Suppose you or a loved one have experienced a harrowing motorcycle accident resulting in severe injuries, property destruction, and exorbitant medical expenses. In that case, it is pertinent to make the right moves when filing your personal injury claim.
Understandably, a motorcycle accident victim may experience immense psychological and physical trauma, yet with the right help, you can receive comfort for your pain. You can find healing from this devastating tragedy with the proper support and guidance.
This article will provide you with a comprehensive overview of how to file for a motorcycle accident personal injury claim in Florida after suffering from a motorcycle crash. Utilize this guide to ensure that you receive the justice and recompense you deserve after enduring such a traumatic event.
In any motorcycle accident case, you will need the help of an experienced team of personal injury lawyers. Having a good lawyer by your side in Hollywood, FL will help you succeed in filing a motorcycle accident claim. Get in touch with a personal injury lawyer from the law firm of Jared Spingarn, P.A., to help you navigate a motorcycle accident settlement.
Prevalence of Motorcycle Accidents
Unfortunately, motorcycle accidents have become all too common in recent years. The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) documented a staggering 26,083 incidents between 2018 to 2020. The aftermath of this was profoundly saddening. There were 3,266 fatalities, while 12,160 motorcycle accident victims suffered from incapacitating injuries, such as brain injuries, alongside 32,816 sustaining other minor injuries, like soft tissue injuries.
These shocking figures indicate that a motorcycle accident could happen at any time without warning – even if you’re driving with caution. Consequently, it’s wise to be prepared for any emergency situation and equip yourself with the necessary tools to handle an unexpected motorcycle accident. Doing so can protect both your life and those of others who share the roads with you.
The Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
It is crucial to identify the most common causes of a motorcycle accident to avoid future occurrences. A combination of the following elements typically causes these accidents to occur:
1. Head-on Collisions
This type of collision occurs when two vehicles traveling in opposite directions collide front-to-front.
2. Sideswipe/Lane-sharing Accidents
Motorcycles often share lanes due to their small size. However, serious collisions can occur when a larger vehicle attempts to enter the same lane as a motorcycle.
3. Intersection Collisions
These accidents can happen when one or both drivers fail to correctly judge the speed and distance of an approaching vehicle at an intersection.
4. Reckless Driving
This is when a driver operates their vehicle unsafely and puts other drivers’ safety at risk. This includes overspeeding, weaving in and out of lanes, not signaling when turning, running red lights or stop signs, distracted driving, impaired driving, and more.
5. Inexperienced Riders
Riders with less experience may be more prone to collisions caused by their poor judgment and lack of knowledge. Many motorcycle accident cases involve a rider who has just learned how to operate a motorcycle.
6. Dooring Accidents
This type of accident occurs when a passenger or driver exits their vehicle, without checking if a motorcycle is approaching. This gives the rider less time to react to a sudden obstruction, causing a collision.
7. Left-turn collisions
This type of accident occurs when a driver turns left in front of an oncoming motorcyclist. In this type of motorcycle accident, failure to follow the right of way is often a factor.
8. Lane-splitting Accidents
These accidents occur when a motorcyclist drives between two lanes of traffic, which can lead to severe collisions. In most states, lane-splitting is illegal and punishable by law.
9. No Contact Accidents
This type of accident, also known as a “laid down,” refers to an incident in which a motorcyclist will attempt to avoid an obstacle, such as another vehicle, and instead crash into the ground.
10. Roadway Defects or Repair Negligence
Uneven asphalt surfaces, potholes, and additional hazards can cause motorcyclists to lose their grip on the road – resulting in loss of control.
11. Weather Conditions
Rain, snow, or ice can lead to hazardous conditions and make it difficult for motorcyclists to control their vehicles. This can also significantly reduce visibility, making it difficult to see approaching vehicles.
Common Injuries from Motorcycle Accidents
The open-air nature of motorcycles leaves riders exposed and particularly vulnerable in the event of an accident. The impact of a motorcycle crash can result in the following injuries:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries or paralysis
- Back and neck injuries
- Thorax injuries
- Leg injuries
- Soft tissue injuries such as whiplash injuries, herniated discs, ankle sprains, and shoulder injuries
- Road rash, cuts, bruises, or abrasion
- Bone fractures
- Muscle and nerve damage
- Internal organ damage
Not only are these traumas excruciating, but their consequences can be long-lasting and extend to all aspects of the affected individual’s life. In some cases, this even results in wrongful death. For many families, the heartbreaking reality that a future they had dreamed for their loved ones has been suddenly taken away is an unbearable tragedy.
Effects of a Motorcycle Accident on your Mental Health
Motorcycle accidents can be traumatic and cause both physical and emotional pain. The mental impact of a motorcycle accident may include the following:
1. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
Symptoms of PTSD can include flashbacks, nightmares, anxiety, and depression.
Anxiety is a common reaction to traumatic events such as motorcycle accidents and can manifest in physical symptoms like sweating or racing heartbeats.
Fear of repeating past experiences or the trepidation that comes with another accident could lead some motorcyclists to abandon riding altogether.
4. Depression and Isolation
Feelings of sadness, worthlessness, and hopelessness can set in after a motorcycle accident and can be challenging to overcome. Riders who have suffered from a motorcycle accident may also begin to withdraw from social activities, becoming isolated and unable to return to their pre-accident lifestyle.
Insomnia or difficulty sleeping is a common trauma symptom and can interfere with daily life. Difficulty sleeping can be a typical result of experiencing a motorcycle accident.
6. Survivor’s guilt
Those involved in a motorcycle accident may feel guilty for surviving when others did not or for the pain they may have caused to others involved in the accident.
The psychological effects of a motorcycle accident can be just as damaging as the physical toll it takes on the rider, if not more so. It is important to seek help after a motorcycle accident to treat any mental health struggles associated with it.
Long-term Consequences of a Motorcycle Accident
Motorcycle accident injuries can cause life-altering traumatic wounds, resulting in a variety of long-term effects such as:
- Chronic pain
- Decreased range of motion
- Difficulty performing everyday activities
- Loss of income
- Emotional distress or trauma
- Changes to lifestyle and relationships with family and friends
- Reduced quality of life
Coping with long-term effects can be difficult, so don’t hesitate to seek medical and emotional help. Furthermore, pursuing reparation from the at-fault driver for your accident is essential. This will make it easier for you to manage financial difficulties that may arise from the high cost of medical bills and any lost wages.
A motorcycle accident lawyer from the team of Jared Spingarn in Florida can help you win your motorcycle accident case. In most motorcycle accident cases, the insurance company of the at-fault party will try to downplay the pain and suffering resulting from the motorcycle accident so they won’t have to pay a considerable motorcycle accident settlement amount. This is why you need a personal injury lawyer from Jared’s firm to ensure that your rights are well-represented every step of the way.
Steps in Filing a Motorcycle Personal Injury Claim in Florida
The following steps can help you achieve successful motorcycle accident claims:
Step 1: Seek medical treatment.
Even if you don’t notice any blatant signs of injury following a crash, it’s essential to seek medical assistance immediately. Postponing diagnosis can lead to more serious health issues down the line. Plus, you will need a copy of your medical bills to prove your losses in a motorcycle accident settlement.
Step 2: Call 911.
While receiving medical attention, it is critical to contact the police immediately. The responding officer will generate an official report of the incident. This report can be used when filing a motorcycle accident claim.
Step 3: Document all necessary evidence.
If you are physically able, document the accident scene with photos and gather contact information of all those involved in the incident – including any witnesses. Additionally, obtain medical bills related to your injuries and a copy of the police report.
Step 4: Speak with a qualified lawyer.
Consult with an experienced lawyer who specializes in personal injury cases. A knowledgeable attorney can provide the guidance needed to navigate Florida’s legal system and protect your rights from any negligent parties. Get in touch with Jared Spingarn so his lawyers can represent you in your motorcycle accident case.
Step 5: File a personal injury claim.
After consulting with a lawyer from Jared’s firm, file a personal injury claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company. The claim must outline the damages that you incurred due to the accident; this should include an itemized list of medical bills and other losses such as lost wages or pain and suffering.
Step 6: Be prepared to go to court.
Not all motorcycle accident settlements are successful. If you and the insurance company cannot reach a mutual settlement agreement, you may have to take your case to trial. This can be a daunting process and require extensive preparation, so make sure you put your trust in an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer from Jared’s firm who can lead the way.
Determining Liability in a Motorcycle Accident
Determining who is at fault for a motorcycle accident is essential to assign liability. Several factors can come into play when determining liability, such as the driver’s negligence, alcohol or drug use, weather conditions, road conditions, and more.
In some cases, multiple parties may be found responsible for a motorcycle accident, depending on the situation. Jared can help determine who is liable to seek compensation from the correct parties.
Determining the Amount of a Motorcycle Accident Claim
The average motorcycle accident settlement will depend on a variety of factors. In calculating the loss of a victim, the following elements are considered:
These are losses that have tangible financial value, such as medical bills, lost wages, and property damage. Determining the number of economic damages is often a simple process, considering the abundance of documents and accounts corroborating such claims.
These are losses that do not have a concrete monetary value but still need compensation. Examples of non-economic damages include pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of companionship or consortium.
Calculating non-economic damages is a more complex process. Personal injury attorneys frequently assess the value of this type of damage with calculated estimations based on similar cases in the region and assessing how severe the harm was.
These are losses that involve the loss of future earnings or earning capacity due to an injury. This may involve more research, taking into account factors such as the victim’s age, work history, occupation, the projected wage at the time of the accident, and any other economic losses due to the incident to estimate their potential future earnings.
In extreme cases, punitive damages may be awarded if the court finds that the defendant’s behavior was reckless or intentional. The courts will also consider how much further suffering might ensue due to the defendant’s actions. Utilizing these criteria, they will ascertain the amount of compensation that is reasonable for the victim.
How a Motorcycle Accident Settlement is Calculated
There are two methods to calculate a motorcycle accident settlement:
1. Multiplier Method – This method multiplies the economic damages by a number, usually between 1.5 and 5, to estimate an appropriate amount for non-economic damages.
2. Per diem Approach – With this approach, the total of future estimated medical bills is added to economic damages before multiplying it by a number.
Other Methods of Assessing Damages
Aside from the two methods described above, there are several other ways to estimate the amount of an injury settlement
- Gross-up method – This method adds an extra 25-50% of economic damages to compensate for pain and suffering.
- Daily rate approach – This approach estimates the amount of pain a victim is in per day and multiplies it by the number of days expected for recovery.
- Wagering approach – This approach takes into account the legal costs associated with a lawsuit, what the jury is likely to award, and how likely the plaintiff will win in court.
- Lump sum calculation – This method takes into account the value of a settlement in one lump sum rather than periodic payments.
How Accident Reconstruction Experts Can Assist Your Case
Accident reconstruction experts are highly-skilled professionals who apply physics, engineering, and other scientific principles to understand the facts of an accident scene.
By examining factors such as road conditions, skid marks, vehicle damage, and witness testimonies, accident reconstruction specialists can provide an impartial account of how the crash occurred.
In addition, accident reconstruction specialists can also help prove or disprove a claim and provide testimony when needed. By hiring an accident reconstruction expert to assist in your case, you can significantly improve the chances of receiving a favorable settlement.
Many motorcycle accident lawyers also work with accident reconstruction experts. This way, you don’t have to worry about speaking with multiple parties regarding your motorcycle injury claim.
Jared Spingarn in Hollywood, FL, can assist you in speaking to the insurance company of the at-fault party, determining liability, accounting for your pain and suffering damages, filing personal injury claims, and representing you in court if it comes to that. Schedule a free consultation with Jared’s team today to determine how much you can recover in a motorcycle accident settlement.
What constitutes a reasonable settlement in motorcycle accident cases?
The best motorcycle accident case settlements cover all the injured party’s needs while also protecting the interests of other individuals or parties.
Average Motorcycle Accident Settlement
The average settlement amount for a motorcycle accident can vary depending on the extent of injuries, medical treatment received, and other factors. In general, settlements range from a few thousand dollars to millions of dollars.
How Insurance Companies Impact Your Claim
Insurance companies are businesses that aim to make a profit. They will attempt to settle the case before it goes through court proceedings since the amount you may receive after winning a lawsuit is usually higher than what’s offered during settlement.
Insurance companies will often try to shortchange you by offering a settlement amount that grossly undervalues your claim. That is why it is important to consult a qualified motorcycle accident lawyer or a personal injury lawyer from Jared’s firm before accepting a motorcycle accident settlement deal.
The Importance of Personal Injury Attorneys
Many motorcycle riders lose their case due to a lack of legal representation and not having an understanding of the law. But having a qualified personal injury attorney on your side can make all the difference in obtaining a favorable outcome. They have the knowledge, skills, and experience to evaluate evidence, negotiate with insurance companies, and if necessary, take legal action in court.
Furthermore, having legal representation ensures that the at-fault party’s insurance company cannot exploit you or provide inadequate compensation for your claim. Also, don’t forget to take advantage of the free consultations that personal injury attorneys typically provide. Through this consultation, you’ll gain valuable knowledge about how your lawyer would manage your specific motorcycle accident case and what steps are necessary for a successful outcome. So, whether you are in a car accident involving a motorcycle or were the motorcycle rider involved in the accident, be sure to get in touch with Jared Spingarn immediately.
Motorcycle crashes can lead to unfavorable, or even tragic outcomes, for both the rider and any others who may be involved; motorcycle injuries can lead to a lifetime of medical care, while brain injuries may even leave the motorcycle rider paralyzed.
If you or a loved one were in a motorcycle accident, it is essential to know your legal rights and the value of motorcycle accident settlements. Don’t hesitate to seek help from Jared Spingarn’s law firm in filing for a motorcycle accident personal injury claim. With the help of their qualified personal injury lawyers, you can significantly improve your chances of a successful outcome, ensuring your rights are respected, and your claim is given the value it deserves.
>> If you’re involved in a motorcycle accident in Florida, don’t hesitate to reach out to Jared Spingarn, Accident Attorney, at 1-954-781-2316 for a Free Case Review or drop a message on their Contact Us page.