Facebook Motorcycle Accidents in Florida: Safety, Risks, and Legal Remedies - Morgan Law Group, P.A. Skip to main content

Motorcycle accidents are terrible for the bike rider, whatever else happens.  The rider is fully exposed, except possibly for a helmet, and is hugely outweighed by virtually any other vehicle that hits the rider.  So, what are the risks of riding a motorcycle? How can you keep yourself safe from them and, if all else fails, what are your legal remedies for motorcycle accidents?

Risks of Riding a Motorcycle

Motorcycle riding presents a lot of risks, even for the most experienced rider.  Some of them include:

  • Distracted drivers have become the fastest growing cause of motor vehicle accidents in the United States. It just takes one distracted driver to veer out of their lane and hit an oncoming motorcycle for a tragedy to occur.
  • Intersections are among the more dangerous spots on the road. This is especially true since drivers turning left often cannot see the much smaller and much lower motorcycle in the lane.  The car turning left doesn’t see the motorcycle, pulls out in front of them, and crashes into them.
  • Weight disadvantage is a major problem as well.  As any accident attorney can tell you, a big rig truck weighs as much as 80,000 pounds, a standard car 2,000 to 6,000 pounds, and a rider on a motorcycle weighs in at less than 1,000.  Obviously, in any accident, the cycle rider is at a significant weight disadvantage. The rider is likely to be shoved off the road, crushed by the other vehicle, or even hit by another driver who didn’t see the accident or the rider lying defenseless on the road.
  • DUIs occur when the driver is under the influence of alcohol or of legal or illegal drugs. The result for the motorcycle rider will be the same whether from drugs or alcohol:  badly injured by a driver who may not even have been aware of what happened and whose senses and timing had been impaired by the substances the driver was using.

Sadly, these are only a few of the risks motorcycle riders encounter on the road. Given how dangerous riding can be for you, what can you do to stay safe?

Staying Safe on the Roads and On Your Bike

Motorcycle riders represented 14% of traffic fatalities in 2021 (latest year available) for a total of 5,932 deaths.  Given this and all the above risks, it’s essential you take steps to protect yourself when riding your bike.  First, stay aware of the surrounding drivers, and try to make sure that they know you’re there.  As stated above, intersections where a turning driver doesn’t see an oncoming motorcycle are prime sites for accidents.

It’s also important to wear the right equipment when you ride.  Even if you live in a state that doesn’t require you to wear a helmet, consider that 37% of motorcycle fatalities involve head injuries.  And even those who survive an accident where they weren’t wearing a helmet are subject to all the results of traumatic brain injury.  Wearing leathers or other protective clothing can also help you to avoid road rash and other injuries to your skin and musculoskeletal system.

Take a training course and make sure you’re properly licensed. Not only will you be out of trouble with the law, but you will be a more skilled rider.  And, when you buy a new bike, take time to get to know it and how it behaves before you go out on the roads.  Also, check your bike’s tires, brakes, headlights, and other safety equipment before you ride.

Finally, stay sober on your bike.  Alcohol and drugs figure, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, contribute to more than half of all fatal accidents.

Getting Help When You Do Get Hurt

If you get hurt in a motorcycle accident, and are completely or partially without fault in that accident, you can recover damages from the driver who was at fault.  You can recover your medical expenses such as hospital costs, drugs, and therapy.  You can also recover your lost wages/salary and any benefits lost because of the time off work.  Property damage, such as the damage to your bike, may also be recoverable.

If you are in an accident and can physically do so, you should:

  • Call the police and an ambulance.
  • If no medical personnel come to the scene, get medical care on your own as soon as possible. Make sure to do everything they tell you to do.  If you don’t, the defense will argue your injuries are not as serious as you claim.
  • Take photos of the scene, if you’re physically able. You want to document as much as you can, so be sure to capture damage to your vehicle and any evidence of what caused the accident. Take photos of your injuries as well, if that’s practical at the scene.
  • Get contact information for the other driver and any potential witnesses.
  • Keep quiet. Don’t make any statement to any insurance company other than your own, and only make a claim with your own. Decline to make a recorded statement. You don’t have to at this point and you should not.  This is not the time to establish a sworn record.
  • You also don’t want to give the other party’s insurance company access to your medical records. You may have to do so later, but this is best done after consulting with a lawyer.
  • Don’t apologize to anyone. That can be taken as an admission that you were at fault.
  • Stay off social media.  Anything you post on a social media site can be introduced as evidence against you if your accident goes to court.

Finally, get the best lawyer you can find. An experienced motorcycle accident lawyer will know how to handle your case and will likely be familiar with the other driver’s insurance company and its lawyers.

Take time to choose your lawyer though.  Talk to others about who they’ve used, check with the local bar association, and speak with the ones you’re considering. You’re going to spend a lot of time together, so you’ll want to be comfortable with the lawyer and the other lawyers and staff at the firm.

Most personal injury lawyers will give you a free initial consultation and case evaluation and most take accident cases on a contingency fee, so don’t think you can’t afford a lawyer.

Especially if you are injured, take the time to heal and let the professionals handle getting the best possible settlement for you. This is no time to be independent and do it yourself.