If you drive a car on a regular basis, you’ve no doubt been told time and time again how you need to watch out for motorcyclists, because they have just as much right to the road as you. While that is true, there are plenty of instances where motorcyclists don’t extend the same courtesy – leading to serious accidents as a result.
The experienced attorneys with The Eberst Law Firm may be able to help if you or a loved one was injured or killed due to the negligence of a motorcycle rider. Get a free case review by calling 888-CALL-JON or using our online form.
Dangerous Behavior by Motorcycle Riders
Florida ranks first in the dubious category of most motorcycle accidents in the country. But not all of those accidents are due to careless drivers of four-wheeled vehicles. Here are some of the more common causes of accidents caused by negligent motorcyclists.
Driving Under the Influence
Just like motorists, motorcyclists can cause accidents by operating their bikes under the influence of drugs or alcohol. They may cause a rear-end collision because they’re following too closely behind a vehicle, or they cause a head-on collision because they’re either going the wrong way, or drift out of their lane on a two-way highway.
Just because a high-performance speed bike can get up to 200 mph or more, that doesn’t give a motorcyclist the right to go that fast. Speeding causes severe accidents, whether a biker or the driver of a passenger vehicle are to blame. If you were in a passenger vehicle trying to avoid a speeding motorcycle, and that caused an accident that led to an injury, you might be able to file a personal injury lawsuit against the rider.
In far too many instances, motorcyclists will either ride a lot slower or faster than others on the road. When they move at a speed that surprises the driver of a vehicle, that can lead to an overreaction that results in a wreck.
Swerving Between Lanes
According to Florida law, it’s illegal for a motorcyclist to pass a vehicle using the same lane. The main reason is that a motorcycle is smaller than the typical vehicle, and can be very hard to see. If that wasn’t dangerous enough, motorcyclists will often resort to swerving between lanes in order to pass other motorists.
“Lane splitting” is another common form of motorcyclist negligence that leads to accidents. It means that a rider will position his or her bike between two cars in order to pass. As with other forms of negligent behavior, this often results in devastating crashes.
Failing to Use a Turn Signal
Just like drivers need to let bikers know when they’re about to turn, bikers need to do the same thing. Failure to do so can lead to catastrophe. In many instances, a motorcycle will make a sudden left turn, directly into the path of a four-wheeled vehicle.
Performing Tricks or Racing on the Highway
There are a few riders who, for lack of a better term, like to show off on the road. They pop wheelies on a regular basis, and a few of them will even stand on the seat while going at full speed. Not only is this incredibly stupid, it’s also incredibly dangerous. Other drivers may have to try and swerve suddenly around the bike – a situation that almost never ends well.
Riding in Large Groups
A lot of riders like to join fellow motorcyclists and take up huge portions of a highway. This, of course, can lead to a lot of distractions. They might try to perform some tricks to impress their fellow bikers, or might cause a wreck simply by trying to communicate with their friends.
Motorcycle Accidents: It’s Not Always the Driver’s Fault
As you can see, there are plenty of times where a motorcyclist’s reckless or negligent behavior can result in a devastating accident. It’s true, there are a lot of instances where a motorist isn’t paying attention, and hits a biker by accident. But motorcyclists often deserve blame as well.
Motorcyclists must respect not only the rules of the road, but also the drivers of four-wheel vehicles. When they don’t, and they hurt or kill someone as a result, they must be held accountable.
Compensation for a Motorcycle Accident
The amount of compensation available in an accident with a negligent motorcyclist will depend on several factors. These include the following:
- The circumstances surrounding the accident.
- The severity of the injuries that were suffered.
- The financial damages the injured party incurred, such as medical bills, lost wages and others.
At The Eberst Law Firm, we will carefully analyze your losses and give you an estimate of the amount of compensation you may be able to obtain through a settlement. If you do get a settlement offer, and it’s not a fair one, then we will take the case to court.
It’s important you speak to an experienced attorney as soon as possible – especially if you lost a loved one due to the actions of someone riding a motorcycle. The reason is you only have a certain amount of time – known as the statute of limitations – to file a wrongful death lawsuit. In Florida, that statute of limitations is two years from the date of the accident, or the date the death occurred.
Hire an Attorney to Set the Record Straight
In order to have the best chance of winning any lawsuit against a negligent motorcyclist – or any sort of legal action involving a personal injury or wrongful death, for that matter – you’re going to need to produce solid evidence. At The Eberst Law Firm, we have the skill and experience needed in order to help you find that evidence.
Get in touch with The Eberst Law Firm as soon as possible if you have been injured in a wreck caused by a reckless biker, or you’ve tragically lost a loved one due to a motorcyclist’s negligent behavior. Contact us online or give us a call at 888-CALL-JON for a free consultation.