We Fight for Real Justice for Motorcycle Accident Victims in Fort Lauderdale
At Bernheim Kelley Battista, LLC, our Fort Lauderdale motorcycle accident attorneys are passionate and proactive advocates for injured motorcyclists and their family members. We have a proven record of success in getting justice and results for our clients. Were you or a loved one hurt in a motorcycle crash? We are here to protect your legal rights. For a free consultation with a top-rated Fort Lauderdale motorcycle accident lawyer, please contact us at our Fort Lauderdale law office today.
Motorcycle Accident Statistics
How often do motorcycle accidents happen in Florida? The most comprehensive data comes from Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicle (FLHSMV). In 2021, there were 8,649 motorcycle accidents reported in the state. Collectively, these motorcycle accidents caused more than 7,300 injuries—with more than 1,900 of those injuries classified as “incapacitating.” Tragically, there were 621 motorcycle accident fatalities reported in Florida in 2021. The National Safety Council (NSC) reports that around 6,000 motorcyclists are killed nationwide on an annual basis. If you were seriously hurt in a collision, a Fort Lauderdale motorcycle accident lawyer with experience handling motorcycle accident claims can help.
Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents in Fort Lauderdale
Motorcycle accidents are an unfortunate reality across the country. Sadly, Fort Lauderdale and Broward County are no exception. Motorcycle accident crashes occur for a variety of reasons. There is a shared common characteristic: Virtually all motorcycle accidents in Fort Lauderdale could have been prevented with the right safety protocols. Here are some of the main causes of motorcycle accidents in Fort Lauderdale:
- Distracted driving: One of the leading causes of accidents on the road is distracted driving. Examples include texting, eating, or adjusting the radio, all of which can lead to a driver losing focus and colliding with a motorcyclist. Too many drivers fail to recognize motorcyclists. Distracted driving exacerbates the problem.
- Speeding: Excessive speed is a factor in many motorcycle accidents. Motorcyclists and other drivers may not have enough time to react to potential hazards when traveling at high speeds. Speeding not only makes a crash more likely, but it also makes it more severe.
- Left-Turn Accidents: Many motorcycle crashes occur when a vehicle turns left in front of a motorcyclist, failing to yield the right of way. Indeed, unprotected left turns are a somewhat heightened risk maneuver for motorcyclists as negligent drivers may not see them.
- Unsafe Lane Changes/Unsafe Merging By Drivers: Unsafe merges are a big safety concern for motorcyclists in Florida. A driver who fails to recognize a motorcycle and makes an unsafe lane change could cause a serious accident.
- Poor Road Conditions: Fort Lauderdale and other communities in South Florida experience frequent rain, which can create slick and hazardous roadways. Potholes and uneven surfaces can also contribute to accidents. They may cause a rider to lose control.
Common Motorcycle Accident Injuries
It is no secret that motorcyclists have limited protection. Wearing a helmet and other protective safety equipment can dramatically reduce a motorcyclist’s risk of suffering a catastrophic injury. At the same time, injuries are reported in most motorcycle crashes. An analysis published by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) found that 8 in 10 motorcycle collisions reported to authorities resulted in any injury to the rider. Some of the most common motorcycle accident injuries include:
- Road rash;
- Biker’s arm;
- Soft tissue damage;
- Sprains and strains;
- Shoulder injuries;
- Broken bones;
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs);
- Facial injuries;
- Internal bleeding;
- Internal organ damage;
- Amputations; and
- Spinal cord damage.
Statute of Limitations for Filing a Motorcycle Claim in Fort Lauderdale
Motorcycle accident cases are state-based legal claims. Hurt in a motorcycle accident in Fort Lauderdale? You must bring your claim before our state’s statute of limitations for personal injury lawsuits expires. Under Florida law (Florida Statutes § 95.11(3)(a)), there used to be a four-year statute of limitations to sue for personal injury in Florida, including motorcycle accident injury claims. As of March 2023, the statue has changed to two years. Do not wait to get started: Speak to a Fort Lauderdale personal injury lawyer right away after a crash to avoid missing the deadlines for filing an injury lawsuit.
No-Fault State Laws Related to Motorcycle Accidents
You may have heard that Florida is a no-fault state for motor vehicle collisions. While that is true, there are different rules and regulations in place for motorcycle crash claims. In Florida, no-fault laws apply to car accidents, but not to motorcycle accidents. No-fault laws typically mean that each driver’s insurance company pays for their own medical bills and lost wages regardless of who caused the accident. However, in Florida, motorcycle accidents are not covered under no-fault laws, and fault must be determined in these cases.
How to Determine Who is at Fault for Motorcycle Accident in Fort Lauderdale?
Determining fault is essential for determining liability. In a Fort Lauderdale motorcycle accident, negligence plays a key role in determining who was at fault for the collision. In Florida, the party whose negligence—failure to take due care—contributed to the motorcycle accident is considered at fault. A thorough investigation of the motorcycle accident scene is a must. A Fort Lauderdale motorcycle accident lawyer with experience handling motorcycle accident injury claims can help to determine exactly what happened. An investigation may include gathering witness statements, reviewing any available surveillance footage, and consulting with motorcycle crash analysis experts.
How Does Comparative Negligence Work in Florida?
As with many (but not all) states, Florida is a comparative negligence jurisdiction for motor vehicle collisions. The comparative negligence standard applies to motorcycle accidents. Comparative negligence is a legal concept used in Florida to determine fault and assign liability. Under Florida’s comparative negligence standard, the court determines the percentage of fault of each party involved in a motorcycle accident.
Assume that a motorcyclist is found to be 30% at fault for an accident in Fort Lauderdale, and another driver is found to be at fault for the remaining 70%. The motorcyclist would bear 30% of the liability for their own damages. In this case, the motorcyclist would only receive 70% of the total compensation awarded that could be awarded for their damages. Every percentage point of fault matters in a motorcycle accident injury claim in Florida.
Damages Available After Motorcycle Accidents
In the event of a motorcycle crash, seeking compensation through a legal claim is often necessary to cover expenses and help you put the pieces back together. You may have a lot of questions about what exactly you can recover for, such as: can you sue for pain and suffering? Fort Lauderdale allows for the recovery of both economic and non-economic damages through a motorcycle accident injury claim. Our Fort Lauderdale car accident lawyers are dedicated to assisting those who have been injured in motorcycle accidents to obtain the highest possible settlement or verdict, including for:
- Costs of repairing or replacing a motorcycle;
- Expenses for emergency medical care;
- Medical bills incurred during hospitalization and other medical treatments;
- Loss of earnings and future earning capacity;
- Pain and suffering and emotional distress;
- Permanent disfigurement;
- Long-term disabilities; and
- Compensation for wrongful death.
What to Do After a Motorcycle Accident in Fort Lauderdale?
If you have been involved in a motorcycle accident in Fort Lauderdale, it is normal to feel stressed out and confused—especially if you sustained a serious injury. Here are some things you should do:
- Seek medical attention immediately, even if you do not feel “that” injured;
- Call the police to report the accident and get an accident report;
- Take photos of the scene, including your injuries and damages to your motorcycle;
- Gather information from any witnesses or other parties involved.
- Do not admit fault or make any statements to insurance adjusters without an attorney; and
- Contact a Fort Lauderdale motorcycle accident lawyer for legal guidance and representation.
Do Motorcyclists in Fort Lauderdale Have the Same Rights/Responsibilities as Other Motorists?
Yes―at least for the most part. Motorcyclists in Fort Lauderdale have the same rights and responsibilities to the road as other motorists on the road. They must follow traffic laws, wear appropriate safety gear, and adhere to all the same rules of the road as any other driver. Though, there are some specialized additional regulations for motorcyclists in Florida. For example, you need to get a license with a motorcycle endorsement.
Motorcycle Helmet Laws in Fort Lauderdale (Florida Law)
Helmet laws vary state-by-state. In Florida, motorcycle riders who are over 21 years old and carry at least $10,000 in medical insurance coverage are not required to wear helmets while operating a motorcycle. However, riders under 21 years old must wear a helmet at all times while on a motorcycle. Although it is not required by law, wearing a helmet can provide crucial protection in the event of an accident, reducing the risk of serious head injury. Many riders choose to wear helmets regardless of the law for their own safety. The data is clear: motorcycle helmets prevent brain injuries. They can save lives. Riders who wear a motorcycle helmet are at a nearly 70% lower risk of sustaining a severe traumatic brain injury in a crash. Every motorcyclist in Fort Lauderdale should wear a helmet.
What is the Average Settlement in a Motorcycle Injury Settlement in Fort Lauderdale?
There is really no true “average” settlement. The settlement in a motorcycle accident case varies based on what happened. Relevant considerations include the severity of the victim’s injuries, their ability to prove fault, and the insurance coverage of the party. Keep in mind that each and every motorcycle accident is unique. It will be settled on a case-by-case basis. A Fort Lauderdale motorcycle accident lawyer can help you ensure that you get full compensation for your damages.
How Long Do Motorcycle Accident Settlements Take?
The duration of the motorcycle accident settlement process depends on a number of different factors as well, including the complexity of the case, the severity of the injuries, the amount of damages sought, and the willingness of both parties to negotiate all matters. It can take weeks, months, or even years to reach a settlement. A lawyer can help you navigate the claims process. You do not want to rush and end up with less compensation than you deserve.
Why Hire BK Law for a Motorcycle Accident Case in Fort Lauderdale?
Following a serious motorcycle crash, it is crucial that you have a skilled legal advocate on your team. You do not have to go up against an aggressive insurance company alone. At BK Law, we have the skills, knowledge, proven experience, and tenacity to handle the full range of motorcycle accident injury claims. At Bernheim Kelley Battista, LLC, our Fort Lauderdale motorcycle accident lawyers fight hard to help injured victims get real justice and real results. Hurt in a motorcycle wreck? Contact us today to set up a free, no-commitment consultation with a top attorney. We handle motorcycle accident claims in Fort Lauderdale, Broward County, and Southeast Florida.