If you have a motorcycle, you probably know the stereotypes you are up against when dealing with an accident claim. Insurance companies do not make filing a motorcycle accident claim straightforward. They will do everything possible to minimize your payout or even deny your claim.
That’s why you need an experienced lawyer for motorcycle accidents from Boca Law on your side. Our legal team is here to answer your questions and educate you on what to expect when starting a motorcycle accident lawsuit. We have prepared this useful guide to help you get started, and we encourage you to schedule a free consultation with our team to discuss your case’s specifics.
What Do You Have to Prove in a Motorcycle Accident Claim?
An individual who brings a motorcycle accident claim must first prove that the other driver was responsible, or liable, for the accident. This means showing that the other driver was negligent.
The victim must also prove that he or she suffered bodily injuries and other damages due to the accident.
What Is Negligence?
Negligence is described as the failure to exercise due care that a reasonably prudent individual uses in similar circumstances. There are many types of negligent driving behaviors that can cause an accident with a motorcycle. Some of these include:
- Failing to stop at a stop sign
- Failing to obey a traffic signal
- Making an improper lane change
- Failing to yield when making a left turn
- Weaving in and out of traffic
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Texting while driving
If you can establish negligence, then you can demand damages for any losses caused by accident. Damages that can be claimed include medical expenses, property damage, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
How Do I Get Started with My Claim?
The first thing you should do is contact lawyer for motorcycle accidentto make sure you understand your legal rights. An attorney will meet with you for a free initial consultation to discuss the details of the accident. Doing this right away makes sure that the details are recorded when they are freshest in your mind.
Your attorney will also be able to collect all of the personal information required to pursue a motorcycle accident claim. This would include:
- A copy of your driver’s license and vehicle registration
- Your Social Security number
- Your motorcycle insurance information
- Information about other family members/drivers in your household
- Your employment information
- Your health insurance information
- Details about any prior accidents in which you were involved
- Details about any previous lawsuits you filed for personal injuries
- The name and address of your treating doctors
- The name and address of your primary care physician
Your lawyer will also have you sign a retainer agreement. In Florida, most attorneys work on a contingency basis. That means that you don’t owe your lawyer any money unless he or she obtains a settlement or verdict on your behalf.
Once your lawyer has the necessary information from you, he or she can immediately begin an investigation into the accident on your behalf. The sooner you can speak to an attorney, the better.
Motorcycle Accidents Are More Severe
Motorcyclists and riders are more susceptible to fatal injuries in a crash than other motorists. Suppose a motorcyclist is struck by a car or truck. In that case, the motorcycle does not have the structural protection to contain a motorcyclist or passenger’s body or to bear the impact of a larger motor vehicle. A rider may be thrown off the motorcycle and into oncoming traffic or other structures.
Besides, they may suffer fatal traumatic brain injuries. Motorcyclists in Florida do not need to wear a helmet if they are 21 and over and have at least $10,000 in insurance to cover any medical expenses for motorcycle accident injuries. While the lack of a helmet can lead to catastrophic injuries, many motorcycle accident victims die on impact or subsequently succumb to their injuries. The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles reported that 413 motorcyclists and 38 passengers died in motorcycle crashes in 2011.
Liability in a Deadly Motorcycle Accident in Florida
You may hold the parties responsible for your loved one’s death accountable for your loss. If your relative had survived the accident, he or she would have had the right to recover damages for injuries through a Florida personal injury lawsuit. Your relative’s death extinguished any right to file that claim. As the survivor, however, Florida gives you the freedom to claim wrongful death to recover damages by filing a motorcycle accident death lawsuit.
To succeed in your claim, you must demonstrate that the defendant is liable for your relative’s death. Negligence is at the core of many motorcycle accidents. All motorists are required to exercise reasonable care when they drive. A driver that speeds or fails to yield, for example, may strike a motorcyclist and cause a deadly crash.
You can establish negligence by showing that the defendant:
- Owed the victim a duty of care;
- Caused your relative’s death because of the breach;
- Failed to exercise reasonable care under the circumstances; and
- Caused damages.