Orlando Motorcycle Accident Attorney
While Orlando, FL boasts some of the most beautiful drives that motorcycle enthusiasts love and enjoy, the fact remains that if you are on a motorcycle—you are one of the most vulnerable people on the road. Unlike motor vehicles, motorcycles don’t provide the same protection.
Acknowledgment of this fact is why Florida state laws have made protective safety gear mandatory for all motorcyclists at all times when operating a motorcycle. Even so, the unfortunate reality is that motorcycle accidents still occur in Florida. According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, almost 9,000 motorcycle crashes occurred in 2019 alone.
If you have been in a motorcycle crash, you already know how confusing and overwhelming dealing with the consequences can be. But you don’t have to do it alone. Your motorcycle accident attorney in Orlando can help you with the following steps, especially if you have been injured. The following is a brief overview of what you should do if you or a loved one have been in a wreck.
What to Do After a Motorcycle Accident
After an accident with another vehicle, it’s essential that you file a claim as soon as possible, hire an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer, seek medical treatment, and prepare for a lawsuit.
Call the Police
The very first action should be to call law enforcement. Police officers can secure the scene, help establish liability, talk to eyewitnesses, and record valuable information to put into a police report.
Never Admit Fault
It’s entirely human to reflect on your actions immediately after an accident. You might feel partially responsible and apologize to the other driver or the police about how you might have made a mistake. You should never do this until a comprehensive investigation has been conducted. Insurance companies will use your admission of fault against you once you file a claim.
In fact, it’s best to minimize talking with other parties, especially the at-fault driver or witnesses. Remember, anything you say can be used against you. It’s best to only speak with your Orlando personal injury lawyer.
Seek Medical Attention
Even if you feel perfectly fine, if you were on a motorcycle that someone has crashed into, you may have internal or unfelt injuries that are not immediately apparent—especially if you are in shock.
Additionally, if you wait days or weeks to get treatment from a doctor, the insurance company will point out that you could have gotten injured another way. Therefore, it’s essential to see a doctor as soon as possible to establish a trail of evidence for your injury claim.
To successfully win your case, it’s essential that you establish the at-fault driver and how the crash resulted in your injuries by gathering evidence, photos, video footage, medical records, and witness statements.
If it’s clear that the other person was at fault, it’s essential to gather all your documents for your motorcycle accident case so you can get the compensation you deserve, including:
- Medical bills and reports
- The accident report from the police
- The at-fault driver’s name, address, phone number, and other contact information
- Insurance information
- Witness statements
Never Put Off Filing a Claim
Every state has its statute of limitations, which is the timeframe for filing a lawsuit. In Florida, it is four years beginning on the date of your accident. If you have not filed within this time limit, you could lose your rights.
It’s important to remember that the longer you wait, the less you might be able to recover.
How Your Orlando Motorcycle Accident Attorney Can Help You
After an Orlando motorcycle accident, you may have suffered many damages, such as medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages, and property damage.
You may have sustained multiple injuries in your motorcycle accident, including broken bones, spinal cord injuries, head trauma, cuts and sprains, and other injuries. Your accident attorneys can determine how severe your injuries are when helping you file your claim.
Additionally, if you have gone to the Emergency Room or doctor after the accident, you may need to be compensated for any medical expenses.
If you had taken some time to heal, you might have had a recovery period that resulted in reduced or lost wages. Additionally, if you have a long-term disability, your future wages can be impacted negatively.
Aside from financial compensation, you may also be eligible to seek emotional compensation for pain and suffering, loss of consortium if a loved one died, and any injuries suffered.
Injuries From a Motorcycle Accident
Since motorcycles are less stable and visible than motor vehicles, any accident can be serious or even fatal. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, motorcyclists are 29 times more likely to die than passenger vehicle occupants in a motor vehicle collision.
Some prevalent injuries suffered from Orlando motorcycle accidents include:
- Traumatic brain injuries: even wearing a helmet does not fully protect riders from brain injury.
- Leg injuries and lower extremity injuries are prevalent, including bone fractures.
- Internal injuries and bleeding are often caused by trauma or when an object penetrates the skin during the accident.
- Fractures are extremely common, especially if a heavy motorcycle falls on the rider during a crash. Legs, arms, hands, and wrists can all be injured if the rider tries to protect themself.
- Road rash happens when a driver slides on the surface of the road during an accident. Road rash can be mild to severe and can be prone to infections or scarring.
- Spinal cord injuries can cause paralysis or catastrophic permanent disability
- Eye, face, and neck injuries
Serious motorcycle crashes can potentially result in horrific, life-changing injuries like loss of limbs, permanent disfigurement, paralysis, and even death.
The healthcare costs to the road of recovery can be devastating, especially if you can no longer work. Seeking financial reparation is likely the best recourse for anyone who needs to cover the financial, emotional, and psychological toll of such losses.
Motorcycle Accidents Versus Motor Vehicle Accidents
Due to the nature of motorcycles, motorcyclists tend to be more exposed and at risk than car drivers. Even a slow-moving accident on a motorcycle can result in fatal or serious injuries, while the car driver can easily walk away unimpaired.
Anyone involved in a motorcycle accident faces crucial damage and even death. It is common for motorcyclists to face lengthy hospital stays to recover from personal injury, resulting in costly hospital bills and lost wages.
For many, a motorcycle injury can require multiple surgeries and physical therapy to recover fully. In comparison to car accidents, motorcycle recovery costs can be staggering. Since they usually involve extensive bodily injury and property damage, the at-fault driver must be held responsible for your financial compensation so you can get back on track.
No matter what the extent of your injuries might be, it is critical that you call an Orlando motorcycle accident lawyer in order to be informed of your rights and receive the proper guidance throughout your lawsuit. It is just as crucial that you seek accident attorneys who are well-versed in motorcycle injuries and the specific injuries and problems that can arise. Your attorney will be able to speak to the at-fault party’s insurance company on your behalf and fight for you in court, if necessary.
It is important that you can trust your attorney during this difficult time in your life and trust that they have your best interests at heart.
Insurance Companies and Motorcycle Accidents
Motorcycle accidents can lead to debilitating injuries like severe burns, fractures, traumatic brain injuries, and road rash. Therefore, it is vital that you choose assertive and competent motorcycle accident attorneys that understand local laws, Florida laws, and insurance providers. Insurance companies will traditionally try to protect their assets and pay as little as possible. Having a knowledgeable law firm on your side shows them you mean business.
Florida has no-fault insurance and personal injury protection laws that unfortunately do not apply to motorcycles. However, motorcycles fall under financial responsibility laws, which all cars fall under. While motor vehicle accidents may need to prove life-long injuries to seek monetary compensation, motorcycles are exempt. As a motorcyclist, you will not need to confirm this.
It is vital that anyone who owns and rides a motorcycle gets insurance. Still, you have the option of choosing to insure yourself by getting a self-insurance certificate from the Bureau of Financial Responsibility, which will be based on your net worth.
It is also recommended that you purchase underinsured or uninsured motorist insurance in case you have an accident with a Florida driver who does not have insurance, which can leave you in dire straits. You must be covered if you get into an accident so that your medical bills and property damages are covered.
There are also laws about wearing a helmet while riding, which is something motorcyclists should be aware of and comply with. It is also essential that any motorcyclist keeps their bike parts maintained and watch out for product defects. If a motorcycle accident occurs, these are variables that may be reviewed to determine fault.
Orlando Motorcycle Accident FAQs
The State of Florida is home to the second-highest number of registered motorcyclists in the United States, with over 545,000 private and commercial registered motorcycles. Coincidentally, Florida leads the nation in the highest number of fatal motorcycle accidents yearly.
Getting into a motorcycle crash can easily result in severe permanent bodily injury, wrongful death, property damage, and more—even if you abide by traffic laws.
At The Turnbull Firm, we are happy to offer guidance and answer any motorcycle accident-related questions.
Can I Still Get Compensation if I Wasn’t Wearing a Helmet?
Like most legal cases, it depends on variables like which part of your body was injured. If you experience a head injury, it does not automatically mean that the other driver is exempt from liability. It is possible to recover some financial compensation.
Florida law observes comparative liability, meaning that your damages may depend on the percentage of fault you are responsible for. For example, if you are found to be 20% at fault because you were not wearing a helmet, and the at-fault driver was found to be 80% at fault, you would be able to recover 80% of any damages.
If I Get Health Insurance From My Employer, Will This Reduce My Total Claim?
Fortunately, it does not matter if your provided health insurance company can compensate you for any damages. Depending on the insurance provider, they may request reimbursement for any medical bills that resulted from the motorcycle accident.
What is Loss of Consortium in Florida?
In personal injury claims, in addition to damages that the injured party can claim, Florida law allows a spouse to also file a lawsuit known as loss of consortium. They must be legally married to do so. Unfortunately, common-law relationships do not qualify.
Spouses can have a cause for loss of consortium if their spouse has suffered a personal injury due to an accident.
Consortium refers to the companionship, help, and relations of a spouse. For example, if a spouse helps with childcare and housework but can no longer do so because of injuries, this may result in the uninjured spouse taking time off work to care for the family’s needs and their injured spouse. If the quality of both people’s lives has been vastly reduced due to a Florida motorcycle accident, there may be a valid claim.
A jury will determine the value of a loss of consortium.
Why You Need a Florida Motorcycle Accident Attorney
According to Florida law, if you were hurt riding a motorcycle—or if your family member or loved one did not survive a fatal motorcycle accident—and are not being held responsible for the crash, you are likely eligible for financial compensation from the at-fault party.
Suppose you or a loved one has suffered an injury or loss of work due to a motor vehicle collision. In that case, the Orlando motorcycle accident lawyers at The Turnbull Firm appreciate the financial, emotional, and physical hardship you might face.
We can help investigate your personal injury claim and strategize a case highlighting your current and future financial compensation needs with the insurance company.
Clients can feel good knowing that their Orlando motorcycle accident lawyer is there to help them.
With years of experience, knowledge, and resources, they can assist you with the following when you need them:
- Identifying insurance providers and defendants
- Working with insurance providers
- Gathering critical evidence
- Helping you file a claim
- Going over your rights
- Processing your settlement
- Fighting your case for you
- Informing you about the status of your casef
Call us today if you have been in a motorcycle accident and are unsure of the following steps to take. We can help you with the process of seeking financial compensation so you can focus on healing and getting better.