If you sustain injuries in a motorcycle accident, you will need to decide whether to retain an attorney to represent you for your damages. Motorcycle accidents can prove deadly and costly to the victims involved. The costs associated with medical care for victims of a motorcycle accident often grow to immense sums and can prove burdensome to victims as well as their families. If you played no part in causing your accident, then you shouldn’t have to bear the costs of your injuries.
Motorcycle accidents cause billions of dollars in losses each year and constitute some of the costliest road accidents across the U.S. due to the severity of the damages involved. The bulk of these losses more often than not stem from income or productivity losses and medical costs related to the injuries suffered by the victims.
How Common Are Motorcycle Accidents in Florida?
Florida ranks as one of the most popular destinations for motorcycle riders. Residents and tourists alike take advantage of Florida’s year-round sunshine to travel the roads by motorcycle. Unfortunately, due to the high rate of riders within the state, combined with traffic congestion, Florida also ranks as one of the most dangerous states for motorcyclists.
In a given year, Florida reports over 500 fatalities of motorcycle riders and almost 2,000 severe injuries that incapacitate a rider in some way. Over 5,000 additional riders report sustaining an injury in a motorcycle accident throughout Florida’s roadways but do not suffer a fatality or catastrophic level injury.
How Can a Motorcycle Accident Attorney Help You?
Deciding whether to hire a lawyer after a motorcycle accident can feel like a difficult decision. However, if you sustain an injury in a motorcycle collision, it could make a significant difference in your case to hire an attorney to represent you. Motorcycle accidents and the aftermath of your injuries present unique circumstances and difficulties for victims. The recovery for your losses through a personal injury claim or a lawsuit often proves tedious and complex without the proper guidance and help. When you hire a motorcycle accident attorney, he or she will help guide you to protect your rights and interests throughout the process to seek compensation for the full cost of your injuries.
Determine the Monetary Amount of Your Damages
The losses that you have sustained after a motorcycle accident can prove difficult to ascertain; it can take time to reveal the extent of your injuries and the total damages you have suffered. An experienced accident attorney understands the intricacies of injuries associated with a motorcycle collision and how to calculate the maximum potential losses you have suffered. The estimation of damages constitutes an important starting point for your injury claim or lawsuit. The damage calculations completed with the help of your attorney will provide you with a realistic picture of the financial, physical, and emotional impacts your injuries have caused on your day-to-day life. The estimate of damages will serve as a guide as you proceed along and deal with insurance companies and other third parties in the negotiation of a settlement or the potential need for a lawsuit.
Motorcycle Accidents Often Cause Serious Injuries
When involved in a motorcycle accident, you face a much higher risk of suffering a debilitating injury. Motorcycle accidents commonly result in severe to catastrophic and even fatal injuries. These injuries can turn the life of a victim upside down and result in permanent disability, chronic pain, and significant quality of life impacts. In most cases, victims require multiple medical procedures or surgeries, extended hospital stays, and rehabilitation, and they may need long-term care or support from providers or family members for their daily needs.
Injuries in a motorcycle accident can include:
- Head injuries, such as traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) – Motorcyclists face a particular risk of sustaining traumatic head injuries due to the nature of motorcycle riding and the exposure to the elements and other vehicles.
- Neck, back, or spinal cord injury, which can impair mobility and function – Riders may fly off their bikes in motorcycle accidents. Even the most minor of accidents can cause a motorcyclist to fall to the ground with a destructive force, which puts them at high risk of spinal injuries.
- Multiple fractures or crush injuries – Falling from a motorbike into the ground can cause fractures throughout many parts of the body. Riders frequently suffer crush injuries to bones or multiple broken bones in an accident.
- Road rash or burn injuries – When a vehicle strikes a motorcyclist, he or she may drag across the road pavement at high rates of speed, which can result in painful and severe road rash injuries or burns from explosions of their motorcycles.
- Internal injuries – The blunt force trauma of being struck by a vehicle or thrown into the ground not only puts the exterior of your body at risk but also can result in severe, if not fatal, internal injuries to organs or bleeding that may not present until days or weeks after an accident.
Loss of Income Due to a Motorcycle Accident
If you suffer an injury in a motorcycle crash, you may face unexpected impacts on your income. Lost wages due to missed work can amount to days, weeks, or months. For those motorcycle accident victims that suffer permanent bodily damage, they may never return to work in the same capacity or any capacity. Personal injury law allows an accident victim to seek compensation against an at-fault party for current losses, as well as future losses that stem from the accident.
Property Damage After a Motorcycle Accident
After your motorcycle accident, you should focus on your overall well-being, but you should also consider pursuing compensation for the losses associated with your property involved in the accident. You can seek compensation for the cost of repair or replacement of your motorcycle, helmet, and other personal equipment or property damaged in the accident as part of an injury claim or lawsuit.
Other Damages in a Motorcycle Collision
An experienced personal injury attorney understands that the damages associated with a motorcycle accident can go beyond your medical expenses, income losses, and property damage. Determining your exact damages can prove difficult, but you should include them in your claim in most cases.
Motorcycle accident victims often feel surprised to learn the damages for which they qualify. Insurance companies and other parties may attempt to exclude these damages or offer you a lower settlement than would cover the full cost of your injuries. An accident attorney will discuss with you the specifics of your case to determine how much compensation you should seek.
Examples of other damages in a motorcycle accident can include:
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of companionship
- Reduced quality of life
- Wrongful death of a loved one
Determine Potential Liability for the Accident and Your Injuries
Motorcycle accidents can prove complicated, and determining fault in an accident can have significant impacts on your ability to recover compensation from the responsible parties for your losses. Insurance companies, those at fault, and other interested parties will attempt to reduce their liability and turn the blame on you at any opportunity. A motorcycle accident lawyer will take the time to look at the facts surrounding your case and discover any parties that could face liability for your injuries.
Who Can Bear Liability for Your Injuries?
Any party found to have caused a motorcycle accident or your injuries may bear liability to you for your damages. To face liability, you must establish that the party or parties acted negligently either in their actions or inactions that ultimately led to the injuries and damage you sustained. In most instances, a party will have insurance, and the insurance company will step in to handle the claim for your injuries. However, in cases where the at-fault party doesn’t have insurance or your damages exceed the policies in effect, you may qualify to file a lawsuit against the parties liable to you.
You can establish negligence in a motorcycle accident by proving:
- A party owed a duty of care to you;
- The at-fault party breached the duty of care;
- The breach caused the accident; and
- The accident, in turn, caused your injuries or other damages.
Many times, the driver of another vehicle may face liability for your injuries after a motorcycle accident. However, under certain circumstances, additional parties may bear liability for your injuries in a motorcycle collision—such as employers, vehicle owners, or product manufacturers.
A Lawyer Serves as an Intermediary Between You and Other Parties
In personal injury matters, such as a motorcycle accident, your attorney will serve as a buffer between you and other parties in the case. It may prove difficult to deal with insurance companies, other lawyers, at-fault parties, and other interested parties. Any misstep on your part, incorrect information, omission, or error made during your communication or conversation with these parties could ultimately jeopardize your case. An attorney that represents you will protect your legal rights and manage the communications with these parties on your behalf. Once you retain legal counsel, the opposing parties must make all communications through your attorney. This will allow you to focus on your recovery and relieve you of the stress and burden of managing the other parties in your case.
An Attorney Will Assist With Your Personal Injury Claim
The vast majority of motorcycle accidents will resolve through the personal injury claims process. With an attorney at your side at the outset of your claim, you have a higher chance of successful recovery through the claims process and can hopefully avoid a lawsuit in court. An attorney can help you initiate your personal injury claim with the appropriate insurer, help you gather relevant evidence, and calculate your maximum potential damages.
Negotiate a Settlement on Your Behalf
Once you’ve filed your accident claim, your attorney can negotiate a settlement on your behalf. Insurers or other parties must make all settlement offers through your attorney. Your attorney will then present you with all offers of settlement and advise you as to your options and the best course of action. In many accident cases, you will reach a successful resolution at this stage.
Initiate a Lawsuit if Necessary
You may not successfully resolve your case through a settlement, in which case you will need to proceed to a court for a resolution. An attorney can represent you throughout the claims process and will help you determine when to file a lawsuit to ensure that you receive compensation to cover the full cost of your injuries. Oftentimes, in cases where a motorcycle accident victim suffers devastating injuries and damages that exceed the policy limits of an insured, you may need to file a lawsuit. A lawsuit can also apply to cases where an insurance company offers too little money for settlement or has denied a claim outright.
A Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Will Help You Fight For Compensation
Accident victims with legal representation face a higher likelihood of receiving higher amounts of compensation than those that proceed without legal representation. As a victim of a motorcycle accident, you have suffered injuries and losses. By filing an injury claim or lawsuit, you can work to recover from as many of those losses as possible and set yourself on a path forward toward full recovery.
A motorcycle accident attorney will work hard to help you maximize your potential compensation from those responsible for your injuries. If you sustain injuries in a motorcycle accident, contact a motorcycle accident attorney for a free case evaluation, during which you can discuss the details of your case, ask questions about your legal options, and determine your eligibility to pursue compensation.
Contact an experienced attorney who will help ensure that you don’t miss out on potential compensation and that you pursue compensation for the full value of your case, which may include future costs depending on the severity of your injuries.