Given the lack of safety features such as crash-resistant frames, airbags, and seat belts, it is no surprise that motorcycle accidents tend to cause significant injuries and have a high fatality rate. In fact, motorcyclists were approximately 27 times as likely as passenger car occupants to die in a motor vehicle traffic crash and six times as likely to sustain injuries, according to 2014 data from the NHTSA.
When another party causes or contributes to a motorcycle crash, the rider (or his family members in fatal cases) can file a claim against the at-fault party to pursue compensation for expenses and losses. For a free consultation with a motorcycle accident lawyer in Fort Lauderdale, call QBM LEGAL today at +1 (954) 669-0809.
Can I file a motorcycle accident claim?
When determining the validity of a motorcycle claim, the first factor that you must address is fault. That is, why did the accident occur and who caused it? Your accident must have been caused by another party’s negligence to justify your claim. For example, if an intoxicated driver hit you, she could be liable for your damages because she was driving negligently.
Below are a few other examples of scenarios in which you would probably qualify to file a liability claim:
The driver was speeding or cut you off.
Your bike brakes were defective.
The driver was texting while driving.
The roads were poorly maintained, e.g., potholes, uneven pavement, road debris, etc.
What if I am partly at fault for my motorcycle accident?
In accidents where fault is shared, Florida’s pure comparative negligence rule applies. This rule provides that you can still file a claim and recover damages when you are partially responsible for the crash, but your degree of fault will reduce your compensation. So, if the courts find you 40 percent at fault and your damages total $100,000, you will only recover 60 percent of your award, i.e., you will only recover $60,000.
Any type of careless or negligent behavior that contributed to the accident may apportion you with partial fault, such as:
Riding along the shoulder
Speeding and swerving in out and of lanes
Not using proper signals
Speeding through an intersection
It is also important to note that if you are not wearing a helmet and sustain head injuries, the other party can use that to reduce your award. The defendant can argue that your injuries would have been reduced had you been wearing a helmet, and therefore, you share liability. This argument has been validated by Florida courts. Speak to a motorcycle accident lawyer in Fort Lauderdale to discuss fault and liability in your case and how to proceed with your claim.
Call us today at +1 (954) 669-0809 to schedule a FREE consultation.