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Dynamics of a Boca Raton Motorcycle Accident

There are many unique dynamics involved in a Boca Raton motorcycle accident that vary from other types of accidents. The biggest difference between automobile accidents and motorcycle accidents is that motorcycle accidents tend to result in greater injuries to the body. This is because the person is not protected when crashing into another vehicle the ground, or another object.

Among this obvious dynamic are many others that an individual should be aware of before pursuing a motorcycle accident claim. To learn of such elements, it is important that an individual contact a Boca Raton motorcycle accident attorney as soon as possible.

Potential Injuries

Two doctors examining a hip X-ray

Most motorcycle accidents can result in a variety of serious injuries. A serious injury, for example, is what is referred to as a road rash. This is when a person’s flesh was ripped from their body as they slid along the roadway.

Motorcycle accident victims tend to have significant injuries from road rash, as well as various head injuries, orthopedic injuries, broken bones, disfigurement, scarring from the road rash, and death. The particular dynamic involving the absence of most of the protective features found in a standard car can attribute to such severe injury.

Frequency of Motorcycle vs. Pedestrian Accidents

Aerial view of a car with its headlights on driving over a pedestrian crosswalk at night.

Pedestrians are traveling at a speed of under five miles per hour. If a person is a fast walker, they may reach five miles per hour. Therefore, pedestrians have a greater period of time to observe and appreciate dangers and avoid them.

A motorcyclist is often traveling at least the speed limit, which can be 30, 40, 50, 60, or 70 miles an hour. The amount of time to react to a perceived danger is much less. Therefore, motorcyclists cannot jump out of the way if they see something coming. Pedestrians are typically on the sidewalk and not in the roadway or in the line of traffic.

Motorcycles are sharing the roadway with cars, trucks, and other vehicles, and accidents happen quickly, causing serious injuries without warning. A pedestrian, following all proper due care and crosswalk signals, has less of a chance of being involved in an accident versus motor vehicle accidents. When driving, a motorcyclist needs to be hyper vigilant of everything that is going on around them, must be in control of all their faculties, and be a defensive driver.

Regrettably, many motorcyclists tend to be aggressive drivers, weaving in and out of traffic, speeding up, slowing down, and are sometimes difficult to see. A pedestrian who is on a sidewalk or crosswalk tends to be more visible than a motorcycle in traffic. This particular dynamic associated with a motorcycle accident makes it unique in terms of personal injury.

Uniqueness of a Motorcycle Accident

White helmet laying in front of a fallen motorcycle on the side of the road.

There is a significant chance that a driver in a car or truck may not see a motorcycle. They tend to come up quickly, and if the driver of a car or truck is pulling out of a side street onto a road or crossing a road, they may not see the motorcycle. Motorcycles tend to come up quickly and are harder to see farther away because they are smaller. Motor vehicles tend to sometimes get in the way of motorcycles, especially in intersections, when pulling out from side streets and in similar maneuvers.

Depending on the speed of the motorcycle, a person is going to either be thrown off, thrown onto the car, or into the road. The human body is not designed to absorb those types of impacts.

Motorcyclists could be better prepared by wearing protective clothing. Most motorcyclists in South Florida ride around in T-shirts and shorts with no protective gear at all. Very few wear helmets. Injuries sustained by motorcyclists tend to be much more severe, life–threatening, and death causing, just because the motorcyclist was not seen by the car, truck, or another motor vehicle that caused the crash.

Comparative Negligence

Two people shaking hands at a desk inside of a lawyer's office.

Boca Raton, and all of Florida, is a comparative negligence jurisdiction. Comparative negligence is a sliding scale. In other words, if the determination of fault is that the motorcyclist was 30% at fault and the other driver was 70 percent at fault, the motorcycle driver can receive 70% of the recovered damages. If the motorcyclist is 80% at fault and the other driver is only 20% at fault, the motorcyclist can still recover 20 percent of their damages.

There is no bar to recovery because the motorcyclist has some degree of fault. The degree of fault that the other driver commits or had is compensable to the injured person.

Even if a motorcyclist or operator of a motor vehicle is 99 percent at fault, they can recover the 1% of damages that are not liable from the other driver. In significant cases, which many motorcycle accidents are, this can still lead to compensation for the motorcyclist to help with their injuries and getting back to normal life.

Motorcycle Standards

Person driving a motorcycle through floodwaters on the side of the road

Motorcycles, as with any other motor vehicle in Florida, are subject to the motor vehicle laws of the State of Florida. They do not have any special laws for the operation of a motorcycle. They must follow the same rules of the road as any other vehicle would.

These standards are enforced by the police within that jurisdiction. If a motorcyclist is speeding, they will be pulled over for speeding. If they make a right on red without stopping, they could be pulled over for that. If an individual on a motorcycle runs a red light, they are as guilty as anyone else that would run a red light.

Impact of Various Dynamics on a Case

View of a gavel laying on a desk inside of a court room

When dealing with a motorcycle accident, different dynamics come into play due to the visibility of the motorcycle. If a car or truck is making a left turn across traffic, looks both ways and does not see anything and proceeds. Because a motorcycle is a smaller vehicle, it might not be as easy to see as other vehicles. Motorcycles are generally able to accelerate much faster and can take better evasive action, but in some instances are unable to take evasive action.

The dynamics of a motorcycle accident investigation can vary depending on how the accident occurred and all the factors surrounding the particular accident, i.e., the type of traffic, type of weather, type of road surface, the time/distance analysis, the speed analysis, impact/crash damage analysis. There are many factors that come in which are unique to every case, but general principles apply to all cases.

Classifying the Vehicle

Bearded man driving a motorcycle down a road lined with palm trees

Motorcycles are classified as such under Florida law. The sub-classes of two or three-wheel vehicles involve scooters, electric bicycles, and motorized scooters; but those are not motorcycles. If a person has a motorcycle, which is anything over 50cc’s, they must have the vehicle registered and have an endorsement on their driver’s license to operate a motorcycle.

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