Serving Winter Haven, Lakeland, & Tampa Bay
The motorcycle injury lawyers in Florida of Brooks Law Group represent riders who’ve been hurt due to the negligent actions of other drivers, vehicle or parts manufacturers and government entities who fail to maintain roads and streets.
We know that motorcycles, while fun to ride, provide little to no protection for the rider in the event of a crash. Because of this, riders can suffer catastrophic and even fatal injuries in crashes.
We believe that someone should stand up for motorcyclists who’ve been hurt through no fault of their own. Our firm is prepared to seek compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, repair or replacement of your motorcycle, and any other damages you’ve incurred.
If you have been injured while riding a motorcycle in Florida, the best way to maximize your financial recovery in a motorcycle accident claim is to work with an experienced Florida motorcycle accident lawyer.
Let our team stand up for you and let us put our experience to work on your case. Our consultations are free, and you won’t pay us anything unless and until we win your case. Contact us by phone, chat with us live on our website, or fill out a contact form to schedule your confidential consultation with us today.
Why Are Motorcycle Claims More Complicated?
Motorcycle accident claims are often incredibly complex. This is due in part because motorcycle crashes usually cause far more severe injuries than other kinds of motor vehicle accidents. Liability is hotly contested in many motorcycle accident claims.
Because motorcycle accidents often result in severe injuries to the rider, resolving a legal claim for compensation is no simple matter. An injured rider may quickly rack up large medical bills to treat their extensive injuries. In addition, recovery from severe injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident can be a years-long process, meaning that determining a compensation amount is a contested process, and any settlement must consider the rider’s future medical expenses.
Insurance companies for other drivers in a motorcycle accident contest liability by claiming that the motorcycle rider was at fault. They may try to play on negative stereotypes about motorcyclists in order to avoid liability. Our lawyers don’t let insurance companies get away with using unfair anti-biker prejudice. We know most riders are cautious and many motorcycle accidents are caused by the driver of another vehicle. These are some of the reasons you need a Motorcycle Injury Lawyer in Florida.
To be entitled to compensation for losses in a motorcycle accident, you must prove that someone else caused the accident. Proving fault may be as easy as establishing that another driver caused the accident by violating a traffic law, such as speeding or failing to stop at a red light.
In other cases, it may be necessary to hire an accident reconstruction expert who can figure out how the accident occurred and how the other driver or drivers were responsible for causing the accident
Our attorneys have the resources to fully investigate your case and determine who was at fault and what sources of insurance coverage are available.
Compensation in a Motorcycle Accident Claim
Compensation for injuries suffered in a motorcycle accident generally fall into two categories: economic damages and non-economic damages.
Economic damages are intended to compensate an accident victim for expenses and economic losses they incur as a result of their injuries. Economic damages typically include:
- Medical expenses – Medical expenses can include hospital stays, surgery, doctor’s visits, physical/occupational/speech therapy, prescription medication, and durable medical equipment like braces, crutches, or wheelchairs, and more.
- Lost income – Lost income compensation can include income you lost out on when you miss work due to injuries. If your injuries prevent you from returning to your old job or pre-accident level of work, you may also be entitled to compensation for the difference between your pre-accident and post-accident income.
Non-economic damages are intended to compensate a victim for the physical and emotional or mental distress they suffer as a result of their injuries. Unlike economic damages, non-economic damages cannot be easily calculated by referencing bills or invoices. Examples of non-economic damages include:
- Pain and suffering – Includes the physical and mental distress caused by injuries, as well as the emotional anguish caused if your injuries prevent you from completing daily tasks or participating in activities you used to enjoy.
- Loss of companionship – Compensates your spouse and family for the loss of your companionship, society, and services lost as a result of your injuries.
You may also be entitled to claim compensation for property damage you’ve suffered in your motorcycle accident, including the cost to repair or replace your motorcycle and any other property damaged in the accident, such as your clothing or helmet.
If a close relative was killed in a motorcycle accident, you may be entitled to pursue a wrongful death claim. This is intended to compensate the deceased victim’s estate and their family for their losses.
What to Do After a Motorcycle Collision in Florida
If you are involved in a motorcycle accident in Florida, there are certain steps you should take in the minutes, hours, and days after your accident to protect your rights and put yourself in the best position to claim compensation.
When you are in a motorcycle accident, you should:
- First, check that everyone involved in the accident is OK or see if they need immediate medical attention.
- Call 911 to request police and, if necessary, emergency medical services.
- Seek medical attention, even if you do not believe at first that you were injured in the accident. Some injuries can take days, weeks, or more to show symptoms, but prompt medical attention can improve your prognosis.
- Collect the information – especially insurance information – of all the motorists involved in the accident.
- Record the contact information for any eyewitnesses to the accident.
- Photograph the accident scene, preferably before any vehicles are moved, recording the positions of vehicles, damage to vehicles, skid marks, and traffic controls at the scene.
- Avoid making statements or admissions of fault to police or insurance representatives (statements like “I didn’t see the other vehicle” or “I was probably going too fast”) or apologizing for the accident.
- After the excitement and stress of the accident has subsided and you’ve had a chance to clear your mind, write down a detailed recollection of the accident.
- Contact a Florida motorcycle accident as soon as possible. Once you have legal representation, you can request that other parties such as the police or insurance representatives contact your attorney instead of contacting you directly.
Tips for Dealing with Insurance Companies After a Motorcycle Collision
Remember that insurance companies are looking to minimize the amount of money they must payout for the motorcycle accident. Despite what they may say, insurance companies are not looking out for you.
To protect your interests, you should get a lawyer as quickly as possible after your crash so the insurance company must deal with your attorney instead of you. If you must deal with an insurance company after a motorcycle crash, some tips to keep in mind include:
- You don’t have to talk to the insurance company. The insurance adjuster may try to get you to make statements about the accident that they can later use to argue that you bear some responsibility for the accident. Although an adjuster may claim that they need a statement from you to process a claim, you are under no obligation to speak with the insurance company. If you are represented by an attorney, you can request that the insurance company direct any communications to your attorney instead.
- Do not sign anything without having it reviewed by an attorney. Some insurance companies may pressure you to sign documents, claiming that they need your signature to begin processing your claim. However, those documents may contain provisions in which you agree to waive important rights. Never sign any document presented to you by the insurance company without first having an attorney review it.
- Do not accept the first settlement offer. Insurance companies are looking to minimize the amount of money they must pay out. Even though you may be feeling financial strain due to medical bills and lost work, the first settlement offer an insurance company makes is rarely the best offer you can get from them.
The best way to deal with insurance companies after a motorcycle accident is to obtain legal representation who can advise you as to whether any offer the insurance company makes is a fair one.
Common Causes of Motorcycle Collisions in Florida
Some of the more common causes of motorcycle accidents include:
- Vehicles making unsafe left turns in front of an oncoming motorcycle
- Drivers failing to signal lane changes or check blind spots
- Other motorists not sharing the road with bikers
- Alcohol and drug use
- Distracted driving
- Following too closely
In addition, motorcycle accidents may be caused by defects, including defects to the motorcycle itself, defects to other vehicles on the road that cause an accident, or defects in road conditions that cause an accident.
Common Injuries in Motorcycle Accidents
Due to the exposed nature of a motorcycle rider, an accident can lead to all kinds of injuries to the rider. Common injuries suffered by riders in motorcycle accidents include:
- Spinal cord injuries – Motorcycle accidents can easily fracture vertebrae and injure the spinal cord due to swelling or tears of the tissue, causing temporary or permanent paralysis including paraplegia or quadriplegia.
- Traumatic brain injuries – Impacts to the head can inflict damaging force to the brain, causing injuries ranging from a concussion to a brain bleed or coma.
- Bone fractures – Riders can suffer skull, wrist, arm, shoulder, rib, leg, ankle, and foot fractures, among others.
- Soft-tissue joint injuries – Riders can suffer strains and tears of muscles, ligaments, and tendons, especially in the joint areas that are susceptible to hyperextension.
- Amputations – A rider’s extremities (fingers, hands, arms, legs, and feet) can get crushed or mangled in an accident, possibly leading to an amputation.
- Internal injuries – The force of an accident can cause bruising, perforation, and bleeding of internal tissues and organs, or a rider can suffer injury to internal organs if their body is punctured by some object.
- Road rash – This includes contusions, abrasions, and burns on the skin, caused when a rider slides across the pavement after being knocked off their motorcycle.
How Our Motorcycle Accident Attorneys in Florida Can Help
If you have been involved in a Florida motorcycle accident, the legal team of Brooks Law Group can help you pursue the full and fair compensation you deserve. Our motorcycle accident attorneys can investigate the crash and collect evidence to begin building a persuasive legal claim.
Our motorcycle accident law firm can negotiate a potential settlement with the insurance company, pushing back against the tactics and tricks that insurers use to minimize their payouts. If the insurance company is unwilling to offer you a full and fair settlement, our attorneys are prepared to take your claim to court and vigorously argue on your behalf to seek a favorable verdict and judgment.
Don’t wait another day to begin the process of seeking the compensation you are entitled to. Contact us today to schedule a free and confidential consultation with one of our Florida motorcycle accident attorneys.
Featured Motorcycle Accident FAQs
Check our full Motorcycle accident FAQs
Featured Motorcycle Accident FAQ
Many of the most common causes of fatal motorcycle accidents involve other vehicles. When other cars are involved, the crash is often very harmful due to the vast difference in size between the two vehicles. The top three causes of crashes with other vehicles include head-on collisions, unsafe lane changes, and collisions when a car is making a left-hand turn.
- Wearing a helmet and protective gear prevents fatal injuries in a motorcycle accident. Although adult motorcycle riders in Florida are not required to wear helmets, wearing one can save your life.
- Be noticed: Drivers commonly cause motorcycle accidents when they fail to see an oncoming motorcyclist.
- Obey speed restrictions: Speed limits and other driving restrictions are in place for a reason.
- Ride in the right place: Motorcyclists need to remember to stay out of blind spots, never ride tandem in one lane, and stay out of the right lane on multi-lane highways, if possible.
In addition to the 88,000 non-fatal injuries, there were 4,976 fatalities as a result of motorcycle crashes in 2016.
- 26% of the riders were alcohol-impaired
- 91% of the riders were male
- 36% of the riders were 50 and older
- 37% of the riders were wearing helmets
- In 2015, 4,976 people died in motorcycle crashes, up 8.3 percent from 4,594 in 2014, according to a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) report.
- In 2015, 88,000 motorcyclists were injured, down 4.3 percent from 92,000 in 2014.
- In 2015, motorcyclists were 29 times more likely than passenger car occupants to die in a crash per vehicle mile traveled, and almost five times more likely to be injured.
- Motorcyclists accounted for 14 percent of all traffic fatalities, 4 percent of all people injured, 17 percent of all occupants (driver and passenger) fatalities, and 4 percent of all occupants injured.
- Check for your injuries: Unless you’re a medical professional, this simply means taking stock of the situation.
- Take pictures: The moments after a car accident can fly by quickly. You or the other person involved may just want to get out of there, but it’s vital to your insurance claim that you document the scene to the best of your ability.
- Gather information: As with all accidents, information regarding drivers and insurance should be exchanged. This allows your insurance company to contact their insurance company to sort out the details.
- Call the police: Serious motorcycle accidents require a 911 call for medical help.
- Contact your insurance company: Last but not least, it’s time to file a claim. As the investigation plays out, you’ll receive updates on your claim.