Unfortunately, an accident can occur no matter how cautious individuals are when operating their motor vehicles, bikes, and motorcycles. Still, there are various reasons why motorcycle accidents happen. Some of the more common reasons include driver distraction, hazardous road conditions, and low visibility. Even in such conditions, all motor vehicle operators have an obligation and responsibility to keep a watchful eye out for motorcyclists, in the same way state and local governments have an obligation to ensure road conditions are as safe as possible for everyone traveling area roadways.
Attorney David Fuchs focuses his practice on helping victims of auto accidents, and with more than 30 years of legal experience, he knows that having an experienced attorney on your side can make the difference in a motorcycle accident case. To see the difference that a veteran attorney can make, check out some of our previous results and settlements.
Ready to schedule a free consultation? To talk directly with a Fort Lauderdale motorcycle accident lawyer, call David I. Fuchs, Injury & Accident Lawyer, P.A. or use the online form to schedule a free consultation for your motorcycle accident case.
Common Motorcycle Crash Injuries
Since riders are almost completely exposed to danger in these cases, motorcycle riders are twenty-eight times more likely to die in collisions than victims in enclosed four-wheel vehicles. Some of the most common injuries after a motorcycle accident include:
- Head Injuries: Contrary to the popular myth, the brain does not fit snugly inside the skull. Instead, the skull is basically a cistern which suspends the brain in cerebrospinal fluid. When tortfeasors (negligent drivers) force riders off their bikes, their brains repeatedly slam against the inside of their skulls.
- Exsanguination: Blood loss, mostly from internal injuries, is often the official cause of death in these situations. Frequently, by the time emergency responders arrive, motorcycle crash victims are already on the brink of hypovolemic shock.
- Broken Bones: These injuries are normally not life-threatening, but they are almost always extremely serious. Motorcycle crash victims usually sustain crushed bones. Doctors must use metal parts to set them, and physical therapists spend months working with victims after the metal comes out.
Full compensation is usually available for these and other common motorcycle crash injuries, even if the victim had a pre-existing condition. A Fort Lauderdale personal injury attorney must simply prove that the crash aggravated the pre-existing condition, and not the other way around. This doctrine is called the eggshell skull rule.
Whatever injuries you are currently suffering from, call a dedicated motorbike injury lawyer in Fort Lauderdale right away. Attorney Fuchs will be with you every step of the way during your motorcycle injury claim. He will handle the insurance process with any relevant companies so that you do not have to worry about fielding phone calls and letters. If your insurance claim is approved, he will work hard to negotiate the best possible settlement for your case. If your claim is denied or negotiations breakdown, then he will represent you in motorcycle accident litigation.
Common Causes of Motorcycle Crashes in Fort Lauderdale
When you incur injuries in a crash, you should hire a motorcycle injury attorney as soon as you can. Your Fort Lauderdale personal injury lawyer will conduct an independent and in-depth investigation into what happened. Gathering your own evidence of the other rider or driver’s fault is important, because motorcyclists often get blamed for accidents and their injuries. You may have to argue against a vehicle driver and insurance companies that say you were responsible for the crash.
Motorcycle accident investigations have found that some of the most common causes of wrecks include:
- Careless driving
- Reckless or erratic driving
- Distracted driving
- Failure to stay in the proper lane/swerving
- Failure to yield to the right of way
- Failure to obey traffic signals and signs
- Inexperienced and teen drivers
- Following a motorcycle too close
- Turning in front of a motorcycle
- Intoxicated driving
What to Do After a Motorcycle Crash in Fort Lauderdale
When you were involved in a local motorbike accident, you should do the following:
Call the Police
Whether or not a crash is serious, and whether or not you seem to have suffered any injuries, you need to report the accident. Call 911, the Fort Lauderdale Police Department, or Broward County Sheriff to have an officer come to the scene and make a report.
Seek Medical Attention
Being brave after a motorcycle wreck does not mean making poor decisions for your health and well-being. Do not try to be tough and walk it off. You should see a doctor as soon as possible. If you do not go to the emergency room right away, see your doctor shortly after the crash. You should have a full examination to rule out hidden injuries, such as a concussion or internal bleeding.
Document the Crash Scene
If you can after the accident, document it as best you can. Take photos and videos of the damage to the vehicles and surrounding property. If you are unable to do so, ask a family member, friend, or witness to take photos for you and send them to you right away.
Exchange Insurance Information
When you can talk with the other rider or driver, exchange names, contact information, and insurance information. If you are unable to do this because you are severely injured, you should be able to obtain most of this information from the police report.
Call a Skilled Lawyer
When you have been hurt while riding your motorcycle, and you believe another rider or driver is at fault, you want an experienced attorney to help you. David Fuchs will investigate the crash, gather evidence on your behalf, handle the insurance claim process, and fight hard for you to receive the compensation you deserve.
Filing a Lawsuit After a Motorcycle Accident in Fort Lauderdale
The typical motorcycle crash claim involves a failure to maintain a proper lookout. The aforementioned left turn motorcycle crash is a good example. Drivers think they see a gap in traffic as they wait to make unprotected left turns, but they do not see an approaching motorcycle. As a result, they turn directly into the rider’s path.
These types of crashes sometimes involve the last clear chance defense, which is discussed in detail below.
Failure to maintain a proper lookout is a violation of the motor vehicle law. So, in some cases, the negligence per se doctrine might apply. That’s assuming first responders gave the driver a ticket, which does not always happen. Furthermore, in Florida, non-penal safety law violations are only a presumption of negligence.
Frequently, therefore, motorcycle crash claims involve ordinary negligence, which is a lack of care. Most drivers have a duty of reasonable care. This means that they have to actively avoid getting into an accident (when possible), obey traffic laws, and practicing defensive driving. If they fail to meet any of these standards, and that failure causes injury, the tortfeasor could be liable for damages.
Commercial drivers, including Uber drivers, usually have a higher standard of care. So, it is easier to establish negligence in these cases. Furthermore, if a commercial driver caused a crash, the employer might be financially responsible for damages, under the respondeat superior (let the master answer) rule. Third party liability could also apply in alcohol-involved crashes. Restaurants, bars, and other commercial providers are often liable for wrecks in these situations.
The Statute of Limitations to File a Motorcycle Accident Claim
There is a statute of limitations (or time limit) established for filing a lawsuit for personal injuries. Under state law, the time limit for filing is four years from the date of the accident. Injured individuals should be aware, though, that the longer they wait to file after a motorcycle crash, the harder it will become to obtain the just compensation they need and deserve.
What Compensation Can You Receive?
Through the insurance claim process or a personal injury lawsuit, a motorcycle accident attorney will fight for you to receive compensation for your:
- Costs of past, current, and future medical treatment
- Lost income and reduced earning potential
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
It is impossible to understand the full value of you motorcycle accident claim without speaking with an experienced lawyer. A wide range of issues could increase or decrease the value of your damages. In general, the more significant your injuries, the greater the value of your claim. The less serious your injuries, and if you are found to be partly at fault, the less compensation you may receive. For insight into the potential value of your motorcycle accident damages, contact an attorney right away.
Do You Need a Lawyer After a Motorcycle Accident?
We realize that it is all too easy to assume that you can handle your case on your own and resolve the matter simply by seeking a payoff from the insurance company of the at-fault party. However, all accident victims are encouraged to seek knowledgeable legal guidance prior to speaking to the other party’s insurance company to resolve their claims. Our motorcycle accident attorneys are quite familiar with the tactics used by insurers, and we fully realize that in certain instances, a settlement may not be the best decision for the injured individual.
Some Insurance Company Defenses
The last clear chance defense, which is an offshoot of contributory negligence, often comes up in lack-of-visibility collisions. Let’s stay with the left turn crash and look at an example.
Assume George is waiting to turn left from northbound Main onto westbound Elm. George does not see Bill, who is riding southbound on Main. George turns directly into Bill’s path. He then strikes the passenger side of George’s car.
The insurance company could argue that Bill had the last clear chance to avoid the crash. But this complex doctrine usually does not apply in motorcycle crash cases. These wrecks usually happen so fast that the Bills of the world could not possibly avoid them.
Contributory negligence shifts part of the blame for the crash from the tortfeasor to the victim. But in almost all cases, contributory negligence only reduces the victim’s damages, at best. That’s because Florida is what is called a “pure comparative fault” state. This means that even if the victim was determined to be 99% responsible for the crash, the tortfeasor would be responsible for a 1% share of the damages awarded.
Were You Wearing a Helmet?
If you are a local motorcycle operator or rider, you should have a helmet. It is often the safest way to ride, and in some cases, the law requires it. However, Florida has a significant exception to its helmet requirement. If you and your passenger are both over the age of 21, and you carry at least $10,000 in medical insurance, then you do not have to wear a helmet while riding a motorcycle.
If you were injured in a motorcycle accident and you blame another driver, the issue of whether or not you were wearing a helmet will likely arise. Even if you were allowed by law to forgo a helmet, the other driver might claim you were negligent for not wearing one. They may use this fact to blame you for your injuries, and to decrease their liability.
If you are worried about being accused of negligence after a motorcycle accident, call hardworking Fort Lauderdale lawyer today.
Fatal Motorcycle Crashes
Attorney Fuchs also handles wrongful death cases arising from fatal motorcycle accidents. If you lost a parent, spouse, child, or family member whom you depended on, call him right away. The personal representative of your relative’s estate may have the right to file a wrongful death lawsuit, and he can represent them in that process. A Fort Lauderdale lawyer will fight hard for you and other surviving family members to receive appropriate compensation for your financial losses, grief, and emotional distress after a fatal motorcycle wreck.
Our Fort Lauderdale Motorcycle Accident Attorneys Can Help
If you were injured or lost a loved one in a motorcycle accident, please do not hesitate to contact David I. Fuchs, Injury & Accident Lawyer, P.A.. Attorney David Fuchs is an experienced personal injury attorney, and he routinely handles motorcycle accident claims. He will guide you through this process and make sure you understand your rights and options every step of the way.
To schedule a free, initial consultation with a Fort Lauderdale Motorcycle Accident, contact us online today.
If you cannot come to the Fort Lauderdale office, then attorney David I. Fuchs will send a representative to see you.
Attorney David Fuchs Will Handle the Stress of Your Motorcycle Accident Claim
When there is proof that another party was careless or reckless while behind the wheel, attorney David Fuchs will use this information to pursue an insurance settlement or court ruling in your favor. He will fight hard for you to obtain the motorcycle injury compensation you deserve.