3 FAQs About Building a Motorcycle Accident Claim
When a car, truck, or SUV strikes a motorcycle in traffic, it’s almost always the rider (and their passenger, if they have one) who suffers the most. Motorcycles don’t provide any protection from forceful impacts, and at high speeds, even the best protective gear on the market will fall short of preventing injury in the event of a collision.
Fortunately, those who sustain serious injuries through no fault of their own are usually entitled to compensation. To pursue an actual payout, though, they must first put together a strong claim.
If you’re planning on building just such a case against a reckless driver, here’s what you should know before proceeding:
1. How Do You Prove Liability for a Motorcycle Accident?
For your purposes, the most powerful evidence of fault will come down to the circumstances surrounding the crash in which you were hurt. Generally speaking, though, you’ll probably need to present at least a few of the following pieces of proof:
- Helmet or dash cam footage,
- The official police report,
- Photos of the wreckage at the scene,
- Statements from eyewitnesses,
- Black box data,
- Toxicology reports,
- Vehicle maintenance records, and/or
- Cell phone records.
2. How Do You Convince the Claims Adjuster You Incurred Recoverable Damages?
Every successful motorcycle accident claim includes sufficient evidence of damages. When it comes to proving economic damages, such evidence might include hospital bills, paystubs, and invoices for reasonably necessary replacement services. This is because Florida tort law recognizes losses like medical expenses, missed wages, and the cost of domestic help.
As for proving non-economic damages, you should be prepared to present journal entries and statements from friends, loved ones, and colleagues who knew you well prior to the crash. Psychological evaluations can also help demonstrate the extent of your mental anguish and emotional distress in the wake of the wreck.
3. How Long Do You Have to Sue a Reckless Driver?
Most legitimate motorcycle accident claims are settled. As long as an action is supported by sufficient evidence of both liability and damages, the insurance adjuster is usually inclined to negotiate. Occasionally a dispute will arise, however, and settling proves impossible.
When this ends up being the case, filing a formal lawsuit is often the only way for the injured party to seek the compensation they deserve. In Florida, personal injury plaintiffs typically have four years from the date on which the cause of action occurred to take the liable party to court. Since there are scenarios in which the deadline is shortened considerably, however, it’s advisable to seek legal counsel as soon as possible.
Speak with a Stuart Motorcycle Accident Attorney
If you were seriously hurt in a motorcycle crash, turn to Donaldson & Weston for help with every stage of the subsequent claims process. Our compassionate team is devoted to helping those who have been wronged by others. Call 772-266-5555 or submit our Online Contact Form to schedule a free initial consultation with a motorcycle accident lawyer in Stuart.