Cruising on two wheels is an efficient way to travel, but the advantages do come with a level of risk. People who ride motorbikes have virtually no physical protection in the event of a crash. Our motorcycle accident attorneys in St. Petersburg understand how devastating these collisions can be and are proud to help the injured pursue the compensation they need to get their lives back.
We are passionate about the law and always dedicate the resources needed to provide effective representation. Contact us today at (727) 821-1500 for a free consultation.
What Damages Can a St. Petersburg Motorcycle Accident Attorney Help Me Pursue?
You must have suffered actual harm to bring a claim for damages. This may include medical bills, lost income, property repairs, and/or other damages. Our attorneys can help you determine the kinds of damages to pursue given the circumstances.
The lawyers at Emerson Straw PL have extensive experience winning substantial settlements and verdicts in these cases. The purpose of these claims is to make the plaintiff whole again, and we will dedicate the resources necessary to pursue that goal.
What Are the Rights of Motorcycle Riders in Florida?
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.
What Factors Might Influence the Value of Claim?
If you suffered a serious injury, you may be wondering what your claim is worth. Our motorcycle accident lawyers in St. Petersburg can conduct a thorough investigation and approximate a fair settlement based on the specific circumstances of your case. Below are a few factors that could influence settlement estimations:
- Liability: If your own negligence contributed to your damages in any way, your financial award might be reduced by your percentage of liability. For example, if you were speeding and were hit by a driver who ran a red light, you might be partially at fault, which could result in a lower financial recovery.
- Medical Bills: From the consultations and procedures to pain management and prescription medication, your medical expenses can add up quickly in the aftermath of a serious accident. Minor or temporary conditions tend to require less care than permanent injuries or disabilities, and therefore will typically cost far less to treat. Since healthcare costs often make up a significant portion of motorcycle accident settlements, the severity of your injuries can have a major impact on the potential value of your claim.
- Lost Wages: If you were unable to return to work due to your injuries, these lost earnings may be recoverable. As such, your salary before the accident may be factored into the settlement estimations. If you suffered a permanent injury or disability that will affect your ability to return to work down the line or at all, you may also be able to recover compensation for loss of future wages.
What Are Some Signs That I Have a Strong Case?
Personal injury cases can be incredibly complex, so it’s not always obvious at first glance whether an accident victim has a strong claim. Even minor weaknesses in your case could be exploited by opposing parties to dispute liability, causation, and damages. Our motorcycle accident attorneys in St. Petersburg will provide you with an honest assessment of the merits of your case and whether you have grounds to file a claim. Below are a few signs that your case may have the essential building blocks to go the distance:
- You Did Not Cause the Accident: If your own negligence contributed to the accident in any way, opposing parties may assert that you are not entitled to compensation for 100 percent of your losses. While it may be possible to recover damages in such cases, your financial award might be reduced to reflect your share of liability. If there are multiple parties involved, there may be disputes over how liability is apportioned, which could lead to delays or send your personal injury case to litigation.
- Someone Witnessed the Accident Take Place: Anyone who saw the accident occur could assist in corroborating your version of events. You should bring the contact information of any eyewitnesses to your free consultation at Emerson Straw PL.
- You Followed Your Doctor’s Orders: Your financial award may be reduced if opposing parties are able to prove that you did not take sufficient steps to mitigate medical bills and other losses. For example, if your doctor instructed you to rest, but you took part in physical activity, the insurance company may assert that you exacerbated your injuries or prolonged your recovery.
- You Received a Prompt Diagnosis: Even if it appears that your injuries are only minor, visiting the doctor immediately after an accident could help reduce the likelihood of facing disputes when you file your claim. For instance, a prompt diagnosis could help connect your injuries to the accident and prevent opposing parties from arguing that your injuries are not that serious or that you failed to take sufficient steps to mitigate damages.
Let a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Fight for You
Our motorcycle accident lawyers in St. Petersburg can investigate your collision, talk to witnesses, and form a demand package that accurately reflects the impact of the accident on your life. For a free consultation, call us today at (727) 821-1500.