Motorcycle Accident Lawyers in Vero Beach
For many people, riding a motorcycle is the only way they feel alive. For others, a motorcycle is a cost-effective way of getting to work and around Vero Beach. There’s nothing like the wind running through your veins as you move into another gear. There are dangers though. Riding a motorcycle is generally more deadly than riding in a car or truck. When a motorcycle crashes, the riders are likely to strike the hard asphalt or the metal of a larger vehicle – causing serious injuries. Many injuries from a Vero Beach motorcycle accident are catastrophic.
At Lulich & Attorneys, our Vero Beach motorcycle accident lawyers fight aggressively for victims of negligent driving and the families of riders who tragically die. Our Vero Beach Personal Injury Lawyers work with investigators and the police to determine how the accident occurred and who is responsible. We work with your doctors to detail all your injuries and pain. In most cases, we settle your claim with the insurance adjusters. When necessary, we try your case before a jury.
Why is a Vero Beach motorcycle accident so dangerous?
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, motorcycle accident statistics show that nearly 5,000 people were killed in fatal motorcycle accidents, nationwide, in 2018.” Motorcycle riders are still overrepresented in traffic fatalities.”
All motorcycle drivers should be properly trained before they ride. They should take additional training as their experience grows. Motorcycle riders need to check their motorcycle for condition issues before each trip.
Motorcycles are simply no match for the size, weight, and bulk of a car or truck. A motorcycle doesn’t offer the protection of a hood, trunk, side door, or top. When a motorcycle accident occurs, the rider is likely to suffer a forceful impact with the road or another vehicle.
What are the reasons why a Vero Beach motorcycle accident occurs?
Many motorcycle accidents happen because car drivers don’t look for motorcycles and don’t respect the rights of motorcycles. Many motorcycle accidents also involve just the motorcycle driver and a passenger. Some of the leading causes of motorcycle accidents are:
- Driving over the speed limit
- Driving too fast for weather and traffic conditions
- Distracted driving
- Drunk driving
- Taking turns too fast
- Not seeing the motorcycle
- Failing to understand hand signals from the motorcycle operator
- Not giving the motorcycle driver room to pass or maneuver
- Drunk driving
Single-motorcycle accidents are usually due to one or more of the following conditions:
- Not being trained properly
- Taking curves too fast
- Not understanding how to ride with others
- Hitting a pothole or dead animals
- Driving over different surfaces
- Not being ready for bad weather
- Not protecting their passenger
Passengers normally do have the right to file a personal injury claim against a negligent motorcycle driver.
What steps should you take after a Vero Beach motorcycle crash?
Some of the critical steps you need to take after any motorcycle accident include:
- Determining the extent of the injuries. Many motorcycle crashes are fatal. Survivors often suffer severe injuries which can be life-threatening. It’s critical for anyone in a position to help - to contact the police who can arrange for emergency medical transport. In most cases, the motorcyclist or passenger will be taken to a local emergency room – sometimes by helicopter. If the victim suffers from burn injuries, the victim may be taken to a local burn center.
- Victims who can remain at the scene of a Vero Beach motorcycle accident should exchange contact information (name, address, and phone number) and insurance information (policy name and number) with the other drivers. Victims will be required to cooperate with the police when they arrive at the scene of the accident. The police will:
- Determine what medical assistance is required.
- Arrange to move any motorcycles or other vehicles to a safe location such as the side of the road.
- Conduct an examination as to the cause of the accident. The review by the police doesn’t determine who was liable for the accident. The examination is just the initial observation by the police officer.
- Obtain all relevant information including contact information, insurance information, driver’s license information, and vehicle registration information.
- Issue citations if any driver was speeding or violated any traffic laws.
- Conduct field sobriety tests and breathalyzer tests if the officer suspects any driver was under the influence of alcohol at the time of the motorcycle crash.
- In death cases, the police will make the appropriate arrangements with a Vero Beach morgue and with the family of the deceased.
- Notify your insurance carrier. If you have motor vehicle insurance, you need to notify your insurance carrier so you can file a claim for the damage to your motorcycle and for any uninsured/underinsured (UM/UIM) claim you may have because the responsible parties don’t have liability insurance or don’t have enough liability insurance to pay for all your damages.
- Contact your lawyer. The sooner you call an experienced Vero Beach motorcycle accident lawyer, the better. A skilled lawyer will explain what steps you should and shouldn’t take.
How does an experienced bike accident lawyer advocate for Vero Beach accident victims?
Our seasoned Vero Beach motorcycle accident lawyers help injury victims and the families of loved ones who lost a loved one in numerous ways:
- We begin by explaining the terms of our representation. We handle all personal injury cases on a contingency fee basis. This means that we only receive a legal fee if your case settles to your satisfaction or if there is a verdict in your favor. This way, you have no upfront fees. This way, we have a strong incentive to get the best result possible because the more compensation you get, the more we get. If the case is successful we receive an agreed-upon percentage of the recovery.
- Our lawyers explain each phase of the litigation process. We understand that injury victims and the families of a beloved relative who tragically dies in a motorcycle crash are very upset. You have a lot of questions. We’re happy to answer those questions. As the case progresses, you’ll want to understand each phase. We’ll inform you and prepare you for each phase of the case.
- Our investigators help determine the cause of the motorcycle crash. We send investigators to the scene of the accident to take pictures and/or videos of the accident site so it’s clear who had the right of way, what the lanes of travel were, where the signs and signals were, and what any other relevant traffic conditions existed. Investigators also examine all the vehicles and speak with the witnesses.
- We review who may be responsible for the Vero Beach motorcycle collision. As we explain elsewhere in this article, many people may be responsible in addition to a negligent driver.
- Our lawyers file complaints against all responsible parties and respond to any pleadings the defendants may file.
- We use the Florida discovery process to conduct oral examinations of the defendants and all witnesses. We submit written questions and requests for documents to the parties to help confirm their insurance coverage and to help show that they were responsible for your injuries or the death of a relative. We help prepare you for the questions they may ask you.
- Our skilled lawyers work to negotiate settlements. When the case is ripe, we submit a demand letter to the insurance carrier(s). We then try to work out a settlement based on the strengths of your case and the severity of your injuries.
- If the case doesn’t settle, we prepare you for the trial and try your case before a jury of your peers. Many cases that haven’t settled yet often do settle before the jury trial begins.
Do Vero Beach motorcycle riders need to wear a helmet?
According to the Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicle Department, only riders who are 21 years of age or older and who have an insurance policy that provides for at least $10,000 in medical benefits are not required to wear a helmet. All other riders must wear a motorcycle helmet.
Proof of insurance includes “a health insurance card (or actual policy or declarations page) from an HMO or Blue Cross/Blue Shield or some other recognized health insurance provider as proof of required medical insurance. The card must show current insurance coverage.” Limited motorcycle medical coverage may also meet the insurance requirement. It is not sufficient to have PIP coverage under a personal passenger vehicle policy.
While Florida does provide for this exemption, helmets are recommended.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), even though motorcycles only account for three percent of the registered motor vehicles in the US, they accounted (accord to NTHSA statistics) for 14% of all traffic deaths in the US in 2016 and 17% when passengers are included – in 2016.
Wearing a helmet (drivers and passengers) reduces the risk of death in a motorcycle crash by 37% and the risk of head trauma by 69%.
Can a motorcycle education course help?
The Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicle Department has a list of recommended motorcycle safety and education courses. There are courses for beginners (a Basic Rider’s Course) and a course for experienced riders. For most Florida Basic Rider’s Courses (BRC), riders who pass the course will receive a discount on their insurance. The Florida Division of Driver’s License will be notified that you passed the course. The course covers numerous basics with classroom and range experience. You’ll learn “basic controls that include: clutch/throttle control, straight-line riding, turning and shifting. Finally, moving on to the more advanced skills to include stopping quickly, cornering and swerving.”
You’ll be tested for both a knowledge test and a riding test. The curriculum is prepared by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation. Instructions are given over two days. Riders need to wear long pants and a long-sleeve shirt, bring full-fingered gloves, and have “protective shatterproof eye-wear such as sunglasses or goggles.” Helmets are recommended but not required.
What kinds of injuries do Vero Beach motorcycle accident riders suffer?
As the data from the NHTSA confirms, all too many motorcycle riders die from a crash. We file wrongful death claims on behalf of the family in these cases.
Survivors of motorcycle crashes often suffer one or more of the following injuries
- Traumatic brain injury
- Spinal cord damage
- Broken bones
- Internal organ damage
- Road rash
- Muscle, ligament, nerve, and tissue damage
- Back, neck, and shoulder injuries
- Burn injuries
What types of doctors do Vero Beach motorcycle accident victims treat with?
Victims of motorcycle accidents may treat with some or many of the following healthcare providers:
- Emergency medical technicians. These providers make an initial determination of your injuries and arrange to take you to the nearest medical facility.
- Emergency room staff. These doctors provide a diagnosis of your injuries and determine whether you need to be admitted.
- If you need surgery, then many different types of doctors may be involved in the surgery such as neurosurgeons and orthopedic surgeons. After the surgery or in place of a surgery, motorcycle accident victims need to treat with many different types of doctors such as pain management doctors, neurologists, and plastic surgeons.
- Motorcyclists often treat with one or more of the following types of therapists:
- Physical therapists. These health providers help improve your musculoskeletal system. They normally provide a series of exercises to help with mobility, balance, and strength.
- Occupational therapists. These healers help with daily living functions and with assistive devices.
- Vocational therapists. These health providers help assess your ability to return to work and/or the skills you may need for a different type of job.
What compensation can you demand in a Vero Beach accident case?
No amount of money can fully compensate anyone who is involved in an auto crash. Their life is never the same even if they fully heal. No cash amount can compensate the family of someone who died.
At Lulich & Attorneys, we work to hold defendants liable and to settle or obtain verdicts for the full amount of damages you deserve. Many motorcycle accident victims suffer incredible pain and agonizing suffering. They aren’t able to work while they heal. Some riders are permanently disabled. Most victims need some or all of the following:
- ER care
- Consultations with different specialists such as orthopedists and pain management doctors
- Extensive physical and rehabilitative therapy
- Some form of emotional care such as treatment with a psychologist
- Assistive medical devices
Our lawyers demand compensation for:
- All your medical expenses – past and future expenses
- All your lost wages – past and future
- Your pain and suffering
- Any disfigurement or scarring
- Loss of consortium
- Property damage to your motorcycle
In cases where the conduct of the driver is inexcusable (such as drunk driving or driving with bald tires), we demand punitive damages.
If a Vero Beach motorcycle accident causes a death, what wrongful death damages can the family claim?
We work with the personal representative of the estate to file wrongful death claims on behalf of spouses, children, and parents. In Florida, wrongful damages include:
- The cost of the funeral and burial
- Family members are entitled to the “loss of support and services” because the loved one died – depending on the relationship status and other factors
- Loss of companionship and protection, and mental pain and anguish for a spouse
- Loss of parental guidance and companionship
- Pain and anguish of the loss of a minor child
- Loss of economic support the deceased would have provided had he/she survived.
Which people and companies are responsible for a Vero Beach motorcycle accident?
We file personal injury claims against one or more of the following people and businesses:
- The driver who causes the accident.
- The owner of the vehicle that causes the accident.
- Manufacturers of defective motorcycle parts. The manufacturers may be strictly liable (no need to prove negligence) for the motorcycle accident.
- Any establishment, such as a bar or restaurant, that sells alcohol to a driver when the driver is visibly drunk - and the driver’s intoxication causes the crash.
- The Florida Department of Transportation or any governmental entity - if the motorcycle crash is because of faulty road design or road maintenance.
Contact a strong Vero Beach motorcycle accident attorney today
At Lulich & Attorneys, we fight for families if a motorcycle accident causes a loved one to die. We fight for anyone who suffers injuries in a Vero Beach motorcycle accident. Our lawyers have the experience and resources to help you get justice.
We also represent victims of car accidents, truck accidents, bus collisions, taxi accidents, motorcycle crashes, and rideshare crashes.
Our Vero Beach Motorcycle Accident Attorneys serve Sebastian, Vero Beach, and all Vero Beach communities. The law offices of Lulich & Attorneys want you to be informed and protected! Call for your Free Consultation today! We handle all car accident cases on a contingency fee basis. You can reach us in Vero Beach at (772) 589-5500 or use our contact form to schedule an appointment.