A Motorcycle Accident Law Firm in Florida that Understands the Obstacles Riders Face
Florida has among the highest number of motorcycle deaths in the nation
While motorcycle accidents that result in catastrophic injuries or death are down, the fact remains that motorcycle riders are among the most vulnerable to the worst injuries. And when they do sustain injuries, they face not only high medical bills but a certain amount of hostility.
Despite the fact that more and more people are turning to bikes as a less expensive alternative to passenger cars and that the average rider is now middle-aged, there is still a stereotype of the biker as reckless — and as more likely to be the cause of an accident than the victim. At Baker & Baker, an AV® rated personal injury law firm in Pensacola, our motorcycle accident lawyers see to it that insurance companies don’t use that stereotype against you — particularly if your case goes to trial, where the insurer’s attorneys will try to play to the jury.
In part because of Florida and Southern Alabama’s climate, we have among the highest number of motorcyclists in the country. And even if the heat kept you from wearing full protective gear, you are still entitled to recover damages for injuries caused by another driver’s negligence. As your motorcycle accident lawyers in Pensacola, we work hard to make sure that you do.
When the worst happens, we also work with a motorcyclist’s surviving family members. We help them get financial compensation for the wrongful death of their loved one.
Causes of motorcycle accidents
When the driver of a passenger vehicle, SUV or truck is negligent, it is the motorcycle rider who will sustain the greatest injury. Federal statistics show that a motorcyclist is 35 times as likely to die in an accident than someone in a car. Common causes of motorcycle accidents include:
- Cars making left turns. This accounts for 42 percent of all accidents between passenger cars (or other motor vehicles) and motorcycles. Often, the driver of the car simply doesn’t see the motorcycle or misjudged its speed.
- Road hazards. Debris in the road, uneven pavement, gravel and expansion joints can be a real threat to the safety of a rider. If it can be proved that state or local authorities failed to maintain roads properly and safely, you may be able to file a claim against them.
- Speeding. It’s a major cause of many types of motor vehicle accidents, but especially dangerous for bikers.
- Lane-splitting. Lane-splitting is illegal in Florida and Alabama. Rules of the road for motorcyclists are spelled out in Section 316.209 of the Florida Statutes, titled Operating motorcycles on roadways laned for traffic:
- All motorcycles are entitled to full use of a lane and no motor vehicle shall be driven in such manner as to deprive any motorcycle of the full use of a lane. This subsection shall not apply to motorcycles operated two abreast in a single lane.
- The operator of a motorcycle shall not overtake and pass in the same lane occupied by the vehicle being overtaken.
- No person shall operate a motorcycle between lanes of traffic or between adjacent lines or rows of vehicles.
- Motorcycles shall not be operated more than two abreast in a single lane.
Comparative and contributory negligence in motorcycle accidents
One tactic the lawyers for the insurance companies may use to lower your compensation is to try to prove comparative negligence. This means that if you were partially responsible for your accident, the value of your compensation will be reduced according to your degree of fault.
Alabama, however, is one of the few states in which contributory negligence is the law. In Alabama, unless the other party is 100 percent at fault, you are barred from claiming any damages, regardless of the severity of your injury.
As your motorcycle accident lawyers, we will fight to ensure that your rights are protected and that you receive full and fair compensation for your injuries.
Contact our AV® rated motorcycle accident attorneys in Pensacola today
At Baker and Baker, PLLC, the consultation is free, and you owe nothing for attorney fees unless we win your case. To schedule a time to discuss your case, please contact us online or call us at 850-316-8247.