More than 95,000 people were injured in motorcycle accidents in 2008 according to a recent report by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Of those who were injured, more than 5,000 people suffered fatal injuries. Auto drivers frequently fail to see motorcycles because they are smaller and more agile. It can also be difficult for drivers of passenger cars to judge the distance between their cars and a motorcycle. The knowledgeable Ocala motorcycle accident lawyers of the Dean Firm have experience bringing personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits against negligent drivers on behalf of badly hurt motorcyclists or their loved ones.
Motorcycle accidents are often caused by negligent drivers who may be speeding, drunk, texting, or otherwise distracted or reckless. But motorcyclists do not have the same level of crash protection as a driver in a passenger car who is buffered by airbags and seatbelts. A motorcyclist's injuries in the event of a serious accident are likely to be catastrophic, involving serious injuries or even death.Protect Your Rights After a Florida Motorcycle Accident
In order to show negligence by a defendant driver and recover compensation, an injured motorcyclist must show that (1) the driver owed the motorcyclist a duty of care, (2) the driver breached that duty, (3) actual and proximate causation, and (4) damages or injuries resulting from the breach. An accident is sometimes the result of negligence by the plaintiff as well as the defendant. Florida is a comparative negligence state. At a personal injury trial, a jury may be asked to determine what percentage of fault applies to the plaintiff's own conduct in causing his or her injuries. The damages will be reduced by the percentage of the plaintiff's fault. For example, a motorcyclist found to be 20% negligent may have his damages reduced by 20%.
If a motorcyclist is killed in an accident as a result of someone else's negligence or recklessness, the motorcyclist's loved ones can bring a wrongful death lawsuit to recover for those losses that are compensable. Compensable losses in a wrongful death case under Florida law include medical expenses, lost wages, funeral expenses, pain and suffering, lost support, loss of services, future estate, and companionship. In 1972, the survival action for personal injuries and wrongful death actions were merged to allow a single lawsuit to be brought for purposes of recovering damages. If a negligence action is brought by a motorcyclist who then dies due to the severity of their injuries, a personal representative of their estate can be added as a party to the original lawsuit.
If you or a loved one has been hurt or killed in a motorcycle accident, do not wait to contact an attorney. Evidence can disappear quickly from an accident scene. An experienced attorney can begin investigating the facts of your case, contact the other party's insurance company with a settlement demand to seek compensation, and employ accident reconstruction and vocational rehabilitation experts if necessary.Contact Experienced Motorcycle Injury Lawyers
Our attorneys Michael E. Dean, Timothy S. Dean and H. Edward Dean have decades of combined experience in personal injury and related law. They have handled personal injury claims involving nearly every type of serious injury from hip fractures to wrongful death. To speak with one of our experienced Ocala motorcycle accident lawyers, call 352-387-8700, or contact us through our online form for your free initial consultation. We serve clients in a number of Central Florida communities, including Ocala, The Villages and Crystal River. We handle most personal injury cases on a contingency fee basis, so you pay no attorney fees to us unless we recover for you.