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Serious Florida motorcycle accidents trend upward

The Florida Department of Transportation and University of South Florida recently released figures that might concern motorcyclists throughout the state. In 2011 alone, there were "8,621 people involved in motorcycle crashes." To make matters worse, that number represents a 15 percent year-over-year increase between 2010 and 2011.

Public safety officials are trying to figure out exactly what accounts for the jump in injury-causing motorcycle crashes. Some people point to the fact that motorcycle registrations doubled in the 10 years after the helmet requirement was dropped in 2000.

A dramatic increase in the number of riders on the road combined with other motorists' tendency to drive carelessly around motorcycles has created the perfect environment for crashes. Statistics show that a car's driver was responsible in 60 percent of two-vehicle accidents with a motorcycle.

Although some motorcyclists may feel completely powerless in the event that they are involved in an accident with an inattentive or careless driver, it's important to know that they might have some legal options at their disposal. Florida's personal injury laws may allow accident victims to recoup the economic and emotional costs of motorcycle crashes.

Of course, multi-vehicle accidents are not always a clear-cut situation. It may take close investigation and examination of accident details to determine what exactly happened.

Oftentimes, it may be the case where more than one motorist is found to be responsible in a crash. Under Florida's comparative liability statute -- which covers motor vehicle accidents -- a victim can seek compensation even if they are partially responsible for the crash. Unsurprisingly, this can be a complicated matter, so it may be helpful to consult with a trustworthy attorney.

Source: The Independent Florida, "Florida motorcycle crashes increase," Kathryn Varn, April 24, 2013

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