Lake City is a small city in the sunshine state, but it’s no less beautiful. There are plenty of open roads for motorcyclists to explore and experience Florida’s natural beauty. As the Gateway to Florida, Lake City has many motorcyclists on I-75 and I-10.

Motorcyclists involved in an accident should reach out to a skilled Lake City motorcycle accident attorney for help protecting their rights.

At Steven A. Bagen & Associates, P.A., we represent motorcyclists following injuries, having obtained these case results:

  • $335,000 for a motorcyclist with leg injuries from a red-light crash
  • $250,000 for a motorcyclist with road rash and knee injuries
  • $250,000 for a motorcyclist who needed surgery for a leg fracture
  • $800,000 for a motorcyclist who needed arm surgery
  • $500,000 for a motorcyclist who needed back surgery

Reach out to our team to discuss whether you have a claim and how much we might seek for you.

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Motorcycle Accidents In Florida by the Numbers

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Motorcyclists travel through this area on their way to many tourist areas, the local Olustee Battle Festival or the Alligator Warrior Festival. No matter where they go or their reason for traveling, they deserve to be safe on Lake City roads. Sadly, that doesn’t happen enough.

The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles reported 8,043 motorcycle crashes in a recent year alone. In comparison, the prior year saw 8,910 motorcycle crashes.

Even though motorcycle sales increased significantly during the pandemic, fewer people drove during this time. The traffic decrease explains the fewer motorcycle crashes during 2020. That year, motorcyclist accidents claimed the lives of 551 individuals. Hundreds fewer accidents took place in 2020, but it was still as deadly as the previous year. Thousands of people also needed treatment for injuries.

What Causes Motorcycle Accidents?

A variety of different factors can contribute to motorcycle accidents, and many are the same that contribute to passenger vehicle accidents. However, some are more common in crashes involving motorcycles.

Speeding or Going too Fast for Conditions

Driving at illegal speeds or too fast for conditions increases the risk of a motorcycle accident. It also increases the risk and severity of injury, death, and property damage when an accident does occur. All drivers should obey speed limits and adjust their speeds for road and weather conditions. When in doubt, it’s always better to drive slower.

Driving While Under the Influence

Whether it’s alcohol, prescription medications, or illicit drugs, driving while under the influence is extremely risky to motorcyclists and everyone sharing the road. Yet, despite the well-known consequences and public safety campaigns, this behavior continues to injure far too many motorcyclists each year.

Reckless Driving

For many people, it doesn’t take alcohol to drive dangerously. Instead, they simply choose to drive recklessly and disobey the rules of the road. Unfortunately, motorcyclists are particularly at risk with reckless drivers due to their smaller size and little to no protection.     

Driving While Drowsy or Fatigued

With the fast-paced American way of life, it’s more common than ever for drivers to drive while drowsy. Some may work shift work or more than one job or even have a sleeping disorder. No matter the reason, no one should get behind the wheel when over-tired. Studies show that getting behind the wheel drowsy can be just as dangerous as drinking and driving.

Distracted Driving

Even undistracted drivers can have problems seeing motorcycles on the road—partly due to a motorcycle’s size and driver conditioning. As such, distracted drivers pose an even greater risk to motorcyclists.

These activities can distract drivers:

  • Eating and drinking
  • Doing their makeup or other personal hygiene tasks
  • Paying attention to their passengers or pets
  • Using a GPS
  • Using their cell phone to text, talk, or perform other tasks
  • Using their vehicle’s infotainment system

Only a few seconds of distraction can lead to a lifetime of pain and suffering for motorcycle accident victims and their families.

Cars Turning Left

One of the most treacherous circumstances a motorcyclist will ever encounter is when they come across vehicles making left turns. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that motor vehicles executing a left turn account for more than one-third of motorcycle vs. vehicle accidents. The turning vehicle typically strikes the motorcycle when going straight through an intersection, attempting to pass another car, or overtaking it.

Although these collisions are common among passenger vehicles, the smaller size and the decreased visibility of motorcycles make these accidents even more typical. In most of these collisions, the vehicle making the left turn will be found liable.

Hazardous Road Conditions

Motorcyclists are especially vulnerable to hazardous road conditions. A condition that a car passenger can easily recover from can kill a motorcyclist. Conditions like slippery surfaces, uneven pavement, loose gravel, or any debris in the road cause countless motorcycle accidents in Florida every year. Since motorcycles are so much smaller than passenger vehicles and don’t have as much stability, unsafe road conditions put them at a greater risk.

Going Around or Turning Corners

Corners endanger motorcyclists. Even though motorcycles should have control when turning corners, it can be difficult for operators to compensate or correct while driving around a sharp turn. For example, some motorcyclists hit road debris rounding a corner, increasing the chances of wiping out.

It’s also easy for motorcyclists to underestimate how tight a turn is, especially if they were never on that road before. This can happen in passenger vehicles as well. If a motorcyclist takes a turn too fast or too hard and wipes out, further injury can occur from other vehicles and possible road hazards.

Failure to See Motorcycles on the Road

The most common cause of motorcycle collisions is the failure of other drivers on the road to detect and recognize motorcyclists. Limited visibility due to the motorcycles’ smaller size often makes it hard for even the most attentive drivers to see motorcycles coming. It can also be challenging to see a motorcycle due to glare or a view obstructed by something else on the road.

Injuries in Motorcycle Accidents

Motorcycle accident victims often suffer severe injuries. While accidents between two passenger vehicles and a motorcycle and passenger vehicle often share causes, a motorcyclist’s injuries can be much worse than a vehicle passenger. Without the protection of crumple zones, roll bars, seatbelts, airbags, and other vehicle safety features, motorcyclists are extremely vulnerable to injuries when an accident occurs.

Common injuries motorcyclists might suffer include:

  • Road rash
  • Lacerations and gashes
  • Face and eye injuries
  • Burns
  • Broken bones and fractures
  • Soft tissue injuries
  • Internal organ bruising and damage
  • Internal bleeding
  • Traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
  • Spinal cord injuries (SCI)

Depending on the severity of their injuries, a motorcyclist may have a long road ahead of them in terms of physical and financial recovery. For example, they may require surgeries, procedures, therapies, multiple medications, countless doctor and specialist visits, and lengthy hospitalizations. They likely have thousands of dollars in medical bills, lost income, and physical and mental pain and suffering.

With a seasoned Lake City motorcycle accident lawyer by their side, a successful injury claim can help them navigate their post-accident life as best as they can.

Florida’s Personal Injury Statute of Limitations

Florida has a generous statute of limitations. As such, injured motorcycle accident victims have four years to file a personal injury claim. Other states typically only have between one and three years.

While four years may seem like plenty of time, it’s still imperative that you hire a Lake City motorcycle accident lawyer as soon as possible after your accident. Not only does your attorney need time to prepare your case, but also, the sooner they can begin gathering evidence, the better. Evidence can be lost or changed in a matter of hours or days.

If you don’t file your legal case within four years, you lose your legal right to fight for compensation. You can still file a claim. However, the opposing party will inevitably ask that the court dismiss your case due to the expired statute of limitations and that they will oblige.

Lake City Motorcycle Accident Lawyer: Protection from Insurance Company Tactics

Another reason why it’s a good idea to have a Lake City motorcycle accident attorney on your side as soon as possible is to protect you from the schemes of the insurance company.

Insurance companies are for-profit. The more money they pay on claims, the less money they make. Therefore, insurance company adjusters do whatever they can to deny claims or pay as little as possible. These tactics often push legal and ethical boundaries. However, without representation from an attorney, you likely wouldn’t know.

Some of their tactics include:

  • Calling you soon after your claim is filed and asking for a recorded statement. If you agree, the insurance adjuster will ask you leading or tricky questions to get you to say something detrimental to your claim. It’s in your best interest to decline to give a recorded statement and speak to your attorney first. Keep in mind that even if you don’t give a recorded statement, they can still twist your words and use innocent things you might say against you.
  • Calling you shortly after your accident and offering you a settlement. The problem is that this settlement is unlikely to be anywhere near what your claim is worth. The insurance adjuster is betting on you being desperate for money to pay your accident-related bills or make up for lost wages. They are also hoping that you haven’t discussed your case with a Lake City motorcycle accident attorney yet, so you don’t know the true potential value of your claim.
  • Asking you to sign documents. These can be documents giving consent to your past medical records or even documents agreeing to a settlement. Even if what they are asking you to sign seems reasonable and straightforward or is something you think you want to agree to, don’t sign anything until you have reviewed it with your attorney.

Suppose the insurance company reaches out to you before you have a chance to speak with an experienced Lake City motorcycle accident lawyer. In that case, you can politely tell them you will need to contact them later. If you already have legal representation, provide them with your attorney’s name and contact information.

Don’t even let them pressure you into doing something you don’t feel comfortable doing. Once you have a lawyer on your side, they will handle all communications with the insurance company. If they need to speak to you, they can do so with your attorney present.

Injured in a Motorcycle Accident? Call the Experienced Lake City Motorcycle Accident Lawyers at Steven A. Bagen & Associates, P.A

steven a bagen
Steven A. Bagen, Esq, Motorcycle Accident Attorneys

One or more of several different parties can be liable for your motorcycle collision. The key to getting the compensation you are entitled to receive is to hold the appropriate party or parties accountable.

For example, liable parties might include other drivers, motorcycle or vehicle manufacturers, municipalities in charge of road conditions, lights, or signs, or even a driver’s employer.

You need a Lake City motorcycle accident lawyer committed to getting you the financial recovery you deserve, starting with determining who is at fault for your injuries.

At Steven A. Bagen & Associates, P.A., we know the toll that injury accidents take on motorcyclists and their families. We’ve seen the stress and financial struggles that these accidents bring and know that our clients deserve better.

Our team has won hundreds of millions of dollars for injury victims and their families over the past 35 years. When you call us, we investigate your accident to determine who is at fault and what sources of compensation exist. We do whatever it takes to get you the financial recovery you deserve.
Contact us today at (800) BAGEN LAW or online to schedule your no-obligation motorcycle accident case evaluation with an experienced Lake City motorcycle accident attorney.

Testimonial:

My experience was more than great, from the moment I acquired about their services to the moment my case was finalized and settled, there was steady communication, and I was consistently in the loop. They explain things to you in a way that you can understand and ensure that you are involved in the decision making. Everyone is super kind and stays in contact with you even after settling. They truly care about your well being and I will definitely keep them at the top of the list for any other cases.

Christina Augustin