A ride on a motorcycle can be a fun and exciting way to enjoy some of Florida’s famous weather and sea breezes. Few modes of transportation can compare with the freedom that a motorcycle ride offers. All the fun, excitement, and freedom disguise a sobering truth: motorcyclists are at serious risk of suffering catastrophic injuries in a Florida motorcycle accident.
Despite public awareness campaigns designed to encourage drivers of cars and trucks to “share the road,” some motorists see motorcyclists as nuisances and deliberately attempt to cause a motorcycle crash. Still, others are oblivious to the popularity of motorcycling and do not take the necessary precautions to avoid causing a motorcycle accident. In either case, the injured motorcyclist can bring a motorcycle injury lawsuit to recover compensation with the help of the personal injury attorneys at Kaiser Romanello.
FLORIDA MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENT STATISTICS
According to data maintained by the State of Florida, motorcyclists are at an increasing risk of being involved in a motorcycle crash. Between 2012 and 2013 (the two most recent years for which information is available), the total number of motorcycle crashes increased by over 3% from almost 9,400 in 2012 to over 9,600 in 2013. What is more alarming is that, while the number of motorcyclists injured remained relatively constant, the number of motorcyclists killed increased by 4%, from 425 in 2012 to 444 in 2013.
These statistics should cause motorcyclists some measure of concern. Despite activity by local, state, and national governments designed to make motorcycling in Florida a safer activity, these efforts are having little impact on the incidence and severity of motorcycle crashes.
COMMON MOTORCYCLE INJURIES
Part of what makes motorcycling a dangerous activity is the fact that a motorcyclist is exposed to the elements and has little to protect him or her in the event of a crash. Whereas it is not commonplace for the driver of a car to be ejected from the vehicle except in serious and roll-over accidents, a motorcycle crash can easily send the biker flying off of the cycle and skidding across rough pavement and terrain. This is but one of the unique injuries motorcyclists are more susceptible to suffering. Others include:
- “Road rash,” consisting of severe abrasions and lacerations caused by skidding across the ground;
- Striking stationary objects such as signs, parked vehicles, and other obstructions;
- Crushing injuries when a body part is crushed beneath the weight of the bike or between the bike and another object;
- Pelvic injuries;
- Amputation and loss of limbs;
- Burns from chemicals, contact with hot mechanical parts, or other heated surfaces;
- Traumatic brain injuries; and
- Spine and neck injuries.
COMMON CAUSES OF MOTORCYCLE CRASHES
Certainly some motorcyclists engage in risky behavior that contributes to motorcycle crashes. For example, riding without a helmet and other safety gear, driving too fast for conditions, and disobeying traffic laws and signs are but a few of the ways in which motorcyclists are putting themselves and others at risk.
By the same token, there are certain behaviors that drivers of motor vehicles engage in that puts motorcyclists at an increased risk of injury. A motorcyclist who is injured in a crash caused by a motorist engaging in careless behaviors can recover financial compensation for his or her injuries from that driver. Motorists engaging in the following behaviors may be putting motorcyclists in danger:
- Driving while distracted or texting while driving;
- Driving while intoxicated or under the influence;
- Driving too fast for conditions;
- Failing to check mirrors and blind spots before making traffic movements;
- Trying to cut off motorcyclists by turning in front of them or blocking their lane of travel;
- Disobeying traffic signs; and
- Opening a car door without looking to see if a motorcyclist is approaching from behind.
Drivers of cars and trucks owe others on the roadway (including motorcyclists) a duty to drive in a reasonable and careful manner. Those that engage in behaviors like those listed above are said to have breached that duty and can be held responsible for damages they cause to motorcyclists.
SAFETY TIPS FOR MOTORCYCLISTS
As a motorcyclist, your safety is in your hands. You can help reduce your risk of injury and protect yourself and your family by taking simple, common-sense steps:
- Always wear a properly-fitted helmet and other safety gear;
- Make sure your motorcycle is in good working order before leaving your house;
- Wear clothing designed to make yourself more visible to others;
- Drive defensively and do not pass other cars without making your intentions clear with appropriate signals; and
- Contact the law firm of Kaiser Romanello immediately after a motorcycle crash. The sooner you contact our offices, the better we are able to assist you in collecting important evidence about your crash and working at getting you the compensation you deserve.
CONTACT A FLORIDA MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENT ATTORNEY TODAY FOR HELP
At Kaiser Romanello, we recognize that being the victim of a motorcycle accident is a terrible, painful, and frustrating experience. Although we cannot help you heal any faster or alleviate the physical pain you are experiencing, we do consider ourselves part of your “recovery team.” We are here to help you obtain the financial compensation you need to alleviate the pressures caused by expensive medical bills and lost wages. We will walk each step of the legal process with you, from the filing of your complaint to obtaining your compensation. We can help you recover and move forward after a motorcycle crash. Contact us today to learn more about your legal options.