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Articles Posted in Motorcycle Accidents

If you assume that motorcycle accidents are among the deadliest of all Florida traffic crashes, the statistics show that you are not far off. According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) Crash Dashboard, there are more than 8,000 traffic collisions involving motorcycles every year statewide, leading to around 900 fatalities. Around 50 people are killed in the 500+ motorcycle accidents that occur in Miami-Dade County annually, and hundreds more suffer serious injuries. 

Most motorcycle crashes are the result of driver negligence, but you are in a better position to protect yourself as a rider when you know key data and causes of these incidents. You can rely on a Miami motorcycle accidents lawyer to assist with legal remedies if you were hurt, and some additional statistics may be informative.

Motorcycle Crash Data Reveals Shocking Trends

While much of the focus in a Miami motorcycle accident is on the effects upon the operator, it is important to recognize that there are substantial implications for the passenger. As a rider, your only source of stability comes from holding onto the motorcycle driver. Plus, other than leaning to distribute weight, you have no control over operating the vehicle. It is for these reasons that statistics from the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) are so disturbing: In the last two years, more than 1,300 passengers have been killed or injured in motorcycle collisions. 

Though the relevant legal concepts and factors are slightly different, you do have legal options if you were hurt or lost a loved one who was riding as a passenger in a motorcycle crash. It is wise to work with a skilled Miami motorcycle accident lawyer to get the compensation you deserve, but some answers to common questions may be informative.

What are the Causes of Motorcycle Collisions in Florida? 

Even if you do not have a legal background, you certainly know the basics of Florida auto insurance laws from reviewing your responsibilities to procure coverage according to law. The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) requires all four-wheeled vehicles to carry $10,000 in Personal Injury Protection (PIP) and $10,000 for property damage. Because the state goes by “no fault” rules for auto accidents, there is no requirement to carry the bodily injury coverage that is mandatory in other US states. Florida drivers can seek compensation through their own insurers under their PIP policy after a crash. 

However, motorcycle riders should pay special note to the keywords “four-wheeled vehicles.” Insurance works very differently for your two-wheeled motorcycle, so you should be aware of how this point affects your rights after a collision. The complexities can be overwhelming, so it is wise to trust a Miami motorcycle accident lawyer to handle the legal process. Some background information may also be helpful.

Overview of Florida Insurance Laws for Motorcycles 

Motorcycle riding is a year-round activity in South Florida; you are lucky to be able to enjoy your favorite activity in any season here. However, sobering statistics from the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) reveal the risks of serious motorcycle accidents as compared to other types of motor vehicle crashes. According to the report on Traffic Crash Facts for 2018, there were 291 total fatalities due to traffic collisions in Miami-Dade County; of these, 50 deaths were motorcycle riders – more than 17%. The reason for this skewed figure is certainly obvious: When an auto collides with a motorcycle, the rider on the two-wheeled vehicle will sustain the greatest impact. 

As a result, you want to do everything you can to avoid being involved in a motorcycle crash. One recommendation is becoming a rider who anticipates various scenarios, rather than relying on other motorists to follow the rules of the road. You should work with a Miami motorcycle accident attorney if you are injured in a collision, but some tips may help you avoid becoming a victim.

Be Ready for the Worst Case Scenario

You are probably aware of the risks of fatal and injury-causing car accidents in Miami, but you may not realize that the threats affect you even when you are not in a four-wheeled vehicle. When collecting data on crashes, the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) also includes incidents involving motorcycle riders, bicyclists, and pedestrians. These individuals are designated as “vulnerable” road users, and collisions involving them occur frequently. 

For victims, the legal process is similar to accidents involving motorized vehicles, but there are some unique characteristics that make these crashes far more devastating. As such, it is important to work with a Miami attorney who focuses on pedestrian, bicycle, and motorcycle accidents if you were injured. You might also benefit from reviewing some statistics and background information about your rights.

Vulnerable Road Users and Accident Statistics

daniel-thurler-511435-unsplash-copy-300x191Every U.S. state requires motorists to carry certain minimum levels of auto insurance, and Florida is no exception. However, insurance laws related to motorcycles and motorcycle accidents ARE very different in ways that may surprise you. In short, most of the familiar insurance regulations established by the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) only apply to vehicles with four or more wheels. Motorcycles and trikes, a.k.a. three-wheeled motorcycles, are covered by an entirely distinct set of rules. 

In some situations, the relevant regulations may have a significant impact on your rights if you were injured because of another driver’s negligence. You should speak to a Miami motorcycle accidents lawyer about your rights, and read on for important information about Florida’s insurance laws.

Motorcycle Insurance Requirements

From your phone and tablet to your TV, car, and entire home, you interact with countless “smart” devices on a daily basis. Now, with recent advancements in motorcycle technology, you can even be smarter when engaging in your favorite activity. Manufacturers are carrying over innovations from the auto industry, but they are also equipping the latest models with solutions that make it safer to ride. Some might even argue that motorcycle technologies have already had an effect on Miami roadways: The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles Annual Report indicates that there were 9,143 motorcycle crashes in 2018 – compared to an average of 10,019 for 2016-2017. 

If you were hurt in a collision, you should reach out to a Miami motorcycle accidents attorney who can assist with filing a claim for your losses. However, you can also read on to learn about the top motorcycle technologies that are enhancing safety for those who love to ride.

  • Air Bag Equipped Clothing: The same air bag technology that protects you in a car accident is now available in the clothing you wear when riding your motorcycle. You can purchase vests, jackets and bodysuits with smart airbags, which deploy within milliseconds when sensors in the clothing detects an accident is about to occur.

shajan-jacob-102970-copy-300x200Responsible motorcycle riders in Miami are well-aware of the traffic regulations and safety tips published by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, so the vast majority do not take unnecessary risks. Unfortunately, other drivers and the general public may not see you as a safety conscious, law-abiding rider. Many suffer from bias that limits their thinking, and it can also affect you if you are injured in an accident. Prejudice may impact your claim with the responsible driver’s insurance company, and there may be implications if you take your case to court.

The good news is that there are legal strategies to help overcome the bias against motorcycle riders and ensure you are treated fairly. A Miami motorcycle accident attorney can assist with these and other challenges to get the compensation you deserve as a victim. 

Sources of Bias Against Motorcycle Riders

daniel-thurler-511435-unsplash-copy-300x191A tragic motorcycle accident in Marion County, FL claimed the lives of two men and shut down traffic on northbound Interstate 75 for approximately five hours on Thursday, June 13, 2019. Orlando’s Spectrum News Channel 13 reported on the incident, which was still under investigation by the Florida Highway Patrol (FHP). According to police, the two men were riding side-by-side on separate Harley Davidson motorcycles in front of a semi truck. The pair attempted to slow down due to traffic conditions, but one rider lost control of his vehicle. As the motorcycle slid across the pavement, the other man also lost control. Upon landing in the center lane, both men were struck by the 18 wheeler that had been traveling behind them. 

Under the circumstances, surviving family members may have options to recover compensation through a cause of action that is categorized as a wrongful death case. A Florida wrongful death attorney can explain in more detail, but an overview may be helpful.

How Wrongful Death Cases Work in Florida

On August 10, Russell James Wellington, 59, was struck by a vehicle when riding his motorcycle on U.S. 1. Wellington, a Key Largo resident, was flown to Ryder Trauma Center and in critical condition. He was struck by a Nissan Sentra driven by Ji Young Chung, 42, from Duluth, Georgia. Chung was driving north in the right lane, and Wellington was riding in the inside lane. He did not have on a helmet. Chung attempted to make a left turn onto East Drive. The front left of his vehicle struck the right side of Wellington and his bike. Chung claims he did not see Wellington, and he was cited for making an improper turn. The car that struck Wellington was cited for an improper turn, which is a common factor in motorcycle accidents. Vehicle drivers all too often do not see motorcycle riders, they are too focused on looking for other cars, trucks, and vans. They miss smaller riders who may be less visible in the early morning or at night.If you or a loved one were struck in a motorcycle accident, you should contact an experienced Miami motorcycle accident lawyer at Gerson & Schwartz P.A. at (877) 475-2905. If there is evidence that the other person was at fault, then you may have the right to pursue compensation. An attorney can represent you in seeking compensation through an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit.

Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents

Motorcycle accidents are often caused by:

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