There is always a possibility someone will suffer injuries when a vehicle accident occurs. However, serious motorcycle crashes almost always result in injuries. Motorcyclists don’t have anything to protect them from the impact of a crash. They also don’t have seatbelts to keep them from being thrown from their vehicle. They are, therefore, extremely prone to injury. Ask any Port St Lucie motorcycle accident lawyer and they will tell you just how serious the situation is.
In fact, there is an 80 percent chance that an individual involved in a motorcycle crash will die or be injured. This compares to just 20 percent for people riding in a car or other automobile. Unfortunately, Florida records very high numbers of motorcycle accidents. As a result, most years, Florida tops the country in the number of motorcycle injuries and fatalities. This is according to statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
One reason for the number of injuries resulting from motorcycle accidents could be Florida’s laws. Florida Statute 316.211 states that certain people can ride on or operate a motorcycle without a helmet. These individuals must be over the age of 21 and have at least $10 000 in medical insurance. While this insurance can be very helpful, serious injuries can still have catastrophic effects.
There are also other reasons why motorcycle riders are at great risk. Very often, drivers don’t see bikers and, therefore, don’t yield when they should. Some also simply drive carelessly or run stop signs and stop lights. In addition, drivers are becoming more and more distracted by their smartphones and entertainment systems.
Florida could also be home to more accidents because the weather and terrain allow for more riding over longer distances. Of course, motorcyclists can also speed and weave in and out of traffic recklessly, putting their own lives in danger.
- 1 Common Injuries Seen by Motorcycle Accident Lawyers
- 2 Things a Motorcycle Accident Attorney Will Explain to Clients
- 3 Why Contact a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Immediately
- 4 Contact a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer at Gonzalez Levenson Today
Common Injuries Seen by Motorcycle Accident Lawyers
Motorcycle accident lawyers in Port St Lucie have seen it all. Since it’s legal for many motorcyclists to ride without helmets, head injuries are common in accidents. However, virtually any part of the body can be damaged.
Traumatic Brain Injuries
These injuries usually result from a severe blow to the head. They can lead to a range of symptoms including headaches, vision loss, memory loss, hearing damage, and insomnia. Sometimes TBIs require surgery and long-term physical therapy, meaning you may be out of work for some time. Your losses can be significant so you will need a lawyer in Port St Lucie to fight on your behalf while you recover.
Fractures are likely in any accident. While some are pretty easy to fix, some can be life-threatening like pelvic fractures or skull fractures. Some also cause severe pain and medical care can be both lengthy and expensive.
Neck and Back Injuries
Many motorcyclists suffer spinal cord injuries and other serious back problems. Some require surgery and therapy while others result in temporary or permanent paralysis. Motorcyclists can also end up with broken necks if they are thrown from their cycles during a crash. Some don’t survive while others make it out alive but are left paralyzed.
Chemical burns, road rash, and exhaust burns are all likely outcomes of a motorcycle accident. Sometimes, the cycle bursts into flames but other times, the victim comes into contact with gasoline, battery acid or another corrosive substance. Their body may also come into contact with very hot parts of the vehicle because of the force of the impact.
If you suffer serious injuries in a motorcycle accident, you will need to focus on your recovery for a long time. You need to have an experienced personal injury attorney who will handle the insurance companies and court system if needed. While they work on the legal side of things, you can focus on healing and getting in the right frame of mind. Your attorney will do their best to ensure you get the compensation you need to resume a decent quality of life.
Things a Motorcycle Accident Attorney Will Explain to Clients
Under Florida’s laws, you can seek compensation if you were injured in an accident caused by someone else’s negligence. However, you need to be able to prove that they were indeed responsible. You will need an attorney to help you with your case. If you are deemed to be more than 50 percent at fault for the accident, you won’t be able to get compensation.
This is one of the first things your lawyer will make sure you know. As with all claims of negligence, the burden of proof falls on you and your attorney. In order to receive compensation for medical bills, lost wages and future loss of income, you have to demonstrate that:
- The defendant was responsible for the accident
- The defendant breached a duty they had towards you
- The accident resulted in the losses for which you are seeking compensation
- The value of the losses justifies the damages you’re requesting
A skilled motorcycle accident attorney will ensure that all these conditions are met. They will especially have to prove that you are not to blame for the crash. This is because the defendant is likely to argue that you were more at fault. The more fault they can attribute to you, the less they will have to pay. Your attorney will likely argue that the motorcyclist broke traffic laws. To find proof, they will:
- Use information contained in the police report
- Seek out eyewitness testimonies
- Look for evidence at the accident scene
- Try to get footage from nearby security cameras
- Get expert testimony
At Gonzalez Levenson in Port St Lucie, we work hard to protect motorcyclists’ interests. While we will take cases at all stages, we prefer to get started as soon as possible. If possible, we recommend you contact us from the scene of the accident so we can offer you some early advice. Also, the sooner we get started, the more time we have to build a strong case.
Why Contact a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Immediately
When you are injured, in pain and confused, you can make costly mistakes. Contacting our law office can prevent you from jeopardizing your case. We will advise you not to apologize to anyone connected with the accident since this can be interpreted as accepting responsibility. We will also caution you against signing rights waivers or posting about the crash on social media. Both these actions can prevent you from getting the damages you deserve.
If we can get to the accident scene early, we can collect evidence before it disappears. Evidence is key to proving negligence and receiving compensation. Naturally, it becomes harder to find as time moves on. Businesses delete security camera recordings and eyewitnesses move away or become less certain about what they saw.
Another reason we need to get started on the case early is so any court action can be filed within the statute of limitations. In Florida, you have four years from the date of the accident to file a personal injury lawsuit. This law is in place in the interest of both practicability and fairness. As noted above, evidence becomes harder to collect as time goes on. After four years, it may be virtually impossible. Also, an individual should not have the threat of a lawsuit hanging over them indefinitely.
Four years seem like a long time, but you need to get an attorney on your case as soon as possible. The first course of action will be to settle the matter out of court. You need to allow time for the negotiation process to work since filing a lawsuit is likely to be the last resort.
In addition to all of the above, the simple truth is that the sooner the attorney starts working, the sooner the process ends. Before you know it, your medical bills will be adding up and you will be losing out on weeks or months of wages. You’ll want to get your damages paid before you rack up excessive losses.
If you want to get your compensation as quickly as possible, you need to move with haste to hire an attorney. You are likely to get a higher amount of damages if you have a motorcycle accident lawyer. The claims process is also likely to run a lot more smoothly than if you try to handle it alone.
If you’re worried about attorney fees, don’t be. You will get a free initial consultation and you only pay once you get damages. Your attorney will tell you what percentage of your compensation you will have to pay.
Damages Motorcycle Accident Lawyers May Demand
After you’ve been injured in a motorcycle accident, you will likely have significant losses. Some of the damages your Port St Lucie lawyer will demand include:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Future loss of earnings
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
Naturally, you will only be able to get compensation for the losses which you can prove. Your motorcycle accident lawyer in Port St Lucie will rely on your medical records, pay slips and receipts to prove you really did suffer. Medical experts and psychologists may also be required to testify to your mental state to prove pain and suffering.
Let’s look at some of these losses in more detail.
One of the first things you will do after your accident is to go to the doctor. From there, your medical costs will begin to add up. Depending on your condition, you may have to be hospitalized. You may have to get X-rays, MRIs, CT scans and other tests to diagnose your condition. Then you may need medication, physical therapy, and assistive devices to help you cope and return to normal. You deserve to be compensated for all these and your attorney will fight on your behalf to ensure you get what you need.
Even if your injuries are not very serious, you may still have to spend some time away from work. This means you will lose some of your wages. The more serious your injuries are, the longer you will be unable to resume your duties. If you become permanently disabled, you may never be able to work again. You should, therefore, be compensated for the loss of future earnings. Your attorney will ask you to produce pay stubs to show how much you used to make. You will also have to provide documentation from your doctor or employer showing how long you’ve been on sick leave. These documents will be used to calculate how much you should get in damages.
Pain and Suffering
The above types of damages are economic and they are pretty easy to calculate. However, you may also be able to get compensation for pain and suffering. Pain and suffering can be both physical and emotional. On the physical side, you may experience pain which stops you from carrying out activities you once enjoyed. For example, you may have been a dancer who is now unable to perform due to paralysis. On the emotional side, you may be dealing with depression or anger or embarrassment as a result of your injuries. This is obviously difficult to quantify but your attorney will know how to attribute a dollar value to your anguish.
Contact a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer at Gonzalez Levenson Today
If you’ve been injured in a Port St Lucie motorcycle accident, you need to focus all your attention on getting better. Reach out to our motorcycle accident attorneys and discuss your case during a free consultation. We will review your documentation and give you our thoughts on how you should approach your case. The defendant will have an attorney working for them so you don’t want to deal with this alone. Besides, you have enough to handle already. If you decide to hire us, we’ll work fervently to get you the compensation you need. Call us today at (800)800-6500 and let us help you.