Naples Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
Across the country, 2020 was the most dangerous year on record for motorcyclists. Automobile manufacturers continue to improve the safety and crashworthiness of their vehicles, but little has changed when it comes to the protections offered to motorcycle riders, which often boils down to the sturdiness of the clothes they are wearing. Meanwhile, risky automobile driving behaviors like speeding, aggressive or reckless driving, and distracted driving have increased, with vulnerable road users like motorcyclists bearing the brunt of this lack of safety.
The problem is especially dire in Florida, which consistently ranks among the most dangerous states for motorcycle riders. True, Florida has lots of motorcycles registered in the state, but in comparison, California sees far fewer deaths from motorcycle accidents but has many more bikes. Florida saw 8,048 motorcycle crashes in 2020, resulting in 552 fatalities, 1,890 incapacitating injuries, and 5,030 other injuries. Here in Collier County, there were 61 motorcycle crashes that year, causing 53 injuries and eight deaths. Those numbers add up to a frightening statistic: motorcycle accidents in Collier County in 2020 resulted in injury or death in 100% of crashes.
At Cardinal Law, our Naples motorcycle accident lawyers is committed to making sure motorcycle accident victims get the care they need and are fully compensated for the full range of damages caused by another driver’s negligence. We are a local, family-owned law firm serving the residents of Southwest Florida. Let us take care of you and provide you with a high level of service while we work to get you the result you need. Call our office for a free consultation about how we can help you recover after a serious motorcycle accident in Naples or Southwest Florida.
Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents in Naples
When riders are to blame for a crash, it is most often chalked up to reasons such as speeding or reckless driving, drinking and driving, or rider inexperience. Most riders, however, appreciate the dangers they face on the road and take care to ride with skill and attention. Even so, other drivers on the road might not be so skilled and attentive. Motorcycles are smaller and harder to spot than other vehicles, and there are fewer of them on the road, so car and truck drivers are less accustomed to sharing the road with motorcyclists and operating safely around them. Some of the leading causes of motorcycle accidents in Naples caused by negligent drivers include:
Judgment errors – Drivers misjudge the speed or distance of an oncoming bike when turning left at intersections. Bikers often can’t avoid getting hit by or striking the turning vehicle, or else they lose control of the bike trying to avoid a collision.
Unsafe lane changes – Drivers fail to check blind spots and signal before changing lanes.
Following too close – Following too close is a leading cause of all motor vehicle accidents, but this type of crash is especially dangerous to a motorcyclist. A car driver who gets rear-ended might walk away unscathed, but a biker could get permanently injured from such a crash.
Distracted driving – Driving a 4,000-pound steel machine while reading or typing a text or checking out your social media is dangerous any time; glancing up from your phone now and then won’t suffice to spot a motorcycle, which is harder to notice and comes upon you quicker than you realize.
Aggressive driving – Drivers who don’t respect motorcycles perform dangerous maneuvers like cutting off motorcycles in traffic, passing them and then slowing down, or crowding them out of their lane. Motorcycles are highly maneuverable, but even skilled and experienced riders can’t always keep control of their bikes and avoid a crash around a reckless or aggressive driver.
Drunk driving – Drunk drivers are less likely to notice a motorcycle and react appropriately to avoid a crash.
Important Florida Motorcycle Safety Laws to Know
- Riders must be 16 years old or older and be properly licensed, including holding a “motorcycle only” license or a motorcycle endorsement on their driver’s license. Riders must complete the Basic RiderCourse (BRC) or Basic RiderCourse updated (BRCu) provided by the Florida Rider Training Program to get the required license or endorsement.
- Riders under 21 years old must wear a helmet. Older riders can forgo the helmet provided they are insured with at least $10,000 in medical insurance.
- All riders must wear eye protection unless riding in an enclosed cab.
- Riders may not ride with a listening device in or on their ears.
Recovering Compensation After a Naples Motorcycle Accident
Automobile drivers benefit from no-fault insurance, helping them pay for medical expenses and lost wages after a crash without having to prove another driver was negligent or at fault in causing the accident. Pedestrians and bicyclists can also access no-fault insurance if they get hit, but this benefit doesn’t apply to motorcyclists. Motorcycle riders can’t get Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance or access no-fault benefits if they get hurt in a crash.
An injured biker’s only option is to pursue the negligent driver and that driver’s insurance company for compensation. If successful, accident victims can recover more compensation than no-fault insurance provides, including the full amount of their medical bills and lost wages, plus compensation for their pain and suffering and other injuries such as scarring or disfigurement. To win their case, however, they must be prepared to prove that the other driver was negligent and at fault for the accident, and they must be able to prove the nature and extent of their injuries and damages.
This can be easier said than done. Insurers and juries are often quick to blame the biker in a motorcycle accident, either putting all the blame on the rider or at least finding them partly to blame. Recovering the full amount of compensation requires the help of a skilled and experienced motorcycle accident attorney who knows how to investigate the accident, determine fault, build a strong case for liability and damages, and negotiate a fair settlement or advocate effectively in court if necessary.
This is what we do at Cardinal Law. Our founding attorney, Eric Olson, started practicing personal injury law after seeing firsthand how his father suffered from the negligence of a medical provider. Our aim at Cardinal Law is to go above and beyond in taking care of our clients while striving to get them the best result we can so they have the care and compensation they need to recover as fully as possible from a tragic motorcycle accident.
Help Is Here After a Serious Motorcycle Accident in Naples
If you or a loved one got hurt in a motorcycle accident in Naples or Southwest Florida, or if you lost a beloved family member to a fatal motorcycle crash caused by another driver’s negligence or misconduct, please call Cardinal Law at 239-610-0845 for a free consultation regarding your potential claims for compensation.