The Question of Liability in Single-Vehicle Motorcycle Accidents in Florida
More than 5,000 people die in motorcycle crashes each year nationwide. Of these deaths, between 40 and 45% are single-vehicle accidents or collisions where only the motorcycle was involved in the crash.
Most single-vehicle crashes involving a motorcyclist occur due to impairment, speeding, reckless driving, or violation of other traffic laws. Interestingly, while these collisions involve only the biker, many of them are not the fault of the rider.
3 Examples of Single-Vehicle Motorcycle Crashes Where a Third Party is at Fault
Let’s review three situations in which a third party is responsible for causing a single-vehicle motorcycle crash, not the motorcyclist:
- A motorcyclist crashes after hitting a pothole or a section of raised pavement.
- A motorcycle rider swerves or lays down their bike to avoid a collision with another vehicle after the latter makes an unsafe lane change.
- A motorcyclist loses control of the bike due to faulty brakes, clutch, or steering.
In the first scenario, the local government entity responsible for maintaining the section of the road where the motorcyclist crashed will be held accountable. In the second example, the driver of the other vehicle that caused the biker to swerve will likely be responsible. In the third scenario, the motorcycle rider may be able to bring a lawsuit against the manufacturer.
Single-Vehicle Motorcycle Accident in West Palm Beach
One such single-vehicle crash recently happened in West Palm Beach. As reported by WPTV, a 21-year-old male motorcyclist on a white 2017 Yamaha R6 died on Okeechobee Blvd. The motorcycle rider was headed west in the 1400 block of Okeechobee Blvd. when he lost control of the bike, entered the center median and hit two palm trees.
The motorcyclist, who was involved in a high-speed accident, was pronounced dead at the scene. Neither alcohol nor drugs were a factor. People assume that if a motorcycle collision involves only the motorcyclist, it was caused by recklessness or negligence on the part of the biker.
However, that is not the case in a large percentage of solo motorcycle crashes. These collisions occur for a number of reasons, including:
- Hitting a pothole, raised pavement, sinkhole, or other poor road conditions;
- Being cut off or bumped by other vehicles that flee the scene afterward;
- Striking road debris such as branches, fallen rocks, or others;
- Swerving to avoid hitting an obstruction, bicycle, animal, or pedestrian;
- Being involved in animal-vehicle collisions;
- Riding on wet, slippery, or oily pavement;
- Crashing in a poorly marked construction area; and
- Losing control of the bike due to defective or malfunctioning motorcycle parts or equipment.
Potentially Liable Parties in a Single-Vehicle Motorcycle Crash (Other Than the Biker)
As with any other legal issues surrounding motorcycle accidents, determining liable parties depends on the facts of your particular collision. Often, insurance companies are not eager to believe that the biker who was in a solo collision was not at fault for causing it.
That is why you need a West Palm Beach motorcycle accident attorney who would help you prove that you were injured through the negligence, carelessness, or recklessness of another party or multiple parties.
The importance of having a motorcycle crash lawyer in Florida cannot be overstated because the Sunshine State’s no-fault insurance laws do not apply to motorcyclists. In addition to that, personal injury protection (PIP) is not available to Florida bikers.
While motorcyclists injured in single-vehicle crashes are typically the ones who must pay for their medical bills, a skilled attorney will help you recover damages from another liable party whose fault contributed to the crash. These potentially liable parties could include:
- The driver of another vehicle
- The government or private entity responsible for roadway maintenance
- The construction company that failed to ensure motorists’ safety at or near a construction site or work zone
- Manufacturer of the bike or its parts
- A pedestrian who darted out into traffic causing the motorcyclist to swerve