Questions about Motorcycle Accidents

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In what ways are motorcycles involved in accidents?

What are some of the statistics on motorcycle accidents?

Do I need to wear a helmet when I ride a motorcycle?

If I am involved in a motorcycle accident that was not my fault, what should I do?

Should I seek legal counsel if I am involved in a motorcycle accident?

Q.) In what ways are motorcycles involved in accidents?
A.) Like all vehicles, there are a number of ways that motorcycles can be involved in accidents. However, because riding a motorcycle is different than being in an enclosed vehicle there are some differences. Not wearing a helmet, speed, and alcohol contribute to a higher incidence of injury or fatality than other vehicles involved in accidents. Over 50% of motorcycles involved in fatal accidents were involved with another vehicle in 2013. Nearly 80% of these accidents were the result of the motorcycle being hit in the front. Only 5% of these fatal accidents were reported as the motorcycle being hit from the rear. A quarter of these accidents involved a motorcycle hitting a fixed object.

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Q.) What are some of the statistics on motorcycle accidents?
A.) The latest statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration(NHTSA) show that over 5,000 motorcyclists were killed in 2013. 88,000 people were injured in motorcycle accidents. The fatality rate of those involved in motorcycle accidents was 72%. Riders are eight times more likely to be injured and 35 times more likely to be killed in an accident than other motorists. Twenty-five percent of those involved in fatal accidents were not driving with a valid license. Motorcyclists comprise of only 3% of registered drivers on the road.

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Q.) Do I need to wear a helmet when I ride a motorcycle?
A.) The helmet law is different from state to state.  Florida law requires those under 21 years old to wear a helmet, and those over 21 must have at least $10,000 in medical insurance if they aren’t going to wear a helmet. However, your chances of avoiding death or a serious head injury greatly decrease if you have a helmet on. NHTSA statistics from 2013 show that 750 people would still be alive if they had worn a helmet at the time of their accident.

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Q.) If I am involved in a motorcycle accident that was not my fault, what should I do?
A.) Motorcycles are more likely to be involved in accidents because of their size. Other drivers often have a hard time seeing them and may not be able to stop in time if a motorcycle pulls out in front of them. The first thing to do is seek medical attention if you or someone else is injured. If you are uninjured, exchanging insurance information just as you would in an auto accident is the next step. However, because injuries can often take days to surface, you should see a doctor as soon as you can to avoid serious problems later on.

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Q.) Should I seek legal counsel if I am involved in a motorcycle accident?
A.) There are several factors that go into this decision. If you believe you have a legal claim stemming from your accident, then the answer is yes. You may find that you can be compensated for medical bills, lost wages, property damage, and more. You may seek punitive damages in some cases. Liability issues are best handled by someone who knows the law.

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If you or a loved one has been involved in a motorcycle accident in the Jacksonville, Florida area, please contact the experienced personal injury attorneys at Hardesty, Tyde, Green & Ashton to see if you have a claim.