Who’s Liable for Injuries in a Florida Car-Motorcycle Accident?
Florida has the highest number of motorcyclist fatalities in the country. While motorcycle crashes are not as common as regular auto accidents involving passenger vehicles, they tend to be more catastrophic and deadlier.
In fact, motorcyclists are more susceptible to injuries in car-motorcycle accidents compared to car drivers and passengers. This was evident in a recent motorcycle vs. car crash in Mulberry, Polk County.
Car-Motorcycle Accident in Polk County
As reported by The Daily Ridge, the 2010 Harley Davidson motorcycle was headed eastbound on Florida State Road 60 when the crash occurred. The motorcyclist was attempting to turn left onto 1st Avenue NW when the bike pulled into the path of a Gray Ford Focus. The front of the vehicle hit the left side of the Harley Davidson. As a result, the collision caused the motorcycle to flip and tumble, ejecting both the rider and the passenger.
The rider and the passenger of the Harley Davidson suffered injuries and were taken to Lakeland Regional Health, while the occupants of the car were not injured.
8 Causes of Motorcycle vs. Car Accidents
Causes of collisions between motorcycles and cars vary from one accident to another. However, the most common causes are:
- Unsafe lane changes. A motorist is likely to hit a motorcycle in adjacent lanes when failing to check their blind spots or signal their intention prior to switching lanes.
- Opening car doors. Many car-motorcycle accidents occur when a parked car’s doors suddenly open, causing a motorcyclist to slam into them.
- Lane splitting. Although the practice of riding a bike between lanes or rows of traffic is illegal in Florida, many motorcyclists still engage in lane splitting.
- Speeding. As with any other car accident, speeding increases the likelihood of a crash because the driver or motorcyclist does not have enough time to avoid a collision.
- Driving under the influence. Drunk driving impairs the driver or rider’s reaction times and diminishes the ability to react swiftly.
- Left-turn collisions. Most left-turn accidents occur when a motorcyclist or car driver fails to yield the right of way.
- Failure to maintain a safe distance. The likelihood of a motorcycle-car accident increases significantly when a motorcyclist or driver is tailgating or fails to keep a safe distance.
- Lack of experience. When a motorcycle rider or car driver is not experienced enough, he or she is more likely to violate traffic laws and engage in dangerous behaviors on the road.
Liability in Car-Motorcycle Accidents
The widespread misconception is that motorcyclists are always at fault for collisions between a motorcycle and a car. However, that is not the case. Due to this misconception, the at-fault car driver may shift the blame on the motorcyclist even when their own negligence or carelessness led to the car-motorcycle accident.
Florida has the comparative negligence statute, which means both the motorcyclist and car driver can be held liable for causing the crash. Each party’s compensation will be reduced by its own percentage of fault.
If you were injured in a car-motorcycle accident in Lakeland or other parts of Polk County, speak with a Lakeland motorcycle accident attorney. Let our lawyers at The Turnbull Firm determine liability in your collision. Call at 407-612-6464 or 863-324-3500 for a case review.