For motorcyclists involved in an accident, understanding the differences between their experience and those who drive cars and trucks is critical when making an accident claim. If a negligent driver hits you while you’re riding your motorcycle, you may find yourself fighting an uphill battle simply because you were on a bike. Florida law governs these cases similarly, but there are key differences between motorcycle and car accidents that will impact your injury compensation claim significantly.
How Accidents Differ for Motorcycles and Cars
Though there are more car accidents every year on Florida highways, motorcycle collisions result in more fatalities and serious injuries. This is partly because riding a motorcycle has additional unique dangers compared to standard cars and trucks:
Motorcycle Roadway Visibility Is Small
Due to the smaller stature of motorcycles on the road, they are less visible on Florida highways to other motorists. With a simple distraction like a text message or a child crying, a lane change can turn tragic for the bike rider.
Cars Have More Impact Protection
Motorcycles do not come with impact protection devices like airbags. When riders collide with an object or are struck by another vehicle, their riding gear is all they have to protect them, making their chances for severe injury much higher than other motorists. Cars and trucks, on the other hand, have steel frames, anti-lock braking systems, airbags, and seat belts, which all help to mitigate impact trauma.
Cars Require Extra Stopping Distance Compared to Motorcycles
Sudden stops for a car are dangerous because they are significantly heavier than motorcycles, which can stop much more quickly. This also makes roads much more dangerous for motorcyclists because rear-end impacts by a car can potentially eject them off of their bike, leading to catastrophic injuries.
Motorcycle Accident Injuries Are More Traumatic
Overall, motorcyclists suffer more traumatic injuries and property loss than other motorists on Florida roads due to the minimal protection afforded them while riding. This does not mean riders should not receive fair compensation. Since they are more likely to suffer devastating harm if in a collision, they will likely require more extensive medical care than someone hurt in a car accident.
Common injuries a motorcyclist suffers if injured in an accident include:
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI);
- Spinal cord injuries;
- Herniated discs;
- Upper-extremity injuries;
- Lower-extremity injuries;
- Internal injuries;
- Road rash;
- Death; and
- Emotional trauma.
While these injuries are much the same as those a car or truck driver might suffer, the primary difference is the increased level of harm a biker would suffer.
Insurance Companies Make Motorcycle Victims Wait
A motorcycle rider injured in a wreck may have a compensation claim worth more than that of a car accident victim because of their severe injuries. Insurers already do everything possible to minimize or deny claims, but they do so more aggressively when there is a high-value injury case like a bike accident.
Public Prejudice Against Bikers
Another key difference between a motorcycle and car accident is public perception. It is not uncommon for law enforcement to assume that a motorbike rider engaged in unsafe driving habits like cutting through traffic or speeding. Jurors in a court may not understand how differently one must drive a motorcycle compared to a car, like keeping a consistent speed to maintain balance while riding. Passenger vehicles do not typically face this type of automatic prejudice when in an accident.
Motorcycles Are More Susceptible to Road Hazards
Whether you are in a car or on a motorcycle, road debris is something we all dread. From shredded tire debris to rocks falling off a dump truck, these roadway hazards are especially problematic for bikers. While a four-wheeled vehicle can easily straddle most debris, a motorcyclist may be forced to swerve suddenly and lose control. If a rock bounces into their body, they may not be able to control their body from jerking in response.
Automobile Drivers Endanger Motorcyclists
Many passenger vehicle and truck drivers may be engaging in aggressive driving without even realizing it. According to a Florida Department of Transportation study, cars and trucks are frequently responsible for motorcycle accidents.
Common driving behaviors that are considered aggressive driving and may lead to motorcycle accidents include:
- Changing lanes unsafely;
- Failing to signal;
- Tailgating and other road rage behavior;
- Driving too slowly; and
- Failing to yield.
If your motorcycle ride becomes a tragedy because of another driver’s negligence, you are due fair and just compensation to help make you whole again.
You Deserve Equal Compensation for Your St. Petersburg Motorcycle Accident
Attorney Frank P. Marsalisi provides only the best representation and compassionate support to his clients in St. Petersburg who have suffered an unfortunate motorcycle accident. Despite public opinion or what the insurance company has to say, you deserve personalized attention and accommodation for any special needs you may have from your injuries. Frank P. Marsalisi will communicate with you about your claim’s status and offers bilingual communication services in English and Spanish.
With over a decade of service in St. Petersburg, Marsalisi Law helps thousands of motorcycle riders pursue negligent parties for rightfully owned compensation. As members of the Tampa Bay Trial Lawyers Association, our firm has successfully litigated thousands of claims involving motorcycle injuries. Contact our office online today or call (727) 800-5052 for a free case evaluation to learn what your rights are and how to proceed with your case.
Marsalisi Law is Where Law Gets Personal!