Motorcycle riders are at a much higher risk of injury in a traffic accident than car occupants. This is due to fact they do not have protections such as seat belts, air bags, or a crash-resistant frame. Their injuries are often severe or catastrophic and they can sustain hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars in medical bills and other losses.
Motorcycle accident claims are often challenging to pursue. Insurers often apportion fault on riders, even when another driver may hold the blame. Victims will want to enlist the help of an attorney to make sure the insurer handles their claims fairly and properly compensates them in a timely manner.
To speak to a Jacksonville motorcycle accident lawyer about your case, free of charge, contact the Law Firm of Anidjar & Levine. We can explain your legal options and help you pursue a claim for full and fair reimbursement. For an appointment, call 800-747-3733.
Can I recover damages for my motorcycle accident?
Florida’s insurance laws for motorcyclists are unique compared to other states. In Florida, riders only have to prove financial responsibility by either purchasing liability coverage or by securing a Financial Responsibility Certificate. They also do not have to carry personal injury protection (PIP) coverage, which would normally cover their medical expenses and lost wages if they suffered an injury in a wreck. PIP coverage is only required for motor vehicles with four or more wheels.
Because motorcyclists are not part of Florida’s no-fault system, the only real way a rider can recover is by seeking damages from another party. If you can prove that another party was responsible for the accident, then you can file a claim against him or her. In most cases, a rider would seek damages from an at-fault driver, but there may be other liable parties as well, such as an at-fault bike manufacturer, a bus or truck company, or even a city entity responsible for defective roads.
To determine liability and to see if you qualify to file a claim for compensation, call 800-747-3733 for a free case evaluation.
How do I prove fault for a motorcycle accident?
One of the trickiest and most important parts of a motorcycle accident claim is proving the at-fault party’s negligence. Fault is often highly disputed and the insurance company may try to pin much of blame on you. Our lawyers at the Law Firm of Anidjar & Levine can help you collect evidence to establish your case.
Examples of evidence we may be able to use include:
- Eye witness reports;
- The police report;
- Input from an accident reconstructionist;
- Video footage from a traffic cam or witness’s cellphone; and
- Other evidence specific to the case, such as the driver’s cellphone records in texting cases, toxicology/breath tests results, and evidence of defects in motorcycle parts.
Can I still recover damages if I was partly at fault for the motorcycle accident?
You may still receive compensation even if you were partly to blame for your accident. Florida adheres to the pure comparative negligence rule. This rule essentially provides that you can still recover damages for your injuries even when you are partly at fault—but you will receive less compensation based on your share of the blame.
For example, imagine you suffered an injury in a motorcycle accident on W. Beaver Street. The driver didn’t check her blind spots before changing lanes and hit you. However, you were also partly at fault because you were traveling over the speed limit. The insurance company apportions you with 30% of the blame and the driver with 70%. In this case, your damages are 30% lower, based on your fault in the accident.
Because fault plays such a large role in determining the outcome of your case and the amount of money you collect, it is a good idea to have one of our skilled and determined attorneys help you establish fault and liability.
What kinds of damages can I recover for my injuries?
Motorcyclists tend to sustain very serious injuries after a crash, such as road rash, broken teeth, shattered bones, traumatic head injuries, amputation, and spinal cord damage. Given the astronomical costs for medical care and the possibility of long-term disability, many injured riders will be at high risk for financial ruin after a serious accident.
Fortunately, when someone else is at fault for your accident, you can recover most of your losses associated with your injuries. These losses include:
- Medical and physical therapy expenses;
- The cost of transportation to medical visits;
- Household services;
- Lost wages and disability;
- Scarring and disfigurement;
- Assistive devices, home renovations to accommodate a disability, and the cost of hiring help at home;
- Counseling and therapy ;
- Pain and suffering, psychological injuries, and mental anguish; and
- Lower quality of life.
What are my first steps after a motorcycle accident in Jacksonville?
After getting the immediate medical care you need, you will need to report your accident to the insurance company. Do not provide any more than the basic information about the accident. The insurance agent can use things you say during the conversation against you later to deny or reduce the value of your claim.
Your best bet is to call a lawyer before giving the insurance company a recorded statement. This way, we can explain your options and how best to proceed so you do not unwittingly make mistakes that could hurt your claim.
At this point, you should also begin collecting evidence for your case. You will need evidence to prove fault and to prove the extent of your injuries. Our attorneys can help you collect relevant paperwork for your accident file. That file should include:
- A copy of the police report;
- Photos of the accident scene, damage to your bike, and your injuries;
- Witness contact information;
- Your insurance policies;
- The other involved parties’ information;
- Your medical records, bills, and receipts;
- Proof of pre-injury wages, such as paystubs and W-2s;
- All other receipts and bills related to your injuries; and
- An injury journal to record your daily pain levels, treatments, and progress.
Call the Law Firm of Anidjar & Levine today at 800-747-3733 to speak with a Jacksonville motorcycle accident lawyer and get started with your claim.