Injured motorcyclists and the families of riders who passed away due to a motorcycle accident can access the full extent of the law by contacting a Tarpon Springs motorcycle accident lawyer for a consultation to begin the legal process for claiming damages.
Skilled personal injury attorneys can work hard on their client’s case to help them receive compensation for the damages they have suffered.
Motorcycle Accident Statistics
In Pinellas County during 2015, aggressive driving caused 33 percent of all traffic fatalities while driver impairment is responsible for 23 percent, stated the county report.
Other causes are drivers distracted by electronic devices, looking away from the road, or simply not seeing a motorcycle because they are not looking for any, according to the South Florida Center for Urban Transportation.
Statewide, motorcycle accidents in 2015 resulted in 8,231 injuries and 548 deaths, which includes 38 passengers who were killed, according to the Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicle agency.
Florida’s Negligence Statute
Determining who is at fault in a motorcycle accident in Tarpon Springs falls under Florida’s comparative negligence statute. Rather than the parties involved claiming all damages, the state’s negligence standard assesses a percentage of blame and damages are reduced by that percentage.
The rationale is that someone who bears some responsibility for the accident should not be allowed to recover full damages. The percentage of fault is assigned by a jury or a judge. To prove negligence, its four elements must be met:
- Duty of care: Motorists share the roads and everyone has a legal obligation to not cause harm or property damage to anyone
- Breach: Failing to perform that duty by an act or by not acting in a given situation is a violation of duty of care
- Causation: The breach of duty caused the accident. The Tarpon Springs motorcycle accident lawyer would say “but for” the breach, the accident would not have happened. This element also covers “approximate cause, which is injury or property damage that was not foreseen. For example, a motorcycle is hit, it skids across the road and injures a pedestrian
- Damages: Medical bills and other expenses resulted from the breach
Certain defenses are allowed under negligence law. For example, if a duty of care was not owed, or a party did exercise a duty of care, the element is not met and the case would not go forward.
How a Motorcycle Accident Attorney Can Help
Tarpon Springs motorcycle accident lawyers are well-versed in handling these cases and will quickly begin to gather evidence while the memories of victims and witnesses are fresh. Evidence is gathered by conducting a thorough investigation of the accident, such as reconstructing the event and using photographs taken at the scene. The lawyer will also interview the defendant, witnesses, and police who were at the scene under oath.
The lawyer will calculate the amount of damages by tracking all medical and therapy expenses as well as loss of present and future wages, pain and suffering, loss of consortium, and other damages that apply. In fatality cases, a wrongful death claim will include recovering what would have been a lifetime of earnings.
Many motorcycle injury cases are settled between the victim and the defendant’s insurance company, which will try to limit damages. The attorney knows how to negotiate with insurance carriers to achieve a settlement that is satisfactory to the client.