As the top tourist destination in the U.S., Orlando is home to busy roads that can create a dangerous environment for riders. If you were in a motorcycle accident in Orlando, FL, it's important to follow a structured path to recovery to get back to doing the things you love.
Immediate Steps Post-Accident
So far, in 2023, there have been 368 motorcycle crashes reported in Orange County. A majority (319) of these crashes caused injuries.
Checking yourself and others for injuries should be your top priority after a crash. Call 911 if anyone is hurt, even if the injuries look minor. If you didn't sustain any injuries, you should still schedule a doctor's appointment and have a healthcare provider look for signs of nerve damage or whiplash that might not appear immediately after the crash.
Other important facts to know when reporting a crash:
- If you call 911 to report injuries, your dispatcher will contact local law enforcement.
- If there are no injuries, you should still contact the Orlando Police Department to report property damage.
- If there were no injuries and less than $500 in property damage, you can self-report the crash online.
Regardless of how you report a crash in Florida, you should gather information at the accident scene. This information is crucial for your insurance claim and potential litigation. Plus, you have a legal obligation to share your contact information.
Here's what you should write down:
- The time and location of the crash.
- The names and contact details of the people involved, including passengers and witnesses.
- Their insurance information.
- The make and model of the vehicles.
You should also use your phone to take pictures of the accident scene and request a copy of the police report.
A crash is a traumatic event. Many riders find themselves navigating a stressful post-accident process that involves adjusting to life with injuries, dealing with medical bills, and processing what happened. Survivor's guilt is also common after serious crashes that cause death or life-changing injuries.
Depression, anxiety, and PTSD are common. Some riders will develop a debilitating fear of motorcycles and avoid riding. Psychological symptoms vary a lot from one person to another, but they inevitably lead to a decreased quality of life.
It's important to recognize these symptoms and seek help:
- The National Alliance on Mental Illness has some helpful online resources as well as a helpline.
- The Trauma Survivors Network has resources that are specific to dealing with crashes.
The Orlando riding community is a welcoming environment where you'll find many riders who have experienced similar challenges. Getting involved in one of the many local riding clubs can be a great way to find the support you need and start riding again in a structured environment.
Physical Rehabilitation and Training
Physical recovery after a motorcycle accident in Orlando can take anywhere from a few weeks to more than a year. Bruises, small cuts, and road rash will usually go away after two weeks. Healing from a fracture or severe laceration takes up to two months, but a traumatic spinal cord or brain injury can take a year or more to heal.
Before you get back on the road, you should think about signing up for a refresher or defensive riding course. Training will increase your confidence and teach you safe riding habits.
Legal and Insurance Navigation
Florida doesn't require riders to carry insurance, and the PIP coverage you have for your car excludes motorcycles.
Some riders have a medical policy. In fact, you can qualify for a helmet exemption if you have $10,000 or more in medical benefits. If you have medical coverage, your compensation will vary depending on your policy.
If you don't have health insurance or have limited coverage, you'll have to file a civil lawsuit to recover damages from the liable parties. Under Florida's modified comparative negligence system, your liability has to be 50% or lower to qualify for damages. Your share of the blame will affect the amount of compensation you can receive.
Motorcycle crashes are often complex. It's helpful to have an attorney review your case and advise you on seeking compensation under tort law.
Prepping to Ride Again
Have a mechanic inspect your bike before riding again. A crash can cause damage to the fuel tank, brake lines, controls, wheels, frame, and more.
You can also look into making your bike safer. Some new tires and brighter LED lights can make a difference. Protective riding gear is also crucial. Invest in a new helmet, high-visibility jacket, and reinforced gloves and boots.
Get Help From Local Experts
A motorcycle accident can have drastic consequences when it comes to your physical and mental health. It's important to give yourself enough time to heal and to create a structured path to recovery. You should seek help from local experts, including doctors, attorneys, mental health professionals, and riding instructors.
Accident.com can put you in touch with a local lawyer who will advise you and help you make informed decisions. Get started by telling us more about your situation via our online form.