Motorcycle accidents are usually much more harmful than other forms of auto accidents because the sheer disparity between the size of a humble motorcycle and a regular four-wheeler ensures that the former is always on the wrong end of any impact. This is further complicated by the fact that many bikers choose not to wear helmets as they’re only legally required to do so until a certain age.
Thus it should come as no surprise that motorcycle accidents often result in catastrophic injuries to the motorcycle driver and put them under mounting economic pressure, and traffic fatalities in such cases are also not unheard of.
However, we must all move on with life.
Being a motorcycle accident victim is not easy but there’s no way to go but ahead – thus seeking a fair settlement for your losses should be your target and you can do so with the help of our competent and professional Orlando motorcycle accident lawyers from reliable law firms.
We all know that negligence on part of any responsible party involved can lead to accidents but why are motorcycle accidents more pronounced and frequent?
There are some solid reasons for these inflated stats:
The details and risks vary across the board for motorcycle accidents, but they are frequent enough to be of concern and you'll need a civil trial lawyer packing a thorough personal injury knowledge and legal experience to proceed effectively with your claim.
Depending on the intensity of the crash, a motorcycle accident victim may suffer from anything ranging between minor bruises and catastrophic injuries. Common motorcycle injuries in the event of a minor crash, the injured party with suffer from bruises, lacerations (if there is broken glass involved), bone fracture, some internal bleeding, neck injuries, muscle injury, a blow to the head, and so on.
This will cause acute discomfort but the symptoms will wear off after a couple of days or a week or two.
However, in serious cases, things can become much worse.
Since most motorcyclists don’t wear helmets, a traumatic brain injury is an ever-present danger. These blows can do much more than surface damage, instead, they can leave the victim suffering from paralysis or any other form of temporary or permanent impairment.
Even if things don’t go to the farthest extreme, major accidents can cause serious brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, a couple of broken bones, internal organ damage, soft tissue injuries, internal bleeding, debilitating muscle pain, disfigurement, and so on.
Victims have also had to suffer from amputations and other life-changing injuries.
Since motorcycles inherently lack protective structures, the victims are in for a wild experience in the event of a crash. Not only will these injuries put them under intense pain and agony, but the financial burden will also be hard to deal with.
Wrongful deaths are also possible and in such cases as they involve severe injuries which can prove fatal; traffic accidents with truck drivers have almost always claimed lives. the families of the deceased victims can seek legal compensation for the difficult times brought upon them.
Motorcycle accidents can put mounting financial pressure on the victim in addition to intense pain and agony resulting from the various types of injuries. In general terms, motorcycle injury claims encompass economic and non-economic damages caused an incident.
The former are the sum of all expenses that resulted as a consequence of the accident. All of your medical expenses, lost wages, extra expenditures, and property damages fall under this category. You will have to keep a hold onto the receipts and bills to prove your point here.
These expenses will directly reflect upon the intensity of your sufferings, and those deserve some extra financial reimbursement. In contrast to the economic damages, your pain and suffering, which are collectively termed as non-economic losses, are not that easy to add up.
You can’t assign a simple value to anyone’s suffering, simply because there is no way of knowing how much a person had to suffer because of an event.
Usually, lawyers judge the degree of suffering based on the severity of the accident. Then they assign a multiple between 1.5 and 5 to your economic losses sum. This way, your compensation is multiplied according to your sufferings.
Insurance companies know all too well about this standard practice and the gaps present here. They will try to lull you into a false sense of security, only to get you to inadvertently downplay your sufferings. Whenever they say stuff like “I hope that things are not as bad,” that’s an attempt to get you to fall for one of their pit-traps.
Thus it is never a good idea to talk with the insurance company on your own if you plan on walking out with a fair settlement that covers all of your losses and damages.
You can expect to hear from the at-faulty party’s insurance company soon after such personal injury accidents – odd, right? But they’re not calling you because they want to cover your losses. Insurance companies know that you will not have contacted a lawyer soon after an accident and will thus try to get you to settle for a nominal sum as a compensation.
For some, it is their only option, especially if they can’t afford medical care and everything, but if you can buy some time, it will be worth it. Ideally, you should refuse to give a statement at this phase, and instead wait out for the entire process to unfold.
It is only after you’ve gathered evidence for your economic and non-economic losses and have discussed your case thoroughly with a professional Orlando, Florida motorcycle accident attorney, should you approach the insurance adjuster, and even then, not on your own.
Ideally, the insurance adjuster will offer you a settlement sum that covers all of your economic losses and a little bit extra for your pain and suffering – but this may not be the case with you. Insurance companies are notorious for cutting down the payable sum using one excuse or another.
But even this is not as bad as another technicality which may turn your settlement negotiations sour. Since the Florida law requires people to sign up for only a $10,000 minimum insurance policy, odds are that the at-fault party may not able to pay you back for your losses.
In severe cases, this may not only prove to be inadequate considering your pain and suffering but may not even help you with your economic damages. If this happens, you can opt for other compensation solutions like uninsured motorist insurance coverage – these will be discussed under the next header.
But usually, you can expect a reimbursement sum ranging from a couple of thousand dollars to well over a hundred thousand dollars, depending on the intensity of your case.
If you were partly at-fault, things may get a bit tricky. No, you won’t lose your right to a monetary compensation if you shared the fault, but the sum will be smaller. In such cases, it is never a good idea to discuss the blame directly with the insurer, instead, you’ll have to bring in your lawyers and have them represent you before the adjuster.
This way, your role in the accident will not be disproportionately inflated, which the insurance adjuster would’ve easily done otherwise. Your compensation sum will be slashed, based on the proportion of blame, and you will be given a reduced sum – but something is better than nothing.
So, let’s say you had a 10% share in the blame, then you’ll be awarded with only 90% of the total settlement sum for your motorcycle accident claim. This applies in all cases except those where your blame exceeds 50%, in which case, you’ll have to be on the back foot.
Just a PS, not wearing a helmet will not amount to any share in the fault – having or not having a helmet on does not increase or decrease the likelihood of an accident, it is only a protective measure in case there is one.
Ideally, you should always wear a helmet when riding a motorcycle but if you were not wearing one, that will not come in the way of seeking a compensation.
Picking up on the point in the previous section about the at-fault party’s insurance policy being inadequate, let’s explore how you can seek compensation when the liable party cannot compensate you. While it is a legal requirement in many states to have an insurance policy covering your back while you drive, uninsured drivers are not all that uncommon in Florida.
Several Orlando, Florida motorist accidents involve negligent drivers who were uninsured and possessed no property of any value that could be seized to offer financial assistance to the victims. If you’re involved in such a mess, then seeking compensation from the offender may not be an option.
The same applies for most hit and run cases.
In such situations, the uninsured motorist coverage which is a part of almost all insurance policies (never omit its inclusion) will come to the rescue. Your own insurance company will help you get back on your feet in such situations. If need be, you can also dig into your medical insurance for help.
Contact an experienced attorney in such cases, they will be able to identify other responsible parties in your accident case. Perhaps there was a manufacturing issue, or a maintenance problem, or something else the matter with the other vehicle. Perhaps the road conditions were unsafe and that led to the accident.
If multiple parties are liable, you can demand compensation from them all.
The idea here is that you won’t run out of options if one road ends up nowhere, your Florida personal injury lawyers will find a workaround.
While the legal stuff is best left to professionals, there is a lot you can do to build a solid foundation for your case, right from the moment an accident happens. If you gather yourself at the time, avoid the pit-falls laid by insurance reps, and build a solid foundation for your case, you’ll be ready to file your personal injury claim and seek your compensation sooner than expected.
Here is what you have to do:
In any list of expert advice from lawyers regarding accident cases, photographing the scene via your phone is almost always on number one.
You will have to assess the damage as soon as an accident happens and take photos of everything. Take out your cell phone and photograph your vehicle, injuries, the accident scene, and so on. Nothing should escape scrutiny even if it is a minor detail.
Evidence gathering also includes having a talk with the at-fault driver and sharing information with them. You should also approach to any bystanders and request them for their contact information as they may become valuable eyewitnesses to your case.
You are also legally required to call the police to the scene, request a copy of their report covering the accident details for your claim.
You will have to keep a hold onto all the related documentation including the police reports, the medical bills (from the hospital), medical records detailng your health history, and track records for other expenses. Keeping a journal describing your pain and sufferings during this challenging time, adding comments from your friends and family in the mix; your doctor’s recommendations will also help a lot.
Just document every part of the case – nothing should be left unwritten.
This is perhaps the most important part.
Even with all of the evidence at hand, you may not be ready to face the insurance company. If they contact you early on, don’t give a statement because they will find ways to use your words against you, even if they sound all nice and comforting – hey, its business, don’t take it personally.
Instead, you should approach them with your motorcycle crash lawyer and prepare your words well beforehand.
Just think twice before you say anything, and if things don't work out well, you can go ahead and file a personal injury lawsuit to seek compensation for damages resulting from the motor vehicle crash.
Seeking counsel from legal professionals immediately after an accident is an important prerequisite to securing fair financial compensation. Things can go south if the other party refuses to cooperate or if you let the insurance company walk all over you – this is where a professional legal team of Orlando personal injury attorneys will make all the difference.
The VG Law Firm is committed to offering support to our personal injury clients in central Florida at all steps of the legal process and to get them the maximum compensation for their losses. We are a reputable law firm and our team of lawyers pack extensive experience needed to better guide our clients with competence and professional excellence.
You don’t have to worry about the payments either because we won’t demand an upfront fee for our legal advice and action.
Contact us today, and we’ll handle the rest!