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Articles Posted in Motorcycle Accidents

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:

A Florida district court of appeals recently rendered its decision on an appeal based on the trial court’s decision to exclude various pieces of evidence from consideration by the jury.

In the case, the plaintiffs alleged that the defendant revved the engine of his Chevrolet Camaro, thus signaling his alleged desire to race the plaintiffs. Plaintiffs alleged that after riding next to their two motorcycles and swerving into their lane twice, he hit the first motorcycle (which had one passenger), which then crashed into the second motorcycle and then drove away. The plaintiffs survived the accident, but suffered serious personal injuries which required medical treatment. Prior to the accident, the plaintiffs had stopped at a restaurant and then a bar, and were headed home when the accident occurred.

At trial, the defendant claimed that the motorcycles caused the accident to occur by one driver accidentally turning onto the other one. He claimed comparative negligence as a defense. Witness testimony as to what happened was similarly inconsistent.

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Recent Miami Motorcycle Accidents

When you are injured in a motorcycle accident in the Miami area, you need an accident lawyer who has experience. The motorcycle accident lawyers at Gerson & Schwartz serve clients with serious and catastrophic injury and death cases. In many injury cases, people injured in motorcycle crashed sustain extremely serious injuries, some of which can even be life threatening. Here are some of the more serious motorcycle accidents that have occurred in recent years in and around Miami. At Gerson & Schwartz, PA our lawyers have over 4 decades of experience in handling motorcycle crash cases for the residents of the greater Miami area. Let us protect your right to compensation so you can focus on healing from your injuries.

Below are some of the more serious motorcycle accidents that have occurred in recent years in and around Miami:

The Center for Urban Transportation Research (CUTR) and University of South Florida report that motorcycle accident injuries have increased by 50 percent and motorcycle fatalities have increased by almost 90 percent during the past decade. During the same period, traffic fatalities have reduced by 20 percent and traffic injuries have reduced by 10 percent. Why such a disparity? Well, the fact is that when a motorcyclist is involved in a serious accident, he or she usually takes the brunt of the damage and suffers potentially life-threatening injuries. A seriously injured motor bike rider should strongly consider hiring a Miami motorcycle accident injury lawyer to possibly pursue a claim on his or her behalf.

Studies conducted by the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) showed that motorcycle riders have a have a higher fatality rate per unit of distance travelled as compared to four-wheeler automobiles, often as high as 35 times more than a passenger car. Yes, you read that correctly. If you or a loved one is operating a motorcycle, you are 35 times more likely to lose your life in an accident. This is mainly due to the fact that the operator of a motorcycle is largely exposed apart from his helmet-covered head, and naturally is at a much greater risk of severe injury upon collision with a larger vehicle, which is more than hundred times heavier than his own mass. Moreover, in maximum cases the car collides with the motorcycle in a head-on collision while taking a turn or cutting through an intersection, and results in immediate death.

If you or a loved one is the victim of a motorcycle crash caused by the carelessness of another driver, consider speaking to a Miami personal injury attorney with experience handling motorcycle accident cases.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has declared the month of May to be Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, in an effort to encourage motorists to be mindful of motorcyclists while simultaneously encouraging motorcycle safety. Our Miami motorcycle accident attorneys wish everyone in the state to exercise safety when going out for a ride.

According to NHTSA statistics, in 2012, 4,927 motorcyclists were killed in traffic crashes, a continued increase from 4,630 in 2011. The 2011 deaths accounted for 15 percent of the total highway fatalities that year, despite motorcyclists representing only 3 percent of all vehicles on America’s roads.

As this blog has discussed before, motorcycle accidents are particularly dangerous due to the limited amount of protection they provide to riders compared to more traditional modes of transportation such as cars and trucks. Motorcycles are also far less visible in traffic than cars, resulting in an increased risk accident. One report concluded that the risk of a motorcyclists’ likelihood of being killed in a traffic accident is sixteen times that of the driver of an automobile.

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