When you are riding a motorcycle in Florida, utmost caution is an absolute must for safety. Regrettably, no matter how much you prepare and take precautions against accidents happening – they still do occur; that is why it is essential to be ready with solutions if such incidents happen.
Taking the right steps after an accident can help ensure that you get the best possible outcome in this stressful and upsetting situation.
How often do motorcycle accidents occur in Florida?
Florida is one of the most dangerous states in the United States when it comes to motorcycle accidents.
Florida experiences an alarming number of Florida motorcycle accidents each year, with a record of 8,045 crashes reported in 2020.
The Florida motorcycle accident death toll has also been in an upward trend over the years, with 552 fatalities reported due to motorcycle crashes in 2020 alone.
It is clear that Florida motorcyclists must be aware of the risks associated with riding and should consider taking additional safety precautions to avoid becoming the victim of a crippling motorcycle crash.
What are the common causes of motorcycle accidents?
While riding a motorcycle can be thrilling, it is important to remember that just like any other vehicle, they come with inherent risks.
Knowing the usual causes of a motorcycle accident in Florida gives you an idea of what potentially dangerous scenarios to look out for if you ever find yourself in the middle of a crash.
1. Alcohol and drug impairment
Riding a motorcycle after consuming alcohol or drugs is an extremely dangerous decision and can result in serious impairment. This mistake has been the leading cause of numerous accidents in Florida due to its potential consequences, such as decreased reaction time, impaired vision and judgment, which can all lead to tragic outcomes.
2. Distracted driving or inattentiveness
Texting, talking on the phone, eating and drinking while operating a vehicle—all of these activities require your attention away from what matters most: safety. Without paying close attention to your surroundings in traffic-filled environments, it can become difficult for you to react quickly enough if something suddenly appears like unexpected obstacles along the way.
When you drive beyond the posted speed limit, there is a greater danger of losing control and not having enough time to respond if an obstacle abruptly emerges in front of you; this can easily end with a crash.
4. Road hazards
Road hazards such as potholes, cracked and uneven pavement, sand, loose gravel, and other debris can cause you to lose control of your bike if you do not take the necessary precautions.
5. Poor weather conditions
Rain, snow, or fog can also increase the risk of a motorcycle accident. Reduced visibility, slippery surfaces, and strong winds can all make the roads more dangerous.
6. Mechanical failure or defects
Malfunctioning brakes, tire blowouts, suspension systems, and other mechanical issues can lead to a crash if not addressed promptly.
7. Driver error
Driver error is another major contributor to motorcycle accidents in Florida. Poor decisions such as aggressive driving, failing to yield the right of way, following too closely, or other reckless behavior can increase the likelihood of serious crashes.
8. Unsafe lane changes
When you fail to signal or check your blind spots before changing lanes, you may inadvertently move into the path of an oncoming vehicle, leading to an accident.
9. Animal crossings
Animals crossing the road unexpectedly is another common cause of accidents in Florida. Wildlife such as deer, armadillos, raccoons, and other small creatures can dart out of the trees or across the road, causing a motorcycle driver to crash.
The combination of all these factors can result in fatalities or cause long-term physical disabilities that may occur as a result of motorcycle collisions. Therefore, as motorcycle riders, you must always take extra precautions when sharing roads with other motorists.
What should I do if I am in a motorcycle accident?
After any incident involving your motorcycle, whether it was caused by you or someone else and regardless of how serious or minor the accident may be, there are some essential steps every biker should take.
The following steps below will give you a detailed breakdown of what to do post-accident so that getting back on the road is less intimidating and more manageable.
1. Stay on the scene
Stay calm and collected. Running away from the scene of an accident will only bring more serious legal repercussions – making a bad situation worse.
2. Check for injuries
Check yourself and your passengers for any injuries. If you or someone else needs medical attention, call 911 immediately and wait for medical assistance to arrive.
3. Call the Police
After getting medical treatment, contact the police and inform them of what happened—this will help them create an accident report that can be used in any future legal proceedings.
4. Take Photos of the Accident Scene
Use your cell phone to take pictures of the whole scene and all the vehicles involved in the accident. In taking photos of each vehicle, make sure to capture the damages in close-up shots. Include any tire skid marks, broken pieces of glass, or debris scattered around the scene.
It is also important to take photos of any injuries you sustained from the accident. These pictures can be used as evidence if you need to file an insurance or personal injury claim.
5. Exchange Information with the Other Driver
Make sure you exchange information with the other driver involved in the crash. This includes name, contact details, and address. It is also important for you to get the other driver’s insurance company along with his/her insurance coverage details. Additionally, don’t forget to jot down the other driver’s license plate number.
6. Secure The Information Of All Witnesses Present
If anyone happens to be present at the scene of the accident, make sure you get their contact details just in case it is necessary for them to testify when filing an insurance claim.
7. Contact Your Insurance Company
Most insurance companies are open 24/7, making them available to provide assistance and give answers related to file insurance claim filing. So, don’t hesitate to pick up the phone and contact your motorcycle insurance company as soon as possible to report the accident and provide them with all the necessary details of what happened in order to start the motorcycle accident claims process.
8. Keep Detailed Records
Keep all documents related to the accident in a clear, structured way. This includes medical bills, repair estimates, and any other related records. This will help you keep track of your motorcycle accident claim and ensure that your insurance company processes it efficiently.
9. Be Wary of Insurance Adjusters
Insurance adjusters may try to contact you after the accident. They will usually offer a settlement to avoid any future legal action. Although it may sound tempting, do not accept any settlement offer unless you have consulted with an attorney who specializes in motorcycle accident claims. This is important to guarantee that you don’t let yourself get shortchanged.
10. What to Steer Clear Of
Under no circumstances should you admit fault, provide a recorded statement or sign any documents such as the release of liability without first consulting with an experienced attorney. This is important to ensure that your rights are protected.
11. Contact a Motorcycle Accident Attorney
It is to your advantage to seek experienced legal counsel. A Florida motorcycle accident attorney can provide the necessary advice and assistance when dealing with an insurance company or navigating any possible legal proceedings arising from the accident.
They will speak with witnesses and insurance adjusters. They will also review police reports and insurance company documents. With their knowledge and guidance, you can be confident that your rights and interests are being represented fairly.
11. File a Motorcycle Accident Claim
If you have suffered serious injuries or property damage, filing a motorcycle accident claim may help you recover compensation for medical costs, lost wages, and other related damages. Let your experienced Florida motorcycle accident lawyer lead you through the complex legal process and make sure that any possible claims are properly managed.
12. Be prepared to go to court
In some cases, the insurance companies involved may refuse to settle or provide an offer that is insufficient to cover your losses. Therefore, you may need to consider taking legal action and filing a motorcycle accident lawsuit in court.
You should also be aware that the statute of limitations for filing a motorcycle accident lawsuit is limited, so it is important to ensure that you consult an attorney as soon as possible if you intend to take legal action. In doing so, you can be certain that you will receive fair and equitable compensation for your incurred damages.
No matter how cautious you may be, accidents can happen at any time. If the unthinkable happens and you find yourself in a motorcycle accident situation, it is vital to understand what steps should come next. Knowing these procedures could mean securing your claim or potentially missing out on compensation due to mishandling of the case.
Ultimately, it is essential for any motorcyclist who has been in an accident to enlist the help of a competent and experienced motorcycle accident attorney. Doing so will ensure that you receive adequate compensation for medical expenses, repair bills, physical or emotional suffering resulting from the crash, as well as all other damages associated with the incident.
That’s why Jared Spingarn has put together an experienced team of personal injury attorneys specializing in motorcycle accident cases. Don’t hesitate to contact them if you have questions or need assistance with your legal issue right away.
If you’re involved in a motorcycle accident in Florida, don’t hesitate to reach out to Jared Spingarn, Accident Attorney at 1-954-781-2316 for a Free Case Review or drop a message on their Contact Us page.