Florida leads the nation in motorcycle accident fatalities. The Tampa Bay Area including Hillsborough, Pinellas, and Pasco alone report an average of 75 motorcyclists killed annually- one every four days. And when bikers are involved in non-fatal crashes, the injuries are always traumatic and sometimes life-altering.
Motorcyclists are exposed to more dangers in motor vehicle accidents, lacking the protective metal shell of a car and safety features like seat belts and airbags. Motorcycle accidents can easily result in catastrophic personal injuries such as broken bones, severe road rash, scarring, and neck and head injuries. If you’ve suffered injuries or expensive property damage in a motorcycle accident in Central Florida, contact our accident attorneys at Fiol Law Group for immediate and expert assistance.
If you have been in a motorcycle accident and think that another driver may have been negligent and is responsible for your injuries consult with a Tampa personal injury lawyer. You may have grounds for a lawsuit. Florida law is complicated and there is only a certain length of time you have to file suit. Discuss your case with a motorcycle accident attorney as soon as possible for the best chance at fair compensation. We will meet with you in a free, private consultation to discuss your accident and possible options.
Why Choose Fiol Law Group To Represent You
After a Tampa biker fractured their femur in a motorcycle accident, Fiol Law Group secured $450,000 for his injuries. As your Tampa motorcycle accident lawyer, we have one priority: fight for just and maximum compensation for your pain and suffering so you can focus solely on regaining health. We offer free consultations on all personal injury cases and operate on a contingency basis.
Determining Fault in a Motorcycle Accident Injury Lawsuit
An important part of motor vehicle accident cases is not only determining the cause but also determining fault. Generally, an accident is more than one person’s fault. If you win compensation for your injuries in an accident, the courts may reduce your award by the amount it believes you are at fault, which the law calls comparative negligence. For example, if you forget to wear a helmet while riding your motorcycle, and your head injuries are extremely damaging, the courts may suggest you are partially to blame for the severity of the injuries. They may say you are 10% at fault, while the car that hit you was 90%. In this case, your award will be 10% less. You would still receive some compensation, but the courts will reduce it by the percentage you are found to be responsible for the incident.
When a driver gets behind the wheel, he or she accepts a duty of care to other drivers, pedestrians, and motorcyclists who share the road. To put it simply, by getting a license for any kind of vehicle, you are also promising to keep yourself and everyone else on the road safe by following traffic laws and using common sense. Courts can determine fault by proving someone acted unreasonably or failed in his or her duty of care to drive safely.
Steps to Take After A Tampa Motorcycle Accident
After a motorcycle accident, it helps to take photos of the scene immediately after the crash so that you can have evidence for your case. You should also take photos of other vehicles that were part of the incident. Take shots of any obstructions that may have contributed to the accident and pictures of any injuries you have suffered. These images, combined with a police report, will help determine who was responsible for the accident. Also, get the contact information of any witnesses who may have seen the accident. If you were seriously injured, seek medical attention immediately. Make sure to keep track of all medical bills and records.
Do I Need a Lawyer If It Wasn’t My Fault?
Following any motorcycle accident, the at-fault insurance company may make a quick settlement because injuries can be so catastrophic. This first offer will usually be a low estimate of damages and you should not accept the offer before consulting an attorney first. Involving an attorney will almost certainly ensure you receive a higher offer. Our Tampa motorcycle accident attorneys have represented many accident victims of motorcycle crashes and will conduct necessary investigations to uncover evidence into the cause and fault of a crash.
A vital part of preparing a case is creating a persuasive claim. Your Tampa bike accident attorney will evaluate the scene, review police reports, review medical records, question witnesses, contact insurance companies, and use many other investigative tactics to make build an effective claim. The plaintiff can use a well-constructed claim as leverage against the insurance companies or defendants during negotiations. The better your claim is, the higher your chances of the court awarding you compensation to cover lost wages, medical care, and suffering.
Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
Learning the most common causes of motorcycle accidents keeps you aware of your rights, and helps in avoiding future collisions. Human error accounts for the vast majority of motorcycle accidents – both on the part of the motorcyclist and the passenger vehicle driver. Motorcycles are more difficult to spot on rural and urban roads. A driver who is not paying enough attention to the road can easily pull out in front of a motorcycle, putting the motorcyclist in grave danger. Other acts of negligence, such as texting and driving or driving under the influence, can also cause motorcycle crashes.
As your Tampa motorcycle accident attorney, we will help identify and prove the negligent behavior behind your bike crash, significantly increasing the strength of your personal injury lawsuit.
Common causes of these collisions include:
- Cars making left-hand turns. This is one of the most common causes of motorcycle accidents. These collisions can happen when a motorcycle is going straight through an intersection or trying to pass a car. Motorists do not look closely enough before making the turn, cutting the motorcycle off or colliding directly with the bike.
- Distracted driving. Every driver has the responsibility to reasonably look out for the safety of other motorists on the road and pedestrians. Part of this duty is to pay close attention to the road. Eating, drinking, talking on the phone, texting, talking to passengers, or personal grooming behind the wheel can lead to a motorist failing to yield right of way, rolling through stop signs, and cutting off motorcyclists.
- Drug and alcohol use. Driving under the influence causes hundreds of motorcycle crashes in Florida every year. An intoxicated motorist may fail to see a motorcycle coming and pull out in front of it, or weave in and out of lanes. Anyone driving at or above 0.08% blood alcohol content (BAC) level is legally intoxicated in Florida.
Despite the known dangers of drunk and drugged driving, it’s a reoccurring problem at Florida’s infamous Bike Week in Daytona Beach. Each year, tens of thousands of bikers crowd into the city for beer, bikes, and more beer. Together, these create a deadly combination – during 2017’s Bike Week in March, two people died and six had injuries in the first 24 hours of festivities alone.
Other common factors in motorcycle accidents include speeding and reckless driving. People often drive motorcycles for the “thrill,” prompting them to drive faster or take turns with more speed than they probably should.
Don’t assume that because you were somewhat responsible for a crash you can’t receive compensation. Florida is a comparative negligence state, meaning the juries will award compensation based on the proportion of fault of each party. You could still be eligible for compensation even if you were partially at fault for a motorcycle accident. Partial fault may involve speeding or lane splitting for example. Seek the help of a motorcycle accident lawyer in Tampa Bay to discuss your particular case and find out if you might be able to receive compensation.
Types of Motorcycle Accident Injuries
Being involved in a motorcycle accident can lead to all types of injuries, but some are more common than others. What’s worse, motorcycle injuries can be so severe that they last a lifetime.
Here are some of the most common offenders:
- Road Rash. Road rash occurs from skin scraping up against the pavement. This is an extremely painful condition that can necessitate skin grafts. The psychological and physical effects can be permanent.
- Brain and Spinal Cord Injuries. When people don’t wear their helmets, they’re more likely to suffer traumatic brain and spinal cord injuries. These may lead to paralysis and impede a person’s ability to perform everyday tasks they once found easy.
- Crush Injuries. Bikes are heavy, and their engines are hot. When a motorcycle falls on a rider or passenger, it can create profound crush injuries and painful burns.
Motorcycle driving may be fun, but it can also be dangerous. Fortunately, there are things you can do to reduce your risk of injury. Always wear a helmet, wear reflective gear at night and never get behind the wheel impaired.
However, more often than not, these crashes are the fault of the passenger vehicle. When you have questions about liability in a motorcycle accident and how to pay for your medical bills, talk with an accident attorney who understands the laws that protect motorcyclists and other riders on the highway. Alex Fiol has immediate availability – call today to schedule your free consultation.
Motorcycle Accident Fatalities
Death is unfortunately a common result of Florida motorcycle accidents. With an average of 75 motorcyclists killed each year in Tampa Bay alone, the region clearly has a problem with motorcycle safety. Motorcyclists involved in car accidents can suffer common injuries that expose them to a higher risk of death than occupants of motor vehicles.
Fatal motorcycle accidents can change a family forever. The lawyers at Fiol Law Group don’t believe that motorcyclists in Tampa “assume a risk” of serious or fatal injuries when they hit the open road. We work hard to fight biases against motorcyclists and their families in the Tampa Bay court system. Regardless of whether your loved one was wearing a helmet or contributed to his/her fatal accident, we can help you secure maximum compensation through aggressive litigation.
Hillsborough County Motorcycle Accident Statistics
Motorcycle Crashes and Injuries
In the Tampa Bay area, motorcycle crashes have remained relatively stable, though high, the past three years, according to data from Florida’s Integrated Report Exchange System (Fires). The county’s 3-year average sits at 727 motorcycle wrecks and 612 injuries.
On the contrary, deaths from motorcycle crashes are on the rise in Hillsborough County, with a 9 percent increase in just three years. In fact, Florida now leads the nation in motorcycle fatalities.
But why are Florida motorcycle accident fatalities on the rise?
One reason motorcycle deaths are increasing is simply because there are more riders on the road. In 2006, there were 6.6 million registered motorcycles in Florida. In 2014, that number had jumped to 8.4 million.
A recent study by AAA found some other enlightening trends. According to their qualitative research, the majority of motorcycle riders say they wear a helmet, but, according to the NHTSA, about 40% of all motorcycle fatalities between 2013 and 2015 involved people not wearing helmets.
In Florida, it’s technically legal to ride without a helmet, but, just because you can, it doesn’t mean you should. You’re on two wheels and lack the basic protections of a car (like airbags and seatbelts). Play it safe, and wear a helmet.
Get Help from Professional Tampa Motorcycle Accident Lawyers
Motorcycle accidents aren’t just physically harmful – they can be costly and complex.
You need a team of Tampa personal injury attorneys by your side to help you understand and defend your rights. Motorcycle accidents are more likely to cause serious and fatal personal injuries than other types of motor vehicle collisions. If you suffered a major injury or costly personal property damage in a motorcycle crash in Tampa Bay, Fiol Law Group may be able to help. Contact us to take the first step toward recovering your damages. We offer free consultations to discuss the details of your case one-on-one without obligation or risk.
Simply a great attorney. Alex was always available to meet with me for whatever reason. He explained my case from beginning to end. I was sent to the best specialist because my health was important to him and his staff. At the end, he settled my case without having to go to court.