Motorcycle Accident Lawyer in Miami
Causes, Injuries and Liability in Florida Motorcycle Accidents in Miami
Motorcycle accidents are devastating auto accidents that commonly result in serious personal injuries or wrongful death. This is because a motorcyclist is not protected by a seatbelt, airbag, or even the steel shell of a vehicle. While high-speed collisions could be catastrophic, even a bumper tap could launch a motorcyclist into the pavement resulting in broken bones, traumatic brain injuries, or disabling spinal cord injuries. Victims who have been injured in a motorcycle accident should speak with our Miami motorcycle accident lawyer because they may be entitled to damages such as pain and suffering, lost wages, lost future earnings, loss of affection with family members, medical bills, and other costs related to the crash.
Families may also be entitled to compensation for the wrongful death of their loved one who was killed in a motorcycle accident. Our lawyer knows how common fatal accidents truly are, as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) statistics reveal almost 5,000 motorcyclists die each year in the United States . While sunny Florida has many inviting roads for motorcyclists and fair riding weather, other NHTSA statistics reveal that Florida also has the most motorcycle fatalities out of any other state in the United States . Our personal injury accident lawyer knows that these fatalities often place undue hardships on families.
Unique Characteristics of Motorcycles
Motorcycle accidents are common because these types of vehicles present different risks and challenges than other motor vehicles like cars, trucks, or vans. These risks and challenges are not only to the motorcyclists but also to other motorists on the road. This is because they have three unique characteristics which make them more prone to an auto accident. For instances, a lawyer knows that motorcycles are more challenging because they are:
- Smaller and more difficult to see
- Harder to determine the speed from a smaller profile
- Harder to gauge how far away they are in the distance due to a thinner profile
Due to these characteristics regarding the size and shape, motorcyclists are more likely to slip into a blind spot undetected or have another vehicle cut in front of them due to the difficulties in gauging speed and distance.
Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
Like any other auto accident, there are many possible causes of motorcycle accidents. Many of the most common causes are preventable with reasonable care under the circumstances in the use or operation of a vehicle. Unfortunately, far too many motorists drive aggressively, recklessly, or careless and result in serious wrecks in Miami. Some of the most common causes of Miami motorcycle accidents include the following:
- Distracted driving such as cell phone use to make calls or test
- Drunk driving or drugged driving
- Improper left turns
- Unsafe lane merges
- Following too closely or tailgating
- Mechanical defects
- Aggressive driving
- Failing to check blind spots
- Failure to stop at a red light or stop sign
- Failure to yield
- Many other common causes
Any other cause that may have resulted in any type of auto wreck should be reviewed by a lawyer to determine whether a driver may have been negligent. This is why it is important to always consult with a motorcycle accident lawyer.
Serious Personal Injuries From Crashes
Victims of motorcycle crashes are some of the most seriously injured victims in any crash. This is because motorcyclists are not protected by the same safety equipment that other motorists are shielded by. This means that motorcyclists who are injured in a vehicle crash are likely to have catastrophic personal injuries or other serious personal injuries.
Catastrophic Injuries from Crashes
Many different catastrophic damages could be caused by a motorcycle accident. Any of these injuries should be evaluated by a Miami motorcycle accident lawyer because these damages will require extensive medical proof and likely an expert. Even if liability is clearcut, insurance companies usually force victims with catastrophic personal injuries to prove liability in addition to their damages. Some of the most common catastrophic injuries include the following:
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) – There are several different types of TBIs ranging from a mild concussion to torn brain tissue in a diffuse axonal injury. All TBIs are catastrophic injuries because the damage done to the brain is not always visible on imaging studies. TBIs also do not heal like a broken bone and can linger for years. The CDC defines a brain injury as a disruption to the normal function of the brain caused by an impact like a vehicle crash  . If you suspect you have any type of TBI, ask a motorcycle accident lawyer in Miami for help
- Amputations – Motorcyclists frequently lose a limb as a result of motorcycle accidents. This is because feet, legs, arms, and hands are exposed to the elements in a crash. Many times limbs get irreparably damaged by being dragged across pavement or crushed in-between pieces of vehicles
- Spinal Cord Injuries (SCI) – Paraplegia, quadriplegia, tetraplegia, and monoplegia are all types of SCIs. These damages could result in a partial or complete loss of sensation or functioning. The higher up on the spinal column (neck and back) that the damage is, the more limbs and parts of the body are affected. All SCI should be reviewed by a lawyer, even if only temporary or minor loss of sensation or function occurs
Serious Injuries from Accidents
In addition to catastrophic damages, there are many serious personal injuries that could be caused by a motorcycle accident. Give the nature of a motorcycle that a victim is not well-protected, permanent and disabling damages are common. Some of the most serious damages to motorcyclists include the following:
- Broken bones, including compound fractures
- Nerve injuries, especially brachial plexus nerve injuries
- Head injuries
- Organ injuries, including liver lacerations, lung contusions, of kidney damage
- Significant scarring and road rash burns
- Vision loss
- Any other injuries caused by a crash
Wrongful Death From Motorcycle Wrecks
The ultimate personal injury in a vehicle crash case is wrongful death. Because of the physical, emotional, and financial burdens, a family who has lost a loved one in a wreck should ask our motorcycle accident lawyer in Miami for help. Families may be entitled to compensation for both the personal injuries sustained by their loved one, as well as the damages caused to the entire family. Some of the most common damages in a Florida wrongful death case include the following:
- Pre-impact terror before a collision
- Conscious pain and suffering after a loved one was injured but before he or she passed away
- Burial expenses
- Funeral costs
- Lost future income of the loved one
- Medical bills
- Property damage
- Loss of society, affection, and consortium from a deceased loved one
- Punitive damages, in rare instances
- Other damages related to the motorcycle wreck that caused a wrongful death
Insurance Issues in a Motorcycle Accident
Florida is a no-fault insurance state, which means that injured motorists can turn to their insurance to have up to 80% of medical bills or 60% of lost wages paid up to $10,000 automatically after an auto accident, no matter who was at fault. Any coverage for a motorcyclist is very important to have. One of the best types of insurance for a motorcyclist is uninsured motorist/underinsured motorist (UM) cover. This is insurance that covers medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, pain and suffering, and other damages caused by an accident.
What if the Motorcyclist was Partially at Fault?
Even if you think it was your fault or the fault of the motorcyclist in a wrongful death case, always ask a lawyer. This is because Florida is a “comparative fault” state. This means that the damages suffered by a motorcyclist may be reduced proportionally to his or her fault for causing the crash. Therefore, if a victim recovers $200,000 for a motorcycle wreck but was 10% at fault, the total award will be reduced by $20,000 and the victim will recover $180,000. Where there may be catastrophic personal injuries such as a TBI, SCI, amputation, or other damages, even if a motorcyclist was 70% at fault the damages could still be in the hundreds of thousands. Always ask a Miami motorcycle accident lawyer for a case review.
How Much Does a Personal Injury Lawyer Cost?
Unlike other types of lawyers, a personal injury lawyer will take a contingency. This is typically 1/3 or 33.33% of the total award or settlement. A lawyer should also pay for the costs and disbursements upfront and, if the case is successful, collect the costs and disbursements at the conclusion of the case. Most lawyers will also not charge a client any money unless the lawyer collects compensation for the victim or the victim’s family. This is important to know because it means that there is no financial risk to a victim of a motorcycle accident in Miami. If a lawyer does ask for any money upfront for a motorcycle wreck case, that is a clear warning to find another lawyer!
Ask Our Miami Motorcycle Accident Lawyer for Help
If you or a loved one were seriously injured in an accident, or if a loved one was wrongfully killed, ask our personal injury accident lawyer how we can help protect your rights to compensation. Motorcycle wreck lawsuits can be an uphill battle because damages are so high and many other motorists blame motorcyclists for the accidents. But the rules of the road apply to everyone, and all motorists are owed a duty of care by everyone else on the roadways. This means that negligent truck drivers, car drivers, or other motorcyclists that cause a serious or fatal crash should be held accountable for their reckless conduct. Ask our motorcycle accident lawyer Brett Schlacter for a FREE case evaluation by dialing (305) 999-1111 and how we can start to protect your rights to compensation today.
- https://www.nhtsa.gov/road-safety/motorcycle-safety ↩
- https://crashstats.nhtsa.dot.gov/Api/Public/ViewPublication/812785 ↩
- https://www.cdc.gov/traumaticbraininjury/index.html ↩
- http://www.leg.state.fl.us/Statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&URL=0000-0099/0095/Sections/0095.11.html ↩
- https://www.myfloridacfo.com/Division/Risk/Liability/ClaimsProcess.htm ↩
How We Handle Cases
- Your attorney will aggressively investigate your case. Schlacter Law will compile all necessary evidence needed to maximize the value of your case. Which includes but is not limited to photographs, police reports, security camera footage, witness statements, medical bills and medical records.
- You will remain in constant contact with Schlacter Law about the progression of your case.
- Your attorney will present your case to the insurance company and will attempt to resolve your case before the case goes to court for maximum compensation.
- Your attorney will make every effort possible to resolve the case as quickly as possible for the most amount of money you may be entitled to. You will be actively involved in the negotiation process with your attorney. Schlacter Law understands that this is your one opportunity to get justice for your loss.
- If settlement negotiations are unsuccessful, Schlacter Law will be fully prepared to bring your case to court to fight for the justice you deserve.
- At no cost to you, Schlacter Law will hire any experts and professionals needed to maximize your recovery and present your case in the strongest form possible.
Frequently Asked Questions
Generally under Florida law, a close family member such as a spouse, child, or parent may commence a wrongful death action. Other relatives who were dependent on the deceased victim may also be entitled to recover compensation. Other individuals who have a close connection may be able to petition a court for permission to act as a personal representative. If you lost a loved one in a Miami accident, ask our lawyer how we can help.
Generally, a wrongful death action must be commenced within two years from the date of death, according to Florida Revised Statutes section 95.11  . This is known as the statute of limitations period which acts as a time limit on all claims. There may be extensions to this time period, however best practice is to not rely on any extensions unless you absolutely have to do so. The time limits may be lower against a municipality, state, or other government entity. It is always best to consult with a lawyer for any potential wrongful death claim.
A claimant has three years to file a notice of claim against a municipal, state, or government agency for personal injury or wrongful death  . A claimant must then wait at least 180 days for the agency to review the claim to investigate and possibly negotiate. After the 180 days, a claimant may commence a wrongful death action. While there are some extensions, there may also be some instances where this time period is shorter. Always protect your rights by hiring a Miami motorcycle accident lawyer.