Because of the lack of motorcycle safety features, many motorcycle accident victims suffer severe, lifelong injuries that require years of treatment. Fortunately, under Florida law motorcyclists injured by negligent drivers can file a claim against the party responsible for the accident to recover compensation for damages.
At the Law Firm of Anidjar & Levine, we have the knowledge and experience to help you navigate the complex process of filing a motorcycle injury claim or a lawsuit. Call our Miami motorcycle accident lawyers today at 800-747-3733.
How do motorcycle accidents occur and how does that affect liability?
One reason motorcyclists are at such an elevated risk of accidents is that drivers of other vehicles have difficulty seeing them on the roadways due to their small size. But all drivers have a responsibility to thoroughly check for other vehicles, including motorcycles, when changing lanes, pulling onto the road, or making any other maneuver. “I didn’t see him,” is not an excuse.
In addition to visibility issues, drivers cause motorcycle accidents by behaving negligently behind the wheel. Some common examples of driver negligence include:
- Texting, eating, and other forms of distracted driving;
- Drunk driving;
- Violating traffic regulations by disregarding speed limits, failing to yield, or following too closely;
- Drowsy driving; and
- Failure to pay attention.
If the driver in your accident exhibited any of the behaviors listed above and caused your accident, we will work to build a strong case for negligence by gathering evidence such as police reports, eyewitness statements, accident reports, and more. Contact us today for a free case evaluation: 800-747-3733.
ow do I file a claim after a motorcycle accident?
To file a claim, you must first understand who was at fault for your crash. Our attorneys will start out by evaluating the facts of your claim and determining who was to blame for the accident.
If the Other Driver is at Fault
A large number of lawsuits stemming from serious motorcycle accidents will claim that the driver in the other vehicle was negligent and is liable for the motorcyclist’s debilitating injuries and other damages. In order to prove negligence, we will have to establish that the driver in the other vehicle:
- Owed a duty of care to the victim: All drivers owe a duty to other motorists and pedestrians to operate their vehicles safely and in accordance with all traffic laws.
- Breached a duty of care to the victim: Our attorneys can establish that the other driver breached that duty using police reports, witness testimony, state traffic statutes, and other evidence.
- Caused the victim’s injuries by acting negligently: We will have to show that your injuries were directly and proximately caused by the other driver’s behavior behind the wheel. Expert testimony can help show that your injuries would not have occurred if not for the other driver’s negligence.
Our attorneys will also present medical records, bills, and testimony from your treating physicians and loved ones to show that you suffered injury in the accident.
If You Are Partially at Fault
Motorcycle accidents are not always caused by the other driver. You may have played a role in your accident by speeding, swerving in between cars, and cutting in front of other drivers without warning. The good news is that if the accident occurred in part due to your own negligence, you may still be able to recover damages in the state of Florida. Florida, like many other states, is a pure comparative negligence state, which means that the amount of damages you recover depend on the fault apportionment assigned to you by the court.
For example, if you were speeding and another vehicle ran a red light and hit you, the court may find that you were 30% at fault for the crash, while the other driver was 70% at fault. When the court awards damages, they will reduce the total amount of damages you recover by 30% to account for your role in the crash.
If a Third Party is at Fault
There are many cases where neither the motorcyclist nor the other driver is at fault for what happened. In such cases, it is likely that poor road conditions or defective vehicle parts are the cause of the accident.
Poor road conditions
Motorcycles are more easily affected by poor road conditions because they are smaller, lighter, and have a lower center of gravity than passenger vehicles and trucks. Poor conditions may cause motorcyclists to lose control of their bikes and crash. Some conditions that may have an impact on motorcycles are:
- Uneven pavement;
- Missing guardrails;
- Poor road design; and
If poor road conditions caused your accident, you may sue the party liable for road maintenance. To succeed, our attorneys will first need to prove that the city, county, or state governmental agency that was responsible for the maintenance was negligent in failing to maintain the roadway where your accident occurred. We will also need to show that the poor conditions actually and proximately caused your accident.
However, many state and federal governmental agencies are immune from lawsuits as a result of governmental immunity. There are exceptions in cases where there was negligence in road maintenance, so check with one of our attorneys to see if your case qualifies as an exception.
Defective auto parts
Defective parts cause many motorcycle accidents. Faulty parts, such as the brakes, engine, steering components, or tires in the motorcycle or the other vehicle may malfunction, causing a crash. In such cases, the victim must show that there was a manufacturing or design defect. The victim may bring a case under the theory of strict liability. If we can show that a vehicle part was defective and that the defect caused your injuries, that is all we will need to recover damages from the manufacturer.
What can I recover if I file suit?
Injured motorcyclists who have suffered serious injury can recover both economic and non-economic damages to cover a variety of expenses related to the accident. Economic damages include tangible costs such as:
- Medical expenses like rehabilitation and surgery costs;
- Lost wages;
- Hospital bills;
- At-home care; and
- Loss of future earning capacity.
Non-economic damages cover more intangible costs such as:
- Mental anguish;
- Pain and suffering; and
- Loss of enjoyment of life.
Contact a Miami Motorcycle Accident Lawyer at the Law Firm of Anidjar & Levine
While negligent driving is dangerous to everyone, this negligence poses a greater risk to motorcyclists as they are more susceptible to serious injury. At the Law Firm of Anidjar & Levine, we understand the challenges that come with motorcycle accident recovery. In addition to dealing with physical pain, you have to worry about missing work and being able to provide for your family.
Make sure that you and your family are well cared for after your accident. Talk to one of our qualified Miami motorcycle accident attorneys about your legal options. Call 800-747-3733 today.