Florida’s famously moderate climate makes it an ideal place for motorcycle enthusiasts to live and visit, as they are generally able to ride their bikes year round. As a result, on any given day there are likely thousands of motorcyclists riding on Florida’s various roadways. While riding a motorcycle is undoubtedly a thrilling and fuel-efficient way to travel, it also exposes riders to a significant risk of injury every time they ride. Because motorcyclists are not secured to their vehicles in any way, they can often be thrown from their bikes in the event of a collision. In addition, the lack of a vehicle body protecting motorcyclists often results in significant injuries when they are involved in accidents with other motor vehicles or if the hit stationary objects.
Fortunately, in many cases, victims of motorcycle accident can recover for their injuries and other losses by filing a Florida personal injury claim. A St. Petersburg Motorcycle Accident Attorney can help victims make sure that they obtain as much compensation as possible after a motorcycle accident and prevent insurance companies from pressuring victims into taking unreasonably low settlement offers and giving up their right to sue. To schedule a free consultation with an attorney at The Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, call our office today at (727) 451-6900.
What causes motorcycle accidents?
Data compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) indicates that more than 90,000 motorcyclists were injured in traffic accidents during 2012. These accidents can occur for a variety of reasons. Some of the most common are detailed below.
The negligence of other drivers
In many cases, the negligence of other motorists is a direct cause of motorcycle accidents, car accidents, and truck accidents. Examples of the types of driver negligence that can cause an a serious accident include distracted driving, speeding, failure to yield the right of way, and driving while impaired, as well as many others.
Defective vehicle design or manufacture
Defective vehicle design or manufacture of a motorcycle can result in serious accidents, as can defective vehicle design or manufacture of other vehicles that cause accidents involving motorcycles. In these situations, victims can often recover for their losses from the manufacturer or retailer that provided the vehicle that caused the accident. The kinds of vehicle defects that often lead to serious accidents include brake defects, tire defects, steering defects, and defects involving accelerators.
Negligently designed or maintained roads
Some accidents are attributable to poor road maintenance or design. For example, malfunctioning stoplights, inadequate signage, poor road drainage, or inadequate lane markings all could lead to serious accidents involving one or multiple vehicles. Because government entities are generally responsible for road design, construction, and maintenance, a special set of legal rules will often apply when pursuing a legal claim arising from an injury resulting from problems with Florida roadways. As a result, it is extremely important for victims to consult with an experienced attorney who has experienced pursuing personal injury claims against the government.
St. Petersburg Motorcycle Accident FAQ:
Important Information for When Your Ride Turns Tragic
Riding your motorcycle in St. Petersburg is a feeling like no other. The open road can serve as a stress reliever, whether you ride on the weekends or for your commute to work. The training you received cannot prepare you for the sudden actions of another driver. Knowing what steps to take after a motorcycle accident will be important if you decide to pursue civil action against the responsible driver. The following list of frequently asked questions can serve as a cursory guide for you in the event of an accident. Speak with an attorney for more information.
What if I am unsure if I was at fault in my St. Petersburg motorcycle accident?
The impact of a sudden motorcycle crash can have you questioning who caused the accident. It may be imperative that you do not admit fault or apologize for the accident. While it is human nature to want to tell an injured person you are sorry, such an apology is often interpreted as an admission of guilt.
If law enforcement needs more time to determine fault, you can still retain the services of a St. Petersburg motorcycle accident attorney. Your attorney could also investigate the accident to determine potential liability for your injuries.
The immediate aftermath of your motorcycle accident can create mixed emotions. You may feel angry, upset, and frightened. It is important to take a deep breath and accept medical assistance. Leave the accident investigation to responding officers and to your attorney.
Do I have to accept medical transport to the hospital after a St. Petersburg motorcycle accident?
Accepting the assistance of responding emergency medical technicians (EMTs) is a good idea for two key reasons:
- Some injuries do not exhibit outward signs of trauma, making it necessary for a doctor and any recommended tests to identify internal injuries.
- The medical treatment you receive could help your civil case later.
A motorcycle accident is such a frightening experience you may want to feel normal right afterward. Shock, however, is a serious medical condition that can not only mask pain but that can result in death.
Always accept medical transport to a hospital following your motorcycle accident, no matter how you feel.
What are the common types of St. Petersburg motorcycle accident injuries?
A motorcycle accident can result in a variety of injuries including:
- Spinal cord injury: Affects sensation and movement.
- Traumatic brain injury: Disrupts normal brain function.
- Broken bones: May require surgeries and therapy.
- Internal injuries: Can damage organs if left untreated.
- Burns: May require painful skin grafts and plastic surgery.
- Road rash/skin abrasions: Painful to clean, but necessary to prevent infection.
These are just a few examples of motorcycle accident injuries that could result in a long recovery or a permanent disability. Seeking immediate medical attention can be vital to ensuring you get the care your injuries require.
Your medical costs begin the moment you receive transport to the hospital. These costs continue to rise as you continue to be in immense pain and in dire need of life-saving measures. Seek the help you need, then give careful consideration to contacting a St. Petersburg motorcycle accident lawyer.
What types of driver behaviors contribute to St. Petersburg motorcycle accidents?
Motorcyclists and motorists have a responsibility to share the road.
When motorists take their driving privilege for granted and engage in one of the following behaviors, they may cause a motorcycle accident:
- Driving distracted: when a driver takes their hands off the wheel, their eyes off the road, or their mind off driving.
- Driving intoxicated: when a driver has a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08 percent or higher.
- Driving drowsy: driver drives with an undiagnosed sleep disorder or after extended hours with no rest.
- Driving aggressively: driver intentionally tailgates, an especially dangerous action behind a motorcycle.
Riding your motorcycle requires a dedication to your safe driving habits and the ability to react to any negligent actions of others. One sudden and unpredictable move by a car, SUV, or semi-truck can leave you with nowhere to go.
Apologies from the responsible driver will not pay your medical costs. The driver may feel terrible about what occurred, but proper care may have prevented your injuries. This is especially frustrating, and this is why contacting a St. Petersburg motorcycle accident lawyer could help ease some of the frustration.
To pursue a civil case, a lawyer must prove the responsible party was negligent. If another driver failed to use care, resulting in serious harm for you, consider pursuing compensation with the help of a licensed attorney.
What types of compensation are possible after St. Petersburg motorcycle accidents?
While compensation is never guaranteed, a St. Petersburg motorcycle accident lawyer may pursue compensation for:
- Medical expenses relating to your injuries
- Physical therapy, medications, rehabilitation, or other ongoing medical costs
- Your missed time from work and lost wages due to your injuries
- Your lost earning capacity if your injuries prevent you from returning to the same job as before
- Pain and suffering due to the mental anguish of your injuries
Regardless of whether you have medical insurance, you deserve to seek damages if your accident is the result of driver negligence. Holding the responsible driver accountable for their reckless actions can serve as a form of justice. This is especially true if you lose a close loved one in a motorcycle accident.
My loved one died in a St. Petersburg motorcycle accident. Could I sue?
You can generally pursue a wrongful death claim and lawsuit if you have one of the following relationships to the victim:
- Surviving spouse
A St. Petersburg motorcycle accident lawyer can determine if other options apply in your case. For example, pursuing compensation for the loss of companionship you suffer due to the death of a spouse may apply to your case. Wrongful death cases are highly emotional for family members, and St. Petersburg motorcycle accident lawyers understand this. They aim to treat their clients with compassion and care during a time of loss.
The unexpected expense of a funeral, and the loss of income from a spouse, can create great stress and anxiety. A wrongful death action may help to alleviate those feelings. No amount of money can replace your loved one; it may, however, help ease some worries about your future.
The pursuit of compensation typically begins by negotiating with an insurance company for the best settlement possible.
Should I speak with insurance companies alone after a St. Petersburg motorcycle accident?
Never speak with insurance companies without a Petersburg motorcycle accident lawyer. The insurance company representing the driver responsible for your injuries or loss may want to settle quickly for a reason. As a for-profit business, their goal can be to pay as little as possible on St. Petersburg motorcycle accident or wrongful death claims.
A settlement offer from an insurance company may seem appealing as you face mounting medical costs. What you need to know is this: Accepting the insurance company settlement can prevent you from seeking compensation in the future. If your medical condition worsens, this can leave you without the funds you need for your medical care.
St. Petersburg motorcycle accident lawyers can recognize when an insurance company is using a tactic designed to underpay an accident victim. A lawyer can help by countering this behavior on your behalf. If their attempt to settle your case out of court does not result in the compensation that they feel you deserve, your attorney could go to court on your behalf.
Why must I act quickly in pursuing legal action after a St. Petersburg motorcycle accident?
The reason for the urgency when it comes to legal action is because of the statute of limitations. State law imposes a strict deadline for how long an accident victim has to file their case.
A motorcycle accident that leaves you seriously injured, or that results in the death of a loved one, changes everything—your health, your finances, and your emotional state. It is easy to feel overwhelmed by these changes and to feel confused about what to do next.
Florida laws generally allow four years for St. Petersburg motorcycle accident cases and two years for wrongful death cases. The word “years” can instill a false sense of security and make you think that there is plenty of time to contact a St. Petersburg motorcycle accident lawyer.
From a free case evaluation to pursuing compensation in a possible trial, the time can pass before you know it. If you miss the deadline required by the statute of limitations, you may not have another chance to pursue possible compensation. Securing the services of a licensed St. Petersburg motorcycle accident lawyer could help ensure that your case meets all deadlines required by state law.
How can I help my St. Petersburg motorcycle accident case?
There are ways you can help a St. Petersburg motorcycle accident attorney with your case. Your smartphone may contain images of the accident scene that your attorney may find useful for your case. Your phone may also contain contact information for witnesses. A St. Petersburg motorcycle accident lawyer can also help your case by interviewing witnesses soon after the accident—while their memory is still fresh.
Other ways you can help your case include:
- Providing your lawyer with copies of your medical reports
- Refraining from posting information on social media
When you experience a serious motorcycle accident in St. Petersburg, friends and family may question you about it. Sharing as little information as possible and refraining from posting about your accident on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram is advisable.
Any information you share could potentially hurt your civil case. Protect your best interests by not posting any information that an insurance company may use against you, or to blame you for the accident.
Can I afford a St. Petersburg motorcycle accident lawyer?
Our St. Petersburg motorcycle accident attorneys work on a contingency fee basis. And, the reality is that with today’s rising medical costs, you cannot afford not to contact our St. Petersburg motorcycle accident lawyers. A serious injury that results in a permanent disability changes your financial situation. Additionally, it may prohibit you from pursuing certain dreams and achieving your personal goals. If the driver responsible for your crash receives criminal charges for their actions, you could still pursue civil action.
Will I ever ride a motorcycle again?
This is a question only you can answer in time. The injuries you experienced may prevent you from ever going on a motorcycle again. Some accident victims experience Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) following a violent crash. For patients with PTSD, they may fear another accident and never ride again.
Part of your possible compensation could be money for any property damage to your motorcycle. Depending on the customization of your ride, this compensation may be of important value.
It is not fair for a negligent driver to cause you serious injuries in a motorcycle accident, and you are not alone. Losing the ability to enjoy one of your favorite activities, or your career, demands justice.
Seek Legal Action for Your St. Petersburg Motorcycle Accident
A serious motorcycle accident not only changes your life, but it also changes your family. Traumatic injuries, like that of a spinal cord injury, can impact your relationships and cause you incredible stress.
You should not pay for all of the costs associated with your accident injuries. Pursuing a civil claim and lawsuit is your one opportunity to secure the best compensation possible.
If you suffered serious injuries due to a dangerous driver, or you lost a close loved one, you may want to contact a St. Petersburg motorcycle accident lawyer as soon as possible. Protecting your financial future is imperative when it comes to your medical needs. A motorcycle ride in and around beautiful St. Petersburg should not result in life-changing injuries. A St. Petersburg motorcycle accident lawyer could help you; consider reaching out to one of ours today.
Contact a St. Petersburg motorcycle accident attorney for a free consultation
Individuals who have been injured in motorcycle accidents that were caused by the negligence of another person or party may be able to recover substantial compensation for their injuries and other losses. Typical damages that are available in a motorcycle accident case include compensation for medical bills that arise from injuries sustained in the accident, physical and emotional pain and suffering, lost income, property damage, and future medical expenses. The lawyers of the Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA are dedicated to helping people injured in St. Petersburg motorcycle accidents and other preventable accidents recover for their losses. To schedule a free consultation with one of our lawyers, call our office today at (727) 451-6900 or send us an email through our online contact form available here.