Motorcycle Accident Lawyer in Tampa, Florida
While motorcycles are an exciting way to travel, riders, unfortunately, face great risks – especially when other drivers are careless. Due to their smaller size, many less-than-attentive drivers may fail to notice motorcycles as they turn, pull out, or change lanes. The rider’s exposed position means that when a motorcycle is involved in a crash, they are likely to suffer more severe injuries than an occupant of a car would.
Motorcycle riders who are involved in accidents on the roads in and around Tampa could be owed significant compensation for their injuries and property damage if the accident was someone else’s fault.
What Makes Motorcycle Accident Claims in Tampa More Complicated?
In many cases, motorcycle accident claims can be more complicated than crashes involving only passenger cars.
The more severe nature of injuries in motorcycle accidents means that injured riders often have much larger medical expenses and a longer road to recovery. As a result, it can be difficult to reach a settlement or resolution of a claim when the rider is seeking a larger sum. In addition, an injured rider may still face months of continued treatment when trying to settle their claim, which means that future medical expenses must be calculated into the settlement. This can be a complicated process that is a highly contested issue between the parties.
In addition, insurance companies in motorcycle accidents will try to argue that the motorcycle rider had some fault for the accident, alleging that the rider was speeding, lane splitting, or otherwise riding in an unsafe manner. Insurance companies often try to use unfair prejudice and stereotypes about bikers in order to shift blame onto the rider.
At Brooks Law Group, we know that most riders are cautious and law-abiding. We won’t let insurance companies duck their duty by playing up unfair biases.
Types of Damages in a Motorcycle Accident in Tampa
If you are involved in a motorcycle accident in Tampa, you may be entitled to certain forms of compensation for your injuries and property damage. Compensation for personal injuries suffered in a motorcycle accident fall into two main categories – economic damages and non-economic damages.
Economic damages in a personal injury claim compensate the injured party for the out-of-pocket expenses they incur as a result of their injuries. These kinds of damages are usually calculated from financial records like bills, invoices, or paystubs. Economic damages may include:
- Medical expenses – Includes hospital bills, surgeries, doctor’s office visits, physical therapy, prescription medication, and even modifications to your home to accommodate any permanent disabilities you suffer as a result of the accident
- Lost income – Includes income and wages lost due to work missed because of your injuries, as well as lost future earning potential due to lasting disabilities
Non-economic damages are intended to compensate a victim for the physical and mental anguish they suffer as a result of their injuries. Non-economic damages may not be easily calculated by referencing bills or other financial records but instead may have a subjective component. Examples of non-economic damages include:
- Pain and suffering – If you suffered physical and mental distress caused by your injuries, you could be able to collect compensation. This could include any loss of ability to perform daily tasks or participate in activities you used to enjoy prior to the accident.
- Loss of consortium – This compensates your spouse or your family for the loss of your companionship, society, and service to your spouse or family.
A motorcycle accident victim may be entitled to compensation for property damage, including the costs to repair or replace the damaged motorcycle and any other property damaged or destroyed in the accident.
Tragically, some motorcycle accidents result in fatal injuries. If your close relative passed away as a result of a motorcycle accident, you may be able to pursue a wrongful death claim. Through this claim, you could recover compensation for losses such as medical expenses, funeral and burial costs, loss of financial contributions, and loss of companionship and household services.
Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents in Tampa
Some of the more common causes of motorcycle accidents in Tampa include:
- Unsafe lane changes by drivers when they fail to signal or check blind spots
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Rear-end accidents caused by vehicles following a motorcycle too closely
- Unsafe left turns by drivers into the path of an oncoming motorcycle
- Failing to yield the right of way
- Distracted driving
- Abrupt opening of doors of cars parked along the street (“dooring”)
In addition to the human causes of motorcycle accidents, other external factors can also lead to accidents, including poor road conditions like potholes, bad weather or low lighting, or design or manufacturing defects with the motorcycle itself.
What to Do After a Motorcycle Accident in Tampa
When you are involved in a motorcycle accident, there are steps you can take to better protect your legal rights and maximize the potential compensation you may receive if you need to bring a legal claim. These steps include:
- Seek medical attention – Accept emergency medical treatment and transportation if you need it. Now is not the time to act tough. Even if you don’t think you’ve been hurt at first, prompt medical examination can uncover hidden injuries and improve your prognosis.
- Call the police – The police’s accident report may provide information that will be critical to establish fault for the accident.
- Take down the driver’s information – Gather their name, contact information, and insurance information. Do not hesitate to ask for ID if you feel they may be lying to you.
- Take down eyewitness contact information – You may later need statements from eyewitnesses to substantiate your version of how the accident occurred.
- Take photographs of the accident scene – Try to take photos of the positions of vehicles, damage to vehicles or objects at the scene (lampposts or trees, for example), skid marks on the road, traffic controls, and weather and lighting conditions.
- Get experienced legal help. As soon as practical, you should contact a Tampa motorcycle accident attorney to discuss your case. An attorney can advise you about your legal rights and options and whether you may be entitled to compensation for any injuries or property damage you’ve suffered.
Tips for Dealing with Insurance Companies After a Motorcycle Accident
Regardless of whether you are dealing with someone else’s insurance or your own insurance company, you should always bear in mind that the more money insurance companies pay out on claims, the less money they make. Therefore, it is always the insurance company’s goal to minimize the payout.
When dealing directly with insurance companies, you should always remember to:
- Avoid admitting fault or saying anything that could be taken out of context.
- Just provide the facts. Don’t speculate.
- Don’t provide a written or recorded statement without the advice of a lawyer.
- Don’t accept the first settlement offer, as it is almost certain to be far less than what you deserve.
You should speak with a Tampa motorcycle accident attorney before agreeing to or signing anything provided by an insurance company. Once you are represented by a lawyer, you tell the insurance company to direct any questions directly to your attorney.
How Our Motorcycle Accident Lawyers in Tampa Can Help
If you’ve been involved in a motorcycle accident in Tampa, it is extremely likely that you have suffered serious injuries that will require you to focus much of your time and energy on your recovery. You probably don’t have the time and energy to deal with insurance companies to pursue the compensation you deserve. That is why you need a Tampa motorcycle accident attorney from Brooks Law Group.
Our legal team can help you by investigating your accident and collecting all the information necessary to identify the parties at fault for the accident and to build a strong, persuasive case for your compensation. We’ll take on the task of negotiating with the insurance companies to seek a fair settlement that provides full compensation for your losses.
However, in some cases, the other side may try to deny liability or deny the size of your losses. When this happens, we will be prepared to take your claim to court and stand up for your rights.
Why wait another day to start the process of pursuing the compensation and financial recovery you are entitled to? Contact Brooks Law Group today to schedule a consultation with one of our Tampa motorcycle accident attorneys to discuss your legal rights and options.
We can be reached by phone, or by chatting with us live on our site, or by filling out a contact form. Contact us now.