Florida’s laws concerning who must wear a helmet while riding a motorcycle are extremely liberal. All people over the age of 21 can ride without protection if they have an insurance policy. Despite this legal leeway for riders, though, negligent drivers who get into accidents with motorcyclists can still be held financially responsible for any damage that they cause.
A Tampa motorcycle accident lawyer could be dedicated to protecting your rights as a biker in the Tampa area. If retained for your personal injury case, a seasoned attorney could work to fully investigate the incident, protect your legal rights, and demand fair compensation for your injuries.
Common Compensable Injuries in Tampa Motorcycle Accident Cases
It should come as little surprise that motorcycle accidents tend to result in serious injuries. Even if a biker is wearing a helmet, other parts of their bodies may be exposed to direct contact with other vehicles and the road. Low-speed collisions can still knock a rider onto the ground, while higher speeds may result in the rider being thrown into oncoming traffic or being trapped under a car.
As a result, catastrophic injuries after a motorcycle accident are unfortunately common, ranging from severe cuts, scrapes, or bruising to broken bones, concussions, spinal cord injuries, and even joint separations and amputations. Any type of personal injury can form the backbone of a motorcycle accident case.
However, injured victims in these cases can also demand compensation for other losses. For instance, severe accidents often result in victims missing significant time at work. Particularly harsh injuries may leave someone unable to ever work again. A motorcycle crash claim in Tampa could demand compensation for all this lost income.
In addition, the mental anguish suffered in these cases cannot be overstated. Any hesitation to get back on the road, symptoms of PTSD, or the necessity to attend mental health counseling can all be compensable injuries that a Tampa motorcycle accident lawyer could incorporate into a settlement demand.
Proving that the Other Driver was At-Fault
In any personal injury case based on an accident, the plaintiff must provide evidence that the defendant was negligent in order to recover damages. This involves proving that the defendant had a duty to care for their wellbeing, that the defendant failed in this duty, and that the failure in performing this duty directly resulted in the plaintiff’s physical injuries.
Motorcycle riders enjoy the same rights on the road as all other motorists. Other drivers must obey speed limits, yield when appropriate, and properly signal their lane changes. Any failure to follow these rules opens the defendant to civil liability for their actions.
In many motorcycle accident claims, a police report can serve as powerful evidence. Police are required to both respond to any accident that results in physical injury and to produce a report about the incident. If this report cites the defendant driver for breaking the law prior to the crash, a civil court would legally presume that the defendant driver is at fault.
However, even cases in which the defendant driver is clearly at fault may fail if a plaintiff does not act in time. The Florida statute of limitations controls when a person can file a personal injury case in court. According to Florida Statutes §95.11, plaintiffs have four years to come forward. If this time limit expires, they would likely not be able to collect compensation from any source. If assistance is required in proving another driver was at fault, contact a Tampa motorcycle accident lawyer.
Let a Tampa Motorcycle Accident Attorney Help
Taking on liable drivers and their insurance companies on your own after a motorcycle accident can be a very risky move. These companies often take advantage of unrepresented plaintiffs who may not know their rights under the law or the full value of their cases. As a result, plaintiffs in these situations may be missing out on thousands of dollars in potential damages.
A Tampa motorcycle accident lawyer could work to protect you against aggressive insurance companies. With their understanding of the law and how the defendant driver may have violated their duty to protect you, your attorney could form a demand package that covers all your injuries and losses. Call today to discuss your case.