Motorcycle Accidents Attorneys in Fort Lauderdale, Florida
People choose to ride motorcycles for a variety of reasons. Some gravitate toward the feeling of freedom. For others, it is a cost-effective mode of transportation in a state where there’s warmer than others. Whatever your reason, a good ride should never be spoiled by a driver who fails their duty of care when sharing the roadway with you.
Riding motorcycles indeed comes with some risk. After all, they lack the external structure that can protect you in a crash. Because they offer less protection, riders can sustain far more serious injuries or death in a crash. If you have been injured, or if your loved one has been seriously injured or killed by a negligent driver while operating a motorcycle, you deserve to be compensated for the harm caused by that driver. That is where we can help.
At the Law Offices of McCullough & Leboff, P.A., we have a long history of representing victims of motorcycle accidents, and their families, in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and the surrounding area, including Davie, Hollywood, Pembroke Pines, Weston, Plantation, and Sunrise. If the circumstances of your accident warrant compensation, we will fight for it.
What Should I Do After a Motorcycle Accident?
The most vital step you should take in the aftermath of a motorcycle accident is to get medical attention. Even if you don’t think you are injured or are not sure you are, you should be examined by an emergency responder and allowed transport to an emergency room. An emergency physician will know what types of injuries to screen for, order the proper examination and testing, and provide you with a diagnosis.
Another reason to be examined by a doctor is that you will need a physician’s diagnosis and medical expenses to file a personal injury claim. Any delay in the diagnosis and treatment of your injuries merely gives the insurance company a reason to deny or undervalue your claim later on.
Among the other steps you should take are:
You should also document everything you can and obtain documents of everything you can request. Documentation will be key to your motorcycle accident claim. If you can, take photos of the crash scene, roadway conditions, vehicles involved, and crash debris. Write down the name, contact, and insurance information for all other drivers involved, as well as the names and contact details of any witnesses. You will need copies of the crash report filed by law enforcement, medical records and bills, and documents related to lost wages and income, among others.
Contact your motorcycle insurance company to open a claim. You will need to access your personal injury protection (PIP) benefits immediately, and you can do so regardless of who caused the crash.
If your injuries and the circumstances of the incident make you eligible to pursue a bodily injury claim against an at-fault driver, you will need to notify that driver’s insurance company about filing a third-party claim against their liability coverage.
Consult with and hire a personal injury attorney. Your attorney will know how to investigate the crash, obtain documentation, file a third-party claim and negotiate with the insurance company, gather evidence that proves negligence, value your claim, and pursue it on your behalf.
Are Motorcycle Operators Subject to Special Laws in Florida?
Everyone using Florida’s roadways must comply with the rules of the road. However, motorcycle operators are subject to some additional laws, designed to increase their safety.
Riders and passengers must wear approved protective eye gear, and those under the age of 21 are required to wear approved safety helmets. Those aged 21 and older are not required to wear helmets as long as they have at least $10,000 in medical insurance benefits.
Motorcycle passengers are allowed, but only one and only on motorcycles designed to carry a passenger. That means it has a separate seat and footrests for a passenger.
Lane splitting, which is driving between lanes, is strictly prohibited in Florida, as is leaving the roadway pavement, such as moving to a shoulder, to pass. No more than two motorcycles can travel abreast in a single lane.
Required motorcycle equipment includes a headlight, which must be on at all times during operation. They must also have a taillight and brake light, turn signals, side view mirrors, and be in good working order
Why are these laws important? Not only are they intended to increase your safety, but noncompliance can lead to the assignment of some degree of fault to you for an accident.
How Is Fault Determined in Florida?
Florida’s status as a no-fault state does not mean no one was at fault for a motorcycle accident. A liability claim can be filed against any party whose negligence caused an accident involving serious or permanent injury or death. You will need to prove negligence by offering evidence that the at-fault driver owed you a duty of care, they failed that duty, and that as a result, you sustained injuries and other damages.
Florida also observes the rule of pure comparative negligence. This rule allows more than one person to be assigned fault, but you can still pursue a personal injury or wrongful death claim even if you share the blame. Any financial recovery will be reduced by your percentage of fault.
Can I File a Claim for My Loved One’s Injuries or Death?
If a loved one is unable to pursue their own personal injury claim due to the extent of their injuries, you can ask the court to appoint a conservator to pursue a claim on their behalf.
If your loved one died as a result of their crash injuries and would have been eligible to pursue a personal injury claim, had they survived, the personal representative of their estate may file a wrongful death claim to recover damages for the estate and its beneficiaries and heirs. If your loved one died without a will, the court will appoint a personal representative as part of the probate process.
Motorcycle Accident Attorneys Serving Fort Lauderdale, Florida
If you have been injured in a Florida motorcycle accident, or if someone you love was seriously injured or killed, you should work with an attorney experienced with representing motorcycle accident claims, like us. We will walk you through the process personally and do the work necessary and more to prevail in your claim while you recover or grieve. Call the Law Offices of McCullough & Leboff, P.A. to schedule a free case consultation.