Motorcycle Accident Lawyers in Coral Springs
Compensation for Your Medical Bills, Lost Wages, and Other Damages May
South Florida’s busy streets and highways are hazardous for anyone
driving or riding on a motorcycle. The city of Miami, in particular, is
known for its traffic congestion and aggressive drivers. Such conditions
increase the likelihood of motorcycle accidents.
We represented a moped rider who suffered serious brain injury and other
injuries in Fort Lauderdale, resulting in an $11.8 million dollar jury
verdict before reduction for the victim’s comparative negligence.
However, because the jury reduced the verdict substantially and was not
properly instructed by the trial judge, we were able to get the jury verdict
reversed on appeal for a new trial, with the hopes getting a much higher
verdict and judgment the next time we go to trial.
People riding motorcycles have far less protection than occupants in a
standard vehicle, therefore, they are obviously at a greater risk for
injury. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, between
the years 2001 to 2008, more than 34,000 motorcycle drivers in the United
States were killed and well over 1 million people visited the emergency
room due to motorcycle accidents.
Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
For the most part, motorcycle accidents occur because vehicles or trucks
do not see them. Many innocent motorcycle drivers are injured or killed
by drivers that never saw the motorcycle. Motor vehicle drivers may be
distracted by their phones, music, and people in the car. Car or truck
drivers may also be driving recklessly, or under the influence of drugs
or alcohol. If an individual is involved in a motorcycle accident due
to the negligence of a vehicle or truck, the motorcyclist and/or passenger
in a motorcycle may be entitled to file a claim.
In other cases, motorcyclists are negligent, weaving in and out of lanes
and speeding past cars. Aggressive driving by motorcyclists can often
result in an accident. In some situations, after the accident takes place,
the motorcyclist is found with alcohol in his/her system. We settled a
case where a motorcycle driver drove into a car in Weston, FL, causing
injuries to the people in the car.
A study conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
determined the following facts pertaining to motorcyclists driving impaired:
- Having any alcohol in one’s body increases the chance of crashing
by 5 times
- Having a BAC greater than 0.05% increases the risk of crashing about 40-fold
- One-fourth of all fatal alcohol-related motorcycle crashes involve motorcyclists
running off the road, overturning, or falling from the motorcycle rather
than striking another object
Motorcycle Accident Injuries
The majority of injuries endured in motorcycle accidents involve the legs
and feet. Other injuries reported are head and neck injuries, upper and
lower trunk injuries, and injuries to the arms and hands. Bikers can take
preventive measures to reduce the risk of motorcycle accidents. The Florida
Department of Transportation suggests bikers become more visible to motor
vehicles by wearing brighter colors, placing reflective stickers on their
helmets, or wearing a bright colored helmet. Motorcyclists should also
drive cautiously, making sure to stay out of vehicle or truck blind spots
and follow all traffic laws.
Motorcycle Accident Statistics
Florida’s sunshine, tourist attractions, theme parks, and an array
of annual events draw millions of visitors to our state year-round. One
type of annual event Florida is known for is the many motorcycle events
that occur throughout the year, including the Poker Run in Coconut Creek.
Thousands of motorcycle riders participate in these events all around
Florida. The combination of residents and visitors in Florida, along with
large scale motorcycle events, means busier roadways and an increased
risk for motorcycle accidents.
According to the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), Palm Beach,
Broward, and Miami-Dade counties had some of the highest number of motorcycle
accident deaths in Florida in 2009. Statistics show that, in Florida,
the amount of motorcycle accidents and injuries increased significantly
from the late 1990s through 2008. For example, in 1997 there were a total
of 4,478 motorcycle accidents in Florida, resulting in 3,930 injuries.
In 2008, 9,618 motorcycle crashes took place, with 8,519 injuries. In
2009, however, there was a 13.6% decrease in motorcycle accidents and
a 12.7 percent decrease in the number of injuries. For more information, visit
Florida Motorcycle Laws
FDOT, two of the contributing factors for the decrease in motorcycle accidents
and injuries in 2009 were Florida’s Motorcycle Safety Coalition
and new laws for rider training that were actualized in 2008.
The Florida Motorcycle Safety Coalition works with the FDOT’s Motorcycle
Safety Program to decrease the number of deaths and serious injuries to
motorcyclists and passengers.
In an effort to reduce motorcycle accidents, Florida law requires motorcyclists
to successfully complete
the Motorcycle Safety Foundation's Basic Rider Course before attaining their motorcycle license. The course provides bikers
with the necessary training to be a safe motorcycle driver. Florida law
also requires motorcyclists to wear protective eye gear at all times.
Also, motorcyclists are strongly encouraged to wear helmets. According
to the Florida Department of Transportation, ever since the helmet law
was repealed, the number of fatal motorcycle crashes increased by 21%.
As of now, Florida only has a partial helmet law, requiring individuals
16 years or younger to wear helmets. Individuals that are 21 years or
older may ride without a helmet as long as they carry proof of insurance
that covers $10,000 for injuries from an accident. However, that doesn’t
definitively prevent a jury from finding that the failure to wear the
helmet may be considered negligence and may reduce the verdict. Of course,
we highly recommend that all motorcycle drivers (and moped drivers and
other similar vehicle drivers) wear their helmets to potentially reduce
the risk of serious and permanent injuries such as brain damage and paralysis.
Real-Life Case Example
Our attorneys have first-hand experience handling motorcycle accident cases
and know precisely what issues to consider in each case. For example,
Mr. Cytryn represented a motorcyclist who was involved in a collision
with a taxicab in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. The motorcyclist suffered severe
injuries including a fractured femur that required metal plates and screws
and head injuries requiring 2 and half weeks’ hospitalization, ultimately
resulting in 3 surgeries. The defendants’ best offer was $170,000;
however, following a trial, Mr. Cytryn was able to obtain a jury verdict
of $510,000, which was reduced by 25% because of the motorcycle driver’s
Motorcycle Safety Tips
It is important for motorcycle riders to study and practice road safety,
as motorcycle accidents are widely known to be more dangerous than other
types of motor vehicle accidents, and in many cases, can lead to catastrophic
injury or death. Studies show that 80% of motorcycle accidents result
in injury or death to motorcyclists, compared to 20% of
car accidents resulting in injury or death to car drivers and passengers.
Some of the dangers that riders and their passengers face include:
Accidents involving cars. Because of their size, motorcycles can be hard
for cars to see, particularly at intersections. According to
trafficsafety.org, in 2006, intersection accidents accounted for 51% of fatal motorcycle
accidents (where the motorcyclist was killed) involving passenger vehicles.
- Motorcycle drivers and their passengers are subject to more serious injuries
than other drivers. Because motorcycles don’t provide the same protection
that other vehicles do — seatbelts, crumple zones, and airbags —
it is important for riders and their passengers to wear helmets and other
safety gear to protect themselves from catastrophic injuries such as traumatic
brain injury and spinal cord injury.
Motorcyclists can keep themselves safe by:
- Always wearing a helmet to avoid serious injuries to the brain
- Wearing gloves, boots, and other protective gear to avoid injuries
- Wearing bright clothing to be more visible to other drivers
- Allowing yourself space when passing other vehicles
- Avoiding passing the vehicle in front when approaching turns
- Using your horn when you feel it is necessary or when in someone’s
- Not drinking and driving
Hiring a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer in Coral Springs
Since motorcycles offer little protection, the injuries sustained in motorcycle
accidents are often severe, such as injuries to the head, neck, legs,
feet, arms, and hands. If you are hospitalized because your injuries or
are unable to come to our office, one of our lawyers or representatives
will come to you if we determine it is a case we can handle.
Our firm knows it is important for clients to be knowledgeable about their
case; therefore, we designate case managers to frequently update our clients
on the status of their case. In addition, our firm believes it is necessary
for our clients to feel comfortable communicating with our staff, thus
emphasizing to our clients to call us any time they have questions or
concerns regarding their case.
Get Started on Your Claim Today
If you or a family member has been injured in a motorcycle accident, you
may be wondering what your next step should be and where to go for help.
Motorcycle accidents tend to be complex cases and should be handled with
the help of an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer. An attorney with
experience handling motorcycle accidents will begin the investigation
process and explore issues pertaining to liability (fault), negligence,
dealing with the insurance companies, damages, and seeking ways to obtain
the best possible financial recovery that you may be entitled to for your case.
Contact the Coral Springs motorcycle accident lawyers at Law Offices Cytryn &
Velazquez, P.A. today for a free case evaluation at
(954) 833-1440. Our attorneys will answer your concerns and protect your rights throughout
the legal process.