Motorcycle Accidents

Due to their lack of protection for drivers and passengers, motorcycles are inherently dangerous. Motorcycle riders are five times more likely to suffer injuries in an accident than those riding in automobiles, and motorcycle accidents result in incapacitating injuries at a rate four times higher than car crashes. In Tallahassee’s Leon County, 82 motorcycle accidents resulted in five fatalities and 61 injuries in 2020, according to the latest data from the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV).

As with automobile accidents, Florida law allows motorcycle riders to recover compensation for injuries and other losses they receive in a motorcycle accident due to other people’s negligence. Accident and insurance laws covering motorcycles differ from those covering other vehicles. These differences typically make motorcycle accident liability litigation more complex than auto accident litigation. If you suffer injuries in a motorcycle accident, you should always consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer, such as those at Tallahassee’s Akbar Law Firm, PA. This holds especially true if your injuries are incapacitating or otherwise severe.

The complexities of motorcycle insurance

While Florida’s insurance laws help compensate for automobile accident-related losses, motorcyclists are generally not covered by the state’s no-fault-style Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance. Thus, right off the bat motorcyclists face an uphill battle in securing compensation for their accident injuries. There are also no requirements for bodily injury minimum amounts coverage. Potential insurance claims can be further complicated because roughly a quarter of Florida drivers don’t have any insurance at all, which can force injured motorcyclists to seek compensation from their own uninsured/underinsured motorist plan, if available.

An upside to the state’s motorcycle insurance laws is that injured motorcyclists face a lower legal threshold to pursue compensation for pain and suffering. While other injured motorists must prove a “permanent injury with a reasonable medical probability” to secure pain and suffering damages, motorcyclists do not.

Like auto accident victims, motorcycle injury victims can pursue damages even if they were partially to blame for the accident. Under the comparative fault system, courts will base compensation on percentages of assigned fault in such cases. Naturally, insurance companies strive to attribute as much responsibility for the accident to the motorcyclist as possible. A skilled personal injury lawyer will work to ensure that fault is correctly assigned to secure the damages you are owed, whether through settlement or in court.

Note that those seeking compensation for head injuries face distinct challenges if they were not wearing a helmet. Insurance adjusters often reduce the full value of head and neck injury claims, and the lack of a helmet will make it more difficult to secure full damages through settlement or trial. The same factors can come into play for eye injury claims when the motorcyclist was not wearing eye protection.

Florida Motorcycle Accidents by the Numbers

  • The state recorded 8,045 motorcycle accidents in 2020, according to the latest data from the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV). These accidents killed 517 motorcyclists and 35 motorcycle passengers and injured about 7,000 motorcyclists and their passengers. Almost 2,000 of these injuries were characterized as “incapacitating.”

  • The data suggests that motorcycle drivers and passengers are three times more likely to suffer incapacitating injuries in accidents than automobile drivers and passengers. Of course, this makes sense given the limited protection motorcycle riders have on their vehicles.

  • The FLHSMV data does not provide specific details on what caused these accidents. However, 85% of all traffic accidents that resulted in incapacitating injuries in 2020 were attributed to negligence by at least one driver. This suggests that a large proportion of motorcycle accidents were likely the result of negligent driving.

    Turn to an experienced personal injury lawyer to ensure just compensation

    Because such accidents fall outside of the no-fault insurance system and often result in severe injuries, you should seek legal advice as soon as possible if you are injured in a motorcycle accident. Naturally, you should tend to your health and well-being first, but know that the process for securing compensation from insurance companies is complex and that they will try to limit claims. When seeking compensation for your injuries, you have the legal right to seek compensation for the following damages:

    • Medical expenses—EMT service, emergency room care, hospitalization, diagnostics, surgery, doctor’s fees, prescription drugs, physical therapy, and future medical costs if warranted.

    • Long-term care—to cover long-term medical care and personal living expenses related to long-term care needs necessitated by many incapacitating injuries.

    • Lost wages—any earnings you lost due to the injury(ies) and recovery period.

    • Reduced earning capacity—if your injuries prevent you from working, limit your work capacity, or force you to take a lesser paying job, you are eligible for this claim.

    • Non-economic damages—pain and suffering, emotional distress, and related mental disorders that your injuries may have caused.

    Turn to Akbar Law Firm for compassionate legal guidance

    Tallahassee-based Akbar Law Firm is committed to helping our north Florida-area clients receive the compensation they are due for motorcycle accident injuries suffered from other people’s negligence. Our lawyers are well-versed in Florida’s motor vehicle and insurance laws and skilled at deconstructing motorcycle accident scenes to determine fault. We investigate every element of an accident and gather relevant evidence to maximize fair and just compensation, whether through insurance settlement or civil litigation.

    With extensive experience working on motor vehicle accident personal injury claims, we have a working relationship with our contemporaries who work on behalf of the insurance companies. Our familiarity with claim-limiting insurance company tactics provides us with leverage in negotiating reasonable and fair settlements. We compound this leverage with a reputation for successfully securing compensation from the courts when our opposition fails to offer fair compensation.

    We provide clients who partner with Akbar Law Firm for their motorcycle accident personal injury claims peace of mind by ensuring that they are kept fully informed about every development in their case. Motorcycle injuries can be especially traumatic, so by helping reduce our client’s stress, we help them better focus their energies on physical and emotional recovery.

    When to contact Akbar Law Firm, PA

    If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident that may have been caused by another driver’s negligence, a potential vehicle defect, or an unexpected road hazard, contact Akbar Law Firm to assess your claim. While liability for an accident is not always clear-cut, our lawyers are skilled at determining whether potential negligence by others warrants further examination. If you know that another party to the accident was charged with a moving violation, you likely have a strong case. This holds especially true if the other driver was charged with distracted driving, impaired driving, aggressive driving, speeding, or other dangerous moving violations.