While riding on a motorcycle can be a means of transportation and an enjoyable hobby, it does not come without danger. Other drivers on the road do not necessarily take the time or thought to use the proper safety habits.
When they have caused you serious injury, or a loved one has died in a motorcycle accident, you could be entitled to significant financial compensation. First, you need to file an insurance claim or a lawsuit against the responsible driver. Call one of our skilled Pensacola motorcycle accident lawyers at Stevenson Klotz Injury Attorneys to begin the legal process.
The Rate of Car and Motorcycle Accidents Are Not Much Different in FL
The popularity of motorcycles continues to grow in Florida. In any given year, on average, there are between 600,000 to 650,000 registered motorcyclists in the state. These motorcyclists are of varying experience levels.
There are an average of roughly 9,000 motorcycle accidents each year in Florida. Thus, if you are a registered motorcyclist in Florida, you have roughly a 1.5% chance of being involved in an accident in a given year.
There are nearly 16 million licensed drivers in Florida. In 2022, there were 396,486 traffic accidents in the state. Surprisingly, drivers are actually more likely to be in a crash than a motorcyclist. There is roughly one car accident for every 25 licensed drivers in the state (although some drivers may be in more than one accident per year).
Motorcycle Accidents Are More Serious and Likely to Result in Serious Injury or Death
On an outright basis, there are fewer motorcycle accidents than car crashes. However, these numbers do not tell the entire story because:
- Not every motorcyclist with a license will actually use it in a given year
- Those motorcyclists who are involved in accidents have a far greater chance of being seriously injured or killed in an accident.
There is such a thing as a “minor” car accident that does not result in injury to either driver. A motorcyclist is far more likely to be injured.
Roughly 20% of motorcyclists who are involved in accidents will suffer serious injury, which is a far higher rate than those involved in car crashes. Motorcyclists are four times more likely to be injured than passenger car drivers.
The fatality rate is also far greater in a motorcycle accident. In 2022, 600 motorcyclists lost their lives in a crash. There were a total of 9,252 motorcycle accidents, making the fatality rate roughly 7%. Recent studies show that motorcyclists are 28 times more likely to be killed in an accident than passenger car drivers and their passengers, since there is little to protect them from a crash.
In general, the motorcycle accident fatality rate is increasing. Drivers are far more reckless and distracted than they were in the past. All it takes is one brief mistake for a driver to seriously injure, or even kill, a motorcyclist. When they are looking down at their phones, or they are excessively speeding, they are less likely to see a motorcyclist or to avoid an accident.
Motorcycle Accident Settlements Tend to Be Higher than Those in Car Accidents
Those who are injured in motorcycle crashes would usually receive higher settlements, on average, than those who were involved in car crashes. This fact has nothing to do with any differences in the law. It has everything to do with the fact that injuries in motorcycle accidents tend to be more serious.
Your compensation is directly tied to the severity of your injuries. The insurance company knows this, and they will try to do everything they can to escape responsibility or to blame the crash on you. The new laws in Florida keep you from getting any settlement if you were more than 50% to blame for the accident, so you can look for the insurance company to point a finger at you. It does not matter whether you are a newer motorcyclist, or you have been on a bike for years.
How to Stay Safe on a Motorcycle
Motorcycle safety depends on both the efforts of drivers and motorcyclists. Here are some measures that you can take in the name of motorcycle safety:
- Motorcyclists should be fully trained and select a bike that reflects their expertise and experience level. For example, if they are an introductory rider, a motorcyclist should not choose a bike with the highest engine power.
- Bikers should wear a Department of Transportation-approved helmet. While only riders under the age of 21 must wear a helmet in Florida, motorcycle helmets can lower the risk that you would suffer a serious head injury.
- Motorcyclists should obey all traffic rules and the speed limit.
- Bikers should check the weather forecast, and they should avoid riding in inclement weather.
- Motorcyclists should wear the appropriate safety equipment, and they should remain visible to drivers on the road.
Exercising vigilance about your safety ahead of time, and on your bike, could help you preserve your right to financial compensation if you have been hurt in a motorcycle accident.
If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident, you should hire an experienced attorney to represent you in your case. The insurance company is not your friend in any way. They will do whatever is necessary to reduce or eliminate your motorcycle accident settlement. An experienced attorney could help protect your legal rights and keep the insurance company from overreaching.
Contact a Pensacola Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Today
When you need legal help, you should hire a lawyer who gets results for their clients and does so while providing you with exemplary client service. At Stevenson Klotz Injury Lawyers, we have over five decades of combined experience. Over this time, we have helped countless clients recover full and fair compensation in their personal injury cases.