Too often, motor vehicle drivers don’t give motorcycles enough respect on the road. While motorcycles make up only three percent of registered voters in Florida, they account for approximately twenty percent of fatalities on the road. These tragic deaths and countless other injuries are often preventable when motor vehicle drivers use due care and caution on the road.
If you’re in a motorcycle accident, you may feel angry and confused. You may worry about your financial losses. You may not be able to work, and you may wonder how you’re going to pay your medical bills. Physical injuries may cause you significant pain and interfere with your life’s activities.
New Port Richey Motorcycle Accident Lawyers May be Able to Help
Our team of New Port Richey motorcycle accident lawyers may be able to help. You may have a right to recover for your losses. This doesn’t just include medical bills. You may also have a right to recover for pain and suffering, lost wages and even loss of normal body functions. The many ways that you might be able to recover may surprise you.
When we work with a client, it’s our goal handle the legal process so that you can focus on your recovery. We want to make a game plan so that you can fully understand the steps involved and so you can have confidence that the legal system is working for you. Our process includes working with expert medical providers, accountants and accident reconstruction professionals in order to advocate for you to the fullest extent of Florida law.
Can I recover if it’s partially my fault?
Don’t make the mistake of assuming that you can’t recover if you think the accident may be your fault in whole or in part. It’s important to remember that what you might think is your fault may not be under Florida law. It’s also important to remember that even if a law enforcement officer accuses you of a traffic violation, that may not be the end of the story. The officer’s investigation may not be accurate, or the traffic violation may not have contributed to the crash.
Even if you are partially to blame, Florida law still allows you to recover for your losses. This is because Florida uses a system called comparative negligence. Even if you’re to blame, if someone else is at fault too, you can still recover from them.
Florida law asks the jury to determine your fault by a percentage. For example, if the jury decides that you’re fifty percent at fault for what happened, you can still recover for fifty percent of your losses. If your losses are $50,000, the other side should pay you $25,000. This system allows you to recover to the extent that you’re hurt by the actions of someone else.
A traditional claim against the person responsible for your injuries, you must show that that person acted negligently. To act negligently means to fail to exercise the level of care that an ordinary person would use in the same situation. For example, if a person injures you by disregarding a stop sign, they’ve acted negligently, because a reasonable person in the same situation would observe the stop sign.
When you’re hurt, it’s important to talk to an experienced New Port Richey motorcycle accident lawyer about the case. Law enforcement isn’t in the job of determining who acted negligently. That’s a job for the jury, not the police. Our attorneys can help evaluate your case and give you an honest opinion of how Florida law applies. If another person didn’t behave in a way that a reasonable person should behave, you can recover for your losses.
Faulty vehicle design and punitive damages
Punitive damages laws exist in Florida in order to allow the courts to punish a person or company for bad behavior that isn’t necessarily criminal. Punitive damages allow you to recover extra amounts when your injuries result from another’s choice to put profits over safety. This usually comes into play in cases where a motor vehicle manufacturer ignores design problems at the expense of those on the road.
There are limits to the amount of punitive damages that you can recover in any case. It’s three times the amount of economic damages or $500,000, whichever is the larger amount. Punitive damages are meant to give companies an incentive to take reasonable precautions for the safety of consumers.
You have a right to several different types of damages when you’re hurt in a New Port Richey motorcycle crash. Besides punitive damages, these losses fall in the categories of economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages represent the financial losses that you sustain in a crash, while non-economic damages include things like pain and suffering and the loss of use of your normal bodily functions.
Economic losses are things like medical bills and loss of income. It also includes personal property losses. Basically, it’s any kind of financial loss that you sustain because of your injuries. These are direct, out-of-pocket losses that you can directly account for.
Non-economic damages are damages that are meant to compensate you for losses that aren’t financial. For example, if you lose full use of your shoulder because of the accident, non-economic damages aim to reduce that loss to a dollar amount to pay you for it. Of course, money can never give you your health back, but Florida law aims to pay you in some way. Non-economic damages also include things like pain and suffering, inconvenience, and mental anguish. When we work with a client, we aim to make sure that we carefully document all of your losses in order to ask for full compensation.
How does a case progress?
We start by learning about you and the most important facts of the case. Then, we set to work building your case. When you work with us, we carefully document your injuries, and we work with accident reconstruction experts in order to prepare to tell your story to the jury. We also handle negotiations with the other side. In some cases, our case preparation is so convincing that the other party agrees to pay you fair compensation for your injuries before your trial date even arrives. In other cases, we look forward to telling your story to the jury and asking for fair compensation. We’re seasoned trial attorneys, and our case preparation utilizes technology to make sure that the jury can follow along in a way that’s easy to understand.
If you’ve been hurt in a motorcycle accident, contact our New Port Richey motorcycle accident lawyers. We want to help you seek the compensation that you deserve. Contact us today to meet with us. We’re happy to answer all of your questions and explain your options. We look forward to working with you.