Many people enjoy riding motorcycles to and from work and for pure enjoyment. Unfortunately, riding a motorcycle can also be risky, and one of the biggest dangers is other motorists who don’t know how to share the road safely.
Careless behavior by a driver near a motorcycle can result in a serious or fatal accident.
A driver should be held accountable and compensate the victim if they injure a motorcycle rider. Unfortunately, insurance companies will do everything possible to deny claims or pay less than what you deserve. You need an experienced Delray Beach motorcycle accident attorney on your side.
The motorcycle accident lawyers at Steinberg Law can help you get the compensation you deserve. Our Delray Beach car accident lawyers have been representing Florida motorcycle accident victims for over 10 years.
Contact us at 877-783-4611 to speak to an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer in Delray Beach.
How Can a Delray Beach Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Help Me?
You had a motorcycle accident, got hurt, and are now recovering. Hiring the right attorney can make a huge difference. The following are ways our team at Steinberg Law will help with your case.
Case Preparation / Filing a Lawsuit
We will determine whether you have a valid case and advise you on your legal options. Next, we will conduct a thorough investigation into the accident and collect all the relevant evidence we need to build a strong case.
We will then help you file all the necessary paperwork, and ensure that it is done properly and within set deadlines.
One thing you need to keep in mind when dealing with a motorcycle accident personal injury claim is that insurance adjusters are not your friend. They will be actively looking for ways to minimize the amount that the insurance company has to pay.
So, you should know that the first offer is often way below the amount that you deserve. An attorney will be able to determine how much your case is worth early on and use their negotiation skills to reach a fair settlement.
Trial Preparation & Representation
While most personal injury cases usually end in a settlement agreement, in some cases, your attorney may determine that the best option is to take your case to court. This is especially when the insurance company is not cooperative or denies your claim.
Your attorney will prepare your case for trial, file the necessary paperwork, and offer experienced representation in court.
What Are the Most Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents?
Some motorcycle collisions are the result of rider error. But in many cases, a careless driver is responsible. The following are the most common causes of motorcycle accidents.
Motorcyclists may not be visible to drivers who are not paying attention to their surroundings. Distracted driving may result in failing to check blind spots, risky lane changes, shoving a motorcycle rider off the road, or colliding with the back of a motorcycle.
Failure to Pay Attention to Motorcycles
Passenger cars and trucks can make it difficult for motorcycles to share the road safely. These drivers might miss smaller, two-wheeled vehicles in their blind spots if they don’t keep an eye out. They may not see a motorcycle next to them when they turn or change lanes.
Drunk Driving or Drugged Driving
Drunk and drugged drivers endanger motorcycle riders and everyone else on the road. Intoxicated drivers’ judgment and reactions are impaired, and they may fail to notice motorcycle riders in their path and collide with them.
Faulty Mirrors, Lighting, or Brakes
Some motorcycle accidents are not caused by a driver but by defective brakes, lights, mirrors, or other components. The motorcycle rider may lose control and crash if a crucial component is faulty. The victim may have a product liability case against the manufacturer of the motorcycle or parts.
Unexpected Pedestrians on the Road
Pedestrians can also be a massive hazard to motorcyclists. Some pedestrians like to cross roads at undesignated places and can be struck by a motorcyclist, leading to severe injuries for both parties.
Motorcycle Accident Statistics in Florida
Out of all the states, Florida has the second-highest number of registered motorcycle owners. Florida ranks number 4 for the most motorcycle accident deaths in the nation.
According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, there were 9,122 motorcycle accidents in Florida in 2018. Motorcycle accidents resulted in 502 fatalities and 7,860 injuries to riders across the state.
What Are the Motorcycle-Specific Laws in Florida?
Whether you reside in Florida or are simply visiting, you must be aware of and abide by the rules when riding a motorcycle. Here are some Florida motorcycle laws that you need to be aware of.
Motorcycle riders under the age of 21 in Florida are required to wear helmets. You are exempt from wearing a helmet if you are older than 21. You need health insurance that covers at least $10,000 if you don’t want to wear one.
The motorcycle law that permits adult riders to choose whether or not to wear helmets does not apply to protective eyewear. Every motorcycle rider is required to wear goggles or another type of eye protection.
No Lane Splitting
Passing between two traffic lanes already in operation in Florida is illegal. State law safeguards a motorcycle rider’s right to use the entire lane without interference from other vehicles.
A Delray Beach motorcycle accident attorney can assist you if you’re injured in a collision despite obeying Florida’s motorcycle laws. At Steinberg Law, we will help you pursue the compensation you deserve.
What Are the Most Common Injuries in Motorcycle Accidents?
Wearing the proper equipment is the best way to prevent injury in a motorcycle accident. Wear a properly fitting helmet, durable boots, a sturdy jacket and pants that can withstand a beating, and eye protection. However, you can still sustain injuries in a motorcycle accident even with the proper safety equipment.
Here are a few of the most frequent injuries suffered by motorcycle riders:
- Broken bones
- Head and brain injuries
- Road rash
- Spinal cord injuries.
How Is Fault Determined in a Delray Beach Motorcycle Accident?
The pure comparative negligence rule is applied in Florida. You can still obtain compensation even if you are partially to blame for your accident. However, you can’t demand full payment unless the other party is entirely at fault. If you are 10% at fault, your compensation will be reduced to 90%.
A motorcycle accident attorney in Delray Beach must prove the following points to hold the driver accountable.
- Duty: All motorists must follow traffic laws and exercise caution, such as not driving while intoxicated.
- Breach: The driver broke a traffic law or otherwise failed to exercise caution.
- Causation: The driver’s actions caused the motorcycle accident.
- Damages: The motorcycle rider suffered injuries and financial losses, such as medical expenses due to the collision.
What Type of Compensation Can I Receive for My Motorcycle Accident?
There are three types of damages victims can sue for after a motorcycle accident in Florida.
Economic damages are compensation for financial losses. Examples include past and future medical expenses, lost wages, and property damage such as motorcycle repair or replacement costs.
Non-economic damages are compensation for losses that are not quantifiable in monetary terms. They can include pain and suffering, emotional distress, disability, loss of companionship, and more.
The court may award punitive damages if the defendant was guilty of intentional wrongdoing or gross negligence. The purpose of these damages is not to compensate the victim, but to punish the at-fault party.
Punitive damages in Florida are limited to $500,000 or three times the plaintiff’s compensatory damages.
Why Was My Motorcycle Accident Claim Denied?
Insurance companies are businesses that seek to maximize profits while minimizing expenses. This means that the insurance provider is constantly looking for excuses not to pay your claim.
The following are some reasons an insurance provider might reject your claim after a motorcycle accident.
The Policy Was Canceled or Lapsed.
Your insurer will deny a claim if your policy was canceled or it lapsed because you didn’t pay the premiums. You must make payments on time for your insurance policy to remain in effect.
The Driver Was Not Insured Under the Policy.
Insurance companies only pay for accidents by “covered drivers” on a policy. If the at-fault driver is excluded from coverage, the insurance company will not pay your claim.
They Believe the Accident Was Your Fault.
The insurance provider might assert that you were negligent and caused the accident. If your claim was denied for this reason, you should gather additional evidence, such as witness statements and a report from an expert on how the accident occurred.
Due to Florida’s comparative negligence laws, you can still receive compensation even if you contributed to the accident somehow.
They Don’t Believe You Were Hurt.
The insurance provider may deny your claim and argue you weren’t injured. It is vital to keep all your medical bills from the accident as you can use them as proof of the extent of your injuries if insurers deny your claim.
They Don’t Think the Accident Caused Your Injuries.
The insurance provider might claim that your injuries are unrelated to the accident. Your claim may be denied if your medical records show you had an existing injury similar to the one you sustained from the accident. Insurers may argue that you had a pre-existing medical condition.
What Can I Do If My Insurance Claim Was Denied Unfairly?
If your insurance company acted in “bad faith,” you can file a bad faith claim and sue the insurance provider for the unfair claim denial.
Documentation and careful record keeping can help your attorney create a compelling case if you decide to bring a lawsuit against your insurance provider.
Here are some important tips:
- Record every conversation with an insurance company representative or the insurance company itself.
- Keep copies of your emails, and record the dates and names of the people you spoke with during phone conversations.
- Keep track of what your insurance should cover.
- Take pictures of your motorcycle as soon as possible after the accident.
- Keep a record of every penny you spend, including lost wages, repairs, and medical expenses.
You should hire an experienced motorcycle accident attorney in Delray Beach to handle insurance litigation. Insurance rules can be complicated, and making sense of them is difficult and time-consuming.
Are There Time Limits to Filing a Motorcycle Accident Claim in Florida?
If you are injured in a motorcycle accident, you have up to four years from the accident date to file a personal injury lawsuit. If your loved one dies in a motorcycle accident, you have two years to bring a wrongful death claim against the responsible party.
Once the deadline set by Florida’s statute of limitations passes, your case will not be heard even if your injuries are severe and you have compelling evidence.
Call a Motorcycle Accident Attorney in Delray Beach Today!
Riding a motorcycle can also be risky, and one of the biggest dangers is other motorists who don’t know how to share the road safely. Motorcycle riders often suffer serious or even fatal injuries in a collision.
You are entitled to compensation for your injuries and property damage if another driver’s negligence or recklessness led to your motorcycle accident. If you lost a loved one due to someone else’s reckless driving, you can seek compensation for your losses, including funeral costs and other related expenses.
Speak with a knowledgeable and experienced motorcycle accident attorney in Delray Beach to learn more about your legal options.
Steinberg Law is a trusted personal injury law firm in Delray Beach, Florida. We offer a free initial consultation. Do not hesitate to contact us at 877-783-4611 to learn how we can assist you.