State Motorcycle Laws
Motorcycle accidents are among the most catastrophic and deadly crashes on Florida highways. If you or a loved one has been involved in one of these devastating collisions, you may need a law firm that is experienced in personal injury litigation. At Cohn & Smith, our Pembroke Pines motorcycle accident lawyers have assisted many injured riders from Pembroke Pines and the surrounding cities. We work diligently to stay abreast of all state motorcycle laws so that we can help our clients seek maximum monetary compensation for their harm. Attorney Alan Cohn is a serious motorcycle enthusiast and understands the challenges cyclists face both on the road and in court.Hold a Negligent Driver Accountable for Your Injuries Under State Motorcycle Laws
In most cases, motorcycle accident cases proceed under Florida’s negligence laws. To recover compensation, a plaintiff must prove that the defendant owed him or her a legal duty, such as the duty to keep a proper lookout or obey the speed limit. The defendant must have breached that duty and caused the accident in which the victim was hurt, and the plaintiff must have incurred actual damages. If the claim succeeds, the plaintiff may be able to recover compensation for pain and suffering, past and future lost wages, mental anguish, medical expenses, and property damage, among other forms of compensation. The injured person’s spouse may also be entitled to compensation for loss of consortium.
There are several stages to a lawsuit. The first step is investigating the collision. This typically begins with a careful review of the accident report, but it may also include photographing the scene, taking measurements, interviewing witnesses, and possibly contacting an expert accident reconstructionist to render an opinion as to the cause of the crash and how it could have been avoided through the exercise of due care. As the case continues to be built, medical records and bills may be gathered, and depositions may be taken of the plaintiff’s treating physicians and other medical experts. Once discovery is complete, settlement negotiations may take place. If the parties are not able to reach an amicable agreement, the case then proceeds to trial, usually in front of a jury.
At trial, each side is allowed to present evidence concerning the accident. Sometimes, a defendant may argue that the plaintiff was partially at fault in the collision. It is up to the defendant to convince the jury of this, however. If the jury agrees with the defendant, it can reduce the plaintiff’s compensation award in proportion to the percentage of fault assigned to him or her under Florida’s pure comparative fault doctrine.
Some types of comparative negligence arguments may be based on a violation of a state motorcycle law. While motorcyclists have the same rights as other drivers of motor vehicles, they correspondingly have many of the same obligations. There are also several specific rules that govern their conduct. Motorcyclists must ride astride on their motorcycles, avoid riding between lanes of traffic, check their brakes to make sure that they are in safe condition, and wear protective eye wear when they are on the road, among other requirements. While motorcyclists who are 21 or older do not need to wear a helmet, they must carry at least $10,000 in insurance to cover injuries in the event of an accident if they choose not to use a helmet.
If a rider has contributed to a crash by violating one of these rules, however, the pure comparative fault doctrine allows him or her to potentially recover damages from any defendant who also was partially responsible for the accident. This is true even if the motorcyclist was more at fault than any other party.Discuss Your Motorcycle Accident Case with a Pembroke Pines Attorney
The law allows a limited time for an injured person or the family of someone who tragically died in a motorcycle crash to file a lawsuit against a defendant. Therefore, it is important to avoid any delay in seeking representation after an accident in the Pembroke Pines area. To contact one of the experienced motor vehicle collision lawyers at Cohn & Smith, call us today at 954-431-8100 or contact us online and schedule a free consultation. We represent accident victims throughout South Florida, including in Pembroke Pines, Hollywood, Weston, Coral Springs, and North Dade County.