Have you been injured in a motorcycle accident in St. Petersburg, FL? You may be entitled to compensation from the at-fault party for the damages you have suffered. Our St. Petersburg motorcycle accident attorneys are here to help you fight for the compensation you deserve.
Give Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers today at (727) 787-2500 to schedule a free case evaluation. We have represented accident victims for more than 65 years. Don’t hesitate to contact us, we will put our experience to work for you.
How Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers Can Help After a St. Petersburg Motorcycle Crash
A motorcycle accident can leave you with life-changing injuries, but the at-fault party’s insurance company will not be on your side. Without experienced legal counsel, recovering the full compensation you deserve can be challenging, especially if you suffered serious or permanent injury.
The St. Petersburg personal injury lawyers at Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers have tirelessly represented injury victims in Tampa Bay for over 65 years. Our AV-rated law firm and two Board Certified Civil Trial attorneys have earned national recognition. We have recovered more than $100 million on behalf of our clients and will fight for you.
When you hire Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers to represent you, you can count on us to:
- Conduct a thorough independent investigation into your accident
- Offer sound legal advice
- Fight back against attempts to shift blame
- Work with experts to establish causation, liability, and damages
- Handle all communications and negotiation with the insurance company
- Take your case to court if a fair settlement can’t be reached
With extensive courtroom experience, Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers is not afraid to litigate your case to improve your chances of recovering the compensation you deserve. Call us today to schedule a free case review with a St. Petersburg motorcycle accident lawyer who can help you take the next steps in your case.
Florida Motorcycle Accident Statistics
Thanks to its year-round sunny weather, Florida is one of the top three states for fatal motorcycle crashes. There are more than 592,000 registered motorcycles in the state, but its scenic roads, weather, and motorcycle rallies like Daytona Bike Week also draw in hundreds of thousands of motorcycle enthusiasts from around the country.
In 2019, the Florida Department of Highway and Motor Vehicles (FDHMV) reported 8,890 motorcycle accidents in the state, 550 of which were fatal. Motorcycle fatalities are usually higher than other traffic fatalities. In 2015, motorcycle fatalities in Florida accounted for nearly 20% of all fatal traffic accidents despite accounting for just 2-4% of traffic accidents.
What Causes Motorcycle Crashes in St. Petersburg?
Like car accidents, motorcycle accidents may happen for many reasons, but they are usually caused by negligence. The following are some of the most common factors involved in St. Petersburg motorcycle collisions.
- Speeding, a factor in 33% of motorcycle fatalities, particularly motorcycle crashes involving sports bikes.
- Lane splitting, an illegal practice in Florida that is considered very dangerous.
- Drunk driving. Other drivers or motorcyclists can be at fault for a DUI motorcycle crash. About 27% of fatal motorcycle crashes involve alcohol, more than accidents involving other vehicles.
- Distracted driving.
- Unsafe lane changes.
- Left turns. About 40% of motorcycle crashes with a vehicle occur when a car is turning left.
- Dangerous road conditions. Motorcyclists are more susceptible to a crash due to crumbling asphalt, potholes, and other hazards.
Most motorcyclists are aware of the risks they face on the road from other drivers. A phenomenon known as scotoma happens when drivers unintentionally ignore motorcyclists on the road because their brain does not recognize what they are not actively looking for. Because other drivers are watching for cars, they may simply fail to recognize a motorcyclist. This does not absolve a negligent driver of liability, however.
What Are the Most Common Injuries Sustained in a Motorcycle Accident?
Motorcyclists do not have the protection that a car or truck offers in a crash.
According to the NHTSA, motorcyclists are 27 times more likely to be killed in a crash than passenger car occupants. In 2017 alone, over 89,000 motorcyclists suffered serious crash injuries in the United States. Our St. Petersburg motorcycle accident attorneys represent clients who have suffered all types of serious motorcycle accident injuries including:
- Brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Neck injuries
- Back injuries
- Amputation injuries and other catastrophic injuries
- Road rash
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that the use of helmets saved almost 1,900 lives in 2017 alone. However, Florida does not require motorcyclists to wear a helmet as long as they have at least $10,000 in medical coverage.
How Are Liability and Fault Established For Motorcycle Accidents in St. Petersburg?
Motorcycle accidents can be caused by motorcyclists as well as other drivers. Motorcyclists face a great deal of stigma and are often unfairly blamed for accidents, in part because drivers see cyclists as engaging in a high-risk activity and therefore to blame when they are hurt.
The increasing popularity of high-speed sports bikes and highly visible risky behavior like cutting in and out of traffic has furthered this misconception that motorcyclists are reckless.
The truth is drivers of cars and trucks are usually at fault for motorcycle crashes according to a study by the Florida Department of Transportation. In many cases, other drivers fail to yield the right of way to motorcyclists, often while turning left or side-swiping a motorcycle during an unsafe lane change.
Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers will conduct a thorough investigation of your accident to establish fault.
This will include gathering and assessing evidence such as:
- Video and photos of the scene of the accident
- Police reports and incident reports
- Witness statements
- Testimony from experts and accident scene investigators
- Medical evidence
- The other driver’s phone records
We will leave no stone unturned to build the strongest case possible.
What Damages Are Available in a St. Petersburg Motorcycle Accident Case?
When someone else is responsible for your injuries, you are entitled to seek damages that make you as whole as possible. You can seek damages as long as you are 50% or less at fault for your accident under Florida’s modified comparative fault laws, although your damages will be reduced by your share of fault.
At Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers, our St. Petersburg motorcycle accident injury lawyers will fight for the full compensation you deserve.
We encourage you to not accept a lowball initial settlement and instead allow an experienced personal injury lawyer to fully evaluate your claim.
The following types of damages may be available in motorcycle accident cases:
- Medical bills. This includes current and future medical expenses related to your accident such as surgery, hospitalization, emergency treatment, doctor visits, medication, medical devices, and physical therapy.
- Lost wages for time you take off work while recovering
- Lost future earning capacity if you are left disabled
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Reduced quality of life
- Loss of independence
Motorcycle accidents often result in serious and even fatal injuries. The value of your motorcycle accident case will depend on the type and severity of your injuries and your non-economic damages like pain and suffering. How your life is affected and the nature of the accident may also affect your case.
If your case goes to court, you may be entitled to punitive damages which are designed to punish the defendant for egregious behavior, reckless disregard for human life, or gross negligence. However, Florida caps punitive awards at $500,000 or three times the value of compensatory damages (whichever is greater).
Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers works with specialists and experts to determine the full value of your damages. These specialists can provide expert testimony on the value of your lost future earnings, the extent of your injuries, and how your injuries will affect your life.
How Long Do I Have to File a Motorcycle Accident Lawsuit in Florida?
Under Florida Statutes Section 95.11, you have two years to file a personal injury claim after a motorcycle accident. This law used to give you four years, but it was revised on March 24, 2023. Thus, if your St. Petersburg motorcycle crash happened after that date, you have two years to bring forth a lawsuit.
If you miss the deadline to file a claim, you lose the legal right to seek compensation for your injuries forever.
It’s crucial to contact an experienced St. Petersburg motorcycle accident lawyer as soon as possible to protect your claim. Two years may sound like a long time, but investigating your accident, valuing your claim, waiting until you reach maximum medical improvement, and negotiating takes time. If you delay, crucial evidence supporting your claim can be lost.
When a motorcycle accident is fatal, survivors have two years from the date of death to bring a wrongful death claim in Florida.
Schedule a Free Consultation with Our St. Petersburg Motorcycle Accident Lawyers
A motorcycle accident can leave your life changed forever. You may be left with a long and painful recovery, substantial medical bills, and even permanent impairment that prevents you from working. This financial burden should not be on you when someone else caused your accident.
Contact Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers to schedule a free consultation with a St. Petersburg motorcycle accident lawyer who can help. We will fight for your rights and seek the maximum damages you deserve.