Motorcycles bring freedom on the open road, but also special risks. Because so little protection exists between you and the roadway, your chances of suffering an injury or fatality in a motorcycle crash are higher than they would be in a typical car-on-car wreck.
While there are unique factors in any crash, many motorcycle accidents share aspects in common. A left-turn motorcycle accident lawyer with the Stevenson Klotz Injury Lawyers in Pensacola, Florida, can help you navigate the next steps following a collision.
How Do Left-Turn Accidents Happen?
Many motorcyclist injuries and fatalities occur when a motorcyclist attempts to travel straight while an individual driving in a vehicle attempts a left-hand turn. In fact, more than 40% of today’s fatal motorcycle wrecks involve motorists making left-hand turns while motorcyclists are attempting to go straight through intersections.
Left-turn collisions involving motorcyclists often have other factors at play as well, such as driver inattention or driver distraction. Glare from the Florida sun may create blind spots, while other weather-related factors, such as rain or fog, may raise the chances of this type of motorcycle crash occurring.
Many drivers involved in left-hand-turn motorbike crashes may never see the biker injured or killed during the wreck and cite poor visibility or similar factors. However, a driver turning left must always yield to oncoming traffic in Florida, regardless of road or weather conditions. When motorists fail to do this, the repercussions may prove deadly.
Who Is at Fault for a Motorcyclist’s Injuries?
Because you have the right-of-way when you are traveling straight on your motorcycle and another driver is turning left, a driver who strikes you in a left-hand-turn crash may be at fault for any injuries you suffer in the incident. The same holds true if a motorist strikes and kills someone you love while making a left-hand turn. As long as your loved one had the right-of-way, the motorist who caused the fatality may be liable for their death.
When working through a motorcycle injury or fatality case, a left-turn motorcycle accident lawyer may rely on many different forms of evidence, including witness statements, law enforcement records and cellphone records. A left-hand motorcycle accident attorney may also need to reference photographs taken at the crash scene or engage in crash reconstruction efforts to help strengthen your case and show a genuine need for damages.
What Injuries Can Result From Left-Hand-Turn Crashes?
Not all left-hand-turn motorcycle crashes are fatal. However, many are, and even those that are not still have the capacity to leave you or a loved one with serious, potentially life-altering injuries. These are some of the more common injuries you might experience following a left-hand-turn bike crash.
Head and brain injuries
Head injuries and traumatic brain injuries are common occurrences after motorcycle crashes. Concussions also often occur in left-hand-turn bike crashes, and in some cases, they may lead to permanent brain damage.
Spinal cord injuries
Motorcycle crashes are a frequent cause of spinal cord injuries. While these injuries vary in terms of severity, they may lead to partial or total paralysis.
Many motorcycle accident victims consider themselves lucky to walk away from a wreck with only broken bones. That said, a broken bone, especially a broken arm or leg, can make it difficult for you to parent your children, earn a living or otherwise go about your daily routine.
Cuts and lacerations
You are likely to suffer cuts and lacerations in a left-hand-turn motorcycle wreck. In some cases, these cuts and tears may prove mild in nature and heal fully in time. In more extreme cases, though, or if you suffer cuts and lacerations to your face, you may wind up needing plastic surgery to correct the damage resulting from the crash.
Even if your left-hand-turn motorcycle crash does not leave you with life-threatening injuries, it may cause you pain and lead to other hardships that have a serious impact on your quality of life. A left-turn motorcycle accident lawyer may be able to help you figure out how much you stand to lose financially due to your injuries and take steps to hold the responsible party accountable.
How Can You Reduce the Odds of a Left-Hand-Turn Collision?
Because you have no valid way to control the actions of others who choose to drive negligently, there is only so much you might do to reduce your chances of suffering a severe injury or fatality in a left-hand-turn bike wreck. That said, driving defensively can help reduce your risks to some degree.
An important part of defensive driving involves slowing down and taking care when navigating intersections. When doing so, get in the habit of assuming other drivers do not see you. Assume, too, that any other motorist approaching the intersection is likely going to turn left. Scan the area before navigating the intersection to see where you might need to swerve or reposition yourself if a driver suddenly turns in your direction.
At any intersection, it can benefit you to keep your hands poised over your brakes to reduce your reaction time if you need to stop. As a general rule, it is also wise to make yourself as visible as possible when riding your bike. Wear bright, reflective clothing in shades of orange, yellow or green to increase the chances of others on the road seeing you, or invest in a high-visibility safety vest or reflective tape to make it even harder for other motorists to miss you.
How May a Left-Turn Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Help?
At Stevenson Klotz Injury Lawyers, we understand how painful it is to suffer an injury in a motorcycle crash or lose a loved one to such circumstances. We are also well-versed in Florida’s motorcycle laws and have a firm understanding of who is liable when crash-related injuries or fatalities do occur. There are strict statutes of limitations involved when pursuing a personal injury case applying to any crash, so get in touch with a motorcycle accident lawyer in Pensacola today to learn more about your options while there’s still time.