With warm, sunny weather throughout most of the year, Daytona Beach is an excellent place to own a motorcycle. As a motorcycle enthusiast, you probably love the freedom and adventure that accompany owning a bike. Unfortunately, however, every time you hit the road, you’re at the mercy of careless drivers who fail to give bikes the space and respect they deserve.
If you’ve been injured in a motorcycle crash in Volusia County, there’s a good chance it happened because of someone else’s carelessness. In that case, it’s crucial to line up qualified legal representation as soon as possible. A Daytona Beach motorcycle accident lawyer from our law firm can help protect your rights after being injured because of someone else’s negligence, helping you obtain the maximum compensation you deserve.
Motorcycle Accidents Happen in Florida Every Day
Being involved in a crash while traveling in a passenger vehicle is bad enough; being involved in one while on a motorcycle is considerably worse. Motorcycles offer far less protection than passenger cars. They’re inherently less stable because they are on two wheels instead of four. Motorists often fail to see them since they are smaller than passenger vehicles and fit into blind spots more easily.
Sadly, motorcycle collisions are a fact of life in the U.S., as evidenced by the following motorcycle accident statistics from 2019:
- 5,014 motorcyclists were killed in crashes
- 84,000 motorcyclists were injured in accidents
- 42% of motorcyclists who died were under the influence of alcohol
- Motorcycle fatalities occurred 29 times more often per vehicle mile traveled than passenger car occupant fatalities
Some statistics regarding motorcycle accidents in Florida in 2021 include the following:
- 8,631 motorcycle accidents occurred
- 588 motorcyclists were killed in crashes
- 7,413 motorcyclists were injured in accidents
From Bike Week to Biketoberfest, the Daytona Beach area is a year-round haven for motorcycle enthusiasts. Unfortunately, Volusia County is among the most dangerous parts of the state for operating a motorcycle, as evidenced by these 2021 statistics:
- 539 motorcycle crashes occurred
- 47 motorcyclists were killed in crashes
- 508 motorcyclists were injured in accidents
Common Causes of Daytona Beach Motorcycle Accidents
Motorcyclists are sometimes injured or killed in single-vehicle crashes – for instance, after crashing into fixed objects. Sometimes, the weather is to blame. However, many motorcycle accidents happen because of someone else’s negligence.
Some top causes of motorcycle accidents involving other motorists include the following:
- distracted driving
- aggressive driving
- improper lane changes
- failure to maintain a safe distance
- driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- drowsy driving
- failure to obey stop signs or traffic signals
- failure to properly check blind spots
Occasionally, other factors are to blame for Daytona Beach motorcycle accidents. For example, there may have been hazardous road conditions; if so, the government agency responsible for maintaining the roads may be at fault. Defective motorcycle parts or equipment are sometimes to blame; manufacturers may be liable in such instances.
Your Daytona Beach motorcycle accident attorney will consider all possible causes of the accident to determine liability and whether or not there’s a solid basis for filing a personal injury claim against the at-fault party.
Common Motorcycle Accident Injuries
Motorcyclists are more likely to incur severe injuries or be killed in traffic accidents. The resulting medical bills and funeral and burial expenses can be considerable. If someone else is to blame for the accident, they should be held responsible for such losses.
Examples of common motorcycle accident injuries include the following:
- road rash
- traumatic brain injuries
- spinal cord injuries
- broken bones and fractures
- loss of limbs
- internal bleeding
How Florida’s No-Fault Laws Affect Motorcycle Accident Cases
In Florida, all motorists with four-wheel vehicles must carry at least $10,000 of personal injury protection coverage, or PIP coverage. The Sunshine State is the only one that does not require motorcyclists to carry PIP coverage. Unless you specifically purchase motorcycle PIP coverage, the only way to recoup losses following an accident is by filing a lawsuit against the at-fault party.
For your motorcycle accident lawsuit to have merit, your injuries must be severe and permanent. A Daytona Beach motorcycle accident lawyer from our firm can help you determine whether you have a viable personal injury claim.
Determining Liability in Daytona Beach Motorcycle Accident Cases
How can you tell if you have a viable claim after being injured in a motorcycle accident in Daytona Beach? Your lawyer will be able to assess the situation to ensure you are aware of all of the options. However, it helps to understand the basic components of a viable personal injury lawsuit in Florida.
For your personal injury claim to have merit, the following four conditions must be met:
- The at-fault party, or defendant, owed a duty of care. Since all drivers owe a duty of care to others on the road, this condition is easy to meet.
- The defendant breached their duty of care. For example, the at-fault party may have been speeding, unnecessarily putting others at undue risk.
- Your injuries were directly caused by the accident.
- You have damages stemming from the accident and are seeking compensation to be made whole.
Damages That May Be Pursued in Florida Motorcycle Accident Claims
If you do not have PIP coverage and are injured in a motorcycle accident, you may be able to recoup some damages by filing a claim against the at-fault party’s insurance company. If not, or if the coverage limits fall short of how much you are owed, you may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit to be compensated for economic and non-economic damages.
Economic damages are those that have specific dollar amounts. They account for any money you spend as a direct result of the accident, and they may include the following:
- Property Damage – The cost to repair or replace your motorcycle.
- Medical Expenses – Your past and future medical bills from the accident, including doctor’s visits, hospitalizations, surgeries, long-term care and physical therapy.
- Lost Wages – If you miss time from work because of your injuries and lost pay, you may be able to recoup your lost wages.
- Reduced Earning Capacity – If your injuries prevent you from earning what you used to or may have, you may be eligible for compensation for reduced earning capacity or lost future wages.
Non-economic damages compensate you for intangible losses stemming from the accident and may include the following:
- Pain and Suffering – The court may award you damages for the pain and suffering you’ve experienced because of your injuries.
- Mental Anguish – You may also seek compensation for mental suffering related to the accident, which may include post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD.
- Loss of Consortium – If your partner has to manage life without you because of your injuries, you may be eligible for compensation in this area.
- Loss of Enjoyment – If you can demonstrate that your injuries have affected your ability to enjoy things you used to, this category may apply.
Per Florida statute 768.72, you may be entitled to pursue punitive damages if the accident occurred because of gross negligence or intentional misconduct.
How Florida’s Comparative Negligence Standard May Affect Your Case
Liability in Daytona Beach motorcycle accidents isn’t always cut and dry. Sometimes, multiple parties are at fault, including the motorcyclist.
Even if you were partly to blame for the accident, you might be able to seek compensation from other at-fault parties. Florida’s comparative negligence standard requires courts to assign fault on a percentage basis. Therefore, the court may decide that you are 10% at fault and the other party is 90% at fault. In that case, if you had damages totaling $50,000, you would only be able to pursue compensation of up to $45,000.
Statute of Limitations for Motorcycle Accident Claims in Florida
Per Florida statute 95.11, personal injury lawsuits must be filed within four years of the incident’s date. However, it’s crucial to file your claim quickly before evidence is lost. Therefore, contact our Daytona Beach motorcycle accident law firm as soon as possible after being involved in this type of incident.
What To Do After a Motorcycle Accident in Daytona Beach
Here are some steps to take after being involved in a motorcycle accident:
- Move to a safer area away from traffic, if possible.
- If there are any medical emergencies, call 911 for an ambulance.
- Even if you don’t seem to be injured, seek medical attention as soon as possible. Per Florida statute 627.736, you must seek medical attention within 14 days of the incident to include those expenses on your claim.
- Call the police so that they file a report.
- Collect the other driver’s information, including their name, phone number, driver’s license number and insurance information.
- Collect contact information from anyone who witnessed the accident.
- Take photos of the scene, including any injuries or property damage that occurred.
Determining Value in Daytona Beach Motorcycle Accident Claims
When you hire a Daytona Beach motorcycle accident attorney from our law firm, they will get to work gathering evidence to substantiate the value of your claim immediately. Since our firm handles cases like these all the time, your lawyer should be able to arrive at an estimate for the value of your claim after assessing medical bills, lost wages and other factors. They will collect victim impact statements from loved ones to assess intangible losses like mental anguish and pain and suffering.
Our law firm also works with accident reconstruction experts, medical experts, economic experts and other professionals to develop the strongest cases possible for our clients. These and other steps increase the odds of collecting the total possible value of your claim, including all the economic and non-economic damages to which you are entitled.
Were You Injured in a Motorcycle Accident? Contact Our Daytona Beach Law Firm Today
After being injured in a Daytona Beach motorcycle accident, don’t leave things to chance. Line up qualified legal representation right away. Our law firm will deal with insurance companies and others on your behalf while helping you build a solid personal injury case. They will negotiate a full, fair settlement that makes you whole or file a lawsuit on your behalf in court to pursue all the damages you are owed.
If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident in Daytona Beach that happened because of someone else’s negligence, call our law firm today to schedule a free motorcycle accident consultation.