Motorcycle Accidents In and Outside Florida
It seems that every day we hear reports of motorcyclist deaths in Florida; with only two wheels and zero exterior protection, they can yield severe injuries when it comes to auto accidents, and often even death. According to the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, as of 2006, approximately 72 out of 100,000 registered motorcycles ended up in fatal crashes, resulting in a fatality risk that is 35 times greater for motorcycles than cars. In 2014 alone, more than 4,500 people died in motorcycle crashes.
Motorcyclists are simply more vulnerable than people in cars while on the roads. They are less visible, unprotected, more exposed to the elements, lacking in seatbelts and airbags, more difficult to control, less stable, and often more prone to speeding. And in some states—including Florida—the helmet law does not apply to riders over the age of 21. This can make even one simple accident absolutely treacherous to a motorcycle rider. With more than 8 million motorcycles on the road, it is crucial that car and truck drivers be aware of what’s at risk when there are collisions between the two.
Like auto accidents, accident cases involving motorcycles will depend on any fault or blame assigned based on which driver was acting negligently. And when it comes to accidents involving motorcyclists, statistically speaking, it is more common for the car driver to be at fault, making risky or even illegal choices that result in an accident and an injured motorcyclist.
However, it is also important to note that Florida follows the theory of contributory negligence, which means that if the motorcyclist is partially at fault, the amount that they can recover is reduced by any contributory fault on their part.
That being said, fault sometimes also lies in third parties, for example, if the motorcycle itself was unsafe, or when it was last serviced, someone else was negligent in ensuring that it was safe for use on the road.
Florida requires that all motorcyclists be properly licensed and that anyone operating a two or three wheel motorcycle whose engine size is more than 50 cc have a motorcycle endorsement on their driver’s license (or hold a ‘Motorcycle Only’ license). Without these, even if you as a motorcyclist are involved in an accident that isn’t your fault, you can still be held strictly liable for violating state law requirements. New motorcyclists must pass the Basic RiderCourse before they can obtain the motorcycle endorsement.
Motorcycle Lawyers Who Care
If you have been in a motorcycle accident, consulting an experienced lawyer to ensure that you are protected is wise. At Friedland & Associates, we have extensive experience handling motorcycle accident claims. We are here to provide legal advice for motorcycle accident victims and their survivors.