Fatal Motorcycle Accident in Tampa, FL
Motorcycle riders are among the most vulnerable individuals on the road. While occupants of passenger vehicles have seat belts, airbags, and the steel frame of an automobile to help protect them in an accident, a motorcyclist only has a helmet and the clothing they wear.
Unfortunately, many motorists fail to share the road safely and responsibly with motorcyclists. As a result, many riders suffer fatal injuries in accidents caused by negligent drivers.
According to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were 5,114 fatal motorcycle crashes in the U.S. in a recent year. More than half of those wrecks involved a collision with another vehicle.
At Brooks Law Group, our Tampa motorcycle accident attorneys work tirelessly on behalf of families who have lost a loved one in an accident caused by someone else’s recklessness. We know all too well that the devastation of losing a family member is often accompanied by the financial stress of losing crucial household income. We will leverage our skills and resources to build a solid claim for the full compensation you deserve.
Our compassionate legal team can explain your legal options in a free consultation. Call or contact us today to speak with a motorcycle accident lawyer in Tampa.
Is a Fatal Motorcycle Accident Considered a Wrongful Death?
Not every fatal motorcycle accident is considered a wrongful death. According to Florida Statute 768.19, a wrongful death stems from a “wrongful act, negligence, default, or breach of contract or warranty of any person.” In such instances, the family of the deceased can file a claim for compensation against the person or party who committed the wrongful or negligent act.
Negligence occurs when someone fails to use reasonable care to avoid harming others. Motorcycle fatalities are often caused by other drivers’ negligence. Examples of negligent acts include:
- Failure to yield
- Failure to check blind spots
- Unsafe lane changes
- Drunk driving
- Distracted driving
- Drowsy driving
- Road rage
- Reckless driving
Fatal motorcycle accidents are not always due to an individual’s negligence. The manufacturer of a defective motorcycle part could be held liable if its failure caused a crash. If a government agency failed to repair a large pothole that led to the wreck, a Tampa motorcycle accident lawyer can help take legal action against the responsible entity.
Who Can Recover Damages After a Fatal Motorcycle Accident in Tampa, FL?
In Florida, it’s wrongful death cases must be filed by the personal representative named in the deceased’s will. If no will exists, then a personal representative will be named by the court. The personal representative files a claim for compensation on behalf of all family members who have an interest in the case and will list those individuals in the suit.
Family members who may be eligible to receive compensation in a wrongful death case in Florida include:
- The deceased’s surviving spouse
- Minor children
- Adult children (if there is no surviving spouse)
- Parents of a deceased minor
- Parents of a deceased adult (if there are no other survivors)
An eligible party may also be someone who is partly or entirely dependent on the deceased person for support, as well as any blood relatives and adoptive sisters and brothers.
What Types of Compensation Are Possible?
Different types of compensation may be available in motorcycle accident death claims, such as:
- Loss of the deceased’s income and benefits
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of parental companionship and guidance
- Mental pain and suffering
- Medical expenses related to the decedent’s injuries
- Mental health treatment
- Funeral and burial expenses
In most cases, a Florida wrongful death lawsuit must be filed within two years of the victim’s death. However, deadlines for claims against government agencies are much shorter. For this reason, it’s critical to talk to a qualified attorney as soon as possible. If you fail to meet the statute of limitations in Florida, you will likely be unable to pursue compensation for your losses.
What to Do After a Fatal Motorcycle Accident in Tampa
Taking legal action may feel like an impossible hurdle after losing someone in a motorcycle accident. As difficult as it seems, there are several things you can do to protect your rights and your future:
- Talk to a Tampa motorcycle accident attorney – A sympathetic and dedicated attorney will listen to your story and determine your best options for seeking wrongful death compensation. Another benefit of hiring a lawyer is that they can do all of the legal legwork for you. You won’t have to deal with the hassle of contacting the insurance company or figuring out liability questions. Once you get a motorcycle accident lawyer, you can let them handle your case while you grieve in peace.
- Gather documentation – Keep any documentation and evidence you might support your case, such as the police accident report, medical records related to the deceased’s injuries, and any receipts of accident-related expenses.
- Refrain from talking publicly about the case – It’s important to mourn, but it’s best to discuss the details of the accident that caused your loved one’s death solely with your legal team. Anything you say to someone else could potentially be material the other side might use to discredit your case.
Contact a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer in Tampa Today
At Brooks Law Group, we understand the heartache, confusion, and stress that accompanies the tragic loss of a family member. We’re committed to providing the caring and empathetic service you need during this difficult time. Let us shoulder the burden of pursuing a complex legal claim while you get the emotional space you need to grieve during this tragic time.