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Auto Accident Liabilities: Finding Who Is At Fault

Accidents happen every day. In fact, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were 6,452,000 police-reported accidents in one recent year. That’s an AVERAGE of over 17,000 accidents per day! Thankfully, a great deal of these are minor accidents. Regardless of the severity of the accident, there is one critical factor that all insurance companies will want to know:  Who is at fault?

 


Determining liability in a car accident—whether pursued through the insurance company’s claim process or through a personal injury lawsuit—will only be paid out if the injured plaintiff can prove negligence.
There are times when the blame is clear, such as in most rear-end accidents. However, there are other times when there is more than one individual at fault.

 


 

Here is a look at some common car accident scenarios and the process of evaluation that goes into determining fault.

 

  1. Left-turn Accidents

    Left-turn accidents occur when one vehicle is going straight through the intersection while another car is making a left turn and collides into the side of the straight-moving vehicle. Like rear-end accidents, liability is generally easy to determine. Left-turning vehicles have a lower priority in this scenario, meaning that—unless there is a green arrow—they must yield to those moving straight through the intersection. A study from the federal government discovered that the left-turning driver most often committed a critical error, such as “turning with an obstructed view,” “misjudgment of gap or speed,” “inadequate surveillance,” or “false assumption of the other driver’s intentions.”These are all errors that place liability for an accident at the hands of the left-turning driver.

    Are there ever cases where the other driver is at fault, though?

    Yes. While rare, the driver of the straight-moving car may incur some liability for an accident. One such circumstance is in the case of an accident in which the driver of the straight moving car was traveling at a speed far in excess of the speed limit, making it impossible for the turning driver to either see him or her in time or to calculate how much time he or she has to complete the turn.

  2. T-Bone Accidents

    In a collision where one vehicle rear-ends another, the driver of the trailing vehicle is at fault far more often than the leading vehicle. Lawyers will look for signs of distraction, speeding, and following too close on the part of the trailing driver, while also keeping in mind that the lead driver could share blame. Mechanical failure can also contribute to these accidents, so lawyers will pay attention to any signs of a defective part.

    Typically, in a T-bone accident, one vehicle comes flying through an intersection without stopping. The driver might miss the presence of a stop sign or fail to notice that a light turned red. Drunk driving or distracted driving can increase the risk of a T-bone accident. Usually, in these scenarios, you might assume the driver who struck the side door of a vehicle bears liability for the accident. However, you should ask several questions to help determine liability in this scenario.Auto Accident Liabilities: Finding Who Is At Fault 1 Motorcycle Accidents South Florida Injury Law Firm

  3. Running The Light

    Which driver ran the light? In an intersection with a red light, consider which driver ignored traffic laws and came through the intersection without stopping for a red light. Usually, other drivers can easily confirm which driver ignored the light.Which driver ignored a stop sign? In an accident at an intersection with a stop sign, the driver responsible for the accident may have failed to stop for the stop sign or came through the intersection after another driver had already started progressing through the intersection.

    Were both drivers moving at the time of the accident?

    Sometimes, in a T-bone accident, one driver might strike another, stationary vehicle. Sometimes, a car might stall in the middle of the intersection or get stuck due to traffic. While drivers should try to avoid sitting in an intersection, sometimes, circumstances make it impossible to avoid it completely. If one vehicle had to stop, and another one strikes it in the side, the driver who moved after the other vehicle stopped bears liability for the accident.

  4. Head-on Collisions

    Perhaps one of the most deadly types of accidents is a head-on collision. Sometimes referred to as a frontal crash, this type of accident occurs when two vehicles strike one another while traveling in opposite directions. When the fronts of two vehicles collide, it is often at high speed.Survival may depend upon the stretch of road, the reaction time of one or both drivers, and the type of vehicles involved. With the front end of the car receiving the brunt of the impact, larger and heavier vehicles protect occupants better than smaller, lightweight cars.

    Consider the weights of the following vehicles and the force of the impact when they meet, head-on, at high speeds:
    Car (SUV): 3,778 pounds
    Pickup truck: 5,217 pounds
    Minivan: 4,485 pounds

  5. Single-Car Accidents

    Single-car accidents occur when a motorist loses control of a vehicle rolls over, drives off the road, or collides with a stationary object. On the surface, one might assume single-car accidents are always the fault of the driver. But that isn’t the case. Drivers in single-car accidents too-often blame themselves for a crash. In fact, as often as not, fault for single-car accidents lies elsewhere.To begin, even without a collision there can still be another motorist who causes a single-car accident. Take, for example, the common scenario in which a car swerves and crashes into a tree or road barrier in reaction to erratic driving by a second vehicle that goes unharmed. In that case, the driver of the second vehicle has fault, even though he wasn’t technically involved in the accident.

Similar to other scenarios above, automotive manufacturers and municipal road contractors may also have fault for single car accidents if their actions create unsafe conditions leading to a crash. Another party who could have fault for a single-vehicle accident is a drug manufacturer, if it markets a medication with dangerous side-effects without warning about them, leading a driver to fall asleep or to become disoriented behind the wheel.

 

 


What to Do Immediately After a Car Accident

The most important step immediately after a car accident is to seek medical attention. Even if you feel fine, accept transport to the nearest hospital. Internal injuries are often invisible to the naked eye while causing serious harm to your organs. Only a medical professional can determine the true extent of your injuries.

Do provide as much information as you can to law enforcement. If possible, take pictures of the accident scene and if you are too injured to do so, ask a witness to take them for you. Collect the contact information for witnesses and most importantly, try to remain calm. Do not approach or talk to the other driver.

 


 

How a Florida Personal Injury Attorney Can Help You Fight Back

 

As we said at the outset, fault forms the core of the inquiry into who has legal liability for a car accident and the damage it inflicts on innocent victims. Accordingly, lawyers, insurance adjusters, judges, and juries focus a significant amount of effort on determining fault in car accident cases.

 

Finding fault means investigating facts in detail. An attorney representing a client injured in a car accident will usually try to collect as much evidence as possible about the accident, and then (sometimes with the help of forensic experts) will piece that evidence together to form a picture of whose actions led to the collision or accident. In performing this task, lawyers pursue the facts as far as they go until there is no longer a provable, reasonably foreseeable connection between someone’s actions and the accident and injuries.

The more time and information you can provide to your lawyer to do this work, the better your chances of recovering the compensation you deserve. Once fault has been determined, a personal injury attorney can help you file a personal injury lawsuit and fair compensation.

 

firm-attorneys-injuyr law

 

A skilled Florida personal injury attorney can ease your burden in dealing with all of this and help you fight to get the compensation you deserve. Reach out today for a free case review. We will look over the details of your situation and let you know what options are available to you.

 

 

When your life has been turned upside down due to another’s negligence and you are drowning in bills and struggling to recover, you want to make sure you work with the best law firm you can find.

 

What is the difference between a high-quality injury firm and one that will only do the bare minimum?

The people who work there. That is why The South Florida Injury Law Firm is made up of some of the most well-respected and successful injury attorneys around.

Our lawyers have more than 60 years of combined injury law experience, and they have handled just about every type of Florida injury case you can imagine. They are members of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, an elite group of attorneys who have helped settle injury cases worth more than a million dollars. They have been named to Florida Trend’s Legal Elite. They are recognized by the Florida Workers’ Advocates group.

Perhaps even more importantly, they have received glowing reviews from clients – and they get results.

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5 Common Ways Motorcycle Accidents Happen

Riding a motorcycle can be exhilarating. The roar of the engine provides the soundtrack for flying down the open road – just you and your bike. But riding a motorcycle can also be dangerous. The thrill of riding a motorcycle can quickly become risky if you’re not careful or riding safely.

 

If you’re going to take a motorcycle on the road, you should complete a basic motorcycle rider course and know the Florida motorcycle laws, in addition to being equipped with the proper safety gear.

 

What kind of safety gear?

Helmet, gloves, protective eyewear, boots, leather clothes, and body armor. This kind of gear can both make riding a motorcycle more comfortable and help to protect you from injuries if you are involved in an accident.

 

But the best thing you can do is try to avoid accidents altogether.
To help you do that, here are 5 of the most common types of motorcycle accidents and how to prevent them.

 

  1. A car turns left in front of you.

    This is probably the most common motorcycle accident. Why does it happen? Lots of reasons. A car might not see you or can’t correctly judge your speed. They might also be distracted or driving recklessly. Additionally, cars waiting to turn at intersections are particularly dangerous, as are gaps in traffic at an intersection, parking lot, or driveway.

 

As a motorcyclist, you need to be prepared for these kind of mistakes. Drivers might display certain signs that can foreshadow their turning in front of you. One thing to look for is the direction of cars’ wheels. The direction of a car’s wheels is the first sign of what the car might do next.

 

Boca Raton Motorcycle Accident Lawyer

 


 

  1. You turned too fast into a corner.

    You’re going too fast into a corner and you realize you might not totally make it. What do you do? Well, first of all, you shouldn’t be going too fast. You should also be paying attention to visual cues from the road to know what’s coming up ahead.

 

If you’re in that situation though, try to ride it out. Don’t slam on the brakes or do anything that may cause a loss of traction. Lean into the corner and be in control of the bike.

 


 

  1. A car suddenly changes lanes into you.

    Motorcycles can easily fit into a car’s blind spot, so unfortunately it’s easy for a car to drift into your space.

 

As a motorcyclist, you should know this and be aware of where blind spots are and avoid riding into those spots. A good note: if you can see a driver’s eyes in their mirror, they can see you too. You should also be watching the road to see if cars will need to be changing lanes quickly.

 

Also watch for signs a car might be changing lanes:

    • Turn signals
    • Turning wheels
    • A driver is checking their mirrors
    • A driver’s head is moving

 

5 Common Ways Motorcycle Accidents Happen 2 Motorcycle Accidents South Florida Injury Law Firm

 

  1. A car hits you from behind.

    With cars, fender benders are the most common accident. But a fender bender with a motorcycle could kill a motorcyclist.

Avoid this accident by using other cars as barriers. When you stop, politely pull in front of another stopped car to cushion yourself from any cars coming up behind you. Or pull in between a line of cars.

If there aren’t any stopped cars, stop to the side of your lane instead right in the center. Flash your brake lights and be aware of what’s happening behind you in case you need to quickly get out of the way.

 


 

 

  1. A car opened its door.

    If there are parked cars on the side of the road, never ride between them and an active lane of traffic. Even if there’s a ton of extra room. Car doors can open. Pedestrians can step into the road. Cars can pull out. And so on. Motorcyclists and bicyclists call the area next to parked cars The Death Zone for this very reason.

 

If, however, you end up in this situation, brake as hard as possible to avoid a collision. If a collision is going to happen anyway, you can at least decrease your speed.

Hopefully, when you’re on your motorcycle, you ride safely and exercise caution while on the road. If for some reason you or a loved one is injured in a motorcycle accident, seek medical attention immediately. Then contact an experienced motorcycle accident attorney who can look at the facts of your case and determine if you’re entitled to any damages.

 

 

 

 

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Many Florida Motorcycle Accidents are Caused by Cars – Here’s How

If Convicted of North Carolina Identity Theft, You Will Face Serious Penalties

Although we often first think of losing control in the rain or taking a surprise backroads curve too sharply, but many Florida motorcycle accidents are actually caused by passenger cars.

In a previous post, we shared that, at the time, four of the five most common motorcycle accidents involved a passenger vehicle, and a quick online search today will show that the consensus is that “vehicles turning left in front of you” is still the number one cause of motorcycle crashes.

Despite best efforts to educate, according to data from the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles the number of motorcycle accidents continues to creep up each year.

If you or a motorcyclist you know has recently been involved in a crash, keep an eye out for developing injuries – you have four years from the date of the accident to file a claim with the help of a personal injury attorney. In the meantime, let’s take a look a few other common ways cars can cause you to wreck on your bike.

When You Can’t Tell Them to Stay in Their Lane

Those drivers who don’t use turn signals, are daydreaming (or worse, device-using) drifters, or split-second road-ragers – they are all completely oblivious to your bike, and they’re all changing lanes without warning.

Unfortunately, most drivers simply aren’t programmed to seek out motorcyclists, and the vast majority don’t have experience riding one themselves. Governmental and other safety organizations continue to work on that from an education perspective, but when you’re the one taking the biggest risk on the roadways, you’ve got to take the extra measures to keep yourself self out there.

Rule of Thumb: If you can’t see them, they can’t see you. Check their mirrors. If and when you’re out of their sights, maneuver the bike until you’re confident they know you’re there.

Rear-Ends – Yours and Theirs

Just like with any fender-bender, when the vehicle driver behind (or in front) of you isn’t paying attention to the road, the chances of an accident increase.

If a distracted driver looks down at their phone, say, and a light begins to turn before they return their attention to the road, they may need to slam on the brakes. Unfortunately for motorcycle riders, this can mean flipping over the top of your bike. Or perhaps the opposite situation happens. You’re stopped in front of a passenger vehicle at a light and it changes. If they react faster than you and weren’t really paying attention (maybe that just noticed the light change out of the corner of their eye), you may end up sprawled across their hood.

Remember, you don’t have the same amount of “fender” to bend, so you’re more likely than they are to sustain a serious injury.

Rule of Thumb: Create your own crumple zone. Pull over to the outer limit of your lane, preferably toward the shoulder.

 

When One Door Opens

Fort Lauderdale Motor Vehicle Accident Lawyer

You know the comedy scene in the movie – the motorcycle rider drives down the road a little too close to a row of parked cars and – bam! – Joe Schmoe in the land yacht swings his door wide open without looking, pulling the equivalent of a vehicular clothesline.

Only when it happens to you, you’re not a stuntman, and that bike isn’t a prop. Did you know there’s actually a name for the door’s-width space between parked cars and the lane of traffic? It’s called “The Death Zone.”

Rule of Thumb: Avoid driving in this area if and when possible. When it is absolutely unavoidable, go extra slow. Riding at low speed and being vigilant in watching for signs of activity inside the parked cars can save you from serious injury.

Between the Lines

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Speaking of riding between cars, The American Motorcyclist Association reports that Utah recently legalized filtering motorcyclists between lanes of stopped traffic. As this type of legislation continues to expand across the nation, it’s important to keep in mind: just because you can doesn’t mean you should ride between lanes. If and when you do, all we can say is to be extremely careful.

Again, it comes down to the fact that car drivers don’t always know you’re there. When they aren’t aware, there’s no reason for them to leave much space between their vehicle and the one in the next lane over, leaving all the risk on you. Riders end up easily being knocked into oncoming traffic by drivers merging too quickly or without signaling. Even slight swerves can cause you to react poorly.

Rule of Thumb: Unless you are absolutely unable to avoid it, don’t ride the lines, stay between them.

 

Of course, sometimes you can be as careful as humanly possible and a negligent driver will still cause you to get hurt in a crash. If this happens to you, remember that you should never have to pay for their mistake. Florida has personal injury laws to protect people in exactly these situations – use them.

 

About the Author:

Jeffrey Braxton is a trial lawyer in Fort Lauderdale who has devoted his career to the practice of personal injury law. As lead trial attorney for the South Florida Injury Law Firm, Jeff has litigated thousands of cases and is a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, an exclusive group of attorneys who have resolved cases in excess of one million dollars.

Protecting Yourself on Florida Roads-Safety Tips for Motorcyclists

Rash of Recent Motorcycle Deaths in Florida Reminder to Be Safe

Rash of Recent Motorcycle Deaths in Florida Reminder to Be Safe

For many, there’s nothing like getting on a motorcycle and hitting the open road. Luckily, here in Florida, we have the kind of weather where you can do that regardless of the time of year.

 

As exhilarating as a motorcycle is, though, it’s important to remember that that they can also be dangerous. Let’s look at three recent motorcycle deaths from the news as a reminder:

 

Jordan Ward, a 25-year old man from Cross City, was killed in a motorcycle accident near Gainesville. His 2005 Suzuki GSXR overturned after Ward lost control of the bike and ended up in a roadway. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

 

Alfredo Castillo, a 22-year old University of South Florida student in Tampa, was killed in a motorcycle accident when a car turned into his path. Even though Castillo braked and turned his motorcycle on its side, he still hit the car and was pronounced dead at the scene.

 

A similar accident also killed 54-year old Hee Soong Lee in Odessa when a van turned into his path. Lee, who was driving his Kawasaki motorcycle, hit the van and later died at the hospital from his injuries.

 

These three deaths, along with the many others not mentioned, should serve as reminders for how important it is to practice motorcycle safety, so let’s go over a few tips for preventing motorcycle accidents.

 

4 Motorcycle Safety Tips

 

  1. Always wear a helmet. If you are properly insured in Florida, you aren’t required to wear a helmet when operating a motorcycle, but you should still do it. Government studies have found that riders not wearing a helmet are 40 percent more likely to suffer a fatal head injury in a crash and are three times more likely to suffer brain injuries than riders who wear helmets. Don’t ride without one.

 

  1. Wear the proper gear. You’re exposed to a number of hazards when driving a motorcycle, but the proper gear can keep you from getting seriously injured in the event of a crash. Leather clothing, gloves, long pants, high boots, and protective eyewear can offer you maximum protection from wind, bugs, debris, and road rash.

 

  1. Take a motorcycle safety course. In order to lawfully operate a motorcycle in Florida, you have to have a motorcycle endorsement on your license or a “motorcycle only” license. The courses offered by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) are for both beginning and experienced riders and have been shown to reduce injury and fatality rates.

 

  1. Be a defensive driver. One of the most common complaints about a crash involving a car and a motorcycle is that the driver of the car didn’t see the motorcycle. For this reason, it’s especially important to be on constant alert for potential road hazards while on your motorcycle. Pay attention to other cars pulling out in front of you or quickly changing lanes. Also, make sure you maintain a safe following distance so if something does happen, you have enough time and distance to react appropriately.

 

4 Motorcycle Safety Tips

While it’s important for motorcycle drivers to be safe, it’s also important for other drivers to be aware that they’re sharing the road with motorcyclists. If you’re driving a car on the road, focus on driving, watch out for motorcycles, and don’t forget to check your blind spots.

 

Be safe when you’re on the road, and if you or a loved one has been involved in a motorcycle accident, contact an experienced Florida motorcycle attorney to see if you’re entitled to compensation for your injuries.

 

About the Author:

Jeffrey Braxton is a trial lawyer in Fort Lauderdale who has devoted his career to the practice of personal injury law. As lead trial attorney for The South Florida Injury Law Firm, Jeff has litigated thousands of cases and is a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, an exclusive group of attorneys who have resolved cases in excess of one million dollars.

Motorcycle Injury Attorney

Florida Is the Most Dangerous State for Motorcyclists

Florida Is the Most Dangerous State for Motorcyclists

If you ride a motorcycle, you know all too well how much danger you’re in when you’re out on the road. After all, you’re completely exposed. There are no doors protecting you from an impact. No windshield or seatbelt preventing you from flying off the bike. The only things between you and an accident are your skill as a rider and the awareness of drivers.

 

This isn’t just opinion, either. All over the country, motorcycles are known to be far more dangerous than automobiles. Case in point: Your chances of dying in a car accident are 1 in 18,585… but your chances of dying on a motorcycle are 1 in 802.

 

In fact, motorcycle accidents ranked as the 12th highest cause of death in 2009. Car accidents was 8th. Considering how few cyclists there are out on the road in comparison, those rankings are way too close.

 

Unfortunately, Florida riders have it even worse – our state has been ranked as the most dangerous state for motorcyclists.

 

Florida and Motorcycle Accidents

 

Florida has more motorcycle fatalities than any other state in the country. Motorcyclists make up only 7% of the population on the road, but motorcycle accidents account for 19% of motor vehicle fatalities.

 

Why Florida? Many blame the lack of helmet laws. Helmet laws are a controversial topic throughout the nation, and the indecisiveness and confusion is reflected nowhere better than in Florida’s laws.

 

Helmets used to be required in Florida, but the laws were appealed. Now, you are not required to wear a helmet. But if you choose not to, you must carry insurance that will cover $10,000 worth of damages in case you get into an accident.

 

How much do helmets matter? Since the laws were appealed, motorcyclist deaths have doubled.

 

How to Stay Safe on a Hog

 

Motorcycle Injury Attorney

Whether you’ve ridden your bike up and down the country more times than you remember or your first bike is still shiny and new, all riders can benefit from a few motorcycle safety tips.

 

The first one should be pretty obvious considering the above information:

 

  • Wear a Helmet – Face shields, glasses, proper boots, gloves, or protective jackets are also recommended.
  • Put Distractions Down – Distracted riding is just as dangerous as distracted driving – if not moreso.
  • Maintain Distance – Try to stay a car length’s distance from any cars that are in front or behind you. One of the most common motorcycle accidents is being hit from behind. Maintaining a safe distance will give drivers more time to break and reduce the risk of hitting you.
  • Stay Alert – Don’t hop on your bike if you’re too tired or drowsy.
  • Avoid Blind Spots and Make Yourself Seen – Reflective strips and bright clothing will help drivers notice you no matter what time you’re riding.
  • Educate Friends and Family on Motorcycle Safety – Motorcycle safety isn’t really covered in driver’s ed. Talk to drivers about how they can make motorcyclists feel safe while out on the road. Tell them about the importance of keeping a safe distance, using turn signals when merging, and so on.
  • Refresh Your Knowledge – Motorcycle safety courses are usually required when you apply for your license, but even seasoned vets can get something out of retaking the course every few years, or before a big trip.

 

Of course, there is only so much that you can do. If a driver behaves in a negligent manner or simply doesn’t see you, it can spell disaster. Hold people accountable for their actions and get the compensation you deserve by working with a knowledgeable Florida motorcycle accident attorney.

 

About the Author:

 

Jeffrey Braxton is a trial lawyer in Fort Lauderdale who has devoted his 22-year career to the practice of personal injury law. As lead trial attorney for The South Florida Injury Law Firm, Jeff has litigated thousands of cases and is a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, an exclusive group of attorneys who have resolved cases in excess of one million dollars.

How to Determine Liability in Motorcycle Accidents

How to Determine Liability in Motorcycle Accidents

How to Determine Liability in Motorcycle Accidents

Motorcycle accidents share a lot of legal similarities to car accidents when it comes to injury law. But there are some notable characteristics unique to motorcycling that you should know when determining liability in a motorcycle accident.

 

Bias against Motorcyclists

 

One of the major challenges of a motorcycle accident injury claim is a persistent and widespread bias against motorcycles and their riders. Due to this long standing prejudice against motorcyclists, juries have a history of ruling less favorably when the plaintiff is a motorcycle rider.

 

It can be difficult—though certainly not impossible—to overcome this bias in the courtroom, and insurance companies are often aware of this. Injured motorcyclists often receive lower settlement offers, since insurance adjusters base their offers on what the plaintiff might win if they go to court.

Because of this, the burden of proof lies on the motorcyclist, which can make many motorcycle injury claims more difficult than their car-related counterparts.

 

Inherent Danger in Motorcycles

 

Furthermore, riding a motorcycle does have an inherent danger that is greater than driving a car. Since they are smaller, lighter, and offer much less protection than a car, injuries from accidents are often severe and more extensive.

 

For this reason, juries may be reluctant to award full compensation for a motorcyclist’s injuries, because they may perceive that the victim bears some of the liability by getting on a motorcycle in the first place. Again, the prejudice against motorcyclists can be difficult to overcome.

 

Still, there are a number of ways that an injured motorcyclist can build a successful case against the driver responsible for his or her accident. To understand how case can be made and won, we’ll first have to look at the anatomy of a motorcycle accident claim.

 

Liability in Motorcycle Accidents Comes Down to Negligence

 

The majority of motorcycle injury cases are a based on the concept of negligence. A claim of negligence in an injury case asserts that the defendant behaved in a way that was irresponsible or thoughtless, and this behavior caused the plaintiff’s injuries.

 

Liability in Motorcycle Accidents Comes Down to Negligence

In many motorcycle accidents, this claim is leveled against the driver of a car or truck. The defendant can be negligent in what they did (for example, running a stop sign) or what they failed to do (such as not using a turn signal before changing lanes).

 

The Elements of a Negligence Claim

 

To successfully bring a negligence claim against another motorist for your injuries, you will have to be able to prove a few key things:

  • The law required the defendant to be careful. In any case involving a vehicle accident, this is already a given, since all motorists are required to exercise caution.
  • The defendant was not careful. When evaluating whether a defendant was careful or not, the law compares their behavior to how a “reasonable person” would have behaved in that situation.
  • The defendant’s carelessness caused the plaintiff’s injuries. It’s not enough to prove that the defendant behaved in a careless manner. To win an award for your injuries, you must prove that the defendant’s carelessness was the reason you were injured.
  • The plaintiff was injured or suffered losses. In the case of a vehicle accident, you will need to furnish proof of the damages you are trying to recover. Among other things, this might include hospital bills (to prove medical costs) or receipt from a repair shop (to prove the cost of fixing damage to your motorcycle).

 

What to Do After a Motorcycle Accident

 

Of course, medical examination and treatment will be the primary concern after an accident. But the information you record and collect following the incident can mean the difference between winning and losing your case. Here’s how to collect relevant info after an accident.

  • Take notes. As soon as you are able, write down everything you recall from the accident, like the place and time, what happened, the people who witnessed it, the weather, and so on.
  • Keep a record of your injuries and damages. Make sure to keep a detailed record of all costs related to your injuries. Report your injuries to a medical provider, and keep a log of your injuries and their treatment. Write down any pain, loss of sleep, or other complications resulting from the accident.
  • Take photographs. If you can, take photographs of the scene of the accident immediately after it occurs. It may also be wise to return to the scene and look for any evidence you might have missed. Again, remember to take photographs to record what you find.
  • Contact witnesses. You should also attempt to track down witnesses as soon as you can, and record their account of the incident while it is still fresh in their minds.

 

South Florida Motorcycle Accident Lawyers

Motorcycle injury claims can be difficult to win, but they are not impossible. The best way to ensure a favorable ruling is to talk to an experienced injury law firm with a successful track record in these kinds of cases.

 

5 Tragic Florida Motorcycle Fatalities that Occurred Last Month

5 Tragic Florida Motorcycle Fatalities that Occurred Last Month


5 Tragic Florida Motorcycle Fatalities that Occurred Last Month

 

For a disturbing look at the severity of Florida’s problem with motorcycle safety, you don’t need to look back very far.

 

In the last month alone, far too many individuals lost their lives in motorcycle accidents in Florida. To honor their memory and raise awareness of this growing problem in our state, we’ve chronicled 5 of their stories below.

 

Robert Lee Haas. Florida motorcyclist Robert Lee Haas was killed in a two-vehicle accident while traveling on Interstate 4. The 51-year-old Madeira Beach man had been attempting to change lanes when he collided with a car. Robert was forced from the road and thrown from his vehicle. He died shortly after at the Lakeland Regional Medical Center.

 

Wilmer and Linda Barnes. Wilmer and his wife Linda were riding a motorcycle near Century when the motorcycle struck a culvert and overturned. The Alabama couple was thrown from the vehicle, and Linda was pronounced dead at the scene. Wilmer died in the hospital several days later.

 

Anthony Lee Coleman II. Anthony Lee Coleman II was a 25-year-old soldier from Fort Walton Beach. The Army Specialist was driving on an entrance ramp from State Road 85 to State Road 123 when his motorcycle veered onto the shoulder, turned over, and hit a guardrail. Although Anthony was wearing a helmet, he did not survive the crash.

 

Unidentified motorcyclist. An unidentified motorcyclist on a black Honda motorcycle was hit by a truck driver who had not seen him as they were crossing the intersection. Although the driver of the truck was unharmed, the motorcyclist died immediately.

 

David Persaud. 23-year-old David Persaud was found dead by his friends after a fatal motorcycle claimed his life earlier this month. The Port Charlotte motorcyclist was thrown 100 feet across a driveway into a palm tree, and his motorcycle was shattered into multiple pieces.

 

Shane Griffin Gowens. Lawtey motorcyclist Shane Gowens was riding as a passenger on the back of her husband Christopher’s motorcycle. Shane was thrown from the motorcycle and declared dead, while her husband suffered serious injuries.

 

Protecting Yourself on Florida Roads: Safety Tips for Motorcyclists

 

5 Tragic Florida Motorcycle Fatalities that Occurred Last Month 3 Motorcycle Accidents South Florida Injury Law Firm

We’ve chronicled these stories not to frighten readers, but to convey the sheer magnitude of the problem and encourage motorcyclists to watch out for hazards and take measures to protect themselves.

You can greatly reduce your chances of being involved in a fatal motorcycle accident in Florida by following these safety tips:

 

Wear protective gear. Always wear a high-quality helmet that fits snugly. If your helmet doesn’t include a shield for your face, be sure to wear glasses or goggles. Always wear a leather jacket and pants, tough, non-slip gloves, and close-toed shoes that cover your ankle.

 

Take your bike for a checkup. You should routinely check your bike’s brakes, lights, and turn signals, as well as the levels of oil and fuel. Also make sure cables and the chain are in good condition, and position your mirrors correctly before beginning your ride.

 

Stay alert. Distracted driving is incredibly dangerous for all drivers, but especially those on motorcycles. It’s critical to stay alert of your surroundings and abstain from texting, talking on your phone, adjusting music, or listening to headphones.

 

Check the weather. Florida motorcyclists don’t have to worry much about snow or icy weather, but they should avoid riding in heavy rain. Never ride at the beginning of a storm, when rain brings up oil and other residue that can make the roads incredibly slippery.

 

Follow traffic rules. When you’re out on the road, be sure to follow the speed limit, use your signals, and avoid tailgating. Do not weave between lanes or drive on the shoulder of the road.

 

Ride defensively. As a motorcyclist, never assume that another driver has seen you. It’s a good idea to ride with your headlights on, remain out of a driver’s blind spot, and use your signal as far in advance as possible.

 

Never ride drunk. Riding under the influence of alcohol or other drugs dramatically increases your odds of being involved in a fatal accident. When you ride drunk, you put yourself and others around you in danger.

 

Stay educated. Before beginning to ride, you should be sure to take a formal motorcycle education course and earn your license. Over time, take refresher courses to brush up your skills and learn new techniques.

 

Florida Motorcycle Accident Attorneys

Hold negligent drivers accountable. You can help make the road a safer place for yourself and other motorcyclists by holding negligent drivers accountable when they cause an accident. If you have been a victim of a motorcyclist accident caused by another driver, talk to a Florida motorcycle accident lawyer. Your lawyer can help you pursue compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and other costs related to recovery, while raising awareness of our state’s serious problem with motorcycle safety.  

 

Common Road Hazards to Look Out for on a Motorcycle

Common Road Hazards to Look Out for on a Motorcycle

Common Road Hazards to Look Out for on a Motorcycle

When you’re driving a car, you might not really notice an uneven patch of road or a slick surface (although it never hurts to slow down). However, when you’re riding a motorcycle, even a seemingly small road hazard can result in a serious crash. And when a motorcyclist does crash, they have a lot less protection than someone in a car.

 

No motorcycle rider is immune to the risks of road hazards, even if they’ve been riding for years without incident. To help minimize your chances of being in an accident, familiarize yourself with some of the most common motorcycle road hazards so that you know what to watch out for.

 

Slick Surfaces

 

Rain and ice are common culprits behind slick roads, but motorcyclists should watch out for slick surfaces even if the sky is clear and the weather’s nice, since other liquids like oil spots and fresh paint can also cause a motorcycle to lose traction. Motorcyclists need to remember that whenever they see a slick road, they need to slow down and stay alert. Use both brakes, as relying on the front brake can cause motorcyclists to lose control and flip over their handlebars. Avoid the slickest area if possible, but don’t suddenly swerve to try to avoid an oil spot or other hazard.

 

Uneven Roads

 

Worn out roads or roads that are partially torn up while they’re under construction can be a huge hazard for motorcyclists. The publication Women Riders Now recommends staying in one lane as much as possible and watching out for divets (depressions in the road), which can cause a rider to lose control. If you commute on your motorcycle and regularly encounter rough roads, look for alternate routes when possible.

 

Loose Gravel

 

Common Road Hazards to Look Out for on a Motorcycle - Losse Gravel

Gravel is particularly dangerous when it becomes unexpectedly deep or when a motorcycle rider hits gravel on pavement while going around a corner. If you can’t avoid a gravel road, it’s best to try to find the area of the road with the least dense gravel. Just like with slick roads, you should slow down and avoid relying solely on your front brake. However, you should also maintain some speed, as this will keep the bike more stable.

 

Animals

 

Common Road Hazards to Look Out for on a Motorcycle - Animals

An animal running into the road is the worst nightmare of many motorcycle riders, especially those who live somewhere with a lot of deer. Sadly, collisions with deer or other large animals are often fatal for motorcyclists. If you notice a deer or other wild animal on the side of the road while you’re riding, be sure to cover your brakes, as there may be more ahead. Also keep an eye out for animal crossing signs, and come to a full stop if you see a large animal like a moose on the road ahead of you. Invest in good headlights if you’re planning on riding at night and, of course, wear a helmet (this applies to any time you plan to ride, not just when you’re planning on riding in an area where there may be wild animals).

 

Debris

 

It’s often hard to see and anticipate obstacles such as tree branches, large pieces of trash, or shredded car tires on the road until you get close to them. If you have enough room to move around the object instead of hitting it, you should do so—make sure there are no vehicles in your blind spot, lean in the direction you want to turn, and press the inside of the hand grip in order to stabilize yourself and hopefully avoid tipping. If you are unable to move around the debris, avoid braking suddenly. Hold the hand grips tightly, stay straight, and stand up slightly on your foot pegs to absorb some of the shock.

 

Keeping the Roads Safe

 

You should obviously do everything that you can to avoid an accident on your motorcycle, but if you do get into an accident, try not to panic. Get off the road as soon as possible, call for help, and get the medical attention you need. After you’ve received medical attention, think about what caused your accident. If it was something like a pothole or a road that suddenly turned rough with no warning sign, the city or county may be liable. Work with a personal injury attorney to hold the responsible party accountable; you may be able to recover compensation for your injuries and promote change so that your local roads are safer for other riders.

 

About the Author:

Jeffrey Braxton is a trial lawyer in Fort Lauderdale who has devoted his 22-year career to the practice of personal injury law. As lead trial attorney for The South Florida Injury Law Firm, Jeff has litigated thousands of cases and is a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, an exclusive group of attorneys who have resolved cases in excess of one million dollars.

 

Boca Raton Motorcycle Accident Lawyer

How to Prove Fault as a Motorcyclist in an Accident

Boca Raton Motorcycle Accident Lawyer

It’s no secret that motorcyclists typically suffer far more serious injuries than car occupants when they’re involved in a multi-vehicle collision. Without safety features like air bags and a crumple zone, motorcyclists are incredibly vulnerable and may face an expensive and lengthy recovery if they survive the accident. Because of this, any motorcyclist who was injured by a negligent driver should hold that driver responsible and seek compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and other associated costs.

 

Of course, getting that much-needed compensation isn’t as easy as just pointing a finger at the car driver and saying that they were the one who caused the accident. In a civil case, the plaintiff is responsible for proving that the defendant is at fault. To make things even more challenging, jury members may be biased against motorcyclists and may be less likely to award the same kind of settlement that they would award to a car driver in a two-car accident.

 

This does not mean that you should give up on the idea of recovering compensation as a motorcyclist in an auto accident. It does, however, mean that you should work closely with an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer to gather the kind of concrete evidence necessary to prove your case. Below are a few types of evidence that can help your cause.

 

Police Report

 

If a police officer arrived at the scene of your accident, he or she most likely filled out an accident report. This report may contain valuable evidence for your case, especially if the police officer actually witnessed the accident and issued a citation to the driver. Even if they didn’t cite the driver, they may have noted that negligent behavior caused the accident and that you were injured and needed medical attention after the accident.

 

Witness Testimony

 

Witness testimony can be problematic because human memory is fallible, and there’s no way to know that an accident played out exactly the way an eyewitness described it. However, if your motorcycle accident occurred in a crowded area and multiple people saw it happen, it may be worth having credible witnesses testify that the car driver was at fault. The most reliable witnesses are people who saw the entire accident (rather than people who heard the impact and saw the aftermath) and were not distracted by other factors (such as a young child that they were holding or the need to maneuver their own vehicle away from the accident).

 

Damage to Motorcycle

 

West Palm Beach Motorcycle Accident Attorney

In certain cases, the type of damage that your motorcycle incurs may clearly show how the driver hit you and prove that they are at fault. For example, if a car rear-ended you, the back of your motorcycle and the front of the car would experience the most damage. This would paint a pretty clear picture of what happened and show that the driver was liable, since rear-end collisions are almost always the fault of the second vehicle.

 

Your personal injury lawyer may be able to uncover additional types of evidence that could prove fault, such as footage from a traffic camera or a doctor’s testimony showing that your injury was caused by a certain type of impact. Every case is unique, and it’s important not to leave any stone unturned when the compensation that you need in order to get back on your feet is at stake.

 

About the Author:

Jeffrey Braxton is a trial lawyer in Fort Lauderdale who has devoted his 22-year career to the practice of personal injury law. As lead trial attorney for The South Florida Injury Law Firm, Jeff has litigated thousands of cases and is a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, an exclusive group of attorneys who have resolved cases in excess of one million dollars.