The Florida Motorcycle Accident Guide was created by McKenzie Law Firm to help residents obtain the financial compensation they deserve after suffering from another’s negligence.
Motorcycles leave the rider exposed to the full impact in the event of a collision. Because of this, these accidents often end up with lifelong injuries and in many cases, fatalities. If you were lucky enough to survive a motorcycle accident, you may be living in pain for the rest of your life. We first and foremost want to express how very sorry we are that that happened to you and you have to deal with all of this. When you have been terribly injured, getting the compensation for your damages can be the best result for you to help you down the road. After you learn a bit about your motorcycle accident case, you can give us a call at our office to set up a free initial case review.
How Florida Motorcycle Accident Compensation Works
Luckily, for those who have been involved in motorcycle accidents in Florida, you get to receive compensation even if you have been found to be at fault. Not only that, you can receive compensation if you have been deemed mostly at fault for the accident. That is because of the compensation laws in Florida. They are more lenient when it comes to shared fault. You will only be barred from receiving compensation if it turns out that you were 100 percent at fault for the accident. If you are anywhere from 1 to 99 percent at fault, then your award will be reduced to reflect your fault. The award you receive is going to be a reflection of what this accident cost you and will cost you in the future. That includes your medical bills, physical therapy, property damage, alternate transportation, pain and suffering, lost wages, and emotional distress.
First Steps for a Successful Motorcycle Accident Case
If you want your motorcycle accident case to be successful, there are a few steps that need to happen to ensure you get the best results possible. The most important thing that needs to happen is getting immediate medical attention. Your health is the most important thing in this case, and getting treatment is vital because you need to have your injuries looked at. You do not want to wait to see a medical professional because those injuries could get worse. Also, if you wait to seek medical attention, the insurance company will look at that gap in treatment and see it as a reason not to give you the compensation you deserve.
Another very important step in your motorcycle case is the collection of evidence. This may not be done by you if you are in need of emergency medical attention. This may mean that a friend, family member, or the attorney that you hire will have to get on the scene for you and collect the evidence. This comes in the form of photos, videos, and information. You want to collect contact information from the witnesses of the motorcycle accident, and the insurance information from the liable party. The more evidence you have, the stronger your case will be. Take photos and videos of the vehicles involved in the collision, the debris left behind on the scene, any tire marks, and your injuries. All of this documentation needs to be protected because insurance companies are notorious for things going missing if those pieces of evidence do not serve their case.
The last step is to hire a skilled and dedicated Florida motorcycle accident attorney to make sure everything in your case is set up for success. They can suggest doctors and specialists for the injuries you have sustained in your accident, they will protect your evidence, talk to your witnesses, and put up a strong defense against the insurance company. It is very important that you do not speak to the insurance company for the liable party without first consulting your attorney because if you say something wrong, you run the risk of ruining your case. They will ask you for a recorded statement very shortly after you have been hurt in your motorcycle accident. They have been trained to ask you questions that will force you to answer in an unfavorable way which will hurt your compensation award.
Frequently Asked Motorcycle Accident Questions
How Do I Pick the Right Attorney?
There are three important things to keep in mind when choosing a motorcycle injury attorney. The first thing is experience. You need an attorney who’s experienced in handling motorcycle injury cases because there are a host of specific insurance issues and coverage issues that directly relate to motorcycle cases alone. You need an attorney who’s had experience handling those kinds of cases to know the best way to go about handling your potential claim for you.
The second thing you need is an attorney who focuses on that area. If they don’t have a focus in motorcycle cases, they’re not going to know specific pieces of information that should be requested from the insurance company. They’re not going to know specific pieces of evidence to look for or specific coverage issues that may arise given that motorcycles are treated differently than automobiles in the state of Florida.
The third most important thing that you need to ensure you find is a trial attorney. Oftentimes, in motorcycle cases, the injuries that occur to individuals are horrific. As a result, you have to have someone who’s extremely experienced and willing to go the distance which means to a jury trial and a verdict in order to get a client the justice that they deserve. Oftentimes, the insurance companies will take a denial of coverage all the way to a verdict in a trial hoping that the attorneys will not handle it correctly and hoping that they will get a verdict that’s less than the full coverage amount.
There is an area of law called bad faith that if the insurance company has not acted appropriately through it that there are mechanisms by which an injured person can get compensation above the coverage in the policy limits. That is why it is imperative that you hire a trial attorney who knows how to handle these issues from the beginning to the end so that the best recovery can be made for the client.
What Mistakes Should I Avoid Making?
There are two most common mistakes. The first mistake that I see more often than not is that someone hasn’t contacted an attorney quickly enough.
There are people, like insurance adjusters and defendants, who are trying to reach out to you first so that they can get their interest resolved. That’s why it’s imperative that you speak to an attorney as soon as you can after you’ve been injured to ensure that your interests are protected from the outset because you will be contacted by insurance right away and they only want to protect their interest, not yours. No matter what they may tell you, it is not in your best interest.
The second most common mistake we see is that clients sometimes will not go and get the medical treatment that a doctor has prescribed for them for their injuries. Single parents often say they have to work to put food on the table, they need to get to and from activities, and they have life to live still. Going to the doctor and getting procedures done is just getting in the way of that.
What I tell them is you’re getting in the way of your own future self. You’ve been hurt. Your doctor says that the way for you to get over being hurt is to receive these procedures and to go this course of treatment, be it physical therapy, surgery, or whatever it may be. You’ve got a responsibility to yourself and to your children to be in the best shape you can be for your future self. You’ve got to take the time out of your life to go get the treatment that you need to get.
Additionally, it harms any potential recovery you can make in your case when you don’t get medically prescribed treatment. In order to make a recovery, you have to be able to prove that you’ve been injured, you’ve received the treatment needed, and you require a certain future treatment that you’re going to be the kind of person who goes and gets that treatment.
Will My Case Go to Trial?
The client is like the GPS system in a vehicle. The attorney is like the driver of the vehicle. The destination is set by the client. That destination can be a certain dollar amount or a certain point reached in litigation where they want to stop at. The power and the decision-making always resides in the client to make that decision.
As the attorney, I drive the car once you’ve hired me to get us to that destination and determine the best course and directions by which to get there. Our clients always tell us which way and when to stop. That means that if our client does not want to go to trial, they can tell us. I will listen to you and I will follow your instructions. Though if I believe it’s in your best interest to go to trial, I will tell you that.
What we’re always trying to do here at McKenzie Law Firm is act in your best interest and get things resolved in the manner that you want them resolved, but we will always tell you our honest opinion about what we think you should do and the decision we think you should make. In the end, that decision is yours.
How Much is My Case Worth?
There are a few things that come into play. In order to determine the value, we need to know what the extent of your injuries are, what treatment you have received, what treatment you will need to receive in the future.
We need to know what you do for a living. Are you still working? Are you are going to be able to work in the future? If not, what is the value of your work from this point until the rest of your life?
How has your life been affected? Are you married? Has it affected your relationship with your spouse? Has it affected your ability to participate in activities with your kids? Have your own personal daily activities been affected by what’s happened to you? Those are the things which determine the value of the case. Those take time to develop and determine.
When the time comes in your case once we know where your medical treatment’s going and where it’s going to end, at that certain point in time we will be able to establish what a proper valuation of your case is. We’ll discuss that with you at the appropriate time.
Do I Need to Give a Recorded Statement?
When you have the insurance company blowing your cellphone up, they are not looking out for your best interests. If they were, they would be allowing you to simply recover from your injuries and then speak to you about what happened when it was convenient for you. The indication of how often they are calling you and the indication in which they are trying to get things resolved as quickly as possible should let you know that the interests that they’re looking out for are not yours.
The only person who will be looking out for your interest other than you is an attorney acting on your behalf. Your attorney also has the experience and knowledge necessary to determine when and if those conversations should take place if at all.
How Long Will My Case Last?
In motorcycle cases, just as in every other injury case, there is no immediate answer to how long your case will take. What we can tell you is that our office will handle your case as quickly and as efficiently as possible to maximize the particular recovery that you can make giving the particulars of your injury case.
You’re an individual. The things that have happened to you are individualized as well. Those injuries, as well as the accident itself, has happened in a specific way that may have never happened before. That’s why each case has to be looked at and handled individually based on the needs of the client and based on the needs of the case.
There are also a host of people involved in determining when a case ends or not. Those are people who are not within our control like insurance adjusters, defendants, judges, and juries.
There are just too many factors and too many people involved in a case getting resolved to be able to reasonably tell anyone when their case is going to get resolved. What we can tell you is the attorneys here at McKenzie Law Firm will ensure that we do our best to bring your case to as quick of resolution as possible for you given the particular needs and circumstances of you, your injuries, your life, and your case.
Contact Our Florida Motorcycle Accident Attorney Today
If you have been seriously injured in a motorcycle accident, you are probably looking for dedicated, knowledgeable, and supportive representation. Our Florida motorcycle accident attorney is here to help you get through this and we want you to come out on top. You are a priority to us, and we want you to feel that you are. It is important that you hire the right attorney, not just anyone. You should have an attorney who you trust, who has handled these cases successfully before, and who knows what they are doing. Call our office today to set up a free initial case review.