Motorcycle accidents are different from other vehicle accidents. As an avid motorcyclist, Chris Largey knows firsthand the dangers faced by bikers. Often times, car drivers are distracted by texting, eating or otherwise failing to maintain attention to the roadway while driving. As a result of the driver’s lack of attention while driving, motorcyclists and their passengers are placed in peril. Injuries suffered in a motorcycle are often catastrophic and disabling, and the financial impact is immediate and overwhelming.
At Largey Law, our seasoned attorneys have experience handling cases stemming from motorcycle accidents. Chris Largey, our founder, is a lifelong rider and the proud owner of a 2003 Harley-Davidson Heritage Softail Springer. As a rider, he is very familiar with the dangers faced by motorcyclists and their passengers. Additionally, he understands the importance of securing fair compensation in a timely manner to protect riders and their families from the devastating medical and financial consequences of a serious motorcycle injury. If you or someone you love has been involved in a motorbike crash, a Mount Dora motorcycle accident lawyer could assess the potential of your case and chart the best path forward.
Specific Motorcycle Riding Laws
The laws that apply to motorcycle accidents are different from the laws involving automobile accidents, and the injuries suffered by bikers are usually more serious and disabling, making the costs extensive. All accident cases hinge on the questions of negligence. When fighting for such a claim in court, negligence often depends on whether any specific laws were broken by the accused party. In Florida, motorcycle laws require:
- The wearing of eye protection
- The daytime use of a headlight, under Florida Statute 316.405
- Certain exhaust noise restrictions based on the age of the vehicle
- Prohibition of the motorcycle overtaking and passing a vehicle in the same lane
- Motorcycle insurance
Our knowledgeable attorneys in Mount Dora can analyze your case and advise you whether any laws were violated in the motorcycle accident in question.
Common Injuries Caused by Motorcycle Accidents
Because a biker’s body is exposed, even a minor accident can result in a very serious injury. The common motorcycle injuries we’ve seen in our practice include:
- Bone fractures — When a bike falls over, the impact on the rider’s leg can fracture the femur, tibia or fibula. If the biker tries to brace himself, he can fracture a wrist or forearm. Broken ribs and clavicles are also common. Severe breaks require surgery to set.
- Road rash — If a rider is not wearing protective clothing, the friction between the road surface and the rider’s skin can cause deep abrasions known as road rash. A third-degree road rash can burn off the skin completely, exposing layers of fat and muscle. Emergency medical attention is needed to repair the injury and prevent a devastating infection.
- Concussion and traumatic brain injury — Although a helmet affords significant protection, reducing the chance of death from a head injury by 29 to 35 percent, a rider whose head hits the hard surface of the street can sustain a serious concussion or TBI.
- Spinal injury and paralysis — The violent torquing of the spine that occurs on impact can damage or sever the rider’s spinal cord, impairing function or leaving the rider completely paralyzed below the break point.
When you suffer a severe motorcycle injury due to someone’s negligence, you deserve the maximum level of compensation possible, and our Mount Dora lawyers intend to do that.
The Negative Impact of Weakening Motorcycle Helmet Laws
The National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, a division of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, recently published the results of a study on motorcycle safety. The study looked at nine measures society could take to enhance motorcycle safety, including rider training, rider licensing, alcohol impairment enforcement, and improving other drivers’ awareness of motorcycles. They concluded the only measure that was scientifically proven to be effective was passing state motorcycle helmet laws. This was the “only safety measure that costs little to initiate and reaches all riders.”
Helmet use reduces the likelihood of death in a motorcycle crash by 37 percent and reduces the chance of sustaining a debilitating traumatic brain injury. The only way to increase helmet usage is by enacting universal helmet laws. Unfortunately, the State of Florida has gone in the opposite direction.
The report performed a case study using Florida, which had repealed its universal helmet law in 2000, going with a partial mandate for riders under the age of 21 and riders with less than $10,000 in medical insurance. Comparing the 30 months before repeal with the 30 months after repeal, the study found:
- Deaths of riders of all ages increased 55 percent.
- Deaths among unhelmeted riders under the age of 21 increased 188 percent.
- Motorcycle crash-related hospitalizations rose more than 40 percent.
- The costs of treating head injuries from motorcycle crashes more than doubled, to $44 million.
Obviously, weakening motorcycle helmet laws have had negative consequences for riders and their families. At Largey Law, we urge you never to ride without an approved helmet.
What Are the Main Risk Factors for Motorcycle Riders?
Florida has seen a 15.2 percent increase in bike wrecks and a 7.6 percent increase in injuries resulting from motorcycle accidents in recent years. Motorcyclists must always remember that, in addition to the normal risks of motor vehicle accidents, they must be cognizant of specific motorcycle risks:
- Reduced stability —A vehicle with two wheels is, by its nature, less stable than a four-wheel vehicle, especially at high speeds, when braking, or making sudden turns.
- Low visibility — The size and speed of motorcycles makes them far easier to be missed by car drivers and to be obstructed from view.
- Poor protection — A motorcyclist does not enjoy the safety of any barrier between the road and his or her body. Motorcycles also lack seatbelts, airbags and other common safety devices.
- Specific hazards to motorcycles — Road hazards that might not affect a car can have a huge effect on a motorcycle. Such hazards include wet pavement and trash or any other road debris.
Recognizing these risks before hitting the road is key since it could help avoid accidents, as a knowledgeable attorney in Mount Dora could explain during a consultation.
Call a Mount Dora Motorcycle Accident Attorney to Seek Compensation or Advice
If you or someone you love is harmed in a motorcycle accident, time is not on your side. You must take measures to protect your rights to secure compensation promptly in the wake of such an incident. Thankfully, a Mount Dora motorcycle accident lawyer from our firm can help you do just that. Contact us online to arrange a free consultation in our office, at the hospital or in a location convenient to you. We will work around your specific scheduling needs. Se habla español.