Motorcycles are very popular with residents and tourists alike in Florida. However, the state has one of the highest rates of motorcycle accidents in the country. As a result, many riders are left facing expensive medical bills, missed time from work, and a slow and painful recovery.
If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident in Florida, you can sue the responsible party personally. In some cases, filing a claim against the at-fault driver is your only option when it comes to obtaining the compensation that you deserve. You will be required to provide evidence proving that the other driver was negligent and that this negligence directly caused the accident and your subsequent losses.
If you are looking to file a personal injury lawsuit following a motorcycle accident, The Law Place can help. Call us today for a free consultation, and we can tell you what options are available to you. Our telephone number is (941) 444-4444, and our phone lines are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Motorcycle Accidents in Florida
Motorcycle accidents are common in Florida, and many of them result in serious injury. Motorcycle riders are far more vulnerable than passengers of cars and trucks because they lack the added protection of a steel frame. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in Florida, there were 467 fatal motorcycle accidents in 2018 alone.
Insurance Company Claims
In some cases, it might be possible to resolve your motorcycle accident claim without suing someone personally. You may be able to negotiate a fair enough settlement with the at-fault driver’s insurance company. A motorcycle accident lawyer can be useful in these initial negotiations as they are used to dealing with insurance adjusters and can tell you if an offer is worth accepting or if you should push for more. When these negotiations break-down, your lawyer can help you file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver directly instead.
Florida’s No-Fault Law
You may be already aware that Florida is a no-fault state as per Florida Statute 627.7407. However, this rule does not apply to motorcyclists. Only drivers of four-wheeled vehicles are expected to carry a minimum amount of PIP insurance. This leaves them extremely vulnerable after a motorcycle accident because they will not be given a no-fault reimbursement for their medical bills, lost wages, and other losses. This is why many motorcyclists are left having to consider suing someone personally after an accident.
Proving Liability in a Motorcycle Accident
If you want to sue someone personally after a motorcycle accident, you will need to show that they acted negligently as per Florida Statute 768.81. You or your personal injury lawyer will be expected to prove four basic elements:
- Duty – All drivers on the road owe a duty of care to all other motorists on the road. This means that the other driver in your case had a legal duty to drive in a safe and reasonable manner.
- Breach – The driver breached their duty of care by taking action or by not taking an action that was required of them.
- Causation – The driver’s breach of duty caused the motorcycle accident.
- Damages – As a result of the accident, you suffered damages such as injuries, losses, or pain and suffering.
In most cases, a personal injury lawyer is best equipped to prove these elements on your behalf in order to secure a settlement. Call us now to find out more about how we can help you.
How Much Should You Settle for Following a Motorcycle Accident?
Following a motorcycle accident, you might be wondering how much you should settle for. However, because every case is different, the circumstances of your accident will need to be reviewed by an experienced lawyer. Generally, the value of a motorcycle accident is calculated by taking into account several of these four factors:
- The at-fault driver’s insurance policy.
- Your own insurance coverage.
- The amount of damage to your property.
- How severe your injuries are and whether they will affect you in the long term.
Due to the fact that all of these elements are different for every motorcycle accident, no respected attorney would give you an estimate before they have looked into the facts of your individual case. You will need to arrange a free consultation with an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer in order to determine the value of your claim.
How to Build a Strong Personal Injury Case
Whether you decide to file a claim against the insurance company or to sue someone personally, a motorcycle accident attorney can help you to build a strong case that will give you the best shot at a positive outcome:
- Gathering evidence – Your attorney can gather all of the evidence you need for your claim. This includes any medical records, eyewitness accounts, photos or videos taken of the motorcycle accident scene, and police reports.
- Determining the value of your claim – Working out how the value of your damages can be difficult, especially when it comes to calculating how much your pain and suffering are worth. Your lawyer can help you to determine the value of your claim and can ensure that the other driver’s insurance company, or lawyer, does not force you to settle for less than you are owed.
- Filing a lawsuit – Your attorney can put together all of the necessary documents and file the paperwork needed for your lawsuit in an efficient and timely manner, leaving you to focus on your recovery.
- Negotiating a settlement – Going back and forth with negotiations is not something you want to do whilst recovering from your accident and keeping up with your job or family life. Your attorney can communicate with the relevant parties and fight for a fair settlement on your behalf.
- Taking your case to trial – If your negotiations fail, your lawyer can take your case to trial and fight for your right to a fair settlement that reflects your losses.
Statute of Limitations in Personal Injury Cases
Something to consider following a motorcycle accident is the legal time limits that are in place for personal injury lawsuits, known as the statute of limitations and laid out in Florida Statue 95.11.
Basically, you can’t waste too much time deciding whether to sue someone for damages. In Florida, the statute of limitations for a personal injury case is four years, and your case will not be considered once this time frame has passed. A motorcycle accident attorney that is familiar with Florida’s laws will be able to ensure that all paperwork is filed before your chance to receive compensation has passed.
Call The Law Place Today for a Free Consultation
At The Law Place in Florida, we believe that motorcycle accident victims have rights, and we want to fight for them. Call us today to speak to one of our experienced personal injury attorneys about your unique case. We can give you an idea of the value of your claim and tell you if you have grounds to sue someone personally after the crash, all in a free consultation. We work on a contingency fee basis, so we don’t get paid unless you do!
Our telephone number is (941) 444-4444, and our phone lines are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.