Melbourne Motorcycle Accident Attorney
Motorcycle Accidents in Brevard County, FL
Every year, hundreds of motorcyclists are killed and thousands more are injured on Florida’s highways and roads. While the structure of a motor vehicle protects its occupants, motorcycle riders are extremely vulnerable, even with protective gear. As a result, motorcyclists who are involved in collisions with other motor vehicles often suffer life-altering injuries—such as a spinal cord injuries and traumatic brain injuries— while the other driver remains unharmed.
Unfortunately, unlike drivers and passengers in cars, pickup trucks, and SUVs, motorcyclists are not covered by Florida’s no-fault insurance system. This can make it difficult for injured bikers to recover compensation for their medical bills, lost wages, and other damages following an accident. To recover such damages, motorcyclists (or their loved ones) must file standard personal injury or wrongful death lawsuits against the at-fault driver or another liable party.
If you or a loved one has been impacted by a severe or fatal motorcycle accident, contact the Melbourne motorcycle accident lawyers at Nance Cacciatore to learn about your options and your rights. Our firm has helped countless clients throughout Brevard County recover compensation for their injuries, medical expenses, lost income, and pain and suffering. Get in touch with us today to learn how our board-certified attorneys can help you, too.
Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
The most common cause of motorcycle accidents in Florida and throughout the United States is negligence. This negligence can take many forms, from simple inattention to reckless and wrongful behavior. In any case, negligent drivers who cause collisions with motorcyclists can be held accountable.
Some of the most common causes of motorcycle accidents include:
- Distracted driving, including texting while driving
- Driving under the influence of alcohol/drugs
- Aggressive and/or reckless driving
- Fatigued driving
- Unsafe or unlawful passing
- Dangerous left-hand turns
- Turning in front of a motorcycle without signaling
- Turning in front of a motorcycle without giving room to decelerate or stop
- Following too closely
- Changing lanes without seeing the motorcycle, causing the motorcycle to swerve off the road
- Failing to obey traffic control devices (signals, stop signs, etc.)
- Unlawful lane splitting
- Hazardous road/weather conditions
- Auto defects
Sadly, another person’s careless or reckless conduct can cause a motorcyclist to suffer catastrophic or even fatal injuries. Motorcyclists who survive crashes often sustain severe injuries, ranging from significant road rash and broken bones to back and neck injuries to loss of limb, paralysis, and more.
Ways to Prevent a Motorcycle Accident
- Wear appropriate gear
- Make sure you are seen on the road
- Be alert while you are driving
- Know your surroundings
- Don't drink and drive
- Don't speed
- Avoid driving in bad weather
Florida’s Motorcycle Helmet Laws
In Florida, motorcycle riders over the age of 21 are not required to wear a motorcycle helmet. However, those who do not wear helmets while operating or riding motorcycles in the state must carry at least $10,000 in medical payment (MedPay) insurance. Though not required, it is also strongly recommended that motorcyclists who do not wish to wear a helmet while riding purchase sufficient uninsured motorist (UM)/underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage to protect themselves. If you are hit by an uninsured or underinsured motorist, or if you are involved in a hit-and-run accident, your UM/UIM insurance can prevent you from having to cover the cost of your medical bills, lost wages, and other damages yourself.
While wearing a motorcycle helmet is not required of those over the age of 21 in Florida, we at Nance Cacciatore strongly recommend that you always wear the proper protective gear when riding, including an approved motorcycle helmet. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that hundreds of lives could be saved every year if all motorcyclists wore helmets. Studies have shown that wearing a motorcycle helmet reduces your risk of death by 37% and lower the risk of head injury by as much as 69%.
What’s more, under Florida’s comparative negligence laws, not wearing a motorcycle helmet could be construed as negligence in a motorcycle accident claim. In other words, the insurance company may argue that, because you were not wearing a helmet, you were behaving negligently and, therefore, share some of the blame for your injuries. Being found partly at fault will not bar you from recovering compensation, but it will affect your recovery. According to the state’s pure comparative negligence law, the amount you can receive in a personal injury claim will be reduced by the same percentage of fault you are found to have. So, if the court finds that you were 25% at fault because you did not wear a motorcycle helmet despite reasonably knowing this could increase your risk of serious injury, you would only be able to recover up to 75% of the total amount you could have otherwise received if you were not found partly at fault.
Why You Should Consider Hiring a Lawyer for a Motorcycle Accident Claim
Determining who is liable for a motorcycle accident can be very complicated, but it is an essential element of your claim. Because motorcyclists are not covered by PIP insurance, they must file claims against the at-fault driver’s insurance provider (or another liable party) to collect compensation for their damages. It is important that you do not accept any settlement or sign any statements from the insurance company before first speaking to an attorney.
At Nance Cacciatore, our Melbourne motorcycle accident lawyers work alongside a team of accident reconstructionists and investigators who may uncover details about the accident that can prove negligence on someone else’s part. We understand how to properly investigate these claims and explore every possible avenue of compensation on your behalf. What’s more, we can handle all the legal details—from gathering evidence to submitting your claim to negotiating with the insurance company or litigating your case in court—while you focus on obtaining necessary medical care and getting back on your feet.
Studies show that people who hire personal injury lawyers for their motor vehicle accident claims typically recover significantly more in compensation than those who attempt to navigate the process on their own.
At Nance Cacciatore, we can help you fight for maximum compensation for your damages, possibly including but not limited to:
- All current and future medical expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Future lost earnings and lost earning ability/disability
- Property damage/costs associated with repairing or replacing your motorcycle
- Lost income/wages
If your loved one was tragically killed in a motorcycle accident, we can help you determine if you have grounds for a wrongful death claim. Damages in wrongful death cases often include compensation for medical bills related to the deceased’s final care, funeral/burial expenses, lost income, loss of services and support, and loss of love, companionship, guidance, and counsel.
Ways to Prevent a Motorcycle Accident:
- Slow down
- Don't ride between traffic and parked cars
- Don't drink and drive
- Make sure to perform regular maintenance on your motorcycle
- Never share a lane with another vehicle
- Watch out for road hazards
Caring Guidance Following a Motorcycle Crash
At Nance Cacciatore, our attorneys have been helping the injured in Brevard County since 1963. We have more than 150 years of collective experience, a team of lawyers who are Board-Certified in Civil Trial Law by the Florida State Bar, and a sincere dedication to meeting our clients’ needs. We also have the services of two former police officers trained in accident reconstruction and evidence preservation.
We are trial lawyers, preparing every case to be presented to a jury. Throughout our decades in practice, our firm has earned a reputation for providing aggressive client advocacy in the courtroom, and we are known for our willingness to do what it takes to fight for the justice our clients deserve.
If you suffered injuries while riding a motorcycle, or if a loved one has tragically died in a fatal motorcycle accident, we can help. To learn if you have a case for personal injury or wrongful death, reach out to our team today and schedule a complimentary case evaluation. We have the resources, knowledge, and experience to advise you.