Did you know that Florida has the fourth highest rate of motorcycle accident deaths in the United States? If you drive a motorcycle, this is essential to keep in mind.
Not only do you need to ensure you’re practicing the safest riding habits. You also need to know what to do in the event you’re actually in an accident. For instance, what exactly goes into the process of filing motorcycle accident claims?
If you’re already feeling overwhelmed, don’t worry. That’s where this article can help.
We’ve outlined everything you need to know about the accident claims process below. Keep reading so you know what to expect in the event you’re part of a motorcycle accident in Florida.
Seek Medical Attention
If you’ve been in a motorcycle accident, it’s essential to seek medical attention as soon as possible. Even if you feel like you’re okay, there could be underlying injuries that are not immediately noticeable.
For example, you may have sustained internal injuries or a concussion that may not show immediate symptoms. Still, these can be life-threatening if left untreated.
Seeking medical attention can also help to document the injuries that you’ve sustained. This documentation can be critical in supporting your claim for compensation if you decide to pursue legal action.
Further, waiting to seek medical attention can be detrimental to your legal case. Insurance companies may argue that your injuries were not caused by the motorcycle accident.
They could say that the symptoms are instead due to something that occurred after the accident. For that reason, it’s best to have medical records that show you sought medical attention immediately after the accident.
Contact an Attorney
The next thing you need to do is connect with an experienced motorcycle accident attorney. They have the necessary knowledge and experience to help you navigate the legal process. With their help, you can better fight for the compensation you deserve.
An attorney can provide you with the legal advice you might need. Plus, they’re the best person to represent you in negotiations with insurance companies.
Insurance companies often try to settle for less than you deserve. Instead, an attorney can help ensure you receive fair compensation for your injuries and damages.
Also, an attorney can help investigate the accident and gather evidence to support your case. This can include witness statements, police reports, medical records, and any other documentation that supports your claim.
Further, an experienced attorney can help determine who is liable for the accident. Liability can be a complex issue in motorcycle accidents.
Your attorney can help identify all parties responsible for the accident. This is true whether it’s the other driver, the motorcycle manufacturer, or even the local government. This last option can be the case if the accident was caused by a road defect.
Don’t trust just anyone to represent your case in court or with the insurance companies. Take the time to research potential motorcycle accident lawyers ahead of time. To start, check out these reviews from previous clients so you know what to expect from a reputable attorney with a proven track record.
Investigation of the Accident
The insurance companies of any motorcycle owner will want to know all of the ins and outs of the wreck. Investigating the accident typically begins with gathering evidence and interviewing witnesses. This is important to determine who’s at fault and to build a strong case for compensation.
Gathering evidence can involve collecting photographs and videos of the scene of the accident. It might also mean examining the damage to the vehicles and reviewing police reports.
This evidence can help determine the cause of the accident. Common examples include reckless driving, speeding, or failure to obey traffic signals.
In addition, accident reconstruction may also be necessary. This involves using specialized techniques and software to recreate the accident. This is perhaps the most reliable way to determine what happened and who was at fault.
In accidents that result in a fatality, liability is of particular importance. The unfortunate truth is that in 2021 alone, there were almost 6,000 motorcycle fatalities throughout the United States. The party at fault for such a tragedy should be held accountable.
Liability is typically determined by examining the facts of the accident. In other words, that involves the cause of the accident and the actions of each party involved.
For example, perhaps a driver failed to yield the right of way to a motorcyclist. In that case, they may be liable for the accident.
Sometimes, liability may be shared between multiple parties. For instance, let’s say both the driver and the motorcyclist were engaging in reckless behavior. As a result, they may both be partially liable.
Witnesses are also crucial in determining liability. They can provide essential details about what they saw and heard leading up to the accident to help determine who was at fault.
Filing an Insurance Claim
If you’ve been involved in a motorcycle accident, don’t waste too much time before filing an insurance claim. This is especially crucial if you’ve sustained an accident injury.
You should contact your insurance company as soon as possible after the accident. They’ll ask you for details about the accident and may send an adjuster to investigate. Be careful to only state the facts and don’t say anything that could be taken as an admission of fault.
You should take photos of any damage to your motorcycle, as well as any injuries you have sustained. This documentation will help support your potential claim.
Remember, though, not to prioritize documentation over anyone’s safety at the scene of the accident. Ensure that everyone’s safe and out of the way of traffic first.
You should provide the insurance company with any information they request. This might include the police report, witness statements, and other relevant information.
The insurance company will then investigate your claim and make a decision on whether to approve or deny your claim. For the sake of receiving the most compensation possible, your best bet is to work with a reputable attorney in the Daytona area.
Negotiating with Insurance Companies
Negotiating with insurance companies can be challenging. Still, it’s important to ensure that you receive fair compensation for your damages and injuries. Here are some tips on negotiating with insurance companies:
- Be prepared: before negotiating, you should gather all relevant information (such as police reports, witness statements, and medical bills) to give you leverage during negotiations
- Know your rights: make sure you understand the full extent of your damages and don’t settle for less than what you deserve
- Be persistent: negotiating with insurance companies can take time and patience, so don’t give up easily
- Hire an attorney: an experienced attorney can provide valuable guidance and representation during negotiations with insurance companies to ensure you receive fair compensation
- Be willing to compromise: while it’s important to fight for fair compensation, be willing to compromise for a more satisfactory outcome for all parties involved
Statute of Limitations
You also need to know about the statute of limitations for filing a motorcycle accident claim. This is the time period during which you must file your claim or lose your right to do so. In Daytona, FL, the statute of limitations for filing a motorcycle accident claim is typically four years from the date of the accident.
It’s crucial to file your claim within this time frame, as failing to do so can result in your claim being dismissed. However, there may be exceptions to this rule depending on the circumstances of your case. An example might be if you were a minor at the time of the accident.
Filing a claim within the statute of limitations can help ensure that you receive fair compensation for any damages or injuries, too. If you’re unsure about the statute of limitations for your case, speak with a reliable attorney with plenty of experience.
So, what kind of compensation might you be entitled to? There are several types of damages that may be recoverable in a motorcycle accident claim.
- Medical expenses: you may be able to recover the cost of medical treatment you have received as a result of the accident, including hospital stays, surgeries, medication, and rehabilitation
- Property damage: if your motorcycle or other property was damaged in the accident, you may be able to recover the cost of repairs or replacement
- Lost wages: if you were unable to work due to injuries sustained in the accident, you may be able to recover the income you lost as a result
- Pain and suffering: you may be able to recover compensation for the physical and emotional pain and suffering you have experienced as a result of the accident
- Wrongful death: if a loved one was killed in a motorcycle accident, you may be able to recover damages for their wrongful death, including funeral expenses and loss of financial support
Getting Help With Motorcycle Accident Claims
At this point, you know much more about the motorcycle accident claims process. If you do end up in a wreck, whether you’re at fault or not, you’ll be prepared for what comes next.
In addition, the Big Bike legal team is here to help. Look no further if you need a motorcycle accident lawyer in the Central Florida area.