Motorcycle accident injuries range from serious to life-changing injuries and sometimes death, and the expensive debt for medical, therapy, and a host of other expenses adds up fast.
If the accident is not the rider’s fault, a lawsuit can make motorcyclists financially whole again. Begin the legal process by contacting a Dunedin motorcycle accident lawyer to best understand the elements of your claim. Skilled personal injury lawyers in Dunedin will work hard on their client’s case, defending their rights the entire time.
Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
From 2011 through 2015 in Pinellas County, 2,968 motorcycle crashes occurred resulting in 119 deaths. Although some think that motorcycle accidents are the motorcyclist’s fault, that is not always true.
In Pinellas County, drivers distracted by electronic devices and looking away from the road, aggressive driving like running stop signs and red lights, failing to yield the right-of-way, and driving impaired, comprise 56 percent of fault in motorcycle accidents, according to the Traffic Crash Trend and Conditions Report issued by the county in the fall of 2016. No matter the cause, a Dunedin motorcycle accident lawyer can build a claim to help maximize recovery.
Motorcycle accidents are personal injury cases that are decided using Florida’s comparative negligence law. Negligence is legally defined as a person doing something that a reasonable person would not do, or failing to act in a manner that a reasonable person would act to prevent harm. In the law, this is called duty of care.
When a person performs an act that violates that duty, such as running a red light, a breach has occurred and the breach is the cause of the accident. Further, if the accident itself causes another accident, secondary harm happens, which is called a proximate cause. For example, a motorcyclist is run off the road into a school yard and hits a student. The driver that ran the motorcyclist off the road legally caused the student’s injury.
The accident must result in harm, property damage, or both. Damages cannot be claimed if the accident did not cause injury, death, or property damage. If the motorcyclist is run off the road but is able to stop without being hurt and the bike is not damaged, no lawsuit can be filed.
If an injured party is not at fault, full monetary damages can be claimed. However, if both parties of an accident have part of the blame, both are not allowed to receive full damages. Each party’s damages are reduced by the percentage of fault that each one bears. A party who is 10 percent at fault can collect 90 percent of the damages.
The percent of damages is assigned by a judge, jury, or in a settlement agreement based on how the accident occurred. Such damages can be pursued by an experienced motorcycle accident attorney in Dunedin.
Contact an Attorney
It is best to begin taking legal action soon after the accident to ensure memories of the event are fresh and evidence is readily available by contacting a Dunedin motorcycle accident lawyer. The motorcycle accident lawyer will assess the strength of the case, explain the legal system’s process, and begin collecting physical evidence from the accident scene and testimonial evidence to prove the case.
Damages must be proven, so the client and Dunedin motorcycle accident attorney will work together to get all pertinent medical and therapy treatment records and calculate the total amount of damages. Other damages can include pain and suffering, loss of wages, changing vocations if the accident was life changing, and in wrongful death cases, a lifetime of lost earnings.
The defense will try to limit damages, but the motorcycle accident lawyer in Dunedin will have the evidence to achieve a fair and satisfactory negotiation settlement.