Florida registered 582,648 motorcycles in 2016 alone. There are a lot of motorcycles swarming all over the roads, especially thanks to large events such as Daytona Bike Week, the Gibtown Bike Fest, and the St. Pete Beach Bike Fest. If you have any questions about motorcycle accidents in St. Petersburg, it may be a good idea to contact a lawyer and keep reading this article.
What if I was not wearing a helmet?
Florida law is very clear on this issue. If you are under the age of 20, you have to wear a helmet when you ride your motorcycle. Those who have reached the age of 21 may legally ride without a helmet as long as they have insurance coverage up to $10,000.
While it is a good idea to wear a helmet, not wearing a helmet will not jeopardize your case. It does increase the risk of very serious injuries, however.
Should I take what the insurance company is offering me? It seems like a lot…
No. The first offer that insurance companies dangle in front of you is generally the lowest offer that they think you will accept. They have an internal team that crunches the numbers, and they determine the smallest payout they can legally pay and still be compliant with the law.
While the offer may seem like a money, you should consider the fact that you may miss work, have serious medical bills and will need to pay for transport. What the insurance company is offering may not cover all of that. It may not even cover half of that.
Hiring a lawyer means that you can receive a claim that is fairer. They will be able to fight for you and will try to get you the compensation that you deserve.
What if I was slightly at fault?
Florida is what is known as a pure comparative negligence state. This means that the amount you are ultimately paid is determined by how much you are to blame for the accident. A judge decides how much fault you have for the crash.
For example, let’s say a judge determines that you were 30% at fault for a collision. You can still recover compensation. The total amount of damages is reduced by 30% because that is what you contributed to the accident. Certain activities like speeding or swerving may partially cause an accident but are not enough to totally sink your case.
The insurance company wants to talk to me. What should I say?
Nothing. They are calling you because they are looking for reasons not to pay you a dime. The insurance company’s agents want you to say something that indicates that you are at fault. They record this conversation so that they can use it in court. If an insurance company calls you, it may be a good idea to contact a lawyer first. An attorney can help negotiate for you and will assist you with your case.
How long will my case take?
There is no definitive answer for this one. It can be completed quickly, or it could take a while. The answer to this question depends on factors particular to your situation. The insurance company may want to settle early, or they may want to fight it. A lawyer can discuss your options with you.
If you have been in a motorcycle accident in St. Petersburg or the Tampa Bay area, we provide free consultations. Our team is reliable, relatable, and ready to fight for you. Marsalisi Law is where the law gets personal.