What Happens After A Motorcycle Accident?
If you’ve gotten into a motorcycle accident in Florida, you may feel overwhelmed and unsure of what steps to take next. The aftermath of a motorcycle accident can be a confusing and challenging time, especially if you get hurt. Still, taking swift action is crucial to protect yourself and your legal rights.
Unfortunately, motorcycle accidents are common. Motorcycles are much smaller than cars and trucks and are harder to see on the road. Many drivers fail to keep a lookout for motorcycles and may turn or change lanes without checking for them. What do motorcycle drivers do if they get into an accident?
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Step 1: Seek Medical Attention
The first and most important step after any motorcycle accident is to seek medical attention for injuries sustained. Motorcycle accidents can result in a wide range of injuries, from minor scrapes and bruises to life-changing injuries such as paralysis.
Even if you feel okay or think your injuries are minor, it’s essential to get checked out by a medical professional. Many injuries, such as whiplash and concussions, may not show immediate symptoms but can have long-term effects if left untreated. Getting prompt medical care can help you identify and address any health issues before they become more serious.
In addition to ensuring your physical health, seeking medical attention will also provide documentation of your injuries, which can be vital to support any legal claims you may make following the accident and strengthen your case in court. Motorcycle accidents can be costly, and if someone else’s negligence or recklessness caused the accident, you might be entitled to compensation for your injuries, medical bills, lost wages, and other damages.
When you seek medical attention after a motorcycle accident, be sure to provide your doctor with as much detail about the accident as possible. Tell them about any pain or discomfort you’re experiencing, even if it seems minor. Your doctor will likely perform a physical exam and may order additional tests or imaging to evaluate your injuries.
Step 2: Document the Accident
After seeking medical attention, it’s important to document the accident as thoroughly as possible by taking pictures of the accident scene, your injuries, your motorcycle, and any other vehicles involved. Contact information of witnesses and the other driver(s) in the accident will also be helpful for you to have later. Witness testimony can be crucial in establishing who is at fault for the accident. If you cannot document the accident yourself due to your injuries, ask a trusted friend or family member to assist you.
Additionally, it is important to call the police and report the accident if they still need to be contacted by a witness. Later, you will need to obtain a copy of the police report, which will provide detailed information about the accident, including the parties involved, the location and time of the accident, and any citations issued. The police report will also describe the damage to the vehicles involved in the accident and the apparent injuries sustained by the parties involved.
Step 3: Contact an Attorney
If you’ve gotten into a motorcycle accident, it’s in your best interest to contact an experienced attorney specializing in motorcycle accidents soon as possible. An attorney can help you navigate the claims process and protect your legal rights.
During your initial consultation with an attorney, they will ask you about the details of the accident, including any injuries sustained, the extent of property damage, and any witnesses or other parties involved. They may also ask you about your medical treatment and any insurance coverage you have. It is best to come prepared for your consultation with copies of all the documents you have received about the accident and any medical treatment you may have received.
Step 4: Determine Liability
Determining liability is one of the most important aspects of any motorcycle accident claim. In Florida, the state operates under a “comparative negligence” system, which means that the state can assign each person involved in an accident a percentage of fault for the accident. Compensation may be split 50/50 in cases where both parties were found to be at fault.
Your attorney will gather evidence to support your case and work to determine how liable you and the other individual(s) involved in the accident are. Evidence could include witness testimony and reconstruction of the accident (for example, diagrams of which vehicles were where).
Step 5: Negotiate a Settlement
After determining liability, your attorney will work to negotiate a settlement with the other driver’s insurance company. This settlement ideally covers your medical bills, lost wages, property damage, and other expenses related to the accident.
Your attorney may recommend pursuing a lawsuit if negotiations cannot reach a settlement.
Cost of Motorcycle Accident Claims in Florida
The cost of a motorcycle accident claim in Florida can vary widely depending on the extent of injuries sustained and the amount of property damage involved. Some typical expenses associated with motorcycle accident claims include:
- Medical bills: These can include the cost of emergency care, hospital stays, surgeries, and other medical treatments.
- Lost wages: If you cannot work due to your injuries, you may be entitled to compensation for lost wages.
- Property damage: This can include the cost of repairing or replacing your motorcycle and any other property damaged in the accident
- Pain and suffering: In addition to tangible expenses, pain and suffering resulting from the accident may entitle you to additional compensation.
If you have motorcycle insurance, your policy may cover some or all of these expenses. Reviewing your policy carefully and speaking with your insurance provider to understand your coverage entirely is important when accidents happen.
Contact Mausner Graham Injury Law Today
Motorcycle accident claims can be complex, and working with insurance companies and navigating the legal system can be very challenging. Having an experienced attorney on your side is essential to protecting your legal rights. Your lawyer can help you navigate the claims process, negotiate with insurance companies, and ensure you receive the compensation you deserve.
Don’t let an insurance company or negligent party deny you justice – call Mausner Graham Injury Law for a free consultation about your motorcycle accident today at 305-344-HURT(4878).
Last updated Friday, November 10th, 2023