FAQs About Motorcycle Accident Claims

May 19, 2020

by Donaldson & Weston

motorcycle accident claims

You may have a few FAQs about motorcycle accident claims after being involved in a motorcycle accident. The type of common accidents and how to handle them? How the details of the accident affect the result of the claim? Why you would need to call a personal injury lawyer for motorcycle accident claims?

Although not always more frequent than other types of accidents, motorcycle accidents tend to result in more serious injury. Motorcycles are less stable than cars. They also have little protection from the elements. Common injuries seen in these cases can be spinal cord injury or paralysis, brain injury, loss of limbs, bone fractures, and unfortunately, death. 

Common Causes

 

What are the common causes of motorcycle accidents on the road?

Sometimes accidents are unavoidable. However, motorcyclists must be even more alert and careful while they’re on the road.  Elements such as road hazards, low visibility, and distracted drivers make conditions on the road for a rider a lot more serious.

Road Hazards - Motorcycles are smaller in size and are more unstable in nature than any other vehicle on the road. Conditions such as potholes, slick pavement, dead animals, irregular heights or street debris are risky for cars but could be deadly for motorcycles. Sometimes accidents happen because these road defects leave the street unsafe and hard to avoid for motorcyclists. 

Inclement weather conditions- Bad weather can cause visibility to be low. As well as make it difficult to navigate on the roads. 

Distractions - A lot of instances include distracted driving from other vehicles on the road. Cars and especially trucks, have to be extra aware while driving. Motorcyclists are harder to spot in comparison and when hit, can cause serious damages. 

The most common type of accident involves other vehicles on the road. Over 70% of motorcycle accidents are caused by being struck by another moving automobile. Almost half of these collisions involve cars making left-hand turns. Being the motorcycle is smaller in size, makes them less visible to the turning vehicle. 

Motorcyclists are usually involved in these left-turn collisions when going through an intersection or trying to make it past the vehicle making the turn or just in passing of the car. 

In these situations, the vehicle making the left-hand turn will most likely be found at fault for the accident. On the contrary, the motorcyclist could be found partly at fault if they were in the wrong lane or speeding. 

 

What is Lane Splitting?

Lane splitting is when a motorcycle drives between two lanes, usually in traffic jams. Due to the close proximity of the cars, less space, and other vehicles that do not anticipate a passing vehicle, all contribute to the cause of motorcycle accidents. 

In states like Florida, lane splitting is considered a traffic offense. 

 

Motorcycles and Head-On Collisions

Over half of motorcycle accident deaths involve a head-on collision. At a staggering 78% of the time, cars strike the motorcycle head-on, and only 5% from the rear. Which often leads to fatal accidents involving the motorcyclist. 

 

Supersport and Sport Motorcycles

Supersport motorcycles are built for racing and modified on the highway. They easily can go as fast as 160mph. This is a high contributor to younger riders, who are less likely to be cautious, to take more risks. 

Similar to supersport motorcycles, sport motorcycles have a lower power to weight ratio. Although, not illegal, riders can be more aware of the common causes of accidents on these bikes and avoid the risks. Including the temptation to speed. 

 

FAQs About Motorcycle Laws

 

What are the helmet laws in Florida?

In Florida, it is not required to wear a helmet if you are over 21 years of age. It is suggested as a precaution that may save lives. For riders under 21 years of age, they are required to wear a helmet under Florida law. 

 

How do you know if a motorcycle helmet is acceptable under Florida’s helmet laws?

All helmets that are acceptable by the state, have been DOT approved. The DOT approved helmets are indicated by a label on the helmet. 

These helmets are built so that nothing extends further than one-fifth of an inch from the surface of a helmet. 

If you check the back of the helmet, all DOT certified helmets have a DOT sticker that is required. There are, however, counterfeit stickers and this alone does not guarantee the helmet is DOT certified. 

If it’s a non-DOT certified helmet, the lining in the interior of the helmet will be a thin foam layer or no liner at all. As opposed to a one-inch thick layer that is required for DOT certification. 

The helmet should have a chin-strap. All DOT certified helmets have a sturdy chin-strap. If the chin-strap is flimsy or non-existent, it is not DOT certified. 

Now the weight of the helmet. Based on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration: A DOT certified helmet weighs about three pounds on average. 

 

Do you have to report your accident to the police?

 It is required for an accident to be reported if it involves property damage in excess of $500. These reports will need to be documented for your motorcycle accident claims. 

 

Who can be held responsible for injuries to motorcycle operators and passengers?

The odds are in most cases that the driver of the car or truck is found to be at fault. Mostly in motorcycle accident claims involving injury. If the motorcycle operator is at fault, they will be responsible for the injuries. 

 

What if you were involved in a hit and run collision?

If a motorcyclist was involved in a hit and run, documenting all parts of the scene will be necessary and helpful to file toward your motorcycle accident claims. That means, taking photos of the accident scene, damages, and injuries. Talking to witnesses, getting names and contact information to verify details of the accident, year, make, and model of the car and driver or any information they may be able to provide. 

It is also important that the victim file a police report immediately after the accident. 

 

Is insurance an issue?

Insurance is very important. Insurance coverage is a source of money the injured can collect on their claim. 

 

FAQs About Motorcycle Accident Claims and Lawyers

 

Why should you call a personal injury lawyer?

Personal Injury lawyers are important. When they are hired, they ensure you are treated fairly as well as take on the duty of claim. That could be the responsibility of the crash investigation, injuries you suffered, documentation, and dealt with in proper order to the law without you having to worry about anything.

 

If you were injured in a motorcycle accident, but wasn’t wearing a helmet?

Normally, if you were injured in a motorcycle accident, not wearing a helmet wouldn't affect your right to file a claim against an at-fault driver

 

What is an average settlement for Motorcycle Accidents?

Much like car accidents, no two accidents are the same. Motorcycle accidents are evaluated by the same standards. Settlements can vary. Some individuals may walk away with up to a 7-figure settlement and others a couple thousand dollars. 

These claims are based on the same factors as car accidents: damages, injuries, lost wages, pain and suffering, and the severity of each factor. 

 

What kind of damages can I receive?

When it comes to negotiations against the negligent part or insurance company, Donaldson & Weston may be able to help you recover:

 

Loss of Companionship - For the losses of assistance, aid, society, services, and companionship, the surviving spouse may be awarded compensation in the case of wrongful death in a motorcycle accident. As well as surviving parents, may be awarded compensation for the loss of their children in a wrongful death case. And surviving children, for the loss of their parents as a result of wrongful death. 

 

Pain and Suffering-Motorcyclists may file a lawsuit to claim compensation for pain and suffering. Pain and suffering can be determined by the nature of the injury, and the extent of suffering. These factors determine whether the motorcyclist can claim a level of compensation.

 

Lost Wages- After motorcycle accidents, individuals lose out on wages they could have earned if the accident didn’t happen. It is possible that a victim could recover the wages lost in the time they were not able to work. 

 

Medical Expenses- The odds are motorcycle accidents cause a lot of serious injuries. Some which require hospital visits, care, or surgery. These can be filed for compensation if it was directed related to the accident. 

 

Emotional Pain-  Victims may be provided with compensation for emotional suffering following an incident. PTSD, worry, grief, etc. are all considered when filing a claim for emotional pain compensation. 

 

How long will my motorcycle accident case take to be resolved?

Hiring an experienced personal injury attorney is the best way to get an estimate about the extent of your case. Considering injuries in motorcycle accidents tend to be severe, recovering and time-frame of the case could take years. 

In a case that is less severe and liability is effectively proven, settlements can take months. Normally 5-8 months out of the year. 

However, if the claim ends up in court it may take years for anything to be resolved.

For a more accurate life-span of your case, talk to a personal injury attorney for an experienced assessment. 

What steps can you take to ensure a successful claim?

First, there are time restraints on when a personal injury claim can be filed. It is recommended to contact a personal injury lawyer immediately after an accident.

For all your FAQs about motorcycle accident claims, involve an expert analysis

 

Call Us Today for a Free Consultation with a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer in Stuart

 

If you’ve been in a motorcycle accident the best thing to do is to call Donaldson & Weston for a free evaluation of your case. Our lawyers have decades of experience working with motorcycle accident cases just like yours. Call 772-266-5555 or send us a message to schedule a free, confidential, no-obligation consultation. If you are unable to come to us, a member of our team will come to you. The motorcycle accident attorneys with Donaldson & Weston will help you get back on your feet.