Riding a motorcycle can be exciting and freeing, but it can also be very dangerous.
There is no doubt drivers must look out for one another. But because motorcycles are less visible than trucks or cars, motorcyclists are often overlooked by fellow motorists.
If you or a loved one has suffered a serious injury while riding a motorcycle, consider contacting a Sarasota motorcycle accident attorney to discuss your case. Call our Sarasota office at 941-238-0093 to schedule a free consultation or get in touch using our contact form.
Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
Motorcyclists lack the protection of an enclosed vehicle, so they’re more likely to be injured or killed while on the road.
Research shows that other motorists are at fault in more than half of all multi-vehicle accidents involving motorcycles. Motorcycle riders are 27 times more likely to die in an accident and five times more likely to be injured than passenger car occupants.
The most common cause of accidents involving motorcycles is driver negligence. When the driver of a passenger vehicle fails to exercise caution while driving, they place everyone around them at risk of serious harm, especially motorcyclists. Common acts of negligence include:
- Failure to check before changing lanes
- Failure to check before opening car door
- Failure to properly signal a left-hand turn
- Failure to stop in time (resulting in rear impact)
- Impaired motorists (i.e., under the influence of drugs, alcohol, etc.)
- Distracted driving
A total of 4,985 motorcyclists died in crashes across the country in 2018. Motorcycle deaths accounted for 14 percent of all motor vehicle crash deaths in 2018 and were more than double the number of motorcyclist deaths in 1997.
A motorcycle doesn’t have airbag support or other collision protections like cars. Protective gear—like a helmet, gloves, and special clothing—can only do so much to prevent injury. Injuries can range from minor to disabling, such as:
Traumatic brain injuries(TBI)
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) defines a TBI as a bump, blow, or jolt to the head, or penetrating head injury that disrupts normal brain function. Helmets are about 37 percent effective in preventing motorcycle deaths and about 67 percent effective in preventing brain injuries. While a helmet provides a certain level of protection, the force of a collision can still result in a TBI.
Spinal cord injuries
A spinal cord injury results in some form of paralysis and is one of the most catastrophic injuries a person can experience. Many patients with a spinal cord injury must rely on a power chair for mobility and require home modifications and assistance for most, if not all, daily activities. The lifetime costs associated with such an injury can stretch beyond millions of dollars per year.
A rider can break multiple bones during a motorcycle crash. Depending on the severity of the breaks, a rider may face multiple surgeries as well as extensive physical and emotional therapy. Daily tasks can be difficult without assistance, and there are some leisure activities a person may not be able to experience again or at least not until they recover.
Other common injuries also include road rash, facial fractures and disfigurement, and burns.
Damages Typically Experienced by Accident Victims
Ensuring motorcycle crash victims receive the medical treatment they deserve often means pursuing litigation. According to a recent University of South Florida study, the average hospital cost for an injured motorcyclist is nearly $50,000. On average, motorcycle crashes cost Floridians nearly $400 million a year in hospital bills.
There are several types of compensation that may be available to motorcycle accident victims, depending on the nature of the crash. If you or a loved one was injured in a motorcycle accident, you may seek compensation for the following:
- Lost wages
- Loss of earning potential
- Property damage
- Medical bills
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of companionship
- Wrongful death
Compensation for your injuries is especially relevant to bikers: The vast majority of motorcycle crashes involve men ages 45 to 54, followed by men ages 25 to 35. Both age groups represent prime income-earning years. A family can be left without a primary wage earner as the result of a motorcycle crash.
Our Motorcycle Accident Attorneys Can Help
Our personal injury attorneys provide Bradenton, Sarasota and all of our Florida clients expert representation in an auto accident, wrongful death, and catastrophic injury cases. We have successfully represented thousands of clients, securing over $100 million dollars in verdicts and settlements.
Our Sarasota legal team will thoroughly investigate your motorcycle case and aggressively advocate for your rights. For a free consultation, call Heintz Law at 941-238-0093 or contact our Sarasota law firm online.