In New Port Richey, commuters have access to multiple major roadways in Florida. You can gain access to State Road 54 and I-75, or you might travel on I-275 on a motorcycle instead. The major roadways have a high accident potential due to an increased speed limit and periods of heavy traffic.
Whether your motorcycle accident was on a highway or intersection, The Law Offices of Lucas & Magazine can fight to ensure you get the money you deserve. Our firm can help you understand your rights as a motorcycle rider in New Port Richey.
If you need quality representation, we offer free case evaluations.
Types of Motorcycle Accidents in New Port Richey
Approximately 516 motorcycle fatalities occur within a year in Florida. While they happen less frequently than car crashes, motorcycles account for 20 percent of all traffic crash deaths. The numbers have gone down slightly in recent years. The fatalities can belong to one of several types of accidents.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reports how 61 percent of accidents are multi-vehicle collisions. In multiple instances, cars frequently hit the motorcycle from the front. Head-on collisions can lead to acute injuries, especially for the rider.
Due to a motorcycle’s size, the rider can travel in between the larger vehicles. You are likely to see lane-splitting when traffic is slow or not moving. Since the space between cars is small, a rider has less room to maneuver.
Motorists might not suspect a motorcycle to pass by. They could accidentally hit the rider when they change lanes or open the car door. Many states prohibit lane-splitting, including Florida but this does not entitle a motorist to crash into a motorcyclist.
Left-hand turn accidents are common as well in multi-vehicle collisions. The rider could take the left turn, or they might pass through an intersection when another vehicle turns. The size of a motorcycle makes the rider less visible.
Around 39 percent of fatal motorcycle crashes are single-vehicle incidents. A rider could hit a fixed object instead of a car. Examples of fixed objects are trees, guardrails, and a wall. The impact could cause the person to eject from their seat.
Someone might collide with a non-fixed object as well. A non-fixed object could be an animal, pedestrian, or clutter falling out of another vehicle.
Causes of Motorcycle Accidents in New Port Richey
Road hazards can lead to a motorcycle collision. The pavement could become slick from oil or mud. Loose gravel can pose a danger for people on motorcycles as well. The street could be uneven, and a person could hit a pothole. Riders are more vulnerable to debris on the roadway.
Alcohol can play a role in a motorcycle crash. An estimated 29 percent of all accidents involve a blood alcohol concentration of at least .08 percent. A person has a reduced reaction time and impaired judgment. Additionally, too much alcohol can make someone feel drowsy and increase the chance of an accident.
Many motorcycle crashes are the result of excessive speeding and other reckless driving behaviors. If a car travels above the speed limit, it may not be able to stop in time to avoid a motorcycle. Reckless behavior includes excessive lane changes and aggressive driving.
Nighttime reduces visibility for motorists, and not all roads have proper lighting. Even with headlights, a person might not see another vehicle as easily. Since a driver is less likely to notice a motorcycle, the darkness puts the motorcyclist at more risk.
Injuries You Can Sustain From Motorcycle Crashes
People on motorcycles have less protection than drivers when it comes to accidents. As a result, the injuries they sustain can be severe. Some riders suffer from a traumatic brain injury. You could feel confused, and headaches can develop some time after the accident.
Several injured riders have seen improvement in their symptoms. However, many people have had to deal with the long-term effects. Everyday activities can become a challenge to complete. Someone might have difficulty with social activities or have vision problems.
A motorcycle rider is at risk of an injury to the spinal cord. An injury can result in impairment of motor function and sensation below the impact site. Some people suffer from a form of paralysis. Many victims experience permanent disability after an accident.
After a person falls from their motorcycle, they could break or fracture their bones. Fractures can occur in the ribs, hands, wrists, arms, and legs. Broken leg bones are common among lower-extremity injuries. The lower half of the body can sustain damage to the soft tissue.
You could get a road rash after a motorcycle collision. A road rash is a skin abrasion when the rider makes contact with the pavement. The abrasion could be minor or severe. You have the potential to get an infection or permanent scarring.
A rider is likely to experience internal injuries as well. They might have internal bleeding or damage to one or more organs. A collision could lead to penetration trauma from glass or another sharp object.
How Long You Have to Begin a Claim in New Port Richey
Like other vehicle accidents, you have a specific amount of time to file a suit against the negligent driver. The statute of limitations sets a deadline for when the parties have to start legal proceedings for the civil offense.
In Florida, the last day to start a lawsuit is four years after the date of the motorcycle crash. However, the victim’s loved ones would file a wrongful death claim in the event of a fatal accident. The statute of limitations for a wrongful death lawsuit is two years.
A few situations allow someone to delay the clock for a short time. The defendant might live out-of-state, or related arbitration proceedings are ongoing. You should speak to a motorcycle accident lawyer at The Law Offices of Lucas & Magazine to learn if exemptions apply to your situation.
Who is Liable?
The liable party in a motorcycle accident is the one whose negligence caused the injuries.
In most cases, the driver of a car or truck is the one liable for a collision. The person might have swerved in front of a car without warning. They might have allowed themselves to become distracted by a phone or passenger. The vehicle could have gone above the speed limit or crossed the intersection during a red light.
Motorists have a duty of care to every other vehicle, motorcycle, and pedestrian when on the street. For some injured people, the case of negligence is clear. Other motorcyclists might need to gather more evidence to prove the driver was responsible.
Our firm knows the steps to prove liability and what evidence to gather. You should not have to worry about recovering damages after a collision.
Why You Should Get a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
You can face challenges if you decide to sue someone for a motorcycle accident without a lawyer to help you. The defense could attempt to pass responsibility for the crash onto the plaintiff. You could face an uphill battle when you try to prove negligence.
Another reason why an attorney is preferable has to do with deadlines. Four years may seem like enough time, but the final day can quickly arrive when you are busy with other affairs. Additionally, you need to follow the same legal proceedings and complete them on time.
The Law Offices of Lucas & Magazine can handle the necessary paperwork to begin a suit while you focus on your recovery. You can feel less stressed when a lawyer deals with the legal system on your behalf.
Some people could lose out on money if they proceed without a motorcycle accident attorney. You would have to calculate all the relevant economic and non-economic damages. Since non-economic damages are not tangible, you might not know how much you should request.
We can maximize the value of your case and negotiate for a fair settlement. An initial consultation can help you know how a lawyer can benefit you.
Damages You Can Recover
Economic damages are losses a person can calculate precisely. Property damage is one example. After an accident, you likely had to take your motorcycle in for repairs. You may even need to replace the motorcycle.
A settlement can reimburse you for the mechanic’s bill. Phones and watches can be a part of your compensation as well. Income usually becomes an issue for victims of motorcycle accidents.
The missed income can take a financial toll if someone cannot resume their job for weeks or months. Future lost income is potential damage if your injuries prevent you from returning to work in the same capacity.
Medication, rehabilitation, and prolonged hospitalization are medical expenses you can claim. Extensive recovery can mean a large settlement. For fatal accidents, you can get compensation for funeral expenses.
One of the non-economic damages you can claim is mental anguish. Severe injuries typically leave someone with pain and suffering. For fatal collisions, you can recover loss of companionship. Children can receive money for loss of care and protection.
Frequently Asked Questions
When Is a Motorcycle Collision Likely to Occur?
Most fatal motorcycle accidents occur between June and August. People generally travel more during the summer months. The increased volume of traffic means a motorcyclist is more likely to get into a collision.
During the week, an estimated 23.7 percent of accidents happen between the hours of 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. Most people travel home from their jobs during the timeframe. Some of them use motorcycles to get to places.
On the weekend, around 25.1 percent of fatal incidents are between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m.
Many people like to go to stores and restaurants on weekend nights. The evening brings reduced visibility, and a driver is less likely to see a motorcycle.
What Can You Do After a Crash?
After you get medical help, you should find a lawyer to work on your case. Do not sign any forms or admit fault if you are unable to meet with a firm immediately. You should avoid conversations with the other party’s insurer to preserve your rights.
Take photos of your injuries and motorcycle damage. The images help show the severity of your injuries and losses. You should keep copies of bills related to the accident as well.
Another step to take is to get a copy of the police report. The report contains details of the collision and information on the at-fault driver. Many police reports have party and witness statements you can use.
Why Do Lawyers Use Experts?
Several motorcycle accidents use experts to prove negligence. They can play a crucial role in the success of your claim. Your lawyer at The Law Offices of Lucas & Magazine might hire an accident reconstructionist to look over the available evidence.
Reconstructionists create models and diagrams to show people the facts surrounding the crash. Economists and financial experts look at the changing costs of medical care, inflation, and loss of career advancement. They help with complex calculations of the economic damages.
Your attorney may also hire a medical expert to act as an objective third party. They review your medical records and testify about your condition. A medical expert usually specializes in specific injuries and conditions. An example would be a neurologist for head injuries.
What if the At-Fault Driver Has No Insurance?
All drivers in Florida need to have car insurance. The minimum requirement is $10,000 for personal injury protection and property damage liability each. However, some motorists operate a vehicle without coverage.
If an uninsured driver hits you, you might have to seek compensation from your insurance company. Your insurer might deny your claim, so your next option would be to file a lawsuit against the responsible party.
The uninsured driver may not have enough money in their account to pay a large settlement. However, the judge could have the person pay monthly fees instead. A liquidation of their assets is another option to obtain reimbursement.
The Law Offices of Lucas & Magazine Can Represent You
The Law Offices of Lucas & Magazine can provide you with aggressive representation during your motorcycle accident lawsuit. We personally handle your case during each step, and you can stay informed of any progress.
Our team understands the stress a motorcycle accident brings. We can help you coordinate transportation when you need it while you recover.
All of our consultations are free. Reach out to our New Port Richey motorcycle accident lawyers by calling (727) 849-5353 or contact us online at your earliest convenience to get started.