Articles Posted in Motorcycle Accidents

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motorcycleFlorida legislators are discussing a new law that would require scooter riders under the age of 21 to wear helmets on Florida roads, expanding a helmet mandate that already applies to young riders of traditional motorcycles. Given the dangers associated with operating a motorcycle or a scooter, this measure may help curb injuries across Florida. Scooters, which typically do not exceed 30 miles per hour, are becoming more and more popular on college campuses, since they are inexpensive and easy to operate. If you or someone close to you has been injured in a motorcycle accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you should reach out to a skilled Miami motorcycle crash attorney as soon as possible. At the Law Offices of Robert Dixon, we are committed to protecting your rights at every step of the way.

Currently, the helmet requirement only applies to riders and operators who are under the age of 16. With Florida motorcycle deaths increasing by 30 percent since 2015, supporters of the new bill feel this is an important measure that could save lives across the state. In fact, an American Automobile Association study found that motorcycles accounted for 3 percent of registered vehicles, yet they are involved in 20 percent of vehicle fatalities across Florida. On the other hand, motorcyclist groups who oppose the law have launched a campaign to defeat the proposed law.

If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident that was not your fault, you could recover compensation for your harm through a negligence claim. Negligence takes place when a person causes an injury or death by failing to use reasonable care. Reasonable care is defined as how a prudent person would act under the same or similar circumstances. It is important to note that Florida is a comparative fault state, which means that a jury or court can proportionally assign fault to multiple parties in an accident. Consequently, the plaintiff’s compensation will be reduced by his or her percentage of fault for the accident. For example, if a jury determines that you were 20 percent at fault for causing a crash, your compensation will be reduced by 20 percent.

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motorcycleMotorcycle accidents can lead to devastating and long-term consequences for a rider. If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident that was not your fault, you should reach out to a skilled Miami injury attorney who can assess the merits of your case. At the Law Offices of Robert Dixon, we understand the nuances of personal injury law and can put this knowledge to use in your case.

Florida helmet laws have changed several times in the last few decades. After repealing most of the provisions in the mandatory helmet law in 2000, Florida updated the law in 2010 due to statistics that showed the number of deadly crashes had increased by 21 percent.

Florida’s motorcycle helmet law is codified in Florida Statutes section 316.211. Under this law, an individual may not operate or ride upon a motorcycle unless the individual is properly wearing protective headgear that is securely fastened upon his or her head, which complies with federal safety guidelines. The following provisions are perhaps the most important:

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SurgeonIn State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co. v. Long, an insurance provider appealed a verdict in favor of the insured for almost $170,000. The insured sustained an injury to his shoulder due to a motorcycle accident. Some time afterward, he filed a claim against his uninsured motorist carrier, State Farm, requesting money totaling $100,000 in uninsured motorist/underinsured motorist coverage. At trial, the jury awarded the insured damages in the amount of $116,000 for past and future medical bills, with approximately $46,000 for past medical bills.

To support his claim, the insured called a physician’s assistant to testify about future medical expenses. The expert worked exclusively with the insured’s orthopedic surgeon and stated that shoulder problems comprise a significant portion of this practice, and approximately half of all patients who come in with shoulder problems ultimately require surgery. Furthermore, the expert testified that the insured’s only option was to get surgery. Between the years of 2009 to 2014, the expert saw the insured about 10 times.

The insurance company objected to the physician’s assistant providing information as an expert witness, arguing that only the surgeon should be allowed to provide this type of opinion. State Farm also said that the physician’s assistant was not capable of giving his opinion about an upcoming surgery or the costs connected with such a procedure.

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car accidentIf you’ve been injured in an automobile accident, guidance and representation by a reputable South Florida personal injury attorney like Robert Dixon can make all the difference.  Robert Dixon understands that an automobile accident can be a traumatic event which is why he is committed to handling your claim for you.

Sometimes, the cause of an accident is clear and ascertaining fault is easy. For example, a driver failing to observe a stop sign, driving at excessively high speeds or swerving in and out of lanes can lead to a reasonable allocation of fault. In Florida, the driver deemed to be negligent is liable for injuries and any damage that results from the accident. However, the issue of liability can become more complicated if the cause of the accident was the driver suffering from an unforeseeable medical episode behind the wheel.

In Marcum v. Hayward, the plaintiff was rear-ended at a red light. The driver of the other vehicle was an assistant manager driving a company vehicle with a coworker as a passenger. The driver later testified that she had momentarily blacked out, woke up, and then lost consciousness again just immediately prior to the accident. The coworker and passenger confirmed that the driver had stated she felt “funny” and then suddenly became unconscious, which ultimately caused the accident. Continue reading →

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motorcyleSince motorcycles don’t offer the type of protection that other vehicles do, motorcycle accidents tend to result in a disproportionately high number of fatalities. In Florida, motorcycle riding is particularly popular due to the state’s weather and landscape. However, the higher number of motorcyclists on the road also means increased chances for motorcycle accidents. Miami motorcycle accident lawyer, Robert Dixon, fights aggressively to represent motorcycle accident victims and their families throughout the state.

Basic Motorcycle Accident Statistics

The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles reports that in 2010:

  • Motorcyclists and their passengers comprised 16 percent of the total number of traffic fatalities
  • 3 percent of all traffic accidents in the state involved motorcycles
  • The death rate was 11 percent higher among motorcyclists who were not wearing safety helmets
  • Motorcycle accidents declined significantly after 2008 when Florida passed a law requiring motorcyclists to enroll in and complete a State basic rider’s course

Just as any other motor vehicle accident, motorcycle accidents can be caused by a number of factors. One common cause is poor weather conditions such as rain, hail or sleet, which can lead to the motorcycle slipping out of control. In other cases, visual obstructions can lead to car drivers failing to see motorcyclists. Alternatively, visual obstructions can lead to motorcyclists losing control. Lastly, road conditions such as potholes, uneven streets, oil slicks and other hazards can present dangers to motorcyclists. Continue reading →

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accidents-3-145309-mApportioning fault is one of the most challenging yet important factors in the aftermath of a car, truck or motorcycle accident as it determines how much you can recover from that accident. If you’ve been injured in an automobile accident, liability depends on who was at fault. Florida law requires that you establish the other party acted in a negligent manner. The negligence standard varies from state to state which is why it is imperative to retain an experienced personal injury attorney who can advocate zealously on your behalf.

Florida operates under a pure comparative negligence standard. This means that whatever amount you were negligent, your recovery will be limited by that amount. For example, if you are suing another driver and your actions are deemed to be 30% negligent, then your damages will be decreased by 30%. In other words, you will only be entitled to an award of 70% of your total monetary recovery. In this way, the doctrine of comparative negligence apportions negligence among the various parties involved in the accident.

Under state law, you can establish negligence if the following three conditions are met:

  1. The party that injured you had a duty not to injure you but did not meet that duty
  2.  The individual’s duty was related to your injury
  3. The individual’s failure to meet his or her duty is what caused your injury or damages

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