Motorcycling has been a popular mode of transportation since the 19th century. From its earliest days, motorcyclists have described riding in the open air as a one-of-a-kind, freeing experience, particularly when compared to the confines of a passenger vehicle.
However, motorcycle riding also makes riders vulnerable to severe injury in a crash. Here in Orlando, motorcycle accidents cause severe injuries and fatalities every year.
Oftentimes, those crashes result from the careless or reckless actions of someone other than the injured biker. Victims of Orlando motorcycle accidents have the right to receive compensation from the parties who caused them harm. A skilled, experienced motorcycle accident injury lawyer can help.
Orlando-area Motorcycle Accident Statistics
Florida has the dubious distinction of having some of the highest numbers of motorcycle crashes and fatalities in the nation. Sadly, the Orlando area accounts for an outsized number of them.
According to FLHSMV data, Orlando-area roads see upwards of 600 motorcycle crashes every year, a number that has stayed frustratingly constant despite statewide efforts to make motorcycle riding safer. In a given year, 20 to 30 motorcyclists will die in these crashes, and more than 500 will suffer injuries.
Statewide, a whopping 69 percent of fatal two-vehicle accidents involving at least one motorcycle consisted of head-on collisions. Another 11.7 percent of those fatal accidents were rear-end collisions in which a car or truck hit a motorcycle from behind.
By any measure, in other words, motorcycle crashes in Orlando put riders at serious risk of harm.
Common Orlando Motorcycle Accident Injuries
Motorcyclists in Orlando who survive a crash can still face catastrophic injuries that alter the course of their lives.
Severe injuries common in motorcycle crashes include:
- Traumatic brain injuries, particularly if riders do not wear helmets, but often even if they do, which afflict riders with serious cognitive, motor, and emotional deficits;
- Spinal cord injuries, which can leave riders paralyzed and reliant on wheelchairs for mobility;
- Severe road rash, which causes agonizing pain, can take months and multiple surgeries to heal, puts riders at risk of a deadly infection, and leaves disfiguring scars;
- Broken bones and orthopedic injuries, which occur in a high percentage of motorcycle crashes in Orlando, and can leave riders struggling with chronic pain and impaired mobility.
These are just a few of the many types of injuries Orlando motorcyclists may face after getting into a crash. No matter what kind of injury a biker sustains, an experienced motorcycle accident injury lawyer can help to secure the financial support the rider needs to heal.
Orlando Motorcycle Crashes and Helmet Use
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), wearing a helmet when riding a motorcycle can cut the probability of motorcyclist death by about 27 percent, by reducing the likelihood and severity of head trauma in a crash. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recommends DOT-approved helmets for all motorcycle riders, attributing at least 1,872 lives saved to helmet use in one recent year.
In Orlando and throughout Florida, motorcyclists must wear a helmet unless they are at least 21 years old and they carry at least $10,000 in personal injury protection insurance coverage to pay for their medical expenses in the event of a crash. Wearing a helmet in Florida, in other words, does not just help save your life, it can also save you money on insurance.
Compensation for Orlando Motorcycle Crash Injuries
Under Florida law, Orlando victims of motorcycle crashes often have a right to take legal action seeking compensation for their injuries and losses. Lawyers for those victims work to identify the parties who may have legal liability for causing a crash, and the amount of money they may owe as damages.
Potential Liability for an Orlando Motorcycle Accident
Multiple individuals, businesses, and even government agencies, may face legal liability for causing an Orlando motorcycle crash.
Every case is different, but these parties can often include:
- The driver of a car or truck whose dangerous driving endangered the biker and caused the crash;
- The employer of a driver who caused a motorcycle crash while driving a work vehicle;
- The manufacturer of the injured biker’s motorcycle, if a defective part caused a mechanical failure that led to the crash;
- A bar or restaurant, if an underage or habitually intoxicated drunk driver caused the crash after having been served alcohol there; and
- A government agency or contractor, if a preventable, unreasonably dangerous road condition caused the crash.
These are merely a few examples. Bikers in Orlando can find out who might have a legal liability to them for their crash injuries by speaking with an experienced, local motorcycle accident injury lawyer.
Potential Damages for an Orlando Motorcycle Accident
The types and amounts of damages a biker might have the right to recover for a crash depend largely on the nature and extent of the biker’s injuries and their impact on the biker’s life.
Generally speaking, however, an injured motorcyclist’s lawyer can often seek damages for:
- Medical costs associated with treating the biker’s injuries today and in the future, including emergency care, hospitalization, long-term rehab, therapy, and medication;
- Other expenses the injured biker faces because of the accident and injuries, such as the cost of replacing damaged property or hiring someone to help with day-to-day activities;
- Lost income because of missing work while recovering or due to a disability caused by the crash that prevents the biker from working in the future;
- Pain, suffering, and diminished quality of life owing to the crash and the injuries it caused, including harm to personal relationships; and
- Punitive damages, when courts award them, punish especially outrageous conduct that caused the crash.
There is no guarantee that injured bikers or the families of bikers tragically killed in crashes will recover compensation through legal action. However, they can give themselves the best possible opportunity to secure the money they need by hiring a skilled, experienced, Orlando motorcycle accident injury lawyer.