About Lucas, Macyszyn & Dyer Law Firm
Founded in 2000, Lucas, Macyszyn & Dyer Law Firm is a staunch pursuer of justice. Our team of nine attorneys offers a wide breadth of experience, having helped pursue successful outcomes for many personal injury cases over the years.
Our secret sauce consists of hard work, dedication, and a good helping of relevant experience. We’ve fought against major insurance companies, health organizations, and trucking companies. If you’ve experienced an injury as a motorcycle rider or in other circumstances, we can help. Call us for your free case evaluation.
Motorcycles and the Risks of the Open Road
According to the Insurance Information Institute, motorcycle accidents result in around 5,000 deaths and 84,000 injuries a year. In Hernando County, there are approximately 100 motorcycle accidents a year and five fatalities. Motorcyclists are nearly 29 times more likely to die in a crash than the occupants of passenger vehicles, and when they survive the accident, they often suffer debilitating injuries.
How Motorcycle Accidents Occur in Spring Hill?
With their slender frame and fewer lights, motorcycles are not visible to other roadway users as four-wheeled vehicles. They lack the stability in four-wheel vehicles, meaning that they are more likely to crash due to wet roads, loose gravel, or even debris such as fallen leaves on the roadway.
Several driver behaviors can spell doom for a motorcyclist, including:
- Distracted driving. Driver distractions can include anything that either causes a driver to take their hands from the wheel, their eyes from the road, or their mind from the task of driving safely. Texting is of particular concern as it poses all three types of distractions. In fact, in the time it takes a driver to read or reply to a text, they will have driven the length of a football field without attending to the roadway—plenty of time for a motorcyclist to ride into their path.
- Alcohol impairment creates deficits in the skills a driver needs to operate a vehicle safely, including difficulty with tracking moving objects such as a motorcycle pulling onto the roadway or having the ability to respond appropriately to emergency driving situations by stopping or swerving
- Speeding is a significant factor in all types of vehicle accidents. Speeding not only reduces the amount of time a driver needs to respond to a hazard on the roadway, such as a slower-moving motorcycle, but also results in a longer stopping distance needed for the vehicle’s brakes to pull the weight of the car to a stop, and increased crash severity.
- Inattentional blindness, which is not a medical condition but rather the way the brain calculates risks in chaotic situations such as driving on busy Spring Hill roadways by focusing on larger obstacles, such as commercial trucks, while failing to see smaller vehicles, such as an approaching motorcycle. This is often why drivers say, “I did not even see them,” after a motorcycle accident.
- Left turns. Left-turning drivers present one of the most dangerous situations for a motorcyclist. If the driver attempts to make a left on a solid green light, they must judge a safe gap in traffic to complete the turn. Often, a driver will look for cars but fail to see a motorcycle traveling straight through the intersection (often due to distraction or inattentional blindness) and pull into its path.
- Dooring is an accident caused when the occupant of a parked roadside vehicle opens the door to their vehicle into the path of a motorcyclist, causing the rider to risk hitting a vehicle in the adjacent travel lane by swerving or colliding with the door.
The Types of Injuries Often Sustained in Motorcycle Accidents
Motorcycles lack the protective features of four-wheeled vehicles, such as airbags, a steel frame, and seat belts. Accidents can eject the rider from the bike, sending them into the vehicle, other obstacles, and the road.
Because of this, motorcycle accident injuries can be quite severe or even catastrophic, leaving the rider with permanent disabilities that will prevent them from earning an income.
Some of the common injuries incurred in motorcycle accidents include:
- Traumatic brain injuries, which result from a sudden jolt to the head or body. Despite the importance of the brain—which controls the body’s movement, reactions, and involuntary responses—the organ has only a limited ability to heal from injury, meaning that the damage caused will likely be permanent. Brain injuries can result in memory loss, the inability to control emotions or impulses, difficulty communicating with others, changes to vision, and even consciousness disorders.
- Spinal cord injuries, which—like the brain—often result in permanent disabilities. The spinal cord is a bundle of nerves extending the back length and housed within the spinal column that acts as a messenger between the brain and the rest of the body. The most common impact of a spinal cord injury is paralysis, loss of function, and sensation below the injury site.
- Broken bones. Due to likely ejection from the vehicle in an accident, motorcyclists can break nearly any bone in their bodies. Motorcycle accidents can fracture the legs and feet, which the bike can crush; as well as the arms and wrists, which can become injured by the rider’s urge to catch themselves when falling.
- Burns. There is little protection between the rider and the roadway, but there is also little protection between the motorcyclist and their gas tank. The gas tanks on motorcycles commonly rupture during an accident and can cause chemical burns to the rider on contact or thermal burns if the fuel ignites.
- Road rash is a skin abrasion caused by contact with rough surfaces such as the roadway. While traumatic brain injuries are among the most severe injuries a motorcyclist can incur in an accident, road rash is one of the most common. This condition increases the rider’s risk of scarring and infection.
The Impacts of a Motorcycle Accident Injury on Your Quality of Life
Incurring a severe injury from a motorcycle accident can impact nearly every aspect of the rider’s life. Financially, they face unexpected medical expenses, expenses related to the damage to their bike and gear, and lost wages from missing work due to the injury. If the injury results in permanent disabilities, they can also face the inability to earn an income and the loss of needed benefits provided through their employment.
Serious injuries often cause difficulties at home, as well. Once the rider leaves the hospital, their loved ones may find themselves providing caregiving tasks. The rider’s spouse can experience loss of consortium, which is the loss of physical intimacy that often accompanies serious injuries.
The family may no longer be able to participate in activities and events around Spring Hill due to disabilities incurred from the injury. The rider’s friends can begin to fade away when they can no longer enjoy pastimes or everyday experiences with the rider.
Seeking Compensation for Injuries Sustained in a Motorcycle Accident
If a Spring Hill motorcycle accident you, you can seek compensation for the financial and psychological costs of your injury.
This process generally involves:
- Hiring an attorney to assist you with your claim.
Have your attorney send a demand to the at-fault party’s insurance provider for the value of your claim.
- Settlement negotiations occur when the insurance provider neither denies nor accepts the claim but instead offers to settle it out of court for less than its established value.
- If the insurer fails to pay the claim or make a fair settlement offer, the claim can be filed as a personal injury lawsuit in civil court within four years of the accident’s date.
- If a settlement still is not agreed to by the time the trial date for your lawsuit arrives, your attorney will present your case in court.
After your claim, your attorney will help you receive your settlement or court award.
The Big Question About Helmets and Compensation
One of the most frequently asked questions regarding seeking compensation for injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident is whether not wearing a helmet will impact your ability to file a claim. For riders over the age of 21 who have an insurance policy that can provide them with at least $10,000 in coverage if they become injured, there are no impacts on the claim since insured riders over 21 don’t need to wear helmets.
Helmets are, however, required for riders under 21 and their passengers. While you may file a claim and seek compensation from the liable party, the amount you can recover can decrease. Your attorney can explain this in greater detail.
How Liability Is Proven?
To have a successful outcome to your claim, you must show that someone else was liable for causing the accident that resulted in your injuries.
To do this, you must show:
- The at-fault driver had a duty to drive safely and legally to avoid causing injuries or property damage to others.
- The driver taking unsafe or illegal actions breached his duty.
- The driver’s actions caused a Spring Hill motorcycle accident that injured you.
The Compensation You Can Seek Through a Motorcycle Accident Claim
Individuals injured in Spring Hill motorcycle accidents caused by negligent drivers can seek compensation for their injury’s financial costs and psychological impacts.
Common examples of the costs and effects claimed in motorcycle accidents include:
- All past and future expenses related to the treatment of the injury.
- Wage loss resulting from being too injured to work.
- The loss of earning capacity incurred due to permanent disabilities arising from the accident.
- Property damage, such as the cost of repairing or replacing your bike and gear.
- Physical pain and suffering related to the injury.
- Emotional distress.
- Loss of the enjoyment of life, for the inability to participate in formerly enjoyed activities.