Palm Harbor Motorcycle Accident Attorney
Protecting Victims’ Rights After Motorcycle Crashes in Palm Harbor
According to the Insurance Information Institute, motorcyclists are more likely than car drivers to suffer injuries in accidents due to their increased vulnerabilities. And while the number of registered motorcycles in Palm Harbor and Northern Pinellas County has slowly increased over the past decade, statewide registration has soared by 16% to nearly 600,000 registered riders.
As motorcycle ridership increases across Florida, so do motorcycle crash fatalities. A 2017 AAA Consumer Pulse Survey ranked Florida’s 67 counties based on motorcycle fatality crash data and placed Palm Harbor and Pinellas County as the fifth most dangerous location for motorcycle deaths. The serious and life-altering injuries after a crash often require the help of an experienced Palm Harbor motorcycle accident lawyer who can help you maximize your financial recovery.
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How The Fran Haasch Law Group Can Help with Your Palm Harbor Motorcycle Accident Case
If you were injured in a crash as a result of someone else’s reckless or negligent behavior, call our legal experts at (727) 784-8191 or contact us online for a free, no-risk case evaluation with one of our motorcycle accident attorneys in Palm Harbor.
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What is an Average Settlement for a Motorcycle Accident in Palm Harbor?
Settlements represent a type of resolution based on compensation paid to an injured party outside of the courtroom. Determining the settlement value of your motorcycle accident claim involves calculating several factors, including your insurance policy, who was at fault, and the severity of your injuries and property damage. All of these factors vary and consulting with an experienced Palm Harbor motorcycle accident lawyer can help you understand if the following options are available for recovery:
Economic damages from a motorcycle accident may include:
- Current and/or past medical bills related to treatment
- Future medical treatment expenses
- Lost wages from time missed at work
- Lost or diminished earnings due to an accident-related injury
Non-economic damages from a motorcycle accident may include:
- Emotional and physical pain and suffering as a result of an accident
- Physical disfigurement and impairment
- Loss of companionship damages in the case of a wrongful death
The Fran Haasch Law Group Case Results
$4,000,000 Award for Motorcycle Injury Case
Pinellas County, FL – A 44-year-old man was riding his motorcycle when the defendant initiated a left turn across the pathway of the client. This caused a collision and ejected him off of the motorcycle, which resulted in a leg amputation.
$4,000,000 Award for Motorcycle Injury Case
Pinellas County, FL – A 43-year-old man sustained multiple foot, hip and leg fractures which resulted in a leg amputation.
$3,010,000 Award for Motorcycle Injury Case
Pinellas County, FL – A male motorcycle driver was severely injured when the defendant made an illegal U-turn in front of him. The amount reflects the total available insurance.
Does Florida’s No-Fault System Affect How Much My Case is Worth?
Under Florida’s no-fault system, personal injury protection (PIP) insurance does not apply to motorcycle accidents. And state-required minimum bodily injury insurance may not be enough to cover serious personal injuries and property damage. These factors render motorcyclists financially vulnerable after a collision, but Florida’s no-fault law can actually increase or decrease your potential compensation based on answers to the following three questions:
1. How Serious Were Your Injuries?
Without a protective shell, motorcyclists are more susceptible to serious injuries. Typically, the more severe the injury and property damage, the higher the claim’s value. For example, surgery typically increases the full value of a case, which means that injuries such as fractured or broken bones are worth more than soft tissue injuries.
2. Who Was At Fault?
When another driver’s reckless or negligent actions cause a motorcycle accident in Palm Harbor, Florida law allows the injured party to recover damages. However, the full value of your settlement can be reduced by the percentage of fault by each party. Even if you were partially at fault at the time of the accident by speeding, improperly turning, or failing to follow Florida’s traffic laws, it does not rule out your ability to make a rightful claim.
3. Has the Motorcycle Accident Negatively Impacted Your Life?
More than any other type of vehicle accident, motorcyclists are the most likely to suffer long-term injuries. However, motorcycle riders can obtain pain and suffering damages after an accident without having to prove a permanent injury because PIP insurance does not offer motorcycle coverage. Generally speaking, when an accident impacts your earning capacity and reduces your quality of life, the value of your damages increases.
What Are Common Injuries from Motorcycle Accidents?
- Motorcycles are not as stable and lack the visibility of a passenger car, but they still have high performance capacity and speed. Without the protections of a passenger vehicle, including airbags and crash absorption systems, the number of deaths for riders has been calculated at 29 times higher than the number for passenger vehicles. The following are the most common severe injuries for which people seek compensation in a motorcycle accident claim:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Road rash
- Foot and leg fractures
- Severe lacerations
- Internal bleeding
- Permanent nerve damage
- Torso and pelvic trauma
How Wearing a Helmet Affects Motorcycle Accident Claims
In both fatal and non-fatal motorcycle accidents, a head injury can pose the most risk to a victim. For this reason, the federal government has issued safety suggestions that all riders wear a helmet, estimating that they are 67 percent effective in preventing brain injuries.
However, Florida’s Motor Vehicle statutes do not mandate that all motorcyclists wear helmets. In fact, Florida repealed its universal helmet law in 2000. This allows all riders over 21 years of age to opt out of helmet use so long as they carry medical insurance of at least $10,000.
Generally speaking, the impact of wearing or not wearing a helmet depends largely on where your injuries occur. If the impact from the accident causes you to sustain a back injury or a broken leg, it is unlikely that a helmet would make a difference to your case since it would not have prevented such an injury. However, if you sustain a TBI while not wearing a helmet, the driver may use Florida’s comparative negligence principle to claim that you were partially at fault for the resulting injuries.
FLHSMV Palm Harbor Motorcycle Accidents Involving Injuries
Reported motorcycle accidents in Palm Harbor and surrounding Pinellas County involving injuries such as broken bones, severed limbs, bruises, abrasions and other conditions.
Motorcycle Accident FAQ
After a Palm Harbor motorcycle accident, you likely have questions. The following are some of the most frequently asked questions regarding motorcycle accidents in Northern Pinellas County.
Even if you wear a helmet and take all appropriate safety precautions when riding, motorcycle accidents may still happen through no fault of your own. If you are involved in a motorcycle crash, here is what you should do to protect your rights:
- Get to the side of the road. Move to safety away from traffic.
- Assess whether anyone needs medical attention. Call for emergency services if anyone involved requires medical help, even for injuries that seem minor. Retain all medical records as proof that the accident caused you harm.
- Call the police. The official police report can be used as supporting evidence that you were not at-fault in the crash.
- Do not remove your helmet or gear. Refrain from taking off your protective gear until after you have been seen by paramedics as the helmet could be providing additional head and spine support.
- Do not apologize or admit fault. Even a simple apology can be used against you to determine fault.
- Exchange information. Collect the other driver’s vehicle information, insurance information, and contact information.
- Consult a Palm Harbor motorcycle accident lawyer. Motorcycle accidents involve complex insurance requirements and biases that often require the help of professional legal counsel.
While accepting the first offer from an insurance company may mean faster recovery of some funds, it may not fully account for your damages or future costs and losses. Sometimes injuries become more complicated or serious as time progresses, requiring surgery, hospitalization, or physical therapy months after an accident.
Initial insurance settlement offers are also notoriously low because insurance companies attempt to avoid paying out full damages. Experienced motorcycle accident attorneys at The Fran Haasch Law Group understand insurance company tactics and can skillfully negotiate to get you fair compensation.
Florida’s Financial Responsibility Law applies to all motor vehicles in Florida, including motorcycles. Even if you have a PIP policy for your truck or passenger vehicle, it does not extend to your motorcycle. And because motorcycle accidents in Palm Harbor are often serious or life-threatening, the financial risk is even greater. This means you have three options to ensure coverage:
- Purchase liability insurance from a licensed Florida insurance carrier
- Obtain a Financial Responsibility Certificate with the DHSMV
- Secure a Self-Insurance Certificate from the Bureau of Financial Responsibility
Failure to carry property damage and bodily injury liability insurance in case of a motorcycle accident may result in loss of license, loss of tag and registration or restitution or civil court judgement.
In Florida, the personal injury statute of limitations allows victims four years to file a personal injury suit from the date of the accident. There are some exceptions to this rule.
While four years seems like ample time, evidence can be difficult to preserve and witnesses may move away. It also takes time for a Palm Harbor motorcycle accident attorney to gather evidence, talk to expert witnesses, and organize a strong case.
A number of variables determine exactly how long it may take to reach a settlement for each unique case, including how much time has passed since your accident, the type of injury you sustained, and the type of claim you have filed.
After investigating the details of your case, a motorcycle crash attorney can give you a more accurate prediction of how long it may take to reach a settlement. Some straightforward cases may take only a few weeks to achieve a settlement, while other cases that require more litigation may take several months to a year.
While Florida law does not require that you hire a motorcycle accident lawyer, crash cases that involve injuries can be complicated to handle without professional legal counsel. It is in your best interest to hire a motorcycle accident lawyer if you suffered serious injuries that impact your life due to medical expenses, lost time at work, and pain and suffering.
Permanent injuries such as amputation, paralysis, or traumatic brain injury may even require types of compensation you may not consider such as additional financial assistance for permanent modifications to your home or your vehicle. After a Palm Harbor motorcycle accident, you want to contact an attorney as soon as possible to avoid unfair settlement offers and outright denials of your claim.
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Call an Experienced Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
Navigating Florida’s complex comparative fault and PIP guidelines can be exhausting after a motorcycle accident injury. At The Fran Haasch Law Group, our lawyers will guide you through Florida’s complex laws and seek the compensation you deserve for your injuries.
The Palm Harbor motorcycle injury attorneys at our office can provide you with advice and counsel on your legal options after an accident. Contact us today to schedule a free, no-risk consultation by calling (727) 784-8191 or contact us online.