Road Hazards that can Harm Motorcyclists
Motorcycle accidents and the resulting injuries to motorcycle operators and their passengers can oftentimes be severe and catastrophic. Motorcycle accidents are typically caused by a motor vehicle driver’s negligence, defective road conditions, and other hazards that are routinely present on roadways.
If you have sustained injuries in a motorcycle accident that was caused by someone else’s negligence – or by a defective road condition – the knowledgeable and experienced motorcycle accident lawyers at Dolman Law Group may be able to assist you with your case. Our skilled attorneys will be able to meet with you to discuss the facts and circumstances of your individual case, negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf, or litigate your case through the Florida court system, if necessary.
Types of Hazardous Road Conditions that Lead to Motorcycle Accidents
While the list of potential motorcycle accident causes is arguably unlimited, some of the more common causes of these accidents are as follows:
- Negligent drivers who disobey or disregard traffic laws – Traffic laws, including red light laws, right-of-way laws, speed limits, and other rules of the road, exist for a reason. When motor vehicle drivers and motorcycle operators disobey or disregard traffic laws that are on the books, they create potential roadway hazards, potentially resulting in serious motorcycle accidents and injuries.
- Hazardous road conditions at construction sites – Construction sites are oftentimes accompanied by dangerous road conditions for motorcyclists, such as uneven pavement, grooved pavement, and potholes. When hazardous road conditions are present at a construction site, it is very easy for a motorcycle operator and/or motorcycle passengers to become dislodged from the motorcycle, striking the ground hard, and sustain serious and catastrophic injuries and damages.
- Drunk or impaired motor vehicle drivers – Drugs and alcohol (even in small amounts) can alter a person’s mindset and perception, making collisions with motorcycles and other vehicles likely. Operating a car or motorcycle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol is a recipe for disaster and can create a serious roadway hazard for motorcyclists.
- Defective road conditions – Motorcycle operators must be careful to appreciate the road conditions and operate their motorcycles accordingly. Common examples of dangerous road conditions that can lead to serious motorcycle accidents include potholes, sharp curves, and steep hills.
- Reckless, careless, and negligent motor vehicle drivers – When a motor vehicle driver acts in a reckless, careless, or negligent manner while behind the wheel of a car, a hazardous road condition is created. Negligent or careless driving usually consists of speeding, following too closely (i.e. tailgating), driving too fast for road or weather conditions, or making abrupt lane changes, usually without signaling.
Potential Defendants in Motorcycle Accident Cases
Several defendants may be subject to legal liability in a motorcycle accident case that was caused by a roadway hazard or negligent driver. First and foremost, motorcycle passengers may be able to sue the motorcycle operator for creating a hazardous roadway condition, such as by speeding, driving recklessly, or driving while impaired by drugs or alcohol.
Motorcycle passengers may also be able to sue the driver of another motor vehicle who negligently caused an accident or collision.
Finally, in motorcycle accident cases involving construction sites and defective road conditions, the injured motorcycle operator or passenger may be able to sue the construction company or a municipality for negligent or defective road repair work or for creating (or failing to properly maintain or correct) a hazardous condition on the roadway.
It is important to note that in lawsuits involving government entities, such as cities, counties, townships, or municipalities, special limitations periods and filing deadlines may apply. A skilled Florida motorcycle accident lawyer will be able to make a claim against all potential defendants and can ensure that all filing requirements are met in a timely manner.
Burden of Proof
In motorcycle accident cases, the injured plaintiff must be able to demonstrate that the defendant individual, company, or municipality did something that a ‘reasonable person’ would not have done or failed to do something that a ‘reasonable person’ would have done. The plaintiff must also be able to show that this breach proximately resulted in personal injuries and damages.
Clearwater motorcycle accidents that are caused by defective and hazardous roadway conditions can result in serious, and sometimes catastrophic, personal injuries. Some of the most common types of personal injuries sustained in Florida motorcycle accidents include the following:
- Cuts, lacerations, and abrasions
- Permanent scarring – especially facial scarring
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), including concussions and coma
- Paralysis and spinal cord injuries
- Fractures and broken bones
- Soft tissue injuries
- Permanent damages
In cases where a motorcycle accident results in a motorcycle operator or passenger’s death, the injured plaintiff’s surviving family members may be entitled to wrongful death benefits. The purpose of wrongful death benefits is to compensate the injured plaintiff’s surviving family members for mental anguish, emotional distress, and psychological or psychiatric harm associated with the untimely death of their loved one.
In other cases, motorcycle accident victims may be able to recover compensation for their medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, inconvenience, mental anguish, and emotional distress, among other types of damages.
Contact a Florida Motorcycle Accident Attorney Today to Discuss Your Case
If you or someone you love has been injured in a motorcycle accident that resulted from a hazardous or defective roadway condition, the compassionate motorcycle accident attorneys at Dolman Law Group may be able to assist you with safeguarding your legal rights and helping you to obtain the monetary compensation you need and deserve under Florida law.
Insurance companies sometimes deny liability altogether in Florida motorcycle accident cases and refuse to pay damages altogether. Our experienced Florida motorcycle accident lawyers have the necessary skill sets to combat the insurance company and obtain full and fair compensation for your injuries. If the insurance company denies liability – or if a fair settlement cannot be reached – our experienced attorneys are not afraid to litigate your case or take it to trial.
Dolman Law Group
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33765