Florida’s sunny weather and open highways make motorcycling a popular form of transportation, but it can be a dangerous one. According to the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), Florida continually ranks in the top three U.S. states for motorcycle-related fatalities.
If you or a loved one was injured or if your loved one died in a motorcycle crash, you may be entitled to compensation for your physical, emotional, and financial damages.
Dealing with legal issues while you are trying to recover from an accident can be overwhelming, but fortunately, there is help available.
The Tampa motorcycle accident lawyers at The Landau Law Group offer a free consultation to examine the facts of your accident and layout a plan for pursuing compensation. For an initial case review, call us today at (866) 703-4878.
Proving Negligence in Motorcycle Accidents
Everyone who drives on Florida roads assumes a duty of care, meaning that they must take reasonable precautions to not harm others. If there is a clear breach of this duty, the other party may be held legally responsible for your damages.
In a lawsuit, your legal team must establish that:
- The defendant owed you a duty of care
- The defendant breached that duty of care
- This breach caused your injuries
- You suffered damages as a result
The Landau Law Group has more than 20 years of combined expertise, and we pride ourselves on being a service-oriented law firm. We will help you seek the compensation to which you may be entitled as a result of someone else’s negligence.
Florida Requirements for Motorcyclists
While other drivers must be responsible and look out for motorcyclists, riders are also expected to follow Florida road rules and traffic laws. Moreover, motorcycle drivers must take a Basic Rider Course and get a proper license or endorsement added to their existing driver’s license.
Unlike drivers of four-wheel vehicles, motorcyclists are not required to carry personal injury protection (PIP) insurance. Florida motorcycle insurance laws require motorcyclists to carry $10,000 per-person bodily injury, $20,000 for two or more total bodily injury, and $10,000 per crash in property damage liability.
As long as the motorcyclist is over 21 years old and is carrying at least $10,000 in insurance, it is not mandatory to wear a helmet while riding. According to the Florida Motorcycle Handbook, the only required protective gear for operating a motorcycle is “shatterproof eye protection.” Failure to do so may result in a fine. For more information about how Florida’s laws pertain to motorists, call The Landau Law Group today at (866) 703-4878.
Florida Insurance Laws Require That You File With Your Insurance Company First
Florida is a no-fault state, which means that motorcyclists who are in an accident must first turn to their own vehicle insurance for coverage. However, for more serious losses and permanent injuries, you can go beyond the no-fault statute and sue the other driver for compensation.
Florida statutes section 627.737(2) defines a permanent injury as:
(a) Significant and permanent loss of an important bodily function
(b) Permanent injury within a reasonable degree of medical probability
(c) Significant and permanent scarring or disfigurement
According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV), there were 9,143 motorcycle crashes in 2019. In those crashes, 531 people lost their lives.
Motorcycle Injuries Can Be Severe
Motorcyclists put their lives into the hands of other drivers when sharing the road. Since motorcyclists are out in the open, without the protection of airbags and crumple zones, injuries are more likely to be severe.
These injuries can include:
- Broken bones
- Torn ligaments
- Traumatic head injury
- Brain damage
- Internal bleeding
- Road rash
This is not an exhaustive list of all the injuries that can be sustained following any type of accident. It is recommended that if you are injured in a motorcycle accident that you seek medical attention regardless of how mild your injuries may seem. Internal bleeding, spinal cord injuries, and brain damage often do not appear within the first few hours of an accident.
Motorcyclists Are at an Increased Risk of Injury
Motorcycles are more vulnerable to accidents as opposed to other motor vehicles. Weather conditions, road debris, and wildlife can pose a threat to even the most experienced motorcyclist.
Situations that may include a driver hitting a rider can include:
- Distracted driving (such as texting)
- Driving under the influence of drugs, alcohol, or fatigue
- Failure to keep a safe distance from the motorcyclist
- Veering into a motorcyclist’s lane
- Failure to yield right of way
- Reckless driving
- Failure on the part of the vehicle itself, such as faulty brakes
Florida law mandates that all drivers should regard a motorcycle the same way they would any other vehicle. It is recommended that drivers always maintain a safe distance from motorcyclists.
Damages in a Tampa, Florida motorcycle case
In a successful motorcycle accident lawsuit, you may receive compensation for both economic and non-economic losses. Economic losses include medical and rehabilitation expenses, lost current and future wages, property damage, and funeral costs if a death is involved.
Non-economic losses are less tangible, such as pain and suffering, loss of consortium, and the inability to enjoy life’s pleasures.
The exact amount you are entitled to receive from a settlement depends on the details of your accident.
Get Help From Our Tampa Motorcycle Accident Lawyers
If you or a loved one were injured or if a loved one died in a motorcycle accident, a Tampa motorcycle accident lawyer at The Landau Law Group can help. We are on your side. We take on all the legal responsibilities when we handle your case, including filing all necessary paperwork, negotiating with insurance companies, and gathering all relevant evidence needed to support your claim.
If we cannot reach an agreement out of court, we are ready to take your case before a jury. Florida has a statute of limitations of four years, starting from the date of the accident, to pursue litigation. If any minors were involved in your accident, it may play a role in determining how much time you have left to act.
Our results speak for themselves. We work on a contingency-fee-basis, meaning that we do not collect any fees until you accept a settlement offer. For a no-obligation case evaluation, contact us today at (866) 703-4878.