Stuart Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
Caring personal injury lawyers in Port Saint Lucie
Due to the size of a motorcycle compared with most other vehicles with which it shares the roads and highways, accidents are frequent and injuries severe, as there is no padding between the rider and the pavement. The Centers for Disease Control reported an estimated 1,222,000 people in the United States were treated for non-fatal injuries due to motorcycle crashes from 2001 through 2008. The most common reported injuries were:
- head or neck: 22%
- arm or hand: 20%
- upper body: 8%
- leg or foot: 18%
- lower body: 30%
Serious injury is likely
In 2008, Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles noted that 9,877 motorcyclists were involved in crashes with 8,784 resulting in injuries. Another 544 motorcycle accidents resulted in death. Clearly, riding a motorcycle on Florida's roads and highways can be dangerous. While most motorcyclists exercise proper safety precautions, many accidents cannot be prevented. In fact, a motorcycle rider usually has about two seconds to react to a dangerous situation to avoid an accident. Wearing a helmet reduces the risk of death and lowers the risk of a life-threatening head injury, but it won't prevent serious injuries to other parts of the body.
Types of motorcycle accident injuries
Typical injuries seen in motorcycle accidents include:
- facial disfigurement
- head or neck injuries
- nerve damage or paralysis
- skin or muscle damage
- broken bones
The loss of a limb is another unfortunate injury often seen in these types of accidents. Costs for medical treatment and expenses add up quickly. The time it takes to recover from such injuries often keeps a person from working. Severe injuries may result in permanent disability.
If you or a loved one have been injured in a motorcycle accident, it is critical to retain an experienced personal injury law firm as soon as possible to help protect your rights and begin investigating the circumstances of the accident, which could help you recover monetary compensation due to negligence of another. The motorcycle accident attorneys at Leanne L. Ohle, P.A. help protect the legal rights personal injury victims throughout the Treasure Coast.
MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENT FAQs
Is the other driver usually at fault in motorcycle accidents?
Due to their smaller and narrower profile, motorcyclists face a heightened risk of not being seen by drivers of other vehicles. In motorcycle crashes involving one or more other vehicles, another driver violated the motorcyclist's right-of-way in roughly two-thirds of accidents. A passenger vehicle making a left turn is the most common situation that results in motorcycle accidents. A motorcyclist is not seen, or not seen in time, and the passenger vehicle turns left in front of the motorcycle when it should have yielded. Overall, the bulk of motorcycle accidents arise from right-of-way failures at intersections during left turns or because of running a traffic signal or stop sign.
What should I do after a motorcycle accident?
If you are able, moving your motorcycle out of the path of traffic should be your first step. This action lowers the hazard presented by passing vehicles. If you can, take some pictures of your vehicle damage, physical injuries and the road conditions and traffic signs at the scene. Collecting contact information from other drivers involved and witnesses will be a top priority. If the police respond to your accident, answer their questions but never admit fault. Fault is best determined by a dispassionate analysis of the facts and not when you may be in a state of mental or physical shock. Remember to ask the police officer how to get a copy of the accident report. Next, get a medical exam as soon as possible.
Can I still seek compensation for a motorcycle accident if I wasn't wearing a helmet?
Your choice to not wear a helmet may impact your case. Florida personal injury law operates under the principle of comparative negligence. This concept reduces compensation awards by the amount of responsibility assigned to the victim. However, the absence of a helmet may not reflect negatively on leg, arm or torso injuries because a helmet would not have mattered. Additionally, if another driver struck you, then that driver still may have been negligent. A helmet has nothing to do with someone violating the rules of the road and causing an accident. A case evaluation by a motorcycle accident lawyer could help you understand how the helmet issue could influence your case.