Motorcycle Accident Attorney in Gainesville, Florida
Gainesville Motorcycle Accident Injuries
The state of Florida is an absolute dream place for any biker, with big open highways and nice weather. However, there are also massive amounts of cars and trucks on the road at the same time, drastically increasing the chances of a motorcycle accident. Such collisions can result in serious injury or death and can occur with little warning.
The injuries are often more severe than those sustained in car accidents due to the motorcycle offering little protection for larger vehicles and roadside objects. Motorcyclists have the same road rights as all other drivers and have the option to sue for damage and injuries resulting from accidents caused by other drivers. Our experienced motorcycle accident attorneys can help you get the compensation you deserve.
Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
If you love to ride motorcycles, you can protect yourself while riding by wearing bright clothing and a helmet, obeying traffic laws, and keeping your motorcycle maintained. However, there is no way to predict exactly when and where a motorcycle accident might occur, and most of them result from circumstances such as:
- The driver didn’t see the motorcyclist.
- Distracted driving due to texting, eating, or talking on the phone.
- The driver of the vehicle changed lanes without signaling, moving into the motorcycle’s path without warning.
- A driver was speeding or tailgating the motorcycle driver.
- The driver was drunk or otherwise intoxicated.
- Any other manner of reckless driving.
Any collision that results from these circumstances is not the fault of the motorcycle driver. Rather, it is the fault of the automobile driver. In such cases, Florida law gives you four years to hire an attorney and pursue an injury case relating to the accident. An attorney can help you navigate your legal rights and pursue compensation for injuries you may suffer. The amount of compensation you receive is dependent on a variety of things, including:
- Damage to your property, in this case, your motorcycle
- Costs of medical bills
- How much treatment and rehabilitation will cost you in the immediate and further future
- Lost wages and any potential loss of earnings.
How Soon Should I Look for a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer?
The immediate first thing you should do after an accident is to seek medical attention, even if you feel that you have not sustained any injuries. Sometimes injuries are internal, and a medical professional is best qualified to determine their existence. Get a proper examination from a doctor, and only go home after you get a clean bill of health.
Make sure you get information from the other driver, such as their name and contact information, as well as take pictures of the accident and property damage if you are able. When you’re at the doctor’s, have them document your injuries as well. All this information is relevant and necessary to prove your case in court.
Motorcycle Accident Injuries
- Traumatic Brain Injuries: Perhaps one of the most debilitating types of injuries that someone can suffer in a motorcycle accident is a traumatic brain injury. These injuries can cause permanent brain damage resulting in debilitating cognitive issues. The symptoms of these issues, such as memory loss, reduced coordination, emotional problems, and general mental impairment, can drastically reduce someone’s quality of life. The chance of suffering traumatic brain injuries such as concussions, brain contusions, and penetrating brain injuries can be reduced by wearing a motorcycle helmet.
- Biker’s Arm: Motorcycles are deceptively heavy vehicles that can easily crush the things they fall on. In many accidents involving motorcycles, a motorcyclist can have their vehicles all onto their arm or another limb and crush it. This can lead to lacerations, broken or fractured bones, as well as nerve damage.
- Spinal Injuries: Many motorcycle accidents can lead to severe trauma being inflicted on the spine. Spinal damage can affect vertebrae alignment, crack vertebrae, or even damage the spinal cord. Damage to the spinal cord can lead to paralysis, incontinence, sensory issues, and a host of other problems relating to communication between the brain and the body’s organs.
- Road Rash/Burn: Since motorcyclists are so exposed, many can end up suffering road rash. This injury consists of severe rash and lacerations upon a biker’s skin when it is sheared away by the friction of asphalt running across its body at speed.
- Internal Injuries: The trauma caused by a motorcycle accident can inflict severe injuries upon the internal organs of a motorcyclist’s body. Internal injuries are complex, requiring specialized treatment and long recovery. They also can cause long-term health issues that can affect the injured for the rest of their lives.
Florida Motorcycle Statistics
These statistics come from the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) and other similar sources.
- Motorcycle Registrations: Florida often ranks in the top states for the number of registered motorcycles.
- Fatalities: In some years, Florida has witnessed over 500 motorcycle-related fatalities.
- Helmet Usage: Despite Florida’s helmet law, which allows some riders to forgo helmets if they meet insurance and age requirements, over 50% of motorcyclists killed in accidents weren’t wearing helmets.
- Injuries: Thousands of motorcyclists are injured in Florida each year, with figures sometimes exceeding 8,000.
- Most Common Crash Cause: The failure of other motorists to yield the right of way is one of the most common causes of motorcycle crashes.
- Intersections: A significant proportion of motorcycle crashes occur at intersections.
- Alcohol and Drugs: About 30% of motorcyclists involved in fatal crashes were intoxicated and had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or higher.
- Speeding: Speeding has been a factor in a significant percentage of fatal motorcycle accidents.
- Age Group: Riders aged between 45-54 often account for a high number of motorcycle crash victims.
- Crash Time: The majority of motorcycle crashes in Florida occur during daylight hours.
- Day of the Week: Weekends witness a higher number of motorcycle accidents compared to weekdays.
- Weather: Most motorcycle accidents happen in clear weather conditions.
- Licensing: A surprising percentage (about 25%) of motorcycle riders involved in fatal crashes weren’t properly licensed.
- Passenger Injuries: A sizable number of motorcycle passengers also suffer injuries in crashes.
- Urban vs. Rural: Urban areas in Florida have a higher incidence of motorcycle accidents compared to rural areas.
- Vehicle Type: Most motorcycle accidents involve collisions with passenger cars.
- Training: Only a small percentage of motorcyclists involved in accidents had taken a motorcycle safety course.
- Road Type: Major roads, as opposed to interstates and freeways, see a higher proportion of motorcycle crashes.
- Economic Impact: The economic impact of motorcycle accidents in Florida amounts to millions of dollars each year in medical costs, lost productivity, and other related expenses.
- Growth: The number of motorcycle accidents has been on the rise in Florida for some years, correlating with the growth in Florida’s population and motorcycle registrations.
Damages in a Gainesville Motorcycle Accident Case
The term “damages” refers to any losses that you experience as a result of the motorcycle accident and your injuries. Damages can be economic or non-economic, relating to a monetary loss or not. Economic damages are calculated by looking at the exact value of the loss. Non-economic damages are more complex. We look at how much your quality of life has changed as a result of your injuries and determine how much compensation that change is equal to.
You may be able to receive compensation for the following damages:
- Past and future medical bills
- Hospital visits
- Ambulance rides
- Physical therapy
- Specialist visits
- Medical devices or equipment
- In-home care
- Past and future lost wages
- Lost earning capacity
- Changes to home to account for medical equipment or disability
- Pain and suffering
- Disfigurement and scarring
- Loss of consortium or companionship
Unfortunately, sometimes motorcycle accidents do cause death. If you’ve lost a loved one to a motorcycle accident, you may be able to recover damages on their behalf by filing a wrongful death lawsuit. You’ll be able to recover damages for burial costs, funeral costs, and more.
Experienced Motorcycle Accident Attorneys in Gainesville
Motorcycle accidents can lead to life-changing injuries that can permanently alter the way you live your life. You deserve help to hold reckless drivers accountable and get you the compensation you deserve.
We will answer any questions our clients may have, explain their legal rights, and help them through every step of this difficult process. We are committed to each client and helping them receive the compensation they deserve.
If you have been injured in a car accident, contact The Eberst Law Firm online or call our Gainesville office at 772-225-4900 to discuss your case in a free consultation with one of our experienced Gainesville car accident attorneys.
About the Author of this Page: The above information was written or reviewed by one of the attorneys at The Eberst Law Firm who have extensive experience trying legal cases outside and inside courtrooms throughout Florida. This article was also extensively researched to ensure that all information is accurate and up to date. If you want to know more about the author of this page, view our attorney bios here.
Photo by Joshua Reddekopp