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What Causes Motorcycle Accidents in Florida?

Oldham & Smith Oct. 30, 2017

In many parts of the country, motorcycle crashes are not nearly as commonplace between mid-autumn and mid-spring, because it is too cold to ride and there are fewer bikers on the road. But here in the Sunshine State, it is almost always motorcycle accident season.

While they are certainly unintentional, at least for the most part, most of these incidents are not “accidental” as all, since that term implies that the crash was unavoidable. In fact, early 20th-century factory owners were some of the first people to use this term in this context, since labeling a workplace injury an “industrial accident” shifted blame away from dangerous factory conditions and onto the victims themselves.

Why Crashes Occur

According to the exhaustive Hurt Report, about a third of motorcycle-vehicle collisions occur when the motorist makes a left turn against traffic and crosses directly into the path of an oncoming motorcycle. Indeed, most riders who have gone down in the past may have heard the tortfeasor (negligent driver) say something like “She came out of nowhere” or “I never even saw him.”

Moreover, the recent uptick in distracted driving has been especially dangerous for motorcyclists. While it is not an excuse for negligence, many motorists have a hard time seeing the large pickup trucks and sport utility vehicles that dominate so many Florida roadways. Riders can do some things to improve their visibility, like weave slightly inside their lanes and wear brightly-colored helmets, but there is very little evidence that these tricks actually work.

Motorcycle Crash Injuries

Largely because trucks and cars are usually traveling at almost top speed during visibility-related crashes, motorcycle riders are twenty-six times more likely to die in roadway collisions that vehicle occupants. Some common injuries include:

  • Head Injuries: While helmets offer some protection against fractures and abrasions, they do nothing to prevent the jarring motion that occurs in nearly all these crashes. When a rider is thrown off a bike at high speed, the effect on the brain is much like shaking an egg and scrambling the yoke.

  • Exsanguination: Blood loss, from both external and internal trauma wounds, is often the most deadly injury in motorcycle crash cases.

  • Broken Bones: If the rider is thrown and hits the ground hard — as is often the case — the broken bones usually require pins, screws, or plates to set. Because of the aggressive surgery, victims must often endure extensive physical therapy to regain use of the limb.

In Florida, motorcycle crashes are usually exempt from the no-fault law, so victims are automatically entitled to compensation for both medical bills and other economic losses as well as emotional distress and other noneconomic losses.

Count on Experienced Attorneys

Motorcycle crashes nearly always cause very serious injuries. For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer in Orlando, contact Oldham & Smith. We do not charge upfront legal fees in negligence cases.