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Key Differences in Motorcycle Accidents vs Car Accidents Every Bradenton Rider Should Know


As you negotiate the streets of Bradenton on your motorcycle, you put your safety in the hands of drivers who may not understand the unique rules of the road for motorcyclists. When a crash occurs at intersections like 53rd Ave W and Manatee Ave or along routes like SR 64 (Manatee Avenue), the legal implications can differ greatly from an automobile accident with a 4-wheeled vehicle. Educating yourself on critical differences in Florida traffic laws for motorcycles can make a difference if you need to pursue compensation after an accident. Understanding negligence standards, helmet and insurance requirements, and multi-vehicle accident liability is crucial. An experienced Bradenton motorcycle accident attorney at the law firm of Goldman, Babboni, Fernandez, Murphy & Walsh guides injured riders to maximize claims with a nuanced perspective on motorcycle laws.

Unique Motorcycle Accident Laws in Bradenton

Stringent Insurance Requirements

As a motorcyclist in Bradenton, you must carry a minimum of $10,000 in Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage. This Florida law provides limited insurance benefits in the event of an accident, regardless of fault. However, motorcyclists often sustain more severe injuries than vehicle occupants, so additional uninsured motorist coverage is advisable. An experienced Bradenton motorcycle accident attorney can help determine appropriate coverage levels based on your unique situation.

Local Traffic Ordinances

Bradenton has enacted certain ordinances specific to motorcyclists. For example, motorcycles are prohibited from using bicycle lanes and motorcyclists cannot carry a passenger unless the motorcycle is designed and equipped for two people. Violating a traffic ordinance can complicate a motorcycle accident claim, so motorcyclists should understand all local rules of the road.

Detailed Overview of Local Traffic Ordinances for Motorcycles in Bradenton, FL

Helmet Laws

In Bradenton, Florida, motorcycle helmet laws are governed by state regulations. Riders under 21 years of age are required to wear a helmet that meets the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 218. Riders over 21 years old may choose not to wear a helmet if they carry at least $10,000 in medical insurance coverage for motorcycle-related injuries. This provision aims to ensure that riders have financial means to cover medical expenses in case of an accident.

Eye Protection

Eye protection is mandatory for all motorcycle riders unless the motorcycle is equipped with a windshield. Acceptable forms of eye protection include goggles, safety glasses, or a face shield. This requirement is designed to protect riders from debris, insects, and other hazards that can impair vision and cause accidents.

Licensing and Endorsements

Operating a motorcycle in Bradenton requires a motorcycle endorsement on the rider’s driver’s license. To obtain this endorsement, individuals must pass a written knowledge test and a practical skills test. Additionally, new riders must complete the Basic Rider Course (BRC) offered by the Florida Rider Training Program. This course provides essential skills and knowledge for safe motorcycle operation.

Motorcycle Equipment Requirements

Local traffic ordinances mandate specific equipment standards for motorcycles:

  • Mirrors: At least one rearview mirror is required to provide a clear view of the road behind.
  • Lighting: Motorcycles must have a functional headlight, taillight, brake light, and turn signals. Daytime headlights are required for visibility, enhancing safety by making motorcycles more visible to other drivers.
  • Brakes: Both front and rear brakes must be operational and in good condition.
  • Horn: A working horn is required for alerting other motorists.
  • Mufflers: Motorcycles must be equipped with a muffler to limit noise emissions, ensuring compliance with local noise ordinances.

Lane Usage

  • Lane Splitting: Lane splitting, which involves riding between lanes of slow or stopped traffic, is illegal in Florida. This practice is prohibited to reduce the risk of accidents.
  • Lane Sharing: Motorcycles are entitled to the full use of a lane. It is illegal for other vehicles to deprive a motorcycle of this right. However, two motorcycles may legally share a lane side-by-side.

Insurance Requirements

Motorcyclists in Bradenton must meet Florida’s minimum liability insurance requirements:

  • $10,000 for bodily injury liability per person.
  • $20,000 for bodily injury liability per accident if multiple people are injured.
  • $10,000 for property damage liability.

These insurance requirements are designed to provide financial protection in the event of an accident, covering medical expenses and property damage.

Noise Regulations

Bradenton enforces strict noise ordinances to control motorcycle noise levels. Motorcycles must be equipped with factory-installed or equivalent mufflers to minimize noise. Modifying exhaust systems to increase noise output is illegal and subject to fines. Local law enforcement actively monitors and enforces these noise regulations to maintain community peace.

Parking Regulations

Motorcycles must adhere to the same parking rules as other vehicles. They must be parked in designated parking spaces and are prohibited from parking on sidewalks, pedestrian paths, or other non-designated areas. Violations can result in fines and towing.

Safety Inspections

While Florida does not mandate regular safety inspections for motorcycles, riders are responsible for ensuring their vehicles are in safe operating condition. This includes regular checks of tires, brakes, lights, and other essential components. Maintaining a safe motorcycle not only complies with the law but also significantly reduces the risk of accidents.

Lane Splitting Legality

Lane splitting, where motorcyclists ride between lanes of traffic, is illegal in Florida. However, some motorcyclists still engage in this dangerous practice, putting themselves and others at risk. If involved in an accident while lane splitting, a motorcyclist may face legal liability and insurance issues. It is always best for motorcyclists to follow all traffic laws to avoid compromising their safety or legal position after an accident.

An attorney who understands the details of Bradenton motorcycle accident law can properly assess fault and liability, advise you on your legal options, and help you pursue fair compensation. The legal team at Goldman, Babboni, Fernandez, Murphy & Walsh has experience handling complex motorcycle accident cases in Bradenton and throughout Florida.

Key Differences Between Motorcycle and Car Accidents

Motorcyclists face unique dangers compared to drivers and passengers in cars and trucks. Understanding how motorcycle accident laws differ from standard car accident laws can help riders and their attorneys pursue fair compensation after a crash.

Higher Severity of Injuries

Motorcycle accidents have an 80% injury or death rate, compared to around 20% for car accidents. Motorcyclists lack the steel cage and other safety features that protect car occupants, exposing riders to greater harm. Collisions at even moderate speeds can lead to massive trauma. These severe, life-threatening injuries often require extensive emergency care, hospitalization, surgery, and rehabilitation.

Liability and Negligence

To recover damages, a motorcyclist must prove the other driver’s negligence caused the crash. This can be challenging, as drivers often claim they did not see the motorcyclist before the impact. However, drivers have a responsibility to be aware of all road users, including motorcyclists. Failure to yield the right of way or improper turns in front of an oncoming motorcycle may demonstrate negligence.

Comparative Fault

Some states apply comparative fault rules, reducing a motorcyclist’s compensation by their percentage of fault in the accident. The court will examine factors like speeding, intoxication, or improper lane changes to determine fault. However, a driver’s improper lookout or failure to yield often bears primary responsibility, even if the motorcyclist is partially at fault. In “pure comparative fault” states like Florida, a rider can recover damages even if they are up to 99% at fault.

Understanding these critical differences in motorcycle accident laws can help riders pursue fair compensation after a crash. An experienced Bradenton motorcycle accident attorney knows how to investigate crashes, establish liability, and maximize recovery for clients’ severe injuries. With legal guidance, riders have the best chance of overcoming unfair stereotypes and obstacles to justice.

Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents on Cortez Road and other dangerous roads for motorcycles in Bradenton

  • U.S. Route 41 (Tamiami Trail)
    • Reason: Heavy traffic, frequent intersections, and numerous commercial entrances/exits increase the risk of accidents.
    • Tip: Ride with extra caution and be prepared for sudden stops or vehicles pulling out from side streets.
  • State Road 64 (Manatee Avenue)
    • Reason: High traffic volume, especially during peak hours, combined with multiple lanes and intersections.
    • Tip: Stay visible, maintain a safe following distance, and watch for cars making sudden lane changes or turns.
  • Cortez Road (State Road 684)
    • Reason: This road has high traffic, particularly near shopping centers and the beach, leading to frequent stop-and-go traffic and distracted drivers.
    • Tip: Avoid riding during peak traffic times if possible and be vigilant of vehicles making unexpected maneuvers.
  • Interstate 75 (I-75)
    • Reason: High speeds, dense traffic, and the presence of large trucks create hazardous conditions for motorcyclists.
    • Tip: Keep a safe distance from large vehicles, use your signals clearly, and avoid riding in blind spots.
  • University Parkway
    • Reason: Busy road with numerous retail and residential areas, leading to frequent stops and turning vehicles.
    • Tip: Be aware of vehicles entering and exiting driveways and intersections, and maintain a steady speed to stay visible.
  • Bayshore Gardens Parkway
    • Reason: This road features a mix of residential and commercial traffic, with frequent stops and left turns.
    • Tip: Be cautious at intersections and watch for turning vehicles.
  • 9th Street East (U.S. 301)
    • Reason: High traffic volumes and multiple commercial access points lead to frequent lane changes and stops.
    • Tip: Stay alert, anticipate other drivers’ actions, and avoid riding in the blind spots of larger vehicles.
  • State Road 70
    • Reason: Heavy traffic flow, especially near commercial zones, with a high number of intersections and traffic signals.
    • Tip: Pay attention to traffic signals, and be prepared for sudden stops or changes in traffic flow.
  • Palmetto/Bradenton Connector (U.S. 19)
    • Reason: High-speed road with heavy traffic and frequent merging lanes, leading to a higher risk of collisions.
    • Tip: Use defensive driving techniques, and be particularly cautious when merging or changing lanes.
  • El Conquistador Parkway
    • Reason: This road can have varying traffic patterns, with frequent pedestrian crossings and vehicles entering/exiting from side roads.
    • Tip: Slow down near pedestrian areas, and stay aware of your surroundings at all times.

Distracted Driving

Motorcyclists face significant risks from distracted drivers on Cortez Road. When drivers divert their attention from the road to use mobile devices or focus on other occupants in the vehicle, they may fail to notice motorcyclists and react in time to avoid an accident. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, distracted driving was a factor in over 3,000 fatal crashes in the U.S. in 2017 alone. Motorcyclists are particularly vulnerable to the negligent and dangerous behaviors of distracted drivers.

Hazardous Road Conditions

Inclement weather and poor road conditions pose additional risks for motorcyclists on Cortez Road. Surfaces become slippery when wet, making it difficult for motorcyclists to maneuver and stop safely. Potholes or debris in the roadway can also lead to loss of control or crashes. Motorcyclists must exercise extra caution on Cortez Road, especially at intersections like Cortez Road and 57th Street East or Cortez Road and 20th Street East, during hazardous conditions.

Blind Spots

The size and visibility of motorcycles puts them at risk of being obscured in other vehicles’ blind spots. When changing lanes or turning at intersections, drivers may fail to detect motorcyclists in adjacent lanes or approaching from behind. These blind spot crashes can occur at any point along Cortez Road but are particularly likely at busier intersections where there are more opportunities for vehicles to cross paths. Motorcyclists should practice defensive driving techniques, avoid lingering in blind spots when possible, and wear high-visibility gear to maximize their conspicuity to other motorists.

Motorcyclists face unique risks from the behaviors and limitations of other drivers as well as the inherent vulnerability of riding a motorcycle. By exercising caution, wearing proper safety gear, and following all traffic laws, motorcyclists can reduce the likelihood of an accident on roadways like Cortez Road. However, should a collision occur, it is critical to contact a motorcycle accident attorney immediately to understand your legal rights and next steps.

Major Injuries Sustained in Motorcycle Accidents on 53rd Ave W

Traumatic Brain Injuries

Motorcycle accidents often result in debilitating traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) due to the lack of protection for the head. Helmets can only mitigate so much force in a high-speed collision. Riders involved in an accident at the intersection of 53rd Ave W and 30th Street W may suffer from concussions, contusions, brain bleeds, and nerve damage leading to long-term cognitive, behavioral, and physical impairments. Seeking immediate medical help and contacting a motorcycle accident lawyer is critical.

Spinal Cord Injuries

The impact of a collision on 53rd Ave W can easily fracture vertebrae and sever the spinal cord, causing paralysis or nerve damage. Injuries may include paraplegia, quadriplegia, and paraparesis, significantly impacting a victim’s mobility and independence. Rehabilitation and lifelong care entail high costs, highlighting the importance of securing maximum compensation through a lawsuit.

Broken Bones

The force generated in a motorcycle crash often breaks legs, arms, ribs, and other bones. Compound fractures, where broken bones tear through skin, require immediate emergency care to avoid infections and promote proper healing. Multiple broken bones lead to a longer, more painful recovery and rehabilitation process. Consulting with a motorcycle accident attorney helps determine responsibility for the victim’s mounting medical bills and time off work.

Road Rash

“Road rash” refers to severe abrasions from skidding across asphalt after being thrown from a motorcycle. As skin is ripped away, the body is left susceptible to infection while also facing permanent scarring and disfigurement. Road rash is extremely painful, difficult to heal, and can necessitate reconstructive surgery and skin grafts in serious cases. Victims deserve compensation for the physical and emotional trauma of such graphic injuries.

By understanding the unique and catastrophic nature of motorcycle accident injuries, victims on 53rd Ave W can obtain advice, build a strong case, and hold negligent parties accountable for causing harm. While money cannot undo damage, it can aid recovery and provide security for an uncertain future. The motorcycle accident lawyers at Goldman, Babboni, Fernandez, Murphy & Walsh have the experience and resources to help.

Why Hire a Bradenton Motorcycle Accident Attorney for Your Case from the law firm of Goldman, Babboni, Fernandez, Murphy & Walsh

Unique Laws

When involved in a motorcycle accident, the laws that apply to your case differ greatly from those that govern car accidents. Motorcycle accident cases deal with specific statutes like Florida’s helmet laws and regulations on proper safety gear. An experienced motorcycle accident attorney will understand how these unique laws may affect liability and compensation in your case. For example, if you were not wearing a helmet at the time of an accident as required by Florida law, it could reduce the settlement you receive.

Complex Claims

The claims process for a motorcycle accident is often much more complicated than for a car accident. There are more factors to consider regarding the cause of the crash and the severity of injuries. Your attorney will need to determine if road conditions, vehicle defects, or the actions of the other driver caused your accident. They will also need to accurately calculate the true costs of lifelong medical care and lost wages, which can be difficult to determine.

Insurance Challenges

Dealing with insurance companies after a motorcycle accident can be frustrating without proper legal counsel. The companies may try to take advantage of bikers’ lack of knowledge about their rights. An attorney who represents motorcycle accident victims will know how to stand up to unfair settlement offers and demand full compensation. They can also determine if multiple insurance policies may provide coverage, including your own, the other driver’s, vehicle, and umbrella policies.

The attorneys at Goldman, Babboni, Fernandez, Murphy & Walsh have over 100 years of combined experience helping Florida motorcycle accident victims. Allowing them to handle your case means you can focus on recovery while relying on their expertise to navigate the legal complexities of your claim. With their track record of success, you can feel confident they will fight for maximum compensation on your behalf.

As you can see, motorcycle accidents are very different from car accidents in terms of laws, liability, and compensation. The unique dynamics of a motorcycle require riders to take extra precautions for their safety. However, if you are injured in a motorcycle accident that was not your fault, don’t hesitate to contact an experienced motorcycle accident attorney in Bradenton, like those at Goldman, Babboni, Fernandez, Murphy & Walsh. They understand the complexities of motorcycle accident cases and will fight to get you maximum compensation. With their dedicated legal team on your side, you can focus on healing while they handle negotiations with insurance companies, proceedings in court, and every aspect of your injury claim. Put your trust in their decades of experience representing injured motorcyclists in Manatee County and beyond.

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During his time as a public attorney for the State of Florida, Bernard Walsh developed a passion for defending the legal rights of Florida's citizens. Having seen many people being taken advantage of after being injured and the financial harm that can cause for families he committed himself fully to helping injured clients get justice, by fighting to make greedy insurance companies pay what they owe.

Key Differences in Motorcycle Accidents vs Car Accidents Every Bradenton Rider Should Know

Goldman Babboni Fernandez
Murphy & Walsh




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