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Negligent Security Seminar | March 2015

Florida personal injury lawyers



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    Motorcycle Accidents

    Everyone claims to want to be Number 1, right? Well, Florida is Number 1…in motorcycle accident deaths.And Miami-Dade County is Number 1 in motorcycle deaths in Florida.

    Why are deaths so common in motorcycle crashes in Florida? It may be because Florida does not require motorcyclists to wear a helmet. It may be caused by the traffic and number of drivers in Florida. Whatever the reason, it is a cause for concern to all who ride two-wheeled vehicles.

    Because drivers of cars are focused on auto traffic, they often do not see or perceive motorcycles.  Motorcycles are smaller, have a narrower profile, and often blend into the roadway.

    Most common reasons for motorcycle accidents

    Many people wonder what are the most common types of motorcycle crashes. Research suggests that the single most dangerous situation for motorcyclists is when a car makes left-hand turn, usually with the car hitting the unsuspecting motorcycle while it travels straight through an intersection. 42% of all crashes between cars and motorcycles occur this way.

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    Here are a few other popular causes for motorcycle accidents:

    • Poor road conditions is another common reason for motorcycle crashes.
    • Drunk drivers. This can either be the person driving the motorcycle or the person driving the car who hits the motorcycle. Either way, it happens too much.
    • Blind spots. never just assume there’s nothing in your blind spots
    •  Door crashes. These often happen when a car driver opens his door without looking if a motorcycle is just passing him by.
    • Braking too hard. When you hit the breaks of the motorcycle too hard and too fast, you can easily tip over the bar and crash on your head.
    • Cutting lanes. Motorcycles often cut through lanes to try and pass slower cars, this is a very dangerous situation.

    Many emergency room physicians refer to motorcycles as “organ donation machines” because of their very high fatality rate. Statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration show that each year about 13 cars out of 100,000 ended up in fatal crashes.

    The death rate for motorcycles is over 72 per 100,000 registered motorcycles. Mile for mile, driving a motorcycle is 27 times more dangerous than driving a car.

    Motorcycles make up about 1% of all miles driven in the country but account for 15% of all traffic deaths.

    Because motorcycles have acceleration that is often faster than a car, but provide almost no protection for occupants, they have the potential to cause death in serious injury. Many drivers involved in crashes with motorcycles say they “never saw” the cycle before impact. Often that’s due to an invisibility caused by driving perception.

    Most common injuries in motorcycle crashes

    Motorcycles inherently lack crashworthiness protection that even the smallest cars provide. There is no frame, no seatbelt and almost no protection from an impact. Ejection of the motorcyclist is one of the most common causes of injury or death.

    The use of a helmet is the single most important thing a motorcyclist can do to provide protection from head injury and death.

    Most common injuries that occur in motorcycles crashes are:

    Broken bones – When you’re riding a motorcycle you are exposed, and if you hit another car or are involved in a crash, there is a good chance you will fly off the bike in high speed. Any impact you have with objects in high speeds can lead to many broken bones as the human body is very fragile.

    Spinal cord injury – Most often when you fall from a high place or hit by a car and crash hard on the ground, you can damage your spinal cord which can result in paralyses and even death.

    Brain injury – If you don’t wear a helmet you have a higher chance of getting a brain injury while in a crash. Like we mentioned above, the body is very fragile and even ” small ” hits to the head can cause damage. Even people who wear a helmet but are hit hard enough in a serious car and motorcycle accident can have brain damage.

    Amputation due to serious injury – When an organ of the body such as a leg or arm is injured so severely, sometimes there is no choice but to amputate it. This can have a serious effect on the quality of life and can sometimes lead to other complications. But be careful as there are many people who suffer from medical malpractice due to wrongful amputation.

    Road rash – When you slide on the road or on the pavement in high speed and you don’t wear protective gear, your skin will tear like paper leaving you with many bruises and cuts.

    Death – If you are involved in a crash that leaves your body with too many serious injuries and they can’t treat you in time, death is also a common motorcycle crash result.

    What should someone do if they have been in a crash while on a motorcycle? 

    The first thing is to get immediate medical attention. Many times people do not realize the extent of their injuries right away. The body’s protective mechanism (shock) takes over. Plus we all have a natural tendency to deny that anything serious is wrong with us.

    If possible, have someone take photographs at the scene before the final resting positions of the vehicles are changed. Many times the automobile drive will claim that the motorcyclist was speeding or “came out of nowhere” but the physical evidence will refute that if it is not destroyed. 

    Many people have an anti-motorcycle bias, thinking everyone who rides a motorcycle is reckless or in a gang.  In order to counter that assumption, preserving evidence and proving what really happened is crucial.

    Engaging the services of a skilled and experienced Miami motorcycle accident lawyer is important. A qualified trial lawyer can determine whether you are entitled to compensation for your injuries. He or she can also have investigators and traffic engineers begin the process of preserving evidence, obtaining statements, and reconstructing the crash. 

    It is important to act quickly because evidence disappears, witnesses are lost, and other evidence can be intentionally or accidentally destroyed. Some of this evidence includes surveillance videos, ECM data (electronic control modules, or “black boxes”), and other tracking data.

    Prompt action by investigative and legal personnel can preserve important evidence and help prove what the real cause of the crash was.

    Miami motorcycle accident lawyers – Leighton Panoff Law

    miami motorcycle accident lawyerAt Leighton Panoff Law, we have been handling motorcycle crash cases for 34 years all over Florida. We work with traffic reconstruction engineers, investigators, road design and human factors engineers, and medical experts and life care planners to assist our motorcycle crash clients.

    Our skills in motorcycle crash cases have resulted in substantial recoveries for our clients. These include over $1.75 million for a man injured in a Broward motorcycle crash where a car turned in front of our client, $3.5 million in an Orlando motorcycle crash where a pickup truck pulled out into our client’s motorcycle, $1,125,000 for a motorcyclist whose leg was run over after his motorcycle went down on a highway, $1,020,000 motorcyclist hit by drunk driver exiting the parking lot of a bar, and many more.

    In one case, we were able to help a motorcyclist who was rear ended by a tourist while he was driving in the Florida Keys. The driver’s claim was that he “never saw” the motorcycle that was stopped in traffic right in front of him with its brake lights on.

    If a loved one has been killed in a motorcycle crash, it’s common for the other driver to blame the cyclist.  By acting quickly we can often prove that the car driver failed to yield the right of way or simply ignored the motorcycle. 

    Because motorcycle crashes have such a high death rate, it is important to find a skilled motorcycle trial lawyer quickly. 

    It’s a terrible loss when a family has lost someone in a crash of any kind. But it’s even worse when the surviving driver of the other vehicle blames the innocent but deceased motorcyclist. Only through prompt action and skilled lawyering can we often help families recover substantial damages for the loss of their loved ones.

    Our track record in wrongful death cases is exemplary. Our access in litigating and trying such cases has resulted in millions of dollars being recovered for the families of those whose lives have been taken too soon.

    If you or a loved one has suffered a motorcycle crash, we can help recover damages. We hope that through the use of helmets, and assuming motorcycles are “invisible”, motorcyclists can avoid the tragedy that happens all too often, especially in Florida.

    Because Florida is home to so many tourists, as well as residents who have relocated but may be unfamiliar with the roadways, the risks in this state are greater than others. For motorcyclists the dangers are particularly high because they do not have the benefit of a car providing protection and visibility around them.

    At Leighton Panoff Law, we understand what happens in motorcycle crashes and we fight for our clients to recover the most damages available under the law.


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