Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
A personal injury firm of attorneys who help victims of motorcycle accidents in Florida.
Florida is an ideal location for travel by motorcycle because of its beautiful ocean scenery and sunny weather. While a motorcyclist’s ride may end safely on most occasions, the risk of an accident is always present due to issues such as poor road conditions and negligent driving. After a motorcycle accident in Florida, an injured party may have more questions than answers about their health and financial security. Calling a Florida motorcycle accident lawyer after an incident may help an injured person better understand their position and the legal recourse available to them.
After reading a brief note about our firm, please explore this page for more information about personal injury cases involving motorcycle accidents and other FAQs relevant to an injured party.About Our Law Firm
The team of attorneys at the law firm of Whittel & Melton help the victims of motorcycle accidents and other personal injuries receive the fair compensation they’re owed from responsible parties. The firm roots its practice in the mission of crafting individual strategies that provide relentless protection to its clients.
After a humble beginning serving clients in Spring Hill, we now represent injured parties throughout the state of Florida, including the following locations:
- New Port Richey
- St. Petersburg
- Crystal River
- The Villages
- Boca Raton
Motorcycle accidents maintain some similarities with other personal injury cases in terms of the applicable law and other issues. However, personal injuries from motorcycle accidents are also distinguishable through the facts of each case. Navigating the legal system for financial recovery may be more difficult without the help of an attorney experienced in motorcycle cases.Injuries From Motorcycle Accidents Have Higher Rates of Serious Injury and Fatality
Compared to other motor vehicles, the drivers and passengers of motorcycles have less protection when a collision occurs. They don’t have important safety features such as seatbelts or airbags. Rather, their protection from injury only extends to wearing a helmet and the clothes on their back. As a result, motorcycle accident injuries can be serious, including damage to the following parts of the body:
- Head and brain
- Neck and back
- Burns and road rash
- Broken bones and other musculoskeletal injuries
- Internal bleeding and organ damage
- Loss of use injuries (i.e., paralysis or loss of limb)
Data from the Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicle (FLHSMV) department show that motorcycle accidents in Florida tend to be more fatal than fatalities from other crash-related accidents. Specifically, 2020 data shows that nearly 7% of all motorcycle crashes are fatal compared to less than 1% of all other crash types leading to fatality. Even when not fatal, the same reporting shows that 6,920 of the 8,045 motorcycle crashes in 2020 resulted in injury (approximately 86%).
The risk of a motorcycle accident while riding in Florida may also vary from county to county due to factors such as population, traffic density, and the nature of the available roadways. According to data from FLHSMV, 4,639 of the 8,895 motorcycle crashes in Florida during 2019 happened in only 8 of the 67 counties.
Sources: https://www.flhsmv.gov/pdf/crashreports/crash_facts_2019.pdfThe Causes of Motorcycle Accidents That May Create Liability
Like other car accidents, a wide range of causes can lead to a motorcycle crash. The crash can involve a collision with another vehicle, a bicycle, a pedestrian, or other property. Alternatively, the crash may happen for reasons unrelated to a collision. For example, our firm may help injured persons from motorcycle crashes that happen because of the following events:
- Drunk driving or driving while intoxicated
- Inattentive driving (using cell phones, eating, etc.)
- Failing to adjust to weather conditions (rain, wind, etc.)
- Lack of safety equipment (helmets, long-sleeved shirts and pants, etc.)
- Mechanical failures (e.g., bad breaks, broken taillights, etc.)
- Defects in the road (e.g., potholes, faded lane paint, etc.)
- A lack of road warning signs
Motorcycle accidents are personal injury cases that rely on Florida’s laws of negligence and other rules of civil litigation. The potential compensation and success of an injured party’s claim will depend largely on the facts of their case and how the law applies to those facts. Similar facts of prior cases do not always reflect the likelihood of similar outcomes.The Elements of Negligence
A successful recovery against another party for personal injury from a motorcycle accident requires proving that injury was the result of that party’s negligent conduct. Generally, a plaintiff in a negligence claim must show the following:
- The defendant had a duty of care to the injured party (usually a standard of reasonable care)
- The defendant’s conduct violated that duty of care
- The defendant’s conduct caused the plaintiff’s injury
- The plaintiff must have damages from the accident
Assigning fault in a negligence case can be difficult, and motorcycle accidents are no exception. Sometimes the responsibility for the accident belongs to several parties. Sometimes one of those parties can be the injured party. Because of this reality for multiple at-fault parties, Florida follows the rule of pure comparative negligence.
Under the rule, an injured party’s compensation is reduced in proportion to their percentage of responsibility for the accident. For example, let’s assume an injured motorcyclist was 20% responsible for the accident that caused their injury. If the compensation owed to the motorcyclist was $200,000, then the comparative negligence rule would reduce their damages by 20% to a new total of $160,000.Statute of Limitations
Like most states, Florida limits the amount of time in which an injured party must formally file a lawsuit against a negligent party. Florida’s statute of limitations for claims of negligence is four years. The four-year period generally begins on the date the injured party becomes aware of their right to a claim.
In the case of a motorcycle crash, this period usually begins on the date of the accident. A court will likely prevent injured parties from proceeding with a claim and recovering compensation if they fail to timely file. Injured persons should contact an attorney as soon as is safely possible after an accident to avoid any lapse in their time limit to file a claim.Damages Available to an Injured Person
The damages an injured party may be able to recover after an accident can be for several different items. Meeting with an attorney may help a person better understand the specific compensation a party may receive based on the facts of the case. In general, these damages may represent compensation for the following:
- Pain and suffering
- Property damage
- Reimbursement for medical costs (e.g., emergency transportation, surgery, medication, physical therapy, etc.)
- Lost income or wages because the accident kept a person away from work
- Loss of future earnings (in cases of permanent disability that limit earning potential or prevent working altogether)
Below are some answers to other frequently asked questions concerning personal injury cases arising from motorcycle accidents.
- Is It Worth Hiring a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer?
- Can I Sue After a Motorcycle Accident?
- How Long Does It Take to Settle a Motorcycle Accident?
- How Can a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Help With My Compensation Claim?
Hiring a lawyer to represent an injured party’s interests before insurance companies, adverse parties, and the court system is a personal decision. As explained above, the road to financial recovery after an accident is not always simple. Defense parties will be quick to display a claimant’s own negligence or other reasons why a court should reduce owed compensation or excuse a negligent party from liability.
Hiring an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer may prove beneficial in a few different ways. First, an attorney may help a person better understand their rights after an accident. This includes issues such as determining owed compensation, identifying responsible parties, and explaining your timeframe to file a formal complaint.
Because of prior experience with courts and insurance companies, an experienced motorcycle injury lawyer may also be able to help with understanding the value of a case. Having the benefit of that knowledge can further help when assessing the risk of decisions like settling versus proceeding with a trial.
Whether or not you can successfully sue after a motorcycle accident will always depend on circumstances surrounding the accident and if any third parties were responsible. As mentioned above, an injured party generally has 4 years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit.
The amount of time it takes to settle a motorcycle accident claim will vary from case to case. Some cases can settle in a few months and others can take over a year. The length generally depends on items such as the perceived value of the case, the nature of the parties involved, and the number of disputed facts or other legal issues.
The decision to settle always involves a risk analysis between the two parties. Each party must weigh the value of the proposed settlement in comparison to the risk that a judge or jury may not find in their favor. Equally important for plaintiffs in a personal injury case is the benefit of receiving compensation sooner through a settlement as opposed to waiting for a judgment after trial.
Oftentimes, filing a claim for compensation is most effective when immediately following the date of an accident. The reason is that recollections about the accident are fresh and injuries may still be visible for appropriate documentation. However, managing a personal injury case immediately following the accident can be difficult for the injured party who may be hospitalized or is otherwise trying to heal. Having an experienced representative to manage all aspects of a case may provide some relief for the injured party, allowing them to fully focus on their health and recovery.
Motorcyclists and passengers are subjected to an array of serious injuries during a motorcycle accident that occur due to the lack of protection that motorcycles offer to bikers. If a motorcycle collision has left you or a close family member suffering from a severe injury, it can be difficult to determine what to do next and how to deal with the insurance company to make sure you receive the compensation you are entitled to for medical care and other expenses.
The Florida Motorcycle Accident Attorneys at Whittel & Melton can help you if you are suffering from Neck and Back Injuries or a Knee or Shoulder Injury due to a motorcycle accident. Click on our Neck and Back Injuries or Knee or Shoulder Injury pages to the left to learn more about the services Whittel & Melton provides to Florida Motorcycle Accident victims.Schedule a Consultation With Whittel & Melton Today
The aftermath of a motorcycle accident can leave injured parties and their families with difficult questions about the future of their health and finances. As members of the Florida community, we want to be a resource for those injured in accidents who may not know what to do next. A free consultation with one of our attorneys may provide some useful context about your situation and help you take the next steps towards pursuing a claim for compensation.
Our lawyers can also represent you if your motorcycle accident occurred in Tampa, Boca Raton, Fort Lauderdale, New Port Richey, Miami or nearly any other area in Florida. Remember, there is no fee or cost unless we win. Call 352-369-5334 now to learn exactly how we can help you recover the compensation you deserve.
Call us today statewide and toll-free at 866-608-5529 or schedule a free consultation.
- Head Injury
- Neck & Back Injury
- Knee & Shoulder Injury
- Road Rash & Burn Injury
- Loss of Limb
- Broken Bone Injury
- Motorcycle DUI Accidents
- Motorcycle Wrongful Death
- Boca Raton Motorcycle Accident
- Brooksville Motorcycle Injury
- Brooksville Motorcycle License
- Citrus County Motorcycle Accident Victim
- Clermont Motorcycle Injury
- Dade City Motorcycle Injury
- Daytona Beach and Deland Motorcycle Accident
- Fort Lauderdale Motorcycle Accident
- Gainesville Motorcycle Accident
- Hernando County Motorcycle Accident Victim
- Inverness Motorcycle Injury
- Martin County Motorcycle Accident
- Miami Motorcycle Accident
- New Port Richey Motorcycle Crash
- Ocala Motorcycle Accident Victim
- Pasco County Motorcycle Accident
- St. Lucie County Motorcycle Accident
- Sumter County Motorcycle Injury
- Tampa Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
- Tavares Motorcycle Injury
- The Villages Motorcycle Accident
- Vero Beach & Indian River County Motorcycle Accident
- Zephyrhills & Wesley Chapel, FL Motorcycle Accident