According to the latest statistics by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 4,985 fatalities resulted from motorcycle accidents across the U.S. in 2018.
According to the Florida Traffic Crash Statistics Summary compiled by the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, 8,895 statewide motorcycle accidents in 2019 resulted in 550 fatalities. Florida also has the second-highest number of motorcycle registrations (behind California) with 591,267 motorcycles on the books in 2019, according to Statista.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a motorcycle accident in Jacksonville or Jacksonville Beach, Florida, you should exert your full legal rights to obtain the fair compensation you deserve for your injuries. Call me, motorcycle accident attorney James Glober at the Glober Law Firm, immediately for a consultation. We can chart a strong, viable path forward as we work together to pursue the best possible outcome for your case.
Florida Personal Injury Law
In addition to injuries incurred while riding motorcycles, examples of personal injury claims in Florida include:
- Car accidents
- Truck Accidents
- Slip-and-fall accidents
- Dog bites and animal attacks
- Medical malpractice
- Work-related injuries (carpal tunnel syndrome, lower back pain, etc.)
Does Florida’s No-Fault Law
Apply to Motorcycles?
Florida is considered a no-fault accident state, which requires each operator of a four-wheel (or larger) vehicle to carry at least $10,000 in what is called Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance.
These no-fault laws, however, do not apply to motorcycles. Though you can register a motorcycle in Florida without insurance, you may put yourself in extreme legal and financial jeopardy if you don’t obtain liability coverage. In addition to facing financial peril if you do not have liability insurance, the state may suspend your driver's license if you are involved in a collision and do not have a certificate of financial responsibility or insurance providing liability coverage of:
- $10,000 for single person bodily injury liability
- $20,000 for two or more people bodily injury liability
- $10,000 per crash for property damage liability
Avoiding Motorcycle Bias
No matter how good your evidence, a widespread “motorcycle bias” often exists among the general populace, including law enforcement personnel, judges and juries, and insurance adjusters. In short, a common perception exists that “bikers” are always at fault. This bias can, but does not necessarily, work against you during settlement proceedings and in court, should it come to that.
Fortunately, we have strategies to overcome this bias.
Seeking Damages From Other Drivers
If you’re going to seek financial recovery for medical expenses, loss of income, and other losses resulting from a personal injury accident, under the law you will have to prove negligence on the part of the other party. Negligence by a vehicular operator can involve causes ranging from faulty maintenance of the equipment, driving unsafely or recklessly, driving while impaired, making unsafe lane changes or turns, and even distracted driving.
A motorcyclist must prove another party's negligence or carelessness when pursuing a personal injury claim, but a motorcyclist does not have to prove a permanent injury the way automobile drivers and passengers do. This is an advantage to the motorcyclist.
Understanding Comparative Negligence
Another factor to remember when pursuing a personal injury lawsuit is that Florida is a comparative negligence state, which means that a court can find you partially at fault for the accident and reduce your compensation by that percentage. For instance, if a jury or judge finds you 20 percent at fault for an accident and awards $100,000 in damages, you will only be able to receive $80,000 after the percentage for your involvement is deducted.
What To Do After a Motorcycle Accident
If you are a motorcycle rider and you have been struck or involved in some kind of accident, you should attend to any injuries first, obviously. But after that, you should contact the police, which is required under Florida law for any accident other than minor fender-benders.
Then, if there are witnesses, get their contact information. Document everything you can with photos, and when you get a chance, jot down everything on paper, or record the details in your cell phone. Finally, be sure to notify your insurance carrier, if you are insured.
Contact a Personal Injury Attorney
An essential step if you have been injured in a motorcycle accident is to seek the help of a personal injury attorney. You will need help negotiating with the adjusters, who represent the insurance companies – and their best interests. Further, if a lawsuit proves necessary, enlisting the help of a reliable attorney will be critical to pursuing a favorable outcome.
Damages You Can Recover
If you do choose to file a lawsuit, depending on the nature of your injuries, you are eligible to recover compensation for losses that include the following:
- Medical expenses
- Property damage
- Loss of past and future income
- Pain and suffering
- Costs of household services that you are unable to perform yourself (cleaning, lawn care, etc.)
- Disfigurement or physical impairment.
Hire a Knowledgeable
Florida Attorney Today
As you can see, pursuing a personal injury claim, even if it’s just with your own insurance company, can be a challenging task. While you’re recovering, you don’t need the hassle of negotiating with insurance adjusters. As a Board Certified Civil Trial Attorney who has helped hundreds of other victims like you recover the compensation they deserve for their injuries, I would be proud to work with you on your case. I know how to negotiate with adjusters and will outline a personalized legal strategy to help you pursue the best possible outcome for your case. If your case needs to be tried in court, I will try it.
I will work with you on a personal basis to handle all aspects of your claim. Call or reach out to my firm today to schedule a free consultation. If you’re recovering at home, I can arrange a time to come visit you to discuss the details of your situation.
The Glober Law Firm proudly represents clients throughout the Northeast Florida-Jacksonville region, including Nassau County, Duval County, Clay County, and St. Johns County.