Tampa Motorcycle Accident Lawyers
If you or a loved one has been involved in a motorcycle accident and you’re considering hiring a Tampa motorcycle accident attorney, you already know that there are plenty of law firms that want your case. Here are a handful of reasons why Abrahamson & Uiterwyk is your best choice:
- WE’VE RECOVERED MILLIONS FOR MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENT VICTIMS AND FAMILIES. This is the most important reason why we’re your best choice. We have successfully resolved hundreds of motorcycle accident injury claims, including achieving six, seven, and eight-figure settlements and jury verdicts.
- WE TAKE MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENT CASES PERSONALLY. Several of our attorneys are also avid riders. We sponsor the Florida Motorcycle Club Facebook group, and frequently advocate for motorcycle rider safety and protections.
- WE’VE REPRESENTED OVER 20K INJURED FLORIDIANS OVER 30 YEARS IN PRACTICE. There seem to be new motorcycle injury law firms opening up shop constantly in Tampa. We’ve been rooted here and helping injured riders for over 30 years. When you go with us, you can rest assured that your case will be handled by experienced professionals from start to finish.
- WE DON’T TAKE A FEE UNLESS WE GET YOU A RECOVERY. The last thing you need to worry about after a motorcycle accident is paying lawyer fees. We offer 100% free case reviews to help you understand your case.
- WE’VE EARNED HUNDREDS OF 5-STAR REVIEWS IN ADDITION TO PROFESSIONAL ACCOLADES. There’s no better way to get to know us than by reading what our clients have to say. Have a look at our reviews on Google, and to check out more written testimonials here. We’ve also been recognized by U.S. News and World Report with a “Best Law Firm” rating, an A+ Rating with the BBB, and an “AV” Rating with Martindale-Hubbell, which is the highest possible rating.
- WE ARE REAL TRIAL LAWYERS; WE’LL ONLY SETTLE YOUR CASE IF THAT’S WHAT IS IN YOUR BEST INTEREST. While it’s true that we always prefer to settle cases in a timely manner, we are well equipped to take your case to trial if that’s what’s necessary to achieve justice.
Hiring a motorcycle accident lawyer to represent you or your loved one is a big decision. If you’re not quite ready for a free case review, we encourage you to stick around and browse the information on this page, which will help you understand your best course of action.
Steps to Take After a Tampa Motorcycle Accident
If you or someone you know has been injured in a Tampa, FL motorcycle accident, you probably have a lot of questions about what to do next. We’d like to offer some answers. To learn what you should do in the aftermath of a motorcycle accident, please continue reading or call us today at 1-800-753-5203.
Call The Police and Make a Written Report
- Be careful of what you tell others at the scene
- Do not leave the scene before the police arrive
- Give the police whatever information they request
- Ask for the police report number and obtain a copy as soon as you can
Document the Accident
- If no one requires immediate medical attention, acquire contact and insurance information from all drivers, passengers. and/or pedestrians involved
- Write down the make, model, and license plate numbers of all vehicles involved
- If possible, take pictures of the scene with a camera or camera phone
- Draw a diagram of the accident, noting where each vehicle was on the street and the direction it was going
If You Are Injured, Seek Immediate Medical Attention
Motorcycle accidents can be extremely dangerous, leading to amputation, back and neck damage, brain trauma, broken or fractured bones, and paralysis, among other serious injuries. You cannot afford to underestimate the physical trauma you may have received in an accident.
Even if you are unsure whether you might be injured, it’s important to call for an ambulance because injuries are not always immediately clear. Make sure to fully inform doctors and paramedics about your injuries and any prior health conditions.
Be Careful of What You Say to Insurance Companies
- You SHOULD contact your insurance company immediately after the accident and inform them of your injuries. However, DO NOT admit to being at fault under any circumstances. If you do, your insurance company may not be willing to help you.
- You SHOULD NOT grant an interview or provide any information about your accident to the adjusters from the other driver’s insurance company, since the information you provide may ultimately be used against you.
Contact an Experienced Tampa Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
Abrahamson & Uiterwyk’s team of motorcycle wreck attorneys have been seeking justice on behalf of Florida motorcycle accident victims for more than two decades. With over 100 years of combined experience, our lawyers know how to help.
Tampa Motorcycle Accident FAQs
Is Motorcycle Insurance Required in Florida?
Many people have the mistaken belief that motorcycle insurance is not required in Florida. However, under Florida’s Financial Responsibility Law, there are consequences to not having motorcycle insurance.
Under Florida law, motorcycle drivers must either purchase motorcycle insurance from an insurance carrier licensed to do business in Florida or get a Self-insurance Certificate from the Bureau of Financial Responsibility. This certificate is issued based on the driver’s net worth. The minimum requirements for motorcycle insurance in Florida are:
- $10,000 for one person for bodily injury liability;
- $20,000 for two or more persons for bodily injury liability; and
- $10,000 per accident for property damage liability.
Motorcycle drivers should always carry proof of insurance or a copy of their self-insurance certificate. Drivers who cannot provide proof of insurance when they are involved in an accident may be subjected to penalties such as license suspension, motorcycle registration and license plate suspension, and fees.
Motorcycle drivers should also consider purchasing uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage as part of their insurance. This coverage will kick in if the driver is involved in an accident with someone who has no insurance or does not have enough insurance to cover all of the damages.
How is Motorcycle Insurance Different from Car Insurance?
Florida is a no-fault state when it comes to vehicles with four wheels, meaning that all registered cars, trucks, and SUVs must carry a minimum amount of personal injury protection and property damage coverage. Personal injury protection covers medical bills and some lost wages regardless of who is at fault in an accident. However, no-fault coverage does not apply to motorcycles.
This means that a motorcycle driver is not required to have personal injury protection and can recover damages from an at-fault driver for medical bills, lost wages, damage to the motorcycle, and pain and suffering. The motorcycle driver may be compensated for these damages regardless of how serious the injury is.
Are Motorcycle Helmets Required in Florida?
Florida Statutes 316.211 provides that an individual over 21 years of age is not required to wear a motorcycle helmet if they have medical insurance coverage of at least $10,000. This means that many motorcycle riders are not required to wear helmets. Many riders choose not to because they believe they are uncomfortable or restrict their sense of freedom.
Can Not Wearing My Motorcycle Helmet Affect My Personal Injury Claim?
While it is not required by Florida law to wear a motorcycle helmet, a failure to do so may have an impact on your personal injury claim. If you are involved in an accident with a motorist who was driving negligently, you may want to make a personal injury claim. Often times, multiple parties can be liable for the injuries sustained in an accident, and in some cases, the accident victim can also be found partially liable.
Florida is a pure comparative negligence state, which means that a person filing a personal injury claim may have their recovery reduced by the percentage they are found to be responsible for causing the accident.
If you sustain a head injury in a motorcycle accident and you were not wearing a helmet, it may be found that you were partially responsible for your own injuries even though another driver caused the accident.
Some fault on your part may be assessed if it is found that wearing a helmet could have prevented your injury or made the injury less severe. This does not mean that you can’t pursue compensation. It just means that your compensation may be less than it would be if you had been wearing a helmet.
Common Causes of Motorcycle Accident Injury Lawsuits
In most collisions between motorcycles and other vehicles, driver negligence is to blame. Whether distracted, drowsy, drunk, or simply being inattentive, drivers who fail to maintain control of their vehicles are frequently at fault for motorcycle riders’ accident-related injuries.
Limited Visibility Motorcycle Accidents
The term “limited visibility accident” refers to any type of motorcycle accident in which motorcyclists are injured due the inability of drivers to recognize and yield to motorcyclists on the street, on the highway, or in dense traffic.
When a driver causes an accident by failing to yield to a motorcyclist going straight, passing, or overtaking another vehicle, he or she may be considered at fault.
It’s rare that a driver fails to yield to a motorcyclist on purpose. Much more frequently, limited visibility accidents are caused by driver inattention or negligence. Some common causes of limited visibility accidents include:
- Distracted Driving: When drivers divert their attention from the road to use cell phones, electronic gadgets, or simply to talk with other passengers, limited visibility accidents are much more likely to occur.
- Impaired Driving: When drivers operate vehicles under the influence of alcohol or drugs, they are much less likely to be focused on the road, becoming a danger both to themselves and others.
- Drowsy Driving: When drivers don’t get the sleep they need, their ability to focus on the road and keep track of other drivers’ movements is significantly reduced.
Distracted Driving Motorcycle Accidents
Distracted driving is a major cause of motorcycle accidents, responsible for approximately 20,000 injuries and 400 to 500 deaths per year, according to statistics provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
Distracted driving is defined by the NHTSA as “any activity that could divert a person’s attention away from the primary task of driving.” According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), there are three main kinds of driver distractions:
- Visual – Taking your eyes off the road
- Manual – Taking your hands off the wheel
- Cognitive – Taking your mind off of driving
Some common distractions which endanger the safety of motorcycle drivers include:
- Text Messaging
- Using a Mobile Phone
- Eating and Drinking
- Talking with Passengers
- Using a G.P.S / Navigation System
- Adjusting a Radio or Music Player
Aggressive Driving Motorcycle Accidents
Aggressive driving is one of the most common causes of motorcycle accidents.
It’s a major reason why more than half of all motorcycle accidents involve another vehicle, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). With Florida motorcycle accidents on the rise over the past decade, aggressive driving is as severe a problem as it’s ever been.
Aggressive driving is defined as “the operation of a motor vehicle in a manner that endangers or is likely to endanger persons or property,” according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Driving aggressively can take a wide variety of forms, and each of them pose their own individual dangers. Some of the more common examples include:
- Driving too fast for road conditions
- Improper lane changing
- Improper passing
- Tailgating or driving too closely to other vehicles
- Flashing headlights excessively at oncoming traffic
Failure to Yield Motorcycle Accidents
Failure to yield to motorcycles is consistently one of the leading causes of serious motorcycle accidents in Florida every year. There are reasons for that. Motorcycles are harder to see, for one. Drivers have an easy time spotting other cars, large trucks, passenger vans, and the like. But motorcycles require a little extra attention. Drivers have a duty to look carefully and confirm that they have the right of way before proceeding or making a turn.
Unfortunately, some drivers simply maintain a negative attitude towards motorcycles. Some irresponsible drivers are quick to cut bikers off or to take risks around motorcycles that they would not take with other vehicles. Some experts believe that this attitude is derived from a feeling of power (the driver of the larger vehicle feels less exposed to risk) or bad experiences those drivers may have had with motorcyclists in the past. Whatever the reason, though, that attitude is unfair and dangerous.
We commonly see a failure to yield to motorcycles in the following traffic situations:
- Vehicle proceeds through an intersection out of turn, “skipping” the motorcycle’s right of way
- Vehicle runs a red light or stop sign
- Vehicle makes a left-hand turn in front of the motorcycle
- Vehicle suddenly changes lanes (or swerves) into the motorcycle’s path
- Vehicle pulls out of a parking lot or driveway without looking and moving directly into the motorcycle’s path
More often than not, the failure to yield is the result of basic negligence. Examples include:
- Texting while driving
- Other forms of distracted driving
- Drowsy driving
- Drunk driving
- Incomplete stops at stop signs and intersections
- Running red lights
- Failure to look both ways before entering an intersection or road
- Failure to check blind spots before turning or changing lanes
- Failure to use turn signals
Negligent drivers may be held liable for any of these careless behaviors.
Accidents Caused by Motorcycle Defects
There are times when motorcycles are found to have defective parts such as the engine, frame, fuel tank, brakes, handlebars, and tires. Majority of motorcyclists know how to observe warning signs. However, the defective parts can contribute to a crash that might otherwise not occur.
These defects might be detected when the motorcycle wobbles when driven fast and brake failure occurs while riding a recently purchased bike. It has also been observed that some bikes have dangerous designs that can result in damages and injuries.
Motorcycle Accidents Caused by Poorly Maintained Roads
Riders are not usually aware of any potential dangers of road conditions. Obstacles such as rocks, potholes, sharp turns, standing water and animals on the road can cause accidents. These barriers get realized at a fraction of a second making the majority of them unavoidable. They may result in instant braking, which can make the motorcyclist lose control resulting in injuries and damages to the bike.
Common Motorcycle Accident Injuries
Because motorcycles do not offer the crashworthiness or protection that a car or truck does, injuries from motorcycle accidents can be serious and life-altering. Common motorcycle accident injuries include:
Traumatic Brain Injury
The most common injury in a motorcycle accident is a head injury which can range anywhere from a mild concussion to severe trauma to the brain. Damage to the brain can be debilitating and life-threatening. The importance of wearing a helmet cannot be overstated. Use of a motorcycle helmet can significantly reduce the risk of traumatic brain injury.
Fractures, especially of the leg, are very common in motorcycle accidents. Because a motorcycle is on two wheels, most motorcycle accidents result with the motorcycle and the rider hitting the pavement. The result is that the motorcycle falls on the rider’s leg causing a fracture. Arm and wrist fractures are also common since most riders will naturally try to break their fall by throwing their arms and hands out.
Motorcycles don’t provide the protective barrier that a car does so there is nothing to prevent a motorcyclist from making contact with the road in an accident. Road rash is a skin injury caused by sliding contact with the pavement. Depending on the nature of the accident, road rash can range in severity like burns from first-degree surface injuries to third-degree complete removal of the skin. Protective measures such as kneepads, gloves, and jackets can help reduce the chance of road rash.
Motorcyclists who are struck from behind or thrown backward off a bike can sustain serious neck injuries like whiplash, even if they are wearing a helmet. Neck injuries can cause serious damage and even paralysis in severe cases.
Damage to internal organs or internal bleeding can be caused by the blunt force trauma that occurs when a motorcyclist makes contact with the roadway. Internal injuries can also occur if something sharp like broken glass or debris penetrates the skin.
Motorcycle Crash Statistics in Tampa / Hillsborough Co. FL
Riders face unique risks due to the reduced level of protection afforded by motorcycles as compared with other motor vehicles. Motorcycle crashes in Tampa result in injuries and fatalities at a far greater rate than accidents involving regular cars, as highlighted by the statistics below from the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles website.
Breaking down the 2018 numbers further, we see the true extent to which motorcycle crashes are perilous as compared to regular car accidents:
- 4.6% of Hillsborough Co. motorcycle crashes results in fatalities compared to just .06% of car crashes
- 87% of Hillsborough Co. motorcycle crashes results in injuries compared to just 69% of car crashes
- 16% of all vehicle accident fatalities in Hillsborough Co. involved motorcycle crashes
Recent Motorcycle Accident News in the Tampa Metro-Area
Sample Tampa Motorcycle Accident Injury Case Results
We have achieved significant motorcycle accident settlements and verdicts for people in the Tampa area. Below are a few examples of results we’ve fought to obtain for our Hillsborough County motorcycle injury clients.
Past results do not guarantee a similar outcome in your case.
Read Reviews from Our Tampa Motorcycle Accident Clients
Schedule Your Free Motorcycle Accident Case Evaluation Today
If you have questions about your rights after a motorcycle crash in Tampa, contact the Florida motorcycle accident lawyers at Abrahamson & Uiterwyk today for your free, no-obligation consultation. We work on a contingent fee basis, which means that there are no fees or costs unless we win your case. For personalized legal advice speak with one of our Tampa motorcycle accident attorneys by calling us at 1-800-753-5203, start a Live Chat, or request a consultation online today.