Do you know that you can be part of a motorcycle accident within the next hour? Based on a crash report survey released in 2015, Florida saw a whopping 30 percent increase in motorcycle deaths over the previous years.
The same survey revealed that Florida is the number one state with the highest motorcycle fatalities in the US. This must have been the reason 9,045 people were injured and 606 people died from motorcycle crashes on Florida roads in 2015.
Even so, motorcycles are only 3 percent of the registered vehicles in Florida.
You might not be able to prevent these accidents. But you can do one thing: get a professional motorcycle accident lawyer.
Are you wondering if you need the services of a motorcycle accident lawyer? Or when to hire one? Then keep reading. You will get to know the services a motorcycle accident lawyer will offer you.
Who Is a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer?
First and foremost, you need to know who a motorcycle accident lawyer is.
A personal injury lawyer is just another name for a motorcycle accident lawyer. However, this kind of lawyer specializes in servicing people who claim to be physically or mentally injured by another individual, company or government’s negligence.
These lawyers practice in an area of law called “tort law.” The attorneys also handle other injury cases apart from motorcycle accidents.
In whatever personal injury case you face, it’s important to ensure you have the best motorcycle accident lawyers handling it for you.
What are the Common Motorcycle Accidents handled by a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer and Causes?
Like a normal car crash, the wreckage of a motorcycle can be caused by many factors, including speeding, distracted driving, texting, drugged or drunk driving and other dangerous behaviors behind the wheels.
However, there are many other risks faced by motorcyclists, including the following.
Lane Splitting or Filtering
In some states, lane splitting or filtering is allowed. However, it often takes drivers by surprise. If a motorist veers off his/her lane and loses control, it leaves the motorcyclist at risk of an accident.
Left Hand Turn
This type of motorcycle crash occurs the most on highways and happens when a motorist attempts to turn to into oncoming traffic.
The person making the left-hand turn is the defaulter. However, in the case where the other driver or rider was speeding, they take full or partial fault for the accident.
Vehicle Brake Failures
Though not as common, a motorist can experience a brake malfunction and this could lead to a terrible accident.
Bad Roads and Road Hazards
Construction barriers, guardrails, debris, unsafe roadway lighting and other turbulent road conditions can lead to accidents.
Open Door Crash Incidents
Most times bikers are caught unexpectedly when a vehicle is stopped and they get smashed by a suddenly opened car door.
Not All Motorcycle Accidents Require a Lawyer
Though there are many circumstances where a lawyer is needed, not every motorcycle accident case will require the services of a lawyer. For instance, you can handle a claim by yourself if either there are minor damages to your motorcycle, you are not injured, no one was injured or you caused the accident.
But, if the crash results in serious injuries that require medical attention, then an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer will be needed and should be contacted for advice.
When Do I Require the Services of a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer?
If you or your loved one were involved in a motorcycle crash and you are unsure if you need a motorcycle accident lawyer to handle your insurance claim,then it’s important to note these few points.
The Insurance’s Refusal to Pay Your Claims
There are cases where the insurance company refuses to pay your claims for one reason or the other. If they decide to pay, they will pay less than usual. Should this case arise, a motorcycle accident lawyer will be needed and can help navigate this.
The lawyer will ensure that the insurance company is compelled to pay you an appropriate settlement.
The Accident involves Serious Injuries
If you got seriously injured in the accident, the services of motorcycle accident lawyer will be needed. There are many factors that will determine the level of compensation given to you.
They include the total cost of your medical treatment, the time required to gain full recovery, and the extent of the injury.
Your motorcycle accident lawyer helps you evaluate your claim and receive the deserved compensation. The compensation may consist of your present and future expenses. These include emotional suffering, medical bills, out of pocket costs, physical pain, and any other damages.
What if the third party is at fault?
If the accident in question was caused by a third party, you will also need a good motorcycle lawyer. The attorney will file a lawsuit on your behalf and the party at fault will be asked to pay for damages if found guilty by the law.
If a Disputed Liability Arises
There are cases where the third party refuses to accept responsibility. Also cases may arise where the insurance company goes further to defend their policyholders to avoid paying any claims. They embolden their policyholders to refuse any liability.
When this sort of dispute occurs, a motorcycle accident lawyer will be required to help you. Your personal injury attorney will argue your case with experience while providing the needed evidence to show the fault of the third party. The insurance company will be compelled to pay the claims or face a trial.
What Can a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Do for You?
Most motorcycle accidents are a nerve-racking experience. But collisions that result in serious injuries are traumatic. Whatever the case may be, it is best to stay calm and think clearly if you are injured in a motorcycle crash.
This is because statements uttered or actions at the accident scene will affect your chances of recovering a fair compensation for lost income, medical bills and other damages.
After any collision, it is important to first seek medical attention. If possible, you should then collect evidence at the crash scene.
If you are puzzled about what evidence is appropriate, don’t fret. Your motorcycle accident lawyer will get necessary evidence to prove negligence, damages and liability.
Your lawyer may use the following to help back up your claims:
1. Police Report
When you contact law enforcement, a police officer will arrive at the scene of the accident. When this happens, details of injuries will be recorded, as well as the cause of the crash, location, time and date. These details will assist the motorcycle accident lawyer in supporting your claim.
2. Accident Scene Photographs
Photographs help capture valuable insights into the cause of the accident. It is important that you take pictures that show injuries, the position of the vehicles, traffic signs, skid marks, and property damage.
3. Personal Information
Ensure you keep copies of diagnoses, prognosis statements, medical records and treatment plans from your doctors. You should not leave out any accident-related expenses and lost wages from being unable to work.
Also, a diary that contains details of your daily life changes and injury status will be helpful to show the impact of injuries in your life.
4. Eyewitness Testimonies
Testimonies from eyewitnesses are important in cases where the at-fault driver denies liability. This is because they may have seen the liable party violate traffic laws before the collision, which can help support your case.
The amount of evidence you need to support your claim can be frustrating. This is the reason many victims turn to a motorcycle accident lawyer for help.
5. Evaluate Medical Records
Many personal injury cases focus on medical records. This is because the claimant is looking for compensation for injuries from the at-fault party.
Since the treatment center or hospital will have medical records of the claimant, you can write a request in order for the medical records to be released.
It is necessary to specify if you want specific records or all records. Once you have written a signed and dated permission, your motorcycle injury lawyer can request for the records.
You should know that each state has specific standards when it comes to getting medical records for a legal purpose. The Florida law and HIPPA privacy rule provides you with the right to access medical records.
There are different advantages of having medical records for a personal injury case. For instance, it provides evidence of physical injuries. It also allows you calculate damages the injured person sustained. Medical experts will also analyze the records to know what caused the injuries.
A Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Helps to:
1. Understand the True Value of Your Case
A good reason why you need a motorcycle accident lawyer is to have someone that values your case and has an understanding of what settlement is fair.
2. Tell You What to Expect
Being involved in an accident was probably not an item on your to-do list. However, if you are a victim of a motorcycle accident, then you will want an idea of what is coming next.
An experienced motorcycle accident lawyer doesn’t just have an idea, but knows, how to lead you through the right processes and laws related to motorcycle accidents. The lawyer does this in a language you understand to avoid surprises.
3. Prepare You for Deposition and Explain Litigation
A good motorcycle accident lawyer assists you in preparing for a deposition. A deposition refers to a sworn, out-of-court testimony.
This is a primary step to preparing a lawsuit for a motorcycle accident.
Since your aim is to maximize the settlement you will get, your lawyer will help you navigate the complexity of litigation. It also ensures you avoid spoiling your own case.
4. Standup to Insurance Companies
Insurance companies always try to make a profit. Regardless of how solid your case may be, it is difficult to stand up to their experience and resources all alone. A motorcycle accident lawyer is the best person to stand up to insurance companies based on experience.
For insurance companies, a minimal payout on claims means they have more profit. Therefore, you can understand why they do all they can to ensure your claims are far less than what you expect.
When a motorcycle accident lawyer helps you, getting the following compensation will be possible:
1. Lost Wages
Victims of a motorcycle accident can claim compensation for wages that could have been earned if the accident did not occur.
2. Loss of Consortium
This refers to compensation given to the surviving spouse. This is done for assistance, loss of services and companionship of a loved one in case of death. Compensation will also be extended to minor children and surviving parents as well.
3. Medical Expenses
Victims of a motorcycle accident will be able to receive compensation for surgery, emergency visits, etc. in a case where the injuries are directly related to the accident.
4. Mental Anguish
Emotional sufferings like worry, grief, etc. are compensated. This claim can go to the victims of the motorcycle accident and families.
5. Pain and Suffering
The motorcyclist may not be given pip insurance, but a lawsuit can be filed to claim compensation for pain and suffering after the accident.
Have Your Best Interests in Mind
When you are at a financial disadvantage, scared, and hurt, it is difficult for you to face it alone. What you need is a lawyer that will make decisions with your best interest in mind. The lawyer will also fight for your rights and pursue justice on your behalf.
Go for Trial
If your motorcycle accident case requires a trial, getting an experienced lawyer is necessary to represent you in court. This is because an adequate settlement will be negotiated.
If you are involved in a motorcycle crash, a motorcycle accident lawyer is who you need. They understand the crescendos of motorcycle accidents and can identify all the possible issues that may have played out in the crash.
If you would like Spohrer Dodd to be your motorcycle accident lawyer, contact us today to schedule a free case consultation. We look forward to seeing how we can help.