Proving Liability in a Florida Motorcycle Accident
According to the Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FHSMV), Florida has one of the highest motorcycle fatality rates in the United States. In 2023 alone, reports reflect nearly 400 fatalities and over 5,000 injuries have occurred due to motorcycle accidents in the state.
The unfortunate reality is that recovering fair compensation in a personal injury claim after a motorcycle accident is often exceedingly difficult for injured motorcyclists. Without experienced representation, even the most deserving injured parties can walk away empty-handed after filing personal injury claims in Florida courts.
With motorcycle accidents being so common, it’s crucial to collaborate with a trusted motorcycle accident attorney after sustaining an injury, as they can help you navigate the intricacies of court and pursue justice on your behalf while you focus on your recovery.
Keep reading to learn more about establishing negligence after a Florida motorcycle accident.
Who Is Liable in a Florida Motorcycle Accident?
Motorcyclists are at a significantly higher risk of injury and death on Florida roads compared to other drivers. There are various reasons for this, such as:
- The absence of seatbelts in motorcycles
- Careless or distracted driving by fellow drivers sharing the road
- The lack of protection between motorcyclists and their surroundings (such as the road, surrounding cars, and other motor vehicle operators)
When it comes to establishing negligence in a motorcycle accident lawsuit, numerous parties can be held liable for any ensuing injuries or fatalities depending on the case's unique circumstances, including:
- A fellow driver – Commonly, motorcycle accidents can be caused by fellow drivers on the road, such as operators in cars, buses, or trucks. In these cases, it may be necessary to prove fault on part of fellow drivers on Florida roads.
- The motorcycle manufacturer – Sometimes, the manufacturer of the motorcycle may be held liable for accidents, such as if faulty products, malfunctioning equipment, or defective parts caused the injuries.
- The institution responsible for road maintenance – In some cases, the governing body responsible for certain hazardous road conditions (such as the city or related local entities) may be held liable in a motorcycle accident.
4 Elements to Prove in Personal Injury Lawsuits
In personal injury lawsuits, the burden of proof (e.g., the responsibility of proving fault) rests with the plaintiff (the wrongfully injured party). This means the claimant must show by a “preponderance of evidence” (a legal concept meaning “more likely than not”) that the negligent party caused their injuries, thus establishing liability for damages.
To prove negligence in any Florida personal injury case, the plaintiff must demonstrate the existence of four key elements:
- Duty of Care – The plaintiff must prove the offending party owed them a certain standard of care.
- Breach of Duty – The claimant must show that the negligent party breached their aforementioned duty.
- Causation – The plaintiff must present compelling evidence to the court that the offending party directly caused their injuries.
- Damages – The claimant must demonstrate that their injuries are recoverable (e.g., compensatory) to receive compensation in a personal injury case.
5 Types of Strong Evidence in Motorcycle Accidents
Various types of evidence can be used to prove liability after a Florida motorcycle accident. Your lawyer can assist you with gathering and presenting compelling evidence to the court to establish negligence on part of the defendant (e.g., the person who injured you).
Common examples of strong evidence to fortify motorcycle accident claims in Florida include:
- Police reports – Data, reports, and records from law enforcement officials can be excellent evidence when seeking damages for injuries sustained in motorcycle accidents.
- Eyewitness statements – Taking statements from witnesses near the scene can also prove helpful when establishing negligence in court, as surrounding people may be able to fortify your claim or even help disprove any false claims made by the offending party.
- Expert testimonies – In some cases, expert testimonies can help establish negligence in personal injury cases. By providing specific, well-documented scientific or medical evidence, such experts can show that injuries occurred as a result of the offender’s actions. Common expert witnesses include healthcare professionals, economic or financial specialists, or mechanical/automotive engineering experts.
- Digital evidence – Photographs or video footage can be useful evidence in a motorcycle accident claim to establish liability on part of the negligent party. Digital evidence from CCTV or security cam footage may also be valuable to fortify your claim in court.
- Medical records – Medical records and related documentation can be an invaluable way to establish liability in a motorcycle accident lawsuit, as such evidence can help establish causation, timelines of treamtent, and document the severity of injuries if such details are in question.
Skilled Personal Injury Lawyer in Bonita Springs
At the Pittman Law Firm, P.L., our passionate personal injury attorney has a wealth of knowledge to guide your steps carefully and wisely throughout your personal injury case. Whether you’re filing a claim following a catastrophic injury, car accident, or slip-and-fall incident at a local home or business, our firm has the diverse skillset and experience needed to prioritize your unique needs from start to finish. Reach out to our office to learn how we can represent your best interests and equip you for success in court.
Our personal injury lawyer has represented the wrongfully injured in Florida for over 25 years. Call (239) 603-6913 to request a free consultation.