Miami is a beautiful city that offers a lot to its residents. The weather is mostly sunny, the people are friendly, and there’s plenty to do. However, riding a motorcycle in Miami is challenging, as the traffic can be overwhelming. Many drivers also get distracted by their cell phones or other car passengers, so motorcyclists should be extra careful when riding their bikes in Miami.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) revealed that there were 5,579 deaths involving motorcycles across Florida in 2020. The number of deaths has increased since 2011, so more people are injured while riding their bikes.
Based on the crash fact sheet data, it’s not difficult to conclude that Miami is notoriously dangerous for motorcycles. However, it’s not only because of the city’s traffic but also because of its weather. The average annual rainfall is about 67 inches, so it’s no surprise that the streets are slick with water. This makes it harder to balance your motorcycle during an accident or collision.
Bumper-to-bumper traffic on the highway is also not safe for motorcycle drivers, as they risk being run over by other vehicles or sideswiped when trying to make it through traffic. Add in the fact that Florida has one of the country’s most serious motorcycle accidents per capita, and you’ve got the perfect recipe for disaster.
If you or a loved one were involved in a motorcycle accident in Miami, ask for help. The Personal Injury Center can assist you in navigating the legal system to receive fair compensation. Their Miami personal injury lawyers database will make it seamless for you to get the best legal representation. Call them today for a free case evaluation.
Most Common Injuries Due to Motorcycle Accidents
Motorcycles are one of the most dangerous vehicles on the road. They’re even more dangerous when you’re not wearing a helmet and other safety gear. A report by the NHTSA shows that motorcycle riders are 16% more likely to die in crashes than passengers in other vehicles. The fact sheet reports that 80% of motorcycle crashes result in death or serious injury and fatality (SIF).
Here are the most common motorcycle accident injuries:
This injury is when your skin is scraped off by friction with a rough surface like concrete or asphalt. This can happen when you fall off your bike and slide on the pavement. This can also occur if you ride down the highway and get doored by an opening car door.
Road rash can be intense and may take months to heal properly. It can also be excruciating and leave permanent scars if not correctly cared for. In most cases, road rash will heal on its own over time. However, you should seek medical attention immediately if you have any open cuts or wounds.
The best way to prevent road rash is always to wear protective gear, such as helmets and leather jackets. You should immediately clean the area with soap and water if you suffer from road rash. You should also see a doctor to ensure the area isn’t infected. Your doctor will likely prescribe antibiotics and pain medication to help speed up your recovery.
Injuries to the Back and Spinal Cord
Back injuries can be classified as either traumatic or nontraumatic. Traumatic back injuries are more severe and include fractures, dislocations, and ruptures. On the other hand, nontraumatic back injuries are caused by spinal cord compression, which can result in disc herniation and spinal stenosis.
The spine is a delicate structure; even minor trauma can cause serious spinal cord injuries. A common injury is called “whiplash,” which occurs when someone’s head snaps back and forth violently from an impact. This can tear muscles, ligaments, and other soft tissues in the neck and the upper back.
Another common injury is a “spinal fracture,” which happens when bones in the spine break due to trauma. These fractures can be caused by anything from a car accident to falling off a bicycle. This condition is characterized by swelling in the area around the spine. Apart from that, the victim could also feel intense pain that lasts for days or even weeks.
Injuries to the Head and Brain
The head and brain are commonly injured in motorcycle accidents because the brain is one of the largest organs in the body. Since the brain cannot withstand impact, it is particularly vulnerable to trauma.
The most common injury is a concussion, which is predominantly caused by a blow to the head. A concussion can be mild or severe. It may cause no visible signs of injury and may not require treatment. However, it can also be so severe that it can cause bleeding in or around the brain and may even result in death.
A less common but still severe injury is a skull fracture. This occurs when part of the skull breaks open due to an impact on another object or surface. Skull fractures can cause brain damage, bleeding within the skull, and even death if the patient doesn’t receive immediate medical care.
A fractured bone can be simple or complex and may require multiple fragments to be realigned or removed. When a bone breaks, the body attempts to heal by closing off the broken ends and creating scar tissue. The body then begins laying down new bone to fill in the gap caused by the broken piece. This process is called remodeling and usually takes several months to complete.
A broken bone can occur in any part of your body. However, some areas are more susceptible to injury than others. Someone suffering from a broken bone may feel significant pain and have difficulty moving around without assistance. The best way to treat this type of injury is to seek medical attention immediately after the accident.
Determining Fault in a Motorcycle Accident in Miami
The judge decides who is at fault in a motorcycle accident, and their decision is based on the evidence provided by the parties. Motorcycle accident victims need to collect as much evidence as possible to support their claims.
Judges also look to see whether a party was negligent, which is generally defined as a person’s failure to observe the degree of care required in a situation. Diligence requires driving with a license, following the rules of the road, and using safety equipment while driving. It also means keeping your vehicle in good condition.
In most cases, a driver is considered negligent if they failed to prevent the accident when they had the opportunity to do so. For example, if you’re driving a car and hit a motorcycle, you’ll be considered negligent if you had the chance to avoid the bike but didn’t.
There are three different measures to determine this: pure comparative negligence, modified comparative negligence, and pure contributory negligence.
Pure Comparative Negligence
Pure comparative negligence is based on the premise that a plaintiff’s action partially caused their injury. This could bar them from recovering full damages from the defendant.
For example, if you ride your motorcycle above the speed limit and get into an accident, you are partially at fault. Therefore, if the court finds that your contribution to the accident is about 60%, you can only recover damages for the remaining 40% of your injuries. The other party could also sue you for their injuries.
Modified Comparative Negligence
Also known as the 50/51 percent bar rule, modified comparative negligence allows plaintiffs to recover damages despite their contributory negligence. However, they can claim damages only up to a certain point.
If your negligence contributed to more than 50% of your injuries, you would be entirely barred from recovery. If, however, it contributed to less than 50%, you’ll be able to recover your share of the damages.
Pure Contributory Negligence
Pure contributory negligence is when a plaintiff’s negligence is so great that they are barred from recovering damages. This applies even though the defendant was also negligent. You cannot sue any party for damages if you’re guilty of pure contributory negligence because you were partially at fault for the accident.
You can only recover compensation if another person’s negligence caused your injuries. You can also demand payment if your injuries were caused by an object or condition on the road. A classic example would be if you were hit by a motor vehicle while walking on a crosswalk.
How a Miami Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help Your Case
If you’ve been injured and believe that someone else is responsible, you may wonder what to do next. The first person you should speak to is a Miami motorcycle accident lawyer. A personal injury attorney can help you understand your rights and options. They can also suggest how best to proceed with your case.
If you got injured due to someone else’s negligence, your attorney would prove that it was that party’s fault. They’ll gather evidence, such as witness statements, medical records, and police reports, to build a strong case.
The goal of a personal injury lawyer is not only to obtain a fair settlement but also to see that justice is served in the process.
Calculating the Cost of Medical Treatment and Other Damages
You’re entitled to compensation for your medical bills and other expenses if you’re injured in an accident. However, knowing how much your injuries will cost can be challenging. It’s also difficult to know how much insurance companies are supposed to pay. Your personal injury lawyer can calculate these costs, so you know what kind of settlement offer to expect.
Provide Help in Filing the Rider’s Personal Injury Claim
A personal injury lawyer can assist you in filing a personal injury claim. They will make sure that you understand the legal process and that you know what your rights are. They will also submit all the necessary documents to the insurance company to process your claim.
Your lawyer will also determine if other parties are supposed to be held liable for your injuries, as lawsuits may also be filed against them. They will help you determine if this is something that will benefit you.
Negotiate the Settlement on Their Behalf
A seasoned lawyer can help protect your rights and negotiate a settlement. They’ll guide you through the process of filing a claim and advise you on how to proceed. If necessary, they can also represent you in court.
Negotiating settlements can be complex, especially when insurance companies constantly try to minimize liability. These companies don’t generally want to pay you. However, a personal injury lawyer can seamlessly handle these negotiations and get you the best possible outcome.
Proceed With a Lawsuit or Go to Court if Necessary
Different factors are involved when deciding whether you should take an insurance company to court. They include the nature of your injuries, whether they are temporary or permanent, and how much you lost in wages due to the accident.
Your lawyer will help you determine if there are any legal grounds to file a lawsuit. For example, if they were driving recklessly and hit another car that crashed into yours, which caused serious injuries, then they may be held liable.
Get the Help You Need From The Personal Injury Center
Filing a case against the party causing your injuries is not just about money. You may need the money to cover your medical expenses and lost wages. However, that’s not all of it. Instead, seeking compensation is also about vindicating your rights and setting a precedent for other motorists so that they observe the rules of the road.
Unfortunately, not everyone who gets injured in an accident dares to fight back. Most of them are unaware of the law and have no access to people and resources that can help them. If you’re one of them, get in touch with The Personal Injury Center.
The center has been helping people like you get the compensation you deserve. They’ll educate you about your rights and help you navigate the complex legal system. They’ll connect you with personal injury lawyers in Miami who will offer you expert advice. Together, you can vindicate your rights and get the compensation you deserve.
Whether you’re in Miami Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Palm Beach, Coral Gables, or other parts of Florida, they can help. They’re well aware of Florida law, so you’re in good and able hands. Call them today for a free evaluation.
FAQs on Motorcycle Accident Lawyers in Miami
What is a release or covenant not to sue?
A release or covenant not to sue is an agreement whereby the plaintiff agrees to release the defendant from liability. A classic example is when you're a victim of a cab accident. You may release the cab operator from liability by signing a release or covenant not to sue. However, this doesn't bar you from pursuing a case against other parties that caused your injuries.
If there are two defendants in the case, you can release one through this document. Nevertheless, you can still claim damages from the other party, who will be liable based on the proportion of their fault.
Does Florida still follow the Joint and Several Liability doctrines?
No, this is no longer followed in Florida. The state abolished the use of this doctrine in 2006 through the landmark case of Walt Disney World Co. vs. Wood.
What types of evidence are used to calculate damages?
Evidence used to calculate damages can be divided into two categories: direct and circumstantial.
Direct evidence is factual evidence based on undisputed eyewitness testimony. In personal injury cases with no witnesses, circumstantial evidence can be used to calculate damages. This can be done by looking at physical evidence, such as photographs of the scene of the accident, medical records, and receipts for medication.
In addition to these types of evidence, the following factors may also influence how much compensation you receive for your injuries:
- Duration of treatment
- Quality of life after treatment
- Trauma or psychological effects of the accident