Auto Accident Settlement
When You Are Injured in an Accident, Fight for Your Right to Recover Damages with Help from a Florida Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
For millions across the country, riding is a way of life. Unfortunately, the same qualities that make motorcycles so thrilling also place motorcycle riders at extreme risks of serious injuries. Any time someone makes a mistake on the road or drives recklessly, that mistake could cause a life-changing injury to a motorcycle operator—possibly even killing her/him.
Nowhere is this danger more apparent than in the state of Florida. Florida leads the nation in fatal motorcycle accidents. These fatal accidents are disproportionate to the number of motorcycles in operation. Even though motorcycles make up just 3% of registered vehicles, they account for 20% of motor vehicle fatalities.
Motorcycle accident injury victims do have a light at the end of the tunnel, though. They can work with a motorcycle accident attorney in Florida to pursue a personal injury claim against all liable parties. With the assistance of an attorney, they could potentially receive a settlement or a court award that compensates them for their medical costs, related expenses, lost income, pain and suffering, and other losses.
If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident in Florida, you can exercise your right to file a claim with a Florida motorcycle injury lawyer today. Simply contact Steve Hoskins now to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation regarding your possible injury case.
Contact us online now or by phone using our toll-free number: 866-460-1990.
How Florida Motorcycle Accident Attorneys Can Help You Recover Compensation
Any time you are injured as a result of someone else’s negligent actions, you could be entitled to a personal injury claim. This claim establishes any responsible party’s liability for your damages while naming the damages in full, including both past and future expenses.
Negligence laws allow motorcycle injury victims to recover millions of dollars each year. This money helps them pay for the costs of their treatment, prescriptions, childcare, and any necessary therapy or health care they receive. If their injury causes them to miss work or become temporarily or permanently disabled, they can also receive compensation for their lost wages, including the loss of future earning capacity.
To file a claim with the help of a Florida personal injury lawyer, a motorcycle accident victim must first be able to assert that someone else was responsible for his/her accident and, thereby, the injuries that resulted.
Proving fault after a motorcycle accident is not always easy, either. Sometimes, a driver may have clearly broken the law in a way that directly led to an accident and injuries. For instance, the driver may have been under the influence of alcohol at the time of the accident, or he/she may have run a red light and collided with the motorcycle driver as a result.
Other times, a motorcycle accident injury lawyer will have to explore the evidence available in the case in order to reveal that someone acted negligently. Tire marks, driver statements, and even records of the allegedly at-fault driver can help establish a narrative that points to someone’s liability. The driver may not have been wearing his/her glasses at the time of the accident, for example, or he/she could have been fatigued after working long hours with little or no sleep.
Your Florida motorcycle accident attorney will work hard to unveil these types of insights. They will then assemble a strong claim based on evidence and applicable state and federal laws.
Instead of having to speak with insurers directly, who may try to offer you an unfair settlement or poke holes in your claim, your attorney will negotiate on your behalf. With their knowledge of common insurance practices, policies, and applicable laws, your attorneys will be able to navigate the legal process to your advantage, giving your claim the maximum chances of success.
Motorcycle Accident FAQ
Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents in Florida
Many drivers are not aware of the dangers they pose to motorcycle operators. As a result, they can make critical mistakes that lead to what could have been a preventable accident.
Some of the most common causes of motorcycle accidents include:
- Turning left in front of an approaching motorcycle
- Following too closely
- Failing to brake in time when coming to a stop
- Changing lanes without looking
- Driving erratically and in a way that the motorcycle operator cannot predict
- Making aggressive maneuvers around a motorcycle, causing it to lose control
- Opening a door into a motorcycle’s path
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Speeding, making it difficult to maneuver around a motorcycle safely
- Loose debris that flies into the motorcycle’s path
Making all of these matters worse, what could be a simple “fender bender” or minor highway accident for a passenger vehicle often turns deadly when a motorcycle is involved. According to the Insurance Information Institute (III), a motorcyclist is 28 times more likely to die in a crash than any passenger car occupants, per vehicle mile traveled.
What are the Most Common Injuries from Motorcycle Accidents?
You should first understand that one of the most common reasons for injury is not wearing the proper safety equipment when riding a motorcycle. Safety gear on a motorcycle should include a full-face helmet that fits properly and provides protection from head to toe. Properly fitted leather pants and jackets also should be worn, as they provide additional protection against injury. Wearing reflective gear is an excellent way to help keep riders safe while riding in the dark.
There are several factors that determine the severity of injuries in a motorcycle accident such as the size of the motorcycle, how the motorcycle is driven, the type of vehicle or object the motorcycle collided with, speed, road conditions, and much more. Motorcycles are highly dangerous when they are not handled properly. Even when they are properly handled they can still be dangerous and should be used accordingly.
When you are involved in a motorcycle accident, the chances are you will suffer some form of injury to your body. Common injuries from motorcycle accidents include whiplash, back injury, broken bones, Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), and more. It is best to consult with an injury lawyer right after receiving the medical attention so that they can give you an accurate assessment of the extent of your injury and if you are entitled to compensation for your injuries.
What Types of Damages can be Collected After a Motorcycle Accident?
Many times a motorcyclist is involved in an accident in which they sustain injuries. The question then becomes, what types of damages can be collected? This can be a very tricky question to answer. When someone has been injured in a motorcycle accident, whether it was caused by another motorist or just the motorcycle rider, insurance will typically cover the costs of medical treatments and any property damage that resulted from the accident.
However, this all depends on the specific policy that you will be making a claim against. The insurance company will take a look at the type of injury that you sustained and determine how much they believe you are entitled to. The same applies to the property damage that you have sustained.
In addition to paying for your medical expenses and property damages, you may also be eligible to receive compensation for personal injury damages. In this case, you will receive a percentage of the cost of your rehabilitation or medical bills. This will have to be proven in court, though.
If you sustain serious injuries and cannot work, you may be entitled to receive income replacement payments. This means that you would have to settle for less than you would have earned had you been able to work after sustaining your injuries. These damages are only available for the most serious of accidents that resulted in a permanent or long-term disability.
No matter what happens, you should always consult with a lawyer before deciding on what types of damages you will try to pursue after a motorcycle accident. A lawyer can help you determine if you are eligible for any of these benefits and the best course of action for you, both legally and financially.
Can I Collect Damages if I was a Passenger on a Motorcycle During an Accident?
The short answer to this is yes, as a passenger, you are usually entitled to collect damages if you are injured in a motorcycle accident. This could be true regardless of whether the accident was caused by the motorcycle driver or another driver. However, in some instances, you may not be able to pursue damages if the motorcycle driver is at fault. For instance, if the motorcycle driver was intoxicated while driving and you knew this fact, but still decided to get on the motorcycle. Another instance where you may not be entitled to compensation is if you play a significant role in the accident by causing the driver to do something they would not normally do.
The only way to know for sure if you are entitled to compensation as an injured motorcycle passenger is to consult with a motorcycle accident attorney. They can piece together the details of the case and guide you on which party you should pursue action against.
How is Liability Determined After a Motorcycle Accident?
The process of determining liability in a motorcycle accident is not an easy one. It has been said that “accident law” is one of the most complex areas of law practice because it deals with piecing together the details leading up to the accident, as well as the implications that come after the accident. People often have strong opinions about which party is liable after an accident and are very concerned about whether their rights will be affected.
The factor that weighs most heavily in the liability determination process is who is at fault and to what degree. In Florida, the courts use a rule called “comparative fault.” This means that the court will ascribe a certain percentage of fault to each party. If you are found to be at least partially at fault for the motorcycle accident, then your possible compensation award will be reduced by that amount. For example, if you are claiming $200,000 in damages, and you are found to be 20% at fault, your award would be reduced by 20% or $40,000, leaving you with a possible settlement of $160,000.
How long could my motorcycle accident case take to be resolved?
The length of time your case is in the court system can depend on many different factors. Circumstances that may delay the case can include:
- The severity of injuries and their potential for long-term disabilities. The insurance companies want proof that your injuries are severe enough to warrant the payout you’re seeking. If you are claiming a long-term disability that may never heal, they require a series of medical examinations that will definitively prove an injury is really that severe.
- Significant questions about liability. If the details of the case are quite murky and require extensive investigation to determine exactly how much each party is at fault.
Other times, insurance companies may do everything in their power to delay the progression of a case just because they can. Such stall tactics can take a heavy emotional toll on the victims in the case, so you should be prepared for the possibility the insurance company will try to use every trick in the book to avoid paying you fair compensation.
How much money should I expect from the motorcycle accident I was in?
This is another difficult question to answer as one answer doesn’t cover all situations. The damages you seek will have to be justified. The more severe the injuries and the greater the impact on your life, the more compensation you may be able to pursue. Some of the types of damages you may be compensated for include:
- Medical expenses, including long-term medical care
- Cost of repairs or replacement of vehicle
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of future wages
- Loss of quality of life
- Lost wages of a loved one who was killed
- In some cases, punitive damages
The only way to get an exact figure is to discuss your case with a qualified motorcycle accident attorney in Florida. HTLL proudly serves the Treasure Coast area and represents clients from Port St. Lucie, Vero Beach, Ft. Pierce, and Okeechobee.
Don’t accept the financial burden of your own medical bills and other injury-related costs if someone caused your motorcycle accident by making any of the bad decisions above. Exercise your right to seek compensation with the aid of a motorcycle accident lawyer in Florida.
What can I do to drive or ride a motorcycle safely?
If you’re just getting started with this wonderful hobby, the best advice that we can offer is for you to follow all the rules of safe motorcycle riding. Of course, this won’t be hard to do if you take an approved motorcycle safety course in Florida. You’ll simply need to know what you’re getting yourself into before you get started. When you know what you’re doing, then you can drive with more confidence knowing that you’re taking all the right steps to ensure your safety on your journey.
Safety gear is an important thing that you should always wear when you ride your motorcycle. The type of gear that you wear will depend on how and where you plan on riding your bike. The best gear to wear includes:
- A helmet
- Leather jacket and pants
- Thick leather boots
- Eye protection
- Leather gloves
- Reflective and brightly colored accents on clothing
Florida Motorcycle Law FAQ
Does Florida Require Helmets for Motorcycle Riders?
It depends on your age and the type of insurance policy you hold. According to Florida law, riders who are 21 years or older and carry an insurance policy that covers at least $10,000 in medical coverage are not required to wear a helmet. Riders who are under 21 or those whose insurance policies only cover damages to others are required to wear a helmet.
What is Legally Considered a Motorcycle in Florida?
Florida statutes define a motorcycle as a motor-propelled vehicle that has no more than three tires. It also must displace no more than 50 cubic centimeters. Unconventional vehicles such as autocycles or motor scooters are included in this definition, however mopeds or tractors are not included.
What Equipment Does Florida Require a Motorcycle Have?
According to Florida statutes, a motorcycle must be equipped with footrests and handholds/handlebars, unless there is an attached sidecar or enclosed cab. Additionally, there are restrictions on how high the handlebars can be. The law states further that the handlebars or handgrips can not be above the shoulder height of the person operating the motorcycle. Additionally, both hands must be on the handlebars at all times.
Footrests are required for passengers, as is a functional saddle seat. If there is not a proper passenger seat attached, you could find yourself with a ticket. Your motorcycle also must be equipped with the following:
- A horn that can be heard from at least 200 feet away.
- Mirrors on both sides of the bike.
- A red reflector that is in addition to the stop lamp.
- A tail light mounted in the proper position.
- Turn signals that are mounted in the proper position.
- A standard exhaust system that does not exceed a certain decibel level. Exhausts that are modified to be intentionally loud are illegal.
Are Motorcycles Required to Use Daytime Headlights in Florida?
Per Florida law, all motorcycles must use their headlights in the daytime. Failure to use daytime headlights may or may not be deemed as negligence if a rider is involved in a motorcycle accident. The determining factor is whether the failure to use headlights contributed significantly to the cause of the accident. The rider can, however, receive a fine for not using daytime headlights.
Are Motorcycle Riders Required to Wear Eye Protection in Florida?
Yes, both motorcycle drivers and passengers are required to wear state-approved eye protection while riding on Florida roads and highways. If there is an enclosed sidecar on the motorcycle, protective eyewear is not required by law. This law also does not apply to vehicles that are not classified as motorcycles.
Are Motorcycles Required to Have Brakes on Both Front and Back Wheels?
Yes, Florida law requires that motorcycles have brakes on both the front and back wheels. Brakes can wear at different rates, so it is your responsibility to ensure that you properly maintain both the front and back brakes routinely.
Can Two Motorcycles Ride Next to Each Other in the Same Lane in Florida?
When two motorcycles ride side-by-side in the same lane it is referred to as ‘two abreast’. It is legal in Florida for motorcycles to ride two abreast, however, the maximum number is two. Any more than two abreast is illegal.
Are Motorcycles Allowed to Pass Cars in the Same Lane in Florida?
The practice of passing cars in the same lane is known as lane-splitting, and it is illegal under Florida law. In order to safely pass another vehicle, motorcycles must completely merge into the next lane.
Is it Legal for a Motorcycle to Ride Between Lanes in Florida?
No, motorcycles are not allowed to ride between the lanes in Florida. It doesn’t matter whether traffic is flowing or at a standstill, motorcycles are required to travel in one lane and merge to other lanes just as any other vehicle would. Additionally, motorcycles may only pass on the right if they are in a designated lane. It is illegal to pass off the main roadway.
Red Lights do not Detect my Motorcycle. Can I Run a Red Light?
No, it is illegal to run a red light in Florida regardless of whether you are on a motorcycle that is not detected by the traffic signal sensors. To get a traffic signal to recognize your motorcycle, you should know a bit about how traffic signals work and a few tips to increase your presence.
Contact Motorcycle Injury Lawyer Steve Hoskins in Florida
Every moment you spend in pain with medical bills piling up could be an opportunity for you to assemble a strong personal injury claim.
Work with Florida injury lawyers who will be attentive to your needs and keep you informed during every step of the legal process. Attorney Steve Hoskins is committed to every client he represents. We build strong personal injury claims with a high chance of retrieving the maximum available compensation. If need be, we are willing to take your case to trial in order to fight for your legal rights to compensation.
Start working with a knowledgeable, experienced motorcycle accident attorney in Florida by scheduling your free consultation. Simply contact us online or call by phone toll-free at (866) 460-1990.
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