Motorcycles are an economical and environmentally friendly mode of transportation, plus they can be a whole lot of fun. Unfortunately, the nature of motorcycles makes riders vulnerable to very serious injuries or even death, especially in an intersection collision. Such crashes tend to be very violent because the other, larger vehicle is often traveling at a high rate of speed. Pembroke Pines motorcycle accident attorney Alan Cohn, a motorcycle enthusiast himself, understands the devastation that a serious motorcycle crash, can have on a family because he has represented many crash victims in and around the Pembroke Pines area.Florida Law Covering Intersection Collisions
Motor vehicle accidents generally fall under what is known as “negligence” law. Regardless of whether the involved vehicle is the smallest motorbike or the largest SUV, a claimant seeking to recover money damages against a person who caused an accident must go through a four-step process. First, the claimant must show that the defendant owed him or her a duty under the law. Florida traffic laws impose a general duty of due care – and many specific duties, as well – on motorists, so this step is usually straightforward.
The second step is to prove that the defendant breached the duty of due care imposed upon him or her. Defendants are usually reluctant to admit fault, so it is important to thoroughly investigate all of the contributing factors in a particular accident. Some of the most common causes of vehicle wrecks today include distracted driving such as cell phone use, texting, or other in-vehicle entertainment; impaired driving such as use of drugs or alcohol; and excessive speed. When a careless motorist engages in any of these activities, it increases the chances of an intersection collision with a cyclist because it takes the driver’s time and attention from the road.Damages and Common Defense Arguments
The other two steps in a negligence case are to prove that the claimant was actually damaged in the accident and that the injuries of which he complains were, in fact, caused by the defendant’s breach of duty. Once the four-step negligence test has been met, the claimant has a duty to present evidence as to the amount of damages to which he or she is entitled. This can include things such as:
- Past and future medical expenses;
- Pain and suffering;
- Lost income; and
- Loss of future earning capacity.
Damage elements such as medical expenses are usually easier to prove than so-called “noneconomic” damages such as pain and suffering. There isn’t a hard and fast rule concerning calculation of these types of awards. Either the parties reach an agreement through a settlement, or a court makes a determination after hearing all of the evidence.
Defendants will, of course, attempt to keep the claimant’s damages as low as possible. They may do this by pointing out pre-existing conditions or post-accident aggravations of the injury. They may also allege that the claimant contributed to the cause of the accident and should have his or her recovery reduced proportionately under Florida’s comparative fault laws.
Florida law generally requires that a person who has been injured in a motorcycle accident file suit within four years of the date of the accident, or otherwise his or her case will be barred by the statute of limitations. Notably, the limitations period is considerably shorter in cases in which a cyclist is killed; wrongful death cases must be filed in two years, or the accident victim’s family will not be able to recover damages for the loss of their loved one.Motorcycle Collision Lawyers Serving Riders in Pembroke Pines
At Cohn & Smith, our Pembroke Pines attorneys understand that motorcycle or other vehicle accidents can change a person’s life in an instant. Medical bills pile up quickly, and a victim may not be able to return to work for a long time after the crash. If you or a loved one has been hurt in an intersection collision, our legal team will fight hard for your rights to fair compensation under the law. We represent clients in Pembroke Pines, Coral Springs, and throughout South Florida. Call our Pembroke Pines attorneys today at (954) 431-8100 or contact us online to have us review your claim at no charge. Most cases are accepted on a contingency fee basis, meaning you don’t have to pay attorney fees until your case is settled or you receive a favorable judgment in court.