Personal Injury Lawyers Standing Up for Injured St. Petersburg Bikers
Access to open roads, stunning coastal scenery, and fair weather all year long make Florida an unsurprisingly popular location for motorcyclists. Unfortunately, such attributes combined with a large state population also make it a common location for motorcycle accidents.
Crash data compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) Fatality Analysis Reporting System listed the top 10 deadliest roads in the US by the number of fatalities. A whopping 5 of said roads are in the state of Florida, with US-41 and I-75 in nearby Hillsborough County being two of them.
Often, the negligence of other drivers is the direct cause of motorcycle accidents that result in catastrophic injury. Bikers should not have to fear the roads because of reckless motorists. If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in a motorcycle accident in St. Petersburg, call the motorcycle accident attorneys at Fran Haasch Law Group today to ensure your rights are upheld. You may qualify for recompense to cover your medical bills, pain and suffering, and other significant losses.
Florida Motorcycle Accident Statistics
There are nearly 600,000 motorcycle registrations in the state of Florida. In 2020, there were 8,037 motorcycle crashes in Florida, according to Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV), with 517 of those resulting in a fatality.
A State Highway Safety Offices report shows that Florida had the highest number of motorcycle fatalities in the country in 2016 and 2017, leading all fifty states with 574.
Are Motorcycle Crashes More Dangerous?
Yes. Although there are risks to traveling in any type of motor vehicle, driving a motorcycle brings its own unique set of dangers, and bikers are well aware of them. Motorcycle accidents cause grievous injury far more often than accidents involving other types of vehicles, and negligent automobile drivers are a major source of the problem.
Why Are Motorcycle Accident Injuries More Likely?
While riding a motorcycle can inspire an exhilarating feeling of freedom, there are undeniable added dangers to this mode of transportation. For example, bikers are not secured to their vehicles and are much more likely to be thrown if struck by another automobile. Bikers also lack a protective vehicle body that includes heavy steel or aluminum doors, seatbelts, and airbags, unlike car and truck drivers.
The lack of these protections, as well as the comparative lightness of a motorcycle to standard cars and trucks, means that motorcyclists often experience significant injuries when they’re involved in a collision. Even with proper safety gear, the most experienced motorcyclists could end up seriously hurt, or even have their lives cut short by a careless driver in an instant.
Common St. Petersburg Motorcycle Accident Injuries
Injuries resulting from motorcycle collisions can be severe due to the increased vulnerability of motorcycle riders. In fact, motorcyclists are 27 times more likely to be killed in a crash than passenger car occupants, according to the NHTSA. At the law firm of Fran Haasch, we have frequently sought compensation on behalf of motorcycle accident victims for the following types of injuries:
- Spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Internal bleeding and damage to internal organs
- Broken bones and fractures
- Severe lacerations
- Neck and back injuries
- Road rash/skin abrasions
Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents in St. Petersburg, Florida
Just as with car accidents, motorcycle accidents can happen for a variety of reasons, but the primary cause is driver negligence. Some common types of driver negligence include:
- Distracted driving
- Disobeying traffic signs or signals
- Following too closely
- Failure to check blind spots
- Failure to use turn signals
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Unsafe lane changes
While the following are less common than driver negligence as the cause of a motorcycle crash, it is certainly possible that one or more of these other types of negligence may be factors responsible for your accident. A savvy motorcycle accident lawyer knows to research all possible causes thoroughly.
Vehicle Manufacture or Design Defect
A motorcycle accident can also be the result of defective vehicle design or manufacture. In these situations, a manufacturer or retailer could be held liable if the defect is determined to be the cause of an accident. Common types of vehicle defects include:
- Faulty brakes
- Defective tires
- Engine failure
- Fuel system defects
- Faulty handlebars/steering
Vehicle Repair or Maintenance Defect
Like a manufacturer being held liable for a component that has failed, a body shop or mechanic can also be held responsible for an accident if it is determined that negligent repair work or maintenance was the cause. Examples of repair work or maintenance defects include:
- Failure to replace broken or worn parts
- Using old, damaged, or defective replacement parts
- Failure to perform necessary or requested maintenance
- Leaving foreign objects in the motorcycle (such as rags or tools) after maintenance completion
Road Construction or Maintenance Defect
Motorcycle riders are more susceptible to accidents caused by dangerous road conditions and other hazards. In certain circumstances, cities and municipalities charged with road design, construction, and upkeep could be held liable if it is determined they were negligent in these duties and said negligence was the cause of an accident. Common types of road construction and maintenance defects include:
- Deteriorating asphalt
- Road debris
- Improperly marked construction
- Inadequate lane markings
- Poor drainage
- Malfunctioning stoplights
Specific legal rules apply when pursuing claims involving Florida roadways and government entities.
As you can surmise from the aforementioned, it is crucial to have an experienced personal injury lawyer who thoroughly understands these legal complexities, and won’t back down from holding powerful or aggressive defendants accountable.
The skilled St. Petersburg motorcycle accident attorneys at the Fran Haasch Law Group are well versed in investigating all potential accident causes and liable parties. We fight for our clients to get the compensation they deserve, and we are unafraid to take a motorcycle accident case to trial, when necessary. Call us today for a free case evaluation.
St. Petersburg Motorcycle Accidents and Driver Negligence
The Perils of Left Turns
A recent study by the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) reveals that drivers of other vehicles are responsible for motorcycle accidents approximately 60% of the time. Unfortunately, while most motorcycle riders are taught to be extremely aware of the vehicles around them, the same cannot always be said of other motor vehicle drivers.
An incredible 42% of fatal motorcycle crashes that involved an automobile occurred when the automobile was turning left while the motorcycle was going straight, passing, or overtaking it. Because of this, motorcyclists are most at risk when approaching an intersection where a car or truck is making a left turn in front of them. It is the number one type of motorcycle accident.
Do I Really Need a St. Petersburg Motorcycle Accident Attorney?
If you or someone you love has suffered serious injuries in a motorcycle crash because of someone else’s reckless or negligent behavior, it is strongly advised that you consult a competent and knowledgeable St. Petersburg motorcycle accident lawyer. It is simply not worth it to take your chances and try to negotiate a settlement with insurance companies on your own when so much is at stake.
A 2017 AAA Consumer Pulse survey ranked Pinellas County as the fifth most dangerous of all 67 Florida counties for motorcycle fatalities. Survivors of motorcycle crashes often suffer from traumatic and life-changing injuries and a host of associated hardships: extraordinary medical bills, lost wages, property damage, and the costs of ongoing medical care, not to mention mental anguish and other personal losses.
Do not be fooled into thinking insurance companies are so altruistic that they’ll gladly shell out all the recompense you deserve for your pain and suffering. On the contrary, their primary objective is getting away with paying you as little money as they can.
It is essential to retain a strong, proficient St. Petersburg motorcycle accident attorney with a proven personal injury record. The Fran Haasch Law Group is ready to compassionately and expertly help you navigate the emotional and legal complexities of your personal injury case.
Determining Liability for Your St. Petersburg Motorcycle Accident
Motorcyclists have the same responsibility to obey the law and practice safe driving as everyone else on the road, and they can certainly be responsible for an accident if they are reckless. But the truth is, as aforementioned FDOT data shows, that drivers of other vehicles are most often at fault. Usually the accident is caused by a failure of another car to yield the right of way to a motorcycle.
In St. Petersburg motorcycle accidents, it is not uncommon for the driver of the other car and his or her insurance company to accuse the motorcyclist of engaging in high-risk activity and blame them for being at fault for the collision.
However, you can rest assured when you have a St. Petersburg motorcycle accident lawyer from the Fran Haasch Law Group in your corner that they will perform a prompt and comprehensive investigation to discover who is responsible for your accident and the damages you are owed. Our firm will thoroughly research all available evidence to prove you were not at fault, including:
- Photographs of the accident scene
- Any available video footage
- Police reports from the accident
- Witness statements
- Medical records
- Expert testimony from accident scene investigators
Even in the event that you are partially at fault, you can still file a claim for damages! Do not be dissuaded if a court determines you share some of the blame– Florida’s comparative negligence statute allows you to file a claim regardless. Any compensation you receive in a lawsuit will be reduced by the percentage of fault allocated to you. This means if you are deemed 15% responsible for your motorcycle accident because you were speeding, your compensation will be reduced by the same amount.
Determining the Types of Compensation You’re Entitled To
Motorcycle accident cases can be catastrophic and life altering. Everything from your finances and future to your physical and mental health can be turned upside down in a moment. If you’ve been injured due to someone else’s negligence, you may be able to claim compensation for the following damages:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Property damage
- Lost earning capacity due to disability
- Future medical expenses
- Pain and suffering
What Should I Do After a Motorcycle Accident in St. Petersburg, FL?
If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident, it is imperative to take the following steps:
- Immediately get medical treatment for your injuries. Even if you think you are okay, you could have a serious injury that is not immediately evident.
- Take photos of the accident scene.
- Get the other driver’s name, phone number, and insurance information of the other driver.
- Get the names and phone numbers of any witnesses.
- Do not speak to the other driver’s insurance company or agree to any settlements. Doing so could disqualify you from claiming any future compensation.
- Call the motorcycle accident injury lawyers at Fran Haasch Law Group, or contact us online 24 hours a day.
How Long After an Accident Do I Have to Find a St. Petersburg Motorcycle Accident Lawyer?
The statute of limitations to take legal action for a motorcycle accident in the state of Florida is four years, and two years in the case of a wrongful death claim. So, if you think you might want to file a lawsuit and wish to consult a personal injury lawyer, you should do so as soon as possible after your accident. Four years may seem like a long time, but the legal process of investigating your case and pursuing compensation takes time. Therefore, it is prudent to contact a St. Petersburg motorcycle accident lawyer immediately.
Motorcycle Accident Prevention and Safety Tips
Although most motorcyclists are well versed in safe riding practices, it bears repeating because nothing is more precious than your life.
- Never drink and drive. 27% of fatal motorcycle crashes involve alcohol.
- Practice defensive driving.
- Be aware of weather, road conditions, and other drivers.
- Wear appropriate safety gear, including a helmet, even if you are not legally required to do so.
- Don’t speed– it’s a factor in 33% of motorcycle fatalities.
- Do not engage in lane splitting (riding between lanes of traffic moving the same direction). It is a dangerous and illegal practice in Florida.
- Make yourself visible to other drivers, and use common sense.
How Can the St. Petersburg Motorcycle Accident Lawyers at the Law Firm of Fran Haasch Help Me?
The personal injury lawyers at the Fran Haasch Law Group have a proven record of standing up for injured motorcycle accident victims. We take getting justice for our clients seriously, and we back down from no insurance company. If you’ve suffered injuries from a collision that was someone else’s fault in St. Petersburg, FL, you deserve to have your medical expenses and personal losses compensated. Our injury lawyers will gladly provide you with a free evaluation and answer any questions about your case.
Our St. Petersburg motorcycle accident lawyers understand what it’s like to share the road with negligent drivers because personal injury law isn’t just one of our practice areas–we’re avid bikers ourselves. We are on your side, and we don’t collect a dime unless you receive compensation for your claim. We proudly serve clients in St. Petersburg, Palm Harbor, Clearwater, and the greater Tampa Bay area. Contact us today for a free case evaluation.