Tampa Motorcycle Accident Attorney
Florida is a popular destination for motorcyclists, with winding rural roads and miles of picturesque coastlines – but it’s also the deadliest state in the United States for motorcyclists. While most motorcycle excursions take place without a hitch, our Tampa motorcycle accident lawyers know some end in tragedy for both riders and their families. Motorcyclists have much higher odds of sustaining serious injuries in crashes than passengers of other motor vehicles. Broken bones, road rash, and concussions are all common injuries in these types of collisions.
If you’re currently recovering from a serious motorcycle crash in the Tampa Bay area, the Tampa motorcycle accident attorneys at Williams Law, P.A. want to hear from you. Our team of Tampa personal injury lawyers can look into your accident and help you maximize your recovery.
What Is Your Tampa Motorcycle Crash Case Worth?
If your motorcycle accident only resulted in property damage and minor injuries, you will seek recovery through your own insurance company. The amount you will receive depends on your policy and the extent of your damages. You can enlist the help of a Tampa accident attorney to help you negotiate with your insurance company regarding a settlement. If your accident resulted in more serious injuries, it is worthwhile to take us up on our offer of a free consultation. Motorcyclists typically have the following types of damage after a motorcycle crash:
- Damage to motorcycle helmet, gloves, jacket, etc.
- Damage to the motorcycle
- Serious injuries
- Ambulance, emergency room, and hospital bills
- Other doctor and medical bills
- Lost wages and lost earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
While there is no equation for figuring out how much your motorcycle accident case might be worth, a discussion with one of our highly experienced Tampa motorcycle accident lawyers can give you an estimate of what you could receive with a personal injury claim. Since Florida only allows these claims in the event of permanent injuries, the odds of substantial compensation are high. To speak with a Tampa motorcycle accident lawyer about your case in more detail, contact Williams Law, P.A..
What Damages Can You Recover After a Motorcycle Accident?
Motorcycle accidents are often devastating to motorcyclists. Serious injuries such as multiple bone fractures, traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, and traumatic tattooing (road rash) are common. Recovering from these injuries may cost thousands of dollars in medical bills and weeks of lost wages, not to mention significant pain and suffering. If you have a successful personal injury claim after a motorcycle accident, you could recover the following damage types.
Special damages are those unique to the case, such as a victim’s exact medical expenses, lost income, property damage repairs, legal fees, and court costs. It is generally easy to calculate these damages based on medical bills and other receipts. An attorney will gather proof of out-of-pocket expenses to calculate an accurate recovery amount.
General damages are those the majority of motorcycle accident victims suffer, such as physical pain and suffering, emotional distress, and mental anguish. They can also include lost quality of life, lost capacity to earn, and loss of consortium. General damages are more difficult to calculate than special damages. A jury will decide the amount of general damages that is fair according to the victim’s injuries.
Punitive damages are additional damages a judge may award if compensatory damages do not seem to be enough to compensate a victim for serious or permanent injuries. They also serve to punish a defendant for gross negligence or wanton disregard. Not every motorcycle accident claim will qualify for punitive damages.
The at-fault party’s insurance company may offer a settlement that covers your lost wages, medical bills, property damages, and some other out-of-pocket expenses. You will not receive general damages or punitive damages without a personal injury lawsuit. Working with an experienced Tampa motorcycle accident attorney can help maximize compensation for your motorcycle accident claim. A Tampa motorcycle accident lawyer can take your case to trial for fair recovery if the settlement negotiated is insufficient.
Motorcycle Accident Statistics
Keeping track of motorcycle accident statistics can help spread awareness of common crash risks, as well as educate motorcyclists and others on the dangers of the road. Around the United States, 5,286 people lost their lives in motorcycle accidents in 2016. This was a 5.1% increase from 2015. In 2016, motorcyclists were 28 times more likely to suffer fatal injuries in an auto accident than passenger vehicle occupants.
Florida’s 2016 motorcycle accident statistics reported 515 motorcyclist fatalities. The three-year average number of deaths is 496. The state saw 10,331 total motorcycle crashes in 2016, and 8,256 motorcyclist injuries. Motorcyclists in Florida were wearing helmets in the majority of fatal motorcycle accidents. If you are involved in a motorcycle crash in Florida, contact Williams Law, P.A. to discuss your case with an experienced Tampa motorcycle accident lawyer.
Florida is the Most Dangerous State for Motorcycle Riders
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) found that Florida is the most dangerous state for motorcyclists in the country. The report shows that there were 606 motorcycle collision fatalities in 2015 – a 30% increase from 2014. Within the state of Florida, the five most dangerous counties for bikers are
- Miami-Dade County
- Hillsborough County
- Broward County
- Palm Beach County
- Pinellas County
Tampa’s very own county, Hillsborough, ranked second on the list – making it on of the most dangerous counties in Florida. There are numerous reasons for the abnormally high amount of motorcycle crashed throughout the state. The two most commonly cited reasons are the increased number of motorcycle drivers on the road and the high number of distracted drivers in Florida.
Types of Motorcycle Injury Claims
A motorcycle accident claim can fall under a few legal umbrellas depending on the main cause of the collision. While the goal of the case will remain to recover compensation for one’s personal injuries and other damages, the type of lawsuit may differ according to the circumstances of the case. Possible case types include:
- Product liability. If a defective auto part contributed to your accident or injuries, you may have a product liability claim against the manufacturer.
- You could have a claim against a driver or another party for negligence if someone else’s failure to fulfill a duty to you caused your crash.
- Wrongful death. A wrongful death claim may be appropriate if someone else – such as a drunk driver – caused the motorcycle accident that killed your loved one.
Other possibilities include a premises liability claim for an unsafe property, a claim against the government, or a claim against more than one defendant. One of our Tampa motorcycle accident attorneys can help you identify the type of case you have, as well as the appropriate defendant(s).
Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents in Tampa
As motorcycle accident lawyers in Tampa, we know any number of things can go wrong during a motorcycle trip. Another driver could merge lanes on top of you, sending you careening off the road. A construction crew could leave debris in the roadway, presenting a dangerous hazard. A part of your bike could fail, making it impossible to control the machine safely. Motorcyclists face unique risks compared to other drivers. Learning the most frequent causes of motorcycle accidents can help you stay more aware on Florida’s roadways and reduce your risk of serious injury. Here are a few common causes:
Lane splitting is still illegal in every state except California. Still, many motorcyclists continue to ride between lanes on Florida’s highways. This poses a risk of accidents due to the close proximity to other vehicles. Drivers may not notice a lane splitting motorcycle and merge lanes into the bike.
Motorcyclists under the influence of drugs or alcohol cause the majority of single-motorcycle crashes, along with speeding motorcyclists. Drunken motorcyclists may ride too closely to other vehicles, swerve off the road, or crash into stationary objects. Drivers under the influence also pose a danger to motorcyclists.
Motorcycles are more susceptible to roadway hazards such as debris, potholes, and loose gravel. If a dangerous road condition caused you to crash, then you may have a case against the responsible maintenance crew. This is likely a government agency, which means the rules for filing a claim are different.
There are many factors that could cause a motorcyclist to crash. These road users must look out for all the hazards other drivers watch for, like distracted drivers, plus risks specific to motorcyclists. If an accident results in permanent injuries, disability, or significant scarring, the motorcyclist may be able to sue the responsible party outside of Florida’s no-fault insurance system. This process can result in much greater compensation than a simple insurance claim.
Speak to our Tampa motorcycle accident injury attorneys for more information regarding your unique case.