Gainesville Motorcycle Accident Attorneys
Motorcycle Crash Injury Attorneys in Gainesville Florida
Riding a motorcycle is a fun and convenient way to get around North Florida, especially in Gainesville. However, every motorcyclist should be aware of the risks of accidents and injuries while riding. No matter how careful you may be while operating your motorcycle, you cannot control the acts of drivers or the environmental conditions around you and accidents can occur. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), an estimated 92,000 motorcyclists sustained injuries in crashes in a single year in the U.S., while another 4,586 did not survive the crash.
Motorcyclists injured in accidents have the same legal rights as people injured in other types of motor vehicle accidents. They have the right to seek compensation for their losses through either insurance claims or personal injury claims in court. If you would like to discuss your options after a motorcycle accident, contact our skilled Gainesville motorcycle accident attorneys at Meldon Law for help today.
Motorcycle Accident Can Cause Devastating Injuries
The losses that a motorcycle accident victim can incur are often extensive due to the severe injuries that can result from these accidents. Unlike motorists in cars or trucks, motorcyclists do not have metal frames, bumpers, seatbelts, airbags, and other components to protect them in the event of a collision. Instead, motorcyclists generally have little more than a helmet (if they are wearing one) and the clothes on their backs to protect them from an impact. It should be no surprise that these crashes can leave motorcyclists with catastrophic injuries.
Some of the common serious injuries motorcyclists sustain include:
The above injuries all require emergency medical attention and often need extensive treatment including surgeries, hospitalization, rehabilitation, and more.
Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents in Gainesville
Motorcycling is very popular in Gainesville, but bikers must remain ever-vigilant when they are on the road. Motorcyclists are not afforded the same type of protection as other motorists, such as a sturdy metal frame or airbags. The vast majority of bikers in the city operate their vehicle in a safe manner, but accidents are still common. Below our attorney explains the most common causes of motorcycle accidents in Gainesville.
Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents #1: Left Turns
Nearly half of all motorcycle accidents are caused by left turns. These crashes occur when a motorcyclist is traveling straight through an intersection and a driver of a larger vehicle is making a left turn. The driver may look to ensure other large vehicles are not approaching the intersection, but fail to see the motorcyclist due to their smaller size.
Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents #2: Improper Lane Changes
Motorcycles are considerably smaller than other vehicles on the road, making them more difficult for motorists to see. When drivers do not properly check their blind spots when changing lanes or merging, they can easily strike a biker that is in their blind spot.
Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents #3: Road Hazards
Road hazards can cause any type of accident on the roads, but obstacles such as potholes or broken asphalt are particularly dangerous for motorcyclists. Motorcycles are much less stable than other vehicles and when they come across a road hazard they cannot avoid, it can result in a major accident.
Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents #4: Distracted Drivers
When a driver takes their eyes off of the road in front of them, even for just a few seconds, it can result in tragedy. Drivers that are looking down at their phone, at a nearby accident, or at passengers in the vehicle may not see a motorcyclist in their path until it is too late, and end up hitting them.
Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents #5: Impaired Driving
Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is not only extremely dangerous behavior, it is also very reckless. Impaired drivers have perception issues, delayed reaction times, and they do not typically exercise good judgment. Any one of these factors combined could result in a serious crash and combined, it is even more likely for an accident to occur.
Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents #6: Speeding
When a motorist speeds, they may not have enough time or distance to stop before they hit a motorcyclist. Speeding is not only one of the most common causes of motorcycle accidents, but it also increases the severity of the crash.
Florida Motorcycle Laws
Just as state law outlines certain rules of the road for drivers, it also stipulates certain laws motorcyclists must obey. It is critical that all bikers in The Sunshine State understand Florida motorcycle laws, as some of them do differ from what other motorists have to follow. If you are a biker and you do not follow the motorcycle laws of the state, there is a chance you could be found at fault for an accident. Our Lake City motorcycle accident attorney knows the laws that govern bikes in the state and can explain how they apply to your case.
Insurance Under Florida Motorcycle Laws
Under the motorcycle laws of the state, there are two types of insurance coverage that apply to motorcycles. All motorcyclists in Florida are required to carry liability insurance, which will cover them in the event that they are found at-fault for a crash. The minimum amounts outlined by state law are $20,000 in bodily injury, $30,000 for an entire accident, and $10,000 in property damage.
Not all motorcyclists in the state are required to carry medical insurance coverage, but some are. If you are over the age of 21 and decide to ride a motorcycle without a helmet, you must purchase at least $10,000 worth of this type of coverage. Any rider under the age of 21 must wear a helmet.
Headlights Under Florida Motorcycle Laws
All motorcycles in the state must be equipped with at least one headlight. Bikers must use the headlight any time they are on their motorcycle, including during daylight hours. If a biker does not use a headlight and is involved in a crash, the lack of a light can be used against them in a personal injury claim.
Structure of Bikes Under Florida Motorcycle Laws
All motorcycles must be equipped with certain parts under state law. Footrests, signals, headlights, stop lamps, and a seat and a saddle for the operator are all required under Florida law. Additionally, state law defines a motorcycle as any vehicle that has three wheels or less.
Endorsement Under Florida Motorcycle Laws
Motorcyclists are not required to carry a regular driver’s license under the motorcycle laws in Florida. However, all bikers must obtain an endorsement. To receive an endorsement, you will have to take a special motorcycle riding safety course.
Roadway Use Under Florida Motorcycle Laws
Although drivers do not always respect bikers, state law is very clear that motorcyclists have the same right to use the roadway just as drivers do. Bikers can use one full lane, and they can also share that lane with another biker if they choose. Lane splitting, which is when a motorcycle travels between lanes of stopped or slow-moving traffic, is not allowed. Lastly, all bikers must follow all other rules of the road, including complying with traffic signs and signals.
Motorcycle Safety Tips
Riding down the roads in Gainesville on a motorcycle is a thrilling experience. Unfortunately, riders are at great risk when they are on the roads. They do not have the same protection around them as other motorists, and the U.S. Department of Transportation has estimated that bikers are 28 times more likely to be involved in a fatal accident than those in cars.
The vast majority of bikers in Florida know the risks they face and so, they operate their bike in a very safe manner. Still, our Gainesville injury attorney has provided a refresher on motorcycle safety tips that will help ensure every trip is a good one.
Enroll in a Safety Course
Florida law mandates specialized training for motorcycles before you can legally ride one. It is still important that you take another safety course if you feel it is necessary, and that you continue to stay updated on safety practices.
Check Weather Conditions Before You Go
Motorcyclists are particularly vulnerable to the weather conditions when they are on a bike. The high winds and heavy rain that often affect Gainesville can make roads very slick, and make motorcycles even more unstable than they already are. All of this can spell catastrophe for bikers, so it is imperative that you always check the weather conditions before you head out on your bike.
Wear the Appropriate Gear
Due to the fact that bikers are so exposed to the elements, it is important to wear the appropriate gear any time you are on your bike. While the law does not require you to wear a helmet if you are over the age of 21, it is a vital piece of protection that will help prevent traumatic brain injuries and more. Goggles, leather pants or chaps, a leather jacket, books, and non-slip gloves are all common types of gear that will keep you safe while you are on your bike.
Inspect Your Bike Before Every Ride
Defective or improperly maintained bikes cause many accidents on the road. Inspect your bike before every ride, including the turn signals, headlights, taillights, brakes, oil, fuel, tire pressure, handlebars, and mirrors to ensure they are all working properly.
Obey Traffic Laws
Although it may seem obvious, it is critical that you follow all traffic laws while out on your bike. Speeding in particular, contributes to many motorcycle accidents so always make sure you follow the posted speed limit.
Stay Visible at All Times
The vast majority of motorcycle accidents occur because other drivers do not see bikers, so it is important to make yourself as visible as possible at all times. Stay out of the blind spots of other drivers, always use your turn signals, and wear clothing that is bright and reflective. Also make sure you always keep your headlight on while the bike is in use. Not only will this help others see you, but it is also the law in Florida.
Helping You Seek the Compensation You Deserve
Many motorcyclists face overwhelming medical bills and must miss work while they recover from their injuries, which can result in significant lost earnings. If you have incurred losses in a motorcycle accident, you should call for a free case evaluation as soon as possible. Our experienced motorcycle accident attorneys can identify whether your accident was caused by another person’s negligence and will work to hold any negligent parties liable for your losses. You can rely on our firm to always fight for the maximum possible compensation available in your particular case.
Contact the Experienced Gainesville Motorcycle Accident Attorneys at Meldon Law Today
At Meldon Law, we have protected the rights of motorcycle accident victims throughout North Florida, including Gainesville, Ocala, Inverness, Lake City, and more. Our firm puts everything we have into each case we take in order to best stand up for the rights of our clients. We have experience handling complex motorcycle accident cases and the resources to explore different options for your recovery. Contact Meldon Law at 800-373-8000 today if you have been involved in a serious motorcycle accident. We are in your community and here to help YOU. We take pride in our work and in the results we get for our clients.