Tampa Motorcycle Accident Attorney
Due to its mild weather, surplus of tourist attractions, and its popularity as an event location, Tampa as well as the entire state of Florida have become a haven for motorcycle enthusiasts. Florida has more registered motorcycles per state than all other states in the nation except California. Unfortunately, more motorcyclists leads to more accidents involving injury or death to riders and their passengers.
If you have been injured or have lost a loved one in a Tampa motorcycle accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you should seek knowledgeable legal guidance concerning your right to pursue damages through a claim or lawsuit.
Steinger, Greene & Feiner is a personal injury firm that has the experience, skills, and resources to help you in the critical days following a motorcycle accident. Our firm has provided legal representation to more than 32,000 individuals in all types of injury and accident cases since our inception in 1997. We’ve demonstrated the high level of skill and commitment we bring to every case as verified by our BBB accreditation, our AV Preeminent peer review rating from Martindale-Hubbell, and recognition as Super Lawyers.
We know how insurance companies operate to discount, delay, and deny claims and will use our considerable talents and persistence to help you win the compensation you deserve to restore your life.
Crash Frequency Increasing
According to Ride Smart Florida, during the past 10 years Florida motorcycle injuries have increased by 50 percent while motorcycle fatalities have spiked by close to 90 percent. These drastic increases in motorcycle injuries and death in the state have occurred while other traffic injuries and fatalities have decreased. In 2013, motorcycle fatalities accounted for more than 19 percent of all Florida fatalities. Factors which contribute to these rising figures include an increase of aging motorcyclists, lack of helmet use by riders, alcohol involvement, speed, operator inexperience or lack of training, ignoring traffic laws, and engaging in hazardous driving behaviors.
Motorcyclists remain at a much higher risk for injury or death while on the road than other motorists due to the fact that they have little bodily protection. Motorcycle accident studies have shown that while other motorists face a 20 percent chance of injury or death in an accident, a motorcycle rider’s risk of injury or death is as high as 80 percent. Head injuries such as traumatic brain injury are a common result that can lead to long-term health damage involving huge medical and injury-related costs.
Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents in Tampa
There are many reasons that a motorcycle accident can occur on Tampa’s roads. Below are some of the most common examples.
Alcohol is a huge factor in many deadly motorcycle accidents. According to NHTSA statistics, 34% of Florida motorcycle riders in fatal accidents had a BAC of 0.01% or greater. Twenty-eight percent had a 0.08 or greater BAC, meaning they were legally over the limit, and a shocking 16% were 0.15% or greater, which is nearly twice the legal limit.
Other drivers on the road can also cause accidents with motorcycles while under the influence. In Hillsborough County, for instance, 510 crashes in 2018 involved alcohol use, leading to 295 injuries and 19 deaths.
In serious motorcycle accidents, speeding is a major factor for motorcycles and four-wheeled vehicle drivers alike. Drivers sharing the road with motorcycles may have difficulty maneuvering within their lane, or they may not be able to spot the motorcycle in time to react to an impending collision. Motorcycle operators have to be extremely careful with speed since one wrong move or rough patch of road can lead to total loss of control.
Lane splitting occurs when two vehicles share the same lane on a highway or major road. Whether initiated by the motorcyclist or another driver, lane splitting is always dangerous. Vehicles may enter the same lane as a motorcycle in an effort to pass or reach a turning lane. Motorcyclists can also tend to lane split as they zip through slower-moving traffic.
Cars Turning Left into the Path of the Motorcycle
One of the most common car accident scenarios for motorcyclists is that a vehicle turning left fails to yield. This leads to the vehicle crossing into the path of the oncoming motorcyclist and causing a “T-bone” intersection, where the front of the motorcycle collides with the passenger side of the car or truck. These accidents happen whenever other vehicles fail to notice a motorcycle or misjudge the amount of time needed to safely cross through the opposing lane.
Hitting Gravel or Loose Debris in a Turn
Since motorcycle operators have to lean to turn, encountering any sort of slipping hazard can cause them to quickly lose grip on either tire. Loose debris can be the unavoidable result of a sudden downpour of rain, but other times the debris is caused by a negligent property owner, construction company, or other party.
Sideswiped by Vehicles Entering the Lane
Some vehicle drivers will fail to check their blind spot or fail to notice motorcycles riding around them before they change lanes. These sudden maneuvers often catch the motorcyclist off guard, leaving them no options for safely avoiding a collision.
Motorcycles often get rear-ended by vehicles traveling too fast to stop in time, especially at stoplights or in sudden traffic jams on the highways. These accidents can cause severe injuries to the motorcycle rider.
Tampa Motorcycle Accident Statistics
Florida has an incredibly high rate of motorcycle accidents, and Tampa has one of the worst metro areas for them outside of Miami.
Statistics from the Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FHSMV) Department show that Hillsborough County, where much of downtown Tampa is located, had 656 motorcycle accidents in 2018, causing 571 injuries and 31 fatalities.
Nearby Pinellas County had 503 motorcycle crashes that same year, which led to 428 injuries and 29 deaths.
According to National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) data, Florida had the highest number of motorcycle deaths of any state in 2016. Half of the motorcycle riders who perished weren’t wearing helmets. Over a quarter (28%) had a blood alcohol level of 0.08% or greater, which is over the legal limit for driving under the influence in Florida.
Types of Compensation You Can Seek After Your Accident
There are a few forms of compensation you can claim to repay all of your motorcycle accident losses. These losses are called damages in legal proceedings.
Financial damages that you can document with a dollars-and-cents amount are referred to as special damages. Common special damages available after a motorcycle accident in Tampa include:
- Hospital bills
- Treatment expenses, past and future
- Lost wages
- Vehicle repairs
- Personal property replacement
- Loss of future income earning potential
Non-financial damages that cannot normally be quantified in a dollar amount are called general damages. Your Tampa car accident lawyer can help you document these damages, justify a requested amount using past cases, and seek the fullest extent of compensation available.
Common motorcycle accident general damages include:
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Loss of comfort of loved ones
- Permanent scarring, disfigurement, or disability
How Much Can Steinger, Greene & Feiner Get You?
In order to obtain full and fair compensation for your injuries and losses resulting from a motorcycle accident, you will have to prove the other party’s negligence. At Steinger, Greene & Feiner, we will work vigorously to investigate and gather all of the necessary evidence to substantiate your claim or lawsuit seeking damages for your medical expenses, lost income, emotional distress, pain and suffering, or for wrongful death.
Our firm offers a free consultation to help you better understand your Tampa motorcycle accident case as well as information on how we can help you pursue a claim. Contact us to schedule your FREE case evaluation today: (813) 553-5352.