Switch to ADA Accessible Theme
Close Menu
Tampa Car Accident Lawyer
FREE Consultations Available
Tampa Car Accident Lawyers > Blog > Motorcycle Accident > Top Three Insurance Company Defenses in Motorcycle Crash Claims

Top Three Insurance Company Defenses in Motorcycle Crash Claims


For the most part, motorcycle riders have no protection against oncoming cars. So, motorcycle-on-vehicle collisions are twenty-eight times deadlier than vehicle-on-vehicle collisions. The truly scary thing about that statistic is that it is significantly lower now than it was a few years ago when the fatality rate used to be even higher.

To obtain compensation for these serious injuries, a Tampa motorcycle accident attorney works hard to build a case and plug these facts into the appropriate legal theory.

But these efforts, as substantial as they are, are not enough. An attorney must also be ready to refute some common insurance company defenses in these cases. Since the damages in these claims are usually high, insurance company lawyers do whatever they can to reduce or deny compensation.

Contributory Negligence

Comparative fault is perhaps the most common defense in all vehicle collision cases. This legal loophole shifts blame for the accident from the tortfeasor (negligent driver) to the victim.

The motorcycle prejudice, an informal bias, often comes into play in these situations. This prejudice is not as strong as it once was, but it is still prevalent. Many jurors believe that motorcycle riders are reckless thugs. So, they are ready to blame the biker for the accident, at least in part. They just need an excuse to do so.

Contributory negligence provides that excuse. If both parties were partially at fault, the jury must apportion liability between them on a percentage basis. The judge then divides damages accordingly. Florida is a pure comparative fault state. Even if the victim was 99 percent responsible for the wreck, the victim still receives a proportionate share of damages.

Tampa personal injury attorneys can beat the contributory negligence by arguing that the victim’s negligence did not substantially contribute to the crash.

Last Clear Chance

Many motorcycle collisions involve left turns against traffic and other right-of-way issues. In such claims, insurance company lawyers frequently bring up the last clear chance rule.

The duty of care requires operators to obey the rules of the road and avoid crashes if possible. The last clear chance defense focuses on this second element. Assume David Driver is making a left turn against traffic. He does not see Randy Rider approaching, and David turns directly into Randy’s path.

If Randy had a reasonable chance to avoid the wreck, perhaps by changing lanes suddenly, Randy may be legally responsible for the wreck, even though he had the right-of-way.

The defense only applies if the victim had the last clear chance, and not just any possible chance. Even experienced riders have a hard time performing emergency maneuvers, especially if traffic, environmental, or other conditions are less than ideal. So, the defense usually does not apply in these situations.

Motorcycle Helmet Defense

In Florida, riders over 21 need not wear helmets as long as they meet certain insurance requirements. So, the motorcycle helmet defense frequently comes up. The insurance company argues that the victim’s failure to wear a helmet caused or contributed to the victim’s injuries. So, the tortfeasor is not legally responsible for these particular damages.

This defense only applies if the insurance company calls a doctor to the stand who testifies that a failure to wear a helmet proximately caused the victim’s injuries. A Tampa personal injury attorney may cross-examine this witness and otherwise challenge this evidence. We have successfully done son in past cases.

Contact Respected Lawyers

Motorcycle riders are extremely vulnerable to serious injury. For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney in Tampa, contact The Matassini Law Firm, P.A. You have a limited amount of time to act.

Facebook Twitter LinkedIn

The experience you need in your pursuit of justice

The greatest distinguishing feature among attorneys is their level of experience. Our firm has more than 60 years of legal experience, much of it spent in the courtroom at trial. As a result, our Tampa personal injury lawyers rarely encounter an unfamiliar situation and can thoroughly answer your urgent questions. Our criminal defense practice features a board certified criminal trial lawyer and two former prosecutors with impressive knowledge of trial tactics and procedures.

The resources to provide quality representation for the length of your case

Whether your case involves medical malpractice, an auto accident or a wrongful death, your attorney must be prepared to take the case all the way through trial to verdict. Many personal injury attorneys advance the cost of litigation, so they can only last so long before financial pressures start to mount. As a client, you have to wonder whether an attorney's advice to settle your case reflects the quality of the offer or your attorneys need to get paid. Fortunately, The Matassini Law Firm has the resources to pursue civil verdicts and settlements that reflect the actual value of your case.

Call our Tampa Bay car accident lawyers for a free consultation

A crisis in your life calls for capable and compassionate assistance. The Matassini Law Firm, P.A. addresses your needs all the way through the legal process. For your free initial confidential conference with one of our Tampa car accident attorneys, call us today at 813-217-5715 or contact us online.

Share This Page:
Facebook Twitter LinkedIn
Toll Free
2811 W. Kennedy Blvd., Tampa, Florida 33609