The Villages Motorcycle Accident Attorney
If you were seriously injured in a motorcycle accident, you could be entitled to significant financial compensation. To find out if you have a case, contact The Villages motorcycle accident attorney Tim Babiarz today.
Florida leads the nation in motorcycle accident fatalities. While some blame this sobering statistic on the state’s helmet law (insured drivers over age 21 are not legally required to wear a helmet), the large number of both fatal and non-fatal accidents demonstrates that there are other factors involved. Indeed, motorcycle riders are even more susceptible to the mistakes of distracted, drunk and other negligent drivers. Lack of awareness and lack of respect for motorcycle riders’ rights is a clear issue in many accidents as well.
At the Babiarz Law Firm, PA, we help injured motorcycle riders in The Villages, Lady Lake, Oxford, Wildwood, Ocala, Summerfield, Belleview, Leesburg; and Central Florida’s other communities seek financial compensation for their losses. Potential damages include compensation not only for outstanding medical bills, but also future medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering; and other forms of financial and emotional harm. Most riders do not realize the full extent of the damage they will suffer in the wake of an accident. As a result, they settle too soon and for less than they deserve. Please do not make this mistake! Let an experienced motorcycle accident attorney in the Villages help maximize your financial recovery.
Motorcycle Accident Cases We Handle
Most serious motorcycle accidents involve collisions with passenger vehicles. When drivers make mistakes, even the most defensive riders can be left helpless to avoid suffering life-changing injuries. We represent riders throughout Central Florida who have been injured in accidents involving:
- Distracted driving
- Drunk driving
- Failure to yield
- Reckless driving
- Other forms of driver negligence
For obvious reasons, accidents involving commercial trucks tend to have the greatest consequences for motorcycle riders. A variety of factors can lead to truck accidents, and at the Babiarz Law Firm, PA, our motorcycle accident lawyers have experience at uncovering all potential sources of compensation for our clients’ losses.
Motorcycle defects cause an alarming number of accidents. When you buy a motorcycle, you expect it to be ready for the rigors of daily riding. But, defects -- including faulty suspensions, swing arms, brakes, transmission systems and tires -- can cause accidents when you least expect them. If a motorcycle defect played a role in your accident, you may have a claim against your bike’s manufacturer.
The Villages Motorcycle Accident Attorney Explains Causes of Crashes
When a motorcycle accident happens, it becomes imperative to determine how the accident occurred because if a driver was to blame, that driver should be held liable for all economic and non-financial losses that the crash caused to occur. If you or someone you love was hurt or killed in a crash, you should consider reaching out to The Villages motorcycle accident attorney to determine what your options are for identifying the crash cause and holding the driver accountable for damages.
Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
Motorcycle crashes occur for many reasons. Some of the common causes include:
- Speeding: When a driver or motorcyclist goes too fast, the chances of an accident increase. In fact, a 2013 report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration revealed that around 34 percent of all motorcycle riders involved in deadly collisions were found to have been exceeding the speed limit when a collision happened. Going too fast increases the chances that a motorcyclist will lose control or that a driver won't be able to stop in time to avoid hitting a motorcycle rider.
- Distraction: If a driver or motorcyclist is distracted, accidents are likely to occur. Motorcyclists are harder to see than other drivers and, as such, driver distraction can be far more dangerous for motorcycle riders.
- Intoxication: The NHTSA report also indicated that 27 percent of motorcycle riders involved in fatal accidents were found to have been intoxicated at the time of the accident. If a motorcyclist or driver is drunk, there is a significantly increased chance of collision due to delayed reaction times, impaired judgement, and other alcohol-related impairments.
- Drivers who don't see motorcyclists: When drivers turn or change lanes, there is a risk the motorist won't see the motorcycle rider. The Look Twice, Save a Life campaign aims to encourage drivers to check carefully to make sure a motorcyclist is not in the driver's blind spot.
- Drivers who have difficulty judging motorcycle speed: Many drivers are not good a sharing the road with motorcyclists. Drivers may have difficulty judging how fast motorcycles travel, which makes it more likely a driver will cut off a motorcyclist and cause a T-bone crash. Drivers having difficult judging the speed of motorcycle riders also increases the likelihood of a rear-end collision if a driver fails to slow down his speed when approaching a motorcycle rider as the lead vehicle.
These are just some of the common reasons why motorcycle accidents happen. After a collision, The Villages motorcycle accident attorney Tim Babiarz can provide you with help in determining the crash cause, identifying who was to blame, and taking appropriate legal action to recover financial compensation for damages. Contact us today to find out how Babiarz Law Firm, P.A. can help you.
Florida Motorcycle Laws Explained by The Villages Motorcycle Accident Attorney at Our Firm
Motorcycle riders in Florida are expected to comply with traffic laws like everyone else on the road in other types of vehicles. Like other drivers, they are also generally required to operate their vehicles in a reasonably safe manner and refrain from dangerous activities.
Unfortunately, that does not always happen. When bikers do not live up to their responsibilities, they are likely to be deemed negligent and legally responsible for any accidents that occur as a result.
Proving that a biker did not comply with the law can be a critical part of a motorcycle accident claim, and insurers can use this proof to avoid paying an injured biker the compensation owed. That said, all motorcyclists are encouraged to know and abide by the rules.
A driver’s license alone is not enough to be able to operate a motorcycle in Florida legally. Instead, riders must obtain a motorcycle endorsement by completing a rider safety course and passing a basic safety test.
Helmets are not legally required for motorcycle riders in Florida who are over the age of 21. However, riders who opt not to wear a helmet are required to have protective eye gear. They must also carry an insurance policy with at least $10,000 of medical benefits coverage.
There are plenty of good reasons to strap on a helmet before hitting the road. However, bikers who choose not to wear one have a significantly higher risk of injury or death than those who use the safety device.
According to research by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, helmets reduce the risk of death for motorcyclists by nearly 40 percent. Motorcyclists who wear helmets are also nearly 70 percent less likely than others to suffer head injuries - which can have severe and lasting consequences - when collisions happen.
That is not to mention that a biker who is not wearing a helmet when an accident occurs is likely to be deemed at least partly to blame for his or her injuries. Florida is a “comparative negligence” state, which means that a person injured in a collision who is found partly responsible for the injuries will have his or her money damages reduced based on proportionate fault.
Headlights and Mirrors
Motorcycle riders in Florida are required to use daytime headlights. In other words, the bike’s headlights must be on even in the middle of a bright and sunny day.
This requirement is meant to ensure that motorcycles are visible to other drivers at all times. Motorcycle accidents commonly occur when drivers turn or merge into the path of vehicles, and drivers later say they did not see the motorcycle.
Bikes must also be equipped with mirrors that allow the rider to see to the rear for at least 200 feet. This requirement is designed to ensure that riders know what is happening around them.
Lane splitting is a particularly dangerous activity that is far too common across the Sunshine State. As the term suggests, lane splitting happens when bikers ride between two lanes of slow-moving or stopped traffic. Unlike in some other states, lane splitting is illegal in Florida.
Lane splitting increases the risk of an accident for several reasons. First, other drivers are not expecting motorcycles to ride the line between lanes. Additionally, they may not notice bikers when changing lanes. Even a motorcyclist who is proceeding with caution may wind up in a driver’s blind spot by splitting lanes.
Lane-splitting motorcycles also often travel at higher speeds than the stopped or snarled traffic around them. The faster that lane splitters travel compared to the traffic around them, the more likely they are to be involved in accidents, according to research from the University of California.
Similarly, a maximum of two riders can travel next to each other in the same lane at any time under Florida law. Additional motorcycles can crowd the lane and increase the risk of a crash.
What to Do After a Motorcycle Accident in Central Florida
If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident, there are several steps you can take to improve your chances of securing just compensation. Motorcycle accident victims in Central Florida should:
- Collect vehicle and contact information from all drivers and witnesses at the scene of the accident (assuming you are physically able to do so. If not have someone do it.)
- Take photos at the scene (again, assuming you are able. If not have someone do it.)
- Call 911 and seek prompt medical attention
- Avoid discussing the accident with the insurance companies
- Hire an experienced legal team to advise you and deal with the insurance companies on your behalf
Frequently Asked Questions Addressing Motorcycle Crashes
The Villages motorcycle accident attorney Tim Babiarz has been assisting people injured in bike and other accidents for decades. Here are some of the most common motorcycle accident questions that he gets.
How Long Do I Have to File a Claim After a Crash?
A person injured in a motorcycle accident in Florida generally has four years from the time of the accident to file a lawsuit seeking compensation from those responsible. In the tragic event that a person dies in a bike accident, his or her family members have two years from the date of the crash to file a suit for wrongful death.
The deadlines can be paused or “tolled” in certain limited situations in which circumstances prevent the claim from going forward. For example, the deadline may be tolled where a person responsible for the crash is in another state and cannot be located, including if the person provided false information after the collision.
It is important to understand that many motorcycle accident cases are resolved without going to trial. Sending a demand letter to those responsible for the collision and filing a lawsuit can help start talks to resolve the matter through a negotiated settlement. A Villages motorcycle accident attorney at our firm can help you reach an outcome that is in your best interest.
How Much is My Case Worth?
The value of any particular motorcycle accident case varies widely based on the circumstances.
Insurers consider a variety of factors in deciding whether to try to settle a claim or fight it in court. Those factors also help set the total amount of money damages that a person injured in a crash may be able to obtain.
Evidence of fault is at the top of the list. You have to be able to prove that the person or entity from which you are seeking compensation is legally liable for the crash. You also have to be able to detail the full extent of your injuries and their impact on your ability to work and participate in daily activities. The more extensive the injuries, the higher the amount of money damages that may be available.
How Will My Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Be Paid?
Our Villages motorcycle accident attorneys take cases on a strict contingency fee basis. That means we do not get a fee unless we successfully get compensation for you, either in court or through a negotiated settlement. Therefore, we do not charge a retainer upfront.
Discuss Your Legal Options With The Villages Motorcycle Accident Attorney Tim Babiarz
To learn more about protecting your rights after a motorcycle accident in Central Florida, contact The Villages motorcycle accident attorney Tim Babiarz. Mr. Babiarz and the legal team at our firm handle all motorcycle accident cases on contingency, so you pay nothing unless we help you win just compensation. For a free, no-obligation consultation, call (352) 205-7599 or send us your information online now.