Were you recently injured in a motorcycle accident in Orlando, FL? Our experienced Orlando motorcycle accident lawyers at Shiner Law Group are ready to help fight for your legal rights and get the compensation you deserve. Call us today at (407) 305-0566 to speak with an attorney for a 100% free consultation.
You may be entitled to seek compensation for medical bills, loss of income, pain and suffering, and more. Contact our Orlando, FL law offices to discuss the legal options that might be available to you following your motorcycle accident. The next steps are very important. Let Shiner Law Group help you with your motorcycle accident case today.
Were You Injured In A Motorcycle Accident In Orlando?
A motorcycle accident is a traumatic and life-altering event. Injuries from motorcycle accidents can be absolutely devastating. You may experience long-term chronic pain or cannot work during your recovery. The emotional impact of a major collision can be extremely difficult for you and your loved ones, too.
If you’ve been injured in a motorcycle accident, it’s critical that you seek legal representation. Your lawyer can manage the insurance claim and bring your case to court if necessary. When you put your case in the hands of an attorney you trust, you can focus all your energy on making a full recovery.
Shiner Law Group represents clients involved in motorcycle accidents. We understand the severe physical and psychological impacts an accident can have, and we’re prepared to fight for the compensation you deserve. If you’re looking for an Orlando motorcycle accident attorney, we’re here to help.
The Difference Between an Orlando Motorcycle and Car Accident
Motorcycle and car accidents are similar in many ways, but there are some key differences that all drivers should be aware of. While driving any vehicle has its risks, motorcyclists encounter more safety hazards and may sustain more severe injuries.
Motorcyclists are less visible on the road than cars, so they’re at an increased risk of being involved in an accident related to distracted or negligent driving. All drivers should be aware of the vehicles around them, but if they are not vigilant, they may turn or change lanes without realizing a motorcyclist is in their path. Motorcyclists are also more vulnerable to road hazards such as rocks or potholes. What may be a small bump for a car could be a life-threatening obstacle for a motorcycle.
The consequences of a motorcycle accident are typically more severe, too. Motorcyclists are more likely to sustain serious or fatal injuries during crashes than automobile drivers. In a car, you’re surrounded by metal designed to protect you in the event of a collision. Motorcycles don’t offer this level of protection. With the exception of your helmet, you’re completely exposed. You also don’t have a seatbelt or airbag on a motorcycle.
Every case is different, but motorcyclists involved in crashes usually have a longer recovery period and larger medical bills than automobile drivers. Because the injuries can be much more severe, motorcyclists may spend weeks or months recovering from a crash. Some victims require ongoing physical therapy sessions to restore mobility, and some need multiple surgeries over months or years. A lengthy recovery can affect your ability to work, too.
Legal and insurance proceedings may be different as well. Unfortunately, many people are biased against motorcyclists. They believe that motorcyclists are more reckless than automobile drivers, so they may think the accident was the motorcyclist’s fault, even if the evidence suggests otherwise. If your case goes to court and is tried before a jury, this bias may impact the outcome. This is one of many reasons you need a reputable lawyer.
Orlando, Florida Motorcycle Accident Statistics
- According to Ride Smart Florida, there were an average of 550 motorcycle fatalities per year in Florida between 2016 and 2021.
- The number of motorcycle fatalities in Florida peaked in 2015 at 584. However, fatality rates still remain high.
- Motorcycles account for 3% of registered vehicles but 17% of all traffic fatalities in Florida.
- March is the month in Florida with the highest number of serious injuries and fatalities related to motorcycle crashes, followed by April and October.
- Serious injuries and fatalities related to motorcycle crashes happen more frequently on weekends than weekdays.
- According to research by QuoteWizard by Lendingtree, Florida has the fourth highest number of motorcycle fatalities in the United States.
- Motorcycle deaths in Florida have increased by 11% since 2019 and 23% since 2010.
- In 2020, alcohol was involved in 32% of fatal motorcycle crashes.
Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents in Orlando
Motorcycle accidents happen for a wide variety of reasons. Sometimes, the motorcyclist’s actions result in a crash. Other times, an automobile driver is at fault for the collision. Multiple parties can all be partially at fault for an accident, too.
Low visibility is one of the most common causes of motorcycle accidents. All drivers are responsible for being aware of their surroundings on the road. If a driver fails to notice a motorcycle nearby, they may collide with the motorcyclist when changing lanes or turning. Similarly, accidents often happen when lanes merge if drivers fail to see the motorcyclist next to them. Failure to yield is another common cause of accidents.
As with all types of accidents, driving under the influence frequently causes motorcycle crashes. In Florida, alcohol is involved in one in three motorcycle fatalities. Excessive speed and distracted driving often cause crashes, too. Lane splitting is another common factor in motorcycle accidents. Although lane splitting is illegal in Florida, motorcyclists sometimes attempt it anyway.
Hazards in the road can be a serious concern for motorcyclists. Large potholes, rocks, or other debris can lead to loss of control of the bike. Wildlife in the road can lead to an accident, too. These hazards may cause minor accidents for cars, but they can be devastating for motorcyclists.
In certain cases, other parties besides the drivers can be found at fault for the accident. If a flaw in the car or motorcycle resulted in the crash, the manufacturer could be held liable. Mechanics are sometimes found responsible if they make a mistake while repairing. Additionally, the municipality could be liable if they failed to warn drivers of road hazards or address defects in the road. These cases can be very difficult to prove, so it’s essential that you work with a motorcycle accident attorney if you believe another party is at fault for your motorcycle accident.
Injuries Resulting From Orlando Motorcycle Accidents
Motorcycle accidents can result in many different injuries ranging from mild to severe. Because motorcyclists are much more exposed than car drivers, their injuries tend to be more serious. In some cases, injuries sustained during a crash never fully heal, and the victim is left with chronic pain or permanent mobility issues.
Road rash, which can happen when your body slides across the pavement, is one of the most common motorcycle crash injuries. In minor cases, road rash can heal with only basic first aid. In serious cases, though, it can cause severe skin damage and put you at risk of infection. You can reduce your risk of road rash by wearing protective clothing while riding your motorcycle.
Broken bones are another common injury. Fractures can result from the impact of a car hitting you or from you hitting the ground. Hand and arm fractures are especially common because people typically hold their arms out when falling. Facial disfigurement can also occur, especially if your chin hits the ground. Muscle, joint, and ligament injuries can all be sustained during a motorcycle accident as well.
Motorcyclists often sustain abdominal injuries during crashes. The impact of a motorcycle accident could result in rib fractures, lung lacerations, or collapsed lungs. Your other organs may be at risk, too. Motorcyclists can experience liver trauma, kidney damage, or heart damage.
Brain trauma is one of the most serious injuries that can happen during a motorcycle accident. Concussions can range from mild to severe but are always concerning. Major brain trauma can take years to recover from, and some damage can be permanent. Spinal injuries are a serious concern, too, as they can cause paralysis.
Injuries are sometimes immediately obvious after an accident. In some cases, though, the damage may not be visible. Head trauma, nerve damage, and internal bleeding aren’t always noticeable, and you might not feel pain right away because you’re so shaken up from the accident. You should always seek medical attention after a motorcycle crash. Your body could have sustained life-threatening trauma even if you think you’re uninjured.
Proving Fault in a Motorcycle Accident in Orlando
Proving fault in a motorcycle accident can be difficult. Even when the at-fault party seems obvious, there are several specific points that you must prove in order to move forward with a lawsuit. Your Orlando motorcycle accident lawyer will gather evidence on your behalf to prove your case.
First, prove that the at-fault party acted negligently. All drivers are bound by duty of care, which is the responsibility to protect others on the road. To prove fault, you have to prove that the driver breached their duty of care. This could involve actions like speeding, distracted driving, or not abiding by road signs. Additionally, you must prove that you experienced harm due to their negligence.
In most cases, a driver or motorcyclist is at fault for a motorcycle accident. In some cases, though, the car manufacturer, mechanic, or municipality could be liable. The process of proving fault will be the same for these parties. Your attorney will have to prove that they acted negligently and that you suffered losses.
There are many possible pieces of evidence that you could use to support your case. The following are just a few examples:
- Police report
- Pictures of the scene of the motorcycle accident
- Pictures of damage to the motorcycle and other vehicles
- Pictures of nearby road signs and/or hazards in the road
- Witness accounts
- Video footage from dashcams or nearby security cameras
- Medical records from your injuries
Evidence should be collected as soon as possible after the accident, which is why it’s so important to contact a motorcycle accident attorney immediately. If you’ve been injured, you need to focus on your own health and well-being. Your attorney will take care of the legal matters while you recover.
Motorcyclists sometimes worry that they will not receive compensation if they are partially at fault for the motorcycle accident. However, Florida uses a pure comparative fault system, which means multiple parties can share fault for an accident. If you are found to be partially at fault, you can still pursue damages. The court may use the percentage of fault when calculating the settlement. For instance, if you found 25% at fault and the other driver was 75% at fault, you could claim 75% of your total damages. Regardless of whether or not you believe the accident was your fault, you should still reach out to an attorney to discuss your options.
Handling Insurance Claims After a Motorcycle Accident in Orlando
Before you and your attorney pursue a personal injury lawsuit, you should seek compensation by filing a claim with insurance. Florida uses a no-fault automobile insurance system, so drivers are required to carry personal injury protection (PIP) insurance. This provides drivers coverage regardless of who’s at fault for the accident. PIP insurance typically covers up to $10,000 in damages. Unfortunately, motorcyclists are not eligible for PIP insurance. Even if you have PIP for another vehicle, you can’t receive compensation from that policy if you’re injured in a motorcycle crash.
This means that you must pursue compensation from the at-fault driver’s insurance. Drivers in Florida are required to carry $10,000 in property damage liability, but the state does not set a minimum requirement for bodily injury liability insurance. Some drivers may carry enough to cover extensive damages, but others may not carry liability insurance at all. All Florida motorcyclists should consider purchasing uninsured motorist coverage to protect themselves from this situation. If the at-fault driver’s insurance doesn’t cover your losses, you and your attorney can file a lawsuit.
Compensation for an Orlando Motorcycle Accident
Motorcycle accidents often result in serious injuries that can profoundly impact your life. Victims may spend weeks or months at home recovering, missing out on work and family obligations. Accidents sometimes result in a permanent disability that affects you for the rest of your life. The mental trauma of a severe crash also cannot be understated. A motorcycle accident can be a near-death experience, which may impact your psychological state.
The following are all forms of damages you can recover after a motorcycle accident:
- Current medical bills
- Future medical treatment
- Property damage
- Lost wages
- Lost earning potential
- Home or vehicle modifications due to injury or disability
- Transportation expenses
- Childcare expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium
Proving these damages and recovering compensation can be difficult, but your motorcycle accident attorney is here to help. It’s important to keep every document related to your losses as proof of the damages. The insurance claims adjuster will do everything possible to reduce your payout, so backing up your claim with as much documentation as possible is key. If you file a lawsuit, your attorney must prove these damages in court or during the settlement proceedings.
Florida uses a pure comparative fault system, so the amount of compensation you receive may depend on your role in the motorcycle accident. Your compensation could be reduced if you were at fault to any degree. It’s still worth it to pursue damages, though. Losses after a serious motorcycle collision can significantly add up over time, and you still deserve compensation even if you were partially at fault.
You have two years after your accident to pursue compensation for your injuries. If you lost a loved one in a motorcycle crash, you have two years to file a wrongful death lawsuit. However, you should contact a lawyer as soon as possible so that they can collect evidence for the case.
What to Do After an Orlando Motorcycle Accident
A motorcycle accident is an extremely stressful experience, and it can be difficult to stay calm and think clearly in the immediate aftermath. Getting to safety should be your top priority right after a crash. If you can move, move away from the flow of traffic. Although you may be tempted to bring your bike, it’s best to leave it behind. Trying to move the bike could worsen your injuries, and moving it away from the crash scene could prevent you from properly documenting the accident.
You should also keep your gear on after a motorcycle accident. Motorcyclists often try to remove their helmets after crashing, but this could worsen a head or neck injury. It’s best to limit your movement as much as possible, especially if there’s any chance you sustained brain or spine damage.
Once in a safe location, you should contact emergency services or tell a bystander to call 911. Even if you don’t have any obvious injuries, you need to seek medical attention. You might overlook an injury because you have heightened adrenaline after the crash. Internal injuries may not be immediately apparent, but they can be life-threatening if not treated in a timely manner.
When you call 911, the police may or may not arrive. If they do, you should tell them only the facts you know. Try not to speculate about what could have happened or who may be at fault. If the police don’t respond to the crash, you should contact them later to file a report. In this situation, you should also only focus on the facts.
If you can speak with the other driver at the scene, you should get their contact information and insurance information. No matter the circumstances, try to stay calm when interacting with the other driver. Do not confront them about their actions; do not admit fault or say anything that may make you look guilty. Your only responsibilities now are to stay safe and gather information. The fault will be determined at a later time by other parties.
If possible, you should also collect evidence from the accident scene. Take pictures of your motorcycle, the other vehicle, and any relevant hazards on the road. If you have visible injuries, photograph those as well. Ask for their contact information if there were any witnesses to the crash. The more facts you can gather about the event, the better.
After receiving medical care, your next step is contacting an attorney. If the other party’s insurance company contacts you about the case, do not discuss anything with them without consulting your lawyer. An Orlando motorcycle accident lawyer will help you gather documentation and will speak to the insurance providers on your behalf. Your attorney will file a lawsuit if insurance doesn’t provide the compensation you deserve.
How an Orlando Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Near Me Can Help
Shiner Law Group represents victims of motorcycle crashes in Orlando, Florida. A motorcycle accident is a traumatic and life-changing experience, and we understand how difficult it can be to navigate the aftermath. If you’re in the hospital or on bed rest at home, you must focus entirely on your health and well-being. We’ll take care of the insurance and legal matters so that you can dedicate your time and energy to healing.
Our Orlando motorcycle accident attorneys have extensive experience with car and motorcycle accident cases. We’ll advise you on the best steps to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve. Sometimes, motorcyclists are able to recover damages from insurance. Sometimes, it’s necessary to file a personal injury suit. We may negotiate a settlement with the other party or bring your case to court. We aim to recover compensation for you so that you don’t suffer financially due to the accident.
We’ll also assist you with collecting crash documentation. Our attorneys will obtain the police report, interview witnesses, and organize your medical records so that your case is thoroughly supported by evidence. At every step in the process, we’ll keep you informed on the status of the case.
Shiner Law Group proudly represents clients in the Orlando area. If you’re looking for an Orlando motorcycle accident attorney, contact us today by calling (407) 305-0566 or filling out our free online consultation.
Orlando Motorcycle Accident Law Office
Shiner Law Group
2480 E. Michigan St. Suite 206
Orlando, FL 32806