Tampa Bay, FL Motorcycle Accident Attorney

In the blink of an eye, a motorcycle rider can be left with devastating injuries through no fault of their own. With the rise of distracted driving, accidents are becoming all too common for motorcyclists throughout Florida.

If you were injured in a motorcycle accident due to another driver’s carelessness, you have a right to take legal action. It’s essential to hire an experienced attorney who can navigate Florida’s complex motorcycle accident laws on your behalf.

At Zervos & Calta, PLLC, we’ve represented motorcyclists just like you who are struggling after a serious accident. When you choose our law firm to handle your claim, you can expect:

  • A proven track record of securing financial compensation.
  • Experienced trial lawyers who fully understand Florida’s motorcycle laws.
  • No upfront legal fees or costs.
  • Personalized service, every step of the way.

To meet with a motorcycle accident lawyer in Tampa Bay, give us a call today or reach out online. Our conveniently located offices serve Hernando County, Tarpon Springs, St. Petersburg, Clearwater, Spring Hill, and other locations throughout the state.

Why You Need a Florida Motorcycle Accident Attorney

If you were harmed in a motorcycle wreck, you may have severe injuries. You may be trying to make sense of Florida’s complex motorcycle laws. Meanwhile, you might be out of work and need financial compensation to pay for your medical care.

When pursuing compensation after a crash, it’s critical to hire an experienced motorcycle accident attorney. The legal team at Zervos & Calta, PLLC can help you:

  • Extensively Investigate the Crash – Proving fault is key when pursuing compensation. Florida is a “comparative negligence” state. That means both parties may share fault in an accident. If you are found to be partially responsible, then your compensation might be decreased accordingly. Your attorney will fully investigate the accident to maximize your potential compensation.
  • Navigate Florida’s Motorcycle Laws – Unfortunately, many motorcyclists are confused about what their insurance policy covers. Some motorcycle riders mistakenly think that their automobile’s Personal Injury Protection (PIP) policy will cover their medical bills in a motorcycle accident. This is not the case in Florida.

To make matters worse, some health insurance policies exclude covering injuries sustained during dangerous activities. That includes riding motorcycles. Our attorneys will translate the fine print for you, so you can fully understand the expenses you’re facing.

  • Demand the Highest Compensation Available – Our legal team will document your ongoing damages, including medical bills, property damage, lost income, and pain and suffering. Using these figures, we can demand the highest compensation available. We have a proven track record of securing significant settlements for Florida motorcycle accident victims.

How is Fault Proven in Motorcycle Accident Cases?

We will fully investigate your accident and build a strong case on your behalf. Many factors can be considered when determining fault for a motorcycle accident. These factors include:

  • Police report
  • Photos of the scene of the accident
  • Witness statements
  • The existence of traffic signals and signs
  • Weather conditions at the time of the collision

We will use the full scope of our resources to gather evidence for your case. For example, we’ll use accident reconstruction professionals to understand how the collision occurred. When necessary, we’ll consult with experts, when needed, on the complex issues of liability.

Since Florida is a comparative negligence state, it’s essential to hire an attorney for your motorcycle accident case. Your attorney will fully investigate the collision, identify the possible percentage of fault for all parties, and work toward securing full and fair compensation for you.

Fighting for Full Compensation After a Motorcycle Wreck

The financial effects of a motorcycle wreck can be astronomical. The financial strain, when added to physical and emotional trauma, can be difficult to bear.

Financial compensation can’t reverse any of this, but it can help offset the negative effects of a serious accident. Your compensation may cover:

  • Payment of your medical bills
  • Payment for future medical care related to your injuries
  • Recovery of your lost wages and future lost income
  • Pain and suffering for your physical and emotional injuries.
  • Repair costs or replacement of your motorcycle
  • Replacement of your helmet and other protective clothing/gear
  • Repair or replacement of other property damaged in the accident
  • Rental reimbursement
  • Reimbursement for any other out-of-pocket expenses

As you can see, financial compensation is designed to make you “whole” again in the eyes of the law. In other words, you’ll be paid back for any financial, physical and emotional harm you’ve suffered.

What is the Statute of Limitations on Motorcycle Accident Lawsuits in Florida?

Under Florida’s laws, you have a limited amount of time to file a lawsuit. This time period is called “statute of limitations.” After the statute of limitations has passed, you cannot file a claim anymore. The court is very strict about this, and exceptions are rarely made.

The deadline depends on the type of lawsuit you plan on filing. If you’re filing a lawsuit for personal injury, you must file within four years of the date of the motorcycle accident. If you’re filing a lawsuit for wrongful death on behalf of a loved one, you have two years from the date of death.

This may seem like a generous amount of time, but you should act quickly. Don’t forget that getting witness statements, gathering evidence and having an attorney review your case takes time. The sooner you meet with an attorney, the sooner you may recover compensation.

An injured man after a motorcycle accident in Tampa Bay, FL.

Tips for Protecting Your Rights After a Motorcycle Crash

If you ride a motorcycle, it’s important to know how to protect your legal rights after a crash. Take these steps to protect yourself following an accident:

  1. Immediately after an accident, try to remain calm and remove yourself from any danger.

    Once you’re able to, call the police, who will file a police report. A police report is essential if you decide to pursue compensation later.

  2. Do not admit fault to anyone.
  3. If you’re able, take photos of the scene of the accident.

    Draw a diagram of the crash, if possible.

  4. Gather insurance information from the other driver(s) and their contact information.
  5. Collect contact information from any witnesses.

    Their testimony or statements may be helpful for proving fault if you pursue compensation.

  6. Seek immediate medical attention if you’re injured.

    Get a thorough medical exam as soon as possible even if you don’t at first think you suffered major injuries. It could save your life.

  7. Keep track of any expenses related to the accident, such as medical costs, repair costs and lost wages.
  8. Contact a Florida motorcycle accident attorney as soon as you can.

    An attorney can obtain statements from witnesses while the facts are still fresh in their minds. Your attorney can also start negotiating a settlement with the opposing insurance company.

  9. If a settlement cannot be reached, file a lawsuit to pursue compensation.

    Your attorney can handle a lawsuit on your behalf.

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Understanding Florida Motorcycle Laws

Florida has laws that apply specifically to motorcyclists. Those laws address helmet use, lane-splitting, and license requirements. You should be aware of these Florida motorcycle laws:

  • Florida Motorcycle Helmet Laws – When it comes to helmet use, Florida’s motorcycle laws are different from other states. If you are over the age of 21, you do not have to wear a helmet while riding your motorcycle, as long as you meet the specific insurance requirements. You must carry proof of insurance that covers injuries up to $10,000 in the event of an accident.

Helmets are mandatory for motorcyclists under the age of 21, regardless of the insurance policy they have. Wearing a helmet is a personal choice for those older than 21, but it’s best to wear one to reduce your chances of a serious injury.

  • Florida Motorcycle License Requirements – Under Florida’s motorcycle laws, you must either have a motorcycle endorsement on your current driver’s license or a Motorcycle Only license.

To get a motorcycle endorsement, you must have at least a Class E driver’s license. You must also complete an authorized motorcycle basic safety course. After successfully passing the course, you must get your endorsement within one year. You can do so by visiting a driver’s license office, providing the proper ID, and paying the endorsement fees.

To obtain a Motorcycle Only license, you need to pass the knowledge test required for a standard Class E driver’s license. Then you must complete an authorized motorcycle basic safety course. After completing the course, you can visit a driver’s license office and inform them that you’ve completed the required course. Once you’ve paid the required fees and have shown proper ID, you will be issued a Motorcycle Only license.

  • Lane-Splitting in Florida – “Lane-splitting” is a motorcycle maneuver where the motorcyclist rides between two lanes of traffic moving in the same direction. It is also known as “white-lining” or “stripe-riding.” Motorcyclists often use lane-splitting to bypass congestion. However, this common practice is not currently legal in Florida.

Paramedics attending to a motorcycle accident driver after a wreck in Tamp Bay.

Common Motorcycle Accident Injuries

Victims of motorcycle accidents often sustain devastating injuries. Common injuries our law firm sees include:

  • Spinal cord injury
  • Paralysis
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Broken bones
  • Amputation
  • Facial fractures and disfigurement
  • Road rash
  • Burns
  • Broken teeth

Unfortunately, many motorcycle accidents result in death. According to Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, Florida’s motorcycle accidents caused more than 500 fatalities in a single recent year.

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What are Common Causes of Motorcycle Crashes?

Motorcycle crashes occur under a number of circumstances. They commonly involve:

  • Left-Turn Collisions – Many drivers are not aware of motorcyclists on the road. This is frequently the case when cars that turn left fail to yield to oncoming motorcyclists. Since these collisions are nearly head-on, they can result in devastating injuries to the motorcycle rider.
  • Alcohol or Drug Use – While Florida’s number of drunk driving fatalities has slightly decreased in recent years, driving while under the influence is still a major problem. Drunk driving is one of the most common causes of motorcycle accidents.
  • Distracted Driving – Motorists who use their cellphone or are somehow distracted while driving pose significant risks to motorcycle riders. According to NHTSA, 2,841 people were killed in one recent year (including motorcyclists) due to distracted driving.

Florida motorcycle accidents may also involve:

  • Rear-end accidents
  • Running stop signs
  • Running red lights
  • Speeding
  • Out-of-control cars
  • Unsafe lane changes
  • Broadside collisions
  • Sudden stops
  • Inexperienced drivers
  • Unsafe road conditions
  • Motorcycle defects
  • Disregard for traffic laws

Talk to a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer in Tampa BAy Now

At Zervos & Calta, PLLC, we understand the physical, financial, and emotional challenges a motorcycle wreck can cause. One minute you’re riding down the highway, and in a split second you’re facing life-altering injuries through no fault of your own. We can’t undo your traumatic accident, but our caring legal team can help secure the compensation you deserve.

With years of experience at the negotiating table and in the courtroom, our attorneys have obtained sizable settlements and verdicts for people just like you. We also accept cases on a contingency basis. That means you don’t have to pay anything unless we recover compensation on your behalf.

To schedule a free consultation with our Florida motorcycle accident lawyers, call us or contact us online now. We serve Hernando County, Tarpon Springs, St. Petersburg, Clearwater, Spring Hill, and other areas throughout the state.

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