Any motorcycle accident can cause serious harm to a rider. Even if a motorcyclist is wearing a helmet (which is not required in Florida for riders over the age of 21 who have proper insurance coverage), he or she may sustain life-threatening injuries in a crash. Even a low-speed collision can cause severe abrasions, broken bones, head trauma, and other injuries.
Recovering fair compensation after a motorcycle accident is not easy. The insurance company may act in bad faith, delaying payment or denying your claim altogether. They may offer a settlement that is too low to cover the injuries and losses you have experienced.
The complex and difficult nature of motorcycle accident claims warrants the immediate involvement of an attorney. As Jacksonville motorcycle accident attorneys with over 150 years of combined experience and over $1 billion in recoveries, our team at Spohrer Dodd is fully qualified to help you.
Call us at (904) 637-7721 to speak with our motorcycle crash attorneys in Jacksonville during a free consultation.
How a Motorcycle Accident Attorney Can Help
You should always hire a lawyer after a motorcycle crash. But why? What do we do that you can’t do? Well, first of all, we have relevant experience you don’t have. We understand the laws and processes and will be able to tell you what strategies will be in your best interest.
And here are a few of the ways that a Jacksonville motorcycle accident lawyer from Spohrer Dod can help:
- Assessing facts: A lawyer from our firm can look at all the facts and find out if you have a strong case or not.
- Filing your claim: Filing the right paperwork can be confusing and overwhelming. We can handle all the paperwork for you and make sure you meet any requirements or deadlines for the case.
- Steering the investigation: After we get all the initial information, our team can go to the site of the accident, hold interviews, and talk with experts in order to determine exactly what happened with your accident.
- Conducting Negotiations: We can negotiate with the liable party to help you achieve a fair settlement without having to deal with the expenses and lengthy waits sometimes involved with the court process.
- Go to Trial: If a fair settlement cannot be reached through negotiation/mediation, our motorcycle accident attorneys are not afraid to take your case to trial to ensure the best possible outcome.
Standing Up to Insurance Companies
When you are at a financial disadvantage, scared, and hurt, it is difficult for you to face it alone. What you need is a lawyer that will make decisions with your best interest in mind, to fight for your rights and pursue justice on your behalf.
Insurance companies always try to make a profit. Regardless of how solid your case may be, it is difficult to stand up to their experience and resources all alone. A motorcycle accident lawyer is the best person to stand up to insurance companies based on experience. For insurance companies, a minimal payout on claims means they have more profit, so you can understand why they do all they can to ensure your claims are far less than what you expect.
Collecting Evidence to Help Build Your Case
After any collision, it is important to first seek medical attention. If possible, you should then collect evidence at the scene. If you are puzzled about what evidence is appropriate, don’t fret; your lawyer will get the necessary evidence to prove negligence, damages, and liability.
Your lawyer may use the following to help back up your claims:
- Police Report: When you contact law enforcement, a police officer will arrive at the scene of the accident. When this happens, details of injuries will be recorded, as well as the cause of the crash, location, time and date. These details will assist the motorcycle accident lawyer in supporting your claim.
- Accident Scene Photographs: Photographs help capture valuable insights into the cause of the accident. It is important that you take pictures that show injuries, the position of the vehicles, traffic signs, skid marks, and property damage.
- Personal Information: Ensure you keep copies of diagnoses, prognosis statements, medical records and treatment plans from your doctors. You should not leave out any accident-related expenses and lost wages from being unable to work. Also, a diary that contains details of your daily life changes and injury status will be helpful to show the impact of injuries in your life.
- Eyewitness Testimonies: Testimonies from eyewitnesses are important in cases where the at-fault driver denies liability. This is because they may have seen the liable party violate traffic laws before the collision, which can help support your case. The amount of evidence you need to support your claim can be frustrating. This is the reason why many victims turn to an attorney for help.
- Evaluate Medical Records: Many cases focus on medical records. This is because the claimant is looking for compensation for injuries from the at-fault party. Since the treatment center or hospital will have medical records of the claimant, you can write a request in order for the medical records to be released. It is necessary to specify if you want specific records or all records. Once you have written a signed and dated permission, your lawyer can request for the records.
What is the Value of a Motorcycle Accident Case?
Your attorney can help you seek fair compensation for the following:
- Lost Wages: Victims of a motorcycle accident can claim compensation for wages that could have been earned if the accident did not occur.
- Loss of Consortium: This refers to compensation given to the surviving spouse. This is done for assistance, loss of services and companionship of a loved one in case of death. Compensation will also be extended to minor children and surviving parents as well.
- Medical Expenses: Victims of a motorcycle accident will be able to receive compensation for surgery, emergency visits, etc. in a case where the injuries are directly related to the accident.
- Mental Anguish: Emotional sufferings like worry, grief, etc. are compensated. This claim can go to the victims of the motorcycle accident and families.
- Pain and Suffering: The motorcyclist may not be given PIP insurance, but a lawsuit can be filed to claim compensation for pain and suffering.
Common Injuries Caused by Motorcycle Accidents
Whether a rider is wearing a helmet and other protective gear (boots, jacket, gloves, etc.), he or she may sustain serious injuries in a collision. These may include:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Facial trauma
- Broken bones
- Road rash
- Amputation/loss of limb
- Spinal cord injuries
- Leg, ankle, and foot injuries
- Internal organ damage
Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
Like a normal car crash, the wreckage of a motorcycle can be caused by many factors, including speeding, distracted driving, texting, drunk driving, and other dangerous behaviors. However, there are many other risks faced by motorcyclists, including the following:
- Lane Splitting or Filtering: In some states, lane splitting or filtering is allowed. However, it often takes drivers by surprise. If a motorist veers off his/her lane and loses control, it leaves the motorcyclist at risk of an accident.
- Left Hand Turn: This type of motorcycle crash occurs the most on highways and happens when a motorist attempts to turn to into oncoming traffic. The person making the left-hand turn is the defaulter. However, in the case where the other driver or rider was speeding, they take full or partial fault for the accident.
- Vehicle Brake Failures: Though not as common, a motorist can experience a brake malfunction and this could lead to a terrible accident.
- Bad Roads and Road Hazards: Construction barriers, guardrails, debris, unsafe roadway lighting and other turbulent road conditions can lead to accidents.
- Open Door Crash Incidents: Most times bikers are caught unexpectedly when a vehicle is stopped and they get smashed by a suddenly opened car door.
We've Recovered Over $1 Billion for Our Clients
Considering the severe nature of motorcyclist injuries, the recovery of fair compensation is essential. You may require treatment now and well into the future. If you have a permanent disability, you may need in-home care or assistive devices. You may be unable to return to work for some time, or to return to work at all. If you lost a loved one, you may be dealing with a tremendous amount of emotional trauma, not to mention financial hardship.
It takes a committed and talented motorcycle accident lawyer in Jacksonville to recover a fair settlement or award that actually helps you put the pieces of your life back together. That is what we provide here at Spohrer Dodd. Contact our firm today to discuss your options.
Contact our Jacksonville offices at (904) 637-7721 to schedule your free consultation and learn how we can help.