Motorcycle accidents are more likely to result in serious injuries than any other type of traffic accident. This is because in a car accident, the passengers are protected by seat belts, airbags, and the steel frame of the vehicle. But there is nothing protecting motorcyclists, which is why they are at risk of sustaining catastrophic injuries in a crash.
If you were hit by a negligent driver while riding a motorcycle, a Tampa personal injury attorney can help you obtain compensation for your injuries. But how much compensation should you expect to receive? What will you be compensated for after a motorcycle accident? Keep reading to learn the answers to these questions.
What Types of Compensation Are Awarded to Motorcycle Accident Victims?
Motorcyclists who have been injured due to another party’s negligence are entitled to several types of compensation. The first is special damages, which is compensation that is awarded to victims who have incurred expenses or suffered monetary losses as a result of their injuries.
Special damages are awarded to compensate motorcycle accident victims for:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Future loss of income
- Future medical expenses
- Other out-of-pocket expenses
There is no cap on special damages, which means the court can award as much of this type of compensation as necessary to make the victim “whole” again.
The second type of compensation is general damages, which is awarded to victims who have suffered non-monetary losses due to their injuries. This type of compensation may be awarded for a victim’s mental anguish, emotional distress, disfigurement, pain and suffering, loss of companionship, loss of enjoyment of life, and other losses.
There is no cap on general damages, either. It can be hard to place a value on these non-monetary losses, which is why you should turn to an attorney for help.
The third and final category is punitive damages. The first two categories—special and general damages—are awarded to compensate motorcycle accident victims for certain losses or expenses. But punitive damages are different. Instead, these damages are awarded to motorcycle accident victims to punish the defendant for acting egregiously.
The court will only award punitive damages in a motorcycle accident case if the plaintiff can prove that the defendant either intentionally caused them harm or acted with gross negligence. If the defendant acted intentionally, there is no cap on punitive damages. But if not, there is a cap of $500,000 or three times the amount of special and general damages awarded to the plaintiff, whichever is greater.
What Factors Will Affect the Value of Your Motorcycle Accident Claim?
Every motorcycle accident case is unique, which is why an attorney cannot calculate the value of your claim without learning more about your situation.
There are a number of different factors that could affect the value of your claim, including:
- Nature of your injuries: The more severe the injuries, the higher the value of your claim.
- Length of recovery: A longer recovery may increase the value of your claim.
- Long-term consequences of your injuries: If your injuries will continue to impact you in the future, this will increase the value of your claim.
- Ability to work: You are entitled to compensation for current and future lost wages. Therefore, if your injuries temporarily or permanently prevent you from working, this will increase the value of your claim.
These are some of the many different factors that could impact how much your claim is worth. To learn about the value of your claim, discuss your case with an attorney today.
Can You Recover Compensation If You Were Partly to Blame?
Another factor that will impact the value of your claim is liability. If the other party was 100% at fault for the accident, they are legally obligated to compensate you for your injuries. But the rules are different if you were partly at fault for the motorcycle accident.
Each state has its own laws regarding whether or not a victim can recover compensation if they were partly to blame for the accident. Florida is a pure comparative negligence state. This means in this state, victims are still entitled to compensation even if they played a role in the accident that caused them harm. However, if you were partially liable, this will affect the value of your claim.
The amount of compensation you are awarded will be reduced to account for your percentage of liability. For example, say it is determined that the other driver was 60% at fault and you were 40% at fault for the motorcycle accident. You suffered $100,000 in damages as a result of your injuries. But you cannot recover the full $100,000 from the other party since they were only 60% liable. Instead, the amount of compensation you will be awarded will be reduced by 40% to account for your role in the accident. Therefore, the court will award you $60,000 for your injuries.
This is how the pure comparative negligence law will affect the outcome of your motorcycle accident case. Because Florida is a pure comparative negligence state, you can still recover compensation after a motorcycle accident even if you were more than 50% at fault for the crash.
Discuss Your Case With Our Motorcycle Accident Attorneys Today
Have you been injured in a motorcycle accident in the greater Tampa Bay area? If so, it’s in your best interest to seek legal representation from the skilled motorcycle accident attorneys at Carlson Meissner Hart & Hayslett as soon as possible. Focus solely on recovering from your injuries while our team of experienced attorneys works tirelessly to secure the compensation you are entitled to by law.
With our help, motorcycle accident victims can obtain the compensation they deserve for their medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. We won’t settle for less than what you deserve. Contact our law office today to schedule a free consultation regarding your motorcycle accident case.