Motorcycle Accident Facts
Riding a motorcycle is a popular hobby—more than 8.6 million motorcycles run on the road. However, accidents do take place, and motorcyclists can, unfortunately, suffer catastrophic injuries because motorcycles leave them so exposed. If you or a loved one was injured in a motorcycle accident, Florida law may entitle you to compensation for your injuries. Contact the Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA at (727) 451-6900 today for a free consultation.
Fact 1: Half of Motorcycle-Vehicle Collisions Take Place at Intersections
When approaching an intersection, always watch for vehicles that might pull out from a driveway or side street. Vehicles might turn in front of you, so watch for that as well. Intersections are particularly dangerous because parked vehicles, buildings, overhanging tree branches, or shrubbery may limit your vision. Because of these obstructions, you might never see a vehicle approaching you and pull out into the intersection, wrongfully believing it is clear.
You can protect yourself by remembering to slow down and double-checking that no traffic is coming. Prepare to react quickly, if necessary, because other vehicles on the road might drive carelessly around motorcycles. You might not see them—and they might not see you.
If through no fault of your own, a vehicle strikes you, you may receive compensation. Injured motorcyclists can receive reimbursement for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and the loss of companionship from their spouses.
Fact 2: Motorcycles Are 27 Times Deadlier Than Cars
Anyone can die in a motorcycle or car accident, so neither method of transportation is 100 percent safe. Furthermore, more people die in car accidents than motorcycle accidents—but that’s simply because more people ride in cars on a daily basis.
The federal government compares deaths per mile traveled and has found that the death rate of people riding motorcycles is more than 27 times that of people riding in other vehicles. This shouldn’t surprise you. After all, motorcycles don’t shield their riders as well as cars do their passengers, so they bear the full brunt of any collisions.
Fortunately, riders can reduce the danger of riding a motorcycle. For example, you can take a motorcycle safety training course. More than 90 percent of people involved in accidents have not taken any kind of safety training course, which you can find by contacting Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles or the Motorcycle Safety Foundation.
Fact 3: About 50 Percent of All Fatal Single-Vehicle Crashes Involve Alcohol
One way to radically reduce your chances of a motorcycle injury is to avoid drinking and driving. In fact, this should cut your chances of a fatal single-vehicle crash in half. Of course, other people on the road will still drink, so you can’t completely eliminate the danger. But sober drivers have quicker reflexes and can counter-steer or swerve much more effectively.
Putting aside an arrest for DUI, driving while intoxicated also can prevent you from receiving any compensation for your injuries. Florida has a “pure comparative negligence” system, which reduces the amount you can receive for compensation by your percentage of fault. For example, if you are 40 percent to blame for an injury, then a jury will reduce your $250,000 award by 40 percent, to $100,000. If you are injured while intoxicated, a jury might find you substantially responsible for the accident, thus reducing the amount of compensation to close to zero.
Fact 4: Wearing a Helmet Reduces Your Chances of Dying by 37 Percent
Florida law requires motorcyclists younger than 21 to wear helmets, and for good reasons. According to a study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), helmets are about 37 percent effective at preventing motorcycle deaths and a whopping 67 percent effective at preventing brain injuries. For this reason, careful drivers—even those older than 21—should always wear helmets whenever riding their bikes.
Some people feel an unfounded fear that a helmet will limit their vision. According to NHTSA, helmets reduce your peripheral vision by less than 3 percent and do not hinder your ability to hear. So the next time you head out for a motorcycle ride, remember to grab your helmet!
Fact 5: Florida Has the Third Most Motorcycle Fatalities in the Country
This information comes from a 2013 study by the Governors Highway Safety Association. Florida trailed only California and Texas, two other states with warm weather—and magnets for bikers from around the country.
When bikers die through no fault of their own, Florida law allows certain people to sue to recover compensation for their loved one’s death. For example, Florida’s Wrongful Death Act allows the estate’s personal representative (executor) to bring a lawsuit on behalf of the loved one’s survivors, such as spouse, children, or parents. The purpose of a wrongful death action is to shift financial responsibility for the death from the survivors to the person responsible for the death.
- A spouse can receive compensation for loss of companionship
- Children may receive compensation for the loss of companionship, instruction, and guidance
- Survivors can receive compensation for medical and funeral expenses
- Survivors can also receive money to make up for the deceased’s loss of future earnings
- Survivors may also recover compensation for the mental pain and anguish of losing a loved one
Because every situation is different, you should meet with a personal injury attorney as soon as possible to discuss what compensation is available to you.
Call a Clearwater, Florida, Traffic Accident Attorney Today
Motorcyclists who suffer injuries through no fault of their own deserve compensation to help them and their families rebuild their lives. At Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, we help motorcycle accident victims identify the parties who caused the accident and hold them legally and financially responsible. Don’t delay. Call us for a free consultation and case evaluation at 727-451-6900 or complete our online contact form.
Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33765