Boca Raton, Florida is one of the best places in the United States to own a motorcycle. With miles upon miles of beaches and stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean, it is the ideal setting for long-distance motorcycle trips, day rides, or simply getting around town by motorbike.
Unfortunately, being a motorcycle rider on Boca Raton roads today is a scary prospect. Drivers of other motor vehicles usually overlook, show blatant contempt for, and sometimes even collide with motorcycle riders.
If you have been injured in a motorcycle crash, you can be sure that the trusted personal injury lawyers at Englander Peebles are ready to fight to ensure that you receive the compensation that you rightfully deserve. Just reach out either online or via phone today to schedule a consultation with one of our Boca Raton motorcycle accident lawyers!
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How Can a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Help With My Compensation Claim?
Motorcycle accidents often lead to serious injuries and can be even fatal to many victims. It is thus important to hold the negligent parties accountable for the injuries they cause motorcycle riders. It helps deter unsafe driving habits and helps protect other innocent motorcyclists from being injured in the future.
Here at Englander Peebles, we know how to prove liability and seek damages in motorcycle accident cases. We are incredibly skilled negotiators and know how to demand your legal right to compensation for the injuries and losses you may have suffered at the hands of negligent drivers and other road users. Contact us today either online or via phone to schedule your free case evaluation.
What Are the Most Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents?
Motorcycle accidents can be the result of many different factors including poor weather conditions that are beyond anyone’s control. Still, many motorcycle accidents are both preventable and avoidable. The major factor in most motorcycle accidents is simply other road users. Here are the most common causes of motorcycle accidents in Boca Raton:
It is one of the leading contributors to motorcycle accidents that result in injury, death, and destruction of property. It is where other drivers are busy talking on a cellphone, texting, eating, or even drinking while driving, which makes it more likely that they will fail to see motorcycle riders around them.
Failure to Pay Attention to Motorcycles
It is usually a problem when it comes to intersections. Motorcycles are generally small, which means that many motorists just don’t see them, particularly if the driver is not paying attention. Motorists are also more likely to make quick turns at traffic intersections thus failing to see oncoming motorcycles.
Drunk Driving or Drugged Driving
Alcohol and drugs tend to impair one’s judgment, both on and off the roads. Driving requires quick reflexes and even one drink is enough to significantly lower reaction times. If the driver of a vehicle is driving while intoxicated, this can be a key contributing factor in motorcycle accidents.
Faulty Brakes, Mirrors, or Lighting
If any component of the motorcycle itself has a design flaw or malfunctions thus contributing to an accident, the manufacturer could potentially be held liable in a product liability claim for any injuries or fatalities resulting from the use of a defective component.
Unexpected Pedestrians in the Road
Contrary to popular belief, pedestrians don’t always have right of way and they actually have a duty of care when either walking alongside roads or crossing streets. If a pedestrian walks in a restricted area or crosses the road against safety signals and protocol and a motorcycle rider hits them, they can be found negligent for their role in the accident that causes injuries or even a fatality.
Motorcycle Accident Statistics in Florida
The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicle reported that in 2018, the state had 9,143 motorcycle accidents that resulted in 531 rider fatalities, 25 passenger fatalities, 7,849 rider injuries, as well as 621 passenger injuries. While the accident rate is still high, it is the lowest it has been in 3 years.
What Are Motorcycle-Specific Laws in Florida?
Each state has its own laws that govern motorcycle ownership and operation and Florida is no exception. Here are the motorcycle-specific laws in Florida:
- Motorcycle riders who are at least 21 years old and carry an insurance policy with not less than $10,000 in medical benefits are not required to wear a helmet.
- Motorcycle riders under the age of 21 are required to always wear a helmet approved by the Department of Transportation securely fastened to their heads while riding.
- Motorcycle riders are entitled to full use of a lane and other motorists shouldn’t ride in a way that deprives motorcyclists of the full use of the lane.
- Motorcycle riders are not allowed to pass another vehicle if they are passing inside of the same lane as the other vehicle.
- Motorcycle riders are not allowed to do lane splitting (i.e. riding between lanes of traffic).
- Motorcycle riders are not allowed to do any lane sharing (i.e. riding more than two side-by-side in a lane).
- All motorcycle riders, regardless of age are required to always wear eye protection while riding.
What Are the Most Common Injuries Seen in Motorcycle Accidents?
Injuries commonly associated with motorcycle accidents include:
The impact of another vehicle or the ground will undoubtedly leave the motorcycle rider with a few broken bones or fractures. While those may range from minor to severe, some will require pins along with other surgical procedures to heal properly.
It is a sliding injury that’s incredibly common in motorcycle accidents. When the motorcycle rider’s bike and body hit the ground, they still have momentum that pushes them across the asphalt surface, which may lead to serious skin lacerations.
Motorcycle riders often suffer head injuries. Even riders that wear helmets may still suffer from serious trauma or even concussions. Wearing a helmet dramatically lowers the risk for permanent brain damage or even death. Still, riders may suffer facial scars depending on the type of helmet they are wearing.
Traumatic brain injuries are quite common in motorcycle accidents. The symptoms include headaches, seizures, coordination issues, difficulty balancing, dizziness, unexplained mood changes, unexplained migraines, and may appear immediately or later. Brain injuries are serious and if not diagnosed and treated in time, they may lead to serious complications.
Spinal Cord Injuries
The impact of the vehicle or ground may damage the motorcycle rider’s spinal cord and this may lead to difficulty maintaining balance, nerve pain, or even permanent paralysis.
How is Fault Determined in Boca Raton Motorcycle Accidents?
Building a case proving that you aren’t at fault means who is, and how. The Boca Raton motorcycle accident lawyers at Englander Peebles investigate your case and examine all available evidence and help you determine who is at fault.
It is even possible that multiple parties are partially responsible, and you will need to identify and name them in your claim. Multiple contributing factors could also have been involved in the lead up to the accident, and we will have to consider all of them.
It is also important to remember that Boca Raton is in Florida, where comparative negligence applies. Comparative negligence is a sliding case where the fault is apportioned to different parties involved in the accident and expressed as a percentage. For instance, if it is determined that the rider was 20 percent at fault and the other driver was 80 percent at fault, the rider may receive 80 percent of the recovered damages.
What Type of Compensation Can I Receive for My Motorcycle Accident?
After a motorcycle accident in Florida, you can receive damages for:
Economic damages seek compensation for measurable financial issues related to the motorcycle accident such as medical bills along with other treatment-related costs such as medication and physical therapy.
Besides the medical costs, economic damages seek compensation for earnings-related impacts such as lost wages due to time off work for recovery or impacts to the earning capacity of the victim due to the injuries.
Non-economic damages tend to be more complicated to calculate since they are abstract in nature, but they are still as important as economic damages. They seek compensation for things such as the psychological and emotional impacts of the accident.
Non-economic damages that you can pursue in a motorcycle accident include pain and suffering endured from the injuries, fear experienced after the accident, loss of enjoyment of life, loss of consortium, anxiety, depression, etc.
If another motorist’s negligence, conduct, or malicious accident caused the motorcycle accident, punitive action may be taken against them. Punitive actions are generally not compensatory in nature but rather are intended to punish the defendant’s recklessness.
Why Was My Motorcycle Accident Claim Denied?
Your motorcycle accident claim may have been denied for several reasons including:
The Policy Has Lapsed or Been Canceled
Your insurance company is unlikely to entertain your claim request if it is raised against a lapsed or canceled policy. Insurance covers your bike only during the policy period. It is thus important to renew the policy before it expires to benefit from having continuous bike insurance coverage.
The Rider Wasn’t Insured Under the Policy
You are allowed to nominate other riders when taking out motorcycle insurance, but your claim can only be accepted if the rider of the motorcycle at the time of the accident was a nominee that has a valid license. However, some policies only offer coverage to the regular driver only. Ensure that the policy covers other drivers prior to filing a claim.
The Insurance Company Believes the Accident Was Your Fault
It is rather common for insurance companies to try and pin some of the fault on an innocent party if they believe they can get away with it. Motorcyclists usually face this problem after an accident. If you are facing such a situation, get in touch with our reputable Boca Raton motorcycle accident lawyers so that they can review your version of the events along with the police report.
The Insurance Company Does Not Believe You Were Really Hurt
Insurance adjusters might try to step into the shoes of your doctor and claim that some of the treatment you received was not necessary and they won’t approve it. However, insurance adjusters are not the ones to be making decisions on your medical care. It is the responsibility of medical experts to evaluate your injury, determine the care and treatment you require, and determine whether you need any rehabilitation.
The Insurance Company Does Not Think the Accident Is What Caused Your Injuries
If the insurance company believes that it can diminish the value of your claim by saying that a prior injury is to blame for most of your pain, they will definitely do it. However, never accept such an excuse at face value. It could be that your pre-existing injury has nothing to do with your current injury or the accident made your pre-existing condition worse, thus potentially increasing the compensation you can claim.
Denials for compensation claims with insurance companies can be daunting to persons that must suffer through injury. It may be necessary, however, to hire an attorney that’s experienced in such issues to fight for your rights and ensure that you receive the compensation you are rightfully entitled to.
Are There Time Limits to Filing a Claim in Florida?
In Florida, injured parties have 4 years from the date of the motorcycle accident to file a lawsuit. If the 4-year period lapses, it is unlikely that any Florida court will hear the case. If you wish to file a suit against a government entity, you have 3 years from the date of the motorcycle accident to do it. If you wish to file a wrongful death claim after a motorcycle accident in Florida, you have 2 years from the date of death to do it.
Contact Trusted Boca Raton Motorcycle Accident Lawyers Today!
If you or a loved one has suffered an injury in a Boca Raton motorcycle accident, you need a reputable and trustworthy lawyer to represent you while you seek compensation for your injuries and losses.
Fortunately, the experienced legal team at Englander Peebles in Boca Raton is here to advocate for you and help you navigate the claims process following the motorcycle accident. Contact us today either online or via phone for your free, no-obligation consultation.