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.
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