Floridians love their motorcycles. More than 600,000 motorcycles are registered in Florida and many more rumble across our roadways ridden by out-of-state visitors. Unfortunately, Florida also leads the nation in motorcycle accidents and motorcycle deaths, and Collier County is no exception.
Motorcyclist are known as “vulnerable road users,” and for good reason. They have less physical protection from direct impact of another vehicle or the pavement. Motorcycles are more sensitive to adverse road conditions. Things like potholes, fallen palm fronds, gravel or sand on the road or rain that car or truck drivers wouldn’t give a second thought to can be extremely dangerous for someone on a motorcycle. Further, because they have a smaller profile than other vehicles, they can be tougher to see – but that’s not excuse for other drivers not bothering to look or pay attention.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reveals that of the nearly 4,700 motorcyclists killed in the U.S. in a recent year, about 10 percent of those deaths happened in Florida (which accounts for about 6 percent of the U.S. population).
Associates and Bruce L. Scheiner, Attorneys for the Injured, have long been fierce advocates for motorcyclists’ right to the road, right to safety and right to collect compensation when someone else’s carelessness causes them harm. Our Collier County motorcycle accident lawyers have won verdicts and settlements for both motorcycle operators and passengers. We’ve been actively involved in Collier County biker events and fundraisers. We believe in aggressive representation of our motorcycle injury clients to ensure full and fair recovery of damages.
Top priority for many bikers after a Collier County motorcycle crash:
- Get their bike fixed;
- Get payment for medical bills;
- Get reimbursement for wages lost due to being unable to work;
- Get a rental vehicle (especially if the motorcycle was your primary transport mode);
- Pay for household expenses that can’t be performed after a crash.
Those who have lost spouses or others on whom they were close or depended want to make sure they can stay afloat financially and their children will be cared for in the months and years to come.
Collier County motorcycle crash victims almost always benefit from the advice of an experienced injury lawyer. Not only do their injuries tend to be more severe, motorcycle insurance isn’t the same as typical Florida auto insurance. Our goal is to help you successfully navigate the claims and civil litigation process by identifying and strategically pursuing all possible defendants and avenues of legal recovery.
Remember too: There isn’t a calculator or hard-and-fast rule when you’re talking about motorcycle injury damages like pain and suffering and future disability. One needs years of experience handling claims to know what’s fair and how to best help you get it.Motorcycle Accident Statistics
Motorcycle accidents are a major problem in Florida, with the Florida Highway Patrol reporting the most recent annual three-year average being more than 10,100 crashes statewide. Within those, some 8,300 people a year were injured and 500 died.
Death certificates of motorcyclists who were killed indicate:
- 29 percent were associated with traumatic brain injury;
- 35 percent suffered injuries to multiple body regions;
- 9 percent suffered injuries to the thorax.
In non-fatal motorcycle crashes, the two most common primary injuries were fractures (67 percent) and internal organ injury (23 percent).
The NHTSA reports motorcyclist deaths occurred 28 times more frequently than deaths in other vehicles. Helmets are not required by Florida law (nor can a lack of one be used as evidence of comparative negligence to reduce your damages following a crash), but it’s still a good idea to wear one. The FHSMV reports nearly half of those seriously injured or killed in Florida motorcycle accidents weren’t wearing a DOT-compliant helmet.Recovery of Damages for Collier Motorcycle Accidents
Recovering damages for motorcycle accidents in Collier County and throughout Florida may be a bit different than in other states. Firstly, while Florida is a no-fault state with regard to auto insurance, meaning motorists are required to purchase personal injury protection (PIP) coverage, as outlined in F.S. 627.736, this does not apply to Florida motorcyclists. (Motorcycles are defined in F.S. 322.01(26) ).
In fact, no insurance is usually required to register a motorcycle in Florida (though it is required for riders). Motorcycle owners can be compelled to purchase insurance if they have a history of certain violations in operating a motorcycle. If the motorcycle isn’t owned outright, most financial institutions will require some type of insurance too. Still, given the high rate of motorcycle injury and death, motorcyclists should consider purchasing coverage that will include medical payments, liability and uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage.
Because motorcyclists do not have access to PIP, often their only means of recovering damages is pursuing a claim against the driver that caused the motorcycle accident. Our dedicated legal team can help you through that challenging process.
If you or someone you care about has been hurt, contact the Collier drunk driving injury lawyers at Associates and Bruce L. Scheiner, Attorneys for the Injured. You pay us no fees unless we win.