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Motorcycle Accident Attorneys for Victims in Stuart and Beyond
A “broadside collision” occurs when the side of one vehicle is struck by the front (or sometimes the rear) of another vehicle. Also called side-impact collisions or T-Bone crashes, broadside collisions can leave those involved with serious injuries. Often, these crashes happen at intersections and are caused by a careless driver’s failure to obey a traffic control device, such as a stop sign or red light. When motorcycles are involved, broadside collisions may be particularly devastating. The Stuart motorcycle accident lawyers at Donaldson & Weston have helped many individuals and families affected by careless drivers. We are ready to serve your family’s legal needs during this difficult time.
Holding a Careless Driver Liable for a Broadside Collision
Broadside collision cases tend to proceed under a theory of negligence. In order to recover damages, such as reimbursement for medical bills and lost income, as well as compensation for nonpecuniary losses like pain and suffering, an injured person must be able to show that the cause of his or her harm was another party’s failure to exercise a reasonable amount of caution in a particular situation. To do this, the plaintiff must show that the defendant owed him or her a duty of care. Then, the plaintiff must prove that the duty was breached and that he or she was harmed as a proximate result of the breach.
In some cases, a defendant accused of negligence will counter that the plaintiff also was negligent. If such an argument is successful, the doctrine of pure comparative fault followed by Florida courts serves to reduce the plaintiff’s recovery in proportion to his or her percentage of fault. For instance, if the jury finds that the plaintiff’s total damages are $50,000 but determines that his or her own negligence was 20% responsible for the accident, the plaintiff still may be able to receive $40,000 in damages.
In addition to proving the substantive elements of a negligence case, a plaintiff is also responsible for following all procedural rules pertaining to personal injury litigation, such as complying with the statute of limitations and other issues of timeliness. Under Florida law, an injured person generally has four years to file a lawsuit, although this time is cut in half to just two years in cases involving a wrongful death.
While it may be tempting for a family to take a “wait and see” approach, hoping that the negligent party’s insurance company will do the right thing and make a reasonable settlement offer, the truth is that insurance companies have their own bottom line – not compassion for the injured person or his or her family – as the top priority in settlement negotiations. While insurance company representatives often seem friendly and helpful in the beginning of a case, it should be remembered that they are trained professionals who deal with litigation on a daily basis. They know what to say and how to say it to discourage would-be litigants from seeking counsel of their own, regardless of the culpability of an insured’s conduct. This makes it critical to get a motorcycle accident attorney serving Stuart involved at the outset of your case.