For some, nothing can beat the wind on your face, two wheels, and an engine. It’s just you and the open road, blasting away the day’s troubles. However, in an instance, you can go from blissful riding to road rash and injuries. Not all vehicles on the road are respectful around bikers, and a sudden careless act can ruin the day.
If your perfect riding day went from fantastic to nearly fatal, reach out to a motorcycle accident lawyer now. Let a legal expert handle the legal stuff while you focus on recovering from your injuries. You’re entitled to compensation if you have been injured due to a driver’s negligence.
If you sustained injuries from a motorcycle accident that wasn’t your fault, you’re probably left feeling resentful, angry, and exhausted. If your bike was totaled, this just adds to the feelings of frustration. Before you accept a settlement agreement, know that the at-fault driver’s insurance company isn’t looking out for your best interests. To begin being compensated properly, here’s what you should do.
Whether you’ve already been offered a settlement from the driver’s insurance company, it’s imperative to contact an experienced motorcycle accident attorney as soon as possible after your crash. Florida’s motorcycle accident statute of limitations is set at 2 years from the accident date. Filing a compensation claim can be time-consuming, so working with a law firm as quickly as possible ensures that there’s time to prepare your case.
You’ll need to prove both that the at-fault driver was negligent and caused the accident and also that you sustained severe injuries from the crash. This is done by collecting various types of evidence that will prove both. The stronger the quality of your evidence, the stronger your case will be. Typical types of evidence for both neglect and injury can include:
- Accident reports
- Photos of the accident scene and your injuries
- Survaliance videos or traffic light camera images
- Eyewitness statements
- Medical records
- Emergency room intake and discharge paperwork
- Medical images such as X-rays, CAT scans, and MRIs
Most personal injury lawsuits never see the inside of a courtroom. Trials can be costly and lengthy, and it’s beneficial to both parties to settle the matter without the need for a judge and jury. Both legal teams will meet to discuss the accident, known as the discovery phase of a lawsuit.
During these meetings, each side will present whatever evidence they’ve gathered to prove their case to the other. They’ll also be able to bring in witnesses and medical experts who will be deposed under oath to give statements and testimony. If a fair settlement cannot be reached during the discovery phase, both sides can agree to go to arbitration, mediation, or a combination. The case will go to trial if this fails to yield a favorable agreement.
If you’ve proven the driver who caused the accident is responsible for your injuries, their insurance company will most likely cover your damages. This is often the part that can slow down negotiations, but the added delays will ensure you get the maximum compensation. The most obvious claim from a motorcycle accident, or any accident, is your medical bills. However, there are a host of other damages that you can claim, both economic and non-economic.
Your lawyer will examine your medical records and determine if you’ll need long-term care so as not to miss any medical expenses you could incur in the future. Common economic claims include:
- Medical bills, current and expected
- Ambulance fees
- Cost of medical devices like crutches and wheelchairs
- Current and future lost wages, including lost tips, bonuses, etc
- Motorcycle repair or replacement
Not all motorcycle damages can be seen with the eyes. Many victims have to endure emotional issues after a bike crash, which should also be considered when claiming damages. Non-economic claims can include:
- Emotional trauma
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of consortium
A motorcycle accident can cause long-lasting scars, both physical and emotional. Under Florida’s personal injury laws, you can seek compensation from the at-fault driver and their insurance company.
While coping with medical and emotional issues, your Florida personal injury attorney will gather documents and present evidence, fighting for you to get the maximum compensation for your damages.