For many people, riding a motorcycle is both a means of transportation and a hobby. The wide avenues of Orlando are ideal for a motorbike ride, and the scenic landscapes you can find everywhere in the Sunshine State are ideal for a weekend getaway on two wheels. Unfortunately, many such carefree riders end with a motorcycle crash, costing people's lives or leaving them with catastrophic injuries. If you were hurt in such an accident caused by someone else's negligence, an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer at VG Law Firm is always available to examine your case, explain your rights and options to you, and help you file an accident claim.
We know that handling legal procedures is nearly impossible while you are lying on a hospital bed and worrying about whether you will make a full recovery. At this difficult time, it is even worse to consider how you will pay for your medical care. This is the role of personal injury lawyers: to find the responsible party for your accident, prepare your claim file and negotiate a fair settlement that will cover all your economic losses caused by the motorbike accident.
Unfortunately, our state has one of the poorest reputations for motorcycle accident injuries and fatalities across the US. In 2019, 591 people died in motorcycle accidents, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Association. The same report indicates that more than half of motorcycle riders killed in traffic accidents in our state (52%) were not wearing a helmet at the moment of their fatal crash.
These are worrying statistics and show how vulnerable motorbike riders are on the road. Their vehicle offers them absolutely no protection in case of a collision with a passenger car or a truck. The helmet is the rider's only effective form of protection. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, wearing a properly fitted and certified motorcycle helmet:
However, whether you are wearing a helmet or not, if a passenger car or truck driver causes a motorcycle collision, you have the right to seek monetary compensation, either by filing an accident claim or a personal injury lawsuit.
Let us first clarify your eligibility for compensation. Florida is a state that uses the comparative negligence principle in personal injury law. This means that each party involved in a crash can seek compensation for their losses in a personal injury case. However, the actual amount they will receive will be reduced by the percentage of fault they have in the respective occurrence. For instance, if you were found 30 percent at fault for your motorbike crash and your claim amount is $100,000, you will actually receive $70,000.
Before filing motorcycle accident lawsuits, you should know the exact cause of your crash. An experienced personal injury attorney will examine your case carefully, in order to find the liable party or parties and determine that:
These are the four key elements of any personal injury case, which you must be able to prove in court in order to win your case. It is a complicated process for any regular person, and nearly impossible for someone who suffered a catastrophic injury and is trying to recover in hospital. For this reason, you need to hire an experienced motorcycle accident attorney to collect all the pieces of evidence that prove your case.
In our legal experience, fatal motorcycle accidents and crashes resulting in victims with severe injuries are caused by:
Texting and driving is one of the leading causes of motor vehicle accidents across the US. Failure to pay attention to the road even for one moment can have catastrophic consequences, including traffic fatalities. When a car at full speed hits a motorcycle, the victim is likely to suffer severe or even permanent injury.
Drunk drivers can cause tragedies on the roads because they no longer have the full capacity to process what they see on the road and maintain their vehicles under control. However, in many instances, motorcycle riders also make the error (and breach of the traffic laws) of going for a ride under the influence of alcohol.
A drowsy driver is also incapacitated and unable to react promptly and avoid a traffic accident. Driver fatigue is one of the most frequent causes of truck accidents. In this case, more complex liability issues appear, because the driver is not the only responsible party. Their employer or the company whose goods are transported in the truck may be also equally liable to pay financial compensation to the accident victim.
In the state of Florida, lane splitting is illegal. If your motorcycle crash was caused by the fact that you were lane splitting, this will be deemed as a contributing factor to it and assign you a higher percentage of fault.
In many cases, failure to yield right of way or making a left turn without properly signaling can cause a motorcycle accident. In some cases, the motorbike rider is in the driver's blind spot. For this reason, the best policy is to make sure that you are visible at all times to other road users.
Sometimes, your motorbike fails to respond to your commands due to a malfunctioning part of a manufacturing fault. In this case, the liability lies with the producer of the defective motorcycle or part. This is a case of product liability where you do not have to prove the breach of duty of care.
A road with potholes or debris on it can cause you to lose control of the motorcycle and crash it into another vehicle or into an object on the side of the road. In this case, your legal team will identify who is responsible for the poor road conditions: the government agency in charge of maintaining the roads or a construction company whose employees caused debris to fall onto the road.
The vast majority of motorcycle accident victims suffer serious to catastrophic injuries. Even a minor injury, such as road rash, is painful and required medical attention. However, in most cases, injured motorcyclists suffer:
All these injuries required specialized treatment, resulting in a lot of medical expenses. For this reason, accident victims ask: how much is my personal injury claim worth? Is there any way of getting the maximum compensation possible? Experienced attorneys can help you get the financial compensation you deserve.
No personal injury lawyer can tell you from the very beginning how much money they can win for you. One of the most important parts of filing a claim or a personal injury lawsuit is calculating your total losses and presenting supporting evidence for each of them.
In Florida, motorcycle accident victims can obtain the following types of compensations:
Economic damages represent all the financial losses you sustained as a result of the accident. These are not only medical bills and the cost of the ambulance ride to the hospital, but also:
Non-economic damages represent a form of compensation for the pain and suffering caused to you by the accident. Some of the elements a motorcycle accident lawyer will refer to during settlement discussions with the other party are:
Punitive damages can be obtained only in court, at the end of a personal injury lawsuit. In order to claim this type of damages, you must prove with "clear and convincing evidence" (Florida Statutes 768.72) that the at-fault party acted with gross negligence or intentional misconduct.
During the challenging time after a motorcycle accident, fighting for justice is beyond your abilities. You cannot leave the hospital to file documents and make sure you don't miss deadlines. At VG Law Firm, we know exactly what we have to do to maximize your chances of getting a fair settlement amount.
Our personal injury lawyers are experienced and compassionate and will handle all the legal aspects of your case with professionalism and dedication. We will always keep you informed of the progress of your case, and give you explanations in clear terms that you can understand.
We do not charge upfront fees, so you do not have to worry if you can afford to hire a motorcycle accident attorney. Please remember that you only have 4 years (the statute of limitations) for taking legal action in a personal injury claim, and time runs out quickly while you are recovering from your injuries.
If you or a loved one was injured in a motorcycle crash, call an experienced attorney at VG Law now: 833-HURT-365!
Meta description: Find out what type of damages you can recover after a motorcycle accident in Orlando and why you should hire a personal injury attorney to negotiate your claim.