Riding a motorcycle is a favorite way for people to travel, unwind, and experience the Sunshine State’s beautiful scenery. From views of the Gulf of Mexico, the Atlantic Ocean, and even the Everglades — a Unesco World Heritage Site — nothing compares to the freedom and intimacy of exploring the state on two wheels. Motorcycle riding is a beloved pastime in Florida, and the state is home to the second-most registered bikes in the United States. Unfortunately, a rider’s euphoria can come crashing down the instant they collide with a car, truck, or another object.
Florida has such a high concentration of motorcycle riders that it’s also where fatal motorcycle crashes happen the most. In 2015, 606 motorcyclists died after a crash, up 30% from the previous year. Those who become injured often don’t fare much better; injuries from motorcycle accidents are often catastrophic due to an extreme lack of protection. These injuries may require extensive medical treatment and lifetime hardship, leaving victims and their families concerned about their finances and their futures.
Dozens of scenarios can lead to a motorcycle crash. In many cases, collisions occur because one or both parties failed to use caution. Often, the driver of a vehicle like an SUV, van, or a car fails to notice a motorcycle before it’s too late. If you were hurt in a motorcycle accident, you might be entitled to compensation for your injuries. If you’re considering filing a motorcycle accident claim, you should understand the elements you will need to prove to win your case.
4 Elements Needed to Support a Motorcycle Accident Claim
Most people hurt in motorcycle crashes require ongoing medical care, the costs of which can snowball faster than they anticipate. If you’re concerned about how you’ll afford your recovery, you should contact a personal injury lawyer who focuses on motorcycle accident claims to receive a down-to-earth breakdown of your legal options.
When pursuing a claim for a motorcycle accident injury, you’ll have to prove the following four elements by a “preponderance of the evidence.” This simply means that it’s “more likely than not” that the facts you present are true. Since personal injury claims are civil matters, the burden of proof is lower than it would be in a criminal case.
Somebody owed you a duty of care
You must prove the fault of another person to receive compensation for your injuries. Anyone with a driver’s license has an obligation to act responsibly when they’re operating a vehicle, so all drivers owe their fellow motorists a duty of care. By law, the cars around you have a duty to keep you safe by following the rules of the road.
That person breached their duty of care
If you can prove that the other party acted negligently or recklessly, you can prove fault for the accident. If the at-fault party failed to act as a reasonable person would behind the wheel, he or she breached this duty of care.
Proving the other driver’s negligence requires evidence. Sources of valuable evidence proving negligence may include:
- Vehicle maintenance records;
- Cell phone records;
- Surveillance footage;
- Eyewitness reports.
The breach caused the accident
It’s not enough to show that an accident occurred to win a motorcycle accident claim or lawsuit. You must prove the at fault person who breached their duty of care caused the accident and your damages. Thus, you must show that the other party’s actions were directly responsible for the accident, which in turn caused your injuries.
The accident resulted in damages
Finally, you must prove to the court that your injuries resulted in damages. Documenting your injuries by taking photos and keeping copies of medical records and pay stubs will help you compile objective evidence that can further support your claim. It may also be possible to claim losses for future medical bills, and intangible losses like pain and suffering and mental trauma. This information will help your lawyer be able to calculate your damages.
Trust a St. Petersburg Motorcycle Crash Lawyer to Fight for Your Claim
Motorcycle injuries can often have a serious impact on riders, and the effects frequently last long after physical injuries have healed. If you’ve been injured in a crash while riding, you have the right to seek compensation. With a St. Petersburg motorcycle accident lawyer on your side, it may be possible to receive fair compensation that will help you get back on your feet.
At Marsalisi Law, Attorney Frank P. Marsalisi has recovered millions of dollars for motorcycle and car accident victims in and near St. Petersburg, FL. His law firm specializes in motorcycle crash cases and has obtained many successful results for his clients. If your injuries are too severe to come to his office, Frank will come to you at home or the hospital. The most important thing to him is to keep you informed about your case and fight for the compensation you deserve. He can even speak Spanish with you if you’re more comfortable doing so. You can rely on Frank to stand up for you throughout the claims process and be thoroughly prepared to take your claim to court, if necessary. Call (727) 800-5052 or complete our contact form for a free consultation.
At Marsalisi Law, this is Where Law Gets Personal!