A motorcycle accident with a negligent driver can sideline you with broken bones, back injuries, head injuries, and other disabling conditions. While you may have liability insurance for your motorcycle, do not expect your insurance company to fully compensate you for your injuries.
Before you file an insurance claim, contact the Law Firm of Anidjar & Levine to speak to a motorcycle accident lawyer in Kendall. Call us today at 800-747-3733 and let us help you recover the compensation you deserve. We have earned a reputation of getting proven results for injured motorcyclists.
Can I Still Receive Compensation If I Do Not Have Insurance?
Florida does not require motorcycle owners to purchase personal injury protection (PIP) insurance as it does owners of four-wheel vehicles. PIP insurance pays injured drivers and their passengers up to $10,000 for injuries and lost wages. If you purchased liability insurance for your motorcycle, we can help you file a claim for compensation with your insurer.
If you do not have a policy on your motorcycle, we can still help. Many drivers carry coverage for uninsured or underinsured motorists. Our experienced motorcycle attorneys can help you pursue compensation for your serious injuries—or a family member’s fatal injury—from this portion of the at-fault party’s insurance company.
Do I Need to Prove That I Suffered Injuries?
Florida has different requirements for motorcycle owners than for owners of four-wheel vehicles injured in accidents. Since Florida is a no-fault state, insurance companies pay medical expenses regardless of who caused an accident. That means that in a normal car accident, each driver would first turn to their own PIP policy for compensation for their damages. Vehicle owners can also pursue additional compensation if they can show that injuries they sustained in a car accident meet Florida’s serious injury threshold. Motorcycle owners do not have to meet this threshold. You may hold a negligent driver liable for your injuries and damages even if your injuries do not qualify as serious.
How Do I Hold the At-Fault Driver Responsible for My Injuries?
Our firm helps you by launching an investigation into the circumstances surrounding your accident. The first step involves establishing liability of the at-fault driver. To do this, we must collect evidence to prove the driver was acting negligently behind the wheel and is, therefore, at fault. Through police reports, eyewitnesses to the accident, photographs, or traffic surveillance cameras, we may discover that the driver was:
- Distracted by texting;
- Using a GPS app;
- Talking on the phone;
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol; or
- Driving without a valid license.
Crashes also occur when drivers do not see motorcyclists because they fail to look in their blind spots before changing lanes. Drivers also ignore oncoming motorcyclists when making left turns in intersections. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), about one-third of multi-vehicle motorcycle crashes occur when other drivers turn into the path of an oncoming motorcycle. Many motorists simply fail to see motorcyclists because of their lower profile.
It is also possible that an automotive defect played a role in your wreck. We will determine whether motorcycle design defects contributed to your accident or if your motorcycle was under a safety recall by the manufacturer at the time of your crash.
After we prove the other driver’s negligence caused the accident and determine whether liability also rests on the motorcycle manufacturer, we estimate the amount of damages you may recover.
What Types of Damages Am I Eligible to Receive?
Motorcycle riders often sustain more serious, permanent, or fatal injuries than drivers or passengers in four-wheel vehicles. We can help you to obtain compensation for:
- Current and future medical expenses;
- Home health care;
- Loss of income;
- Damages to your motorcycle;
- Pain and suffering;
- Loss of enjoyment of life;
- Mental anguish; and
- Loss of consortium.
Depending on the circumstances of your accident, you may also qualify for punitive damages, which punish a defendant for intentional or gross negligence. For a judge to grant punitive damages in your case, we must show the defendant acted in a reckless, intentional, or wanton manner. For example, punitive damages are likely if a driver hits a motorcycle, knocks the rider off the bike, and flees the scene before police arrive.
What Happens If I Caused the Accident?
Florida’s comparative negligence law applies in this instance. Under this law, if your actions contributed to the accident, your percentage of fault will affect the amount of compensation you receive.
For instance, if you sought damages for $100,000 and the other driver can successfully show to a court that you were speeding, failed to use your turn signals, or were riding between lanes of slow-moving traffic, a court could find you 30 percent at fault for the accident. In this case, you would only receive $70,000—or 70 percent—of the initial amount of compensation you sought.
Florida’s Helmet Law
Florida law requires riders under 21 years old to wear helmets. However, riders over 21 years old may choose not to wear a helmet, as long as they purchase an insurance policy that provides at least $10,000 in medical coverage to pay for any crash-related injuries.
If you were not wearing a helmet at the time of the accident and suffered head injuries, the defendants may accuse you of contributing to your injuries. This may reduce the amount of your compensation award even if you did not cause the accident. However, this possibility should not discourage you from seeking damages.
Motorcycle crashes can easily become complicated when you factor in Florida laws, defendants’ accusations, and other issues. We offer guidance so you will know how to proceed with your claim.
Contact the Law Firm of Anidjar & Levine Today for Expert Help With Your Motorcycle Accident Claim.
The Law Firm of Anidjar & Levine understands the devastation a motorcycle wreck can cause. If you suffered serious injuries, you need a law firm that can help you get the justice you deserve. We will conduct a thorough investigation into the cause of your crash until we identify the responsible party. Then, we will hold them liable for the maximum compensation you deserve. Contact us today 800-747-3733 to schedule a free case evaluation.