Motorcycle Accident Attorneys Standing up for Injured St. Petersburg Bikers
Access to open roads, stunning coastal scenery, and fair weather all year long make St. Petersburg an unsurprisingly popular location for motorcyclists. Unfortunately, such attributes, combined with a population of over 250,000 citizens, make it a common area for motorcycle accidents.
Bikers should not have to fear the roads because of reckless motorists. Often, the negligence of other drivers is the direct cause of motorcycle accidents that result in catastrophic injury. If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in a motorcycle accident, call the motorcycle accident attorneys at Fran Haasch Law Group today to ensure your rights are upheld. We represent injured bikers in St. Petersburg, as well as Sarasota, Bradenton, Port Charlotte, and Venice.
The Fran Haasch Law Group has actively supported the community for over 20 years and is a member of the St. Petersburg Area Chamber of Commerce (SPACC). Our legal team has helped several injured victims get the money they need to cover medical expenses, lost wages, and more. Contact one of our motorcycle accident attorneys today for a free consultation.
What Should I Do After a Motorcycle Accident in St. Petersburg, FL?
If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident, it is imperative to take the following steps:
- Immediately get medical treatment for your injuries at the local St. Petersburg hospital. Even if you think you are okay, you could have a severe injury that is not immediately evident.
- Take photos of the accident scene.
- Get the other driver’s name, phone number, and insurance information of the other driver.
- Get the names and phone numbers of any witnesses.
- You may need to request an accident report from the St. Petersburg Police Department located at 1301 1st Ave N or by visiting their website and requesting online.
- Do not speak to the other driver’s insurance company or agree to any settlements. Doing so could disqualify you from claiming any future compensation.
- Call the motorcycle accident injury lawyers at Fran Haasch Law Group, or contact us online 24 hours a day.
Do I Really Need a St. Petersburg Motorcycle Accident Attorney?
If you or someone you love has suffered serious injuries in a motorcycle crash because of someone else’s reckless or negligent behavior, consult a motorcycle accident lawyer. It is not worth it to take your chances and try to negotiate a settlement with insurance companies on your own when so much is at stake.
A 2017 AAA Consumer Pulse survey ranked Pinellas County as the fifth most dangerous of all 67 Florida counties for motorcycle fatalities. Survivors of motorcycle crashes often suffer from traumatic and life-changing injuries and a host of associated hardships: outstanding medical bills, lost wages, property damage, and the costs of ongoing medical care, not to mention mental anguish and other personal losses.
Do not be fooled into thinking insurance companies are so generous that they will gladly shell out all the compensation you deserve for your pain and suffering. On the contrary, their primary objective is getting away with paying you as little money as they can.
Retaining a motorcycle accident attorney with a proven record is essential. The Fran Haasch Law Group is ready to compassionately and expertly help you navigate the emotional and legal complexities of your motorcycle accident case.
Determining Liability for Your St. Petersburg Motorcycle Accident
Motorcyclists have the same responsibility to obey the law and practice safe driving as everyone else on the road. They can certainly be responsible for an accident if they are reckless. But the truth is, as the FDOT data shows, that drivers of other vehicles are most often at fault. Usually, the accident is caused by the failure of another car to yield the right of way to a motorcycle.
In motorcycle accidents, it is not uncommon for the driver of the other car and their insurance company to accuse the motorcyclist of engaging in high-risk activity and blame them for being at fault for the collision.
However, when you have an experienced lawyer from the Fran Haasch Law Group in your corner, you can rest assured that they will perform a prompt and comprehensive investigation to discover who is responsible for your accident and the damages you are owed. Our firm will thoroughly research all available evidence to prove you were not at fault, including:
- Photographs of the accident scene
- Any available video footage
- Police reports from the accident
- Witness statements
- Medical records
- Expert testimony from accident scene investigators
In March 2023, HB 837 changed the fault system in Florida from pure comparative fault to a “greater percentage of fault” model. This means that if a party is considered more than 50% responsible for their own harm, they will not be able to recover any damages, no matter how significant their injuries, medical bills, and other damages are.
For example if you are awarded $100,000 in damages but are found to be 40% at fault, you would only receive $60,000. If you were 51% at fault, you would not recover any damages.
This is why it is so crucial to have an experienced attorney fighting for you who can help you prove that the other party was at greater fault for the accident.
Determining What Your St. Petersburg Motorcycle Accident Case Is Worth
You may be entitled to financial compensation for your motorcycle accident injury and losses. Still, only a proper review of your case with an experienced law firm can tell you how much.
Contact the Fran Haasch Law Group motorcycle accident lawyers for a free consultation. Motorcycle accidents are one of our primary practice areas. We are fierce advocates for accident victims and will gladly provide you with an estimation of what your claim could be worth.
Determining the Types of Compensation You’re Entitled To
Motorcycle accident cases can be catastrophic and life-altering. Everything from your finances and future to your physical and mental health can be turned upside down in a moment. If you’ve been injured due to someone else’s negligence, you may be able to claim compensation for the following damages:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Property damage
- Lost earning capacity due to disability
- Future medical expenses
- Pain and suffering
How Long After an Accident Do I Have to Find a St. Petersburg Motorcycle Accident Lawyer?
The statute of limitations to take legal action for a motorcycle accident in Florida is two years. Suppose you want to file a lawsuit and consult a motorcycle accident lawyer. In that case, you should do so immediately after your accident. Two years may seem like a long time, but the legal process of investigating your case and pursuing compensation can also take a long time.
Florida Motorcycle Accident Statistics
Crash data compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) Fatality Analysis Reporting System listed the top 10 deadliest roads in the US by the number of fatalities. A whopping 5 of said roads are in Florida, with US-41 and I-75 in nearby Hillsborough County being two of them.
There are nearly 600,000 motorcycle registrations in the state of Florida. In 2021, there were 8,638 motorcycle crashes in Florida, according to Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV), with 593 of those resulting in a fatality.
Between 2018 and 2020, there was an average of 447 motorcycle crashes each year, including 23 fatalities and 394 injuries.
A State Highway Safety Offices report shows that Florida had the highest number of motorcycle fatalities in the country in 2016 and 2017, leading all fifty states with 574.
Are Motorcycle Crashes More Dangerous?
Yes. Although there are risks to traveling in any motor vehicle, driving a motorcycle brings its unique set of dangers, and bikers are well aware of them. Motorcycle accidents cause grievous injury far more often than accidents involving other types of vehicles, and negligent automobile drivers are a significant source of the problem.
Why Are Motorcycle Accident Injuries More Likely?
While riding a motorcycle can inspire an exhilarating feeling of freedom, there are undeniable added dangers to this mode of transportation. For example, bikers are not secured to their vehicles. Therefore, they are more likely to be thrown if struck by another automobile. Unlike car and truck drivers, bikers also lack a protective vehicle body that includes heavy steel or aluminum doors, seatbelts, and airbags.
The lack of these protections and the comparative lightness of a motorcycle to standard cars and trucks means that motorcyclists often experience significant injuries when involved in a collision. Even with proper safety gear, the most experienced motorcyclists could end up seriously hurt or even have their lives cut short by a careless driver instantly.
Common St. Petersburg Motorcycle Accident Injuries
Injuries resulting from motorcycle collisions can be severe due to the increased vulnerability of motorcycle riders. Motorcyclists are 27 times more likely to be killed than passenger car occupants in a crash. At the law firm of Fran Haasch, we have frequently sought compensation on behalf of motorcycle accident victims for the following types of injuries:
- Spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Internal bleeding and damage to internal organs
- Broken bones and fractures
- Severe lacerations
- Neck and back injuries
- Road rash/skin abrasions
The Perils of Left Turns
A recent study by the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) reveals that drivers of other vehicles are responsible for motorcycle accidents approximately 60% of the time. Unfortunately, while most motorcycle riders are taught to be highly aware of the vehicles around them, the same cannot always be said of other motor vehicle drivers.
An incredible 42% of fatal motorcycle crashes involving an automobile occurred when the automobile turned left while the motorcycle was going straight, passing, or overtaking it. Because of this, motorcyclists are most at risk when approaching a dangerous intersection where a car or truck is making a left turn in front of them. It is the number one type of motorcycle accident.
Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents in St. Petersburg, Florida
Like car accidents, motorcycle accidents can happen for various reasons, but the primary cause is driver negligence. Some common types of driver negligence include:
- Distracted driving
- Disobeying traffic signs or signals
- Following too closely
- Failure to check blind spots
- Failure to use turn signals
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Unsafe lane changes
While the following are less common than driver negligence as the cause of a motorcycle crash, one or more of these other types of negligence may be factors responsible for your accident. A savvy motorcycle accident lawyer knows to research all possible causes thoroughly.
Vehicle Manufacturer or Design Defect
A motorcycle accident can also result from a defective vehicle design or manufacture. In these situations, a manufacturer or retailer could be held liable if the defect is determined to cause an accident. Common types of vehicle defects include:
- Faulty brakes
- Defective tires
- Engine failure
- Fuel system defects
- Faulty handlebars/steering
Vehicle Repair or Maintenance Defect
Like a manufacturer being held liable for a failed component, a body shop or mechanic can also be held responsible for an accident if it is determined that negligent repair work or maintenance was the cause. Examples of repair work or maintenance defects include:
- Failure to replace broken or worn parts
- Using old, damaged, or defective replacement parts
- Failure to perform necessary or requested maintenance
- Leaving foreign objects in the motorcycle (such as rags or tools) after maintenance completion
Road Construction or Maintenance Defect
Motorcycle riders are more susceptible to accidents caused by dangerous road conditions and other hazards. In certain circumstances, cities and municipalities charged with road design, construction, and upkeep could be held liable if it is determined they were negligent in these duties and said negligence was the cause of an accident. Common types of road construction and maintenance defects include:
- Deteriorating asphalt
- Road debris
- Improperly marked construction
- Inadequate lane markings
- Poor drainage
- Malfunctioning stoplights
Specific legal rules apply when pursuing claims involving Florida roadways and government entities.
As you can surmise from those mentioned above, it is crucial to have an experienced motorcycle accident attorney who thoroughly understands these legal complexities and won’t back down from holding powerful or aggressive defendants accountable.
The skilled St. Petersburg motorcycle accident attorneys at the Fran Haasch Law Group are well-versed in investigating all potential accident causes and liable parties. We fight for our clients to get the compensation they deserve. We are unafraid to take a motorcycle accident case to trial when necessary. Call us today for a free case evaluation.
Motorcycle Accident Prevention and Safety Tips
Although most motorcyclists are well versed in safe riding practices, it bears repeating because nothing is more precious than your life.
- Never drink and drive. 27% of fatal motorcycle crashes involve alcohol.
- Practice defensive driving.
- Be aware of the weather, road conditions, and other drivers.
- Wear appropriate safety gear, including a helmet, even if not legally required.
- Don’t speed– it’s a factor in 33% of motorcycle fatalities.
- Do not engage in lane splitting (riding between lanes of traffic moving in the same direction). It is a dangerous and illegal practice in Florida.
- Make yourself visible to other drivers, and use common sense.
How Can the St. Petersburg Motorcycle Accident Lawyers at the Fran Haasch Law Group Help Me?
Knowing your rights is essential if you or a loved one have been injured. Our St. Petersburg motorcycle accident lawyers understand what it’s like to share the road with negligent drivers because personal injury law isn’t just one of our practice areas–we’re avid bikers ourselves. We take getting justice for our clients seriously, and we back down from no insurance company.
The motorcycle accident lawyers at the Fran Haasch Law Group have a proven record of standing up for injured motorcycle accident victims. If you’ve suffered injuries from a collision that was someone else’s fault in St. Petersburg, FL, you deserve to have your medical expenses and personal losses compensated. We are on your side and do not collect a dime unless you receive compensation for your claim. Our injury lawyers will gladly provide a free consultation and answer any questions about your case. Contact us today.