Frequently Asked Questions | Motorcycle Accident Attorney Tampa FL
I’ve just been involved in a motorcycle accident! What should I do? Will I need a motorcycle accident attorney?
- Move to a safe area. Roads are dangerous, especially for motorcycles, so move to the shoulder, if you can. If your motorcycle is no longer able to operate, move yourself to the shoulder until emergency responders arrive.
- Call 911. You need to have the police investigate the accident and produce a police report. Documentation of what happened in the accident will be very important later in the case.
- Get immediate medical treatment. Motorcycle accidents are dangerous collisions that can cause catastrophic injuries to your body. Injuries from auto accidents often catch people off guard several days after the accident occurs, but motorcycle accident injuries can be much more severe. Seek medical attention, even if you are lucky enough to not feel injured.
- Contact an experienced motorcycle accident attorney in Tampa, FL immediately to protect your legal rights.
Can I still file a claim if I partially caused the accident?
Florida law operates according to a pure comparative negligence doctrine concerning personal injury claims, including motorcycle accidents. Even if you happen to be 85% at fault for the accident that injured you, you can still recover for the 15% of damages that were caused by the negligence of the other party. Assigning percentages of fault to each party is a complex task that will be left up to the jury or the judge, if your case should proceed to a trial. An experienced Tampa, FL motorcycle accident attorney can advise you on whether or not your motorcycle accident claim is likely to succeed in court. Contact a motorcycle accident attorney in Tampa, Florida for a claim evaluation based on the specific details of your accident.
What if the person who hit me is not insured?
In Florida, unfortunately, motorists are not required to carry uninsured and underinsured motorist insurance coverage in any amount. This coverage, if you purchase it, provides protection when your injuries are caused by a negligent driver who has failed to carry enough insurance coverage for the costs of the accident or who is not insured all. Uninsured and underinsured motorist insurance is carried on your own auto insurance policy in order to protect you. If you are hit by a driver who is uninsured or even just underinsured, your own insurance company will become liable for any damages you suffer.
Uninsured and underinsured insurance claims work the same way any other insurance claim would work, except you recover from your own insurance company instead of the other party’s policy. It is important to realize and keep in mind the fact that even the representatives of your own insurance company are not really on your side. As a company, their goal is to minimize losses and maximize profits. Contact an experienced Tampa motorcycle accident attorney to make sure that you are protected.
Florida Laws for Entering a Highway
Many Florida motorcycle accidents are a result of drivers failing to lawfully yield when they enter and exit highways. Drivers in Florida must know the duty of care they owe to other vehicles on the road. When entering a highway, a driver must yield to all oncoming traffic, including motorcycles, and they must use appropriate caution. If you have been injured by a driver who illegally entered a highway in the Tampa area, contact a motorcycle accident attorney.
Statute of Limitations in Florida
Florida law limits the amount of time that you, as a motorcycle accident victim, have to file your claim for damages. Injured victims have four years from the date of their motorcycle accident to file their claim in Florida. A motorcycle accident attorney is the best way to accurately verify the statute of limitations that applies to your case. There are only very limited circumstances where the statute of limitations might be extended:
- There was a reasonable delay in your discovery of your injury
- You are unable to locate the defendant
- The defendant is incarcerated
- The victim is a minor or a disabled adult
Damages in Tampa, Florida
Victims who have been injured as a result of another driver’s negligence have the right to seek out compensation for both economic and non-economic damages. A knowledgeable Tampa, FL motorcycle accident attorney can help you sort and calculate all the damages in your case.
Economic Damages: Economic damages are clear cut, verifiable, documented monetary losses. These can include:
- Hospital and doctors’ bills
- Lost wages
- Loss of employment or earning potential
- Loss of the use of your property
- Repairs to your property
- Burial or end-of-life costs
Non-Economic Damages: Non-economic damages cover your non-monetary losses, which are more difficult to calculate and can include:
- Pain and suffering, emotionally and physically
- Loss of consortium, for spouses
- Damage to reputation