Motorcycle Accident Lawyer in Sarasota, FL
A motorcycle accident occurs when a motorcyclist is involved in a crash with a vehicle, motorcycle, pedestrian or object. The accident may cause injuries to the motorcyclist and other individuals like the driver. For the motorcyclist, these injuries could be fatal.
Florida personal injury law allows you or a loved one to receive money to cover your accident-related expenses. You can receive the compensation in one of two forms: settlement or jury award. Regardless of the way you are compensated for your injuries, you need a motorcycle accident lawyer to represent you in this legal matter.
Have you and/or a loved one been in a motorcycle accident that was caused by driver or pedestrian negligence? You may have suffered serious injuries and missed substantial time from work. If you or a loved one was injured in a motorcycle accident, you need a motorcycle accident attorney. Contact us online, by email or phone. We are ready to assist you in getting compensation you deserve.
Types of Motorcycle Accident Injuries that Occur in Sarasota, Florida
Our law firm has represented many clients injured by motorcycle accidents. Each day we experience how the lives of our Sarasota clients are changed by these injuries. Motorcycle injuries cause severe, permanent disability that hinders our clients from fully regaining their mobility and abilities. However, our clients never give up. We are in awe and empowered at how they are preserve. Some of the accidents people sustain in motorcycle accidents are:
- Spinal Cord injury. An injury to the spinal cord can leave you with permanent injuries that require lifelong care. Motorcyclist often suffer spinal damage such as spine fractures because they may strike or be struck by objects after falling of the motorcycle. Being partially or completely paralyzed for life may occur too. We calculate all the expenses associated with rehabilitation and lifelong care for a spinal cord injury.
- Head Injury. Minor motorcycle injuries to the head include concussions. However, more permanent, serious damage may also occur such as traumatic brain injury. If you suffer a head injury and are no longer able to work, we will help you recover damages to compensate for unemployment, injuries suffered and long-term care.
- Road rash. Road rash is not as serious as a spinal cord injury, but it can cause serious pain. A road rash is the abrasion and bruises sustained in the motorcycle accident as your body moves along the cement. Complications of road rash involves painful infections and multiple treatments. We will work hard to include any road rash conditions and treatments into the settlement or medical damages awarded by the jury.
- Back injury. A back injury varies from a sprain to a bone fractures. A minor back injury interferes with you ability to work or complete daily tasks like washing dishes or driving. The injury can also making sitting, walking or any regular movement painful. Our personal injury attorneys know how devastating a back injury can be and how it can change your ability to make a living. We fight for your rights to receive a fair compensation that includes money for your injured back.
- Muscle injury and fractures. For a motorcyclist, their arms, feet, hands and legs are often injured in a motorcycle accident because of the impact with an object, another vehicle or their motorcycle.Fractures are more serious types of injuries to the body and include your ribs, joints and pelvic bones. Muscles, ligaments and tendons can be injured during a motorcycle accident too. Depending on how bad you were injured, extended medical care and treatment may be required before returning to work. We will get you the compensation needed to cover these bills incurred to treat or fix your muscle injuries or fractures.
You or a loved one has suffered tremendous pain from the injuries you suffered in the motorcycle accident. You have incurred bills related to those injuries. Do not worry. We will work hard to obtain compensation for you to cover those damages. You were injured and have the right to receive money for their wrongdoing. Contact us by email, phone or online. During your free initial consultation, we will explain your case and how we will fight for you.
Motorcycle Accident Injury Causes in Sarasota, Florida
A motorcycle accident may occur for a variety of reasons such as the motorcyclist doing something wrong like switching in and out of lanes while driving. An accident that happens because of a motorcyclist wrongful act is not a personal injury claim. The wrongful party such as a driver, company or pedestrian must be at fault for causing the accident.
For example, a motor vehicle design error may cause a driver to accelerate and not brake. This causes the driver to hit the motorcyclist. However, the motorcyclist could not sue the driver because the accident was caused by a manufacturer’s defect. Instead, the cause of the accident was a manufacturer defect.
Other causes of a motorcycle accident include, but is not limited to:
- Distracted driving: Distracted driving occurs when a driver is doing something while operating a motor vehicle. They may be putting on makeup, changing clothes, attending to their children or on their mobile device. Whatever they are doing takes their attention from the road. They may not see a motorcyclist and hit them.
- Aggressive driving: Aggressive driving is any type of unsafe driving behavior done deliberately, willfulness and with intent or total disregard for safety. This means the driver didn’t care about your safety as you operated you motorcycle. While driving they disobeyed a traffic law like tailgating or cutting in front of you and slowing down.
- Speeding: Speeding occurs when a driver operates a motor vehicle beyond the posted speed limit.
4. Running stop signs: Running a stop sign means the driver ignored a posted stop sign. When you or driving your motorcycle, this can cause the driver to hit you and the motorcycle causing serious damage.
- Running traffic lights: Running a traffic light is just as dangerous as running a stop sign. Running a red light means the person drives when they are supposed to stop. The impact with a motorcycle can be fatal because the sped or type of collision.
- Hit and run: A hit and run occurs when a driver hits a motorcyclist, then leaves the scene of the crime.
- Turning left in front of a motorcyclist: When turning left, the driver does not wait for traffic or pedestrians. Instead, they quickly make the turn. This does not provide the time for the driver to see a motorcyclist approach. The driver may hit motorcyclist and cause injury and damage to the motorcycle.
- Driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs: Some motorcycle accident causes are also crimes. Driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs (DUI). DUI occurs when a Sarasota driver operates their motor vehicle after consuming alcohol or drugs. The substances alter their ability to operate the motor vehicle properly. For you, this means the driver can hit you while you are on your motorcycle and do severe damage such as internal organ damage, broken bones or amputated limb. A DUI motorcycle accident may cause death.
- Rear-end collisions: A rear-end collision occurs when a vehicle hits another one in the back. For example, a driver in a four-door sedan hits a motorcycle in the back tire. The type of injury suffered varies depending on the impact. If the motorcycle was stopped and the driver was coming to a slow stop, it may be a fender bender. The higher the speed, the more damage and physical harm can happen to the motorcycle and the motorcyclist.
- Following too closely: Following too closely can result in a rear-end collision. This can happen when a driver does not maintain the required feet away from the motorcyclist while driving. The lack of distance can cause an accident if there is a sudden stop.
An improper lane change, failure to yield and defective parts in the motorcycle or vehicle are all causes of a motorcycle accident. Before getting any money, it is vital to speak with a personal injury attorney to determine who is negligent for the motorcycle accident. Contact firm for a free initial consultation about your motorcycle accident. We are available online, by email or by phone.
Determining Liability in a Sarasota Motorcycle Accident
You may know the cause of the accident such as an improper lane change. However, that does not prove liability. Liability is simply described as who or what was responsible for legally causing the accident. If the defendant is legally responsible, they must pay the plaintiff, or motorcyclist, money to cover accident-related expenses.
In Florida, determining liability in a personal injury case is done via negligence. Negligence is the failure to act as an ordinary person would in the same and/or similar circumstance. The failure to act could be an action like speeding or inaction like not yielding. The “ordinary person” doesn’t exist. For the purposes of law, the ordinary person legal standard is used to compare the defendant’s actions to what is the right thing to do in the same circumstances. If the defendant fails to act like an ordinary person would in the same and/or similar situation, they can be held liable for the motorcycle accident.
Negligence is a legal standard in personal injury law where a plaintiff must show defendant fault in four steps. This means the court expects you and your lawyer to meet the definition of negligence by using a step-by-step guide. Each step, or element, builds on another elements to prove the plaintiff was injured and the defendant is liable.
Step-by-Step Guide to Proving Negligence in a Sarasota Motorcycle Accident
- Legal duty. The first step in proving negligence is establishing a legal duty between the plaintiff and defendant. This means the driver had a responsibility to you to prevent an accident and causing you harm. This is similar to an implied contract between you and the defendant. When a person operates a motor vehicle, they have the legal duty to protect drivers and pedestrians from harm.
- Breach of legal duty. Once you establish the defendant owed you a legal duty to protect you from harm, you must establish they breached their legal duty. To breach a legal duty means the defendant caused the motorcycle accident. This is where the cause of the accident is important. You must establish the defendant sped, ran a red light or drove while distracted.Florida personal injury law does not assume the defendant’s actions led to your injuries. Medical malpractice is part of personal injury law. Many people who seek treatment from a doctor are already injured. Thus, personal injury law makes a plaintiff move the connection between their injuries and the defendant’s actions.
- Cause that led to plaintiff’s injuries. Was the defendant’s actions the direct or indirect cause of your injuries? That is the question your attorney must answer using expert testimony, witness statements and other evidence. The defendant can be the direct cause of the motorcycle accident. This means they hit the vehicle directly and caused the damage and your injury.They are also liable if they are the proximate cause of the accident. Proximate cause is the indirect way a defendant can cause the accident.One example, of this is called a no contact motorcycle accident. With this type of accident, the motorcyclist and driver may be traveling down the same street. The driver quickly switches lanes without using any turn signals to the motorcyclist. The motorcyclist tries to avoid hitting the vehicle by swerving. They may lose control of the bike or crash it into an object by mistake.
Although the driver made no physical contact, they are still liable for the accident because of their indirect actions.
- Money for accident-related expenses. The last element your lawyer must prove is that you are owed damages because of the accident. Not everyone’s damages are the same. You may have more damages than another motorcycle accident victim.When you are injured in a motorcycle accident because of someone’s negligence, you are allowed economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages are bills that can easily be calculated like lost wages. Non-economic damages are not easily calculated because they cannot be measured in dollars and cents. An example of non-economic damages is pain and suffering. If you or your loved one was harmed in a motorcycle accident, contact us immediately. You have no time to waste. You need to cover bills and other accident related expenses. We are available to assist you online, by phone or email. Contact us immediately.
Statute of Limitations Places a Time Frame on the Amount of Time to Seek Compensation in a Motorcycle Claim
Compensation for a motorcycle accident can happen in one of two ways. You can be offered a settlement by the defendant. This can be the at-fault driver or their insurance company. The settlement is a negotiated amount of money given to you in exchange for you dropping the lawsuit. The money may be sent to you in a lump sum payment or series of payments. Once you drop the lawsuit and accept the money, you cannot sue again. You give up all your rights. It’s important to remember this because insurance companies won’t always negotiate a fair settlement with an accident victim. Thus, the settlement won’t always cover their expenses. That is why it is best not to talk to the insurance company and let your lawyer represent you in all negotiations.
If you go to trial, a jury or judge will make the decision on if you receive compensation. They will determine what your compensation amount. They will consider the following types of compensation:
- Immediate medical costs: Immediate medical costs are bills you incurred from the day of the accident to date. They include health-related expenses like emergency care, diagnostic tests and doctor’s appointments.
- Long-term medical costs: These bills are related to the medical care needed beyond a certain time such as a year or so. These costs include vocational therapy, physical therapy or multiple surgeries.
- Future income: The motorcycle accident may impair your ability to return to work. This will result in loss of earning capacity. You can have the defendant cover the costs of a decrease in income.
- Lost wages: Lost wages is the amount of money you missed while away from work. You may be able to recover the wages you lost from the accident date to when you were able to return to work.
- Damage to property: Property damage is simply to repairs and/or replacement of property that sustained damage in the accident. Property damage includes motorcycle replacement or repairs.
- Loss of enjoyment: After the motorcycle accident, activities you once did such as fishing may not be as enjoyable as they were prior to the crash. Loss of enjoyment damages seek to compensate the those activities no longer enjoyable.
- Loss of consortium: The injuries you suffer may affect your spouse too. Damages of loss of consortium tries to compensate your spouse for the effect the motorcycle accident had on their life too.
It is best to discuss your motorcycle accident case with a lawyer prior to making any decisions about how to proceed. The insurance company may try to contact you. It may even try to bully you. Stand up to the insurance company and protect your legal rights by hiring an attorney. Contact us today by email, phone or our contact form.
Compensation Awarded in a Sarasota Motorcycle Accident Injuries
Do not wait to seek legal council if you have sustained injuries in a motorcycle accident, some people wish to negotiate with the insurance company on their own, but we are best suited to represent you in any settlement negotiation. Please remember, Florida limits the amount of time you have to file a motorcycle accident lawsuit. You have four years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit in Sarasota court.
If you do not file a lawsuit within the four years, you give up all rights to sue the wrongful party in the future. For example, if your accident happened July 3, 2015, you have until July 3, 2019 to file a lawsuit pertaining to your motorcycle accident. If you file July 1, 2019, your case will be heard. If you file July 5, 2019, your case will be dismissed.
Filing a lawsuit does not mean you will have to proceed with the case. You and your attorney will still be able to negotiate a settlement. In fact, settlements can happen the day prior to a jury verdict. Filing the lawsuit gives you the right to pursue the case in the future. Also, the court does not require you to resolve the court case within the four-year-period.
A motorcycle injury attorney will often take a one-two punch approach with a motorcycle accident case. They will try to negotiate with the insurance company, if the client wishes. They will also file the lawsuit as an insurance policy. If the settlement does not go well, you still have the option to sue.
To learn more about the overall claims process, watch our “Stages of a Personal Injury Case” video:
Contact Us about Your Sarasota Motorcycle Accident
Motorcycles give you unparalleled freedom while on the road because you aren’t trapped in a motor vehicle while traveling. The freedom of operating a motorcycle on the open road increases the chances an accident could cause serious harm or even death. If you or a loved one was injured in a motorcycle accident, contact immediately for legal help. We understands motorcycle accidents are complicated because of determining liability. We are here to provide the toughest legal advice and representation.
We provide free initial consultations to everyone. This means you pay us nothing to meet with you about your case. Time is an important factor in a motorcycle accident when negotiating a settlement. So do not wait to contact us online, by email, or at our Sarasota office phone number.