Did you sustain an injury in an accident while riding a motorcycle? Was it due to someone else’s wrongdoing? If so, contact the St. Petersburg personal injury lawyers of Jurewitz Law Group Injury & Accident Lawyers today to learn about your legal options. You might be entitled to financial compensation for your medical treatment, lost wages, and other expenses.
Although riding a motorcycle in the warm Florida weather is enjoyable, motorcyclists face various dangers on the road. Whether you depend on your motorcycle for your daily commute to work or for recreation, you are at risk of severe injuries and death in an accident. Cars and trucks can crash directly into riders and eject them from their bike. Motorcyclists often suffer serious physical harm because their vehicles have no airbags, seatbelts, or other protective equipment.
Jurewitz Law Group Injury & Accident Lawyers understands how traumatic the aftermath of a motorcycle crash can be. It’s a scary experience for anyone. You can count on us to help you hold the at-fault party liable and seek compensation on your behalf. We will fight to protect your rights and prove who was at fault so you can recover and move forward with your life.
Learn more about what Jurewitz Law Group Injury & Accident Lawyers can do for you by calling us at (727) 605-1100 right now. We’re available 24/7 to speak with you about your case.
Common Types of Motorcycle Accidents
A range of circumstances can arise that cause an accident involving a motorcycle. Various contributing factors often determine the type of collision that occurs. The most common types of motorcycle accidents include:
- Rear-end collisions – Tailgating is a common reason for rear-end accidents. When a car or truck driver follows a motorcyclist too closely, they likely won’t have enough time to brake, slow down, or maneuver out of the way to prevent an accident if the rider suddenly stops.
- Dooring – A dooring accident happens when a parked driver opens their car door in the path of an approaching motorcyclist. When people don’t pay attention to their surroundings, they put riders in harm’s way.
- T-bone collisions – A vehicle T-bones another when it crashes into the side of another vehicle crossing its path. If someone runs a red light or stop sign and a motorcyclist is already in the middle of the intersection, a T-bone collision can result.
- Head-on collisions – A head-on accident can be fatal to a motorcyclist. Since nothing restrains the rider to their bike, they could go headfirst into the vehicle’s windshield or get run over by a car after landing on the pavement.
- Lane splitting – State law prohibits lane splitting while on a motorcycle. However, drivers should check their blind spots before changing lanes to avoid sideswiping a motorcyclist traveling directly next to them.
- Left-turn accidents – Motorists must stop or slow down before turning left and only proceed when there is no oncoming traffic unless they have a green arrow. Completing the turn without looking for approaching motorcyclists can result in a collision.
Jurewitz Law Group Injury & Accident Lawyers is ready to represent you in your case against the negligent driver. Our St. Petersburg motorcycle accident lawyers know how to prove liability and recover compensation for an accident victim’s injury.
Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
Drivers often don’t notice motorcycles on the road because they’re much smaller than cars and trucks. Some people ignore traffic laws or signs giving riders the right of way in certain situations. Human error also plays a part in motorcycle accidents.
Although the public perception seems to be that motorcyclists are reckless and often responsible for collisions with others, the drivers of other types of motor vehicles can be just as much to blame for the accidents.
The most common causes of motorcycle accidents include:
- Fatigued driving – Someone who operates their vehicle despite feeling tired doesn’t have control of their faculties. They could fall asleep at the wheel or fail to notice a nearby rider and crash directly into them.
- Distracted driving – Multiple types of distractions can redirect a driver’s attention, hands, or eyes to something other than driving. It isn’t easy noticing surroundings when a driver focuses on a different task.
- Tailgating – Following a motorcycle too closely doesn’t leave much distance between two vehicles. The driver might not have enough time to brake if the motorcyclist needs to slow down or come to a complete stop.
- Driving under the influence – Drugs and alcohol impair driving abilities. When someone gets behind the wheel of their car after consuming alcohol or drugs, they endanger everyone around them, including motorcycle riders.
- Speeding – High-speed collisions between cars and motorcycles can have deadly consequences for riders. Motorcyclists don’t have anything to protect themselves from the impact of an accident and can suffer life-threatening or fatal injuries.
- Defective parts – A vehicle with faulty parts could malfunction and cause the driver to lose control. They could crash into a nearby motorcyclist if their steering wheel or braking system doesn’t work correctly.
Let Jurewitz Law Group Injury & Accident Lawyers provide the legal representation necessary to hold the at-fault driver accountable for their actions. We have the resources to gather the available evidence and prove what happened to the insurance company.
Common Injuries in Motorcycle Accidents
Injuries can range from minor to severe when a motorcycle accident happens. The most common injuries include:
- Internal bleeding
- Road rash
- Permanent scarring
- Loss of limb
- Significant disfigurement
- Traumatic brain injury
- Broken bones
- Spinal cord injuries
- Facial injuries
- Emotional or psychological damage
Fatalities can also result from a motorcycle accident. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, 5,579 motorcyclist deaths occurred in 2020. This is an 11 percent increase from the previous year when 5,044 motorcyclists died in motor vehicle crashes.
Compensation for Motorcycle Accidents
Florida is a no-fault car insurance state. That means all motor vehicle drivers must purchase personal injury protection insurance (PIP) with a minimum of $10,000 in coverage. However, PIP laws don’t apply to motorcyclists.
As a motorcyclist, you could purchase uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM) coverage. UM insurance limits must be the same as the limits in a liability insurance policy. You can file a UM claim to cover your accident-related losses, such as:
- Lost wages
- Lost earning capacity
- Out-of-pocket expenses
- Medical bills
Unfortunately, UM doesn’t compensate for all losses after an accident. Depending upon whether you meet Florida’s serious injury threshold, you might be able to file a claim with the negligent driver’s liability insurance carrier. Your attorney will help you determine whether you are eligible for a lawsuit of this type. You could receive compensation for losses, such as:
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Medical bills
- Pain and suffering
- Lost wages
- Lost earning capacity
- Emotional distress
- Out-of-pocket expenses
- Property damage
You could also recover punitive damages if you file a lawsuit against the at-fault party. This form of compensation is only available if you can provide clear and convincing evidence of the defendant’s intentional misconduct or gross negligence.
Sometimes, motorcycle accidents result in the rider’s death. The personal representative of the deceased’s estate could file a wrongful death lawsuit if someone else is at fault for the crash. The compensation you might be eligible to pursue could cover losses, such as:
- Mental pain and suffering
- The value of benefits and earnings the deceased could have earned and left in their estate if they survived
- Loss of services and support provided to family
- Loss of parental instruction, guidance, and companionship by the deceased parent
- Lost wages, benefits, and other earnings between the date of the motorcyclist’s injury and death
- Medical and funeral costs paid by a surviving family member or the deceased’s estate
Jurewitz Law Group Injury & Accident Lawyers can review the circumstances of your case to determine the compensation you are entitled to in an insurance claim or lawsuit. Our motorcycle accident lawyers in St. Petersburg, FL, know how to maximize the value of our client’s cases and secure the financial award necessary to compensate for all accident-related losses.
Statute of Limitations in a Lawsuit
In Florida, the statute of limitations allows a four-year timeframe for an accident victim to file a lawsuit against another party. That means you have four years from the date of the motorcycle crash to initiate your lawsuit. If the timeframe passes and you don’t file suit, you will likely lose your right to pursue compensation through the court system.
However, certain exceptions could give you more time to pursue legal action against the negligent driver. You could toll, or extend, the statute of limitations if any of these circumstances apply to your case:
- Out of state – If the defendant leaves the state, their temporary absence won’t count towards the four-year timeframe. Additionally, the clock won’t start until they return to Florida.
- Minor – If you are a minor when the accident occurs, you will have four years from the date of your 18th birthday to file suit.
- Unsound mind – If you are of unsound mind at the time of the crash, you must file your lawsuit within four years from the date you gain mental competency.
Tolling the statute of limitations can be confusing. It requires filing specific documentation with the court to request an extended or delayed timeframe. Jurewitz Law Group Injury & Accident Lawyers can determine whether you qualify and handle this process on your behalf.
Since 2007, the St. Petersburg motorcycle accident lawyers of Jurewitz Law Group Injury & Accident Lawyers have fought on behalf of our clients. We will remain by your side during every step to provide the guidance, assistance, and support you need. You don’t have to go through this overwhelming experience alone. Our team will treat you as a priority until the end.
If you sustained an injury in a motorcycle accident someone else caused, call Jurewitz Law Group Injury & Accident Lawyers for your free consultation at (727) 605-1100.