With balmy weather year-round and coastline roads with dazzling vistas, it’s no wonder Florida is so popular among motorcyclists. As many local motorcyclists will assure you, there are few greater pleasures in life than hopping on a motorcycle and driving down the Florida coast with the warm wind whipping through your hair.
But there are few greater misfortunes in life than being involved in a motorcycle accident because a reckless driver or dangerous conditions. Even if you are an experienced, cautious, and responsible motorcyclist, South Florida roadways can be perilous terrain. The unfortunate truth is the majority of our roads were not designed with motorcycles in mind, and most drivers are notas vigilant for motorcyclists as they ought to be. If you’ve been injured in a Florida motorcycle accident, you may be facing expensive repairs, costly medical bills, and long-term pain. In addition, you may be unable to work because of your injuries, which could result in lost wages.
To help you through the difficult, painful, and often frightening experience of recovering from a motorcycle accident, the motorcycle accident lawyer team at Neufeld, Kleinberg & Pinkiert, PA has compiled a list of frequently asked questions about motorcycle accidents. To learn more, read on or give us a call (305.931.6666 or 954.523.8292).
While you may feel scared, angry, or panicked, it’s essential to keep calm and cooperate with authorities (of, course, call 9-1-1 and ask for fire-rescue if the situation is an emergency). Your response to the situation could have a huge impact on your chances of acquiring reparation in the future. Gather all the information you can, including the names, contact, and insurance information for everyone involved in the accident, including witnesses. If you have a camera or phone, take pictures of the scene.
If you want to bring a claim, this is essential. Even if you don’t believe you’ve been hurt, even if it’s just mild road-rash, it’s highly advisable to visit a doctor ASAP. Many injuries don’t become apparent for days, weeks, or even years after an accident. A medical professional can help you recognize the extent of your injuries, ensuring your health won’t be impacted negatively in the long term. In addition, medical records from a doctor can support your claim.
Maybe. Speak to your motorcycle-injury lawyer first. The at-fault party’s insurance company should compensate you for damages to your vehicle, but in many situations, they may not offer enough to cover medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering. If they are unwilling to settle for a fair sum (as your motorcycle-injury lawyer, we discuss this with our clients before agreeing to any amount), then in order to acquire adequate compensation from the at-fault driver’s insurance, you must file an auto accident injury lawsuit.
If you were injured in an accident due to another driver’s negligence, you may recover compensation for your injuries even if you weren’t wearing a helmet. However, in certain cases, you may receive a smaller amount if your failure to wear a helmet contributed to your injuries. This is known as comparative negligence. It’s kind of like not wearing a seatbelt in a car accident.
Though Florida law allows you to take legal action up to four years after you were initially injured in the motorcycle accident, it is highly advisable to do so as early as possible. The earlier you pursue your case, the easier it will be to prove damages and recover the compensation you deserve. In some situations the statute of limitations is less (i.e. if the motorcycle accident results in death, in which case the limitation is two years) and in others, it is more (i.e. you have five-years to bring a law suit against your own uninsured-motorists policy if applicable.
The amount of compensation you receive depends largely on the extent of your injuries, damages to your motorcycle and the way the accident and resulting injuries impacts your life in the long run. You can expect to recover compensation for medical bills, lost wages, repairs, and overall pain and suffering.
As profit-driven corporations, most insurance companies will try to award accident victims as little compensation as possible to ensure maximum profits for themselves. A Florida motorcycle attorney can stand up to insurance companies on your behalf, working to ensure your rights are protected and fair compensation is awarded. An experienced motorcycle accident lawyer can investigate the accident, fill out paperwork and negotiate with insurance companies, and take them to court if it becomes necessary to ensure a fair settlement. Studies have shown that settlements for motorcycle accident cases are much higher when riders have an auto accident attorney on their side.
If you have been involved in a motorcycle accident in the South and Central Florida, your first step should be to seek medical attention. After that, contact a representative from Neufeld, Kleinberg & Pinkiert, PA as soon as possible. We have helped numerous injured clients navigate this complex area of the law and receive fair settlements—we can help you too.