Injuries resulting from a Polk County motorcycle accident can be serious, even fatal. If you’ve had a loved one die as a result of injuries from a motorcycle crash that was someone else’s fault, you may be able to recover any losses caused by their death by filing a wrongful death lawsuit.
According to the latest statistics, in 2018 there were 9,143 motorcycle accidents in Florida that resulted in 531 fatalities; 313 of these accidents took place in Polk County as did 12 of the fatalities.
Five Main Causes of Fatal Injury Motorcycle Accidents in Florida
- Driver negligence. In most accidents involving motorcycles and other vehicles, the accident is the result of negligence on the part of the driver of the other vehicle. Driver distraction, not checking blind spots and unsafe lane changes are just a few of the negligent actions that can lead to a fatal motorcycle accident.
- Rider negligence. Single rider motorcycle accidents can be caused by inexperience, speeding, failure to obey traffic laws and impaired riding.
- Mechanical failures. In some instances, failures can result from defective parts such as brakes, wheels, etc.
- Inclement weather. Riding in thunderstorms, rain, high winds, blowing sand or the smoke from a grass fire can result in a fatal motorcycle accident.
- Road hazards / poor road condition. This includes slick roads, road debris, rough roadways, poorly lit roadways and even animals wandering onto the road.
How Riders Can Protect Themselves from Serious Injury
- Always wear a Department of Transportation-approved full-face helmet- the best protection from a traumatic brain injury (TBI).
- Jackets, long pants, long sleeves and gloves made of leather or some other tough, protective weather resistant material and thick boots to protect your ankles can also lessen the risk of serious injury after a motorcycle accident.
- Make sure you’re visible – do everything you can to make sure other cars know you’re around; wear reflective gear and bright colors, drive with your headlights on, try to avoid riding in blind spots.
- Ride attentively – always be alert; an automobile driver may not see you when they go to change a lane, so you must see them first.
- Always obey the posted speed limits.
- Never ride while impaired.
- Avoid riding in inclement weather. Look out for slick spots, high water and other weather-related road hazards after a storm.
- Slow down at intersections – a large percentage of motorcycle accidents occur in intersections.
Filing a Wrongful Death Suit After a Fatal Motorcycle Accident
Florida law allows a rider injured in an accident that was caused through the negligent actions of another the right to seek compensation for their injuries through filing a personal injury lawsuit. If a rider’s injuries are so severe as to be fatal, Florida law also gives family members the right to seek compensation for the losses resulting from the death of their loved one. These damages include:
- The value of lost support and services from the date of the decedent’s injury to their death, with interest, and future loss of support and services from the date of death and reduced to present value.
- Medical or funeral expenses due to the decedent’s injury or death may be recovered by a survivor who has paid them.
- The surviving spouse may recover for loss of the decedent’s companionship and protection and for mental pain and suffering from the date of injury.
- Minor children of the decedent, and all children of the decedent if there is no surviving spouse, may recover for lost parental companionship, instruction, and guidance and for mental pain and suffering from the date of injury.
- Each parent of a deceased minor child may recover for mental pain and suffering from the date of injury. Each parent of an adult child may also recover for mental pain and suffering if there are no other survivors.
- Attorneys’ fees and other expenses related to litigation.
Note: All awards for the decedent’s estate are subject to the claims of creditors who have complied with the requirements of probate law concerning claims.
Speak to a Leading Winter Haven Motorcycle Accident Attorney
Winter Haven motorcycle injury attorney Tania Rivas of Rivas Law Group has helped clients all-across Central Florida who have lost a loved one in a motorcycle accident caused by the careless actions of another. No matter who is responsible for your loss — a distracted driver, a state road construction crew’s failure to clear debris from the road, or the manufacturer of a defective part — we will fight to recover the total compensation for the damages resulting from the unnecessary death of your loved one.
No amount of money can replace the loss of your loved one, but we can give them the peace of knowing that their surviving family members are being cared for. If you’ve lost a loved one in a Polk County motorcycle accident, contact Rivas Law Group to schedule a free, no obligation initial consultation with Winter Haven wrongful death attorney Tania Rivas. She wants to hear your story, answer any questions you may have and provide professional advice about your legal options. Don’t delay – strict statute of limitations applies to filing a wrongful death lawsuit after a fatal motorcycle accident in Polk County.