As Miami motorcycle lawyers, we know that over four million motorcycles are currently registered in the United States. Motorcycling is more than fun – it’s also economical transportation. But if you study the accident statistics, you’ll find that riding a motorcycle seems like a quite dangerous way to get from one place to another.
Very few people walk away from a motorcycle accident without being injured.
Motorcycles comprise only two percent of all registered vehicles in the U.S., but motorcycling fatalities total about five percent of the traffic fatalities. About twenty percent of all auto crashes result in an injury or fatality, but for motorcycle accidents, the figure is about eighty percent.
If you are a motorcyclist here in Florida, keep reading. You’re going to learn about your rights if you are injured by a negligent driver while you’re riding, and you’ll also learn how your attorney will work to prove that you were not at fault.
WHEN SHOULD YOU CONTACT A MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENT ATTORNEY?
Motorcycle accident survivors often sustain injuries that are catastrophic and/or disabling. If you are injured because a car, truck, or bus driver was negligent, you need a lawyer who can quickly prove that you were not at fault – so that you can quickly be compensated.
In South Florida, if a negligent driver injures you while you’re motorcycling, get medical attention immediately, and then take your case immediately to an experienced Miami motorcycle accident attorney who will fight aggressively for the compensation and the justice that you need.
In motorcycle accidents, it can be quite a challenge to prove that you are innocent of causing the crash. In many cases, there will be no witnesses to verify your side of the story, and the physical evidence may not always give an investigator a clear and accurate picture of what happened.
HOW CAN AN ACCIDENT RECONSTRUCTION EXPERT HELP?
The attorney for the other side will probably argue that the motorcyclist was at fault, but a good personal injury lawyer will conduct a comprehensive investigation of the crash on your behalf, and if necessary, he or she may seek expert help from an accident reconstruction specialist.
Accident reconstruction experts utilize police reports, witness interviews, physical evidence, and the accident location itself. Using cutting-edge technology and scientific methods, these experts are often able to reconstruct a motorcycle crash and explain what actually happened.
But evidence deteriorates quickly – and so do the memories of witnesses – so it is imperative to have a personal injury lawyer’s help immediately so that an investigation can begin at once.
A good personal injury lawyer will examine each detail of the accident and your injury to determine where liability falls for the accident. Then your lawyer will develop a strategy to obtain the maximum available compensation for your medical expenses and lost wages.
WHAT WILL YOU NEED TO DO IF YOU’RE INJURED IN A MOTORCYCLE CRASH?
If you are injured in a motorcycle collision in south Florida, if you’re able, take pictures of the vehicle damages and your own visible injuries. Make and keep several copies of your medical records, bills, and the police accident report. Store the originals and copies securely.
Do not let an auto insurance company trick you into accepting a quick settlement after a motorcycle accident. If you do, you’ll probably be settling for less than your injury claim is worth, and you’ll waive your right to take any legal action or seek additional compensation.
In fact, you shouldn’t even speak to an insurance company if you have been injured while motorcycling; let your attorney do the talking and negotiating on your behalf and guide you through the personal injury process.
HOW IMPORTANT ARE MOTORCYCLE HELMETS?
In Florida, an individual over 21 years old may operate a motorcycle or ride as a motorcycle passenger without a helmet if that person is covered by an insurance policy providing for at least $10,000 in medical benefits for injuries incurred as a result of a motorcycle crash.
However, essentially every study of the subject proves that wearing a helmet is the number one way to prevent serious injuries and fatalities in motorcycle accidents.
And unfortunately, prejudice can still play a role in some motorcycle accident cases. If you are injured because another driver was negligent, and if you seek compensation, the lawyer for the other side may try to paint you as reckless or dangerous simply because you ride a motorcycle.
That’s nonsense, of course, but if you do not wear a helmet when you ride, and if you’re injured, riding without a helmet tends to reinforce any suspicion that you might be “reckless.” Wear a helmet. It can keep you alive, and in a personal injury trial, it could actually make the difference.
IF YOU SEEK COMPENSATION IN FLORIDA, WHAT DO YOU HAVE TO PROVE?
If you qualify to file and you choose to file a personal injury claim after you’ve been injured by a negligent driver in a motorcycle collision, your personal injury lawyer will have to prove these three “elements” of your case in order to prevail:
1. If you are the “plaintiff” (the injury victim), your lawyer must prove – with a “preponderance of the evidence” – that the “defendant” (the driver who injured you) was operating his or her vehicle negligently.
2. Secondly, your attorney must prove that the defendant’s driving negligence was a direct cause of your personal injury.
3. Finally, your attorney will request an exact compensation figure and will explain why that figure represents a just and fair amount of compensation.
HOW ARE MOST PERSONAL INJURY CASES IN FLORIDA RESOLVED?
The majority of personal injury cases in Florida are resolved outside of the courtroom, so you will need an attorney who is a savvy and experienced negotiator – someone who knows how the auto insurance companies work and how to prevail in private negotiations.
It happens only rarely, but in those cases where no reasonable settlement is offered in the out-of-court negotiations, your attorney may recommend taking your case to court and asking a jury to award you the compensation you deserve.
A helmet is your best protection when you ride a motorcycle, but if someone else is liable for injuring you in a motorcycle crash, a Miami personal injury attorney will steer your case away from any prejudice and back to the facts and the truth.
If you’ve been injured by someone else’s negligence in the state of Florida, a good personal injury lawyer’s advice and representation is your right.