Who is at Fault in Most Motorcycle Accidents?

Most motorcycle accidents are a direct result of other drivers’ careless and reckless behavior. When drivers violate traffic laws, fail to observe the road, or engage in drunk driving, they significantly increase their chances of striking another vehicle, including a motorcycle. When motorcycle crashes happen at high speeds, they may cause permanent injuries and fatalities for cyclists.

If you recently suffered injuries in a motorcycle accident that a negligent driver caused, seek ongoing medical treatment for your injuries and experienced legal counsel to represent you during every stage of your motorcycle accident case.

A knowledgeable motorcycle accident lawyer can meet with you to discuss your accident circumstances, develop a plan for moving forward with your case, and file a claim seeking the monetary recovery you deserve. Your attorney can also answer your legal questions and help you make intelligent decisions throughout your case.

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How Do Motorcycle Crashes Happen?

Motorcycle accidents usually result from another driver’s carelessness or negligence. In some situations, these accidents happen when drivers willfully disregard traffic laws and road regulations. For example, a driver may speed excessively or fail to yield the right-of-way to a motorcyclist at a traffic intersection equipped with a stop sign, yield sign, or traffic signal. At other times, another driver might fail to signal a turn, negligently bringing about a collision with a motorcyclist.

Next, some motorcycle accidents result from road rage, where an angry driver tries to get ahead of a motorcycle. Aggressive driving maneuvers, like drivers tailgating motorcyclists, weaving in and out of heavy traffic, and cutting cyclists off in traffic, are the most likely to cause serious accidents.

Motorcycle accidents may also occur when drivers fail to use their rearview and side view mirrors while making turns and switching travel lanes. They might also forget to use their mirrors or backup cameras when backing out of parking spaces, negligently striking a motorcyclist behind them.

In addition, motorcycle accidents may happen when other drivers do not pay sufficient time and attention to the road. Instead of watching the road, a driver might be looking at their cell phone or other electronic devices, roughhousing with vehicle passengers, or programming a GPS navigation system.

Any of these activities may cause a driver to lose focus and concentration and may turn the driver’s eyes from the road and onto something in their vehicle. As a result, the distracted driver may not observe a cyclist in the vicinity, causing a severe crash.

Finally, some motorcycle accidents occur when drivers are legally intoxicated. A police officer can arrest a driver for DUI or driving under the influence if they have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of at least 0.08 percent. Commercial vehicle drivers and underage drivers, including individuals under 21, must follow stricter laws.

If a driver ultimately incurs a conviction for DUI, they can face criminal fines and penalties, including jail time. Moreover, if their negligence causes a motorcycle accident that leads to a cyclist’s injuries, they may have to pay civil damages through their motor vehicle insurance carrier.

If you or a person you love suffered injuries in a motorcycle crash resulting from another driver’s careless or reckless behavior, you may have legal options to consider.

A skilled motorcycle accident attorney in your area can help you decide on the best course of action for your case and pursue the monetary recovery you deserve from the appropriate insurance company. Your lawyer can also conduct all settlement negotiations with insurance company adjusters and work to secure a favorable result on your behalf.

Types of Motorcycle Accidents

When drivers behave in a careless and reckless manner, they may negligently cause their vehicle to strike a motorcycle in a severe accident. Some of the most common motorcycle accidents include rear-end collisions, broadside or T-bone accidents, sideswipe accidents, and head-on collisions.

A rear-end collision happens when the front of one vehicle hits the back of a motorcycle in front of them. In many cases, rear-end crashes happen when the rear driver fails to observe the road or speeds excessively.

In fact, if the rear driver is speeding, they may be unable to hit their brakes in time to avoid striking a motorcycle in front of them. The force of a rear-end collision may knock a cyclist off their bike and onto the ground, leading to debilitating injuries.

On the other hand, a broadside or T-bone accident happens when the front of one vehicle strikes the side of a motorcycle traveling on an intersecting roadway. These accidents commonly occur at intersections where the at-fault driver negligently runs a red light, yield sign, or stop sign, colliding with a motorcycle in the middle of the intersection.

Sometimes, the force of a T-bone motorcycle accident is enough to cause the motorcycle to flip over, often bringing about permanent and sometimes fatal injuries.

A sideswipe motorcycle crash happens when the side of a car or truck brushes up against the side of a motorcycle, sometimes pushing the motorcycle out of its travel lane and onto the road shoulder or entirely off the road. These accidents frequently happen in multi-lane highway traffic, where the at-fault driver fails to watch the road attentively and negligently drifts over into an adjacent lane of travel.

Finally, some motorcycle accidents are head-on collisions. These accidents happen when the front of a motor vehicle hits the front of a motorcycle in an opposing travel lane. Sometimes, these accidents occur when intoxicated or distracted drivers cross a concrete median strip or double line, striking a motorcycle head-on and bringing about serious injuries or fatalities.

If you sustained injuries in one of these motorcycle crashes that resulted from another driver’s negligence, you should get the legal help that you need right away.

A skilled motorcycle accident attorney can help you file your claim and negotiate with insurance adjusters in an efficient manner. Your lawyer will make sure that you recover monetary compensation that fully compensates you for your accident-related losses.

Common Motorcycle Crash Injuries That Accident Victims Suffer

When compared with drivers and passengers in enclosed vehicles, motorcyclists are at a significant disadvantage. Unlike the occupants of cars and trucks, motorcyclists and bicyclists do not have an outer metal shell that surrounds them during a severe traffic accident. Instead, if they become involved in a serious accident, it is highly likely that they will fall to the ground and injure themselves severely.

Even when motorcyclists and bicyclists wear a helmet while riding, their helmets may crack if the force of a collision is severe enough.

Some of the most common injuries that result from motorcycle accidents include:

  • Traumatic head and brain injuries
  • Road rash injuries
  • Soft tissue contusions
  • Broken bones
  • Rib fractures
  • Internal bleeding
  • Internal organ damage
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Full or partial paralysis
  • Scarring and other types of disfigurement

If you suffered one or more of these injuries in a recent motorcycle crash, you may recover monetary compensation for those injuries. The nature and extent of a motorcyclist’s injuries frequently depend upon the severity of the accident itself, the speeds of the involved vehicles, and whether or not the cyclist was wearing a helmet and other protective gear.

In many situations, accident victims will need to undergo a thorough treatment regimen, which may include hospitalization, consultations with primary care doctors, ongoing physical therapy, and various medical procedures, including surgeries or injections.

If a medical provider establishes a treatment regimen for you, you should follow through with all of the necessary medical care, increasing your chances of making a full recovery from your injuries.

A car accident attorney in your area can help you take the necessary legal steps in your case while you focus on treating all of your accident-related injuries.

Motorcycle Accident Claims in No-Fault States

Some states have no-fault auto insurance laws that complicate accident claims. For example, when car accidents happen in Florida, the no-fault insurance claim system applies. When a car accident victim suffers injuries, they must first turn to their Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance coverage for monetary compensation, up to a maximum of $10,000. PIP insurance coverage, which is no-fault insurance, will pay for an accident victim’s medical expenses and lost earnings.

However, PIP insurance does not apply to motorcycles in Florida. Instead, a motorcycle accident victim can file a personal injury claim or lawsuit with the at-fault driver’s insurance company if they suffer a permanent injury or disability in their accident.

As part of a third-party claim, the motorcycle accident victim can recover additional monetary damages, including compensation for their intangible losses, like inconvenience, pain, and suffering.

Motorcycle Accident Claims in Fault-Based States

Unlike Florida, most states are fault-based regarding motorcycle accidents and other motor vehicle crashes. Therefore, in most cases, a motorcycle accident victim must turn directly to the at-fault driver’s insurance company to recover monetary damages for their injuries.

As part of a third-party claim or lawsuit, the motorcycle accident victim has the sole legal burden of proof. Consequently, they must establish several legal elements to recover monetary compensation and damages for their losses.

First, the motorcycle crash victim must establish that the other driver owed them a legal duty of care, which that other driver violated. For example, the other driver might have engaged in distracted or intoxicated driving, or they might have exhibited road rage, thereby causing the subject motorcycle crash.

Next, the motorcycle accident victim must establish that their accident was a direct and foreseeable result of the other driver’s negligence. Finally, to recover third-party damages, the accident victim must demonstrate that a causal relationship exists between the motorcycle accident and all of their claimed injuries.

To establish this medical causation, the accident victim’s lawyer can retain a medical expert, such as a treating doctor, to draft a report and testify in the case. That doctor can establish the necessary causal relationship between the motorcycle crash and the claimed injuries and establish that one or more injuries are permanent.

A permanent injury will affect the accident victim for the rest of their life and cause ongoing pain and suffering.

Potential Monetary Damages in Third-party Motorcycle Crash Claims

As part of a third-party motorcycle accident claim or lawsuit, an accident victim may receive various monetary damages. The monetary compensation that accident victims may recover will usually depend upon the specific circumstances surrounding the motorcycle crash, the number of vehicles involved, the speeds of the involved vehicles, the force of the collision, and whether or not the accident victim fell off their motorcycle. Other potential factors include the nature and extent of the accident victim’s injuries, as well as the cost of the medical treatment that the accident victim underwent.

Potential monetary damages in a third-party motorcycle accident claim include compensation for:

  • Medical expenses, both past and future
  • Lost earnings, both past and future
  • Loss of earning capacity
  • Mental distress
  • Emotional anguish
  • Pain and suffering
  • Inconvenience
  • Loss of use of a body part
  • Loss of life enjoyment
  • Loss of spousal companionship
  • Permanent disfigurement or disability
  • Lifetime care costs
Tatiana Boohoff, Lawyer for Motorcycle Accident cases near Tampa area.
Tatiana Boohoff, Motorcycle Accident Attorney in Tampa.

Call a Motorcycle Accident Attorney Near You Today

If you recently suffered injuries in a motorcycle crash, you should have knowledgeable legal counsel by your side every step of the way. Waiting too long to seek an experienced personal injury attorney in Tampa to represent you can be a serious mistake. In fact, if you wait too long, you might inadvertently waive your right to recover monetary compensation and damages for your accident-related injuries.

A skilled attorney can enter an appearance on your behalf right away and begin pursuing a claim with the appropriate insurance company. Your lawyer can then negotiate with insurance company representatives or, if necessary, litigate your case in court to maximize the overall monetary award you receive for your accident-related losses.

Request A Free Consultation Today!


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Phone: 813-725-5606

July 3, 2023
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