Fort Lauderdale Motorcycle Accident Attorney

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Fort Lauderdale motorcycle accident lawyerIf you’ve recently been in a motorcycle crash in the bustling city of Fort Lauderdale, you’re not alone in feeling overwhelmed and looking for direction. Given the city’s magnetic appeal, it draws thousands of tourists and locals alike, making it a bustling hub, particularly during peak vacation times.

Fort Lauderdale, with its pristine beaches and vibrant atmosphere, sees a swarm of visitors and commuters, especially during the spring break and summer months. Such an influx can increase the risks on the road, including for motorcyclists.

For someone seeking the advice of a Fort Lauderdale motorcycle accident lawyer, it’s critical to understand that the city’s roads and highways come with unique challenges. Take for instance the expansive I-95. Known for its heavy traffic and constant movement, it’s a familiar spot for accidents. It’s not hard to imagine a scenario where you are en route to Syndicate Cycles LLC, only to be struck by a distracted driver who was busy looking at their phone rather than the road.

Highway US 1, a principal artery that cuts through Fort Lauderdale, is another hotspot. Picture this: you’re on your bike, feeling the thrill of the wind against your face, anticipating a delicious meal at Tom Jenkins Barbeque downtown. Just as you attempt to change lanes, a car swerves into your path, causing an unexpected collision. Situations can unfold in seconds but leave lasting physical and emotional scars.

Even places where you expect it to be relatively calm can have significant dangers. The Fort Lauderdale Airport, for instance, is a central transit point, and with it comes the increased potential for accidents.

In these times of uncertainty, having a reliable legal ally can make a difference. Surviving the aftermath of a motorcycle crash isn’t easy, especially when dealing with insurance, medical bills, and recovery. Remember, the road to justice begins with understanding your rights and finding the proper help by enlisting a qualified motorcycle accident attorney in Fort Lauderdale, like at Schilling & Silvers Property and Accident Attorneys.

Knowledgeable Fort Lauderdale Motorcycle Lawyers Fighting for Your Rights

Driving on the busy roads of Fort Lauderdale can be challenging, particularly for motorcyclists. The major interstates, including I-75, I-95, and I-595, as well as Highways US 1, US 27, and US 441, see intense traffic flow, increasing the risks for motorcyclists. Accidents on these main roads are unfortunately not uncommon.

Florida consistently ranks among the top 3 states for motorcycle accidents, and the accident rates have doubled in the past 20 years to an average of 550 annually. Specifically, in 2023, Broward County alone reported 519 motorcycle crashes, resulting in 24 tragic fatalities, according to the Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles Crash Dashboard.

As experienced Fort Lauderdale motorcycle accident lawyers, we can tell you that understanding the root causes of these accidents is crucial, and many accidents get attributed to drivers not seeing motorcycles, road hazards, speeding, sudden stops, and impaired driving. The compact size of motorcycles, combined with the absence of protective barriers in traditional vehicles, significantly magnifies the potential for injury.

Comparative Fault and Florida’s No-Fault Laws

The legal landscape can be intricate if you’re involved in a motorcycle accident in Florida. The state operates under “comparative fault” and “no-fault” laws. Recent legislative changes, especially concerning comparative fault, have made the cases more complex. The passing of HB 837 introduced critical differences in how the court approaches comparative negligence in the state. Since 1973, Florida has operated under the “pure comparative negligence” principle. But there’s been a significant shift. As of March 24, 2023, Florida changed its negligence laws, transitioning to what’s known as a “modified comparative negligence” standard.

In simple terms, previously, in Florida, if the court finds you to be partially at fault for an accident (say 55%), they could still claim damages from the other party. So, if they suffered $100 in damages, they could claim $45, reflecting the 45% fault of the other party. However, with the new law, if the court finds someone more than 50% at fault for their injuries or damages, they can’t claim compensation. The only exception to this is in cases of medical malpractice.

For motorcyclists in an accident who are now trying to understand the laws, it’s vital to seek the counsel of knowledgeable Fort Lauderdale motorcycle attorneys to understand your rights and the best course of action post-accident.

Common Types of Motorcycle Accidents

Riding a motorcycle can be a thrilling experience, but it comes with its share of risks. Our motorcycle accident attorneys in Fort Lauderdale always stress that awareness of the most common types of motorcycle accidents can help riders stay vigilant and reduce the chances of a collision. Here’s a quick rundown of the most common types of motorcycle accidents:

  • Head-On Collisions — As one of the most dangerous types of accidents, these happen when a vehicle and a motorcycle crash front to front. Due to the nature of the crash, they often result in severe injuries such as traumatic brain injuries, broken bones, burns, or fatalities.
  • Lane-Change Accidents — These accidents happen when a vehicle shifts lanes without noticing a motorcycle in its blind spot, leading to a side collision.
  • Left-Turn Collisions — These typically occur when a car makes a left turn in front of an oncoming motorcycle. The rider might not have enough time to react, leading to a collision.
  • Single-Bike Accidents  These involve only the motorcycle, where the rider might lose control due to road conditions, speed, or obstacles.
  • Distracted Driver Accidents – Accidents such as these occur most often when they involve someone in a car who is distracted in some manner who hits a motorcycle rider simply because they weren’t paying full attention to the road.

What Damages Can I Recover After a Fort Lauderdale Motorcycle Accident?

Motorcycle accidents, especially in busy areas like Fort Lauderdale, can be traumatizing and lead to physical and financial consequences. If you’ve been involved in such an accident, and are considering hiring a Fort Lauderdale motorcycle accident lawyer, you might wonder what kind of compensation you’re entitled to. Here’s a breakdown of potential damages:

  • Bike Repairs — Whether it’s minor damage or a total wreck, you can claim compensation to get your bike back in shape or get a new one.
  • Emotional Suffering — Accidents can leave emotional scars, and this compensation aims to help make up for the mental anguish and trauma experienced.
  • Loss of Earning Capacity — If the accident impacts your ability to work temporarily or permanently, you can ask for damages for lost wages and reduced earning potential.
  • Medical Bills — Injuries from motorcycle accidents can be severe. This helps ensure your medical costs are covered, both present and future.
  • Punitive Damages — In cases of extreme negligence or intentional harm, punitive damages act as a deterrent to such behavior. So, the judge awards it to punish the person who caused the accident, and it may be very high.
  • Wrongful Death — If the accident results in the death of a motorcyclist, the family can claim compensation for funeral expenses, loss of consortium, and other related damages.

The Motorcycle Accident Claims Process

It can be hard to figure out what to do after a motorcycle accident, especially when dealing with insurance companies. Understanding the details of the process of a Fort Lauderdale personal injury claim is vital if you want to get the money you deserve, and you should consider the following:

Dealing with Insurance Companies After an Accident

Even though motorcycle accidents are bad, dealing with insurance companies makes things even more difficult. Here are some things you may encounter:

  • Delayed Responses — It’s not uncommon for insurance companies to delay responses intentionally. This tactic can lead to lapses in your treatment, which they later use against you during settlement negotiations, and they might argue that irregular treatment suggests your injuries weren’t severe.
  • Liability Disputes — Insurance companies can be quick to challenge liability, especially in situations where the fault isn’t clear-cut. They might claim you were responsible, reducing or denying your claim entirely.
  • Quick Settlements — Insurance companies focus on their bottom line. Following a motorcycle accident, they may rush you into accepting a quick settlement, and this premature agreement can limit your chances of getting a comprehensive settlement that truly covers your damages.

We strongly recommend that you request the advice of an experienced motorcycle accident attorney in Fort Lauderdale to avoid these pitfalls. Your interactions with the insurance company get supervised, and your best interests are protected. Professional law firms like ours ensure that insurance companies treat your claim seriously.

Steps in a Motorcycle Accident Claim

Once you’ve initiated a claim, there’s a general process that most claims follow:

  • Seek Medical Treatment — Prioritize your health after an accident, and visit a healthcare provider immediately to diagnose and treat any injuries.
  • Hire an Attorney  Retaining an attorney early can help you avoid common pitfalls and ensure you’re well-represented throughout the process.
  • Investigation  Your attorney will gather evidence related to your accident, including police reports, witness statements, and any other relevant documentation.
  • Claim Submission  Once your lawyer compiles the evidence, they will submit a claim detailing your injuries and damages.
  • Negotiation — Your attorney and the insurance company will engage in talks to reach a settlement that fairly compensates you.
  • Litigation — Your case might proceed to trial if they can’t reach a fair settlement for your injuries. Both sides will present their case, and a judge or jury will decide the outcome.

Throughout the process, having an experienced motorcycle accident attorney in Fort Lauderdale can guide you, ensuring they uphold your rights and you receive the compensation you’re entitled to.

Florida's Laws for Motorcycle Riders

Florida’s sunny weather and scenic routes make it a motorcycle enthusiast’s paradise. Riders must, however, follow specific laws designed to ensure their safety and the safety of other road users. One of the most clear regulations concerns helmet use. Riders over 21 in Florida may choose not to wear a helmet if they have a medical insurance policy with a minimum coverage of $10,000 to cover potential injuries. Furthermore, regardless of age, all riders must wear protective eyewear while on the road.

Motorcycle riders must also be aware of the licensing requirements. Riders in Florida must get a motorcycle endorsement for their regular driver’s license to drive a motorcycle legally. This often involves passing an introductory rider course. Also, Florida law requires all motorcycles to have proper lighting, including a modulating headlight for daytime use, to ensure maximum visibility. Lastly, it’s worth noting that lane splitting — where a motorcyclist drives between two lanes of traffic moving in the same direction — is prohibited in Florida.

If you have questions regarding Florida laws reach out to one of our Fort Lauderdale motorcycle accident lawyers today.

Do You Need Motorcycle Insurance in Florida?

Florida stands out in its approach to motorcycle insurance. Unlike many other states, Florida does not mandate motorcyclists to carry a minimum amount of insurance to ride legally. However, there’s a significant caveat: if a motorcyclist gets into an accident and is at fault, they are financially responsible for personal injuries and property damage. They could face severe financial consequences if they do not have insurance to cover these costs.

While it may appear tempting to skip insurance because it isn’t a legal requirement, there are solid reasons to do so. Medical bills can be significant if a motorcyclist sustains injuries in a severe accident. Without insurance, these expenses come out of the motorcyclist’s pocket. Furthermore, if a rider is at fault in an accident that causes injuries or property damage to another party, the rider will also be personally liable for those costs.

Fort Lauderdale, FL

Nestled on Florida’s southeastern coast, the city of Fort Lauderdale is more than a popular tourist destination. Known for its boating canals and stunning beaches, the city often gets likened to Venice. However, Fort Lauderdale has carved out its unique identity, offering an eclectic mix of historic, cultural, and outdoor attractions. The city’s unique blend of sun, sea, and lively downtown areas make it a magnet for residents and visitors alike.

But it’s not just beachcombers and boating enthusiasts drawn to Fort Lauderdale. The city is also a hub for motorcycle enthusiasts, with various resources catering to riders. Stu’s Motorcycles, for instance, is a go-to spot for those looking to buy top-of-the-line bikes, parts, or apparel. Whether you’re a novice or an experienced rider, Stu’s provides a comprehensive range of motorcycles and accessories.

Broward Motorsports, another pivotal spot for riders, offers many new and used bikes. With the help of their knowledgeable staff, motorcyclists find the perfect ride suited to their preferences and experience level.

For riders facing mechanical issues, Moto Corse is a reliable repair shop specializing in high-end motorcycle brands, ensuring every bike gets the attention and expertise it deserves. Baker Act Customs creates unique motorcycle masterpieces for those interested in custom designs, turning every biker’s dream into a tangible, roaring reality.

Experienced Fort Lauderdale Law Firm

Our Fort Lauderdale motorcycle accident attorneys take pride in our long-standing commitment to serving the community. With a wealth of experience spanning decades, our firm has established itself as one of the region’s foremost advocates for motorcycle accident victims. We understand motorcycle accident cases’ unique challenges and nuances so that every client receives tailored and effective legal counsel. Our track record speaks for itself; we’ve successfully navigated countless claims, ensuring our clients receive the justice and compensation they deserve.

In addition to Fort Lauderdale, our experienced legal team  also serves Pompano Beach, Miami, Weston, Plantation, Hialeah, Sunrise, Davie, Fort Myers, and more.