Motorcycles are fun ways to get around Florida, especially when the sun is out and the weather is enjoyable, but unfortunately driving a motorcycle comes with a major risk: Florida is routinely found to be one of, or the, most dangerous states in the country when it comes to fatal motorcycle accidents. There are a variety of reasons that people believe might contribute to these alarming statistics, including Florida’s lax helmet laws that do not require head protection for anyone over the age of 21, leading to worse outcomes in crashes.
Regardless of why Florida is so dangerous for fatal and serious injury motorcycle crashes, the fact remains that there are significant risks to driving a motorcycle that you must take into account before engaging in this activity. If you do choose to operate a motorcycle in Florida, it is important to know that there is legal help available to fight for the money you deserve if you are in an accident that someone else caused, so that you can move on with your life without taking on the financial burden of someone else’s behavior.
Find a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer in Sarasota Today
If you have been in a motorcycle accident caused by someone else’s recklessness, malice, or negligence, then you may be entitled to seek compensation in the form of a personal injury claim. These claims typically go through the other driver’s insurance company and are meant to provide you with financial compensation to cover all of the impacts that you have suffered as a result of the driver’s actions, and the resulting injuries and damages.
1-800-Injured is an attorney and medical referral service. When you are hurt in the days and weeks after an accident, taking on the extra step of finding an attorney can seem like too much work, and in many cases, people choose to just file a claim with the insurance company and hope for the best. You can learn more below about what an attorney will help you with below. Trying to take on the insurance company by yourself can result in a significantly lower settlement than what you deserve, all while putting an unnecessary amount of stress on you while you are trying to recover.
Why Hire an Attorney For a Motorcycle Accident in Sarasota?
When you file your claim with the other driver’s insurance company after an accident, a system goes into action that has been designed and updated over decades in order to leave you with a settlement that saves the insurance company as much money as possible – with little regard for your needs. The sad reality is that an insurance company must focus on profitability, meaning that limiting the amount paid out for any one claim is a major priority. The tricks and techniques used by insurance adjusters to facilitate these savings are complex, and trying to navigate them on your own is overwhelming.
When you hire an attorney to represent you for your Sarasota motorcycle accident, they can work with the insurance company while you are at home recovering. Their experience with these situations gives them an advantage when it comes to submitting documents, statements, and information during the claims process to be sure that they are not giving the insurance company anything that they can limit your claim because of a technicality. For example, simply apologizing at the scene of the accident will be used by the insurance company as an attempt to show that you admitted fault.
Determining Fault After a Motorcycle Accident in Sarasota
Fault is one of the most important factors to be determined at the start of an insurance claim, because it will first determine who is able to seek compensation, and then will determine the proportion that each person involved is responsible for the accident. In Florida, fault is determined through a rule called pure comparative fault, which assigns a percentage to each person responsible for the crash (including the victim, if applicable), and then reduces the final award by the percent that the claimant contributed. If you accept 10% of the fault and are owed $100,000 in damages, then your final settlement will be reduced by the 10% for a final award of $90,000.
This rule is extremely helpful in cases where you may have been in an accident that was very clearly the fault of the other driver, but there were some actions that you took that may have either contributed—or not avoided—to the crash that you could have taken. In the past, this may have invalidated your entire claim, but under this rule, you can admit partial fault. However, the insurance company will use this rule to their advantage in order to save themselves as much money as possible, fighting to assign additional fault to you. Your lawyer will need to fight to ensure that you do not get stuck with any more fault than you are actually responsible for.
Calculating Damages After a Motorcycle Accident in Sarasota
At the same time that the question of comparative fault is being discussed and negotiated, the other, more important question is that of financial compensation. Personal injury cases seek compensatory damages that are intended to repay the victim for losses, and these losses are divided into two distinct categories: economic damages, and non-economic damages.
Economic damages lay out the damages that have measurable dollar values associated with them, such as medical bills and lost wages. These are the basis of a personal injury claim, and because they are the easiest to calculate and clearest to understand, are often met with the least amount of resistance from the insurance company. There are many different economic damages that the insurance company will avoid during their own investigation, so your attorney will need to go through your entire situation in order to get a clear and comprehensive understanding of the economic impacts of your accident, and prepare to fight for your rights to get you what you deserve.
Non-economic damages are more complicated to calculate and seek compensation for highly abstract damages, which is why the insurance company will likely avoid offering you money for these at all, and will then go to great lengths to fight back at your counter-offers that include them. They include things like the pain and suffering that a victim endures following an accident, as well as the emotional and psychological impacts that come with such a traumatic experience.
These damages, while complicated, are no less important and no less legitimate than their economic counterparts, no matter what the insurance company would like you to believe. Your attorney will be able to spearhead these negotiations so that you do not find yourself trying to defend yourself at the same time that you are trying to get your life back on track because of the irresponsible behavior of the insurance company’s client.