Just like other motorists, motorcycle riders should practice caution on the road. But a fellow rider might still behave negligently and cause an accident here in Brandon. If you are a victim, you can take legal action against them to get your expenses covered.
You may want to consult first with our Brandon motorcycle rider negligence accident lawyer. They study your accident’s relevant laws and can guide you through the requirements and processes involved in filing a claim or lawsuit.
No-fault Laws do not Apply to Brandon Motorcycle Accidents
Motorcycle accidents do not follow Florida’s no-fault rules regarding auto accidents. It means that you do not have to meet the conditions in Florida Statutes §627.737 of the Florida Statutes before you can take action against the liable motorist. You could file a third-party claim even if you did not have any permanent or significant injuries.
Motorcycles have different insurance requirements from cars here in Florida. They do not follow Florida’s no-fault rules regarding auto accidents. It means you do not need to carry personal injury protection (PIP) coverage. Instead, the state’s financial responsibility laws require motorcycle owners to carry at least $10,000 liability coverage for injuries and $20,000 for the whole incident, and another $10,000 for property damage.
You can check first whether the negligent motorcyclist has liability coverage or is self-insured. It will determine if you have to file your claim with an insurance provider or directly with the at-fault party. If they do not carry or have insufficient insurance, you will have to use your uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage — if you carry one.
When Should You File an Accident Lawsuit?
You can form a motorcycle negligence accident case if an insurance claim is not a feasible option. Brandon’s civil court will cross-examine both sides’ arguments and evidence. The judge or jury will then decide how much the other side should pay you, even if they have to use personal finances.
Civil lawsuits are typically used as a last resort since the fees involved cost more than an insurance claim. It can also take the jury a long time to reach a verdict. But since a neutral party will preside over the case, you may have a better chance at a fairer settlement.
In a third-party insurance claim, the liable rider’s insurance provider typically takes their client’s side. They might downplay the motorcyclist’s fault to minimize the amount they have to pay you. Getting sued could compel the liable motorcycle rider to settle privately instead of dealing with court proceedings.
The Time Limit for Filing Your Motorcycle Negligence Case
A Brandon motorcycle accident suit follows the same statute of limitations as other Florida negligence cases. You have a four-year time allowance for working on your lawsuit, according to Florida Statutes §95.11(3)(a). If a loved one was killed in the collision, you only have two years to sue on their behalf. The court will dismiss the case if you miss the deadline, so you might want to start forming it while you still have plenty of time.
If your case has any tolling exceptions, you can get your due date moved. One such situation would be if the motorcyclist left Florida. The statute of limitations would only resume running once the rider returns to the state. The same rule also applies if they went into hiding or faked their identity.
You can work with a Brandon motorcycle rider negligence attorney to check for tolling exceptions, track your progress, and finish your tasks faster.
Your Motorcycle Accident Damages
You can recover the accident’s financial costs in your Brandon negligent motorcyclist accident case. These typically include past, ongoing, and future medical expenses, lost earnings, and motorcycle repairs. For accidents resulting in wrongful death, you can also get your funeral and burial costs covered. You may also receive non-economic damages. These serve as compensation for your pain and suffering, such as disfigurements, disabilities, and trauma.
To ensure that your damages are calculated as accurately as possible, you will want to compile all records of your accident-related expenses. These can be your hospital bills, prescription drug receipts, and auto shop invoices.
How Comparative Fault Applies to Your Accident
Even if the other rider was clearly negligent, they could still argue or prove that you also share some liability. You would then only recover a portion of your total damages, as stated in Florida’s comparative fault law. The amount depends on the percentage of fault that the court or insurance provider places on you.
Let us say that you suffered a head injury in the accident. Although the other rider was more negligent for texting while driving, you were not wearing a helmet. The judge then declares you 40 percent at fault since wearing a helmet could have minimized your injury. You can now only recover 60 percent of your damages. If you were initially eligible for $875,000, only $525,000 would go to you.
It would be best to collect all the evidence possible before filing your claim or case. It could help reduce the fault you share and the amount deducted from you.
Your lawyer can help gather evidence such as highway surveillance videos, eyewitness testimonies, and medical reports. They will review your available proof to determine if it can sufficiently prove the other rider’s negligence.
Working with a lawyer can help ease your workload while helping you to get justice and recover damages.
Our Lawyers are Here to Help
The Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine operate in Brandon, Hillsborough County, and all over Florida. We handle cases in various practice areas.
To discuss your case with us, call our office today at 1-800-747-3733. Since we work under contingency-fee agreements, our firm does not charge anything until you win.
We Can Help.