It is ironic that the very reason riding a motorcycle can be so exhilarating is also the reason motorcycle accidents can be so disastrous. For it is your freedom from a car’s “cage” that makes you so vulnerable in an accident.
How motorcycle accidents happen
According to studies by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, nearly 75% of all motorcycle accidents and 50% of fatal accidents, involve two vehicles. The second is usually a car, and the motorcyclist almost always fares worse.
The most common factors in motorcycle accidents include:
- Inexperienced riders or drivers
- Alcohol & drugs
- Distractions (texting, talking on a cell phone, eating)
- Weaving in and out of traffic
- Not using a turn signal
- Driving on the wrong side of the road
- Lane splitting
- Poor weather conditions
- Unexpected obstacles
- Over braking
- Vehicle defects
- Road defects (potholes, broken asphalt)
- Harassment and road rage
- Failing to wear protective gear (helmet, leather)
The high cost of motorcycle accidents
In most cases it is the front of the motorcycle that is hit. This is also the point of impact that results in the most incapacitating and fatal injuries. If you have been in a motorcycle accident, you may already have a good idea of its cost, including physical and emotional pain, expensive medical bills, lost wages and property damage.
Identifying every potential factor in an accident is important in determining who is at fault or what percent each is at fault and who is financially responsible.
Fault can be a complex question on which you, the other driver, police and emergency responders, and insurance companies do not agree. It is even further complicated if there were equipment failures, poor road conditions, public vehicles, or obstacles involved.
An attorney can help prepare your strongest arguments, and may even retain a private investigator to help build your case. But you must act quickly. The insurance companies will want to settle as quickly as they can. They will not want to wait to discover that you have long-term medical and disability issues. To them, it’s just business. To you, it is your future. Do not agree to any settlement without talking to an attorney.
An experienced motorcycle accident attorney can help you:
- Understand your legal options
- Conduct an investigation into the accident
- Challenge the police report’s findings
- Help prevent insurance companies from settling too soon
- Ensure that your long-term medical, psychological and financial needs are identified
- Fight for compensation
Recovering from a motorcycle accident can be a long, hard road. And it is a road you should not head down alone.
Florida Motorcycle Accident Lawyer FAQs
I just had a motorcycle accident, what should I do now?
The first priority is your safety. Get yourself to a safe place where there is no more danger of injury.
With any significant motorcycle accident, it’s important to call the police to have a documented record of the accident and how it was caused. Work with the police to provide any relevant information.
Get medical attention as soon as possible if required. You may feel sore or have increased pain a few days after the accident. Keep an eye on how you feel, and make sure you visit your doctor if you have any significant effects from the accident.
Call an experienced motorcycle accident attorney to get help with any legal proceedings. VG Law Group is the premier motorcycle accident attorney in Florida. Give us a call, and we’ll make sure to walk you through the process, every step of the way. Our phone number is 1-833-Help-365.
My motorcycle is damaged, should I take pictures?
Absolutely, taking pictures of your damaged motorcycle is an important step. Having documented proof of the damage done will help both the insurance company and your motorcycle accident attorney to provide the proper aid, and will help you obtain adequate compensation for your losses.
Make sure to take pictures from multiple angles, all around the motorcycle, not just where the damage is most visible.
I wasn’t wearing a helmet at the time of my accident. Can I still get a settlement?
Yes, whether you were wearing a helmet has no consideration when determining the fault of an accident. In addition, Florida law states that only motorcycle drivers under age 21 are required to wear a helmet. Riders who are 21 years or older must have at least $10,000 in medical insurance coverage to fund any treatment that may occur because of an accident.
What Should I Avoid Doing After My Accident?
There are a few things to avoid after your accident that will help you maintain a strong case, especially if legal action is required.
- Don’t forget to call the police. Having a police report documented of the accident is a vital step in the process to getting the proper settlement.
- Speak with a motorcycle accident attorney before speaking with your insurance company. Keep in mind that while you’re trying to get the proper reimbursement for your accident, your insurance company is incentivized to provide the minimum amount. Before you speak to your insurance, especially if the communication is recorded, we strongly advise you speak with the professionals at VG Law Group.
- Don’t wait too long to take action. While you do have a maximum of 4 years to pursue a legal settlement, it is important to start the process as soon as possible in order to address any issues and get the settlement you deserve.
What do I do if I don’t know who caused my accident?
In the case of a hit-and-run, or if there’s some other reason a negligent driver couldn’t be identified, there can be some recovery under Florida’s motorist policies. Call the expert motorcycle accident attorneys at VG Law Group to get advice on your particular situation.
The person that caused my motorcycle accident doesn’t have insurance. What do I do?
Many Florida motorcycle insurance policies contain protection for drivers who have a run-in with an underinsured party. In these cases, it can be helpful to have a motorcycle accident attorney take a look at your insurance policy to see what options you have. Contact us at VG Law Group, and we’ll walk you through the process.
I may hold part of the blame for my accident. How does that affect my case?
If you hold part of the blame for your motorcycle accident, that doesn’t mean you aren’t eligible for a settlement or reimbursement from your insurance company. Likely, the settlement would be reduced in accordance with the level of fault, but you can still receive some compensation. If you have questions about your particular case, contact the motorcycle accident attorneys at VG Law Group, and we’ll help you through the process.
How long after my accident can I still make a legal case?
Personal injury cases in Florida, like motorcycle accident cases, have a set time limit to initiate legal proceedings. The time frame is different depending on the circumstances, but in most motorcycle accident cases, the time limitation is four years for claims against at-fault persons and five years against your insurance company.
What compensation might I be able to get for my motorcycle accident?
Depending on your certain circumstances, you may be able to receive compensation for losses as a direct result of your accident in a number of ways. Here are five common grounds on which compensation may be rewarded:
- Property Damage – Compensation for damage to your vehicle, cargo, or other items that you own that may have been damaged.
- Medical Expenses – If your accident results in medical expenses, you may be eligible for reimbursement or compensation for your medical bills.
- Lost Wages – If your accident has caused you to be unable to work and earn an income, you may be eligible for reimbursement of lost wages.
- Punitive Damages – If your accident was caused by someone who broke additional laws, like drunk driving or hit-and-run laws, then you may be awarded with punitive compensation.
How do I protect my rights after an accident?
To ensure that your rights are not encroached upon, the best thing to do is get in contact with an experienced motorcycle accident attorney as soon as possible. The experts at VG Law Group will work with you and the local law enforcement that documented your accident to ensure that you are protected.
I haven’t been able to work since my accident. How can I afford a motorcycle accident attorney?
When it comes to your safety and the compensation you deserve, you are our top priority. At VG Law Group, we provide our services completely on a contingency basis, which means that we don’t get paid unless you do. You never have to worry about whether you can afford a proper motorcycle accident attorney, and we will fight for you every step of the way.