A great number of motorcycle accidents occur because of drivers’ careless and reckless behavior. For instance, riders may be struck by motorists who were driving distracted or traveling at illegal speeds. Victims of such accidents can suffer a wide range of painful and debilitating injuries.
Fortunately, at-fault parties may be sued for motorcycle crashes they cause. There are several categories of monetary damages that may be sought by plaintiffs in motorcycle accident lawsuits. However, defendants will often attempt to refute key elements of plaintiffs’ claims.
If you were injured because of a motorcycle accident in Miami, get help obtaining the payment you deserve. Reach out to our Miami motorcycle accident lawyers by calling The Law Offices of David I. Fuchs, Injury & Accident Lawyer, P.A. at (954) 751-4258. Our experienced attorneys can review your case for free.
Elements of a Motorcycle Accident Lawsuit in Miami
The process for recovering compensation in a motorcycle accident lawsuit can vary depending on several factors. However, in every case, the plaintiff must prove that the following elements have been satisfied:
- The defendant was under a duty of care, such as the duty to drive with reasonable care or the duty to obey traffic laws
- The defendant did not adhere to their duty of care
- You suffered a motorcycle accident because of the defendant’s breach of duty
- You incurred damages because of the injuries you sustained
Analyzing these elements within the context of your case can be a complex task. During your free case assessment, our Miami motorcycle accident lawyers can help evaluate the strength of your potential lawsuit.
Proving Fault for a Motorcycle Accident in Miami
In order for your motorcycle accident lawsuit to succeed, you must establish that your collision occurred because of the defendant’s negligent conduct. There are several different types of evidence that can be used to prove fault for a motorcycle accident. The following are examples of evidence frequently utilized by our Miami motorcycle accident lawyers:
Witness statements are a valuable form of evidence that can be used to prove fault for a motorcycle crash. Witnesses can offer both written and oral testimony that attests to how certain accidents occurred. For instance, a witness may state that they saw a driver run a red light before causing a collision with a rider. You should always attempt to retrieve contact information for witnesses to your motorcycle accident if possible. Afterwards, our attorneys can offer support when reaching out for their potential cooperation.
Physical Evidence from the Scene
Physical evidence from the scene of a motorcycle accident can also help prove fault. There are multiple ways that physical evidence can be used. For example, pieces of broken glass may be matched with a motorist’s headlight to identify them as the at-fault party. Furthermore, open liquor bottles found in a defendant’s car may help establish that they were impaired at the time of their accident. Our Miami motorcycle accident lawyers can help recover and preserve pertinent evidence found at the scene of the crash in your case.
However, some evidence can be difficult to preserve or bring into court. Fortunately, other means of evidentiary documentation are permitted.
Photos from the Scene
Photos from the scene of your motorcycle accident are another type of evidence can be used to prove fault. First, photos can help establish factors that contributed to a collision. For instance, photos showing a badly damaged motorcycle may show that a defendant was traveling at excessive speeds when their crash happened.
Additionally, photos from the scene can be used to discredit defendant’s alternative theories of fault. For example, an at-fault driver may state that their accident happened because of poor weather conditions. In that case, photos showing clear weather at the scene could be used to disprove the defendant’s argument.
Accordingly, you should always take photos at the scene of your motorcycle accident if possible. Our attorneys can help review any photos you took during your free case review.
Expert Witness Statements
Furthermore, expert witness statements can be used to prove who is at fault for motorcycle accidents. Expert witnesses are deemed experts because they have completed the requisite education, training, and experience in their respective fields. These types of witnesses are typically used to explain complex theories of fault. For instance, after a motorcycle accident that occurs at an intersection, an accident reconstruction expert may be called to identify the at-fault party. Furthermore, after a motorcycle accident caused by a defective part, an engineering expert may be summoned to explain how the faulty product caused the crash. Our experienced Miami motorcycle accident lawyers can find the right experts to support your lawsuit.
Lastly, a personal recollection of your motorcycle accident can be very helpful when building your case. It is hard to know which details surrounding your crash will become important at later stages of your trial. Accordingly, you should attempt to create a personal recollection of your collision while your memory is fresh. The information you record can be valuable to our attorneys when fighting for the compensation available to you.
Considering Settlement Offers in Miami Motorcycle Accident Lawsuits
When pursuing payment through a motorcycle accident lawsuit, you will likely face the difficult decision of reaching a settlement agreement or taking your case to trial. When parties to a case reach a settlement agreement, the defendant pays an agreed-upon sum of damages to the plaintiff in exchange for their case being voluntarily dismissed. There are multiple potential advantages to settling early. For example, parties who settle early may save on various costs associated with going to trial. Furthermore, plaintiffs who reach settlement agreements may recover compensation sooner.
Still, settling early is not always the right choice. Many defendants attempt to settle cases for less than they are worth. By going to trial, you will have the opportunity to recover additional compensation that was not offered during settlement negotiations. Our Miami motorcycle accident lawyers can review any settlement offers made in your case, so you may confidently decide if going to trial is the right choice for you.
How to Reduce the Likelihood of Being in a Motorcycle Accident in Miami
Prepare for Wet Weather
Florida has unique, often unpredictable weather patterns; a fact that all motorcyclists should learn and understand before riding. The “Sunshine State” is in fact rather rainy, wet, and slippery for motorcyclists, especially in the summertime. Florida sees an average of seven to eight inches of rainfall in the summer months. Riding in the rain comes with hazards such as oily, slippery roads and low visibility. Motorcyclists should always prepare to encounter a rainstorm when riding in Florida by wearing a helmet with a rain visor or riding a motorcycle with a windshield.
Inspect Your Motorcycle
All motorcycle owners have a duty to conduct safety and equipment inspections before hitting the road. Negligent maintenance and repairs can lead to equipment failures and accidents. Poorly maintained motorcycles may suffer issues such as tire blowouts or brake failures. Always keep your motorcycle in good operating condition, especially before embarking on a long trip. Trust licensed mechanics to work on your vehicle. Check its tire pressure, fluids, lights, and other equipment before riding.
Keep Your License Up to Date
It is against the law to operate a motorcycle in Florida without a valid motorcycle license. If your license has expired, renew before riding this summer. Note that Florida motorcyclists 16 and older must also pass a Basic Rider Course through the Florida Rider Training Program before they can get a license or get the motorcycle endorsement. Keep your skills sharp and stay within the law by making sure you’re operating with a valid motorcycle license.
Take a Motorcycle Safety Course
Beginners and veterans alike can benefit from taking a motorcycle safety course. Plus, you could qualify for discounts on your auto insurance if you take and pass an education or safety course. Sign up for an education course through your local Fort Lauderdale Department of Motor Vehicles or take one online. Brush up on traffic laws and motorcycling best practices, as well as proven safety tips and strategies. Refreshing your knowledge with a safety or education course can be the perfect way to start your summer.
Always Wear a Helmet
The law in Florida says it’s optional to wear a motorcycle helmet if you’re over the age of 21 and carry at least $10,000 in medical insurance coverage. However, wearing a helmet could save your life. Motorcycle helmets can reduce the risk of serious to fatal brain injuries by about 67%. Whether you legally have to or not, wear a federally-approved helmet to protect your head and brain in the event of a crash.
Don’t Speed or Ride Recklessly
Motorcyclists in single-vehicle accidents make up a significant percentage of those injured and killed every year. While factors such as dangerous roadways and equipment failures can contribute to these accidents, the main cause is operator negligence. Don’t be that operator. Ride your motorcycle with safety in mind, adhering to all speed limits and roadway rules. Never ride while intoxicated. The safer you are, the lower the risk of causing a motorcycle accident in Fort Lauderdale and anytime you are on the road.
Be Wary of Other Motorists
One of the main risks motorcyclists in Florida run is that of other drivers not seeing them. Motorcyclists can help prevent this issue by wearing bright clothes or using daytime running lights. Sometimes, however, drivers are too distracted or negligent to notice motorcyclists no matter what the rider does. Always be wary of vehicles waiting to pull out or make left-hand turns. Reduce your speed and make eye contact with the driver if you can. Never assume a driver sees you or is going to yield the right-of-way. Putting safety first is the best way to ride this summer.
It is also important for motorcyclists to avoid traveling in a motorist’s blind spot. Visibility is key to avoiding collisions, and thinking ahead in anticipation of what an automobile driver may do is also very helpful.
Don’t Drink and Ride
Motorcyclists are also encouraged to avoid drinking and riding. The use of alcohol and/or drugs can slow a motorcycle operator’s reflexes considerably such that he or she may not be able to operate the motorcycle in a safe manner.
Wear Appropriate Clothing
Wearing appropriate clothes, shoes and gloves while riding a motorcycle is also recommended. Protective, reflective garments can help shield riders not only from the elements, but they also act as a layer of protection from the pavement should an accident occur.
If You Suffered a Motorcycle Accident in Miami, Our Attorneys Can Help
If you were hurt because of a motorcycle accident, seek assistance from our experienced Miami motorcycle accident lawyers by calling The Law Offices of David I. Fuchs, Injury & Accident Lawyer, P.A. at (954) 751-4258 to review your case for free.