Tampa Motorcycle Accident Lawyer

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Tampa Motorcycle Accident Attorney

Tampa Motorcycle Accident Lawyer

Motorcycle accidents can be some of the most damaging incidents on the road. This is due to the lack of protection these vehicles offer to their riders compared to traditional vehicles. They are, unfortunately a common occurrence in Tampa, leaving many victims to suffer with serious injuries or even fatalities in the most severe of cases. If you have been in a motorcycle accident, you need a Tampa motorcycle accident lawyer to help earn compensation for your damages.

At Paul Figueroa Law, we empathize with those who suffer from injuries that they did not cause. We know how overwhelming it can feel to balance your recovery phase with the legal duties. This is why our crash lawyers eagerly step in to evaluate your case and help keep it moving toward a final compensation award. This can provide you with more time for your recovery efforts while having peace in knowing that your case is being aggressively advocated.

What Are the Most Common Reasons Why Motorcycle Accidents Happen in Tampa?

Whether a motorcycle crash is an accident or intentional, there is a combination of different factors that can all point to a cause in each individual case. Some of the most common reasons why these happen in Tampa include:

Visibility Issues

Due to a motorcycle’s small size, compared to other motor vehicles on the road, they can easily fall into the blind spot of others on the road. This is especially true for large commercial trucks or SUVs, which already have their own challenges spotting smaller vehicles.

A lack of visibility can be enhanced when a motorcycle is in a blind spot during poor weather conditions, like rain or fog. This could lead another driver to accidentally cut the motorcycle off when changing lanes or making a turn.


The risk of disobeying a posted speed limit is the same for motorcycle drivers as it is for their counterparts in traditional vehicles. When you operate your car at higher speeds, it decreases your ability to respond quickly to unexpected hazards on the road. This could prevent you from stopping on time or swerving around the hazard.

In addition, the impact of a vehicle colliding with another object is multiplied when someone is speeding. This can lead to even more serious injuries or fatalities, especially if the speeding vehicle crashes into a motorcyclist who isn’t as well protected as another car would be.

Inexperienced Riders

Those who are new to riding a motorcycle likely don’t have strong enough skills to handle a change in road conditions or unexpected obstacles, as more seasoned motorcycle riders do. If you are also used to driving around in more rural areas, you may find difficulties operating your motorcycle when you find yourself in an unexpected area of heavy traffic. All this could lead you to make an incorrect judgment and engage in a risky maneuver that leads to a crash.

Road Hazards

Motorcycles are one of the most susceptible vehicles on the road to accidents caused by unexpected road hazards. These could include a small object on the road or an uneven surface that might not even be noticed in a car but is destructive when hit by a motorcycle. This can include potholes, wet leaves, or road debris. Depending on how you hit road hazards like these, it could cause you to lose control of your motorcycle and lead to an accident.

Cornering and Braking Errors

Most motorcyclists know that properly operating the vehicle requires precise handling when navigating curves and pressing the brakes to stop. For example, overexerting force on the brakes can lead the front wheel to lock and the bike to topple over. On the other hand, not braking hard enough could cause the motorcycle to not slow down fast enough to avoid hitting another car. Errors like these are mostly unintentional but often happen in Tampa motorcycle crashes.

Impaired Riding

It is illegal to drive under the influence in Florida, even if you are on a motorcycle. Being impaired while driving a motorcycle can lead to a number of troubles, like not being able to stay properly balanced or having a slower reaction time against unexpected hazards. Even if you only had a drink or two and are still under the 0.08% BAC limit, it could still compromise the coordination and focus you need to ride a motorcycle as safely as possible.

Lane Splitting

The act of driving a motorcycle between two lanes of stopped or slow-moving traffic, sometimes referred to as “lane splitting,” can be extremely dangerous. It is not something that other drivers are expecting to happen and, due to the proximity it creates between the motorcycle and other cars, it leaves little room for error. While some states allow this to happen, lane splitting is illegal in Florida and will be met with certain penalties if a rider is caught doing it.

Car Doors

One hazard that many people are unaware of occurs when a motorcycle collides with a car door as someone is opening it. This is often the case when a car is parked, and its driver is exiting the vehicle while the motorcycle is driving by. This can sometimes cause very serious collisions, as the motorcyclist might have little or no time to react and move.

Collisions at Intersections

Intersections are one of the largest hotspots for road accidents, including those involving motorcycles. This is because drivers might fail to see a motorcycle approaching an intersection or misjudge how fast it’s coming toward them. In this case, a car tries to make a quick left turn and collides with the motorcycle. This can also happen in reverse, where a motorcycle incorrectly anticipates a vehicle’s move at an intersection and runs into it.

Mechanical Failures

Failure to keep up with a motorcycle’s maintenance needs can cause an accident while driving. Some common incidents to occur from lack of maintenance include brakes going out, tires deflating, or even engine problems where the vehicle stops running while in motion. This can also happen from wear and tear that naturally happens when a bike is heavily used. Keeping on top of your bike’s condition and needs can reduce the likelihood of a mechanical failure.

How Is Fault Determined in a Motorcycle Crash?

The process of determining who is at fault in a motorcycle accident is very identical to vehicle accidents. It will require an extensive investigation into the chain of events that led to the motorcycle crash. It is through this investigation that attorneys can collect evidence to use in court as proof.

Generally, fault is determined by the following:

Police Reports

The first step is to see what observations were noted on the police report that was generated by the officers who arrived on the scene. Once they arrive at the accident, they will collect evidence, take statements from any eyewitnesses, and note their own opinions of what chain of events led to the crash. This report will be a crucial piece of evidence to provide an objective overview of what happened.

Traffic Laws

If there is any evidence to suggest that one party broke a traffic law, this could help determine who is at fault for the motorcycle accident. For example, there may be surveillance footage that shows one individual running through a red light before colliding with the other vehicle. Evidence such as this is difficult to refute, as it brings everyone in the room back to the scene of the incident on that day.

Evidence From the Scene

A lot of attorneys and investigators might go to an accident scene to see if any extra evidence can be found. This could include skid marks on the pavement, a piece of vehicle that fell off, or even poor road conditions. Having as many pieces of evidence as these as possible can help reconstruct the accident and make it clear how it occurred.

Witness Statements

When both parties involved in a motorcycle accident have conflicting accounts of what happened, third-party witness statements can help provide clarity. The most credible witnesses have had a clear view of the incident and no vested interest in the outcome of the case. They can testify as to how fast they saw a car going, what traffic signals were active, or the actions of either driver in the accident, which can all help determine liability for the incident.

Motorcycle and Vehicle Conditions

Sometimes, the mechanical state of a vehicle or motorcycle in an accident can help indicate who is at fault. For example, an investigation into the condition of a vehicle may reveal that the brakes failed and likely contributed to the accident. If there is evidence showing that the vehicle’s owner had neglected to repair these brakes after being told that they were not in good condition, this could be enough evidence to hold this individual accountable for their role in the accident.

Legal Action

If both parties are unable to agree on who was at fault, the case will advance to court. This is where the accumulation of all evidence will be reviewed by a judge and jury. The court will spend time evaluating this evidence, according to the legal standards of fault, and reach a consensus to close the case. Unless the losing party wants to appeal the results, this is where the mission of establishing fault will end.

In each of these areas, all stakeholders involved are trying to piece together factual and unbiased narratives of how the accident occurred. To ensure that you are well organized and prepared to deal with all these inevitable investigations, hire a Tampa motorcycle crash lawyer for support.

What Role Does a Motorcycle Accident Attorney Have in My Case?

A motorcycle accident lawyer can be one of the most important figures in your support network after a crash. They have a wide range of responsibilities that take a ton of the legal burdens off their client and onto their to-do lists. Some of the most common contributions they have in their role include:

Legal Knowledge and Guidance

Motorcycle accident attorneys spend a ton of time in school and in practice learning the specific laws and regulations that govern their legal discipline. This helps them provide informed guidance about the legal rights and options that their clients have while also being able to describe complicated legal procedures and jargon in an easy-to-understand manner.

Investigation and Evidence Gathering

Attorneys are capable of conducting in-depth investigations to gather all relevant evidence that can be used to advance their client’s interests. This can include police reports, interviewing eyewitnesses, photographs, videos, and even working with accident reconstructionists to better understand the chain of events. This can help build a strong, irrefutable case that wins and earns a favorable compensation package for their client.

Negotiating With Insurance Companies

One of the greatest services that a personal injury attorney can offer is to negotiate with insurance companies. These skills have the power to earn a larger financial award than what was originally offered, as an attorney’s advocacy for their clients can demonstrate the true extent of the damages and injuries sustained. Having experience with insurance companies also helps them anticipate obstacles that would otherwise have slowed down a case.

Representation in Court

When a personal injury case moves to court, an attorney can be the spokesperson for their client. Within this responsibility, an attorney must prepare and present a compelling case. They can also present evidence, cross-examine witnesses, and argue on behalf of their client to ensure that a fair and just trial occurs. The more experience an attorney has in the courtroom, the more likely their skill in litigation can impact the outcome of a trial.

Handling Paperwork and Legal Formalities

When a legal claim begins, there can be an overwhelming amount of paperwork with deadlines to hit. Fortunately, attorneys are able to manage these details of the case to ensure that all required documents are accurately completed in detail and submitted when they need to be. This can help avoid any unnecessary delays or procedural errors that could jeopardize the case.

Risk Management

Attorneys are highly skilled in evaluating risk and steering their clients in a safe direction. For example, an attorney could inform their client about what risks they are vulnerable to if the case advances to court. This could include an attorney’s concern for the jury’s verdict, the possibility of a prolonged battle, or any emotional and financial costs involved. Through this, an attorney is able to help their client make informed decisions to balance risk and reward.

Common Motorcycle Accident Injuries

While some injuries caused by a motorcycle accident are short-lived and can be quickly recovered from, others could present life-long consequences that fundamentally change how someone lives their life. Because motorcycle drivers are so much more exposed on the road compared to their peers in other vehicles, they are more vulnerable to severe injuries.

Some of the most common include:

Road Rash

A road rash can happen when a motorcycle rider is ejected from their seat and slides across the pavement. This can cause abrasion injuries, otherwise known as a “rub” or “wearing off” of the skin. While it may sound like a minor injury, a road rash can be extremely painful and lead to other health issues, like skin lacerations, infections, or even permanent nerve damage.


Like traditional car accidents, the forceful impact of a motorcycle crash can lead to broken bones. This is commonly seen in the legs, arms, and ribs. Sustaining these types of injuries can be extremely difficult to deal with, as it can trigger other trauma responses, like a compound fracture, where the bone is pierced through the skin.

Head Injuries

One of the largest injury concerns that all motorcyclists should fear is head injuries. This is why Florida requires that all riders under 21 wear a helmet, and it strongly encourages everyone else to do the same. While a helmet can save a rider from traumatic head injuries, the force can sometimes still be so strong that the impact causes a concussion. Even when this happens, the helmet can be attributed to making the difference between a concussion and a fatality.

Spinal Cord Injuries

Having a spinal cord injury is particularly concerning due to their ability to inflict temporary or permanent paralysis on the individual. Damage to your spinal cord can lead to a loss of sensation or the ability to get up and move around. This can prevent a motorcyclist from doing the basic functions that they once took for granted, like going to work or doing chores around the house.

Internal Damage

Sometimes, an injury is not noticeable on the surface. These are called internal damages, which could refer to issues dealing with your organs or internal bleeding. In the most severe cases, these can be life-threatening. This is especially so if someone does not receive prompt medical attention after an accident because the injury is not apparent and they feel fine to move on.

While these are some of the most common injuries sustained from a motorcycle accident, the list is not limited to just these conditions. With so many variables that make each accident unique, the injuries sustained can be just as varied. While you are recovering from any of these conditions, be sure to connect with an attorney to identify liability and pursue an accident injury claim.


Q: How Long Does a Motorcycle Accident Claim Take to Settle?

A: Minor motorcycle accident cases with minimal injuries and a clearly at-fault party can be resolved within just a few months. The presence of more extensive injuries sustained by both parties, in addition to how conflicted each party is about their recounting of the events that caused the accident, will prolong a case. In some instances, this could extend an accident claim for up to several years before a case is closed and both parties are able to move on.

Q: How Much Does an Attorney Charge for a Car Accident in Florida?

A: Most car accidents in Florida work on a contingency fee basis, which means that their clients are able to save their own out-of-pocket money by agreeing to award their attorney with a certain percentage of their settlement award. An attorney accepts these terms knowing that if they do not win the case, they will not be paid. This percentage typically ranges from 30% to 40% but can be even higher for well-established attorneys with a history of case wins.

Q: Do I Need to Hire an Attorney After a Car Accident in Florida?

A: While you are not legally mandated to hire an attorney, it is highly advised that you do so. This is especially true if your case is complicated by matters such as debilitating injuries, fatalities, or even significant property damage. An attorney can help you navigate the complicated legal and insurance processes to ensure that you satisfy all that is expected of you. This can help you secure a favorable compensation package to cover your damages.

Q: How Long Do You Have to Get a Lawyer After a Motorcycle Accident in Florida?

A: Florida residents have up to four years to file a claim for their motorcycle accident before the state’s statute of limitations expires. Once this four-year deadline is missed, an individual cannot present their case and receive a settlement award. To avoid this from happening, contact a personal injury lawyer as soon as you can after an accident. This can help ensure that you have a viable case and can start it immediately without missing any deadlines.

Contact Paul Figueroa Law Today

If you live in Tampa and have been involved in a motorcycle accident, contact Paul Figueroa Law today. No matter how minor or catastrophic the aftermath of the incident may be, we have the wisdom and experience to evaluate the details of these cases. Our firm can help our clients make informed decisions on how they can maximize their settlement.

We understand the level of trauma and stress that follows these accidents, which is why we are known to work tirelessly for our clients to make sure they feel well-represented and are fairly compensated for their losses. Contact us today for an initial consultation to seek our professional opinion on how to advance your case as effectively as possible.

Practice Areas

Criminal Defense
Personal Injury