The Florida Motorcycle Accident Guide was created by Paul Boone Law to help residents who have been injured in a motorcycle accident obtain maximum compensation for their claim.
How a Motorcycle Accident Claim Works
Motorcycle accident claims have a lot of similarity to car accident claims but they are distinctly different due to the bias people feel towards motorcycle accidents. If you were to poll every driver on the road to ask them how they felt about motorcyclists, you would see that a trend in thinking is that people who ride motorcycles drive dangerously. It’s not exactly clear why there is the bias but it makes it harder on you as a victim to get the justice that you deserve.
If your claim did not settle before going to court, that means your case has to be tried in front of a jury who deliberates on what justice you deserve. A jury is notorious for having a bias against motorcyclists. They are likely going to have a preconceived notion that the accident was caused by you simply because you were on a motorcycle. Our Jacksonville motorcycle accident lawyer understand that this is unfair and, oftentimes, without reason. It is so important to have a lawyer by your side who has been through these cases successfully before. You want someone who knows how to defend your rights and navigate the added obstacles of your case simply because you were on a motorcycle.
When you’re involved in a case like this your justice comes through the means of compensation. You are going to be bringing your claim against the liable party. In a motorcycle accident case, that could be a car or a truck on the road who did something wrong and caused the collision. You are not directly suing that person for your damages, however. Their insurance company will be the ones financially responsible for your justice. Your lawyer are going to defend your rights to a full and fair result. Be very deliberate in who you choose to represent you because they can make or break the success of your motorcycle accident claim.
The Importance of Seeking Immediate Medical Attention
Motorcycle accidents tend to result in some of the most serious injuries on the road. It is often heard that ambulance drivers have horror stories of motorcycle accident scenes. If you are lucky enough to survive a motorcycle accident, you need to make sure you get all of the medical attention that you need.
It is supposed to be your number one priority to get in front of a doctor as soon as you can. Being thrown from a motorcycle in an accident means that you not only feel the impact of a collision with another vehicle but also experience hitting the ground at an accelerated speed. It is not uncommon for you to need surgery and therapy and medication following your accident. When you seek medical attention, all of this goes into your records. Ideally, there is no delay in seeking medical treatment. Your medical records become evidence for your case. Your Jacksonville motorcycle accident lawyer will use the medical records to display the severity of your damages that the liable party caused.
If, for some reason, there was a delay in seeking medical attention, the insurance company could look at that as a way out of giving you the justice that you deserve. They won’t care that you had valid reasons for having to delay seeking medical attention, such as taking care of family or being fearful of losing your job from missing work. They will only care that this is an opportunity for them to save themselves money. It is terrible, but this is commonplace in injury cases. If they see an opportunity to make a claim that you lied about how you got hurt or lied about how badly you got hurt, they will use it against you. Immediate medical attention is always going to be a benefit to you both for your well-being physically and the success of your motorcycle accident claim.
Recoverable Damages in a Motorcycle Accident Claim
A lot of things go into what the compensation award is. There are many different factors that impact the way you are compensated for your motorcycle accident. When you are involved in a motorcycle accident specifically compared to other car accidents on the road, the injuries can be very severe and life-altering. When taking into consideration that the severity of injuries is often significantly worse, the value of the claim typically increases. That’s why it’s so important to have Jacksonville motorcycle accident lawyer who know what they’re doing so you get everything that you deserve out of this case.
There are two categories of damages for any given motorcycle accident claim: economic damages and non-economic damages.
When we talk about what an economic damage is, we are referring to the aspects of being involved in a motorcycle accident that cost you money. It cost you money to go to an emergency room. It cost you money to be in physical therapy or have surgeries. Not being able to work like you used to or even return to work ever again cost you money.
Noneconomic damages typically didn’t cost you any money, but they do cost you the normalcy that you’re used to. If you suffer post-traumatic stress disorder or anxiety and depression after being nearly killed in a motorcycle accident, that certainly is something that would be considered a non-economic damage because of the impact it had on your life.
In rare circumstances, your Jacksonville motorcycle accident lawyer are going to be able to recover punitive damages for you if there was some type of gross negligence involved in your case such as the intent to harm. Regardless, our lawyer are going to fight for everything that you are entitled to. We work with everything we have available for us to ensure you get the fairest result possible.
Obstacles You May Encounter
The biggest obstacle that you’re likely to encounter is the insurance company. Despite the fact that they are the ones responsible for giving you justice, they are typically going to be the ones that prevent you from getting that. Oftentimes, they will delay your case continuously, hoping that you’ll settle for something that is less than what you deserve. Ensuring that you have the right lawyer means that you don’t walk away with anything less than what covers your damages in the fullest amount.
The insurance company has a tool that they use to undermine the value of your claim. It is a recorded statement that they want you to provide to them. They reach out to you under the pretense that this recorded statement will move your case along quicker to get you what you want, hoping you will cooperate with them. You should know that you have no legal obligation to talk to them about your case. They should have everything they need from you from an accident report. Your identification and the fact that the accident happened is typically the information that they need, as well as your lawyer contact information. Don’t give them a recorded statement. Do not give them the opportunity to back you into the corner to say things that will hurt your case.
After you’re involved in your accident, we hope that you act with the urgency. The easiest way for us to build a strong case that stands up against the insurance company to get you what you deserve is for you to act quickly. Your evidence could disappear and your witnesses can forget information quickly. Florida statute of limitations gives you four years from the date of your motorcycle accident to bring your claim to a Jacksonville motorcycle accident lawyer but that does not mean that you should wait to talk to a lawyer. Everything is time sensitive in a motorcycle accident case, so the sooner you call the lawyer, the better.
After a Motorcycle Accident
When you get hurt in a motorcycle accident in Nassau County or Duval County, the first thing you ought to do is get medical care. Because whether you have a case or not, you’ve been hurt. Get medical care, even if you don’t think you’re hurt. On a motorcycle accident, there’s no such thing as a minor motorcycle accident. There are cases where a motorcyclist may think he or she’s not hurt, but then injuries surface later on. Go get checked out. If you don’t, you may lose important benefits that are available to you. If you don’t get checked out, you may not get early intervention that will enhance your ability to get well. That’s the very first thing you should do.
Next, call a lawyer early on because we can preserve evidence. We can navigate you through the myriad of insurance questions that you may have. Many times, this is the first time someone’s been involved in a motorcycle accident and they don’t know exactly what to do. We’ve been in practice for decades and have handled motorcycle cases throughout. We know the things that need to be done. We can help you through this, preserve the evidence, and maximize the value of your case. If you have a motorcycle accident in northeast Florida, in Duval County or Nassau County or the surrounding areas, call us. We’ll sit down. We’ll go over things. We’ll see how best we can help you.
How Motorcycle Accidents and Car Accidents Are Different
Motorcycle accidents and car accidents are very different. Two of the major differences are that, in a motorcycle accident, you do not have to have a permanent injury to make a claim, which is different than in an automobile accident case. In most cases, there’s no such thing as a minor injury in a motorcycle accident case. If you are one of the lucky few who don’t think they’re hurt permanently, rest assured you don’t have to be to make a claim.
The other difference is— and this is where the experienced trial lawyer comes into play— there is an unspoken bias against motorcyclists out there. The lawyer representing you has to know that and understand it so that he can craft the case appropriately and understand and get responses from potential jurors about their prejudices and biases because it exists. This bias against motorcyclists has a danger of lowering the value of your settlement.
We have handled cases like these in Duval County and Nassau County for decades. We know that that bias exists out there. I know how to handle it from the beginning of the case all the way through to the end. That’s what you need. If you’ve been hurt while riding a motorcycle in Jacksonville, Fernandina Beach, Callahan, Hilliard, Bryceville, Yulee, or any place in between in Nassau County and Duval County, call us. We’ll sit down. We’ll go over your case. We’ll see how best we can help you.
Common Mistakes in a Motorcycle Accident Case
We see many mistakes made by clients before they come to us with a motorcycle accident case. One is that some clients will repair their motorcycle if it’s not damaged beyond repair. Motorcycle operators are oftentimes motorcycle enthusiasts which means they are hands on people and they like to fix things. Many times, they will, on their own, repair the bike. All that is well and good but, unless pictures were taken before that happens, then we’ve lost valuable evidence. Another scenario that happens quite often is these bikes are torn up and they get disposed of. Unless we get pictures to preserve the damage, that is an opportunity missed.
Another common mistake is clients don’t get the kind of treatment that they need. Many times, clients’ minor injuries get missed. They don’t get treated. They don’t get complained about by clients, by the patient. They don’t get treated until later on. You’re not recovered as well as you could have.
Finally, one of the biggest mistakes is not contacting a lawyer soon enough. We can take care of most of those things in terms of collecting the evidence, preserving the evidence, going to the accident scene, and taking photographs. Up here in Nassau County, we have a major road that is the only east-west armory for I95 into Amelia Island. It’s been under construction for many years and will be under construction for many more years. The roadway seems to change on a daily basis. If you don’t get a lawyer involved early, that traffic pattern that may have contributed to the motorcycle wreck will have changed and we won’t be able to preserve it.
Get a hold of a lawyer and let him do the things that are necessary to preserve the evidence, which will enhance the value of your case. Those are some of the mistakes we see being made in motorcycle cases in Nassau County and Duval County. If you call us early, we can rectify those and maximize the value of your case.
Motorcycle Accident Case Value
Sooner or later, our clients ask about the value of their case. The mechanics of putting a value, or more accurately, a value range, on a case doesn’t happen overnight. Lots of things go into factoring what the value range of your case is. That involves the nature and the extent of your injuries, whether they are permanent or disabling and whether they impair your ability to do your normal functions of life. It also includes whether you have any out of pocket expenses such as medical bills, and whether you have lost time from work. Cases sometimes are not clear cut about whose fault it was, as well, which further complicates things. There may have been someone who’s not even a party to the case who’s got some responsibility.
All of that affects the recoverable value of your case. It’s a determination we don’t make until late in the case because lots of things have to be gathered first. Lots of evidence has to be evaluated and preserved, medical records collected, pictures of the scene taken, etc. A lot of collection has to occur. If we’re in the lawsuit, depositions and statements are taken, and we spend some time sizing up who we’re dealing with. All of those intangible things get factored into a value range. So, when people ask us, we don’t answer them with any kind of a firm answer. We say we might have to wait and see. If you’ve been hurt in Nassau County, Duval County, or in any of the surrounding areas, call us. We’ll sit down, we’ll talk about your case, and we’ll figure out how best to help you.
Motorcycle Accident Case Timeline
When we sit down with people who have been involved in a motorcycle accident case in northeast Florida, Duval County, or Nassau County, they often ask how long their case is going to last. We typically tell people, although every case is a little bit different, 9 to 14 months. If we have to file your lawsuit against the responsible party, add another year to that process. The court systems have gotten clogged up again. It is taking us a very long time to get to trial. If the case has any complexity to it, it can last longer than that.
The main thing we impress upon clients is that it’s not going to be over in a couple of weeks. The main thing they should focus on once they have that timeframe in their head is getting better. Concentrate on doing what your doctor tells you to do. Maximize your recovery so that you can get back on your feet as best you can. If you’ve been hurt in a motorcycle accident in the northeast Florida area, call us. We’ve been in practice for decades and have handled these kinds of cases. Call us. We’ll sit down and we’ll go over things and figure out how best to help you.
Motorcycle Accident Insurance Investigation
People often ask if they should talk to the insurance company. There are two answers, yes and no, depending upon which insurance company it is. With your own insurance company, the answer is yes. In a motorcycle case, many times you’ll be covered under a policy. You have a duty to cooperate. You want to cooperate with your own insurance company. They will want to take a statement from you, so give them a statement. They’ll send you a good deal of information, either online or through the mail, that you’ll have to complete, too. You’ll want to do that because that provides the basis for getting your medical bills paid and getting your wages paid partially. So, yes, talk to your own insurance company.
Beyond that, the answer is no. In our first meeting, we always tell clients to forward all queries from the other side’s insurance company to us. Once the insurance representative knows that you are represented by a lawyer, it is illegal for them to talk to you. They know that, and all the information will come and go through our office at that point. If you’ve been hurt in a motorcycle accident in the Duval County or Nassau County areas, give us a call. We’ll sit down and go over your case and give you good direction. We’ll figure out a road map of how best to help you.
Motorcycle Passenger Injuries
Often times, people wonder whether they have a claim if they’re a passenger on a motorcycle. The answer is yes. In fact, your claim may be more valuable as a passenger than it is as a driver because typically, you’re just along for the ride— quite literally. If the motorcyclist driver and the driver of the automobile involved in a collision are both responsible for your injuries, then you can make a claim against both of them. Yes, you can do that in a motorcycle accident where you’re a passenger in Duval County or Nassau County. Give us a call to discuss. We’ll go over things and see how best we can help you.
Forced Off The Road on Your Motorcycle
Can you still have a claim in a motorcycle case if you were forced off the road by another driver? The answer is, yes, you have a claim. It may be a difficult claim if it’s in the context of a hit and run driver who ran you off the road and took off— we may not be able to discover the identity of that person. That’s where having your own coverage called uninsured motorists or underinsured motorists coverage comes into play to cover your injuries.
Yes, you have a claim. It’s just a little bit different. We would need to sit down and discuss the facts a little bit more. It may be that the roadway had a contributing factor to your going off the road, as well. There are a number of different things that could come into play. While the answer is yes, you still need an experienced lawyer by your side. We have been in practice for decades handling motorcycle claims in Nassau County, Duval County, and the surrounding areas. If you have that situation, call us. We’ll talk about it and we’ll see how best we can help you.
Motorcycle Accidents From Poorly Maintained Roads
When clients come in to see us after they’ve been involved in a motorcycle accident in the roadways of Duval County or Nassau County, especially up here in Nassau County, they will point out that part of the accident happened because a roadway was in bad shape. You see it all over our region— there are rough areas on the roadway. Clients want to know if they can make a claim against the person who is taking care of the road. The answer is yes. Roadway contractors, municipalities, and governmental agencies who have a responsibility to maintain roadways have to do it in a reasonable fashion. If they negligently maintain a roadway and it leads to your being injured because you lost control of your motorcycle on damaged roads, then you can make a claim.
Now, there are complexities to it. You’re venturing into an area that an experienced lawyer can navigate and an inexperienced lawyer cannot. We’ve handled cases like theses for decades. We have handled cases against the roadway contractors, the DOT, and other agencies that are responsible for maintaining roadways. We know how to navigate through them. If you’ve been hurt on a motorcycle in Nassau County or Duval County or the surrounding areas and it was because of a defectively maintained roadway, you call us. We’ll sit down and we’ll figure out how best to help you.
Choosing The Right Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
When people ask how someone should go about choosing a lawyer for their motorcycle accident case, we always tell them to look for experience. You need someone who knows how to handle this kind of a case because it’s different than if you were hurt in an automobile. A couple of the major differences is that in a motorcycle accident, you do not have to have a permanent injury, although there’s no such thing as a minor motorcycle accident case.
Secondly, there is a bias out there against folks who drive motorcycles. The lawyer needs to know that and understand that and factor that into the case. We’ve been handling cases like these for decades, and we know how to handle them. We know what the inside of a courtroom looks like, too, which is another factor to consider. Is the lawyer experienced in the court room? If you’ve been hurt riding a motorcycle in Duval County, Nassau County, or the surrounding areas, call us. We’ll sit down and see how best we can help you.
Call Our Florida Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Today
People who violate the rules of the road and end up hurting others need to be held accountable for the damages they caused. If you are a victim in a motorcycle accident ,we want to represent you. We fight for your rights fearlessly and tirelessly. You are a priority when you are a client of ours. Our Jacksonville motorcycle accident lawyer put their years of practice in handling these cases to good use, defending your rights to full and fair compensation. Call us today to get set up for a free initial consultation.
Like Us on Facebook