With beautiful scenery and year-round warm weather, Florida is a perfect place for motorcycling. Unfortunately, it also has a higher number of motorcycle fatalities than any other state. In 2015, an estimated 550 people died in motorcycle accidents in Florida and thousands more sustained injuries, according to the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA).
According to the GHSA, motorcycles’ lack of protection and instability make riders more susceptible to serious injuries in the event of a crash. The drivers of larger passenger vehicles often have a hard time seeing motorcyclists due to their low profile, which further endangers them on the road.
Because the injuries and damages associated with motorcycle crashes are so substantial, victims—or their family members—should discuss all their financial recovery options with a qualified attorney as soon as possible. At the Law Firm of Anidjar & Levine, our lawyers can examine your case and determine if you are eligible for compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. For a free consultation with a motorcycle accident lawyer in Deerfield Beach, call us at 800-747-3733 today.
How Can I Recover Compensation After a Motorcycle Crash?
Motorcyclists are not eligible for personal injury protection (PIP) benefits in Florida, but you can still pursue compensation from any at-fault parties. If another driver caused your accident, you have several options to recover compensation for your damages.
If the at-fault driver carries bodily injury liability (BIL) insurance—an optional coverage in Florida—you can file a claim with his or her insurance company and recover up to their policy limits.
If the driver does not carry BIL coverage or the policy is not enough to cover your damages, you can file a personal injury claim with their insurer. Because Florida is a no-fault state, drivers usually cannot file a claim against another party after an accident unless their injury meets the serious injury threshold. Motorcyclists, however, do not have to meet this threshold. We can help you file a claim even if your injuries are moderate.
In either case, you must be able to prove that the other party’s carelessness or negligence caused the accident. With our help, you can arm yourself with ample evidence before filing a claim. Simple mistakes in the claims process could wind up costing you thousands of dollars.
How Can I Prove the Other Party’s Negligence?
Negligence comes in many forms. Texting while driving, speeding, not looking carefully before changing lanes, and driving while intoxicated are all examples of driver negligence. To hold another driver responsible for their negligence, we must show that they owed you a duty of care to keep you reasonably safe from harm, they breached that duty, that breach caused your crash, and you suffered injuries and damages as a result.
Every motorcycle accident case is different and the evidence varies accordingly. Below are a few common examples of evidence that we may use to prove fault:
- The police report;
- Eyewitness statements;
- Photos of the scene and damage to the vehicles;
- Traffic or security camera footage;
- Input from an accident expert; and
- The driver’s breath test results or cell phone reports.
Can I Still Collect Damages If I Was Partly at Fault for My Motorcycle Wreck?
You are still eligible for damages, even if you share in the fault for your crash. Florida abides by the pure comparative negligence rule, which allows injured parties to seek recovery for the portion of damages that the other party caused.
Here is how it works. The insurance adjuster or court will review all the evidence, examine the facts, and then assign each party a percentage of fault. You will receive a reduced damage award based on your degree of fault.
For example, if the insurer assigns you 40 percent of the fault for the accident and your damages total $100,000, you are eligible for 60 percent of your damages, or $60,000.
In some cases, fault is clear, such as in a rear-end accident or a head-on collision with a drunk driver. Some motorcycle accidents are far more complex and the parities and their insurers disagree about liability. We can help with all aspects of your claim, including proving liability, filing your claim, and seeking maximum recovery. Contact us today to speak to one of our team members about your case.
Can I Still Recover Damages If I Was Not Wearing a Helmet?
Even though it is legal to ride without a helmet under specific circumstances, lack of helmet usage is a viable defense in Florida. If you were not wearing a helmet at the time of the accident, the at-fault driver’s insurance company can assign you with partial fault and reduce your damages accordingly.
However, this defense only applies to head injuries. If the rider sustained spinal injuries or a loss of limb, for example, the fact that he was not wearing a helmet had no impact on the extent of these injuries. Therefore, the insurer cannot rightfully use the helmet defense.
If you are having problems getting the full amount of compensation you deserve after a motorcycle accident, call our office and ask to speak to someone about your case.
How Can I Speak to a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer in Deerfield Beach?
The qualified, aggressive attorneys at the Law Firm of Anidjar & Levine represent motorcycle accident victims all over the state of Florida, including Deerfield Beach. We know what an overwhelming experience you are facing after such a serious crash. After the initial shock and chaos, you still have to deal with the reality of your injuries, the police, insurance companies, and all the financial ramifications that come with the territory.
We can help. We know how important the outcome of your case can be to you and your family. We can answer your questions, provide valuable legal advice, and assist with all the legal and insurance aspects of your accident. During the claims process, we will also protect your rights, assure your statements to the insurer are not twisted and used against you, and fight to obtain a settlement that is not a penny less than what you deserve.
Contact our office today at 800-747-3733 to learn more.