Tampa Motorcycle Accident Attorney
Florida consistently sits at or near the top of the list as the state with the most motorcycle deaths in the country. Florida has more motorcycles registered than any other state except California, but where California experienced 529 fatalities in 2019 (6.28 deaths per 10,000 registered motorcycles), Florida saw 590 fatalities that same year (10.06 fatalities per 10,000 registered bikes). Florida had 256,276 fewer motorcycles than California but encountered over 10% more deaths.
Another way to look at motorcycle dangers in Florida is to consider that motorcycles make up three percent of all motor vehicles registered in the state but account for 20% of all traffic fatalities. Here in Hillsborough County, Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles reports 672 motorcycle crashes over a recent three-year average, including 584 injuries and 40 fatalities. That’s injury or death in 93% of motorcycle crashes. By comparison, total motor vehicle crashes over the same period resulted in injury or death 74% of the time.
Motorcycle riding is fun, exciting, and is a convenient and affordable way to get around. There is no denying, however, that motorcyclists are at risk of catastrophic injury or wrongful death in a collision with a car or truck. Bikes are smaller and lighter than cars, and riders are more exposed, so they are always going to suffer the worst in a crash. Motorcycle accident victims and their families need significant financial resources to help them deal with medical bills, lost income and the pain and suffering a serious accident can bring. In Tampa, Moore Law is devoted to helping accident injury clients recover the significant compensation they will need after getting hurt in a crash caused by another driver’s negligence. Call our Tampa motorcycle accident attorney at Moore Law for a free case analysis if you or a loved one has been hurt in a motorcycle crash in Tampa.
What Causes Motorcycle Accidents in Tampa?
Most motorcycle accidents happen at intersections, and most often when a driver makes a left turn into the path of an oncoming bike. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, motorcycle crashes are most often the fault of the other vehicle failing to yield the right-of-way. Drivers simply don’t see motorcycles in time or they don’t anticipate the rider’s movements, they misjudge the speed or distance of the bike, their view is obstructed, or the driver is simply distracted. Either party can be at fault in a motorcycle accident, but most often the car driver’s negligence is to blame.
What if the Rider Wasn’t Wearing a Helmet?
Helmets are not required under Florida law, but abundant research shows they can help prevent serious injuries or death in a crash. It’s possible the other driver will claim the rider was negligent for not wearing a helmet. The most this will do is reduce the amount the at-fault driver has to pay. But in order to get that reduction, the at-fault driver will have to be able to prove that the rider’s injuries would have been less serious had the rider been wearing a helmet. This is not always the case, and we’ll bring in experts as necessary to make sure our clients are not unfairly cheated out of compensation that is due to them.
How Do Motorcycle Accident Claims Work in Florida?
Motorcycle accident claims differ from other motor vehicle accidents because motorcycles are not covered with no-fault benefits, also known as Personal Injury Protection or PIP. Even bicyclists and pedestrians can access PIP benefits in a crash, but not so injured motorcyclists. Florida law does not require motorcycle riders to carry PIP insurance, so most insurance companies don’t bother to offer it for motorcycle coverage.
Rather than claiming no-fault benefits, an injured rider will go straight to a negligence claim against the at-fault driver. Being successful on this claim means being able to prove the other driver caused the accident through negligence and is responsible for the injuries and damages which followed. Whether dealing with the insurance company in settlement negotiations or going before a jury, the rider has to overcome biases against bikers and claims that the rider’s own negligence is at least partly to blame. On the plus side, injury victims who are successful in their claim can recover the full amount of their medical bills and lost income as well as compensation for their pain and suffering, damages which are much higher than no-fault benefits. Moore Law in Tampa can help you get there by putting in the time and effort required to build and present a solid case proving the other driver’s negligence and responsibility to you.
What Can Motorcyclists Do to Stay Safe on the Road?
Most motorcyclists are skilled, trained, experienced riders who know how to handle their machines, including taking evasive maneuvers, handling a skid, or laying down the bike when necessary. In addition, motorcycle riders can take steps to help avoid getting into an accident or protect themselves as much as possible if they do. These tips include:
- Wear a helmet, eye protection, long pants, jacket, gloves and boots. Make sure clothing is highly visible or reflective (if riding at night).
- Ride in the center of the lane. Riding at the edge puts the biker more at risk of being passed and crowded out by a car coming from behind in the same lane.
- Signal turns and lane changes well in advance.
- Ride defensively. Keep a safe distance behind other vehicles and give them their space. Stay out of larger cars’ blind spots. Scan the road for traffic patterns, road hazards and erratic drivers.
- Make sure the bike is in good working order before riding.
For Motorcycle Crash Injuries in Tampa, Call Moore Law
Unfortunately, all the care and skill in the world can’t always keep a biker safe from a negligent, reckless or aggressive driver. If you or a loved one has been hurt or worse in a Tampa motorcycle accident, call Moore Law at 813-510-5400 for a free case evaluation. We don’t charge any fees upfront while we work to get you the best result we can.