Did you suffer an injury in a Clearwater motorcycle accident? Perhaps someone rear-ended your bike on Belcher Road? Maybe a car sideswiped you while riding across the Skyway Bridge? No matter where your accident occurred or how it happened, you need someone on your side from the very start.
Motorcycles have a reputation for being fun, convenient, and less expensive to operate than a car. However, there are drawbacks to motorcycle riding as well. Motorcyclists are less visible to other drivers, and their lack of protection from the elements and external forces means they have a heightened risk of serious and potentially fatal injuries if they are involved in an accident.
If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident caused by the negligence or recklessness of someone else, you don’t just need any experienced Clearwater motorcycle lawyer on your side – you need Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA.
Our Clearwater Motorcycle Accident Attorneys
Motorcyclists in Clearwater need a law firm on their side that understands the complexities of motorcycle crashes. Motorcyclists often face unfair biases from insurance adjusters after an accident. These biases can directly affect the amount of compensation you receive. That isn’t fair and we fight aggressive to make sure our injured clients get the compensation they deserve.
If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident caused by the negligence or recklessness of another motorist, or by a defective motorcycle or part, you may feel overwhelmed. Clearwater motorcycle accidents may have serious physical, emotional, and financial consequences, and you should not have to deal with insurance companies and the other parties alone. As such, it is important to speak to one of our experienced Clearwater motorcycle lawyers as soon as possible. It is our job to represent you through negotiations and help you navigate the legal process. Together we work with your medical team to achieve fair settlements that directly reflect the injuries you suffered.
Our motorcycle accident attorneys are also not afraid to take cases to court and advocate for our client’s rights if litigation becomes necessary. Getting justice, whether through a settlement or a verdict and award of damages, may take months or even years. Don’t wait to get help for your case.
The experienced Clearwater motorcycle accident attorneys at Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA pride themselves on providing big law firm results with the personal attention of a small firm. We analyze the facts of every case, identify all potential claims, and use every available to tool to calculate accurate damages, both already incurred and anticipated.
While past results are no guarantee of future outcomes, some of the settlements and awards we have secured for our clients include:
- $1.4 million for a motorcycle accident victim who suffered serious injuries
- $1 million for a motorcycle accident victim who suffered a TBI
- $750,000 for a motorcycle victim who had injuries that included a subdural hematoma and a rotator cuff shoulder injury. As a result of the head injury, he suffered loss of his executive functions, irritability, memory loss, and issues with concentration.
- $320,000 for a motorcycle victim who had to undergo a one-level cervical spine fusion surgery. The case required eight months of litigation due to the low settlement offered by the insurance company.
Local Clearwater Motorcycle Accident Lawyers You Can Trust
We might be a large law firm, but we are also a local law firm that knows Clearwater laws inside and out. We know the roads, intersections, and interstates where your accident occurred. We know the insurance companies and the courts that might be a part of your claim. This local presence allows us to provide strong support for injured motorcycle accident victims.
Our office is located at 800 N. Belcher Rd in Clearwater, just a few blocks from NE Coachman Rd. We are between the Landings Golf Course and Coachman Ridge Park. This convenient location means that we can be with you at a moment’s notice. Our Clearwater motorcycle accident attorneys can come to your home, your office, or even your hospital room when you call us to schedule your FREE initial consultation. We can also meet virtually if that works best for you and your family.
Let us take the legal burdens off of your shoulders after a Clearwater motorcycle accident. If you have any other questions about your Clearwater motorcycle accident injury or want to schedule a free consultation with an auto accident attorney in Clearwater, feel free to call our office at (866) 345-2391, shoot us an email.
Filing a Personal Injury Claim in Clearwater
If you have been involved in a motorcycle accident in Clearwater, regardless of the facts, you may have to negotiate with one or more insurance companies. If the insurance company fails to offer a fair settlement for all damages, you may file a personal injury claim against all parties who caused or contributed the accident by their negligence or recklessness. Speak to an experienced motorcycle lawyer as soon as possible if you need to file a personal injury claim.
There are several important Clearwater laws that may impact personal injury claims generally and motorcycle accidents specifically, including:
- No Personal injury protection (PIP): PIP coverage is mandatory for all owners of four-wheeled vehicles in Florida. However, the coverage is not required for motorcycles, and does not cover motorcycle riders or their passengers. This is true even if the motorcycle rider has purchased PIP for another vehicle that they own. Because PIP is not available for motorcyclists, they are excluded from coverage of up to $10,000 for emergency medical costs. However, motorcyclists are able to seek compensation from another motorist’s insurance carrier without having to meet the threshold of permanent injuries.
- Statute of limitations: Motorcyclists who have been injured in an accident caused by the negligence or recklessness of another person have up to four years to file a personal injury claim. Absent any applicable exceptions, a victim who fails to file within the four year statute of limitations may be precluded from pursuing any claims.
- Comparative negligence: Florida is one of many states with a comparative negligence rule. That means that anytime a victim has at least partial blame for the accident that caused their injuries, any award they may ultimately receive will be reduced by their percentage of blame. For example, if a victim is determined to be 30 percent responsible for their accident, and a jury awards them $100,000 in damages, the court will order that they receive only $70,000.
- Punitive damages caps: Punitive damages are reserved for only the most egregious cases of negligence or recklessness, and are rarely awarded. Designed to both punish the defendant or wrongdoer for their actions and to deter others, punitive damages are capped at three times the amount of compensatory damages or up to $500,000, whichever amount is greater.
- Compensatory damages: Compensatory damages may be economic or non-economic, and may include (but are not limited to) past, current, and future medical expenses; lost wages; loss of income; property loss; permanent disfigurement or disability; costs of hiring help for household services; emotional distress; pain and suffering; and loss of consortium.
- Joint and several liability: Joint and several liability means a victim may seek compensation for damages from multiple parties if they each have at least 10 percent responsibility for the accident.
- Strict liability: If a product or part that was used on a victim’s motorcycle is found to have been defective, and those defects were at least partially to blame for the accident, the manufacturer, distributor, and retailer of those products may have strict liability for damages. That means a victim does not have to prove negligence, only that the part was defective and resulted in injury.
How Do Clearwater Motorcycle Accidents Happen?
With more than 21 million residents and approximately 86 million yearly visitors, Florida highways and city streets are busy—and sometimes dangerous. The careless actions of just one driver can forever change a Clearwater motorcyclist’s life. While there are many factors that may lead to a motorcycle accident, some of the most common scenarios include:
- Head-on collisions: A head-on collision between a motorcycle and car carries the highest risk of fatality for the rider. These accidents often occur at high speeds, and may be caused by either the driver of the car or the motorcycle rider veering into a lane of oncoming traffic.
- Cars making left-hand turns: The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) explains one-third of all multi-vehicle motorcycle crashes (those involving a motorcycle and at least one other vehicle) occur when a motorist making a left-hand turn drives into the path of the motorcycle. Motorcycles are less visible than other vehicles, and many motorists involved in these types of accidents later report that they did not see the motorcycle when they committed to making the turn. Forty-two percent of motorcycle crashes occur in intersections where a motor vehicle is turning left, and a motorcycle is traveling straight, passing, or overtaking.
- Lane splitting: Lane splitting is where a motorcycle rider drives between two lanes of stopped or slow-moving cars. Lane splitting is not legal in Florida, although it is legal in some other states. If an accident occurs while a motorcyclist is lane splitting, they may be partially or completely liable for damages.
Other driver behaviors that can result in a motorcycle accident include:
- Failing to adjust a vehicle’s mirrors: Nearly half of the area surrounding a vehicle contains blind spots. The narrow profile of a motorcycle makes it difficult to see without adjusting the vehicle mirrors.
- Unfamiliarity with braking system: Motorcyclists tend to downshift or roll off the throttle rather than apply the brakes.
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol: A drugged or drunk driver can cause a motorcycle accident due to impaired judgment.
- Distracted driving: A driver may take their hands off the wheel, eyes off the road, and mind off driving by sending or receiving a text.
- Drowsy driving: Undiagnosed sleep disorder, medications, or not enough rest can result in a drowsy—and potentially—deadly driver.
- Aggressive driving: Drivers may speed or engage in road rage that causes a motorcycle crash.
- Road hazards: This includes potholes, debris, and dangerous corners.
- Motorcycle defects: Faulty tires, braking systems, and steering components can all cause serious and fatal crashes.
- Speeding. Speeding by motorcyclists is especially risky because it gives riders less time to react to obstacles or hazards in the road, including other vehicles. Speeding by other drivers is also dangerous because motorcyclists have less opportunity to act defensively and avoid accidents.
Negligence is at the core of each example listed above. If you suffered life-changing injuries due to a reckless driver, our team can help you. We fight for compensation and justice and stand by you throughout the legal process.
Common Injuries Suffered in Clearwater Motorcycle Accidents
Motorcycle riders in Clearwater do not have the benefit of the protections offered by other types of vehicles. The lack of airbags, seatbelts, the stability of four wheels, steel framing, and other physical barriers means motorcyclists are at high risk for serious and multiple injuries if an accident occurs. In fact, NHTSA reports 80 percent of all motorcycle crashes involve injuries to or the death of the motorcycle rider.
Some of the common injuries caused by motorcycle accidents include:
- Road rash, caused by contact with rough surfaces
- Internal injuries and bleeding
- Disfigurement and scarring
- Cuts and bruises
- Facial fractures
- Broken bones
- Traumatic amputation
- Traumatic brain injuries (the leading cause of death in motorcycle accidents)
- Spinal cord injuries, including complete or partial paralysis
- Muscle damage
- Burn injuries, often caused by gas tank spillage
Facts About Clearwater Motorcycle Accidents
- More than eight million motorcycles are registered in the United States and travel more than 20 million miles each year.
- Motorcycle riders are 28 times more likely to be killed in an accident than drivers of other types of vehicles, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
- In 2016, 5,286 people died in motorcycle crashes–the highest number since 2008–and a 5 percent increase over 2015.
- The most common time of day for a motorcyclist to be injured in an accident is between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. Fatal motorcycle accidents are most common between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. More motorcycle accidents happen on weekdays than on weekends.
- Older riders are more likely to sustain serious injuries in a motorcycle accident.
- Supersport motorcycles, designed for racing and modified for street use, are popular with younger riders and produce death rates four times higher than other types of motorcycles. They also have the highest overall collision losses.
- Direct costs of motorcycle accidents, including emergency services, medical costs, property damage, and loss of market productivity, are around $16 billion each year.
The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles provides these statewide statistics:
- In 2017, there were 9,707 motorcycle crashes, resulting in 515 fatalities and 7,725 injuries. Despite these numbers, there was actually a 6 percent decrease in crashes and injuries compared to 2016.
- Fatalities to motorcycle passengers increased over 23 percent in a year-over-year comparison between 2016 and 2017.
- In 2017, 2,139 motorcycle riders suffered incapacitating injuries in accidents, and another 3,521 suffered non-incapacitating injuries.
In Pinellas County, where Clearwater is located, motorcycle crashes and injuries are on the rise in recent years. Crashes have increased from 590 to 625 and injuries from 456 to 507 in a three-year period. Fatalities have hovered around 26 during that time.
Clearwater Motorcycle Accident FAQs: What You Need to Know For Pursuing Legal Action
Operating a motorcycle requires skill and an awareness of other drivers. Unfortunately, no matter how careful you navigate your motorcycle along Clearwater streets or Florida highways, one reckless driver can change your life.
Serious motorcycle injuries or the death of a loved one can cause physical and emotional pain, along with financial hardship. Sibley Dolman Gipe, Accident Injury Lawyers, PA provides motorcycle accident victims throughout our Clearwater community with support in their fight for the justice they deserve and the compensation they need.
If you suffered life-altering harm due to a negligent driver in Clearwater, a motorcycle accident lawyer from our team can help you.
What constitutes negligence?
Clearwater residents and visitors alike have a responsibility to share the road. When another driver fails to use care behind the wheel, they place motorcyclists at risk for serious injuries and possible death.
Negligence means failing to use the same type of care a reasonably prudent person would use in like circumstances. The training required to obtain a Florida motorcycle license cannot prevent another driver’s unexpected and reckless actions.
A negligent driver who abuses the privilege of a driver’s license may face criminal charges for your accident. Pursuing compensation by filing a motorcycle accident injury claim and lawsuit remains your right under state law.
At Sibley Dolman Gipe, Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, we can investigate your accident to identify the negligent driver and to pursue compensation on your behalf.
When is it time to consider a Clearwater motorcycle accident injury lawsuit?
Civil claims and lawsuits sometimes settle out of court. A motorcycle accident injury or wrongful death case typically begins by negotiating with an insurance company for a fair settlement. The negotiation process is important for both sides. It can save time and money by providing both avoiding a possible trial. When both sides agree on a settlement, the claim closes, and your case is over.
As motorcycle accident lawyers, we know how insurance companies operate. Protecting profits is a common goal of most insurance adjusters. Their ultimate goal is to settle for the least amount possible —or to deny your claim.
A civil lawsuit is a possibility if insurance company negotiations are unsuccessful. Sibley Dolman Gipe, Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, has the trial experience necessary to present your case before a judge and jury if required. Insurance company negotiations sometimes fail due to insurance companies wanting to protect their best interests. Our team works hard to protect your best interests and by not settling for less than you deserve.
What damages can I recover for my Clearwater motorcycle accident?
The severe injuries possible in a motorcycle accident can result in massive medical costs. A long recovery—or permanent disability—may prevent you from working. The anxiety you feel as you face bills you cannot pay is understandable.
A motorcycle accident lawyer from our team can fight for the compensation that covers most, if not all, of your damages. It is important to note that no one motorcycle case is alike. There is no way to predict the outcome of your civil action.
The types of damages generally included in a motorcycle accident injury case include:
- Medical costs: From air ambulances to hospital fees, surgeons’ fees, procedures, and treatments are expensive.
- Continuous medical costs: Long-term costs associated with such medical care as rehabilitation, therapies, and medications.
- Lost wages: Income lost due to your inability to work.
- Potential future earnings: The income possible had your injuries not prevented you from working.
- Pain and suffering:The mental anguish you experience due to the driver’s negligence.
Your lawyer will determine the best approach for seeking the most compensation possible. Communication with clients is important to us, and we will keep you informed of any developments.
The responsible party should pay for your accident expenses and losses, not you. Get the help you need for your motorcycle accident injuries by contacting Sibley Dolman Gipe, Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, today for a free case evaluation.
Can I sue for a fatal accident?
You can sue for a fatal accident if you had a close relationship with the decedent. Surviving spouses, parents, and children are examples of those potentially eligible for filing a wrongful death claim and lawsuit.
A fatal motorcycle accident that claims the life of a loved one is extremely tragic. The fact that your loved one died doing something they loved in an accident that was likely preventable is maddening.
Upset and emotional stress make it difficult to manage your wrongful death case alone.
A wrongful death attorney can fight for justice on behalf of your loved one and pursue compensation for:
- Final medical expenses for your loved one
- Funeral expenses and burial costs
- The wages lost by your loved one’s death
- The loss of potential income
Your damages may include losses that have no monetary value, but that was priceless to you. A settlement or jury award for the loss of companionship is possible in a wrongful death case.
An attorney understands how difficult the sudden news of your loss is for you and your family. At Sibley Dolman Gipe, Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, we remain by your side as we fight to secure an outcome that honors your loved one—and covers your damages.
How soon do I need to contact a Clearwater motorcycle accident lawyer?
There is a good reason why contacting a lawyer as soon as possible is crucial for your case. The statute of limitations refers to state law regarding how long you have to file a motorcycle accident injury or wrongful death case.
Failure to file your lawsuit promptly can prevent you from pursuing compensation forever. The pain, stress, and confusion you feel as you deal with your injuries can cause time to pass quickly. You may not realize what day, week, or month it is as you juggle multiple appointments and procedures.
In cases involving wrongful death, grief can overwhelm families who mourn the sudden loss of their loved one. Contacting our team for a free case evaluation is an important first step toward the healing process. We treat all clients with compassion and care during this most difficult time.
Let us start building your case today. Reach out for a free case evaluation by calling our Clearwater today.
How much do your Clearwater motorcycle accident lawyers cost?
At Sibley Dolman Gipe, Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, we require no down payment or retainer for our services. We work on a contingency fee basis, meaning we only collect our fee if and when we win your case.
This policy makes our services affordable for accident victims. Our team understands the financial hardship you face, whether you experienced serious injuries or lost a loved one.
Hold the responsible party accountable for their careless disregard of your safety or that of your loved one. We stand ready to help you fight for fair compensation and to protect you from aggressive insurance adjusters.
What can Sibley Dolman Gipe, Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, do for me?
The injury you experienced or the death of a loved one is tragic, unfair, and demands justice. You do not have to manage your case alone. Hiring a motorcycle lawyer to represent affords you the peace of mind necessary to rest.
Riding a motorcycle affords enthusiasts the freedom of the open road. It also places them at risk of encountering drivers who do not share the road. The outcome you experienced can forever impact your quality of life.
A free case evaluation provides you and us with an opportunity to learn more about moving forward. Should we proceed with your case, we will begin by closely examining all evidence relating to your crash.
You can help our team by providing us with:
- A police report from the accident
- Accident scene pictures and video
- Phone numbers for eyewitnesses
- A copy of your medical records
- Proof of lost income
The serious injuries that result from a motorcycle accident can make it impossible to collect the information above. If your injuries prevented you from gathering important evidence, our team can investigate and pursue evidence for your case. If you cannot come to us, we can come to you.
Healing is your top priority—protecting your best interests is ours. Insurance adjusters strike when accident victims are most vulnerable and in no position to make important decisions alone. No matter how friendly an insurance adjuster may seem, do not agree to nor sign anything.
Why should I choose your Clearwater motorcycle injury lawyers?
A motorcycle ride should not turn tragic, yet such accidents are far too common in the Clearwater area. The Department of Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles reports that more than 500 motorcycle accidents occurred in the region within a 12-month period.
One motorcycle accident is one too many. Medical costs and the loss of property—your motorcycle —can overburden you very quickly. Seek the legal help you need for your motorcycle accident injury or wrongful death action.
Our team understands how insurance companies try to confuse accident victims. We want to protect your best interests by using our skills to help with your case. Helping clients plan for a brighter and less stressful future is just one part of what we do.
Clients can contact us with questions and concerns as we journey together through the legal process. Regardless of whether you can—or want —to ride a motorcycle again, the damages you suffered deserve compensation.
Settling for less than you deserve can prevent you from seeking the medical attention you may need later. When your injuries or loss are the results of negligence, take action with our help.
Sibley Dolman Gipe, Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, is proud to represent Clearwater and Pinellas County motorcycle accident victims. Our past success includes a $1.4 million motorcycle accident settlement. This example does not guarantee nor predict the outcome of your case. It does, however, demonstrate our commitment to fighting and protecting our clients’ best interests.
If you suffered serious injuries or lost a loved one due to a motorcycle accident involving negligence, contact us. Time is of the essence, so do not delay taking the first step toward compensation for your Clearwater motorcycle accident damages.
Call the Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA Motorcycle Accident Attorneys Today
Motorcyclists are at greater risk for physical injuries and related financial losses than other types of motorists who have been involved in an accident.The Clearwater motorcycle accident lawyers at Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA are committed to providing professional representation and advocacy for the injured motorcyclists. Contact us today at (727) 451-6900 or online to schedule your free consultation and learn if we may be able to help you.
Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA
800 N Belcher Rd
Clearwater, FL 33765
Phone: (727) 451-6900
“AMAZING and understanding attorneys! Did great on my case and I highly recommend Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA for anyone that has been injured in an accident!”
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