Motorcyclists do not have the same protections as drivers and passengers in other vehicles, so they often suffer serious injuries even in seemingly minor accidents. If you suffered injuries in a motorcycle crash and another driver was responsible, you can hold them liable for compensation to cover any related damages. This money covers medical bills, lost wages, ongoing care, pain and suffering, and other accident-related costs.
At the Law Firm of Anidjar & Levine, our lawyers can help you understand your options for compensation based on the specific details of your case. Call us today at 800-747-3733 to schedule a free consultation with a motorcycle accident lawyer in Cape Coral.
Is another driver liable for my injuries?
In order to file a claim based on your motorcycle accident injuries, we need to show the other party acted carelessly. This is negligence. For example, when a driver runs a red light, they break a traffic law that exists to keep you safe. By breaking this law, they caused an accident and you suffered injuries. They are, therefore, responsible for paying for the damages that resulted from the accident.
Some of the most common causes for motorcycle accidents include:
- A driver who pulls out in front of a motorcyclist;
- Speeding drivers who cut off motorcyclists behind them;
- Distracted drivers;
- Defective brakes on motorcycles;
- Road maintenance issues; and
- Debris in the road.
It is important to note that the liable party is not always another driver. Sometimes the party who acts negligently and causes your accident is a parts manufacturer, a driver who is not directly involved, or even the government agency tasked with maintaining the road. We can help you identify the at-fault party before we file your claim.
What if I am partially to blame for the accident?
Florida has a comparative fault statute that applies when you share the fault for an accident with another party. You can still file a claim and collect compensation, but you cannot get the full value of your damages. Instead, your payout decreases in proportion with your degree of fault. For example, imagine the court decides you are 20% at fault in your crash and your total damages were $200,000. This means you can only collect 80% of your total losses, or $160,000.
There are a number of ways motorcyclists contribute to their own crashes. This may include:
- Failing to use lights or proper signals;
- Swerving in and out of traffic;
- Lane splitting; and
- Breaking other traffic laws.
If you were not wearing a helmet at the time of your crash, the at-fault driver or their insurer may try to use that to reduce your payout. They do this by arguing that your injuries would not have been as severe had you been wearing a helmet. While Florida law allows insured motorcyclists over 21 years of age to ride without a helmet, courts have upheld this argument in several cases. If you were not wearing a helmet at the time of your accident, contact us as early as possible. We will work to ensure your right to compensation remains protected throughout the process.
What types of damages can I recover after a motorcycle crash?
Motorcycle crashes often result in serious, permanent injuries that can require ongoing nursing care or prevent the rider from ever returning to work. Brain and spinal cord injuries, limb amputation, fractures, burns, scarring, and serious facial injuries are all common in motorcycle accidents. Because these devastating injuries can require long periods of rehabilitation and ongoing care, the damages in motorcycle crash claims tend to be high.
There are several types of damages available from most motorcycle accident claims.
Economic damages include your actual losses and expenses as well as your estimated future costs. This includes medical bills, rehabilitation costs, in-home caregiving expenses, lost wages, loss of future income, and ongoing care costs. Almost any accident-related expense can fall into this category. We will identify every possible loss related to your accident.
Non-economic damages cover the emotional losses you endured, such as pain and suffering, mental anguish, and other similar damages. Since these losses are intangible, the insurance company usually applies a formula to your economic losses to come up with a value for your non-economic damages.
Occasionally, we may also pursue punitive damages for our clients. The courts calculate these damages to punish an at-fault driver or other party for gross negligence. This type of damage is rare and only used if the liable party acted in a reckless or intentionally harmful way. We most often see this type of damage in cases that involve drunk or drugged drivers or hit-and-run accidents.
There is no way to know the exact value of your accident claim until we reach a settlement with the insurer or the court awards you a payout. We can, however, look at all the factors that go into determining the value of a settlement and help you understand the range you can expect.
What can I expect out of the claims process?
As soon as your injuries stabilize, it is time to reach out to our Cape Coral motorcycle accident lawyers. We have the resources and knowledge to collect the evidence necessary to present a strong case in support of your claim. We can even consult with accident reconstruction experts and specialists to understand the cost of your future medical care based on your specific prognosis.
After estimating your costs, we file a third-party liability insurance claim based on the at-fault driver’s insurance policy. With this claim, we often send a demand letter asking for a settlement that covers your full range of damages. If you carry a personal injury protection (PIP) insurance, we may also be able to help you pursue a claim based on this policy.
In most cases, the insurance company responds to our claim and demand letter with a low settlement offer. This begins a series of negotiations where we aggressively fight for the maximum payout possible based on the facts of your case. This typically results in a fair settlement agreement. We rarely need to file a personal injury lawsuit in civil court to recover the compensation you deserve.
How can I reach a motorcycle accident lawyer in Cape Coral?
The motorcycle accident attorneys at the Law Firm of Anidjar & Levine can help you navigate the complicated insurance claims process and recover the compensation you need after a motorcycle crash. Call our office today at 800-747-3733 for a free, no-obligation consultation.