidents in Cocoa Beach occur due to careless and reckless drivers of passenger cars, trucks, and commercial vehicles. Here is a look at some driver behaviors that lead to motorcycle accidents.
Cocoa Beach Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Near Me 833-552-7274
As noted by RideApart, one of the biggest risks facing motorcyclists is drivers making left turns at intersections without a solid green turn arrow. If there is only a solid green light at the corner, the left-turning driver is required to judge a safe gap in traffic to pass through the travel lanes going through the intersection. If the driver fails to see the approaching motorcyclist traveling straight through the intersection, there is an extreme risk of the car colliding with the motorcycle.
Some common reasons a driver would not see an approaching motorcyclist when making a left turn include distracted driving and inattentional blindness. Inattentional blindness refers to how the brain processes information at a chaotic scene such as an intersection. A driver will typically notice larger hazards such as an approaching tractor-trailer but fail to recognize the presence of more minor risks such as motorcycles or other vulnerable roadway users, including bicyclists and pedestrians.
While inattentional blindness occurs naturally, it does not take away the liability of a driver who failed to yield the right-of-way to a motorcycle at the intersection.
For a free legal consultation with a motorcycle accidents lawyer serving Cocoa Beach, call 833-552-7274
Distracted driving is a significant factor in all types of traffic-related accidents, including those involving motorcycles.
Driving distractions include anything that causes the driver to:
- Look away from the road, which is known as a visual distraction
- Take their hands from the wheel, which is known as a manual distraction
- Think about other things besides driving safely, which is a cognitive distraction
Internal distractions refer to activities or occurrences inside the car, such as texting (which involves all three types of driving distractions), eating, drinking, smoking, visiting with passengers, or attending to children or pets in the back seat. External distractions are activities and occurrences outside the vehicle, and Cocoa Beach roadways provide plenty.
Some common external driving distractions that can lead to a motorcycle accident include people and vehicles on the road, beautiful scenery, exciting shops, or even the sites of previous crashes.
Distracted driving is dangerous to motorcyclists because the period in which the driver is not attending during the roadway is often plenty of time for motorcycles to enter or cross the driver’s lane of travel.
When a driver follows another car too closely—which is commonly called tailgating—they risk causing a collision if the driver of the lead car suddenly stops or slows. The majority of rear-end accidents occur in this way.
While rear-end accidents involving two cars can result in injuries or even death, that is a less-likely outcome than it is with other types of accidents. However, if a car follows a motorcycle too closely, they run a significantly higher risk of causing a catastrophic injury or even death. Motorcycles lack protective features that prevent the rider from being ejected from the vehicle in an accident.
Impairment by Alcohol or Drugs
Alcohol impairment is another leading contributor to traffic accident injuries and fatalities, including motorcycle accidents, with 32 people dying daily in the U.S. due to drunk driving. In vacation hotspots like Cocoa Beach, there is no shortage of people wanting to party, and establishments are happy to provide them with the space and drinks to do so.
Alcohol and drugs cause significant deficits in drivers’ skills to operate their vehicles safely.
Some of these deficits include:
- Loss of the ability to track moving targets
- Difficulty steering, braking, and maintaining a single lane of travel
- The inability to perform multiple tasks at once, which driving often requires
- Reduced responses to emergency driving situations
- The inability to control one’s speed
- Short-term memory loss and difficulty concentrating
- A reduction in information processing capacity needed for signal detection
- Impaired perception
- Difficulty making good driving decisions
When a collision occurs while one of the vehicles is traveling at a high rate of speed, it is generally a more severe collision because speed increases the force of the accident. This can turn a minor accident with another vehicle into a serious affair and is often deadly when a motorcyclist is on the receiving end of a speed-related collision.
Speeding reduces the time the driver has to see a hazard on the roadway and respond to it by applying the brakes. At the same time, it increases the distance the vehicle will travel after braking because the brakes have to work harder to stop the vehicle. It causes difficulties for motorcyclists and other roadway users to determine a safe gap in traffic in which to enter a travel lane.
As mentioned, there are busy times in Cocoa Beach when the roads and parking lots fill with vehicles, including the winter months when the snowbirds return, spring break, and any large event happening in the region. One of the major issues Cocoa Beach motorcyclists face when the city’s streets and lots fill up is the risk of being doored.
Dooring occurs when the occupant of a vehicle parked alongside the road opens their door into the path of an oncoming motorcyclist. This causes the rider to collide with the door or risk an accident with a vehicle in a neighboring travel lane while trying to swerve to avoid it.
Failure to Yield the Right-of-Way
Failure to yield is among the most common causes of accidents occurring in intersections, and it occurs when a driver fails to yield the right-of-way to other roadway users at a stop sign or stop light. With a slimmer frame and fewer lights, motorcycles are less likely to be seen by drivers than other vehicle types, particularly on poorly-lit roadways.
The Types of Injuries Commonly Sustained in Motorcycle Accidents
As noted by the National Safety Council, while motorcycles make up only 3 percent of the vehicles on U.S. roads, they account for 14 percent of all traffic fatalities and 4 percent of all occupant injuries. A two-wheeled vehicle, compared to four-wheeled vehicles, is relatively unstable. This instability makes it even more likely that they will lose control of the vehicle during a collision. Lack of protection for the rider’s body could mean a catastrophic injury in a motorcycle accident.
A traumatic brain injury is one of the most deadly and debilitating injuries that a motorcyclist can incur in an accident. The brain is responsible for sending messages to the rest of the body through the spinal cord to control both voluntary and involuntary responses.
Despite its importance, the brain has a limited ability to heal from injury. Because of this, many of the deficits resulting from the injury will be permanent, including memory loss, difficulty speaking or understanding spoken communication, loss of vision, difficulty controlling emotions and behaviors, and loss of balance and coordination.
Brain injuries pose a high likelihood of permanent impacts that impair the sufferer’s ability to earn an income.
Other catastrophic injuries that a motorcycle accident can cause include:
- Spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic limb amputations
- Loss of vision
- Severe damage to the spinal vertebrae and discs
Other common injuries in Cocoa Beach motorcycle accidents include:
- Road rash refers to a deep skin abrasion caused by contact between the skin and a rough surface such as asphalt. While traumatic brain injuries are the most common injury leading to death after a motorcycle accident, road rash is among the most common injuries experienced in one.
- Broken bones, particularly in the hips, legs, and feet, due to being the collision’s impact point or being crushed beneath the motorcycle during the accident.
- Internal injuries include damage to the lungs, liver, kidneys, bladder, or spleen due to the motorcyclist’s abdomen colliding against other obstacles such as cars, road signs, medians, and more. Internal injuries often feature unseen and severe bleeding, known as a hemorrhage.
- Burns. The rider is in proximity to the motorcycle’s gas tank, which is relatively unprotected and prone to being punctured due to the crash. This can result in caustic and flammable liquids burning the rider.
- Damage to the soft tissues and joints in any part of the body. Motorcycle accidents are generally violent occurrences involving an ejected driver contacting any number of obstacles on the roadway or alongside it.
Contact a Cocoa Beach Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Today
Serious or debilitating personal injuries can change a person’s entire life, preventing them from performing the tasks of their job. This injury could also require care at a long-term nursing facility or an at-home nurse, taking away their ability to participate in their favorite hobbies and even changing the nature of the sufferer’s relationships with their family.
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What is the process of seeking compensation for the expenses and impacts of a motorcycle accident?
Motorcyclists injured in Cocoa Beach due to the recklessness or carelessness of another roadway user, such as the driver of a passenger car, can seek compensation for the expenses and impacts of their injuries through the personal injury claims process. This process usually begins when the motorcyclist hires an attorney to assist them with the claim. The attorney will investigate the claim, determine liability and associated insurance resources, and establish a value for the claim. They will then send a demand for payment of the claim’s value to the at-fault party’s insurance provider.
The insurance provider can accept or deny the claim. They can also offer to settle the claim for less than its established value. If they fail to compensate the claim, it can be filed in Cocoa Beach as a personal injury lawsuit for the court to decide liability and award compensation.
Is coverage for the expenses and impacts of my injury available from my PIP policy?
In Florida, four-wheeled vehicle operators must purchase a personal injury protection (PIP) policy that provides at least $10,000 in coverage when they register their vehicle in the state. This policy pays a portion of medical expenses and wage loss associated with injuries sustained in an accident by the insured or household members, regardless of who was at fault for causing the accident. The policy can also cover accidents sustained in pedestrian or bicycle accidents. However, the coverage does not extend to injuries sustained in motorcycle accidents.
How long do I have to file a Cocoa Beach motorcycle accident claim?
In most cases, the statute of limitations for motorcycle accident claims in Cocoa Beach is four years from the accident.
What compensation can I receive for injuries I sustained in a Cocoa Beach motorcycle accident?
Motorcycle accidents commonly result in severe injuries and profound impacts on the rider.
The type of compensation you can receive for the expenses and effects of your injury include:
- All medical expenses incurred in the treatment of the injury and associated complications, including medical transport, emergency services, diagnostic tests, surgery, hospitalization, prescription medications, crutches, wheelchair, or other assistive devices, physical therapy, rehabilitation, and the services of physicians, surgeons, and other medical staff.
- Lost income and benefits from the time when you were too injured to work
- Loss of future earning capacity due to catastrophic injuries that will prevent you from earning an income in the future
- Property damage, such as damage to your motorcycle or gear sustained in the accident
- Physical pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life as a result of the severity of your injury
What do I need to prove to obtain compensation for my injuries?
You must prove two parts of your claim to obtain compensation:
- Liability involves showing that the at-fault driver had a duty to operate their vehicle safely and legally to protect others from harm; they breached this duty by taking careless or reckless actions, which resulted in the Cocoa Beach motorcycle accident that caused your injuries.
- Expenses require documentation to justify the value of your claim, such as medical bills, motorcycle repair bills, and information about your wages and the work you missed or will miss in the future.
Is compensation available for me if my loved one died in a motorcycle accident?
When motorcyclists die due to an accident caused by a negligent motorist, their family members can benefit from a wrongful death claim filed by a personal administrator (executor) of the deceased’s estate. Filing a wrongful death claim is similar to personal injury claims, except the claimant has only two years from the date of death to file the claim as a lawsuit.
The type of compensation available through a wrongful death motorcycle accident claim includes:
- Medical expenses incurred during the treatment of the deceased’s final injury
- The cost of funeral services and burial or cremation was paid for by a family member or the estate
- Lost income and benefits from the time of the damage until the time of death
- Loss of love, companionship, guidance, and protection provided by the deceased to family members
- Loss of the deceased’s support and services
- Loss of accumulations to the estate that would have occurred if the deceased had survived
How can a motorcycle accident claim be filed if the injured person is incapacitated?
If the person’s incapacitation is temporary, they can file the claim once they regain the mental capacity to do so. If the incapacitation is permanent, family members can seek to obtain power of attorney from the court to make legal decisions on the rider’s behalf. This issue often arises in cases involving catastrophic injuries, such as traumatic brain injuries, that produce a high likelihood of permanent disabilities that will prevent the sufferer from earning an income.
A Cocoa Beach motorcycle accident lawyer from Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, can provide more information on the steps involved in filing a personal injury claim on behalf of an incapacitated person.
I was not wearing a helmet in the accident. Can I still file a claim?
Yes, provided you meet all the other criteria for filing a personal injury claim, you can still file a claim if you were not wearing a helmet. In Florida, riders at least 21 years old may ride without a helmet if they have a health insurance policy available to provide at least $10,000 worth of coverage for injuries sustained in motorcycle accidents.
This means that many riders injured in accidents in Cocoa Beach while not wearing a helmet will see no impact on their claim as they were legally permitted to be on the roadways without one. Riders under the age of 21 and injured while riding without a helmet can also file a claim but will usually see a reduction in the compensation they can receive to account for the violation of the state’s helmet law. Your attorney can explain this impact in greater detail.
Can I file a claim if I was partially liable for causing the motorcycle accident that injured me?
In most cases, a motorcycle accident claimant in Florida can still seek compensation from other parties, even if they are also partially liable. However, the rider’s liability can influence the amount of compensation available for their claim.
It is essential to discuss any potential liability you had for the accident with your attorney so that they can explain the impact and limit the degradation to the value of your claim posed by that liability.
How can a Cocoa Beach motorcycle accident lawyer help me with my claim?
An experienced Cocoa Beach motorcycle accident lawyer from Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, can:
- Thoroughly investigate the accident for you. Police investigate an accident to determine if anyone involved has broken laws. The at-fault party’s claims adjuster will also investigate the accident to determine their insured’s liability. Your attorney’s investigation will also be about determining who was liable for causing the accident and determining the insurance resources available to compensate you.
- Establish a value to your claim based on various factors beyond simply an accounting of the expenses incurred as a result of the physical injury and property damage you sustained. Other factors include the amount of available insurance, the severity of the injury, and the likelihood of a permanent loss of income due to catastrophic injuries.
- Manage communication with the at-fault party’s insurance provider to protect the value of your claim from common insurance company tactics to reduce or eliminate the amount they must pay out, as well as to negotiate a settlement on your behalf.
- Manage the deadline of your claim to ensure that the option of pursuing compensation through the court remains open if the insurance company fails to compensate the claim.
- Collect your settlement or award
Should I file the claim on my own if I cannot afford an attorney?
Cocoa Beach motorcycle accident claimants who do not have an attorney are at a distinct disadvantage during the claims process, as they likely do not have the experience or education in the law to understand all aspects of the process, while the at-fault party’s insurance provider most certainly has that experience and education at their disposal.
This can affect the value of the claim, through:
- The acceptance of a settlement offer that does not provide enough money to fully compensate the rider for the expenses and impacts of their injury
- Delay tactics by the insurance company in resolving the claim in hopes that the claimant is unaware of the statute of limitations
- The provision of incomplete or misleading information can confuse the rider about the type of compensation they are legally permitted to seek through their claim.
- The difficulty of knowing what types of evidence are needed to prove liability and how to obtain that evidence
- A complicated legal process in which claimants who represent themselves must observe the formalities of the court
Luckily, the contingent fee billing method used by most personal injury attorneys allows the claimant to obtain the assistance of an attorney, regardless of their financial status and without the requirement of an upfront investment.
How it works:
- When injured riders choose a Cocoa Beach motorcycle accident lawyer to assist them with their claim, they enter into a contingent fee agreement with the attorney. This agreement outlines the services the attorney will provide and designate a percentage of the settlement or award as payment for their services. In other words: you do not have to pay for the work the attorney does on your claim unless the claim resolves in your favor. You do not have to pay for your attorney’s services if there is no favorable resolution.
- Because the attorney and their legal team are working on a contingent fee, they can begin working on the claim immediately without requiring an upfront investment from the injured rider. Work can continue on the case without interruptions caused if the rider cannot stay current on hourly bills.
- After the claim, the settlement or court award proceeds will go to the claimant’s attorney, who will deposit the funds in a trust account. From those funds, the attorney will deduct the fee for their services as outlined in the contingent fee agreement and will use a portion of these funds to satisfy medical liens placed on the award by health care providers or group health insurers.
- The claimant then meets with the attorney to finalize their case and receive the remainder of the compensation.