Ocala Motorcycle Accident Attorneys
Motorcycle Accident Injury Attorneys in Ocala, Florida
Many people ride motorcycles in North Florida for both transportation and recreation. While there are many benefits to riding a motorcycle, it can also put you at great risk of injury should a crash occur. Statistics indicate that about 92,000 motorcyclists are injured in traffic accidents on an annual basis in the United States. Injuries from motorcycle accidents can be particularly serious and victims tend to incur thousands or even millions of dollars in losses.
Fortunately for many motorcycle crash victims, the law gives you the right to seek compensation for your losses under certain circumstances. Compensation may come from an insurance company payout or a personal injury settlement or award. Either way, obtaining the compensation you deserve to cover your losses can be complicated and it is critical to have an experienced Ocala motorcycle accident attorney standing up for your rights.
Motorcyclists Can Sustain Severe Injuries
One reason why motorcycle accident cases can be so complex is that motorcyclists often sustain devastating injuries in crashes. Compared to motorists in cars or trucks, motorcyclists have few protections from an impact if a car hits them or if they hit the ground. Their bodies are exposed to the trauma of an impact and a wide variety of injuries can result from a single incident. Even if a motorcyclist is wearing a helmet – which many choose not to do – helmets do not always completely protect riders from head trauma, especially in particularly serious collisions.
Examples of common injuries at issue in motorcycle accident cases include:
After an Ocala motorcycle crash, many motorcyclists will need immediate medical treatment, which can include emergency trauma care, time spent in the intensive care unit and hospital, surgical procedures, rehabilitative therapy, home health care, medical equipment, medications, and much more.
In some situations, motorcycle accidents will leave victims facing long-lasting impairments with their physical or cognitive abilities. For example, a spinal cord injury can leave you paralyzed and unable to walk, work, or even care for yourself for the rest of your life. In such a situation, proving the extent of your life-long estimated losses can be extremely complicated and challenging. You need a law firm representing you with experience handling cases involving catastrophic injuries and extensive losses.
Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
Riding motorcycles can be fun for many people, but there’s no denying the possible dangers involved. Occupants in passenger vehicles have seatbelts, airbags, windshields, and other safety features to protect them in the event of an accident. Motorcyclists have nothing. Even in a seemingly minor crash, they can end up with bruises, road rash, broken bones, and other injuries. If you were injured in a motorcycle crash, get the compensation you deserve by filing a claim with an Ocala common causes of motorcycle accidents attorney.
What Causes Motorcycle Accidents?
Motorcycle crashes can be caused by a variety of factors, including the following:
- Driving under the influence. This is a major cause of motorcycle accidents. When a motorcyclist or other motorist is intoxicated, they suffer from impaired judgment. Their reaction time also slows down, making crashes more likely.
- Speeding and reckless driving. Motorcycles are known for speeding, but other vehicles go too fast as well. Some tailgate or weave in and out of traffic. Others may run stop signs and red lights. These actions can cause serious accidents and injuries.
- Distracted driving. Not everyone pays attention while driving. While it’s hard for a motorcycle rider to multitask while driving, many drivers of passenger vehicles seem to have no problem texting, eating, reading, tending to pets and children, or changing radio stations while driving. Anything that causes a driver to take their hands off the wheel or their eyes off the road can be a distraction—and possibly a deadly one.
- Unsafe lane changes. Many motorists change lanes abruptly, and not all drivers look out for motorcycles, as they are much smaller than other vehicles. This can lead to serious accidents.
- Road conditions. Potholes and debris on the road are usually not issues for passenger vehicles. However, for motorcycles, such road conditions can lead to serious accidents. A rider can lose balance or control and get into a crash.
Motorcycle riders need to be proactive and focus on their safety. Here are some safety tips for motorcyclists:
- Wear the right gear. This includes a helmet, jacket, durable pants, and appropriate footwear.
- Avoid heavy traffic. It’s harder to ride in congested conditions. Try to avoid traffic if at all possible.
- Drive defensively. Stay away from motorists who are driving aggressively. Try to predict the moves of others.
- Avoid drinking and driving. You’ll be safer when you’re sober and not intoxicated.
- Stay focused on the road. Avoid texting or engaging in other distracting behaviors while riding a motorcycle.
- Be aware of the weather. Ice, rain, and snow can be dangerous for a motorcycle. Avoid these conditions if possible.
Your Rights After a Motorcycle Accident in Ocala
You can collect compensation after a motorcycle accident if the accident happened because another person or party acted in a negligent manner. In many instances, a motorcycle accident happens because another driver on the road was negligent and struck the motorcycle. Distracted driving, drunk driving, and violating traffic laws are all common examples of negligence by drivers that can lead to crashes. However, drivers are not the only parties that may be negligent and cause a motorcycle accident. Motorcycle manufacturers can produce and sell defective bikes or parts that cause a motorcyclist to lose control. In addition, the government can allow dangerous road conditions to exist that cause a bike to crash.
Once you identify the negligent parties who caused your accident, you have the right to seek compensation for your losses, which will vary depending on the nature and severity of your injuries. Our attorneys commonly seek damages for the following:
Florida Motorcycle Laws
Motorcycles can be fun to ride, but they can be dangerous. Not only can motorcyclists drive unsafely, but so can other drivers. Motorcycles are small and hard for other motorists to see, which means that motorcycle riders are prone to serious accidents. And with nothing to protect them—such as seatbelts, air bags, or windshields—the injuries can be catastrophic or even deadly. Even a seemingly minor accident can lead to road rash, broken bones, and head injuries. You need to ensure your legal rights are protected. Contact an Ocala motorcycle attorney as soon as possible to file a claim and recover compensation.
Laws for Gear and Equipment
Here are some laws you should know about to operate a motorcycle legally and safely in Florida:
- Helmets. All motorcycle riders under the age of 21 must wear a helmet while on a motorcycle. A rider over the age of 21 may choose not to wear a helmet only if they are covered by an insurance policy that provides a minimum of $10,000 in medical benefits in the event of an injury.
- Eye protection. A person on a motorcycle is required to wear an approved eye-protective device at all times.
- Handlebars. The height of the handlebar cannot be higher than the motorcycle rider’s shoulders.
- Brakes. Brakes are required on all wheels.
- Horn. All motorcycles are required to have a horn in good working order.
- Mirrors. Motorcycles are required to be equipped with a mirror that can reflect the view of a highway for a minimum of 200 feet to the rear of the motorcycle.
- Headlights. A motorcycle must have 1-2 headlights, which must be on at all times.
- Tail light. Each motorcycle must be equipped with a tail light mounted between 20 and 72 inches in height.
- Rear reflector. All motorcycles must have at least one red reflector on the rear.
- Stop lamp. One stop lamp is required on all motorcycles.
- Turn signals. Working turn signals are required.
Florida Traffic Laws
In Florida, the following traffic laws apply to motorcycles:
- Riders must have a motorcycle endorsement on their driver’s license that allows them to drive a motorcycle.
- Lane splitting is not allowed.
- Up to two motorcycles are allowed abreast in a single lane.
- Drag races and speed competitions are not allowed.
- Both wheels must be on the ground at all times.
- Both hands must be on the handlebars at all times.
- When hauling passengers, there must be seats for both the operator and the passenger.
- Footrests for the passenger are required.
Motorcycle Safety Tips
Motorcycle safety is very important. Thousands of motorcyclists are killed on roadways across the United States every year. While some of these fatalities are caused by inexperience and reckless driving by motorcycles, most of them are caused by other motorists. Motorists don’t always look for motorcyclists while driving on the road. Motorcycles are small and not always easy to see. Because of this, motorcycle riders need to know how to avoid accidents. Have you been involved in a motorcycle crash? If so, contact an Ocala motorcycle crash attorney and file a claim.
Tips for Motorcyclists
Motorcycle riders cannot expect motorists to look out for them. They need to be proactive and do their part to stay safe when riding on the road. Here are some good safety tips:
- Choose the right motorcycle. The bike you choose should be the right size and have the right amount of power based on your skill level. Riding a bike that is too big and too powerful can cause you to lose control, which can lead to crashes.
- Take a safety course. Even if you’ve ridden motorcycles extensively in the past, it never hurts to take a safety course. It will teach you the rules of the road and how to drive defensively so you stay safe while riding with larger vehicles.
- Perform inspections before every ride. Make sure your motorcycle is in good shape before riding. Do the brakes and headlights work? Do the tires have enough tread? How is the tire and oil pressure? How are your mirrors? Don’t ride your bike if anything looks unsafe.
- Check the weather. Ideally, you want to ride your motorcycle in sunny or clear conditions. Rain, ice, snow, and fog can make roads slippery and hinder visibility. Try to avoid riding in these conditions if possible.
- Wear appropriate gear. When you think of protective gear, a helmet may be the first thing that comes to mind, but that’s not all. A leather jacket, leather pants, gloves, and appropriate footwear can all keep you free of road rash and other injuries should you fall off your bike.
- Obey traffic laws. Always stop at red lights and stop signs. Avoid speeding and use turn signals to show other drivers your intentions.
- Watch for hazards. Stay alert. Look ahead and try to predict any issues, such as potholes, debris, reckless drivers, pedestrians in the road, or anything else that can lead to an accident.
We Can Help You Prove the True Extent of Your Losses Through Evidence and the Use of Experts.
How the Motorcycle Accident Attorneys at Meldon Law Can Help You
Led by Jeffrey Meldon since 1971, the law firm of Meldon Law is committed to representing the legal rights of motorcycle accident victims who suffered a wide range of injuries. If you have been a victim, we can assist you with the following and more:
- Evaluate your situation and advise you of your options and rights.
- Calculate the value of a potential claim.
- Review any insurance settlement offers, determine whether they are adequate, and negotiate for a higher offer if the initial one is too low.
- Use our cutting-edge tools and resources to investigate the circumstances of your accident to identify any and all negligent parties.
- File a claim for personal injury in civil court against negligent parties.
- Gather persuasive evidence to support your claims, including the use of our network of experts regarding accident reconstruction, medicine, economics, and engineering.
- Engage in aggressive negotiations with the adverse parties to try to reach a favorable settlement agreement.
- Represent you at trial if a fair settlement agreement cannot be reached.
- Navigate the legal process and keep you informed of any developments in your case.
Too many law firms accept every case that comes their way, which leads them to rush claims through the legal system and accept the first settlement offer on the table. At Meldon Law, we will never settle a case for less simply to close the matter. Instead, we dedicate every resource we have to ensure that your motorcycle accident claim will be handled the right way.
Our attorneys all have extensive litigation experience and can be tough negotiators when it is necessary to recover the amount you deserve. However, while we can be aggressive in protecting your rights, we believe in compassionate client service because we understand how significantly your injuries are affecting your life.
Contact Our Ocala Motorcycle Accident Attorneys Today
The motorcycle accident attorneys at Meldon Law have represented crash victims with broken bones all the way to catastrophic and life-changing injuries. We know that many injured individuals cannot travel, so we will come to you for your consultation if you cannot make it into our office. We are here to work with you every step of the way and to provide representation you can trust.
If you have been injured in or around Ocala, please call our office to learn more about our legal services today.