Motorcycles provide many advantages over cars: they are easier to park, they save fuel, and they can provide quite a bit of fun. They are a popular form of transportation and recreation in Florida, but they carry a special set of risks and responsibilities. Florida requires a license to operate a motorcycle in addition to the standard driver’s license. The state has seen an increase in accidents and injuries over the past decade. If you have suffered injuries in a motorcycle accident, a Boca Raton motorcycle accident lawyer can help you determine liability and recover damages for your injuries.
Motorcycles in Florida
The number of accidents, injuries, and fatalities involving motorcycles has increased in Florida over the past decade. There were 4,478 accidents with 3,930 injuries in 1997, increasing to 7,484 accidents and 6,686 injuries in 2010, according to the Florida Department of Transportation. The totals for 2010 represent a decrease from a high in 2009, but the numbers are still quite large. The year 2009 saw 350 fatalities due to motorcycle crashes statewide. Florida exempted adult motorcycle operators from wearing helmets under certain circumstances in 2000, which may account for some of the increase according to the National Institutes of Health.
Florida began requiring all motorcycle riders to take and pass a Basic Rider Course in 2008. Successful completion of the course would give the rider a “motorcycle endorsement” on their driver’s license. Operating a motorcycle without the endorsement is now a violation of the law. Riders may also obtain a “motorcycle only” license, which authorizes them to operate a motorcycle without a general driver’s license.
Liability in Motorcycle Accidents
Drivers in Florida must give motorcycles the same consideration they would to any other vehicle on the road. While motorcycles’ smaller size may make them more difficult to see under certain road conditions, drivers have a duty to drive with caution. Motorcycle riders have the same rights in the event of an accident: if the driver of a car or other vehicle failed to exercise caution on the road and caused an accident that injured the rider, the rider can bring a claim for negligence against the driver and recover damages.
Motorcycle operators also have the same duties as an automobile driver on the roads. They must obey the same traffic laws and give the same consideration to other vehicles. Motorcycle riders who fail to exercise care may be liable for damages or injuries they cause. In an accident involving a motorcycle and an automobile, the automobile frequently causes greater damage, but even an injured rider found to be at fault could be liable for damages.
Our attorneys will review your case and evaluate your injuries and damages in preparing your case. It is necessary to look at your physical injuries, lost wages, future medical needs, and property damage to help you obtain the maximum recovery possible.
The Deerfield Beach motorcycle accident attorneys of Goldman & Daszkal, P.A., represent people in Palm Beach and Broward County who have been injured in accidents involving motorcycles. Contact us through this website or at 954-428-9333 for a free and confidential consultation.