Steps to Reduce Fault in Florida Motorcycle Accidents
Imagine you are riding your motorcycle down the road in Florida when out of nowhere, a car runs a red light and hits you and sends you flying off your motorcycle. You decide to sue the driver and you think this is a pretty open and shut case. Right? Not necessarily. Pursuant to Florida law, there are three elements an injured party must prove to show the other party was negligent:
- There was a duty of care owed by the defendant;
- The defendant breached that duty of care; and
- The breach of duty caused your injuries.
Even if you are able to establish these elements, however, in many cases a defendant is not 100% at fault for your injuries. Florida law provides that courts should apply a pure comparative negligence standard. This means that if the court finds you are only 10% at fault for your injuries, your damages will be reduced by 10%. Accordingly, there are several tips that you should consider following to reduce the amount of fault a court potentially will allocate to you in a motorcycle accident.
Wear a Helmet and Other Protective Gear
This is perhaps the most straightforward and common sense tip. While it seems obvious, many motorcyclists do not fully understand the risks and consequences of not wearing a helmet. In the context of determining negligence, if a court determines you were not wearing a helmet at the time of the accident and you are claiming a head injury that may have been mitigated by wearing a helmet, a court will likely reduce the damages it awards you. This same reasoning applies to other protective gear as well.
Take Photos of the Accident Scene/Get Witness Testimony
Another way to paint a picture demonstrating that you were not negligent in an accident is with an actual picture. If you have the opportunity at the time of the accident, you should take a photo of the scene to show the circumstances surrounding the accident. You should also take down the names of witnesses who would be willing to testify on your behalf regarding the accident. If you are unable to take photos at the time of the accident, you should at least go back to the scene of the accident to take photos of where the accident occurred.
Obtain a Doctor’s Report
Finally, it is often helpful to obtain a third party report describing the extent of the injuries you suffered. This provides an objective counterpart to your subjective report regarding your injuries.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle accident due to someone else’s negligence, you should hire a local personal injury lawyer who can help you build a case for attributing more fault to the defendant and reducing the amount of fault attributable to you. The experienced personal injury lawyers at Lesser, Lesser, Landy, & Smith, PLLC in West Palm Beach, Stuart, and Boca Raton can help you evaluate the merits of your case and act quickly to ensure you are appropriately compensated for your injuries. Contact us today for a free consultation.