One of the most challenging times in a person’s life can be the days, weeks, and months following a motorcycle crash. Medical bills and pressure from insurance companies can be an added source of stress when you’re already facing a long and painful recovery process.
While most people know hiring a lawyer can be helpful, few truly understand what a difference it can make in the outcome of a claim. Having an experienced attorney on your side could mean the difference between receiving a lowball settlement and being fully compensated for your losses.
The Miami personal injury lawyers at the Schiller Kessler Group are well-versed in the unique challenges of motorcycle claims. We can help you navigate the legal process and fight to maximize your compensation. One of our Miami motorcycle accident lawyers is here to listen to your story and guide you through your next steps.
Dealing with the Insurance Company After a Miami Motorcycle Accident
Navigating the aftermath of a Miami motorcycle accident involves challenging interactions with insurance companies.
Here are some of the keys to a successful insurance claim:
- Prompt reporting: Report the incident to your own insurance company as soon as possible. This step establishes a record of the event, ensuring timely investigation and claim processing.
- Thorough evidence collection: If you are physically able to do so, collect evidence, including photos, witness statements, and police reports. This documentation strengthens your case and aids in the assessment of damages.
- Cautious communication: Avoid admitting fault or providing too many details about the incident when speaking with an insurance adjuster. Stick to the facts. The other party’s insurer could twist something you say and use it against you, which is why it’s best to let an attorney handle all communications with them.
- A cautious approach to settlement offers: Be cautious with the initial settlement offer, as it may not fully cover your damages. Evaluate the offer carefully and consider consulting with a personal injury attorney. Insurance companies are hoping you accept a fast settlement before you understand the full impact of the accident on your life.
- Experienced legal representation: If negotiations become challenging or the settlement offer is inadequate, an attorney can navigate complex negotiations and ensure your rights are protected. If your injuries are serious, you should work with an attorney from day one.
Remember, dealing with insurance companies requires careful attention to detail and an understanding of your rights. Hiring a qualified attorney can help ensure you obtain fair compensation for all you’ve endured. Typically, injured riders with professional legal representation walk away with more money than those who handle their own claims.
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Motorcycle Injuries that Lead to Personal Injury Claims
Motorcycle accidents can lead to a range of injuries, often more severe than those sustained in car accidents, due to the lack of protection for riders.
Common motorcycle accident injuries include:
- Road rash: The friction between the road and exposed skin during a motorcycle crash can cause painful abrasions, commonly known as road rash.
- Fractures and dislocations: The impact of a collision often leads to broken bones and joint dislocations, affecting various parts of the body.
- Head and neck injuries: Trauma to the head and neck can result in concussions, severe traumatic brain injuries (TBI), and damage to the cervical spine.
- Spinal cord damage: Serious motorcycle accidents may cause damage to the spinal cord, leading to paralysis or other long-term impairment.
- Internal injuries: Blunt force trauma can cause internal injuries, affecting vital organs and necessitating immediate medical attention.
- Facial injuries: A crash can result in facial injuries, including fractures and disfigurement, requiring extensive medical treatment.
- Limb injuries: Riders may suffer from various arm and leg injuries, ranging from soft tissue damage to amputation.
- Burns: In accidents involving fires or contact with hot surfaces, motorcyclists can sustain burns ranging from mild to severe.
Understanding the severity of your injuries is crucial when pursuing a motorcycle accident claim, and seeking legal advice will help ensure the best possible outcome.
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Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
Riding a motorcycle comes with certain risks, as motorcyclists are more vulnerable on the roadways.
While many factors can lead to motorcycle wrecks, some common causes include:
- Speeding: Excessive speed is a major contributor to severe or fatal motorcycle crashes. Speed limits in Florida are in place to protect all road users.
- Impaired driving: Drunk or otherwise impaired drivers operating cars, trucks, or other motorcycles present a deadly hazard to motorcyclists.
- Distracted driving: Drivers preoccupied with cell phones, GPS, passengers, or other distractions may not notice nearby motorcycles, leading to devastating collisions.
- Unsafe lane changes: Failure to check blind spots and properly signal before lane changes is another top cause of collisions, as motorcycles can easily be missed in side and rear mirrors.
- Hazardous road conditions: Slick roads, uneven pavement, debris, and other road hazards can cause motorcycle riders to lose control and crash.
- Reckless driving: Some motorists drive aggressively by tailgating, speeding, weaving, ignoring traffic signals, and improperly passing motorcycle riders, increasing accident risks.
By understanding common motorcycle accident causes, riders and drivers can work together to improve roadway safety. However, if a crash occurs, an experienced attorney can investigate the cause and pursue damages.
Establishing Liability in a Miami Motorcycle Crash
Most motorcycle accident cases are based on the legal principle of negligence. A person or business that causes an accident by failing to exercise reasonable care may be held accountable for the damage they cause.
Your attorney will work to establish liability when preparing your case. Multiple parties may be liable in addition to the person who hit you.
Your accident may have been caused by:
- A mechanic or repair facility that performed subpar repairs to your bike or another vehicle involved
- The driver’s place of employment, if the driver was on the clock at the time of the collision
- A bar that overserved an intoxicated customer, who later caused an accident while driving
- A distracted driver who swerved into your lane or otherwise drove carelessly, causing you to crash
- The motorcycle’s manufacturer if it has a defective part or design
- A town or municipality that neglected to repair the roads under its control
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Proving Negligence in a Motorcycle Accident Case
Your Miami motorcycle accident attorney will also need to show that the opposing party in your case was negligent.
In order to establish negligence in a motorcycle accident, we must prove that:
- Another party had a duty of care to act in an alert, attentive, and cautious manner toward others.
- The careless driver or other at-fault party violated their duty of care to you.
- The negligent party caused the collision and your injuries.
- You suffered quantifiable losses from the accident in the form of injuries or damage to your bike.
Proving negligence and liability to the insurance companies or the court is critical to recovering compensation. Our motorcycle accident lawyers in Miami have a track record of successful case results and will know how to go about establishing negligence.
Recovering Full Compensation for a Motorcycle Injury
The medical expenses resulting from a crash can be overwhelming, so recovering damages via a personal injury claim is crucial to ensuring your losses are covered. Your motorcycle collision lawyer will calculate your losses and seek the highest amount of compensation possible.
While every case is unique, your attorney may seek the following damages on your behalf:
- Previous and ongoing medical expenses: These cover any ongoing doctor visits, physical and occupational therapy appointments, ambulance trips, and emergency room visits.
- Current and future lost income: You may be entitled to compensation for lost wages if you were unable to work while you were healing from your injuries. This category also includes loss of future earning potential.
- Property damage: Your claim should include the cost of repairing or replacing your motorcycle, helmet, damaged gear, or other personal property.
- Emotional distress: After a motorcycle accident, many people may have anxiety, depression, or post-traumatic stress disorder. Those who experience these issues may be provided compensation.
- Pain and suffering: Compensatory damages may cover any suffering resulting from accident-related injuries, whether it be physical or mental.
- Punitive damages: In rare cases, punitive damages may be awarded. These additional damages are not automatic and require a higher burden of proof. To qualify for these additional damages, you or your attorney must provide evidence of intentional misconduct, gross negligence, or egregious behavior on the part of the at-fault party.
Hiring a lawyer will let the insurance companies know you are serious about your case and aren’t afraid to fight. A Miami motorcycle accident lawyer will work tirelessly to maximize your compensation and protect your interests in an accident claim.
Choosing the Right Attorney After a Crash
Working with the right law firm is crucial when pursuing a motorcycle accident claim. At the Schiller Kessler Group, our team of personal injury attorneys is dedicated to securing maximum compensation for those facing life-changing injuries due to someone’s negligence.
Reasons to choose one of our lawyers include:
- Proven track record: Our attorneys have successfully represented thousands of clients throughout Florida, ensuring they receive the compensation they deserve for their injuries.
- Insurance company advocacy: We deal with the insurance companies on your behalf, allowing you to focus on your recovery while we handle the legal complexities.
- Personalized attention: We provide personalized legal care to each client, understanding that no two accidents are the same. Our tailored approach ensures your case is positioned for success.
- Aggressive representation: Our firm is known for aggressive legal representation, ensuring we pursue every avenue to secure fair compensation in your case.
- Transparent communication: We prioritize frequent communication, keeping you informed about the progress of your case at every step. You’ll always know where your case stands.
- Contingency-fee payment structure: You won’t pay any fees unless we win your case, which ensures our commitment to your success.
If you or a loved one has suffered injuries from a motorcycle accident or other incident involving negligence, trust our experienced team. With seven conveniently located offices throughout Florida, we offer the aggressive yet compassionate legal assistance you need.
Paying for a Lawyer for Your Motorcycle Injury Claim
Our attorneys work on a contingency fee basis. This payment structure allows you to have an experienced professional handle your case without having to come up with out-of-pocket fees. Most personal injury lawyers take between 33% and 40% of any award you receive as payment.
These percentages are standard in the industry, so make sure that the amount falls within this range before signing an agreement with an attorney. If you are heading to trial or have special circumstances that could increase the fee, your lawyer should explain it beforehand in the fee agreement.
Working with a personal injury attorney on a contingency basis can be a great way to handle your motorcycle accident claim since it allows you access to experienced professionals with no money upfront. You also know your attorney will have your best interests at heart because they only get paid when they win your case.
Florida’s Time Limit for Filing a Personal Injury Claim
Florida law sets strict deadlines for filing personal injury claims, including those stemming from motor vehicle accidents. Accident victims now have just two years to submit their lawsuit paperwork, down from four years prior to 2023. Missing this critical two-year window could prevent you from pursuing compensation.
However, some exceptions may apply. An experienced personal injury attorney can evaluate your case to pinpoint your exact filing deadline. Our team quickly identifies any exceptions while preparing the necessary documentation to meet the standard two-year deadline.
By retaining a knowledgeable lawyer soon after your crash, you can avoid jeopardizing your case. The sooner you reach out to us, the sooner our team can start building your case. We handle all aspects of the claim process from start to finish, allowing you to focus on your recovery.
Contact Our Miami Motorcycle Accident Law Firm for a Free Case Evaluation
Injured motorcycle accident victims face a long list of challenges in the months following an accident. With everything you have going on, it can be difficult to handle an insurance claim on your own. The insurance adjusters may try to deny your claim or minimize the impact your injuries have had on your life, and this can put your settlement at risk.
That’s why it’s best to work with an experienced Miami motorcycle accident lawyer. The Schiller Kessler Group only deals with personal injury matters, and each of our clients gets the personalized attention they deserve. We know how to deal with the insurance company and will protect your rights.
Let us pursue the compensation you need to move forward with your life. Contact us today to find out how we can help.