With great weather and miles of coastal highways, Florida is a motorcyclist’s dream. However, that dream can quickly turn into a nightmare if you are involved in a motorcycle accident. If you suffered severe injuries in a motorbike crash, resulting in expensive medical bills, you might be wondering how you will get your life back on track?
If another person’s negligence caused your collision, a Wesley Chapel motorcycle accident lawyer can help you obtain the compensation you rightfully deserve for your losses. At Hancock Injury Attorneys, our dedicated legal team has worked with countless individuals like you. We understand what you are going through, and will be here for you as your advocates throughout your case. Reach out to a skilled personal injury lawyer for assistance with your accident claim.
Proving Negligence in a Motorbike Collision
Before you can recover compensation for your injuries, you must establish that someone else’s negligence caused the motorcycle accident. You and your attorney must prove the following elements of negligence:
- The other party owed you a duty of care
- The other party breached that duty
- The breach directly caused the accident
- The accident resulted in your compensable damages
All drivers have an obligation to operate their vehicles safely and to respect others on the road, so establishing the first element of negligence is typically straightforward in vehicle collision cases. A motorist who was driving recklessly or violating traffic laws could be negligent.
However, the negligent party is not always another driver. For example, governments have a responsibility to keep roadways safe and well-marked, and they could be liable if they fail to do so. Furthermore, motorcycle or auto parts manufacturers may bear liability if a mechanic defect caused your accident. An attorney familiar with motorcycle accident claims can help you determine who is at fault and prove their liability.
What Type of Compensation Can Injured Bikers Receive?
After a severe motorcycle accident, you may receive economic, non-economic, and punitive damages.
Your economic damages are the fixed and documentable expenses you incurred due to the crash. Potential losses include:
- Medical treatment, including expenses for physical and occupational therapy, psychological counseling, and rehabilitation
- Costs of remodeling a home for accessibility purposes
- Costs of adapting a vehicle or buying a new vehicle for accessibility purposes
- Lost wages, including the value of time off used during your recovery
- Diminished future earning potential
- All other costs associated with recovering from and adapting to the injury
Non-economic damages offer compensation for subjective, intangible losses. An award of non-economic damages could include compensation for:
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of enjoyment of life
Our personal injury lawyers lawyer can help you evaluate all the ways your motorcycle crash has negatively impacted your life to calculate an appropriate plea for non-economic damages.
Punitive damages are only awarded if the defendant’s conduct was outrageous, intentional, or malicious. For example, an attorney might advise a biker who was injured by a drunk driver to pursue punitive damages. This type of award is meant to punish defendants, not compensate plaintiffs, so you will not receive any money from punitive damages.
Does Florida Cap Damages in Personal Injury Cases?
Florida does not limit the compensatory damages you can receive in an accident case, though there is a cap on punitive damages. Florida Statute §768.73 sets this limit at three times the compensatory damage award or $500,000, whichever is greater.
What Are the Motorcycle Laws in Wesley Chapel?
All motorists must follow the rules of the road, but there are certain laws that apply exclusively to motorbike riders. For example, you cannot ride your motorcycle between two lanes of traffic moving in the same direction. It is also illegal to pass a vehicle in the same lane or move off the roadway to pass a vehicle on the right. Additionally, no more than two motorcyclists can drive side by side in the same lane.
Are Motorcyclists Required to Wear Helmets?
In Wesley Chapel and throughout the state, all motorcyclists aged 21 and under must wear helmets. Individuals over 21 may forgo a helmet if their insurance policy covers at least $10,000 in medical benefits.
If you were violating one of these laws at the time of your motorcycle accident, you can receive a reduced damages award. However, due to the state’s comparative fault laws, an experienced motorcycle collision attorney can still help you recover partial compensation.
To show how vital motorcycle helmets are, Attorney Mike Hancock shared three different “Helmet Stories” from some of our clients
How Much Time Does an Injured Motorcycle Rider Have to File an Accident Claim?
State law mandates that injured parties have four years from the date of the accident to bring lawsuits against the other party. This may seem like plenty of time, but the earlier you and your attorney begin working on the case, the more likely you will achieve a favorable outcome.
If the defendant in your case is a government entity, you only have one year to file a claim. Thus, we advise that you seek legal help immediately after your motorbike collision.
Hire a Wesley Chapel Motorcycle Accident Attorney to Pursue Your Claim
The courts and insurance providers are often prejudiced against motorcyclists. Bikers can be seen as reckless, irresponsible drivers. Fighting those biases can be difficult without an experienced advocate by your side. Attorney Mike Hancock worked for these insurance companies before he made the switch from the defendant to the plaintiff side of personal injury. With that experience, we have insider knowledge and know-how these large insurance companies argue these cases, and we know what works to fight back.
A Wesley Chapel motorcycle accident lawyer can help you negotiate with the negligent party on your behalf and file a lawsuit if necessary. We will take care of your legal claim, so you can focus on healing. Call Hancock Injury Attorneys today to schedule an appointment for a free consultation.