According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), motorcyclists are six times more likely to be injured and 27 times more likely to be killed in a motorcycle collision than motorists in passenger vehicles. Between 2015 and 2016, there were over 20,185 accidents involving motorcycles in the state of Florida. These motorcycle accidents resulted in 992 fatalities and 18,043 injuries to motorcyclists and their passengers.
Because motorcycles offer no external protection in the event of a crash, motorcyclists and their passengers are subjected to the full force of a collision. Even motorcyclists who exercise sound safety precautions, such as wearing proper riding gear, face a significant risk of suffering a traumatic brain injury or spinal cord injury in a motorcycle accident, in addition to broken bones, cuts, lacerations, and “road rash” or severe skin abrasion.
We believe that the costs associated with hiring a lawyer shouldn’t prevent any serious motorcycle accident victim from obtaining sound legal counsel. Because of this, our law firm handles all motorcycle accident claims on a contingency fee basis. This means there are no out of pocket expenses and you only owe attorney’s fees if we settle your claim or win a favorable verdict in court.
If you or a loved one have been seriously injured or killed in a motorcycle collision, there’s a real possibility that you’re dealing with a stressful financial situation and have a multitude of unanswered questions. Insurance adjusters are good at impersonating a helpful voice when you need it most. Rest assured, they’re not calling to help you.
Unless you have an attorney by your side, you should never sign anything from or give a recorded statement to an insurance adjuster. That includes your own insurance company. If you have not hired an attorney, ask the adjuster for their contact information, then inform them that your lawyer will be in contact. If you have already hired an attorney, tell the adjuster that you have counsel, provide their contact information and make no further statements.
The financial impact of motorcycle collisions can be swift and severe. According to the Government Accountability Office (GAO), the average cost associated with a motorcycle fatality is $1.2 million. For motorcycle related injuries, the costs can range from $2,500 to $1.4 million.
Despite the staggering costs associated with motorcycle accidents, many Florida motorcyclists opt to carry only the required minimum of $10,000 in bodily injury coverage. Other riders mistakenly believe that the Personal Injury Protection (PIP) policy from their automobile insurance will cover them for a motorcycle accident. This couldn’t be further from the truth.
Unfortunately, many motorcycle accident victims are faced with the dilemma of having too little insurance coverage to pay for the extensive medical bills and lost wages associated with their crash. Only an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer will be able to pursue all possible sources of compensation and to collect the required information and evidence to support a claim for compensation.
This evidence may include accident reports, medical records reviews, accident scene investigations, accident scene reconstruction, witnesses interviews, investigating insurance coverages for all parties involved and investigating the driving histories of all drivers involved.
The truth is, yes, it’s possible for the value of an injury or wrongful death claim to be damaged by the motorcyclist not wearing a helmet at the time of a collision.
Florida is a comparative negligence state. In layman’s terms, that means that each party involved in a motorcycle accident can be held accountable for their portion of the related damages.
It is common practice for insurance companies to use the fact that a victim was not wearing a helmet to bolster their case for reducing or eliminating the damages they are responsible for paying.
This tactic is known as the “seatbelt defense” or “helmet defense”. The insurance company’s reasoning is that the motorcyclist’s injuries wouldn’t have existed or have been as severe, had they been wearing a helmet. This is especially true when the victim, who wasn’t wearing a helmet, has suffered any form of traumatic brain injury (TBI).
The reality is that any victim of a motorcycle accident could be facing over $1 million dollars in medical expenses and lost wages. In this situation, the victim or their family are unlikely to recover the costs of medical bills or lost wages without the help of experienced motorcycle accident lawyers.
If you or a loved one was not wearing a helmet at the time of their motorcycle accident, it is critically important to contact an experienced Sarasota personal injury attorney to protect your legal rights. Only a skilled and experienced trial lawyer will be able to navigate the complexities involved with this type of claim.
Lutz, Bobo & Telfair, P.A. is recognized as one of the premier civil trial law firms in Southwest Florida. We are Martindale-Hubbell AV® rated, the highest possible rating for legal ability and ethical standards. Our personal injury law firm excels at handling complex motorcycle accident and wrongful death claims.
If you’ve been seriously injured or are the spouse of someone killed in a motorcycle accident, we invite you to contact our experienced attorneys today. We offer no cost case reviews for all injury cases. We also work on a contingency fee basis. This means that you owe no attorney’s fees unless we settle your claim or win a favorable judgement in court.