In Florida, there are hundreds of motorcycle accidents every year. In fact, Florida has the highest number of motorcycle fatalities in the entire country. One report stated that, though motorcyclists only make up 7 percent of Florida motorists, motorcycle accidents account for 19 percent of traffic fatalities in the state.
Distracted driving is on the rise and is a leading cause of motor vehicle accidents throughout the country. For motorcyclists who are more vulnerable than other motorists, due to their exposure to the elements, distracted driving by other motorists can be a death sentence.
Motorcyclists have always been at a disadvantage on the road. Their bikes are often hard to see, especially at night or in rainy weather. Many motorists have been involved in accidents with motorcycles because they simply did not check their surroundings carefully enough. Now, with the use of texting, GPS apps, and Internet radio apps on our smartphones, the risks involved with distracted driving are higher than ever.
As a motorcyclist, how do you recover damages when you are injured by another motorist? How difficult is it to prove such a claim?
In any motor vehicle accident claim, you must prove three elements:
- That the at fault driver owed the victim a duty;
- That this duty was breached due to the at fault driver’s negligence;
- Due to that breach, the victim suffered damages.
The first element is established by proving that the at fault driver was traveling on a public roadway. All drivers have a duty to operate their vehicles in a manner that is safe and reasonable under the circumstances. Abiding by traffic laws is an example of driving in a safe and reasonable manner. Driving 10 miles an hour over the speed limit when there are icy conditions is not.
To prove the breach of the duty, the accident victim must prove that the at fault driver was negligent. For example, was the driver speeding? Was the driver disregarding traffic signals? Did witnesses see the driver holding a cell phone?
Finally, the victim must link his injuries to the driver’s negligence. How were the injuries caused by the accident? Could any injuries, such as back pain or headaches, have been preexisting? Studying the victim’s medical records will provide important clues as to how the accident led to specific injuries.
How can a motorcycle accident victim prove that a motorist was distracted?
There are a number of different ways that accident victims and their attorneys are able to show that a motorist was not paying attention at the time of an accident.
Eyewitness statements are very helpful in distracted driving claims. Did others notice the driver weaving in between lanes? Was the driver slowing down at inappropriate times, which is often an indicator that a driver is texting? Compiling eyewitness statements and speaking further with these individuals may be very beneficial.
If it is suspected that a driver was on a cell phone, these records may be obtained from the cell phone service provider. Attorneys for accident victims may send requests to these providers and receive records that state the time of calls, as well as text messages and other data. These records will show if a driver was using a cell phone at the time of an accident.
Video surveillance footage may also be uncovered in an accident claim. Many drivers have started using dash cams in their cars. In certain locations, traffic cameras or security surveillance cameras on storefronts may capture accidents on video. These videos may be key to a successful injury claim.
Contact Shiner Law Group For Your Free Initial Motorcycle Accident Case Review & Consultation
If you or someone you love has been seriously injured in a motorcycle, scooter, moped, 3-wheeled motorcycle or trike, we welcome you to contact our experienced legal team so that we can evaluate your claim and advise you of your rights and options.
We are committed to helping victims recover the compensation they need to move past their motorcycle accident, so contact us 24/7 at 561-777-7700 or online for a free case review to see how we can help.