The aftermath of a serious motorcycle accident can cause you to feel confused about what to do next. The overwhelming stress of your injuries or the loss of a close loved one can cause you to postpone securing legal representation. Failure to file your civil case promptly can result in a missed opportunity for pursuing legal action.
You are not alone during your pursuit of justice. A motorcycle accident lawyer can stand by your side —if you take action now. The following frequently asked questions outline why time is of the essence and how a motorcycle accident lawyer can help you with your motorcycle accident case.
What Is the Most Important Step Following a Motorcycle Accident?
Seeking immediate medical attention is the first step to take following a motorcycle accident. You may feel fine when your body is actually hiding signs of severe injuries.
A motorcycle accident is a sudden and traumatic event that can result in shock. Symptoms of possible shock include a pale appearance, rapid breathing, and other indicators of a serious medical condition. Accepting transport to the hospital is a smart idea for a full evaluation and establishing a medical record of your injuries for possible legal action.
Once I Learn the Extent of My Injuries, Should I Contact a Lawyer?
Yes. If another driver is responsible for your injuries, contact a lawyer as soon as possible. If you are unsure who was at fault for the accident, you may still want to discuss your case with a motorcycle accident lawyer.
A lawyer can investigate to determine liability for your damages. Important evidence you may find among your belongings can help your lawyer build a compensation case.
Examples of evidence that may assist your lawyer in identifying all parties responsible for your harm include:
- Pictures of the accident scene: Your smartphone may contain images or videos of the accident scene. If not, eyewitnesses may contain the same type of information on their own smartphones.
- Contact information for eyewitnesses: Asking those who stop to assist you for their name and phone number is very important for your civil claim and lawsuit. If your injuries prevent you from collecting this information, ask someone to collect the information for you.
- A copy of the police report: A police report can provide your lawyer with critical information, such as who was at fault and what —if any —charges result.
- Your medical records and bills: Medical records and associated bills serve as valuable documentation of your injuries and the costs relating to your medical care.
Gathering as much information as possible can help your lawyer to get started pursuing compensation on your behalf. Your lawyer can also gather this and other types of information as you recover from your injuries.
Can I Afford a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer?
You cannot afford not to contact a motorcycle accident lawyer. If your injuries prevent you from working, it is natural to worry about legal fees. Many accident victims do not realize that most motorcycle accident lawyers work on a contingency fee basis.
A motorcycle accident lawyer can help you with no money down. Their work on a contingency fee basis means their fee is contingent upon them winning your case. If they secure financial compensation for you, they collect their fee from the compensation amount. If they do not win, you do not pay.
Your injuries are not fair, and neither is your inability to work. Mounting medical costs only add to your financial anxiety. Ease your mind regarding legal fees by understanding that a deposit or retainer is unnecessary for securing legal representation.
How Can a Lawyer Help Me?
Serious motorcycle accident injuries typically require lengthy hospital stays and long recovery times. The sudden changes such an accident brings to your life leaves you no time to deal with a motorcycle accident claim and lawsuit.
Your financial future’s uncertainty is difficult as you face possible surgeries, rehabilitation, or a permanent disability. During this time of multiple challenges, an insurance adjuster may contact you with a settlement offer. They may appear friendly and eager to help you.
Accepting such an offer before you have an opportunity to contact a lawyer benefits the insurance company and not you. The opportunity to pursue legal action later—should your medical condition worsen—is generally lost if you accept their offer.
While there is no way to predict your future medical needs, medical costs continue to rise. A civil case is your opportunity to seek the most compensation possible. An insurance company’s initial settlement offer is generally the least possible and far less than accident victims deserve.
A motorcycle accident lawyer is familiar with the tactics insurance companies use to confuse you. Medications and medical procedures can cause you to think unclearly. By hiring a lawyer to represent you, you can rest assured that your lawyer protects your best interests against aggressive insurance companies.
Why Is It Important to Contact a Lawyer as Soon as Possible?
The statute of limitations is the primary reason you must contact a lawyer soon after your motorcycle accident. These deadlines establish how long you have to pursue civil action.
Florida law generally allows four years for filing a motorcycle accident lawsuit. This may sound like a very long time; however, it can pass very quickly as you deal with your injuries. And most states provide far less time.
Many motorcycle accident cases settle without going to trial. You need to reserve your right to a trial should insurance company negotiations prove unsuccessful. Your motorcycle accident lawyer can proceed to trial if they feel the insurance company is holding back on offering you the compensation you deserve.
The ultimate goal is to secure the best possible outcome for your case. By contacting a lawyer without delay, you have a stronger chance of protecting your right to a civil lawsuit.
What Compensation Is Possible?
A serious motorcycle accident can result in serious medical bills. Severe or permanent injuries may require a lifetime of care involving ongoing medical expenses. When the injuries result from a dangerous driver, the responsible party should pay these expenses and not you.
Medical expenses are just one form of possible compensation.
Other damages that may qualify for compensation include:
- Wages: Your missed pay from work due to time spent recovering and your future earnings if you cannot return to work.
- Pain and suffering: The damage you suffered overall due to the driver’s negligence, including your psychological, emotional, and physical harm.
A catastrophic injury like that of a spinal cord injury can result in medical expenses that exceed your ability to pay. The permanence of such an injury demands justice and accountability from the liable party.
If a loved one suffered a traumatic brain injury, they may require skilled care around-the-clock. While placing them in a skilled nursing facility is never an easy decision, it is often necessary for both you and them.
Skilled nursing facilities average thousands of dollars a month. Along with the financial costs is the sadness that comes with knowing your loved one may never return to the person you remember. A traumatic brain injury can affect their cognitive and motor functions. Sensations are also often impacted, making it difficult for them to ever experience their favorite meal again.
Fighting for the care your loved one requires is less stressful with an attorney by your side. You do not have to fight for compensation alone. If your loved one suffered serious harm while operating their motorcycle, let a Florida motorcycle accident attorney help you today.
Are There Legal Options if a Loved One Dies in a Motorcycle Accident?
Yes. If a close loved one died riding their motorcycle and the accident was due to another driver’s negligence, a lawyer can help you. Your relationship to the accident victim plays an important role in determining if you qualify for a wrongful death claim and lawsuit.
Learning that your loved one died doing something they enjoyed is heartbreaking news. Knowing that their death was perhaps preventable, had the other driver used care, is frustrating.
Your feelings of anger and sadness are understandable. Look for a motorcycle accident lawyer with a reputation for providing compassionate service to clients during their time of grief.
Wrongful death cases generally involve economic and non-economic damages, such as:
- Final medical expenses for your loved one
- Costs associated with a funeral and burial or memorial service
- The loss of wages from your loved one’s unexpected death
- The loss of potential future earnings from your loved one had they lived
- The loss of companionship from your loved one
Each wrongful death case is different. The outcome of your case depends upon a variety of factors. Wrongful death cases are not unlike motorcycle accident cases because you must act quickly.
The statute of limitations for filing a wrongful death lawsuit is two years from the date of death. While this may seem like a long time, it can pass quickly as you deal with your loss.
No matter how defensively your loved one operated their motorcycle, one dangerous driver can change everything. According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety & Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV), more than 500 people died in motorcycle accidents during just one year—and that’s just in Florida.
Motorcycles are narrow, difficult to see, and provide little protection in a crash. If your loved one died due to another driver who failed to share the road, contact a motorcycle accident lawyer today.
Contact a Motorcycle Accident Attorney Today
Time is critical to pursuing a civil case against those responsible for your or your loved one’s motorcycle accident. Contacting a motorcycle accident lawyer should top your list of immediate actions following a serious or deadly crash.
Putting off such an important call can cause you to run out of time for pursuing your legal options. The clock starts the moment you suffer injuries, or your loved one dies from their injuries. The time immediately following a motorcycle accident is often a blur. Before you know it, weeks and months pass by, limiting your time for filing a lawsuit.
Do not miss your chance to seek the compensation you both need and deserve. Look for a professional and caring firm, yet unrelenting in its pursuit of justice for our clients.
Compensation is never guaranteed, and the outcome of your case depends upon the details of your accident. To pursue compensation, your lawyer must prove the other driver was negligent and therefore is liable for your damages.
Let your motorcycle accident lawyer protect you from insurance adjusters who pressure you to accept less than you deserve. Your financial concerns are valid and worth pursuing a fair settlement amount.
Motorcycle operators and drivers have a responsibility to share our highways and city streets responsibly. If a driver’s behavior behind the wheel cost you your health, your job, and possibly a loved one, seek justice by hiring legal representation without delay.