As a motorcycle rider, seeking financial compensation after an accident can be a challenge. The insurance companies (and the general public) tend to have a bias against motorcycle riders that you will need to overcome in order to recover just compensation. If you have been seriously injured, you will need to navigate the insurance process while focusing on your recovery and you will need to make informed decisions in order to avoid settling for less than you deserve.
Our abogado de lesiones personales en West Palm Beach provides the following answers to the most frequently-asked questions to assist you with your research after an accident. However, you are strongly encouraged to seek guidance directly from a skilled attorney as soon as possible after a crash in Palm Beach, Martin, and Broward counties, as well as other parts of South Florida, to ensure you receive the most up-to-date information regarding your specific situation.
FAQs: Time Considerations for Personal Injury Claims in Florida
Q: What is Florida’s statute of limitations for personal injury claims?
Florida’s statute of limitations for personal injury claims is four years from the date of the accident. If you were injured in a motorcycle accident that was someone else’s fault, you will need to file a claim within four years in order to preserve your legal rights.
Q: When should I contact my insurance company?
After a motorcycle accident, it is important to contact your insurance company as soon as possible. You can call, file a claim online or use your insurance company’s app (if it has one). When filing your claim, you want to provide accurate information about the accident, but you do not want to say any more than is absolutely necessary. If you say anything that could be construed as admitting fault, your insurance company will almost certainly use this against you.
Q: What else should I do immediately after a motorcycle accident?
In addition to contacting your insurance company, if you have been injured in a motorcycle accident, you should seek medical attention right away. Motorcycle accidents can cause many types of severe injuries and you will want to obtain a comprehensive diagnosis as soon as possible. Seeing a doctor promptly is also important for your claim for financial compensation. If you delay in seeking medical treatment, the insurance companies may dispute that your injuries are accident-related.
Q: It has been weeks (or months) since my motorcycle accident. Is it too late to file a claim?
No, it is not too late, but you should schedule a free initial consultation with an abogado de lesiones personales en West Palm Beach right away. The longer you wait, the more difficult it may become to collect the evidence needed to win just compensation.
FAQs: Florida Motorcycle Accident Statistics
Q: How common are motorcycle accidents?
According to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), approximately 90,000 motorcycle riders are injured in accidents every year. According to a report in Space Coast Daily, approximately 10 percent of these injury-involved accidents occur in Florida.
Q: What percentage of motorcycle accidents result in serious or fatal injuries?
According to the NHTSA, approximately five percent of all motorcycle accident injuries are fatal and motorcycle riders are 29 times more likely to be killed in an accident than occupants of passenger vehicles.
Q: How effective is riding gear in preventing injuries in motorcycle accidents?
Riding gear can prevent many, but not all, types of motorcycle accident injuries. The severity of the crash also plays a major role in determining how well boots, riding pants, jackets and gloves can protect riders from serious injuries. With regard to helmets, the NHTSA estimates that helmets saved 1,772 riders’ lives in 2015 (the most recent year for which data are available), and that 740 riders’ lives could have been saved had they been wearing a helmet at the time of their crash.
Q: What types of motorcycle accidents are most likely to result in serious injuries?
Two-thirds of all fatal motorcycle accidents occur at intersections according to the NHTSA, and head-on collisions are far more likely to result in serious and fatal injuries than rear-end accidents. More than 80 percent of serious accidents occur off of the interstate and, somewhat surprisingly, just two percent of fatal motorcycle accidents occur in rainy conditions. Riders are most likely to suffer serious injuries in crashes involving drivers who are not in control of their vehicles. This includes accidents involving:
- Alcohol and drug impairment
- Distracted driving
- Driver fatigue
FAQs: Mistakes to Avoid After a Motorcycle Accident in Florida
Q: Should I give a recorded statement to my insurance company?
No, you should not give a recorded statement to your insurance company. You are not required to give one (no matter how many times your adjuster asks) and if you do, your insurance company will only try to use it against you.
Q: Am I entitled to personal injury protection (PIP) coverage for my motorcycle accident injuries?
No. While it comes as a surprise to many riders, motorcycle insurance policies do not include PIP coverage in Florida. In order to file a successful insurance claim, you will need to prove that another motorist was at fault in the accident.
Q: Can I start riding again if my motorcycle has been repaired or I purchased a new bike?
What does your doctor say? If your doctor has cleared you to ride, then the legal risks of doing so are probably limited. But, as our abogado de lesiones personales en West Palm Beach knows all too well, if you start riding too soon, the insurance companies may try to use this against you.
Q: Is it worth filing an insurance claim if the accident was my fault?
Yes. Even if you were partially at fault in the accident, you may still be entitled to partial compensation under the at-fault driver’s bodily injury liability (BIL) policy. But, more importantly, you should not assume that you were at fault until you have discussed your case with an experienced personal injury attorney.
FAQs: Insurance Companies’ Obligations to Motorcycle Accident Victims
Q: What should I do if my insurance adjuster won’t call me back?
Under Florida law, your insurance company is required to process your claim in good faith. Unfortunately, delays and other bad-faith insurance practices are common. If you have called multiple times and you cannot get in touch with your adjuster, you may need to hire an abogado de lesiones personales en West Palm Beach.
Q: What should I do if my insurance company won’t investigate the accident?
Refusing to investigate is another common example of insurance bad faith. Your insurance company must have a justifiable basis for denying payment, which generally requires a prompt and thorough investigation. If your insurance company is refusing to investigate, our team can act quickly to gather the evidence needed to win your case.
Q: If another driver was at fault, is his or her insurance company required to cover my losses?
Yes. If another driver is to blame for your injuries, you are entitled to full coverage for your injury-related losses up to the at-fault driver’s policy limit. This includes coverage for current and future financial and non-financial losses.
Q: Is my insurance company required to offer full compensation?
This is a complicated question. While your insurance company is required to uphold the terms of your policy, it does not have to pay unless you present sufficient evidence of liability. As a practical matter, insurance companies routinely attempt to settle motorcycle accident claims for far less than what is actually owed. As a result, you should not accept any settlement until you discuss the offer with an attorney.
FAQs: Working With an Abogado de Lesiones Personales en West Palm Beach
Q: How can a personal injury lawyer help with my motorcycle accident claim?
There are several ways that a personal injury lawyer can help with your motorcycle accident claim, including:
- Conducting an investigation to collect evidence in support of your claim;
- Helping you seek appropriate medical care;
- Dealing with the insurance companies on your behalf;
- Calculating the full value of your personal injury claim;
- Negotiating with the insurance companies; and
- If necessary, preparing your case for trial.
Q: How can an attorney calculate my accident-related losses?
Your attorney will rely on information from a variety of sources to calculate your accident-related losses. Your medical records, employment history and out-of-pocket expenses will all be relevant to calculating the current and future financial costs of your injuries. To calculate your non-financial losses, your attorney will examine factors such as the extent of your injuries, any permanent physical limitations, and the various ways your injuries impact your daily life.
Q: What am I entitled to expect from my attorney?
As a personal injury client in Palm Beach, Martin, and Broward counties, as well as other parts of South Florida, you can expect your attorney to handle your case in a professional manner and as expeditiously as reasonably possible. You are entitled to straightforward advice in language you can understand, and you are entitled to prompt responses to your emails, texts and calls. Your attorney should handle your case with your best interests in mind and you should feel confident and informed at every step along the way.
Q: Will my attorney help me decide whether to accept a settlement or take my case to court?
Yes, if your attorney receives a settlement offer on your behalf, he or she should help you understand your options so that you can make an informed decision. Your attorney should explain whether the offer is fair, and he or she should discuss the risks of refusing the offer and going to trial. Ultimately, the decision is yours, but you are entitled to make your decision based on personalized legal advice.
Speak With an Abogado de Lesiones Personales about Your Motorcycle Accident in West Palm Beach
If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident in the Palm Beach, Martin, or Broward county area, as well as other parts of South Florida, our attorneys can help you recover just compensation. To get started with a free initial consultation, please call 800-220-7006 or tell us how we can help online today.