Common Questions for Those Involved in an Orlando Motorcycle Accident
- How Are Motorcycle Accidents Different from Car Accidents in Orlando?
- Where Do Most Orlando Motorcycle Accidents Happen?
- What Lawyer Deals with Orlando Motorcycle Accidents?
- What Does an Orlando Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Do?
- How Do I Find a Good Orlando Motorcycle Accident Lawyer?
- When Should You Get a Lawyer for an Orlando Motorcycle Accident?
- Is It Worth Hiring an Orlando Motorcycle Accident Lawyer?
- Should I Hire an Orlando Motorcycle Accident Lawyer for a Minor Accident?
- Will My Orlando Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Deal with the Insurance Companies for Me?
- How Much Will It Cost to Hire an Orlando Motorcycle Accident Lawyer?
- How Much Do Orlando Motorcycle Lawyers Charge for Accident Claims?
- What Percentage Do Orlando Motorcycle Accident Lawyers Take?
- What Can I Do to Protect My Rights After an Orlando Motorcycle Accident?
- What Should I Do at the Scene of an Orlando Motorcycle Accident?
- What Should I Do in the Days Following an Orlando Motorcycle Accident?
- What Damages Can I Collect for an Orlando Motorcycle Accident?
- What Is the Average Settlement for an Orlando Motorcycle Accident?
- How Much Is an Orlando Rear-End Motorcycle Accident Worth?
- How Much Should You Settle for After an Orlando Motorcycle Accident?
- How Is Pain and Suffering Calculated in an Orlando Motorcycle Accident Case?
- How Negligence is Established in an Orlando Motorcycle Accident?
- Do You Have to Go to Court for an Orlando Motorcycle Accident?
- How Long Does an Orlando Motorcycle Accident Claim Take to Settle?
- What Happens if the At-Fault Party Doesn’t Have Insurance?
- Can You Sue for an Orlando Motorcycle Rear-End Collision?
- Who Can Be Sued in an Orlando Motorcycle Accident Case?
- Can I Sue Someone Personally After an Orlando Motorcycle Accident?
- Can You Sue for Wrongful Death in an Orlando Motorcycle Accident Claim?
- How Long Do I Have to File a Lawsuit After an Orlando Motorcycle Accident?
- See How an Orlando Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Can Help You Today
Riding a motorcycle can be dangerous in the best conditions—and even more so in bad weather or on hazardous roads.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), motorcycle riders are 27 times more likely to die in a crash than are passenger-car occupants. In Florida, motorcyclists accounted for nearly 17% of all traffic fatalities in 2018, though motorcycles were involved in just 2% of crashes, according to the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV). Of the 181 traffic fatalities in 2019 in Orange County, which includes Orlando, 30 were motorcyclists.
Even conscientious motorcycle riders who wear helmets and take precautions cannot control the actions of others. Drivers do not always see motorcycles, and motorcyclists are vulnerable in crashes that might not be perilous for people in cars.
If you or a loved one was involved in a motorcycle accident, the Orlando motorcycle accident lawyers at the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine can help you pursue compensation. And the sooner you call, the sooner we can get started.
Call our offices today at (407) 500-4000. At the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine, we always go the extra mile.
How Are Motorcycle Accidents Different from Car Accidents in Orlando?
Because motorcycle operators and their passengers are exposed to the elements, any accident, even a low-speed one, is more dangerous than for those in a car.
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), motorcycle deaths are often associated with serious head injuries. Those who survive can have brain trauma, which underlines the importance of wearing a helmet. Though Florida does not require motorcycle riders over age 21 who carry sufficient insurance coverage to wear helmets, wearing one reduces your risk of dying in an accident by 37 percent and your risk of severe brain injury by 67 percent, the IIHS reports.
The other big difference is how motorcycles are treated by state law. Motorcycles are not considered motor vehicles and are excluded from the PIP insurance state law mandates for car owners.
Following a car accident, each driver’s PIP covers their own medical injuries, and the No-Fault Law exempts them from most personal injury lawsuits stemming from the accident.
Unless motorcycle operators have purchased a personal injury policy, they will have to cover their own medical expenses. However, they or their loved ones can pursue a lawsuit when the accident resulted in death, severe or permanent injury, disfigurement, or scarring, or when the other driver’s negligence caused pain and suffering, mental anguish, or inconvenience.
Where Do Most Orlando Motorcycle Accidents Happen?
In 2019, Orange County, which includes the city of Orlando and some of its suburbs, saw 584 motorcycle crashes—more than 1.5 per day, on average—according to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. Of them, 30 were fatal.
The truth is, motorcycle accidents can happen anywhere—on I-4, on Alafaya Trail, Colonial Drive, down near Universal Studios—so it is difficult to point to one location that is more dangerous than another. However, looking at nationwide data on fatal crashes gives us a sense of key things for motorcyclists to keep in mind.
First, motorcycle accidents do not always require another vehicle. According to the NHTSA, in 2017, about a quarter of fatal motorcycle accidents occurred when a motorcycle hit a fixed object.
When there was a fatal collision, the most common scenario involved a vehicle turning left in front of a motorcycle that could not stop in time. About two-thirds of the time, fatal accidents happened at locations that were not intersections.
Sixty percent of fatal crashes in 2017 took place in urban areas; 97% occurred in clear or cloudy conditions, or when it wasn’t raining; and 58% happened during daylight hours. Just 9% took place on interstates.
What Lawyer Deals with Orlando Motorcycle Accidents?
In many cases, Orlando motorcycle accident lawyers also handle personal injury or property damage claims, including cases involving automobile accidents. These lawyers typically work on a contingent basis, as opposed to charging an hourly rate or a flat fee for their services. This means they are paid a percentage of what their client recovers through a settlement or judgment. Their clients do not have to pay attorneys’ fees unless they recover damages—though, depending on their agreement with their lawyer, they may have to pay costs and expenses.
Because these lawyers focus on personal injury cases, they often have experience negotiating claims with insurance companies and taking cases to trial if need be. They can also help guide their clients through this complicated process and protect their rights each step of the way.
At the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine, our Orlando motorcycle accident lawyers pride themselves on going the extra mile for our clients. We take care of everything from filing claims to negotiating with insurance companies to going to trial if necessary, letting you focus on recovering from your accident.
If you have been in a motorcycle accident, call the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine today at (407) 500-4000.
What Does an Orlando Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Do?
Simply put, the Orlando motorcycle accident lawyers at the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine work to protect your rights and fight to get you the compensation you deserve.
During your first consultation, our lawyers will evaluate your accident, help you understand what options are available to you, and provide you with a sense of what compensation you might be able to recover. From there, they will file claims, negotiate with insurance companies, help schedule appointments, and always be available if you have questions or concerns.
And they will not charge you anything unless they recover compensation for you.
Of course, the big decisions in your case—whether to accept a settlement offer, whether to negotiate with the insurance company more, whether to go to trial—are up to you. But our lawyers will be there with you every step of the way, providing advice and helping you navigate a complex web of insurance bureaucracy and legal jargon.
The aftermath of a motorcycle accident can be a trying time. Our job is to make things as smooth as possible and let you focus on your recovery.
Call our offices at (407) 500-4000 today. The sooner you call, the sooner we can get started.
Is It Worth Hiring an Orlando Motorcycle Accident Lawyer?
Nearly 600 motorcycle accidents take place every year in Orange County, according to the FLHSMV. Each one of them can be a harrowing experience.
If you or your loved one was involved in a motorcycle accident, you probably have questions about dealing with insurance companies or medical bills. We can help determine how much compensation you might be entitled to both for physical injuries and damage to your bike, and we can also deal with the insurance company on your behalf. Our Orlando motorcycle accident lawyers want you to concentrate on getting better, whether you have suffered a significant injury or a few scrapes and bruises. We will take care of everything else.
In Florida, the laws regarding accidents and insurance can be complicated, particularly when it comes to motorcycles. We can help you navigate this unfamiliar terrain and protect your rights.
By hiring a lawyer, you will have an advocate in your corner, fighting to help you recover compensation. Our motorcycle accident lawyers work on a contingency-fee-basis, meaning you will not pay anything until we recover compensation on your behalf.
When Should You Get a Lawyer for an Orlando Motorcycle Accident?
It is a good idea to consult with an Orlando motorcycle accident lawyer as soon after your accident as possible. That is the best way to ensure that you are protecting your rights.
During your consultation, your attorney will review your case and discuss what you can expect and what compensation you might be able to recover. And you want someone in your corner before you file a claim or discuss a settlement offer with an insurance company.
At the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine, this consultation is always free—as is all of our work for you until you receive compensation. Our Orlando motorcycle accident lawyers will deal with the insurance company, help schedule your appointments, and keep you updated every step of the way.
The first few days and weeks after an accident can be crucial to building your case. We can gather evidence, speak to witnesses, connect you with doctors who will examine your injuries, and fight to help you recover the compensation you deserve.
We want you to focus on recovering from your accident. Let us take care of the rest.
Should I Hire an Orlando Motorcycle Accident Lawyer for a Minor Accident?
Motorcyclists should take every accident seriously, including ones that might appear minor. Lacking the protection afforded by a passenger car, motorcycle riders are more susceptible even to low-speed or low-impact collisions. You might believe an accident left you with only a scratch or a bruise—and you might be more concerned about the damage to your motorcycle. But significant medical problems stemming from the accident are not always immediately apparent.
An Orlando motorcycle accident lawyer can help you evaluate your options and protect your rights. At the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine, we assist motorcycle accident victims in understanding what compensation they may be entitled to before they settle with the other party’s insurance company, allowing them to make informed decisions for themselves and their loved ones.
When our team goes to work for you, we deal with the headaches and hassles that often accompany minor accidents. If you are injured, we want you to get checked out by a doctor and focus on getting better. If not, just worry about fixing up your motorcycle.
The rest? That part is on us.
What Should I Do at the Scene of an Orlando Motorcycle Accident?
If the accident caused a death, injury, estimated vehicle or property damage in excess of $500, required a wrecker, was a hit and run, or involved an intoxicated driver, Florida Statute 316.065 requires you to call 911 and wait at the scene until law enforcement arrives to fill out a crash report.
If you were involved in a minor accident, you can self-report it using the FLHSMV’s crash portal. Download the Driver Report of a Traffic Crash form, complete all applicable fields including signature and date, and email a copy to SelfReportCrashes@flhsmv.gov or mail it to:
2900 Apalachee Pkwy., MS 28
Tallahassee, FL 32399
Keep a copy for your records and your insurance company.
On that note, if you have property damage or personal injury insurance, notify your insurance company of the accident regardless of how minor it appears.
If you are able, take pictures of the scene, including damage to your motorcycle and the other vehicle, gather contact information for witnesses, and seek medical attention as quickly as possible, even if you do not notice any injuries. Then consult an Orlando motorcycle accident lawyer to make sure your rights are protected.
What Should I Do in the Days Following an Orlando Motorcycle Accident?
Your priority following a motorcycle accident is to make sure you are okay. Hopefully, you immediately sought medical attention, collected names and contact information from the other parties, and called the police.
If you did not do that, you must get checked out by a doctor as soon as possible, even if your injuries appear minor. Sometimes, serious injuries do not show symptoms right away. Catching an injury early will also allow you to begin treatment early—and should you later pursue legal action, your motorcycle accident lawyer will have documentation connecting your injury to the accident.
Ideally, you also took photos of the accident scene, including the damage to your motorcycle and any skid marks or other evidence indicating what happened. If not, take pictures of your motorcycle as well as any bruises or obvious injuries on your body.
If you have personal injury insurance, your policy may require you to notify your insurance company of the accident immediately; make sure you do so.
If the other party’s insurance company contacts you about a settlement, we suggest you don’t speak with them before consulting with an Orlando motorcycle accident lawyer.
What Can I Do to Protect My Rights After an Orlando Motorcycle Accident?
If you have been in a motorcycle accident, first make sure you are safe. If you can, move your motorcycle onto the road’s shoulder or into the median, then call 911 and wait for law enforcement.
Document as much of the accident as you can: Take pictures of your motorcycle and the other vehicle. Collect the name, contact information, and insurance information of the other driver as well as the contact information of potential witnesses. Record the names and badge numbers of the officers who arrive. And if you have a personal injury or property damage insurance policy for your motorcycle, notify your insurance company and file a claim.
As soon as feasible, seek medical assistance and get yourself checked out. A doctor may be able to spot an injury early, even if you have not noticed symptoms.
If you plan to file a claim with the other party’s insurance company, consulting with an Orlando motorcycle accident lawyer will help you understand what compensation you might be able to recover. The motorcycle accident lawyers at the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine can take on the hassle of dealing with the insurance company for you.
How Do I Find a Good Orlando Motorcycle Accident Lawyer?
We might be biased, but we think you will find one right here. (We will come back to that.)
First, ask for recommendations. You probably have friends who ride motorcycles. Have any of them needed legal help? Whom did they use? What did they think of them?
It can be helpful to read online reviews about firms you might use. But it is even better to see how knowledgeable they are about the area you need help with—in this case, motorcycle accidents. (Perhaps that is how you ended up here.)
The most important thing when hiring a motorcycle accident lawyer—or any lawyer—is finding someone with whom you are comfortable. As the American Bar Association points out, your lawyer will be helping you make crucial decisions. If you do not trust them enough to be completely honest with them or are not sure they are looking out for your interests, they might not be right for you. Ask questions about their experience: How many cases like yours have they had? How many have gone to trial? How much will they charge you?
You can ask the Orlando motorcycle accident lawyers at the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine anything, and we are confident you will be satisfied with their answers. Do not take our word for it. Come see for yourself.
How Much Will It Cost to Hire an Orlando Motorcycle Accident Lawyer?
At the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine, you will not pay one red cent unless we recover damages for you.
Our Orlando motorcycle accident lawyers work on contingency, which means they are paid a percentage of the compensation they recover for you. While we are working on your case, however, we will take care of everything you need so that you can focus on recovering from your accident.
Under the Florida Bar’s Rules of Professional Conduct, attorneys can charge a maximum of 33.33% of a recovery up to $1 million if a case is settled before the other party responds to a complaint or demands arbitration and 40% of a recovery up to $1 million if the case is settled after that or you win at trial. For settlements or judgments between $1 million and $2 million, the attorney can charge an additional 30%, and for any amount over $2 million, an additional 20%.
So, for example, if you won a $5 million verdict at trial, the maximum amount your attorney could charge would be $1.3 million.
Keep in mind that these are maximums. You and your lawyer can agree to a lower rate before they take your case.
How Much Do Orlando Motorcycle Lawyers Charge for Accident Claims?
The Orlando motorcycle accident lawyers at the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine do not get paid until you do.
That is, we do not charge you to file a claim or negotiate with the other party’s insurance company. We handle all of that. We will also make sure that your motorcycle gets repaired and help you schedule your appointments. You will get frequent updates on your case and, if you have questions, you will have your lawyer’s cell phone number. None of that costs you anything up front.
Our Orlando motorcycle accident lawyers are paid on contingency. They receive a portion of the compensation you receive. The Florida Bar has established the maximum contingency rates attorneys can charge, but our motorcycle accident lawyers sit down with each client before we get started and explain our rates and what they can expect.
Know that you will never have to worry about how many hours your attorney is billing or whether you can afford to keep pursuing compensation. Most important, though, you can rest assured that our motorcycle accident attorneys go the extra mile to achieve the best possible outcomes for our clients.
Call our offices today at (407) 500-4000 and let the Orlando motorcycle accident lawyers at the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine fight for you.
What Percentage Do Orlando Motorcycle Accident Lawyers Take?
Motorcycle accident lawyers typically take cases on a contingent basis, meaning their clients will not pay attorneys’ fees unless they recover damages. If they do, the lawyer will receive a percentage of that amount, which must be spelled out in a written agreement when the lawyer takes the case. The Florida Bar’s Rules of Professional Conduct cap the percentage that lawyers can charge in personal injury and property damage cases as follows:
- 33% of recovery up to $1 million if you settle before the other party files an answer to your complaint or a demand for the appointment of arbitrators.
- 40% of recovery up to $1 million if you settle after that or win your case.
- An additional 30% of recovery between $1 million and $2 million.
- An additional 20% of recovery over $2 million.
- If the other party admits liability but contests the amount of damages, an attorney may charge up to 33.33% of the first $1 million, 20% of recovery between $1 million and $2 million, and 15% of recovery over $2 million.
You may also be responsible for the costs and expenses associated with your lawsuit. Those must be included in the written agreement.
What Damages Can I Collect for an Orlando Motorcycle Accident?
Under the Florida Motor Vehicle No-Fault Law, in any motor vehicle accident, the policyholder is exempt from personal injury claims unless the victim dies or suffers a significant or permanent injury, disfigurement, or scarring. The victim or their family can also seek damages for pain and suffering, mental anguish, and inconvenience. The state does not limit how much the victim can collect, though punitive damages are not permitted.
That is the short answer. The reality is more complicated.
The No-Fault Law requires car owners to carry at least $10,000 of property damage liability (PDL) insurance and $10,000 of personal injury protection (PIP) insurance, which covers policyholders regardless of fault. But motorcycles are excluded from PIP. While some insurers sell motorcycle-specific personal injury policies—the state mandates them for riders under age 21 and those who forgo helmets—it does not require motorcycle operators to carry PDL, and PIP does not apply.
The other party’s PDL can pay for the damage to your motorcycle. Recovering qualifying medical expenses and pain and suffering claims, however, can be more difficult. If you have questions about your case, the Orlando motorcycle accident lawyers at the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine can help you better understand what compensation you might be entitled to.
What Is the Average Settlement for an Orlando Motorcycle Accident?
Most motorcycle accident cases are settled before they go to trial, and most settlement amounts are not publicly reported. That makes it difficult to pinpoint an “average” settlement.
But at the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine, we know that no accident is really “average,” and we always go the extra mile to protect our clients’ rights.
The settlement amount will depend on factors unique to your case, including the other person’s insurance coverage, whether you were wearing a helmet, the extent of your injuries and medical treatment, the damage to your motorcycle, the availability of evidence, and whether you might have been partly at fault.
As defined in Florida Statute § 768.81, Florida is a “comparative fault” state, which means that the amount of compensation you are entitled to can be reduced to the degree to which you are assigned blame for the accident. In other words, if an insurance company believes you are 20% at fault for the accident, it will seek to reduce your settlement by 20%.
If you would like a free consultation with a motorcycle accident lawyer to review your case and get a better sense of what compensation you might be able to recover, call our offices today at (407) 500-4000.
How Much Should You Settle for After an Orlando Motorcycle Accident?
Because there are many factors unique to each motorcycle accident that help determine a settlement, it is impossible to generalize.
In many cases, the amount will depend on the extent of injuries, whether the motorcyclist was wearing a helmet, whether there is evidence that the other party was to blame, and how much insurance coverage the other party carries, as well as the amount of damage to the motorcycle.
Generally, the more severe the injuries, the larger the settlement. But there are caveats: If the other party says they were not at-fault—or not entirely at fault—and there is no evidence refuting their claim, their insurance company might seek a lower settlement. Florida is a “comparative fault” state: At trial, if a jury decides the motorcyclist was 20% to blame, their award would be reduced by 20%.
Sometimes, it is impossible to negotiate a settlement that fully compensates you for your damages. Florida does not require most drivers to carry BIL insurance, and some drivers who have BIL do not have much coverage. If you are negotiating with an insurance company, you can only settle for as much as the policy covers. If that is insufficient, the alternative is suing the other party individually.
How Long Does an Orlando Motorcycle Accident Claim Take to Settle?
There is no simple way to know how long a case might take to settle. Still, there are a few rules of thumb: Cases where factual or liability issues are in dispute—for example, if there are conflicting witness statements or the insurance company disputes the cause of your injuries—tend to take longer, as do cases that involve large amounts of money. If you are seeking compensation for medical expenses, you must first either complete your treatments or have a full prognosis; that, too, can take time.
And negotiating a settlement is often like any other kind of negotiation. While you are free to accept any offer you are comfortable with, if you are patient and demonstrate a willingness to walk away—even to go to trial—there is a chance the insurance company will increase its offer.
Once you and the other party’s insurance company reach a settlement, Florida Statute 627.4265 says the company has no more than 20 days to tender payment. If the insurance company does not pay you within that timeframe, the payment will begin accruing interest at a rate of 12% per year.
Can I Sue Someone Personally After an Orlando Motorcycle Accident?
Under Florida’s No-Fault Law, PIP plans only cover drivers’ injuries, not those of others, even if they are at fault. Meanwhile, the state does not require most drivers to carry bodily injury liability (BIL) insurance, which covers death and serious injuries sustained by others. That means the driver at fault might not have enough insurance coverage to compensate you adequately.
In 2015, Florida had the highest percentage of uninsured drivers in the country, according to the Insurance Research Council (IRC). More than a quarter of all drivers did not have insurance.
In these eventualities, you have the option to sue the driver individually. But even if you win a judgment against them, recovering compensation can prove challenging.
A judge can order money taken from the person’s bank account or their wages garnished to pay the debt, though not if they are their family’s primary supporter and earns $750 a week or less. And garnishment can never exceed 25% of their wages.
You may also seize their personal or real property to sell at auction. Here, too, however, there are restrictions. The most important is that if the person has a homestead exemption on their house, it cannot be touched.
You can collect on the debt for up to 20 years.
Can You Sue for an Orlando Motorcycle Rear-End Collision?
According to the NHTSA, only 7% of fatal motorcycle crashes in 2017 involved rear impacts. While rear-end motorcycle collisions are generally less severe than front-impact crashes, they can still lead to serious injuries or death, and you may have a legal claim. The same rules apply to these motorcycle accidents as they would to any other kind.
State law requires four-wheeled vehicles to carry $10,000 worth of PDL. Depending on how much damage a motorcycle incurred and how much coverage the other party carries, the driver’s PDL may pay to repair or replace the motorcycle.
All drivers are also required to carry PIP, which exempts them from personal injury lawsuits except when the victim dies or suffers significant or permanent scarring, disfigurement, or injury. You may also sue based on pain and suffering, mental anguish, or inconvenience. If that describes your situation, and if the driver has BIL coverage—Florida does not require it—you can file a claim with their insurance company and potentially sue.
In both cases, if the driver does not have enough insurance to compensate you for your damages, you have the right to sue them personally, although it can be difficult to collect.
How Much Is an Orlando Rear-End Motorcycle Accident Worth?
Each rear-end motorcycle accident is different, making it difficult to estimate the compensation to which the motorcyclist may be entitled. Broadly speaking, the amount will depend on the severity of damage to your motorcycle and whether you suffered any serious or long-term injuries.
Under Florida’s No-Fault Law, car owners must carry PIP, which exempts them from personal injury claims unless the victim dies or suffers significant or permanent scarring, disfigurement, or injury. You can, however, pursue claims based on pain and suffering, mental anguish, or inconvenience.
If you have been in a rear-end accident, it is essential to see a doctor as soon as possible. Sometimes symptoms of long-term problems do not manifest right away. Not only will finding the injury sooner allow your doctor to begin treatment sooner, but it will also make it easier for your motorcycle accident lawyer to show that your injury came from the accident.
The law also requires car owners to have at least $10,000 in PDL. You can file a claim with their insurance company to pay for repairs to your motorcycle. If repairing the damage costs more than their insurance covers, you can file a lawsuit against the individual driver.
Who Can Be Sued in an Orlando Motorcycle Accident Case?
Florida Statute § 627.737 spells out who can be sued following a motorcycle accident: the owner of the at-fault vehicle; the person to whom the vehicle is registered; the driver; an occupant to whom the insurance policy is issued; or any person or organization that might be held responsible.
The last clause can be significant. If the driver was working or the vehicle belonged to their company, the company might be liable. And if the company engaged in negligent behavior that affected the driver’s ability to operate the car safely, that can strengthen your case.
If your motorcycle was struck by a drunk driver who had recently left a bar, suing the establishment is difficult, though not impossible. Florida Statute 768.125, the “dram shop law,” says a bar cannot be held responsible for a patron’s action unless the bar “willfully” furnishes alcohol to a minor or an alcoholic. In 2019, the family of a bartender at golfer Tiger Woods’ Jupiter restaurant who died in a car accident sued Woods and his girlfriend, a restaurant manager, because he was allowed to stay on-site and drink after his shift ended despite being an alcoholic.
Can You Sue for Wrongful Death in an Orlando Motorcycle Accident Claim?
If your loved one died in a motorcycle accident, you can file a wrongful death lawsuit against the other driver. However, Florida’s statute of limitations in wrongful death cases expires just two years from the date of the accident.
Florida Statute § 768.21 lays out who can collect in a wrongful death suit: beneficiaries of the estate can seek the support and services they expect to have lost from the date of the deceased’s death until their own; the surviving spouse can sue for loss of companionship and pain and suffering; and minor children (and, if there is no surviving spouse, adult children, too) can sue for lost parental companionship and guidance, as well as pain and suffering.
If the driver has BIL coverage, the most straightforward approach is to file a claim with their insurance company and negotiate a settlement. Unfortunately, Florida law does not require drivers to carry BDL, and some drivers do not, while others do not carry much. If the driver does not have sufficient insurance coverage, you can sue them personally, though collecting can be difficult. In other cases, the best option might be to settle for the maximum amount of the BIL policy.
How Is Pain and Suffering Calculated in an Orlando Motorcycle Accident Case?
How Is Pain and Suffering Calculated in an Orlando Motorcycle Accident Case?
Florida law does not cap the amount of damages you can recover for pain and suffering following a motorcycle accident—unless you are suing the state or a local government, in which case you are limited to $200,000—but there are a few methods commonly used to determine how much your pain and suffering is worth.
The first is the multiplier method, which works as the name implies. Take a hard number, such as the amount of your medical bills, and multiply it by a number between one and five depending on the severity of your accident. If your motorcycle accident has led to a permanent injury such as severe brain damage, the multiplier might be higher than five. If your medical bills amounted to $20,000, and the severity of your injury warranted a multiplier of four, that would come to $80,000.
The second is the per diem method, which gives a value to each day that you suffered from your injuries. If you have a long-term or permanent injury, as can sometimes be the case following motorcycle accidents, this might not be the best approach. The final method employs a computer software program used by insurance companies, most commonly Colossus. A claims handler inputs data, then the program evaluates the claim and spits out a value.
How Negligence is Established in an Orlando Motorcycle Accident?
The Florida Standard Jury Instructions for Civil Cases defines negligence as “the failure to use reasonable care, which is the care that a reasonably careful person would use under like circumstances.”
Motorcycle accident cases typically cite negligence as a cause of action. To establish negligence in Florida, you have to prove four separate elements.
The first is that the other party owed you a “duty of care”—in other words, that the party had a responsibility to act in a certain way toward you. In a motorcycle accident case, this would mean that the driver owed the motorcyclist a duty to drive responsibly and safely.
The second element is that the defendant breached this duty of care—that is, they did not drive safely or responsibly.
Third, the plaintiff must show that this breach of care caused damage or injury. In this case, the driver’s unsafe and irresponsible driving caused the motorcycle accident that led to property damage and the motorcyclist’s injury.
Finally, the plaintiff must prove that he or she was injured in some way—physically, financially, or otherwise—because of this breach of care.
Will My Orlando Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Deal with the Insurance Companies for Me?
At the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine, we want you to focus on getting better. From filing claims to dealing with insurance handlers to finalizing a settlement—or, if need be, taking your case to trial—we will be in your corner every step of the way, helping you understand what to expect and fighting to help you recover the compensation you deserve. And we do not get paid until you recover compensation.
Our team prides itself on always going the extra mile for our clients. We will not only handle all of the important paperwork and deal with the other party’s insurance company, but we will also work with your health insurance company, as well as hospitals and doctors’ offices, to make sure you are getting all of the tests and exams you need to discover any injuries your accident may have caused.
Recovering from a motorcycle accident can be a long and challenging journey. But the Orlando motorcycle accident lawyers at the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine have been down this road before, and they will be there to help you every step of the way.
Do You Have to Go to Court for an Orlando Motorcycle Accident?
In Florida, most motorcycle accidents are settled through negotiations between the victim and the at-fault party’s insurance company long before a trial occurs.
There are several advantages to settling out of court. Settlements will consume less of your time and cost less in legal fees. You might also receive compensation quicker while avoiding the anxiety trials can produce.
However, a settlement only benefits you if the insurance company treats you fairly. If not, you may decide it is in your best interest to file a lawsuit. (One thing to keep in mind: Per Florida Statute § 768.79, if you reject a settlement offer but lose at trial or obtain a judgment 25% lower than that offer, the insurance company can deduct its costs and legal fees from your award.)
Even if you file a lawsuit, you might not have to go to court. Sometimes, after reviewing the evidence during discovery, the insurance company’s attorneys will make another offer. And in some cases, mediation is also an option.
If you have questions about how best to pursue your case, call the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine today at (407) 500-4000 and let our Orlando motorcycle accident lawyers get to work on your behalf.
What Happens if the At-Fault Party Doesn’t Have Insurance?
Florida has one of the highest rates of uninsured drivers in the country, according to the IRC. If one of them crashes into your motorcycle, it can be difficult to recover compensation.
While insurance companies can pay claims that run into the tens of thousands of dollars, individuals who have not obtained PIP insurance might not have access to that kind of money. Even so, your best option still might be to pursue a case against the driver.
If you prevail in court, a judge will enter a judgment against them, giving you the ability to collect on the debt for up to 20 years. Unless the person makes less than $750 a week and is considered a family’s primary provider, you will be able to garnish up to 25% of their net wages. The judge may also seize funds from their bank account.
Through a process called execution, you can seize the person’s real and personal property to sell at auction, though if the person has claimed a homestead exemption on a house they own, it is protected. A debtor can also protect $4,000 worth of personal property and a vehicle valued at $1,000 or less after a bank lien.
How Long Do I Have to File a Lawsuit After an Orlando Motorcycle Accident?
Florida Statute § 95.11(3)a sets the statute of limitations for negligence claims—a category into which most motorcycle accident cases fall—at four years. That is, you have four years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit. If you miss the deadline, the court will not allow your case to proceed, and you will not recover any compensation.
Four years might sound like an eternity, but medical treatments or even getting a prognosis for injuries suffered during a motorcycle accident can take a long time. You often need to complete that process before you can negotiate a settlement with an insurance company—and insurance companies know the clock is ticking.
That is why it is important to consult an Orlando motorcycle accident lawyer as soon as possible.
In fact, you might have less time to file your complaint. If your loved one died, Statute 95.11(4)d sets the time limit for wrongful death claims at just two years. And if you wish to sue the state or a local government—for instance, if your motorcycle was struck by a city-owned vehicle—you have just three years in which to notify the government about your intention, though you cannot file the lawsuit for another six months.
See How an Orlando Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Can Help You Today
The Orlando motorcycle accident lawyers at the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine know that the aftermath of a crash can be confusing and anxious. You might be dealing with medical injuries, doctors, and insurance adjusters while trying to figure out who you can trust.
Our goal from the first consultation is to make sure your rights are protected. We will review your case, go over your options, and explain what compensation you might be able to recover. As your attorneys, we will talk with insurance companies on your behalf, help you schedule appointments, keep you up to date on new developments, and always be available by email or phone.
We want you and your family to focus on recovering from your motorcycle accident. We will take care of the rest.
Choosing an Orlando motorcycle accident lawyer means entrusting someone to help you make critical choices about complicated matters during a difficult time. Make sure you choose someone with whom you always feel comfortable working.
At the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine, we have staked our reputation on responsive legal care that goes the extra mile. Call our offices at (407) 500-4000 today. Let us fight to get you the compensation you deserve.