SERIOUS PERSONAL INJURY
Florida is fast becoming a dangerous state in which to ride a motorcycle. In fact, recent motorcycle statistics in Florida show the following:
- Although motorcycle fatalities seemed to decrease from 2008 to 2010 (from 502 in 2008 to 350 in 2010), motorcycle fatalities have increased from year to year from 2011 (413 fatalities) to 2012 (425 fatalities) to 2013 (444 fatalities);
- Males ages 25 to 34 are most likely to be involved in a motorcycle crash;
- Hillsborough County had the second-highest number of motorcycle fatalities in 2013 in all of Florida with 42 fatalities; only Miami-Dade County had more motorcycle fatalities (45 fatalities in 2013);
- Although Florida is a popular tourist destination, over 90% of Florida motorcycle fatalities are residents of Florida.
- For every motorcyclist killed in a motorcycle accident, seven more motorcyclists suffer non-fatal injuries requiring hospitalization.
The odds are that you will see very few motorcyclists using cell phones to check e-mails or text because they are generally singularly focused on the road.
Common Motorcycle Accident Injuries
Motorcyclists do not have the same structural protections that drivers of cars and trucks enjoy. Therefore, the likelihood of serious bodily injury or death increases when a motorcycle is involved in a motor vehicle collision. Motorcyclists generally have the same rights and duties as those driving larger cars and trucks. Unfortunately, sometimes motorcycles are not as easily identifiable, especially when drivers are speeding or distracted, such as with cell phones.
Because of the design of motorcycles, motorcyclists are more prone to certain serious injuries than a driver or passenger in a motor vehicle. Some of these injuries include:
- Traumatic brain injuries and head injuries (although wearing a properly-fitted helmet can greatly reduce the chances of suffering a severe head injury);
- Neck and spine injuries as motorcyclists are more prone to being thrown off of their motorcycles during a crash;
- Amputations of limbs and fingers as body parts can become severed or caught between the motorcycle and the road or the motorcycle and another vehicle;
- Pelvic and hip injuries, mainly as the result of the way the rider must straddle the motorcycle and the stress placed on these joints during a crash
Safety Tips for Drivers of Motor Vehicles
We encourage you to independently survey the traffic when you are driving and notice how many drivers of cars and trucks are using cell phones while driving versus those riding motorcycles. The odds are that you will see very few motorcyclists using cell phones to check e-mails or text because they are generally singularly focused on the road. We at Burnett Wilson Reeder take a particular interest in motorcycle accidents as Attorney Lee Reeder is an avid motorcycle rider.
Florida motorists can reduce the chances of causing a motorcycle injury – and thus reduce the chances of being found responsible for an injured motorcyclist’s expenses and losses – by taking precautionary measures such as:
- Be aware that motorcyclists are sharing the road. This means making sure to check blind spots before changing lanes or turning and ensuring your car’s signaling equipment works properly. This also means looking to ensure no motorcycles are coming your way before opening your car door if you park on a street.
- Do not drink and drive or drive while distracted. Both of these activities take your full attention away from the road and impair your ability to react quickly to avoid an accident.
- Drive defensively and reasonably under the circumstances, especially when the weather and/or visibility is poor (like at night).
Help for Injured Motorcyclists
Because Florida is a “comparative negligence state,” even if the motorcyclist is partially at fault for the accident, he/she can still recover a percentage of the total damages. At Burnett Wilson Reeder, we have helped injured patients recover compensation for their injuries, additional treatment costs, loss of enjoyment of life, loss of chance of survival, and other losses following a Florida medical malpractice incident. If you or a loved one has suffered an injury or death from a motorcycle accident and you believe that the accident arose as a result of negligence of the other party, we encourage you to call Burnett Wilson Reeder for a free consultation.