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Motorcycles present a variety of risks to riders. Operating a motorcycle requires a unique combination of physical and mental skills.
Motorcyclists are extremely vulnerable to hazardous weather and reckless drivers. Injuries and deaths caused by motorcycle accidents can be devastating for motorists and their loved ones. These injuries may be life-altering.
When and why do motorcycle accidents happen?
Motorcycles are associated with high risks and elevated speeds. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, an estimated 82,000 motorcyclists were injured during 2018 alone. Motorcyclist fatalities occurred nearly 27 times more frequently than passenger car occupant fatalities in traffic crashes.
Although motorcycles are undeniably more dangerous than closed vehicles, there are some other contributing factors that seem to put motorcyclists in even more danger. Some studies indicate that motorcyclists more commonly engage in illegal vehicle operation. According to experts, 28% of motorcycle riders involved in fatal crashes in 2018 were riding without valid motorcycle licenses, which indicates that lack of proper training and instruction may have contributed to the high death rates. Additionally, motorcycle drivers involved in fatal crashes had a higher percentage of alcohol impairment than drivers of any other vehicle type. Specifically, nearly 39% of motorcycle riders who died in single-vehicle crashes in 2018 were alcohol-impaired.
Nationwide statistics indicate that lack of safety equipment also contributes to the high fatality rates of motorcyclists. In states without helmet laws, 57% of killed motorcyclists in 2018 were not wearing helmets at the moment of impact. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that helmets saved the lives of 1,872 motorcyclists in 2017; that number may have been higher if more motorcyclists had worn helmets. Motorcycle accidents are tragic, regardless of whether they cause a fatality or just serious injury. If you have been involved in a motorcycle accident in Miami, you should contact a lawyer who handles accident claims as soon as possible. An accident attorney may be able to help you gather evidence, assess your damages, and allocate liability accordingly.
Common injuries in motorcycle accidents
Due to the nature of motorcycles, motorcyclists tend to be more vulnerable on the roads than normal automobile drivers. Motorcyclists are exposed to the open air and road, which exponentially increases their risks of serious or fatal injuries.
Every motorcycle accident is different and, thus, yields different injuries. However, according to orthopedic experts, there are some common injuries frequently seen in motorcycle accident victims. These common motorcycle accident injuries include, but are not limited to, the following:
While riding a motorcycle, the rider’s legs are extremely exposed to the outside world. This constant exposure puts the delicate leg bones and muscles at an increased risk for injury. It is not uncommon for motorcyclists to sustain injuries to their lower extremities, including the knees, calves, ankles, and feet. Although many of these lower injuries are not fatal, they may cause long-term discomfort if left untreated.
Some activities increase the risk of road rash. Road rash is a colloquial term for a skin injury caused by contact with road surfaces, often as a consequence of cycling or motorcycling accidents. Skaters, runners, and skateboarders are also at a heightened risk for road rash. Unfortunately, most motorcycles do not have seat belt features, which may cause riders to fly over the handlebars during a crash. When riders hit the pavement, they often suffer from road rash and other skin injuries.
Similar to leg injuries, arm injuries are not uncommon in motorcycle crashes. Biker’s Arm is a condition that arises when a motorcyclist is thrown off their bike and reaches out to minimize the impact of the fall. This instinct to catch oneself may result in hand, wrist, or arm damage.
Muscle or Nerve Damage
Unfortunately, muscle damage can occur anywhere in your body. Depending on the type of impact, motorcyclists may sustain muscle injuries in many different places. If left untreated, muscle damage can result in permanent paralysis.
Head and Neck Trauma
Perhaps the most dangerous, head and neck trauma can cause life-altering disabilities. Injuries can range from concussions and fractures to brain-stem severance. Due to your neck and head’s sensitivity, it is critical that motorcyclists wear the appropriate safety gear when riding.
Motorcycle accident injuries can inflict serious hardship on a victim’s life. These injuries may cause severe discomfort, pain, and embarrassment. If you have been injured in a Miami motorcycle accident, it is imperative that you seek medical attention as soon as possible. Even if you feel fine, you may have internal injuries that can pose deadly consequences if left untreated. Due to the seriousness of motorcycle injuries, if you have been injured in an accident, it may be beneficial to reach out to a group of Miami motorcycle accident injury lawyers as soon as possible to potentially win some compensation for your losses.
Laws Affecting Miami Motorcyclists
Due to the high dangers associated with motorcycles, Florida has imposed some state-wide legislation intended to mitigate the effects of motorcycle accidents. These bike accidents can result in serious damages and injuries. Luckily, Miami motorcyclists can decrease their likelihood of injury by following their state’s rules and regulations. Some important laws include:
In Miami, riders under the age of 21 must wear a helmet. According to Section 316.211 of the 2020 Florida Statutes, a rider may choose to wear a helmet when operating a motorcycle only if the rider is over 21 years old and is covered by a substantial insurance policy. Similar state statutes also prohibit riders from wearing headsets while operating a motorcycle. Additionally, all riders are required to utilize eye protection while on the road.
Chapter 316 of the Florida Statutes also requires that bikes have brakes on the front and back wheels of the vehicle. In Miami, the handlebar’s height cannot be higher than the operator’s shoulders. Additionally, exhaust systems cannot be modified to be louder than the original design intended. A horn, mirrors, and headlights are also required in Miami.
In Miami, lane splitting is illegal, which means that the operator of a motorcycle may not overtake or pass in the same lane occupied by another vehicle. Riding between lanes is also prohibited.
Florida law also requires that riders retain a specific license to operate motorcycles within the state. A person may not operate a motorcycle unless he or she holds a driver’s license that authorizes and endorses such operation.
Just like other vehicles, Miami motorcycles must have the proper tags attached to the exterior of the bike. Every vehicle must be licensed in the name of the owner in accordance with the laws of the state.
Miami motorcyclists must adhere to statutes that regulate their vehicle’s operation. Motorcycle riders must follow a specific set of laws when operating their motorcycle. These additional laws are intended to protect motorcyclists from serious injuries. Unfortunately, even if you follow every prescribed motorcycle law, you may still be involved in a motorcycle accident. If you have been injured in one of these motorcycle crashes, it may be beneficial to contact a group of Miami motorcycle accident injury attorneys to evaluate your damages and assess your liability.
Can I bring a claim if I was involved in a miami motorcycle accident?
If you were involved in a Miami motorcycle accident, you may be able to seek legal compensation for your damages. Florida has a four-year statute of limitations for accident claims. Consequently, motorcycle accident victims only have four years to file a claim. If you fail to file a claim within this period, you may lose your right to file altogether.
Although Florida vehicles typically operate under a no-fault insurance system, motorcycles are an exception and must follow a different set of at-fault guidelines. Unlike regular drivers, motorcycle owners cannot purchase PIP policies, which may make it more difficult for motorcyclists or victims to recover benefits after a crash. Without these policies, culpable riders may be directly responsible for any resulting medical, property, and compensatory costs. Even though Florida does not require that riders carry a general motorcycle insurance policy, motorcyclists should still purchase one to avoid incurring major expenses in the case of an accident.
If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident, you may be able to seek legal compensation for your injuries. Motorcycle accidents can also result in significant property damage. Due to the high risks and damages associated with accident claims, it may be beneficial to contact an attorney to discuss your legal options.
GET HELP FROM ZINDA LAW GROUP
Motorcycle accidents can cause substantial physical damage. These accidents can result in serious bodily injuries and subsequent medical expenses. Miami motorcycle accident cases involve extensive legal analysis of local statutes and codes. If you or a loved one has been injured or sustained property damage in a Miami motorcycle accident, you should contact an attorney who handles accident claims as soon as possible. An injury attorney may be able to help you assess your damages and apply local laws to the facts of your claim.
At Zinda Law Group, we have the resources and experience necessary to help you pursue the highest compensation possible. Zinda Law Group may be able to provide you with personalized and quality consultation about your case. The sooner you contact our office, the better we may be able to serve you.
If you or a loved one was injured in a Miami motorcycle accident, call Zinda Law Group at (800) 863-5312 for a free consultation with one of our Miami lawyers. You don’t owe us anything unless we win your case. That’s our No Win, No Fee Guarantee.