The legal landscape of motorcycle injury claims in Central Florida is dominated by insurance companies employing a variety of defenses to limit settlements. In this article, we discuss this and more, including:
- Common defenses used to limit or deny motorcycle injury claims.
- The impact of contributory negligence in Florida on these types of cases.
- What evidence can make your motorcycle injury claim significantly stronger.
How Do Insurance Companies Limit Settlements In Motorcycle Injury Claims In Central Florida? Are Motorcyclists Commonly Blamed For Accidents?
Common defenses in motorcycle accident injury claims in Florida include:
- Comparative fault of the accident itself.
- Fault for not wearing a motorcycle helmet.
- Fault for not wearing other protective clothing or gear.
- Claiming injuries suffered were pre-existing or from another accident.
- Claiming injuries suffered were not caused by the accident.
- And more…
Despite motorcyclists often being very responsible motorists on the roadway who, by and large, obey the law, act responsibly, and avoid situations that are risky, they have a bad rap and are often unjustifiably blamed. Certain cases may present challenges, particularly when factors like high-speed travel, lane splitting, or reckless driving are involved.
Will My Recovery Be Reduced In My Lakeland, Florida, Motorcycle Injury Case If I Was Partially At Fault For The Accident?
As of March 2023, Florida adheres to a modified comparative fault legal standard for motor vehicle negligence cases. Under this standard, each party involved in an accident is accountable for their own negligence unless they surpass a 50% fault threshold for the accident.
The implication is that individuals can seek damages for an accident as long as their responsibility for the incident is 50% or less. However, if you are found to be more than 50% responsible for the accident, you are precluded from collecting any damages under the modified comparative fault legal standard.
What Information Or Evidence Will A Central Florida Motorcycle Accident Attorney Need For A Personal Injury Case?
All evidence matters in motorcycle accident cases. A personal injury attorney needs as much information and evidence as possible. This may include photographs taken at the scene or a measurement of the skid marks left by the vehicles involved. Having specific information on the location of the vehicles at the time of impact, their speed, direction, and other circumstances, will make a considerable difference in the ultimate value of the case.
Should I Speak With The At-Fault Party At The Scene Of The Motorcycle Wreck? What Information Am I Required To Share?
In Florida, you are required to provide proof of your identity and relevant insurance information when you are involved in an accident. Drivers are also required to give a privileged statement to police on how the accident happened. That privileged statement, sometimes called the accident report privilege, cannot be used in court to prove liability.
What Types Of Claims (Property Damage, Personal Injury, Etc.) Are Possible In A Motorcycle Injury Case?
Typical claims with motorcycles involve liability to others for property damage or bodily injury as well as property damage or bodily injury to the motorcyclist.
Should An Injured Motorcyclist Take A Settlement Offer From The Insurance Company?
Early, upfront offers from insurance companies are generally lower than what they would eventually pay on the claim. Yet, you need to realize that sometimes, the initial offer on a case is the policy limit.
When an offer of policy limits has been received, the injured party must decide whether to accept the offer or reject the offer and attempt to sue for more. This is a very complicated decision that is unique to every case, so you should seriously consider consulting with an attorney to achieve the best outcome rather than make decisions on your own.
What Happens If I Cannot Reach A Reasonable Settlement Agreement With The Insurance Company? Is Trial The Next Step?
If negotiations with the insurance company fail to yield a reasonable settlement figure for your personal injury case, the next step is to strongly consider filing a lawsuit. Although exhausting all avenues for a fair settlement before initiating legal proceedings is important, if that hasn’t happened by this point, it’s likely that all you can do in the continuance of your claim is to file a lawsuit.
Filing a lawsuit demands patience as the legal process is incredibly slow. In the past, a typical lawsuit took approximately a year to conclude. However, it is common for lawsuits to extend well beyond a year now.
Cases that proceed to trial introduce additional points of complexity, often resulting in several years passing before the case reaches the trial stage. The extended timelines are attributed to the meticulous legal procedures, court schedules, and the intricacies involved in presenting a case before a judge.
Is It Important To Hire An Attorney Who Understands Motorcycle Operations For My Motorcycle Accident Injury Case?
Given the design and size of the vehicles and how the drivers are situated in them, the injury to the motorcyclist is usually far more severe than the injury to the driver of a car. As such, it is generally true that the consequences to the motorcyclist are greater than to the driver of a car or truck.
This fact makes the case more important to the motorcyclist. With much more on the line, motorcyclists simply need an attorney who appreciates the added severity of injury and risk to a motorcyclist.
For more information on Motorcycle Accident Injury Claims In Florida, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (863) 243-6166 today.