In many parts of the country, this time of year is when motorcyclists will hop on their bikes and take their first ride of the season. In Florida, our warm weather allows motorcyclists to enjoy their hobby all year round. While that sounds great on paper, the more opportunity one has to hop on their bike, the greater the risk of being involved in a motorcycle accident. One question we’re commonly asked here at Lawlor, White & Murphey is who is considered “at-fault” when a motorcycle and car collide? Below, we break apart this answer and provide helpful information about how fault is determined in a motorcycle accident.
How Are Motorcycle Accidents Caused?
Just like any other type of motor vehicle accident, motorcycle crashes are often the result of negligence on behalf of the other driver. In Florida, some of the most common causes of motorcycle accidents include:
- Poor weather conditions
- Drunk driving accidents
- Distracted driving accidents
- Lane splitting
- Left-hand turns
- Aggressive driving
- Road hazards
- Defective auto parts
- And more
Statistics have shown that motorcyclists are 35 times more likely to die in an accident than those driving a car. This is because motorcyclists lack the necessary protection that an ordinary car or SUV offers their drivers and passengers.
Common Injuries Sustained in Motorcycle Accidents
Because motorcyclists lack the protection that a car provides, it’s unsurprising that some of the most common injuries sustained are traumatic brain injuries. While motorcyclists should wear a helmet and practice safe driving measures, serious injuries can still happen. In addition to a traumatic brain injury, motorcyclists can also suffer:
- Head and neck injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Broken bones and/or fractures
- Road rash
- Organ damage
- Eye damage
- And more
These kinds of injuries, while all varying in their levels of severity, can wreak havoc on a motorcyclists’ life. Such injuries could leave a motorcyclist with permanent damage in the form of paralysis, costly medical bills, missed time from work and emotional pain and suffering. When an injury as those listed above occur, who is typically at fault?
Who is At Fault for My Motorcycle Accident Injuries?
Drivers owe a duty of care to everyone else on the road. When someone gets behind the wheel, other drivers trust that people will obey traffic laws and practice safe driving. However, that is unfortunately not always the case.
When it comes to a motorcycle accident, one of the most common causes of a crash involved cars making left-hand turns. In these types of cases, fault will usually fall on the driver making the left-hand turn because they should yield to oncoming traffic until it is safe to turn. As such, intersections are often one of the most common hot spots for motorcycle accidents.
If a driver failed to uphold a standard of care to a motorcyclist but not yielding to the biker’s right-of-way or caused a crash because they were intoxicated or distracted, they more than likely will be held liable for any injuries the motorcyclist sustained as a result.
In a personal injury case, it must be determined that the defendant had a duty of care he or she owed to others, that the duty of care was breached and as a result of the breach, an injury was sustained. If all of these elements are met, you will likely have the grounds for a personal injury lawsuit against the negligent driver.
How Long do I Have to File a Motorcycle Accident Claim?
In the state of Florida, motorcyclists have four years from the date of their accident to file a claim. If the injured party is a minor, this statute of limitations is extended to seven years from the date of the accident. Think you have a claim? The attorneys at Lawlor, White & Murphey can help you get started with your claim today.
Contact a Pompano Beach Personal Injury Lawyer to Discuss Your Motorcycle Accident Case in Florida
Did you or a loved one sustain serious injuries due to a motorcycle accident in Florida? Don’t let the medical bills pile up while you wait for the negligent party or their insurance company to do the right thing. Right now, you need an aggressive personal injury attorney on your side, fighting to get you the compensation you need, want, and deserve. The skilled attorneys at Lawlor, White & Murphey represent clients injured in motorcycle accidents in Broward, Dade, Palm Beach Counties, and throughout Florida. Call 954-525-2345 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a free consultation about your case. We have an office conveniently located at 2211 Davie Boulevard, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33312 as well as offices in Pembroke Pines, Weston, Coconut Creek, Pompano Beach and Plantation.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.