Zephyrhills is a beautiful community located in the Tampa Bay area of Florida. With perfect weather all year round, motorcycling in Zephyrhills is common.
Unfortunately, motorcyclists often realize that the deck is stacked against them after an accident. Even when another driver causes the accident, motorcyclists often find themselves fighting insurance companies and unfair biases to obtain the money they deserve.
At Nicoletti Accident Injury Lawyers, our job is to fight these unfair biases and right the wrongs done to you. Our Zephyrhills Motorcycle Accident Lawyers work aggressively to hold negligent drivers accountable for the harm they caused. This is why so many injured Zephyrhills motorcyclists choose our law firm after their crash. Our Zephyrhills personal injury lawyers know that you need money quickly and we work tirelessly to help make that happen.
Nicoletti Zephyrhills Motorcycle Accident Lawyers
When you suffer an injury in a motorcycle accident in Zephyrhills, you deserve someone on your side who cares about you and the challenges you face. In the blink of an eye, your whole world can turn upside down. Thoughts that you may never fully recover from your injuries make the pain and suffering you endure even worse. When this happens, you may feel as if you are all alone in the fight.
At Nicoletti Accident Injury Lawyers, we understand these fears and we want to assure you that you are never alone. We recognize the obstacles you encounter after a serious motorcycle accident and we work aggressively to right the wrongs done to you. Our experience handling insurance companies, working with motorcycle repair shops, and navigating the Zephyrhills court system enables us to obtain maximum compensation for our clients. While you focus your energy on your treatment plan and recovery process, we focus our energy on fighting for your rights and your future.
Our experience negotiating and litigating motorcycle accident cases throughout the years taught us that no two accidents are ever the same. That is why we take the time to listen to you and learn more about your fears and your injuries. We use this knowledge to develop a legal plan that is right for you - and one that specifically addresses the issues you face.
Our success in helping injured motorcyclists is one reason why so many injured Zephyrhills motorcyclists choose us after a devastating crash.
Here are just a few of the injured Zephyrhills motorcycle accident survivors we helped.
- $425,000 award after a motorcyclist suffered spinal cord and brain injuries
- $250,000 award after a motor vehicle accident caused hip and back injuries
- $215,000 award after a motor vehicle accident caused neck and back injuries
Motorcyclists commute to and from work in Tampa Bay or Lakeland during the weekdays. Then, when the weekend hits, they take their bikes on beautiful rides through the area. Whether you choose to ride through the 130 miles of the Green Swamp or along the beautiful and scenic beach routes on the West Coast of Florida, there is no shortage of amazing motorcycling in Zephyrhills.
It is no surprise that Florida is one of the top states for motorcycling because of its beautiful scenery and perfect weather. However, it is also one of the most dangerous states for motorcyclists. Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration indicates that Florida is the fourth most dangerous state to ride in. This is because nearly 600 motorcyclists lose their lives on Florida roads every year.
In Zephyrhills and the surrounding area, motorcycle accidents occur on a regular basis. Whether it’s along State Road 54 or U.S. 301, motorcycling accidents happen at all hours of the day and night virtually 12 months a year. Nearly 300 motorcycle accidents occur in Pasco County and Zephyrhills every year. These accidents cause an estimated 30 deaths and 270 injuries.
In Zephyrhills, some roads are simply more dangerous than others. Some of the most common locations for motorcycle accidents in Zephyrhills include, but are not limited to:
- U.S. Route 301. This is the main road that runs north and south through Zephyrhills. It is also known as Fort King Highway and Gall Boulevard. It is a dangerous road for motorcyclists because of the many cars on the road, combined with numerous intersections.
- State Road 39. This road runs from Plant City to Zephyrhills. It joins US 301 to become a hidden state road.
- County Road 41. This road is an extension of SR 41. It is also known as Fort King Highway or Fort King Road. It runs along US 301.
- State Road 54. This road is the main east-west road through Zephyrhills and southern Pasco County. It is also known as Fifth Avenue.
Motorcyclists face unfair challenges when riding on Florida roads. Due to their low profile and sleek design, motorcycles do not offer their riders any protection. Nothing separates a motorcyclist from the pavement below. As such, any accident can cause serious and catastrophic injuries - even ones that occur at low speeds.
This low profile also makes them less visible to other drivers. Other motorists often fail to recognize motorcyclists on the road, even in broad daylight. As a result, they may rear-end them at stoplights, pull out in front of them at an intersection, or veer into their lane. Studies continue to show that other motor vehicle drivers cause a shocking 60 percent of all motorcycle accidents.
Its more common for motorcycle accidents to be caused by the negligence of others. truck accidents and car accident involving motorcycle accidents are commonly not the motorcycle riders fault but suffer severe injuries.
- Turning left at an intersection. Up to 42 percent of all motorcycle accidents occur when another car or truck turns left into the path of an oncoming motorcyclist. Left-hand turns are catastrophic and can cause severe and deadly injuries. Motorcyclists riding through an intersection do not have time to brake when another vehicle pulls out into the intersection quickly. At high rates of speed, this can result in the biker sliding on the pavement or out into traffic.
- Distracted driving. Everyone on the road faces increased risk when drivers use their cellphones or handheld devices while driving. Distractions, such as smartphones, increase the likelihood of getting into a serious and deadly accident. However, motorcyclists face even more risk because getting into an accident with a distracted driver is often deadly. When drivers text while driving or use their GPS devices, they may fail to see a motorcyclist stopped at a stoplight. Rear-end motorcycle accidents are tragic because the motorcyclist is often thrown off their bike and into oncoming traffic. At least 10 percent of all fatal motorcycle accidents involved a distracted driver.
- Drunk Driving Accidents. Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is not only against the law but also deadly. When drivers or motorcyclists operate their vehicles after drinking or taking drugs, they may lose control or fail to react to emergencies in time. Alcohol and drugs cause nearly half of all single motorcycle accidents.
- Poor weather. Poor weather accounts for a large portion of motorcycle accidents as well for a variety of reasons. In rain or high winds, motorcyclists may have difficulty controlling their bikes. They may slide or skid on the roads, especially when making sharp turns. Likewise, other drivers can find it difficult to drive on wet or slick roads. They may slide into a motorcyclist or fail to see a motorcyclist on the road.
Riding a Motorcycle in Zephyrhills
To ride a motorcycle in Zephyrhills, you must have a proper license and motorcycle endorsement on your license. The Motorcycle Safety Foundation offers safety courses throughout Zephyrhills, Tampa, and Florida to help riders improve strategies and techniques and avoid crashes. New riders must take and pass the Basic RiderCourse before they can obtain a motorcycle endorsement.
Florida repealed its universal helmet law in 2000. Now, anyone who is over the age of 21 can ride a motorcycle without a helmet. When lawmakers removed the universal helmet law, the number of motorcycle fatalities increased. This is because helmet use reduces the risk of suffering a fatal motorcycle injury by 42 percent. Helmets also lower your risk of suffering a head injury by 69 percent.
In Florida, PIP insurance laws do not apply to motorcyclists. However, Florida’s Financial Responsibility Law does apply and motorcyclists can face real penalties for not carrying some form of insurance.
The minimum required is:
- $10,000 for one person bodily injury
- $20,000 for two or more people bodily injury liability
- $10,000 for property damage liability
Because motorcycling injuries are often more severe, motorcyclists often rack up hefty medical bills. If an uninsured driver hits you, how can you obtain the money you need to recover? In addition to purchasing motorcycle insurance, many motorcyclists choose to purchase UM/UIM (uninsured/underinsured motorist) insurance to protect them from uninsured drivers. If you purchased UM/UIM insurance, then you can turn to your own insurance company for help.
When a motorcyclist gets into an accident in Zephyrhills, they must first turn to their own insurance to help them cover the cost of their medical expenses. This is because Florida is a no-fault state. Injured motorcyclists can quickly get up to $10,000 in medical expenses without having to prove fault or establish liability.
However, as you may realize, injured motorcyclists often need significantly more than $10,000 to pay their medical bills. A government report uncovered that direct costs from deaths and injuries caused by motorcycle accidents cost the U.S. $16 billion a year. The individual cost for injuries ranged from $2,500 to more than $1.4 million. As a result, injured bikers often need to file personal injury claims against the “at-fault” driver to collect the money they need.
An experienced Zephyrhills motorcycle accident lawyer can help you review your legal options and collect the compensation you need - and deserve after a serious motorcycle accident. At Nicoletti Accident Injury Lawyers, our attorneys begin by meeting with you and learning more about your accident and your injuries. We offer a free initial consultation to help make this easier for you. We want to get to know you and explore your legal options together.
Once you retain us to represent you, we will then start investigating your accident and building your case. To do this, we often examine police reports, eyewitness accounts, and crash damage. We also work with your doctors and healthcare team to understand how your injuries will affect your life and your future.
We do this to ensure that any settlement you receive is enough to cover:
- Medical bills
- Rehabilitation and therapy costs
- Long-term care
- Future complications and expenses
- Lost wages
- Loss of any future earnings and benefits
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
Most motorcycle accident survivors obtain significantly more compensation when they hire a motorcycle accident attorney to represent them. At Nicoletti Accident Injury Lawyers, we can help protect your legal rights and offer you the guidance and support you need to get through this terrible ordeal.
Motorcycle accidents often result in serious injuries. Injury victims have the right to receive compensation for injuries caused by the negligence of a motor vehicle operator or another party. Injuries of a more serious nature require more compensation, so you might have a serious financial stake in the outcome of a motorcycle injury case.
The experienced and dedicated Zephyrhills motorcycle accident attorneys at Nicoletti Accident Injury Lawyers can help protect your legal right to compensation. We know how to work with insurance companies to negotiate a fair settlement. We also know how to take your case to trial if necessary and present a compelling case to a jury.
After a motorcycle accident, you will likely feel overwhelmed by what happens next. Our skilled motorcycle injury attorneys will handle the insurance claims process so you can focus on getting better. It is still helpful to understand the process. Our lawyers have prepared this guide of common questions to help you better understand your legal rights.
Where do motorcycle accidents occur in Zephyrhills?
Like all auto accidents, motorcycle accidents are most likely to occur where there is the most traffic. The major thoroughfares of Zephyrhills (such as Gall Boulevard) can get congested and cause traffic accidents.
Riders should also be careful at our main attractions that also have a lot of traffic. Use caution around the Train Depot Museum, Zephyr Park, and Fort Foster. Not only do these attractions have a lot of traffic, but they bring a lot of children out, as well. Small children can be difficult for riders to see and avoid. They can also be unpredictable and sometimes dart into traffic unexpectedly.
Who is at fault for a Zephyrhills motorcycle accident?
The person legally at fault for causing an accident also has a legal obligation to compensate victims for injuries they sustain in that accident. This liability is why auto insurance companies start the claims process by determining who was to blame for causing the accident.
A driver who did not see the motorcycle often causes an accident, possibly because of distractions, impairment, or breaking traffic laws. Any of these actions are considered negligence. In this case, the driver would be at fault, and their auto insurance carrier would pay for the motorcycle rider’s injuries (up to the limits of the driver’s liability coverage).
It is not always a single driver who is at fault for a motorcycle accident. Sometimes, liability might be shared by two drivers, or the driver and another party, such as the negligent driver’s employer. In this case, you would need to determine all of the insurance policies that might provide coverage for your accident, as the parties might split the liability.
Liability can even fall on a third party that was not present at the scene of the accident. Imagine the driver could not stop in time due to a defective braking system. In this case, the manufacturer of the car could be liable for selling a defective product.
You must find all potential defendants in a motorcycle accident case. If you fail to name everyone liable, you could miss out on the compensation you need and deserve. Our skilled motorcycle accident lawyers have experience identifying all potential defendants and proving their liability to an insurance company or jury.
Why do Zephyrhills motorcycle accidents cause such serious injuries?
A motorcycle accident often hurts the person on a bike far worse than the vehicle occupants because motorcycle riders have far less protection from the force of impact. A comprehensive system of safety features protects vehicle occupants, including seatbelts, airbags, and even the metal frame of the vehicle itself, designed to crumple in specific places to divert the force of a collision away from the passenger compartment of the vehicle. These features have repeatedly proven to save lives.
Unfortunately, motorcycle riders do not have these protections. Their bodies can slam directly into the other vehicle, or the road, or nearby trees, or other points of impact. They often have no protection whatsoever from the force of this impact. That means that the body must absorb the full force of the collision, which in turn causes serious and often fatal injuries.
What if my loved one dies as a result of a Zephyrhills motorcycle accident?
Unfortunately, not all motorcycle riders survive their injuries after a collision. When a fatality occurs due to the negligence of a motor vehicle operator, surviving family members or legal heirs can sue a negligent driver for wrongful death. The Florida Wrongful Death Act specifies who may sue, what damages a plaintiff can recover, the filing deadline of a claim, and other critical procedures for filing a successful wrongful death case.
Mistakes in the process can get your claim dismissed by a court altogether, further illustrating why survivors must work with a motorcycle accident lawyer with a wealth of experience handling wrongful death claims.
Will my health insurance pay my Zephyrhills motorcycle accident medical bills?
Your health insurance carrier has a legal obligation to pay for your medical bills, even if someone else caused the injuries. If, however, you receive compensation at a later date for these same bills in a Zephyrhills motorcycle accident case, the health insurance carrier will want to receive reimbursement for the bills they paid, something known as a right of subrogation. Medicaid and Medicare programs are especially diligent about finding any reimbursements that an individual or entity owes them.
So how does the reimbursement process work? It may start with an inquiry from your health insurance company about the accident. You can refer them to your injury lawyer. Your attorney’s office will keep the health insurance company updated on your case and handle all their questions. In this process, the health insurance carrier will submit a list of bills that appear to be related to the accident.
Your attorney can challenge this list if the Zephyrhills motorcycle accident settlement does not cover any of your bills. Remember, the health insurance company only receives reimbursement for bills that you receive compensation in your injury award. Once both sides agree on which bills receive a reimbursement and for how much, the health insurance company receives this amount from your Zephyrhills motorcycle accident award.
Your lawyer will receive the entire settlement from the insurance company. After paying the health insurance company, attorney’s fees, court costs, and any other bills you must pay, they will distribute your proceeds to you directly.
What if a Zephyrhills motorcycle accident leaves me permanently disabled?
In many cases, the serious injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident leave a victim permanently disabled and lead to a lifetime of expenses (such as medical treatment and rehabilitation services), as well as other financial losses (such as lost wages). You also deserve compensation for the ongoing pain and suffering you will endure for the rest of your life. If you suffered a permanent disability, your pain and suffering over a lifetime will be significant, and it will take a significant amount of money to compensate you for it fairly.
So how are these future expenses calculated? After all, an individual must file a Zephyrhills motorcycle accident claim generally within two years of an accident, so you will not have bills that show the exact cost of your future medical care. Instead, your motorcycle accident lawyer will work with expert witnesses to make accurate projections about your future financial losses.
For example, an economist can calculate the difference between your wages before the accident and what you can earn after the accident. The economist calculates using the expected retirement age to come to this figure, then adjusts for inflation. The economist will also add the value of any lost employment benefits (such as healthcare premiums or employer contributions to a retirement account).
A report presented to the insurance company details all of these figures. They may challenge the economist’s figures with their own expert witness. They might also attack your post-accident earnings by claiming that you can, in fact, work (or at least earn more than you are currently making). Your lawyer may need to hire a vocational expert to determine exactly how much you can earn with the limitations your injuries have forced on you.
As you can see, the value of future losses is a complicated issue that can require opinions from multiple expert witnesses. When the losses are intangible (such as pain and suffering), it can be even more difficult to get the fair compensation you deserve.
What is fair compensation for my pain and suffering after a Zephyrhills motorcycle accident?
So what compensation is fair for your pain and suffering? These are highly subjective losses. There is no standard dollar amount that determines fair compensation for a broken bone versus internal bleeding.
Insurance companies like to simply make a rough estimate based on your medical bills, but doing so does not take into account your unique situation. If, for example, it would significantly increase the pain and suffering of a pregnant woman if she could not take certain medications due to the risk to her unborn child.
Her medical bills might actually be less than the person who did take the medication, but her suffering was worse. In this case, an experienced motorcycle accident attorney could present these facts to the insurance company along with the demand for fair compensation. If necessary, the lawyer could also make a compelling case for higher compensation to a jury.
What about future pain and suffering? In the case of permanent injuries, these losses can be dramatic. You might miss out on walking across the stage at your own graduation or dancing with a child at their wedding. You might have to give up a beloved hobby. You will experience a loss of enjoyment of life, and you might be scarred or disfigured, as well. The aftermath of the accident and injury and the amount of care you now require could strain your family relationships.
All of this very real pain and suffering demands fair compensation. In fact, pain and suffering is often the largest component of a Zephyrhills motorcycle accident settlement or jury award. It is also the most subjective and hardest to prove, meaning that the insurance company will work hard to attack the value of your pain and suffering. Motorcycle accident victims must protect their legal right to compensation by hiring an experienced injury lawyer who can give them a fair assessment of what their case is really worth.
What if I was not wearing my helmet when someone crashed into my motorcycle in Zephyrhills?
Even if you were not wearing a helmet at the time of the accident, you could still receive compensation for your injuries and losses. The insurance company might try to make you feel as though your injuries are your own fault because you were not wearing a helmet, but such liability is simply not the case.
The law holds negligent drivers responsible for the injuries they cause. In some cases, the insurance company might try to argue that you contributed to your own injuries by not wearing a helmet. A jury could find you partly at fault in this case, but you still deserve compensation for the portion of your injuries that happened due to the negligent driver. More importantly, the insurance company does not get to unilaterally decide what portion of fault you have for failing to wear a helmet.
If your attorney can agree on a percentage, the claim might settle out of court. However, if the insurance company refuses to make a fair allotment (such as assigning you 90 percent of the blame when the negligent driver caused the crash, for example), your attorney may advise you to go to trial. Taking the case to court allows you to present your case to your peers and let them decide what fault, if any, you have for failing to wear a helmet.
As you can see, there can be many complexities involved in Zephyrhills motorcycle accident claims. This is why it is so critical to seek help from the best motorcycle accident attorneys in the area at Nicoletti Accident Injury Lawyers.
Nicoletti Law Firm Motorcycle Accident Case Results
- $1,350,000 - Motorcycle accident which resulted in multiple surgeries
- $425,000 - Motorcycle accident resulting in traumatic brain injury
Did you get into a serious motorcycle accident in Zephyrhills, Port Richey, Lakeland, Tampa Bay or anywhere in the state of Florida, you deserve help. At Nicoletti Accident Injury Lawyers, our Zephyrhills personal injury lawyers offer complete legal guidance after a devastating injury accident. We know the issues and challenges motorcyclists face after a serious injury crash. That is why we work aggressively to help them obtain the money they need.
Injured motorcyclists have legal rights and options to explore after a serious accident. To learn more about those legal options, call us at (727) 845-5972 or fill out our confidential contact form. We offer free consultations so you can get the answers you need to confidently choose the legal path that is best for you. Call us today and tell us your story.