In 2011, 8,621 people were involved in motorcycle accidents in Florida, a 15 percent increase from 2010, according to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. The number of motorcycle crashes increased overall between 2000 and 2010, according to a study from the Florida Department of Transportation and the University of South Florida Center for Urban Transportation Research.
One factor in the increase of motorcycle accidents could be that more people are riding-motorcycle registration more than doubled over the ten-year period. In 2000, Florida passed a law that permitted motorcyclists over age 21 to ride without a helmet if they had at least a $10,000 insurance policy.
Motorcyclists, of course, have a lot higher risk of crashing on their own than other motorists. About 30 percent of motorcycle crashes do not involve a second vehicle. Still, automobiles are often at fault-roughly 60 percent of the time0-in two-vehicle crashes involving motorcycles.
Car drivers often do not expect to see a motorcycle and may underestimate how much space they take up in the road. With an increase in distracted driving, it wouldn’t be surprising if motorcyclists bore some of the burden.
When an injured motorcyclist files a suit against a negligent party, their attorney will look and the evidence and negotiate with the negligent party’s insurance adjusters and attorneys to hopefully come up with a settlement. In doing so, percentages of fault will be assigned. If the settlement is not fair in either party’s mind, the case will go to court, where a jury will look at the evidence and come to a conclusion about the percentage of fault assigned to each party.
It isn’t always easy to determine who is at fault in a motorcycle accident, and how much each party is at fault. Having a strong advocate at one’s side can make the process easier, though, and result in a better outcome.
Source: The Independent Florida Alligator, Florida motorcycle crashes increase Kathryn Varn, April 24, 2013