Riding motorcycles is a favorite pastime of many Floridians that gives them the chance to soak up the sun and appreciate Florida’s natural scenic routes. However, sharing the road with drivers who fail to exercise due caution puts motorcyclists at a significantly higher risk of death or injury in a motorcycle accident than in a car accident.
Compared to the number of motorcycles on the road, motorcyclists are about 4 times as likely as other motorists to be involved in a fatal traffic accident. Palm Beach County is no stranger to fatal motorcycle accidents and sees many motorcyclists pass away every year because of other motorists’ negligence.
In January 2022, a West Palm Beach motorcyclist was killed by a driver making a left turn, causing the motorcyclist to slam into the passenger side of the vehicle. Other risk factors, like speeding and a teen driver with multiple teen passengers, were also involved in the crash. When a motorcyclist is injured or killed, the motorcyclist or their families are then faced with the arduous task of recovering their expenses from the negligent party in a personal injury lawsuit. Contact a West Palm Beach motorcycle accident Lawyer to discuss a claim.
KMW LEGAL CAN HELP WITH YOUR MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENT CLAIM
Tragically, the story of a negligent driver inflicting catastrophic damage on a motorcyclist is all too familiar to the motorcycling community. Motorcycle accidents leave many injured riders and their families to deal with the physical and financial fallout.
At Keller, Melchiorre & Walsh, our legal team understands how stressful it can be to juggle calls from debt collectors demanding payment while trying to recuperate from surgery, attend physical rehabilitation, and manage a budget with diminished income. Our motorcycle accident clients know they can rely on our West Palm Beach attornies’ history of securing successful settlements, even when that meant facing insurance companies at trial.
We invite you to contact our office to schedule a complimentary strategy session. KMW Legal will assist you in determining the most suitable approach to your case, deconstructing complex legal jargon, and reviewing evidence to support your motorcycle accident claim.
COMMON CAUSES OF WEST PALM BEACH MOTORCYCLE Crashes
Certain Palm Beach intersections require more caution than others, but drivers should always exercise vigilance when sharing the road with vulnerable motorcyclists. While motorcycle riding has a reputation for risk or thrill-seeking behavior, the truth is that it’s most often other drivers who are at fault for accidents involving motorcycles.
Drivers may fail to notice an approaching motorcyclist in their side mirror, neglect to observe speed limits, or swerve suddenly and knock a motorcyclist off-balance, causing a devastating wreck. A skilled lawyer in West Palm Beach with experience handling motorcycle accident lawsuits will be able to examine the body of available evidence to connect a negligent driver’s actions to your injuries in order to demonstrate that they violated their duty of care, making them liable for damages.
Drunk driving claims thousands of lives annually because as a driver’s blood-alcohol level increases, their driving competency decreases. A drunk driver’s capacity to judge distance, account for road debris, or physically react to other drivers’ actions is compromised, even after a few drinks. Drunk drivers may also be motivated to flee the scene of the crash to avoid prosecution, leaving severely injured motorcyclists trapped or incapacitated. In order to be classified as drunk driving in Florida, the driver’s blood alcohol content or BAC needs to be 0.08 or higher.
Motorcycles are often easier to overlook due to their smaller size. When drivers become preoccupied with a roadside scene, eating, or answering a text while driving, they can easily miss a motorcyclist’s turn signal or brake light. Distracted driving threatens motorcyclists when negligent motorists turn into their path, rear-end them, or force them into the shoulder.
It is a driver’s responsibility to ensure that they are in sufficient condition to operate a vehicle so they do not endanger other motorists. This not only applies to driving sober but also to driving with enough rest as well. Drowsy driving can be just as dangerous as driving under the influence since fatigue can impair your driving significantly as well. Failing to be responsible and pull over when you are in danger of falling asleep at the wheel can make you liable for an accident you cause as a result.
Dooring Motorcycle Accidents
When a driver is exiting their car, it’s their responsibility to observe traffic to determine when they can safely open their door. If a driver opens their door with no regard for traffic, a motorcyclist may collide with or be thrown off-balance by the open door. They may be crushed by oncoming traffic, suffer severe road rash from being dragged against asphalt, or be thrown and sustain head or back injuries from the impact.
Disregard for Road Rules
Careless driving can take many forms. Breaking the speed limit, turning right on red without coming to a complete stop, generally behaving recklessly by making sudden lane changes, or aggressively tailgating motorcyclists can all be considered examples of negligent driving behaviors.
MOTORCYCLE Wrecks OFTEN RESULT IN SEVERE INJURIES
In many cases, drivers of larger vehicles like trucks and cars are able to walk away from the scene of the crash relatively unscathed. Many motorcyclists, especially those who forgo helmets, aren’t so fortunate. The force of impact can launch them into oncoming traffic or against hard surfaces, leading to severe crush injuries or trauma to the head and back.
In 2021, Palm Beach County experienced 385 motorcycle crashes, nearly 90% of which resulted in injuries or fatality. This grim statistic comes as no surprise considering that motorcyclists do not have the protection afforded by the frame of a car, let alone airbags and seatbelts, which leaves them more vulnerable to devastating injuries. Motorcyclists who fail to practice basic safety, like wearing a helmet and avoiding lane splitting, are at an even higher risk of serious injury.
Common Motorcycle Accident Injuries
- Traumatic brain injury
- Spinal cord injury
- Dental and mouth injuries
- Severe lacerations and contusions
- Bikers arm
- Road rash/road burn
- Fractured and broken bones
- Crush injuries
The Importance of Seeking Treatment for Motorcycle Injuries
To safeguard your ability to recover compensation, get evaluated by a medical professional as soon as you are out of harm’s way and attend any recommended follow-up care appointments. This has the benefit of ensuring your injuries are diagnosed and treated before they can worsen.
Seeking medical care in a timely manner also preemptively denies insurance companies the ability to reject your claim or suggest you are exaggerating your injuries to minimize your settlement payout. A good motorcycle accident lawyer in West Palm Beach can protect your right to recover compensation for damages by refuting insurance companies’ attempts to unfairly shift the lion’s share of the blame onto you.
WHAT DAMAGES CAN I RECOVER IN A MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENT LAWSUIT?
If you have been injured in a West Palm Beach motorcycle accident, you may be undergoing recovery from injuries that can take months of rest, regular visits to the doctor, or therapy to help you regain use of fine motor skills, memory retention, or navigate life with a new prosthetic limb. In addition to the financial strain of medical expenses, you may feel that your career trajectory has been compromised if you have had to miss key meetings and take on lighter duties to accommodate your recovery.
The silver lining is if an act of negligence carried out by another party is responsible for your injuries and ensuing expenses, you may be eligible to be compensated in a motorcycle accident lawsuit. No two motorcycle accidents are the same, and the scope of damages you are able to recover will depend on your individual losses and needs.
Examples of Motorcycle Accident Damages
- Medical expenses
- Permanent disability or disfigurement
- Hospital stays
- Physical or occupational therapy
- Home healthcare services
- Emotional distress
- Pain and suffering
- Mobility aids and renovations
- Job-related losses
- Lost wages
- Lost earning capacity
- Job retraining
- Missed promotions
- Property damage
- Totaled motorcycles
- Damage to infrastructure or personal property
- Wrongful death
- Loss of companionship
- Diminished household income
- Funeral and burial expenses
Beyond special damages like repair bills and medical costs, the emotional toll of a motorcycle accident is too often underestimated or outright ignored. You may miss out on family vacations, forfeit hobbies, and endure chronic pain. KMW Legal understands that recovering from a debilitating injury can be isolating and stressful, and we have the expertise to recover not only the straightforward costs of bills and lost wages, but compensation for pain and suffering.
CAN I RECOVER DAMAGES IF I WAS PARTIALLY AT FAULT FOR A MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENT?
In a motorcycle accident, you are still eligible to recover some damages even if your actions contributed to the crash. Florida operates under the principle of pure comparative negligence, which means that in a motorcycle accident lawsuit, the percentage of negligence you are responsible for would be deducted from the value of your settlement.
For example, consider a case where a driver was trying to merge onto I-95, but they hit a motorcyclist because they were distracted by their phone. While the driver was negligent and directly caused the motorcyclist’s injuries, the motorcyclist was also speeding at the time of the crash which gave the driver less opportunity to avoid a collision.
The court attributes the motorcyclist 25% of the fault to the motorcyclist, and their settlement value would be consequently reduced by 25%. A skilled motorcycle accident lawyer in West Palm Beach can help protect you from insurance companies looking to exaggerate your role in an accident in order to diminish the amount of compensatory damages they are ultimately responsible for.
COMMON MISUNDERSTANDINGS ABOUT MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENT LAWSUITS
Personal Injury Lawyers Are Expensive and Demand Payment Upfront
Many of KMW Legal’s injured clients initially express hesitation about filing a lawsuit, fearing that they would be drawn into a lengthy legal process, only to be saddled with hefty legal fees and an inadequate settlement. In actuality, our clients don’t have to worry about paying our fees until we successfully secure them maximum compensation through negotiations or trial.
Most personal injury lawyers will work for a contingent fee that consists of around 33% of the compensation they get for you. This ensures you can get legal help in tough financial times and that your lawyer is invested in the outcome of your case.
I Will Have To Go to Trial To Recover Damages for My Motorcycle Accident Case
While only about 5% of personal injury cases, like motorcycle accident lawsuits, actually go to trial, KMW Legal is more than prepared to do so to obtain a fair settlement. With our founding partners’ background in trial law, you can feel confident that you will have the most qualified team on your side for every step of filing your motorcycle accident lawsuit.
I Can Use My Personal Injury Protection Benefits for My Motorcycle Accident Bills
Injured motorcyclists lack the safety net of Personal Injury Protection that Florida mandates for cars and trucks, as it does not extend to vehicles with less than 4 wheels. Without this no-fault option, injured motorcyclists are typically left with limited avenues for compensation and turn to a personal injury lawsuit to recover costs.
HOW CAN A MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENT ATTORNEY HELP ME?
Motorcycle accident expenses can be especially burdensome, as injuries tend to be more severe. This often translates into longer recovery periods, meaning victims accumulate more medical debt while simultaneously losing wages.
Attempting to recover damages alone can be detrimental because most clients do not understand the complicated laws regulating personal injury law. Insurance companies will take advantage of this to try to convince you to accept a lower settlement. Do not hesitate to seek the counsel of a reputable motorcycle accident attorney in West Palm Beach before the statute of limitations to file your claim runs out.
Our Attorneys CAN Prepare YOUR MOTORCYCLE Wreck LAWSUIT
A practiced motorcycle accident lawyer in West Palm Beach will be able to discern liability, identify all relevant damages to recover, meet critical deadlines, as well as establish and execute a solid negotiating strategy to reclaim compensation. KMW Legal are trusted lawyers with a decade of experience across the state of Florida who know how to get results for our clients.
Our comprehensive services entitle you to a thorough investigation of the circumstances surrounding the motorcycle accident, access to our resources, and a representative to speak on your behalf for inquiries from bill collectors, insurance companies, and in negotiations.
KMW LEGAL IS PROUD TO SERVE MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENT VICTIMS IN WEST PALM BEACH, FLORIDA
The city of West Palm Beach is home to 117,415 residents and acts as the county seat. Our clients in the West Palm Beach area have relied on the lawyers of Keller, Melchiorre & Walsh to provide high-quality service to Florida’s east coast for the better part of a decade.
We have been able to build our reputation by word-of-mouth recommendations from former clients who have benefitted from our expert legal counsel. KMW Legal looks forward to guiding more West Palm Beach clients through the process of pursuing fair settlements in motorcycle accident lawsuits.
CONTACT A WEST PALM BEACH MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENT Attorney TODAY
When you seek the services of a West Palm Beach motorcycle accident lawyer, it is important to look for a seasoned litigator who holds the respect of their peers and their community. At Keller, Melchiorre & Walsh, you can expect steadfast advocates who have an eye for detail and an unrivaled work ethic.
The lawyers of KMW Legal are a dedicated team of experienced attorneys who will go to great lengths to secure you compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and diminished earning capacity, as well as mental and emotional stress.
Our firm is unique in that all of our founding partners have trial experience, meaning if know the insurance company is offering you a lowball settlement, we won’t hesitate to take them to trial and recover the damages you deserve. Reach out to our office today to schedule a no-cost, no-commitment strategy session to learn more about our services and discuss your case in detail.