How a Boca Raton Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Can Help You
If riding a motorcycle is more a way of life than a mode of transportation for you, then you are in good company. For many people, the thrill of cruising the open road on a motorcycle is one of life’s greatest joys. This is particularly true in South Florida, where you can enjoy beautiful rides along the beach. Unfortunately, our Boca Raton motorcycle accident lawyer knows that riding a motorcycle is also much more dangerous than driving a car.
If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident, you may be facing serious financial hardships associated with costly medical bills, ongoing rehabilitation, and lost wages from missed work while you recover. But you don’t have to go through this difficult time alone. Michael K. Grife will focus all of his energy on recovering the compensation you deserve so that you can focus your energy on recovering from your injuries.
A Boca Raton Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Can Help You Prove Your Case
No matter how obvious it may be that the other party is at fault, you will still need to prove your claim. In fact, you will need to prove four separate elements:
- The other party owed you a duty of care. This is rarely an issue in motorcycle accident cases, because all motorists have a legal obligation to drive safely. It could become an issue if your case involves the potential liability of third parties who were not directly involved in the accident.
- The other party breached their duty of care. This is where you must prove that they were negligent in some way. For example, you may have to prove that the other party was driving and texting at the time the accident occurred.
- The other party’s negligence caused the accident. In other words, you have to prove a causal connection between their negligent behavior and the accident. Using the example above, you have to prove that the other driver drifted into your lane and collided with you because they were driving and texting.
- The accident resulted in damages. This means that you were injured as a result of the accident and suffered other losses. However, you must be able to prove the extent of your injuries and other losses. For example, you cannot claim lost wages unless you can precisely document the precise amount of income you lost as a result of the accident.
Failure to prove any one of these elements can result in your claim being denied. This requires gathering clear and convincing evidence, even just to submit your claim to the insurance company. Gathering the documents and other evidence you need can be overwhelming when you are injured and in pain. An experienced Boca Raton motorcycle accident lawyer will know how to build your case and can gather the evidence you need while you focus on your recovery.
Proving Negligence in Motorcycle Accident Cases
Motorcycle accidents are often more complex than other motor vehicle accident claims. In many instances, there is no collision with another vehicle, even though an aggressive driver who failed to respect your right of way caused you to swerve to avoid an accident. These “near misses” caused by another driver’s negligence can still result in a devastating crash on your motorcycle. This can make proving negligence very challenging.
In his practice as a motorcycle accident lawyer in Boca Raton, Mr. Grife works with a team of accident reconstruction experts and biomechanical engineers who will investigate your case to determine the cause of your accident. Some of the most common negligent actions resulting in a motorcycle accident may include:
- Failing to yield the right of way to a motorcycle
- Cutting in front of a motorcycle
- Failing to check for a motorcycle before making a lane change
- Entering an intersection into the path of a motorcycle
With Mr. Grife’s help, you can hold the negligent driver responsible for these actions and recover the compensation you deserve.
What Kind of Evidence Do You Need in a Motorcycle Accident Case?
Even before you go to court, you will need evidence to support your claim. The stronger your evidence, the more likely the insurance company will offer fair compensation to settle your case. You will need two basic types of evidence to support your case.
Evidence Concerning the Motorcycle Accident Itself
You will need evidence to prove when, where, and how the accident happened. More importantly, you will need evidence demonstrating that the other party is at fault. This could include the following:
- The accident report prepared by the police
- Eye witness statements
- Statements made at the scene by the other party to the accident
- Video footage and photographs of the accident scene, damage to your motorcycle, and damage to the other vehicle
- Testimony or reports prepared by accident reconstruction experts
Some of this evidence you may have in your possession, while other evidence may be difficult to obtain. For example, you may need to file a subpoena in order to obtain traffic camera footage. Witnesses may need some assistance in preparing their statements to ensure that they are clear and concise. In extraordinarily complex accidents, an accident reconstruction expert may be able to identify the specific cause of the accident, but that evidence could come at considerable expense. A knowledgeable Boca Raton motorcycle accident lawyer will know precisely what evidence you need to prove your claim and how to get it.
Evidence Supporting Your Damages
In addition to proving that the motorcycle accident was caused by the other party’s negligence, you need to also prove that the accident caused your injuries and other losses. This evidence will include the following:
- Your medical records
- Your medical bills
- Your pay stubs and other documentation of lost wages
- Estimates of the cost to repair or replace your motorcycle
- Testimony concerning your pain and suffering
You may need expert medical testimony to explain the severity of your injuries and how they will result in a permanent disability. In turn, you may need expert testimony as to your future medical costs and future lost income.
One of the primary benefits of working with a Boca Raton motorcycle accident lawyer is that they can gather the evidence you will need to build the strongest possible case while you can focus on recovering from your injuries.
Florida’s Motorcycle Laws
Generally speaking, motorcycle riders are obligated to follow all rules of the road that apply to any other motor vehicle. That said, Florida has specific laws that govern the operation of motorcycles on public roadways similar to those in other states. Violations of these laws can complicate your case, but do not necessarily mean that you do not have a claim. If you were injured in a motorcycle accident and were issued a citation, you should discuss your case with a Boca Raton motorcycle accident lawyer as soon as possible.
Florida’s Helmet Laws
Unlike many other states, Florida does not require every motorcycle rider to wear a helmet. Florida’s helmet laws require the following:
- Riders under the age of 21 must wear a helmet when riding their motorcycle. The helmet must be securely fastened to the rider’s head (meaning the chin strap must be buckled) and the helmet must comply with Federal Motorcycle Vehicle Safety Standard 218 as promulgated by the Department of Transportation.
- Riders 21 and older have the option of either (1) wearing a helmet or (2) carrying insurance that provides at least $10,000 in medical coverage.
- Riders must also wear eye protection, either in the form of a visor on an approved helmet or motorcycle goggles. This requirement applies even if your motorcycle is equipped with a windshield. Riders should also note that prescription glasses or sunglasses do not typically meet the statutory requirements.
Note that there is an exception for riders 16 years old or older who are riding a motorcycle that is not capable of exceeding 30 miles per hour on level ground or has a motor with less than 2 brake horsepower or a displacement of less than 50 cubic centimeters. In other words, many scooters, mopeds, and similar motorcycles may be exempted from the helmet requirement. Riders who are less than 16 years of age, however, must wear a helmet that is securely fastened regardless of the size of the motorcycle.
Helmet laws are controversial among motorcycle riders. Florida allows riders to go without a helmet if they carry the appropriate insurance. In the event of an accident, however, riders should be aware that not wearing a helmet can have a significant negative impact on their claim if they need to pursue compensation for their injuries and other losses. You should contact an experienced Boca Raton motorcycle accident lawyer if you were injured in a motorcycle accident due to someone else’s negligence and were not wearing a helmet.
Headlights and Other Lights
Florida law requires motorcycle riders to have their headlights on at all times, even during daylight hours. Motorcycles must also be equipped with the following:
- A brake light
- A red reflector affixed to the rear of the motorcycle
- Turn signals that flash to the front and rear of the motorcycle
- A tail light that is located at least 20 inches from the ground but no higher than 72 inches from the ground
Of course, all lights must be functional and in good working order.
“Lane splitting,” i.e. driving between two lanes of traffic, is illegal in Florida. This includes passing another motor vehicle in the same lane, even if it isn’t technically “lane splitting.”
Lane Use By Motorcyclists
Motorcycle riders are entitled to the use of the entire lane. Two motorcycle riders may ride side-by-side in a single lane. This means that another vehicle cannot encroach into a lane being used by a motorcycle. , but no more than two.
Florida law requires that all motorcycles have at least one mirror that allows them to see behind them for a distance of at least 200 feet.
Florida law prohibits handlebars or handgrips that are higher than the top of the motorcycle rider’s shoulders when properly seated on the motorcycle.
Motorcycle riders must keep at least one ear free to hear traffic sounds at all times. As a result, a single Bluetooth earpiece is permissible, but wearing earbuds in both ears is illegal.
Florida law requires riders to maintain their motorcycles in good working order. For example, your brakes must be in good working order and you must have a working horn.
Your license plate must be secure and able to be read at all times. Riders under the age of 21 may register their motorcycle in their name but must display special plates that identify the motorcycle as being owned and operated by someone under the age of 21.
It is against the law to operate a motorcycle on Florida roadways without a license or the appropriate endorsement. Here are your options for having a valid motorcycle license in the state of Florida:
- Motorcycle endorsement on your current driver’s license. If you already have a driver’s license issued by the state of Florida, you can get a motorcycle endorsement. This sounds easier than it is – you will have to complete and pass a Basic Rider Course through the Florida Rider Training Program.
- Motorcycle-only license. Riders who are between the ages of 16 and 18 are able to get a motorcycle-only license. However, they must hold a learner’s license with no traffic convictions for at least one year prior to applying. In addition, they must complete a Basic Rider Course and pass a road knowledge test.
- Out-of-state licenses. Florida will automatically recognize motorcycle licenses and endorsements from other states except for Alabama. Alabama riders must complete a Basic Rider Course.
Florida has a number of laws that require motorcycle riders to operate their motorcycles in a safe manner. This includes the following:
- Racing of any type is prohibited on any roadway, highway, or parking lot.
- Stunting of any type is prohibited. Except when the result of road conditions or other circumstances beyond the control of the rider, both wheels must be in contact with the ground at all times. Motorcycle riders must be facing forward, sitting astride the seat, with one leg on each side of the motorcycle. This would include “wheelies” and other types of stunts.
- Motorcycle riders cannot carry any item, package, or bundle that prevents them from keeping both hands on the handlebars.
One of the most common issues that is raised in a motorcycle accident is that the rider was riding recklessly. It is important to understand the law so that you can rebut this issue. A Boca Raton motorcycle accident lawyer will know what evidence you need to prove that you were riding your motorcycle safely at the time that the accident occurred and that the accident was caused by the other driver’s negligence.
Florida is a “no-fault” insurance state, which means that all drivers must carry insurance that covers their injuries in the event of an accident. However, Florida does not require motorcycle riders to carry “no-fault” insurance. As a result, many bikers are surprised to discover that their only option to receive compensation is to pursue a claim against the at-fault driver.
It is also important to note that while motorcyclists are not required to carry no-fault insurance, they must still carry liability insurance to cover any losses they may cause to other parties. Failure to carry liability insurance could result in the suspension of your license.
A Boca Raton Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Who Will Conduct a Deep Investigation
A successful case often requires a thorough investigation of the accident, one that goes far beyond any investigation that may have been performed by the police when they were called to the scene. At the Grife Law Firm, we dig deep into the details to ensure that we have gathered all of the evidence necessary to build the strongest possible claim.
- We will carefully examine the other vehicle and your motorcycle for potential defects or mechanical issues that could have caused the accident. We also examine the vehicles for evidence that clearly documents exactly what happened during the accident.
- We will collect evidence concerning the other driver’s abilities at the time of the accident. This includes evidence of intoxication or other impairment, as well as whether they have any vision or other health issues that may have contributed to the accident. We also obtain a copy of their driving record for evidence of their driving habits.
- We will examine the scene of the accident to identify any potential road conditions that may have caused or contributed to the accident. This can include maintenance issues such as potholes or other obstructions, as well as missing signage, or design defects.
The purpose of this investigation is to identify all potential factors in your case. Our goal is to master the facts and the evidence, encouraging the other side to agree to a quick and fair settlement. And if settlement is not an option, we are fully prepared to go to trial and confident that we can present a strong case.
A Boca Raton Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Helping You Get Fair Compensation
Most motorcycle accident victims do not understand what compensation they are entitled to following their accident. As a result, they often settle their claims for far less than they are worth and wind up with uncovered losses. For many, this means that they could face considerable financial difficulties, even if they have health insurance. As a result, it is critical that you get the compensation you deserve if you have suffered serious injuries as a result of a motorcycle accident.
If you can prove that your motorcycle accident was caused by the other driver or some other third party, you may be entitled to compensation for the following:
- Your medical bills. This includes not only your current medical bills but also your future medical expenses if you will continue to need treatment. It also includes any reasonably necessary expenses for rehabilitative care or in-home care.
- Your lost income. Whether you are unable to work for an extended period of time or just have to take time off to receive treatment, you are entitled to compensation for any lost wages. You may also be able to recover compensation for lost future income if you have suffered a partial or total disability that will impact your ability to work in the future.
- Damage to your motorcycle. You may be entitled to compensation for the cost of repairing or replacing your motorcycle.
- Other expenses arising from the accident. This could include medical equipment such as a wheelchair or crutches, modifications to your home such as a ramp or additional railings, or additional transportation costs because you are unable to drive.
- Your pain and suffering. You are entitled to compensation for the physical pain and mental anguish you experience as a result of your accident. You may no longer be able to ride a motorcycle or enjoy other hobbies and activities. Many accident victims experience debilitating pain, depression, anxiety, and other afflictions that make it difficult to engage in everyday activities that are necessary to take care of themselves and their families. Under the law, accident victims are entitled to be made whole.
A Boca Raton motorcycle accident lawyer from The Grife Law Firm can make sure that all of your losses are accounted for so that you can get the compensation you need to rebuild your life.
Economic vs. Non-Economic Damages
The first four items are sometimes referred to as “economic” damages. This is because they can be objectively calculated based on the specific expenses you have incurred. Copies of your medical bills, repair bills, wage statements, and other documentation are evidence of your economic damages.
The fifth item – your pain and suffering – are referred to as “non-economic” damages. Because they are subjective by definition, they can be much more difficult to prove. There is no objective measure of how much a person has suffered as a result of their accident such as an invoice or bill. This is one area where insurance companies will aggressively try to pay as little as possible. To get the compensation you deserve, you need a Boca Raton motorcycle accident lawyer who can level the playing field.
How to Prove Your Non-Economic Damages
Because of the challenges inherent in proving these non-economic damages, states have struggled with different ways to arrive at a fair result. Some states have dealt with this by imposing caps on non-economic damages. Thankfully, Florida is not one of those states. Under Florida law, courts have a great deal of latitude in determining how non-economic damages may be calculated. Generally speaking, there are two methods that courts will use to determine compensation for pain and suffering:
- The multiplier method. This method uses a multiplier between 1 and 5, with 5 being reserved for the most severe injuries. Non-economic damages are calculated by multiplying your economic damages by the multiplier. For example, let’s assume that you suffered moderately severe injuries that warrant a multiplier of 3. If you incurred $100,00 in medical bills and lost wages, you would be entitled to $300,000 in non-economic damages under the multiplier method.
- The per diem method. This method uses a per diem rate that is multiplied by the number of days your injuries are expected to affect you. The per diem rate that is sometimes used is your average daily earnings. Let’s say you earn $100 per day and it took 300 days to fully recover from your injuries. As a result, you would be entitled to $30,000 in non-economic damages under the per diem method.
Clearly, the outcome between these two methods can vary greatly. Proponents of the per diem method claim that it is a more accurate method of calculating non-economic damages, while others argue that it fails to adequately account for the severity of the victim’s injuries. It is important to keep in mind that neither method is required under Florida law.
A Boca Raton motorcycle accident lawyer will know how to make your claim for pain and suffering as strong as possible. They will know which method is appropriate in your case, what evidence you will need, and how to form a compelling argument to support your claim.
Factors That Will Impact Your Claim for Non-Economic Damages
When considering non-economic damages, it is important to consider a variety of factors. Some of the factors that will affect your claim for non-economic damages include the following:
- The severity of your injuries – generally speaking, injuries of greater severity support larger awards of compensation for pain and suffering.
- The impact of your injuries on your quality of life – you are more likely to receive higher compensation if you can demonstrate that your injuries have significantly impacted your ability to work, take care of your family, or participate in daily activities.
- Your recovery – you will likely receive a higher award for non-economic damages if your injuries will require extensive medical treatment and a lengthy recovery. If your injuries result in a long-term or permanent disability, the damages award will likely be even greater.
- Your age and health – if your age and health make you more vulnerable to the effects of your injury, you may be entitled to additional damages for your pain and suffering.
- Whether your negligence contributed to the accident – you will likely receive less compensation for your pain and suffering if you were partially at fault in causing the accident.
There are other factors that may be taken into account depending on the facts and circumstances of your case. Your claim for non-economic damages could be significant, so it is important that all factors are properly considered. To ensure that you get the compensation you need to put your accident behind you, it is important that you work with a Boca Raton motorcycle accident lawyer who knows how to get results.
A Boca Raton Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Can Help You – Even If You Were Partially at Fault
If you are injured in an accident, the other driver or their insurance company may try to claim that your negligence contributed to the accident as evidenced by a violation of one of these laws. However, Florida is a comparative negligence state. This means that you are entitled to recover compensation even if you were partially at fault in causing the accident.
Motorcycle riders should be aware, however, that there were recent significant changes to the law concerning Florida’s comparative negligence laws. Previously, motorcycle riders could recover compensation even if their own negligence contributed more than 50% to the accident. This was known as the “pure comparative negligence” rule.
Florida now follows what is known as the “modified comparative negligence” rule. Under this rule, motorcycle riders who are determined to have contributed more than 50% to the accident are barred from recovering any compensation. This means that if you are even 51% responsible for the accident, you could receive nothing for your injuries, lost wages, and other losses. A Boca Raton motorcycle accident lawyer can explain how this new law applies to your case.
It is worth noting that this rule suggests that apportioning fault is a purely mathematical exercise. Of course, this is not the case. The facts will be critical. Furthermore, the other party needs to prove that you were negligent and that your negligence contributed to causing the accident. If the other party is claiming that you are partially to blame for the accident, you need to proceed very carefully before their allegation jeopardizes your entire claim.
It is not uncommon for drivers and motorcycle riders to disagree over who caused the accident. However, in order to prevail, you will need to prove your case. In this situation, the best thing you can do is contact a Boca Raton motorcycle accident lawyer to discuss what compensation you may be entitled to recover. Your attorney can gather the evidence you need to support your claim for compensation.
Motorcycle Injuries Are Often Catastrophic
Due to the lack of protection provided by a motorcycle, the injuries sustained by riders are often much more severe than injuries suffered in other types of motor vehicle accidents. Our Boca Raton motorcycle accident attorneys have seen that it is common to develop a catastrophic injury that may be life-altering or require long-term care.
Common motorcycle accident injuries include:
- Brain Injuries
- Spinal Cord Injuries
- Broken Bones
- Road Rash
Mr. Grife understands the serious nature of these injuries. He can help you secure the important medical treatments you need, and he will evaluate every aspect of your injury in order to maximize your compensation.
Common Areas Where Motorcycle Accidents Occur in Florida
Current statistics are somewhat hard to come by, but all motorcycle riders are aware that they face a much higher risk of being injured in a crash than other drivers. Knowing where motorcycle accidents are more likely to occur can help keep riders safe. According to statistics compiled for the years between 2016 and 2018, the following counties had the highest number of motorcycle accidents and motorcycle fatalities:
- Palm Beach
The 2023 statistics for motorcycle accidents reflect the following details:
- 7,390 total motorcycle crashes
- 6,383 injuries
- 441 fatal motorcycle accidents
Compiling these statistics including only the counties listed above gives us the following data for 2023:
- 2,470 total motorcycle crashes
- 2,023 injuries
- 127 fatal motorcycle accidents
In other words, in 2023, these five counties accounted for one-third of all motorcycle accidents, slightly less than one-third of all injuries resulting from motorcycle accidents, and 29% of all fatal motorcycle accidents. For illustrative purposes, let’s review the statistics for each of these counties for the year 2022:
- Miami-Dade: 1,197 total crashes, 46 fatalities, 913 injuries
- Broward: 745 total crashes, 37 fatalities, 605 injuries
- Hillsborough: 603 total crashes, 49 fatalities, 519 injuries
- Palm Beach: 407 total crashes, 27 fatalities, 354 injuries
- Seminole: 146 total crashes, 10 fatalities, 122 injuries
It is interesting to note that Hillsborough County had the third-highest number of total motorcycle accidents, but the second-highest number of fatal motorcycle accidents. Palm Beach County ranks fourth both in terms of the total number of motorcycle accidents and the number of fatal motorcycle accidents but had only 10 fewer fatal accidents than Broward County, which had more than 300 more accidents in total.
If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident, working with someone who has knowledge of the local roadways and traffic conditions can help you reach a successful outcome if you have to pursue a claim. A Boca Raton motorcycle accident lawyer can help you get the compensation you need to rebuild your life if you have been injured in a motorcycle accident in Palm Beach County.
Have You Lost a Loved One in a Tragic Motorcycle Accident?
Given their size and the fact that the rider is not in an enclosed cab, it should come as no surprise that motorcycle accidents are more likely to be fatal than other types of motor vehicle accidents. There have already been 12 fatal motorcycle accidents in Palm Beach County alone for 2023.
There is nothing that can replace a loved one’s absence. That said, your family could be facing tremendous challenges if they have lost a loved one in a motorcycle accident. You may have lost a significant portion of your household income, both now and in the future. More importantly, you and your family have lost the value of their companionship, guidance, and presence. There may have been medical bills and other costs incurred before they died, and you also need to pay for their funeral and burial expenses. You need to cover these expenses. You need to find a way to replace your lost income and also replace the numerous other ways they helped you and your family on a daily basis.
Under Florida law, you may be able to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit. However, this suit can only be filed by the personal representative of the deceased’s estate on behalf of their immediate family members. For this reason, wrongful death claims can be very challenging. To ensure that you get the compensation your family needs, it is best to work with a Boca Raton motorcycle accident lawyer.
What to Do if You Have Been in a Motorcycle Accident
If you later need to pursue legal action, the hours and days following your accident are critical to the success of your case. Whether the accident just happened or you are recovering at home, the most important thing you can do is remain calm and collected. To the extent possible, you need to keep a level head so that you can make the right decisions. Here are some steps you can take to protect yourself immediately after your accident, to the extent that you are able to:
- Call the police. Even if the other motorist never stopped or if they think the police are necessary, it is important that you report the accident to the authorities. Assuming that they can arrive quickly, they can direct traffic to prevent further accidents. In addition, they can create an accident report. While accident reports are not necessarily incontrovertible proof, they can help document important facts such as the time, date, and location of the accident.
- Get the contact information of any witnesses. Statements from uninvolved parties who witnessed the accident can be powerful evidence if you need to pursue a claim. They can help establish who was at fault and other important details surrounding the accident. At a minimum, make sure you get any witnesses’ cell phone numbers and email addresses, but it’s ideal if you can get their addresses, too.
- Take pictures. Using your phone, take pictures of the scene of the accident, the damage to your bike, any injuries you are aware of, and anything else you can think of to document the accident and your injuries. Try to get pictures from multiple angles. The more pictures you take, the better.
- Do not immediately decline medical treatment at the scene. Because of the adrenaline coursing through your body, it is common to be unaware that you are injured. It is okay to say “I don’t know” when someone asks if you are injured. Take your time to assess your condition. If you think you may need to go to the hospital, do not hesitate to go.
- Make arrangements to get home. If you do not go to the hospital, you should not attempt to ride your motorcycle home unless you are completely certain that it is safe. It is very likely that your bike was damaged in the accident and is unsafe to ride.
If you were seriously injured in the accident, you may not have been able to do any of those things. In that case, the best thing you can do to protect yourself is to reach out to a Boca Raton motorcycle accident lawyer for help.
In the days following your motorcycle accident, there are a few other steps you should take.
- Get a thorough medical exam. Even if you think you are okay or received medical treatment immediately after the accident, it is important to get checked out by your doctor.
- Follow your recommended treatment. We understand that it can be difficult to stay home from work or avoid physical activity, but following your doctor’s orders is important if you later need to pursue a claim.
- Listen to your body following your checkup. Some injuries are not immediately apparent. While some stiffness and soreness may be common, you should seek follow-up treatment if they get worse or don’t seem to be getting better. You should also seek immediate treatment for any new symptoms that arise.
- Ensure that your medical records clearly identify any injuries caused by the accident, what it will take to recover, and any limitations that they have caused. These will be critical for proving your case if you later need to pursue a claim. They can also help if you need to take a leave of absence from your job or need to go on light duty.
- Keep copies of all bills, receipts, and invoices arising from your accident. You will need to prove your financial losses as a result of the accident. You should also keep copies of your pay stubs and other employment records so that you can prove any income that you have lost.
If you have been seriously injured, we understand if all of this seems impossible. An experienced Boca Raton motorcycle accident lawyer can take the steps necessary to protect your rights so that you can focus on getting back on your feet.
What Not to Do After Your Motorcycle Accident
Here are some common mistakes that people make that can jeopardize their case:
- Admitting liability. Even though Florida is a “no-fault” state, admitting liability can be an issue if you need to later pursue a claim for losses not covered by insurance. Whether talking to the other party or the insurance company, the smallest, most harmless admission of fault can be used against you. You should be extremely careful about what you say, even if you think you may be partially to blame.
- Posting about your accident on social media. Similarly, things that you say online can also come back to haunt you. Statements concerning the extent of your injuries or the cause of your accident can undermine your case. Even harmless posts, such as pictures from your vacation, can be problematic. Keep in mind that even if your profile is set to “private,” your social media posts can be obtained via subpoena.
- Waiting too long to contact a Boca Raton motorcycle accident lawyer. Many people do not contact an attorney until they are out of options – they are facing a permanent disability, are in financial crisis, or are unable to provide for their families. Contacting a lawyer soon after your accident can help you understand your options from the outset. Furthermore, the sooner you engage a lawyer, the sooner they can get you the compensation you need to avoid a personal or family crisis.
The Statute of Limitations in Motorcycle Accident Cases
In every type of personal injury case, there is a statute of limitations – the deadline by which you must file a lawsuit or you will lose your right to compensation. Recent legislative changes in the state of Florida have resulted in a two-year statute of limitations in motorcycle accident cases, which is half of what it used to be. As a result, motorcycle accident victims need to act quickly in order to ensure the best possible recovery.
The statute of limitations is important even if you hope to avoid court. Insurance companies and other parties will not respond to your claim if the statute of limitations has passed. No matter how clearly the other party is at-fault or how badly you were injured, you will be unable to pursue your claim if the statute of limitations has expired.
Two years may seem like plenty of time to pursue your case. However, vital evidence that you need to support your claim can be harder to obtain as time passes – memories fade, people move away, and documents get lost. The sooner you take action, the stronger your claim will be and the better your chances of getting the compensation you need. The sooner you contact a Boca Raton motorcycle accident lawyer, the sooner they can take the necessary steps to protect your rights.
Who Is Responsible for Your Motorcycle Accident?
Motorcycle accidents are often more complex than people realize and identifying who should be held accountable is not always as easy as it may seem. At The Grife Law Firm, we help injured motorcycle riders recover the compensation they need to rebuild their lives by pursuing claims against the following parties:
All motorists have a legal duty to drive safely in order to avoid causing injury to any other users, including motorcycle riders. In order to prevail, you will have to prove that the other driver was negligent in some way. We represent motorcycle riders who have been injured as a result of the following types of negligence:
- Unsafe lane changes
- Distracted driving
- Failure to keep a proper lookout
- Running red lights or stop signs
- Failure to yield
- Aggressive driving
- Unsafe passing
- Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Driving while fatigued
In most cases, you will have minimal contact with the other driver, and instead, will deal primarily with the insurance company. That said, an experienced Boca Raton motorcycle accident lawyer from our firm can help you pursue a claim involving an uninsured or underinsured motorist.
A Negligent Driver’s Employer
In some cases, the negligent motorist may have been driving while on the job. In these situations, you may need to pursue a claim against the driver’s employer. This of course includes drivers who carry passengers for commercial purposes, such as:
- Taxi drivers
- Uber and Lyft drivers
- Bus and shuttle drivers
- Limousine drivers
However, injured motorcycle riders may have to pursue their claim against any driver’s employer who was driving as a part of their job at the time the accident occurred. This can include the following:
- Trucking companies
- Construction companies
- Delivery companies
- Utility companies
- Landscaping companies
These cases can be complicated and employers often aggressively defend themselves. As a result, it is crucial that you get a Boca Raton motorcycle accident lawyer to help you pursue your claim.
Local, State, Or Federal Government
Unsafe road designs or poor maintenance can lead to very serious motorcycle accidents. You may be able to pursue a claim against county, state, or federal government agencies for road defects or negligent maintenance such as the following:
- Missing or inadequate signage
- Curves that are too sharp for the posted speed limit
- Roads that do not properly drain or shed water
- Overgrown vegetation that impedes visibility and sightlines
- Unsafe merge lanes
- Dangerously designed intersections
- Inadequate lighting
- Faded or missing lane markings
- Road debris
Because they involve pursuing a claim against a government entity, these cases can be very challenging and often require that you follow unique procedures. A Boca Raton motorcycle accident lawyer can help you navigate the process.
Motorcycle and/or Parts Manufacturers
A mechanical failure can instantly result in a serious accident. If a mechanical failure is caused by a defective motorcycle or part, the manufacturer can be held liable. A defect in the following parts could result in a catastrophic accident:
- The motorcycle frame
- The brakes
- The wheels or tires
- Fuel tank
Proving that the motorcycle or part was defective is quite difficult, however. If you believe that your accident was caused by a defective part in your motorcycle, talk to a Boca Raton motorcycle accident lawyer at our firm as soon as possible.
Mechanical failures can also arise from negligent repairs. For example, improperly installing a tire can lead to a blowout and cause an accident. Failure to tighten nuts and bolts to specification can cause cracks in vital parts or cause parts to come loose while at speed. We help our clients who are injured in motorcycle accidents that are caused by mechanics cutting corners.
There may be more than one at-fault party in your case. Do not worry if you are unsure who is at fault or who should be held accountable. A Boca Raton motorcycle accident lawyer from The Grife Law Firm will know who to pursue so that you can get the compensation you deserve.
If You Have Questions, a Boca Raton Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Can Provide Answers
I have insurance, will I still need to pursue a claim?
It is important to understand what insurance will cover and what it won’t cover. If you have PIP (personal injury protection) coverage, it will only cover the following:
- 80% of your medical expenses up to $10,000
- 60% of your lost wages up to $10,000
In other words, your PIP coverage will not cover 20% of your medical expenses and 40% of your lost wages up to $10,000. PIP will not cover any of your losses that exceed $10,000. PIP also will not cover the pain and suffering you experience as a result of your accident.
If you do not have PIP coverage, that means that you will have to look to your health insurance for coverage. However, your health insurance will obviously not cover your lost wages, or your pain and suffering.
If you have been seriously injured in a motorcycle accident, the best thing you can do is contact a Boca Raton motorcycle accident lawyer. They can assess your case and ensure that you get fair compensation to cover all of your losses including your medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Is there a bias against motorcycle riders?
Some people believe that insurance companies and courts are biased against motorcycle riders, believing that they are reckless drivers who are often responsible for their own accidents. Whether or not this is true, it is important to remember that you need to prove your case, even when submitting your claim to the insurance company. A Boca Raton motorcycle accident lawyer can provide valuable guidance by identifying the cause of the accident and then gathering the evidence you need to build a compelling case.
What damages am I entitled to recover after a motorcycle accident?
If you can prove that the other driver is at fault for causing the accident that led to your injuries, you may be entitled to compensation for the following:
- Your current and future medical expenses
- Lost wages as a result of your injuries
- The pain and suffering caused by your accident
The value of your case will depend largely on the severity of your injuries, especially if you suffer any temporary or permanent disability. A Boca Raton motorcycle accident lawyer can provide you with an estimate of what your case may be worth at your initial consultation.
The driver says they aren’t at fault because they didn’t see me. Do I have a claim?
While motorcycles may be less visible than other vehicles on the road, drivers have a legal duty to pay full attention and watch for all others on the road, including bicyclists, pedestrians, and motorcycle riders. Claiming that they “just didn’t see you” is a common excuse that does not relieve the driver of their obligation to avoid accidents.
How will my own negligence affect my claim?
Florida law allows injured parties to recover compensation even if they were partially at fault in causing the accident. In other words, you can still pursue a claim. If you were negligent in some way, then your compensation is reduced on a percentage basis by the amount that your negligence contributed to the accident. For example, if it is determined that your negligence contributed 30% to causing the accident, then your compensation would be reduced by that amount.
These cases are complicated and we should note that the other party must prove that you were negligent and that your negligence contributed to the accident. If you believe this may be an issue in our case, we recommend that you work with a Boca Raton motorcycle accident lawyer.
Speak with a Boca Raton Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Today
If you’ve been injured in a motorcycle accident caused by another driver, please contact The Grife Law Firm today to schedule your free consultation. We serve clients in Boca Raton, Boynton Beach, Deerfield Beach, Delray Beach, and throughout Florida. We work on a contingency fee basis, so you do not need to pay us unless we get compensation for you. Contact a motorcycle accident attorney in Boca Raton today.
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