Articles Posted in Motorcycle Accidents

Florida motorcycle accidents differ from other types of vehicle crashes for a number of reasons – not the least of which being how civil claim attorneys pursue damages for injuries. motorcycle accident lawyer

In educating motorcyclists and passengers about these differences, our hope is they can make smart choices about insurance coverage – as well as what to do after a Palm Beach motorcycle accident to protect their best interests.

Florida is among the most popular – and deadliest – states for motorcycle enthusiasts. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports more than 5,000 motorcyclists nationally lost their lives in crashes in a single recent year. Of those, nearly 600 died in Florida. While this is one of the largest states with a rapidly-growing population, that’s not the sole explanation. There are far more motorcycle accidents in Florida than in California or Texas – both of which are bigger and have much larger populations.

How Florida Motorcycle Accidents Are Different Than Other Crashes

In truth, any auto accident has the potential to upend your life. Motorcycle accidents, however, are uniquely hazardous.

In one recent analysis published in the medical journal CMAJ, researchers examined data on 27,000 motorcycle accident patients and 282,000 car accident patients. What they found was the injury rate for those in motorcycle crashes was triple the rate of injury for those in car crashes. Severe injuries were 10 times more likely in motorcycle accidents. The cost of treatment for those involved in motorcycle crashes was double that of car accident survivors.

One explanation for this is that motor vehicle safety has improved substantially over the last two decades. As the NHTSA notes, newer cars are safer cars, with standard three-point seat belts, reengineered air bags (and the addition of side airbags), electronic stability control to reduce spinouts and plow-outs, rearview backup cameras to prevent back-over crashes, blind spot detection, and driver assistance. Motorcycles, however, have remained largely unchanged.

Meanwhile, driver distraction has become increasingly common, putting motorcyclists at even higher risk of drivers who often overlooked them even before smartphones and dashboard systems became ubiquitous.

The greater severity of injuries in South Florida motorcycle accidents means these are going to be higher-stakes civil claims. Insurers know this. They’re often eager to settle these cases quickly, for as little as possible – if they don’t deny them outright. This is where working with an experienced Palm Beach motorcycle accident lawyer is to your benefit. We recognize right off the bat what these cases are worth. When we commit to advocating on your behalf to ensure you receive the compensation to which you’re entitled, we do not allow insurers to bully our clients into an unfavorable settlement.

It’s worth noting that compensation in motorcycle crashes is not going to include PIP (personal injury protection) coverage. That’s another major difference compared to car crashes. Continue reading

If you’re in a South Florida motorcycle accident, you may have sustained substantial injuries and are wondering what to do next. It can be more perplexing if you’re fairly sure you were at least partially at-fault for the crash. motorcycle accident lawyer West Palm Beach

Two things to bear in mind:

  • Never voice your conclusions of fault to the other party or to any insurance representatives without first talking to an injury lawyer. Even if you strongly suspect you’re to blame, there may be factors about which you’re unaware/that were out of your control that skew your perception of events.
  • Even if you were partially at-fault for what happened, Florida law favors a system of fair compensation for which everyone pays their own share. This is called comparative fault, and it means that if you were 30 percent at-fault and the other driver was 70 percent, the other driver would be responsible to pay 70 percent of your damages. So if your total losses were $100,000, you’d be entitled to receive $70,000.

Keep in mind that the final word on fault and what percentage each party shares is not up to the investigating police officer nor necessarily the insurance adjuster. Disputes with regard to fault are settled either in negotiations with your attorney and the insurer(s) and/or by a mediator or judge.

A West Palm Beach motorcycle accident lawyer can carefully investigate your case and gather evidence that will allow proper apportioning of fault. We’ll also work hard to protect your right to recover full and fair compensation. Continue reading

The number of motorcycle enthusiasts in Florida continue to grow. So too do Florida motorcycle accident injuries. In a single recent year, more than 550 riders and operators were killed in Florida motorcycle crashes – more than in any other state in the country, including California, which has a larger population and is also known for year-round sunny weather.South Florida motorcycle accident injuries

As our West Palm Beach injury lawyers recognize, motorcyclists are the most vulnerable group of road accident victims. And although each crash is different, certain injury patterns are noted to be more common for motorcyclists. Not only are motorcyclists more likely to be in an accident but they’re more likely to be seriously hurt – primarily because there is no heavy-duty hardware between them and the pavement. Determining the type and severity of injuries is one of the first steps to filing a claim for damages in a crash case. Continue reading

Florida medical malpractice law needs to change. That’s the stance of the surviving family of a U.S. Marine veteran who died after allegedly receiving negligent medical care following a South Florida motorcycle accident. Despite this, the man’s survivors haven’t been able to file a medical malpractice wrongful death lawsuit because of a provision of Florida statute that prevents such claims from being brought by anyone accept for a spouse, minor children or parents of an adult under the age of 25. West Palm Beach medical malpractice lawyer

The specific law in question (which our West Palm Beach wrongful death lawyers can explain has been in place for nearly three decades) is F.S. 768.21. Its effect is that if a person dies as a result of suspected medical malpractice, there will be no recourse if the patient was unmarried, over the age of 25 or had no minor children. It is a law ripe for challenge considering the very same acts of negligence that would underlie a medical malpractice injury lawsuit would be grounds for litigation – if the person lives. There are no available avenues for accountability, however, if that same individual dies as a result of medical negligence.

NBC-5 in West Palm Beach reports the patient in question was a 32-year-old man from Port St. Lucie, a veteran with a fiancee who was helping to raise her 3-year-old daughter, whom he planned to adopt. He was involved in a Florida motorcycle accident. He reportedly hit a deep pothole, swerved to avoid striking a friend’s motorcycle and in so doing put his leg down when he crashed, resulting in a broken leg. Continue reading

Recent data from the Motorcycle Industry Council reveals more women are operating motorcycles than ever before – and the trend shows no sign of slowing. And while West Palm Beach motorcycle accident lawyers know women tend to be safer riders, there are also some crash injury risks that tend to be specific to/ more common among female operators and passengers.West Palm Beach motorcycle accident attorney

USA Today reported that in 1998, just 8 percent of motorcycle owners were women. By 2018, that figure more than doubled to 19 percent. The Drive reveals the majority of female motorcycle riders skewed younger, with women comprising 26 percent of Millenial-age riders and 22 percent of Gen Xers. The median age of female motorcyclists is 39, compared to 48 for men. Women appear mostly interested in cruisers (34 percent) followed by scooters (33 percent) and then sport bikes (10 percent). All-female motorcycle clubs have even grown increasingly popular.

Increasing gender equality in motorcycling overall has made the transport mode safer, given MIC’s assertions that female riders are 60 percent more likely to take safety courses and 14 percent more likely to wear a helmet than men and less likely to drive drunk or speed. Further, the more people in general there are on motorcycles, the safer all motorcyclists are because the greater the odds other will look twice, having become accustomed to sharing the road with them.

Types of Injuries Sustained by Women in South Florida Motorcycle Accidents Continue reading

Last week, our West Palm Beach personal injury law firm reported that the National Transportation Safety Board is calling for all states to ban texting and cell phone calls while driving. We also wrote about the upcoming debate among Florida lawmakers regarding whether or not to ban texting in the state.

This week, we’d like to blog about a recent National Highway Traffic Safety Administration survey on the distracted driving habits of Americans. Over 6,000 drivers participated. Per the results:

• At any moment, nearly one out of every 100 drivers is e-mailing, texting, surfing the Internet, or doing something else with a hand-held device while operating a motor vehicle.
• Most of those surveyed admitted to answering phone calls while driving.
• Close to two out of every 10 drivers surveyed admitted to e-mailing or texting. Drivers in the 21-24 age group were most likely to text while driving.
• Over 50% of drivers don’t believe that making a call affects their driving performance.
• About 25% said they don’t think that e-mailing or texting impacts their driving.
• 90% of drivers don’t like it if the person driving the car they are riding in is e-mailing or texting • More drivers said they read texts over sending them.
• Two times as many drivers admitted to answering calls over making them while operating a motor vehicle.

As evidenced by the survey results, most drivers think that they can text or talk on the phone safely while driving. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Cell phone conversations and texting takes a motorist’s attention away from the task at hand, which means he/she is not 100% focused on the task at hand. This can make it hard to avoid causing or becoming involved in a South Florida traffic crash. Remember that it takes just a few seconds for a catastrophic Miami motor vehicle accident to happen-those same seconds that a driver’s eyes are off the road in order to read an e-mail or dial the phone.

Over the last couple of years, Federal, state, and local safety officials have made a concerted effort to educate people about the dangers. Yet even when there are laws limiting cell phone use or banning texting, some people can’t seem to stop themselves, which places everyone in danger.

Drivers can no longer say that they didn’t know that distracted driving can kill people. As the victim of a distracted driving accident, you may be able to pursue Palm Beach traffic crash damages from the negligent motorist.

More drivers texting but few think it’s dangerous, survey says, The Denver Post/AP, December 9, 2011
NTSB pushes for nationwide ban on cellphone use for drivers, The Washington Post, December 14, 2011
National Distracted Driving Telephone Survey Finds Most Drivers Answer the Call, Hold the Phone, and Continue to Drive, NHTSA (PFD)


More Blog Posts:

As NTSB Recommends Full Cell Phone While Driving Ban, Florida Again Considers Whether to Make Texting Illegal, South Florida Injury Lawyer Blog, December 13, 2011
Coconut Creek Woman Killed in Broward County, Florida Car Crash Involving Lighthouse Point Police Vehicle, South Florida Injury Lawyer Blog, December 5, 2011
West Palm Beach Motorcycle Accident Leaves Police Officer with Serious Injuries, South Florida Injury Lawyer Blog, November 26, 2011 Continue reading

In the upcoming legislative session due to start next month, Florida legislators will once again consider whether texting should be banned in the state. Right now, Florida is one of 15 US states that haven’t made texting while driving illegal. Florida is also among the few states without any type of restriction on cell phone use while driving. Our Miami personal injury law firm is familiar with the types of catastrophic South Florida car crashes that can occur because someone was distracted driving.

This time around, however, lawmakers who favor a statewide texting ban may be coming into the debate with the extra support they need following today’s recommendation by the National Transportation Safety Board that use of cell phone and text messaging devices while driving be made illegal throughout the US-unless, of course, there is an emergency situation. Although the NTSB cannot impose state laws, its recommendations are taken seriously by lawmakers.

The federal safety board called is calling for the ban because it says distracted drivers are threatening public safety. According to a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration survey, distracted driving was a factor in at least 3,092 US traffic crashes last year and at any moment during daylight hours, close to 1 out of 100 drivers is using handheld phones. NTSB member Robert Sumwalt even went so far as to call distracted driving the “new DUI.”

When explaining the need for a nationwide ban, the NTSB cited the tragic multi-vehicle Missouri traffic pileup in August 2010 involving a tractor-trailer, a pickup truck, and two buses. More than 30 people were injured and two people killed, including the 19-year-old driver of the pickup, who, within 11 minutes, sent or received 11 text messages. The other victim that died was a 15-year-old that was riding the school bus.

Texting, emailing, and talking on the cell phone are dangerous activities when done while driving. You want to work with a Palm Beach car crash law firm that knows how to prove that the other party’s negligence caused your injuries or a loved one’s death. Just because these driving habits are still legal in Florida does not mean you cannot recover damages.

Cellphone ban while driving? The tragedies behind the issue, Los Angeles Times, December 13, 2011
NTSB recommends full ban on use of cell phones while driving, CNN, December 13, 2011

More Blog Posts:
Coconut Creek Woman Killed in Broward County, Florida Car Crash Involving Lighthouse Point Police Vehicle, South Florida Injury Lawyer Blog, December 5, 2011
West Palm Beach Motorcycle Accident Leaves Police Officer with Serious Injuries, South Florida Injury Lawyer Blog, November 26, 2011
Miami-Dade Car Accident Lawsuit Filed in Florida Wrongful Death Case Against Coral Gables Teenager, South Florida Injury Lawyer Blog, October 7, 2011 Continue reading

Keith Gorski, a West Palm Beach police officer, is expected to survive the serious injuries he sustained in a Palm Beach County motorcycle crash on Wednesday. Gorski suffered multiple injuries, including several broken bones, when a car struck his bike.

According to police, Gorski was trying to stop a speeding car when he was hit by another vehicle. Rescuers had to perform CPR d on him before he was rushed to St. Mary’s Medical Center.

If you were injured in a West Palm Beach motor vehicle crash while doing your job, you likely cannot obtain Palm Beach County personal injury damages from your employer. However, if there were other parties or persons whose negligence caused your South Florida traffic crash, you may be entitled to damages from them.

According to the state’s Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, there has been a 4.6% drop in the number of Florida traffic deaths. Compared to 2009, when there were Florida 2,565 motor vehicle fatalities, there were 2,444 Florida traffic deaths reported in 2010. That’s a nearly 31% drop since 2005. County wise, the number of traffic fatalities also went down in Miami-Dade, Palm Beach, and Broward Counties last year.

2010 figures also show, however, that the number of Florida pedestrian deaths have gone up by 3.5%. There were 482 pedestrian fatalities in 2009 and 499 Florida pedestrian deaths in 2010.

Other 2010 Florida Traffic Facts:

A widow whose husband died in a Palm City motorcycle accident last year is suing Port St. Lucie Police Sergeant John K. Holman for his Martin County, Florida wrongful death. John Garcia died when his motorcycle and the 2002 Jeep Wrangler by Holman collided at the intersection of Mapp Road and Catalina Street early on June 16, 2010. Holman was off-duty at the time.

Florida Highway Patrol cited Holman with failure to yield, but the citation was thrown out when the FHP officer who investigated the crash did not show up at the hearing. Now, however, Alice Garcia and her son Derek Garcia, have filed a Palm City, Florida wrongful death lawsuit against Holman seeking over $1 million. Their personal injury attorney also wants to know why a Florida traffic crash that ended in a vehicular homicide only resulted in a failure to yield citation.

Florida Traffic Crash Deaths

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