Serving the Areas of West Palm Beach, Ft. Lauderdale and Sunrise
Motorcycle accidents can happen any time of day, any time of night, during the week, or during the weekend. They occur any time that somebody is riding a motorcycle.
Certainly when you’re riding a motorcycle, an accident is more likely for it to occur at night because motorcycles are harder to judge by distance for some drivers and harder to see because they only have one light versus a set of headlights. So people may misjudge it, plus a lot of times when people are riding motorcycles at night, sometimes people tend to just drive more carelessly at night. But the reality is they happen any time of day or any time of night.
How Do Motorcycle Accidents Typically Occur?
There really is no common pattern as far as how motorcycle accidents occur. Sometimes they occur when a driver fails to see the motorcyclist and rear-ends the driver, sometimes it happens because the driver fails to yield the right of way and crashes into the side of the motorcyclist, and sometimes they change lanes and they fail to see the motorcyclist and they crash into the motorcyclist.
There really is no common thread behind any of it but the only common thread is that it’s an accident and the other driver failed to see the motorcyclist. As a motorcycle driver, the best thing you can possibly do is just drive as safe as you can, try to stay as far away from other vehicles as you can because accidents can happen anytime any place.
What are Some of the Helmet Laws Imposed by the State?
In the State of Florida, there is no helmet law. You are no longer required to wear a helmet according to the state of Florida. However, with that being said, even though you’re not required to do something that doesn’t mean that it’s not much safer to do it! Certainly if you’re riding a motorcycle, everybody knows that if you wear a helmet, you’re going to be a lot safer than without wearing a helmet.
I would strongly suggest that if you’re going to ride a motorcycle, buy a good, strong, safe helmet that will help protect your head and your brain because anytime you have an accident, the likelihood is pretty high that you’re going to fall off your motorcycle and if that happens and you bang your head on the ground, you bang your head into a car or you bang your head into a pole, the likelihood of there being very serious consequences because of that is much higher than if you’re not wearing a helmet.
Would a Motorcycle Case be Adversely Affected if the Driver Was Not Wearing a Helmet?
We have something in Florida known as Comparative Negligence. Comparative negligence basically means that if there was something that you could do to prevent the accident and/or prevent the injuries, then your award is going to be that much less. For example, if you’re riding your motorcycle and you go through a stop sign and the other driver of the other car goes through a stop sign and it’s determined that you’re half at fault and the other driver is half at fault, whatever award you get is going to be reduced by half.
By the same token, if you could have worn a helmet, but failed to wear a helmet and the jury ultimately feels or the insurance company feels that had you been wearing a helmet, even though it’s not required by the law, it would have avoided some of the injuries or all of the injuries, then the likelihood is pretty good that they can reduce your award accordingly. Again, it is a very smart idea to always wear a helmet and be as safe as you possibly can because when these accidents happen, they’re deadly and they’re catastrophic.
Is Florida a No-Fault State? How Does it Apply to Motorcycle Accidents?
Florida is a no fault state, which means no matter how an accident happens, you are, in the state of Florida, entitled to certain medical benefits and lost wages. The problem with that law is that it is not applicable to motorcycle accidents because motorcycles are not considered vehicles in the State of Florida. Because of that, when you have an accident, your medical bills that are outstanding start from $1 and there is no insurance coverage that you personally will have under your no fault benefits which would cover you.
Does Taking Pictures at the Scene of an Accident Help in a Motorcycle Accident Case?
Pictures always help whenever you have a motorcycle accident because this way, we can see what the scene was like where the incident occurred. We can see what the weather is like, we can see if there are any skid marks, if there are any defects for the roadway, so if there were any obstructions to vision. We can also see what the lighting was like, maybe the lighting had something to do with the accident and we can also see the position of the motorcycle and how it’s lying on the ground as well as the position of the car that caused the accident.
These things are important in case an accident re-constructionist needs to determine exactly how the accident happened, who is at fault and how the injuries occurred. A picture conveys a thousand words, so if it can be done, it is an absolute must.