Motorcycle Accident

For motorcyclists, a pleasure ride can quickly go wrong if a negligent motorist or another issue on the road causes them to crash. Due to their lighter weight and size as compared to other motor vehicles, there are many unique factors involved when a motorcycle is in a crash on the Tampa Bay roads. There is not only a heightened risk of severe injuries for motorcyclists, but there are also specific legal issues that apply to cases brought forth as the result of a motorcycle accident.

If you are involved in a motorcycle accident, you could be facing overwhelming medical bills and other expenses, and may be needing to miss work while you recover from your injuries. Our experienced motorcycle accident attorneys at Future Firm Law will help relieve some of the pressure you are feeling by getting the compensation you need to make a complete and full recovery and rebuild your life. Reach out to us for a full case review.

Motorcycle Accident Claims Are Complicated

Motorcycle accidents are not at all the same as accidents involving larger vehicles. That’s why it’s important that you work with a law firm that is experienced with handling cases specifically for motorcyclists. Some of the reasons why your legal claim after a motorcycle accident may be more complicated include:

  • Less visibility – Because motorcycles are so much smaller than motor vehicles, they can be hidden by other larger objects and are less visible. This can increase the likelihood that a motorist who is not paying attention or is engaged in distracted driving will not see the motorcycle before crashing into it.
  • More catastrophic injuries – Motorcyclists tend to sustain more serious injuries than those who are driving or riding in passenger cars, because they are completely exposed. When there is an accident, the motorcyclist is also likely to have much more costly medical bills. Insurance companies often try to deny large claims (or minimize them) for compensation for motorcycle accidents, in order to protect their bottom lines.
  • Negative stereotypes – Unfortunately, there are still some people who cling to negative, unfair stereotypes about motorcyclists. Those uninformed people believe that motorcyclists are taking unnecessary chances just by being on the roads. These biases can work against motorcyclists in courtrooms and with insurance claims.
  • Lack of motorcycle knowledge – Also, not everyone understands the many differences between driving a car and riding a motorcycle. If another driver has never ridden a motorcycle, or does not have any knowledge of how they operate, they may struggle to understand why motorcyclists react differently in certain situations than they do.

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Causes of Motorcycle Accidents

Because motorcycles are relatively small compared to other vehicles, being seen on the road is one of a motorcyclist’s biggest challenges. When Future Firm Law is investigating motorcycle accidents in the Tampa Bay region, they often hear drivers say that they never even saw the motorcycle before they hit it. These are some of the most common causes of motorcycle accidents and injuries in the state of Florida:

  • Lane change accidents – When a vehicle first changes lanes without checking their mirrors and then side-swipes a motorcycle in the adjacent lane, this can lead to a terrible accident.
  • Left-turn accidents – These accidents occur when the driver of another vehicle turns left in front of a motorcycle that is passing or approaching in the oncoming lane.
  • Head-on collisions – When the driver of a vehicle moves into the oncoming lane to pass and collides with a motorcycle coming from the other direction, the resulting crash can be devastating.

Besides visibility issues, motorcycle accidents can also occur because of the following reasons:

  • Driving while under the influence – Just as they do to other any other driver on the road, drivers who are under the influence of either drugs or alcohol pose a deadly threat to motorcyclists.
  • Distracted driving – Drivers aren’t just distracted by cell phones. They can also be paying less than full attention to the road because they’re changing a radio station, talking to other people in the car or engaged in a litany of other activities, all of which can result in an accident.
  • Driving while drowsy – Drivers who are tired and are in danger of falling asleep at the wheel have a slowed reaction time, and are less alert overall, which makes them much more likely to cause an accident.
  • Tailgating – Many drivers of “traditional” vehicles don’t understand that motorcycles are capable of stopping much more quickly and in less distance than their vehicles can. If a driver is tailgating a motorcycle, he or she may be unable to avoid an accident if the motorcyclist has to quickly stop.

A critical part of your case after a motorcycle accident is proving the cause. Future Firm Law will tirelessly work to gather all the evidence you need to build a successful claim.

Injuries Sustained in Motorcycle Accidents

It’s no surprise that motorcyclists are more likely to suffer severe injuries in an accident than motorists in other types of vehicles. Motorcycles are much lighter and smaller, and the motorcyclist is largely unprotected—at the most, wearing only a helmet and light protective gear. These somewhat help, but when there is nothing between a motorcyclist and the road itself, the injuries that can occur are devastating.

According to a study conducted by National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA,) most incapacitating and fatal injuries are sustained in a motorcycle accident when the point of impact is at the front of the motorcycle. The following are some of the more common injuries suffered by motorcycle riders:

  • Road rash – These very serious and painful skin abrasions occur when a rider makes contact with the road surface during a crash. The severity of this type of injury can range from mild to serious, and is highly susceptible to serious infections and permanent scarring. When it’s a serious road rash, it will require medical attention.
  • Lower-extremity injuries – A recent NHTSA study revealed that these types of injuries are sustained more frequently than any other injury in motorcycle crashes. The most common type of lower-extremity injury was listed as leg injuries, and bone fractures were reported more often than soft-tissue injuries.
  • Fractures – Motorcycles are usually only stable upright when the rider is holding them, so they often fall over in an accident. If a crash happens quickly, a rider’s leg can be trapped under the bike when it falls, and arms and wrists can be fractured as a rider tries to catch themselves to break a fall.
  • Internal injuries – Internal bleeding and damage to internal organs can be caused by penetration trauma (when something sharp, such as debris or broken glass, penetrates the skin) or blunt-force trauma (a blow from something hard that doesn’t break the skin.) A fall from a motorcycle during an accident could easily cause these injuries.
    Spinal cord injuries – When the spinal cord is injured during the impact of a collision, it can result in paralysis (paraplegia or quadriplegia.) This type of catastrophic injury can unfortunately result in permanent disability for the motorcyclist.
  • Traumatic brain injuries – In a study conducted by the NHTSA on 104,472 motorcyclists injured in traffic crashes, 15% of those who were wearing helmets and 21% of those riders who were not wearing helmets suffered a traumatic brain injury. Traumatic brain injury was listed as the cause of death for the 54% of the riders in this group who did not survive.