Motorcycles offer a fun and efficient way for many people to travel. However, these advantages do come with a level of risk, as individuals who ride motorcycles are afforded virtually no physical protection in the event of an accident.
It is the belief of many drivers that this absolves them from responsibility in the event of an injury. This could not be more incorrect. All drivers have a legal duty to protect all other people with whom they share the road. Of course, this extends to bikers.
A St. Petersburg motorcycle accident lawyer is dedicated to protecting the rights of bikers in the St. Petersburg area. They understand the law as it applies to bikers and fight to obtain the compensation that they deserve after being injured by another driver’s negligence.
The Rights of Motorcycle Riders
Bikers have the same rights to use Florida’s roads as all other travelers. This includes the right to their personal space, the obligation for all other drivers to yield when appropriate, and the right to sue for damages after an accident.
While intentional collisions between drivers and bikers are rare, the civil cause of action known as negligence allows individuals injured in accidents to hold the at-fault parties responsible. This involves proving that an action taken by the defendant driver placed the motorcyclist under an undue risk of harm.
Typical examples of this behavior include:
- Failing to stop at a red light
- Failing to yield
- Improper lane changes
- Texting while driving
It is important to note that motorcyclists have all the same rights as drivers of traditional cars in these cases. The fact that the injured person was on a bike has no effect on the legal analysis of determining if the defendant driver is at fault.
However, it is important to remember that there is a time limit to file a case in Florida. According to Florida Statutes §95.11, all personal injury cases must be in court within four years of the date of injury. Even if a plaintiff’s injuries have not fully healed, this is an ironclad rule. If this time limit passes, the court may refuse to hear the case.
Potential Recoverable Damages
The center of any motorcycle accident claim, and indeed any personal injury case, must be a physical injury. While the damages to a rider’s bike may be substantial and the mental anguish that can accompany an accident may be severe, if there is no medical treatment for a physical harm the case cannot go forward.
However, this does not mean that these other sources of compensation cannot be claimed. A St. Petersburg motorcycle accident lawyer can also demand payments for any time missed at work, pain and suffering, and loss of enjoyment of life.
As a whole, a motorcycle accident case’s goal is to make the injured plaintiff whole again. This includes payments for medical bills but also for less tangible damages like pain and suffering that may be negatively affecting their life.
Let a St. Petersburg Motorcycle Accident Attorney Fight for You
The aftermath of a motorcycle accident may leave a biker confused as to their rights under the law. Despite what they may have heard and what many drivers believe, motorcyclists enjoy all the same rights on the road as all others. This includes the right to demand compensation from negligent defendants.
A St. Petersburg motorcycle accident lawyer may be able to help you collect these payments. They could work from day one to investigate the incident, talk to witnesses, and form demand packages that accurately reflect the impact of the accident on your life. However, you have only four years from the date of the accident to file a claim, so call as soon as possible to get started on yours.