If you have sustained serious injuries in a motorcycle accident, you need a knowledgeable and experienced team of North Miami Beach Motorcycle Accident Lawyers who will advocate for your legal rights. Contact the Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA for a free initial consultation.
South Florida motorcycle accidents can result in serious injuries and sometimes fatalities.
Recent statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration show that almost 19percent of fatal accidents that take place in Florida involve a bicycle or motorcycle. In light of these statistics, Florida currently holds the number one slot in terms of nationwide motorcycle fatalities. Alarmingly, nearly one in five Florida motorcycle operators do not even carry motorcycle insurance, and the majority do not wear helmets when they operate their motorcycles on Florida roadways.
For Miami-Dade County, reports from Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles show there were 1,029 motorcycle crashes just in 2018 alone.
Motorcycle accidents can occur anywhere and may come about in a variety of ways. In some cases, the motorcycle operator is negligent and causes or contributes to the accident. In other cases, the accident comes about when another motor vehicle driver collides with the motorcycle, causing injuries to the motorcycle operator and his or her passengers. Motorcycles are no match for large cars and especially trucks, and when a collision occurs, serious injuries can result. Moreover, the driver and passengers of a car or truck have a protective shell around them. Motorcyclists and their passengers do not have the benefit of this protective covering, and they usually suffer disproportionately as a result.
If you have sustained serious injuries in a Miami motorcycle accident as an operator or passenger, you may be eligible to recover monetary compensation under the law. The North Miami Beach motorcycle accident attorneys at Sibley Dolman can meet with you to discuss your case and can assist you with proving every aspect of your personal injury case.
Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
Motorcycle accidents are well known for their intensity and propensity for inflicting brutal injuries on riders. These accidents share a lot with car accidents in terms of injuries, causes, and risk factors yet have many unique qualities of their own. For example, on average a motorcycle accident cause more severe injuries to riders and are more common among the rider base despite being a significantly lower amount of people that ride motorcycles. Motorcycle accidents have a few risk factors that have a tendency to cause motorcycle accidents more than others such as:
Motorcycle Rider Visibility
One of the primary causes of motorcycle accidents across the state and country is the lack of visibility that comes with riding a motorcycle. Many drivers collide with motorcyclists simply because they do not realize that they are in their way. Motorcycles can easily slip into the blind spots of larger motor vehicles and get hit when those motor vehicles make a number of maneuvers. Motorcyclists take a number of measures to maximize their visibility to other drivers by painting their bikes, using powerful lights, and wearing reflective clothing among other things. Ultimately, a motorcyclist can take every precaution to maximize their visibility and end up still being hit by ignorant drivers.
Perhaps the most common reason motor vehicles, in general, are involved in an accident is distracted driving. most people are familiar with texting and driving as the primary example of distracted driving yet this often doesn’t apply to motorcyclists that typically can’t text while driving. However, there are a number of other behaviors that distracted driving consists of that motorcyclists can partake in. For example, rubbernecking is considered an example of distracted driving that motorcyclists can partake in despite the unique nature of their vehicle’s operation. Other motorists are typically at a greater risk for driver distraction since smartphone use among other things is much more likely. As a motorcycle accident injury lawyer, I can attest we often see distracted driving as a cause of catastrophic injuries.
Motorcyclists are well known to have a penchant for high-speed riding. One of the most attractive features of motorcycles is the ability to experience high speed while exposed on a bike so that it feels like you are flying down the road. While this is attractive and draws many people to riding motorcycles, it is also a very common cause of a Miami motorcycle accident. Riding a motorcycle at high speed decreases the amount of time a motorcyclist has to take evasive maneuvers or maneuvers in general.
The primary maneuver that results in collisions with motorcyclists is lane switching. As drivers switch from lane to lane or when motorcyclists switch from lane to lane, there is a high risk that a motorist will not see a motorcyclist and collide with them because they were either in their blindspot or out of sheer negligence. Motorcyclists can also increase their risk of being involved in an accident when they engage in a maneuver known as lane splitting. This is when a motorcyclist takes advantage of their vehicle’s smaller size in order to ride between lanes and vehicles so that they can beat traffic. This is an illegal maneuver in the state of Florida due to the danger it represents.
Safety Precautions that Motorcyclists Can Take
Motorcyclists and their passengers can take several safety precautions to lessen the chances of an accident. Some of these important measures include:
Helmets and Motorcycle Safety
Wearing a motorcycle helmet while riding. According to both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, motorcycle helmets reduce the risk of death by 37 percent in motorcycle crashes and reduce the risk of head injuries by 69 percent. However, according to recent statistics provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, nearly 40 percent of motorcyclists who were died in crashes between 2013 and 2015 were not wearing helmets. Motorcycle helmets offer some (albeit limited) head and eye protection in the event of a crash, helping to lessen the chances of sustaining a traumatic brain injury. Moreover, they help the motorcycle operator hear better by eliminating wind noise and other roadway distractions.
Replacing motorcycle helmets regularly. Motorcycle helmets experience wear and tear with time. Therefore, keep an eye on your helmet, and when signs of damage appear, replace it. Motorcycle helmets can also crack in an accident. If and when that happens, discard the helmet and never wear it again, since wearing a previously cracked helmet can cause you to sustain a severe head injury or concussion if you are involved in a future accident.
Drinking and Driving a Motorcycle
Never operate a motorcycle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Drugs and alcohol can significantly impair a motorcycle operator’s depth perception, distance perception, and vision. It also goes without saying that drugs and alcohol can delay a motorcyclist’s reaction time, significantly increasing the possibility of a collision.
Weather Increases Motorcycle Accident Risk
Taking weather conditions into account. Wet and slippery weather conditions can cause motorcycles to skid. This danger further increases when a motorcyclist drives at a high rate of speed.
Taking traffic conditions into account. The highways and roadways in the North Miami Beach area are heavily trafficked and busy. Therefore, it goes without saying that motorcyclists should watch their speeds and following distances during heavy traffic hours and be extra careful and vigilant during those times.
Proper Motorcycle Maintenance
There are actually a surprising number of motorcycle accidents that are caused not by drinking or distracted driving but instead, motorcycle malfunction. Individual motorcycle parts can malfunction and cause a catastrophic failure leading to a motorcycle accident. These malfunctions may be due to an issue with the part itself where it is defective or the part may simply be in a state of disrepair. Regular motorcycle maintenance is a simple yet essential measure that riders can take to ensure their bike does not malfunction and cause an accident. Keeping parts maintained not only helps them perform better and can catch defects in parts that may end up causing an accident.
Miami Motorcycle Accidents and Injuries Caused by Negligent Drivers
Sometimes, no matter how much caution motorcycle operators and their passengers exercise, negligent drivers collide with motorcycles and cause serious injuries. A hard impact can cause a motorcyclist and his or her passenger to fall off the motorcycle and strike heads and bodies on the ground. Common injuries sustained in motorcycle accidents where accident victims strike the ground include traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), bone fractures, paralysis, spinal cord injuries, scarring, soft tissue injuries, and in the worst cases, death.
When motor vehicle drivers operate their vehicles in careless and reckless ways—usually by speeding or violating some other traffic law—they can be held accountable in cases involving permanent injuries or extensive damages. The owner of the at-fault vehicle can also be held liable if he or she entrusted the vehicle to the negligent driver. In these instances, the motorcycle accident victim may recover compensation for all related medical and physical therapy bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, emotional distress, mental anguish, loss of use, and lost enjoyment of life. In serious cases involving permanent injuries and damages, the motorcycle accident victim may also recover monetary compensation for the estimated costs of future medical care and treatments, such as future surgeries or care at an assisted living facility or nursing home. The motorcycle accident attorneys at Sibley Dolman can help you recover the damages that you deserve and that will make you whole following your accident.
Call a North Miami Beach Motorcycle Accident Attorney Today for a Free Legal Consultation and Case Evaluation
The insurance company is absolutely not on your side in a motorcycle accident injury case and will do everything it can to lessen your damages. If you have sustained serious injuries in a motorcycle accident, you need a knowledgeable and experienced team of attorneys who will advocate for your legal rights. The attorneys at Sibley Dolman can be your advocates both during settlement negotiations and, if necessary, in the courtroom. To schedule a free consultation and case evaluation with a North Miami Beach motorcycle accident attorney, please call us at (305)-676-8154 or contact us online today.
North Miami Beach Motorcycle Accident FAQ
If you suffered serious injuries in a North Miami Beach motorcycle accident, you likely have questions, not just about your direct recovery, but also about your right to compensation. Contact Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers with any specific questions you may have about your claim, or check out the FAQ below.
1. I did not have my helmet on at the time of my North Miami Beach motorcycle accident, and I suffered a traumatic brain injury. Do I still have the right to file a personal injury claim?
Helmet use can vastly decrease the risk of many serious motorcycle accident injuries, including traumatic brain injuries and facial injuries. Even though Florida law does not require helmet use for motorcycle riders over the age of 21 who carry adequate insurance policies, both motorcycle drivers and passengers should always wear a helmet when riding through the streets of North Miami Beach.
However, even if you do not wear a helmet in a motorcycle accident and sustain injuries in keeping with that helmet use, you may still have the right to a motorcycle accident claim against the individual that caused your accident. Contact Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers to discuss the circumstances that led to your North Miami Beach motorcycle accident and whether you may have grounds to file a claim against the liable driver.
2. How much compensation can I recover following a North Miami Beach motorcycle accident?
Compensation can prove incredibly important following a North Miami Beach motorcycle accident. The accident can send your finances into a tailspin. Not only do you have medical bills mounting quickly, maybe you can’t go to work due to your motorcycle accident injuries—and that lost income can cause a chain reaction of financial difficulties that can make it very difficult for you to financially recover.
A motorcycle accident claim can help restore some of the funds you may have lost in your North Miami Beach motorcycle accident. At Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, we cannot guarantee the compensation you will ultimately recover for your motorcycle accident injuries. However, as we evaluate your claim, we will take a look at these key factors and how they may influence the compensation you can recover for your injuries.
Who caused your motorcycle accident? Often, motorcycle accidents in North Miami Beach occur as a result of driver negligence. The driver might, for example, fail to look closely enough before changing lanes or ignore your right to take up an entire lane of traffic.
A distracted or inebriated driver might fail to notice your presence entirely. When driver negligence leads to an accident, you may need to file a motorcycle accident claim through that driver’s insurance.
Florida auto insurance policies may have strict limits regarding the compensation you can recover following a motorcycle accident. The limits of that policy may determine how much compensation you can ultimately recover for your injuries.
What injuries did you sustain in your motorcycle accident? Motorcycle accidents can lead to many serious injuries. Traumatic brain injury occurs frequently in high-speed collisions. You may have suffered multiple broken bones, severe road rash, and even a spinal cord injury in your accident.
The more severe your injuries, the higher your medical bills—and the more compensation you may need to recover for those injuries. Often, your medical bills will serve as the foundation of your claim following a North Miami Beach motorcycle accident. Keep track of all medical bills in one place as they come in so that you can put together a highly comprehensive claim that reflects your real financial losses.
How many hours at work did you miss, and how did it impact your income? Motorcycle accident claims, at their heart, aim to compensate you for the financial losses that you suffered as a result of your motorcycle accident injuries. Many people find that lost income, when their injuries prevent them from working, leads to significant financial limitations and challenges.
The longer you remain out of work, the more difficult it can prove to rebuild your finances following your accident. You can include compensation for your lost wages as part of a motorcycle accident claim after your North Miami Beach accident.
How did your motorcycle accident injuries impact other areas of your life? If you suffered a motorcycle accident in North Miami Beach, those injuries may have a heavy impact on all areas of your life. Not only do they cause immense physical pain and suffering, they may leave you suffering from immense emotional anguish, including the loss of your independence and even loss of enjoyment of life.
As part of your motorcycle accident claim, you can include compensation for the pain and suffering you have faced while recovering from your injuries. Talk to your attorney about specific ways in which your motorcycle accident injuries have impacted you and how that impact may ultimately contribute to your North Miami Beach motorcycle accident claim.
3. Does the driver that caused my injuries have to pay my medical bills after an accident?
As the injured party and the one receiving treatment, you will bear ultimate responsibility for your medical expenses after a motorcycle accident.
When you file a motorcycle accident claim to hold the driver that caused your accident liable, typically, the driver’s insurance company will issue a settlement check to you. That settlement check does not go directly to your medical care team.
Often, if you sustained severe injuries in your motorcycle accident, especially injuries like spinal cord injuries that may require ongoing treatment, you will find that your medical costs exceed the compensation your settlement provides. As the injured party, you will still need to make arrangements to pay your medical bills.
Your personal health insurance can help alleviate some of the expenses associated with serious motorcycle accident injuries. Contact your insurance provider as soon after your accident as possible to learn more about what coverage you have. You may want to ask questions about in-network providers versus out-of-network providers or what coverage you have for specific elements of care you know you will need after your accident.
4. Will personal injury protection insurance cover me after a North Miami Beach motorcycle accident?
While Florida law requires the drivers of cars to carry personal injury protection insurance, which offers assistance paying immediate medical bills following a serious accident, it does not require the same insurance of motorcycle riders.
Unfortunately, personal injury protection insurance, even if you carry it on your other vehicles, typically does not cover motorcycle accidents. You may need to file a personal injury claim against the liable driver’s insurance to acquire financial compensation for your North Miami Beach motorcycle accident injuries.
5. What should I do after a North Miami Beach motorcycle accident?
Your personal health should take top priority following a North Miami Beach motorcycle accident. Even if you believe that you managed to escape without sustaining serious injuries, always have a doctor evaluate you to ensure that you did not suffer more serious injuries than you think. Often, motorcycle accident victims think they have come out all right, only to later discover that they sustained serious injuries.
You should also always:
Report the accident. Always report your North Miami Beach motorcycle accident to the police. Unless you need to leave to seek medical attention, or you feel unsafe in any way at the accident scene, you should not leave the scene of the accident until the police arrive.
Do not let the liable driver convince you that you do not need a police report, even if you do not think you have sustained serious injuries. A police report can serve as vital evidence for later managing your motorcycle accident claim.
Contact a North Miami Beach motorcycle accident attorney. Following your North Miami Beach motorcycle accident, an attorney can offer vital support in moving forward with a personal injury claim. Do not attempt to handle your claim on your own or talk to the other driver’s insurance company before consulting with an attorney to learn more about your specific rights following a serious motorcycle accident.
6. I had what I thought was a minor motorcycle accident, but discovered later that I suffered more serious injuries than I thought. Can I still pursue a motorcycle accident claim?
Even if you did not head immediately to the hospital after your North Miami Beach motorcycle accident, you may still have the right to pursue compensation for any injuries that you sustained in the accident.
Sometimes, injuries can show themselves days or even weeks after the initial accident. Don’t brush off your initial symptoms and try to ignore them or assume that you just feel a little stiff and sore because of the accident, rather than acknowledging that you may have sustained severe injuries.
However, if you did not seek medical care at the time of the accident, it can prove much more difficult to establish exactly when your motorcycle accident injuries occurred, and you may need more help moving your claim forward. Contact an experienced North Miami Beach motorcycle accident attorney as soon as you realize the extent of your injuries to help you move forward with a claim.
7. I got a call from the liable driver’s insurance company a few days after my North Miami Beach motorcycle accident, and they offered me a settlement. Should I take it?
Before accepting a settlement offer from an insurance company after a North Miami Beach motorcycle accident, make sure you get in contact with an attorney to discuss your rights, including the compensation you may really deserve for those injuries.
Often, motorcycle accident victims will get a call from the insurance company shortly after their accidents. The insurance company will offer a settlement, then apply a lot of pressure to the victim as they try to convince them to accept it.
Unfortunately, that settlement frequently does not reflect the real financial loss the victim has suffered—and may, in fact, reflect a small percentage of the compensation really deserved for those injuries.
Let an attorney look over your settlement offer before you decide whether you want to accept it. Once you have had an attorney review your claim, you may have a better idea of how much compensation you actually deserve, which can help you decide when to accept an offer and when you may want to continue to negotiate for the compensation you really deserve.
8. Will I have to go to court to settle a North Miami Beach motorcycle accident claim?
Most auto insurance companies will, when possible, settle motorcycle accident claims outside of court. If you have to go to court, it will significantly increase the legal costs the liable party may have to deal with.
However, you may end up needing to go to court if:
- The insurance company tries to dispute liability for your accident. You suffered serious injuries due to another driver’s negligence. Perhaps you were on a hazardous stretch of road, like I-95, or in a dangerous intersection with poor visibility. The insurance company tries to claim that you sat deliberately in a driver’s blind spot or sped through an intersection without stopping, although you know you took necessary steps for your own safety. If the insurance company tries to dispute liability for your accident, you may need to go to court to prove liability.
- The insurance company refuses to pay out the compensation you really deserve. If you sustained severe injuries, for example, you may have a harder time negotiating with the insurance company, since you may need to recover considerably more compensation. If negotiation fails, you may have to go to court to resolve your claim.
Why Choose Sibley Dolman Gipe For Your Miami Motorcycle Accident
Sibley Dolman Gipe is a nationally recognized personal injury and motorcycle accident law firm. Our personal injury lawyers have over 115+ years of combined experience. Further, our law firm has recovered over $175 Million for car accidents, motorcycle accidents, and personal injury victims. Insurance companies are well aware of our reputation for aggressively litigating our cases. In fact, insurance companies keep detailed notes on which law firms take cases to trial as opposed to those who settle cheap and leave money on the table.
We pride ourselves on providing personal attention and exceptional customer service. We are the opposite of a high volume firm you will find advertising all day long on television or radio. In fact, we provide all clients the cell phone number of the handling lawyer and the Managing Partner of our firm. Our goal is to assist all clients with all issues including medical bills. Sadly, we have seen many Miami law firms leave their clients holding the bag on medical bills. If you have been injured in a Miami motorcycle crash, call us today for a free case evaluation with one of our experienced injury lawyers.
Before selecting a Miami motorcycle lawyer, be sure to research their skills, qualifications, and experience. Does the lawyer or law firm have a reputation for litigating cases and trying such before a jury? Our motorcycle accident attorneys have successfully handled thousands of serious injury cases. We have seen nearly every type of fact pattern and experience make a huge difference. Motorcycle riders can be confident this is a law firm that has the financial resources to take on any corporate defendant.
Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA
1820 NE 163rd St #306,
North Miami Beach, FL 33162