No matter where you live in Florida, it’s possible that you see people riding motorcycles throughout the rural roads and towns. While this is a fun and fulfilling experience, a motorcycle can prove fatal when you get involved in a crash mainly because they lack the safety features that one enjoys while driving in a vehicle. Most motorcyclists are well aware of this reality and often take all measures to avoid accidents. Sadly, motorcycle crashes still happen, and Florida records some of the country’s highest number of motorcycle accidents.
If you or someone you love has suffered serious injuries during a motorcycle accident, it is possible that you will want to file a lawsuit and seek compensation. The big question is whether that is necessary or it’s a complete waste of time. In today’s blog post, we’ll explore different situations and factors that determine if a motorcycle accident lawsuit is necessary. Keep reading to learn more.
Are You, the Motorcyclist, to Blame?
Much like most other people, you probably don’t know that there are fewer motorcycle crash lawsuits than actual accidents. The explanation for this is quite straightforward – motorcycle accidents either occur when another party is at fault or when the motorcyclist is to blame. Under Florida law, motorcyclists only qualify to file a motorcycle accident lawsuit if the incident happened because of other people’s negligence or fault. It is important to note that you may also be able to seek compensation even when the other person is partly to blame for the accident.
Statute of Limitations for Motorcycle Accidents
If you have suffered injuries or someone you love has died in a motorcycle accident, Florida law allows you to sue for damages when injury or fatality was caused by another person’s negligence. However, it is important to bear in mind that you must take legal action before the deadline to do so (statute of limitations) expires.
Under Florida Statute 95.11, injured parties wishing to pursue motorcycle accident injury claims through the court must file a lawsuit within four years from the date of the motorcycle crash. If the motorcycle accident involves wrongful death, Florida laws allow the surviving family members to file a wrongful death claim against the at-fault party within two years after the accident. In the event that a driver in a government vehicle or a poorly maintained road causes a motorcycle accident, filing a suit against the responsible government entity should be done within three years from the date of the accident.
After the statute of limitations expires, filing a lawsuit may not be necessary. In rare cases, however, the court might make an exception based on your incident’s specific circumstances. Reach out to a skilled personal injury lawyer to learn more about this.
Insurance Policy Coverage and Limitations
After you file a claim following a motorcycle accident, agents from the insurance company that covers the at-fault party will contact you to ask questions about the incident and even make you an offer. One thing the insurance provider knows for sure is that you are in desperate need of cash. They also know that you’d rather have the settlement now than spend months or even years fighting for what you deserve, and they will rush you to accept whatever little amount they are offering.
While a settlement amount does not usually go beyond the insurance coverage limits of a defendant’s insurance, it is important to keep in mind that you may contest the offer in court if you feel that the settlement is far below what you deserve. In this case, the jury may decide that you receive a settlement amount that covers all costs stemming from the crash, even if it exceeds insurance coverage limits. This is where the services of a personal injury lawyer come in. The right attorney with experience in matters related to motorcycle accidents can help you through the legal process, especially during this trying moment.
The Extent of Your Injuries, Pain, and Suffering
It’s obvious that motorcyclists are far more likely to sustain severe injuries and even fatalities compared to those involved in car accidents. After a motorcycle accident, the need for a motorcycle accident lawsuit and the amount of compensation you receive will depend largely on the extent of your injuries, damages, medical bills, rehabilitation costs, and more. On the contrary, you may not have to file a lawsuit if the damages caused are insignificant or non-existent.
Was the At-Fault Driver Impaired in Any Way?
When a driver causes a road accident due to intoxication from drugs or alcohol, poor eyesight, distraction, sleep deprivation, and a number of other things, this counts as driver impairment. If there is any proof that the at-fault driver was impaired in any way at the time of the accident, you stand a good chance of receiving a decent settlement. However, this is, in most cases, settled outside trial between attorneys.
Need Help After a Motorcycle Accident? Call Fetterman & Associates, P.A!
If you or a loved one has been injured – or even killed – in a motorcycle accident in Florida, the law team at Fetterman & Associates, P.A is ready to help. We will work with you to determine the value of your claim, negotiate a fair settlement offer on your behalf, and even take your case to trial if the need arises. Reach out to us today for a free case evaluation.