A motorcycle accident can cause devastating injuries that permanently affect the victim. At LaBovick Law Group, our West Palm Beach motorcycle accident lawyers represent those injured by negligence. We can help you go up against someone who carelessly or recklessly caused your crash. Contact us today to begin your case with a free initial consultation.
West Palm Beach Motorcycle Accident Resources
- How Can a West Palm Beach Motorcycle Accident Attorney Help?
- Motorcycle Accident Injuries
- Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
- Florida’s Motorcycle Accident Laws
- Florida’s Comparative Negligence Rule
- What to Do After a Motorcycle Crash?
- Average Payout for a Motorcycle Accident
- Contact A West Palm Beach Motorcycle Accident Attorney Today
Why Trust LaBovick Law Group With Your Motorcycle Accident Claim?
- We are committed to obtaining top results for our clients. We have a 98 percent success rate.
- Our lawyers know how to maximize clients’ outcomes based on the true values of their injuries.
- We have the resources and personnel to succeed in any case against any defendant.
- Our law firm was founded on principles of compassion, innovation, and hard work.
- Your West Palm Beach personal injury attorney will work on a contingency fee basis, meaning you won’t pay any fees unless he or she wins.
How Can a West Palm Beach Motorcycle Accident Attorney Help?
If you suffer serious injuries in a motorcycle wreck, the insurance company in charge of your claim may try to underestimate its value. Insurance companies often refuse to pay fair compensation to injured riders, and adjusters have an incentive to delay, mislead, and wear down injury victims until they accept a smaller settlement than they deserve. Do not let an insurer take advantage of you. Hire an attorney to aggressively protect your rights during insurance claim negotiations. An attorney can also take your case to trial, if necessary.
A motorcycle accident lawyer in West Palm Beach, FL can take care of tasks such as gathering evidence and hiring experts to strengthen your claim for you while you focus on healing. The types of evidence your attorney will collect to help prove another party’s liability can include:
- Eyewitness reports
- Photos of the scene and damage to the vehicles
- Police reports
- Motorcycle maintenance records
- Physical evidence from the motorcycle
- Video surveillance footage of the accident
- Cell phone records
- Toxicology reports of the other driver(s), when applicable
- Copies of your medical records
- Requesting copies of insurance policies for the other parties involved
- Hiring experts to testify, such as accident reconstruction experts to prove the cause of the accident or medical experts to demonstrate the extent of your injuries
Acquiring the evidence necessary to be successful is not a simple task. A motorcycle accident attorney will have the resources to help you establish your claim’s validity and significantly increase your chances of success.
Common Motorcycle Accident Injuries
Motorcycle collisions in West Palm Beach often cause serious injuries. Heavy motor vehicles that weigh a few thousand pounds can inflict substantial damage on smaller and lighter motorcycles.
Some of the most common injuries suffered in motorcycle accidents include:
Because motorcyclists have little to no protection in an accident, riders often suffer severe bone fractures. Often from coming into contact with another vehicle or when hitting the pavement. Depending on the severity of the break, it might require surgical intervention.
Even if a rider is wearing a helmet, the force of a collision can result in a head injury, such as skull fractures, traumatic brain injuries, or brain damage. A moderate or severe brain injury can have a permanent impact physically, cognitively, and psychologically.
Lower Extremity Injuries
The lower extremities are particularly vulnerable to injury in a motorcycle accident. Some of the more common lower-body injuries motorcyclists suffer are pelvic fractures, hip injuries, knee injuries, leg injuries, and foot, ankle, and toe injuries.
Whiplash and Other Neck Injuries
Whiplash is one of the most common accident injuries caused by the neck vertebrae being fiercely whipped back and forth. Whiplash, in addition to other injuries that damage the muscles, tendons, ligaments, or vertebrae in the neck, can result in severe and long-lasting pain and stiffness, headaches, vision and hearing problems, and also emotional issues.
Back and Spine Injuries
A rider’s back and spine are entirely exposed, which is why back and spinal cord injuries may occur in a collision. A serious back injury can cause paralysis or a loss of feeling from the injury site downward.
The internal organs can be damaged, perforated, or lacerated in an accident when they are slammed against one another or into other structures of the body or are penetrated by foreign objects. Internal injuries often require surgery and can be life-threatening.
Road Rash, Scarring, and Disfigurement
A motorcyclist can easily suffer road rash, scarring, or disfigurement once their skin makes continued contact with the pavement or gravel. When layers of skin are scraped off, there is a risk of infection, and a skin graft surgery may be necessary.
A catastrophic injury causes a victim to suffer long-term or permanent pain or disability—for example, a loss of the functionality of an organ or limb or a loss of limb.
When a victim loses their life in a motorcycle accident due to the negligent actions or willful misconduct of another person, it is considered a wrongful death. Surviving loved ones have the right to hold the at-fault party accountable in a wrongful death lawsuit.
Each of these injuries has the potential to be incredibly serious and life-changing. It is critical to seek maximum financial compensation, as you will most likely have ongoing medical expenses, such as physical therapy and rehabilitation.
Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents in South Florida
Identifying the cause of your motorcycle accident is one of the many things an attorney can do for you. The cause of your crash can point to the person or party who is financially responsible if you have grounds for a lawsuit. Our West Palm Beach motorcycle accident lawyers can determine who or what caused your motorcycle accident by revisiting the scene, hiring crash reconstruction experts, speaking to witnesses, and reviewing the police report.
Common causes of motorcycle accidents in West Palm Beach, Florida include:
- Distracted driving or driver inattention: A driver that is distracted and unable to dedicate their full attention to driving is a danger to everyone else on the road.
- Texting and driving: Considered the most dangerous type of distracted driving because it takes a driver’s hands, mind, and eyes off the road.
- Failing to yield the right-of-way: These accidents often occur at intersections due to confusion on who has the right of way or misjudging a motorcycle’s distance.
- Illegal turns: Drivers commonly make improper or illegal turns that put them directly into the path of an oncoming vehicle or motorcycle.
- Speeding: Excessive speed cuts down a driver’s time and ability to make quick, safe decisions and keep people out of harm’s way.
- Tailgating: When a vehicle or motorcycle follows too closely behind another driver, it increases the likelihood of an accident when the front vehicle suddenly brakes.
- Lane Splitting: Lane splitting is when a motorcycle rides in between two lanes of traffic and is illegal in Florida. There are many possible accident scenarios with lane-splitting because drivers are not looking for motorcycles in this area, and lanes may not be wide enough for vehicles to travel side by side safely.
- Operating Under the Influence: driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs delays brain functions and impairs hand-eye coordination, as well as how information is processed, dramatically increasing the risk of causing an accident.
- Reckless Driving or Road Rage: Reckless driving, such as unsafe lane changes, failure to obey traffic signals, failure to signal, failure to yield right of way, or road rage, etc., can easily cause a preventable motorcycle accident.
- Roadway Defects: Sometimes, motorcycle accidents aren’t caused by a negligent driver or rider but by roadway defects, such as potholes, blind curves, lack of lights, narrowed lanes from construction zones, or improper warning signage.
- Defective Motorcycle Parts: Another common cause of accidents that is not a result of driver or rider negligence is defective motorcycle parts. A number of defects can lead to a crash, such as brake failure, faulty tires, fuel system defects, a manufacturing defect (e.g., a part missing, installed incorrectly, or made of poor quality materials), or if a bike’s design is inherently dangerous.
Most motorcycle accidents are preventable. They occur when one or more parties are negligent. In personal injury law, someone is negligent if they fail to take a reasonable amount of care, and this causes injury or harm to someone else.
If a reasonable level of care would have prevented the motorcycle accident, the party can be liable for damages, or losses. Under Florida’s unique no-fault law, however, you can only hold a negligent party responsible for your motorcycle accident in certain circumstances.
What Are Florida’s Motorcycle Accident Laws?
One benefit of hiring a West Palm Beach motorcycle accident attorney to handle your motorcycle accident case is having an expert navigate Florida’s laws on your behalf. A lawyer can explain the laws that affect your case, as well as the defense strategies you can expect from the at-fault party (defendant). These laws include:
- No-fault insurance law. Florida is a no-fault insurance state. This means if you get injured in a motorcycle accident, you will seek financial recovery from your own auto insurer, regardless of fault. Your personal injury protection (PIP) insurance will cover your medical bills and lost wages, while you will need collision or comprehensive insurance to cover property damage
- Serious injury threshold. If your motorcycle accident caused serious injuries, such as broken bones, permanent disability, or significant scarring and disfigurement, you will have grounds to file a lawsuit against a defendant outside of Florida’s no-fault system. Your motorcycle accident lawyer will have to prove the defendant is at fault to obtain a settlement from his or her insurance carrier.
- Statute of limitations. The statute of limitations is a law in Florida that restricts an injured victim’s right to file a personal injury lawsuit. In Florida, the statute of limitations is four years from the date of the accident, with some exceptions that may extend or shorten your deadline. If you do not act quickly, you risk losing the right to recover financial compensation.
These are three of the main laws that impact motorcycle accident cases in Florida. However, the laws are always changing and evolving. Additionally, there are other Florida laws established to keep riders safer on the road, and knowing them also ensures riders are compliant and needn’t worry about fines or legal problems after an accident.
- Riders must wear helmets unless they are over the age of 21 and carry at least $10,000 in medical insurance coverage.
- Lane-splitting is illegal.
- Eye protection is always required when riding.
- Passengers must have a seat and footrests.
- Motorcyclists must be licensed, and first-time motorcycle licensees must take a rider education course.
- Motorcycles must have brakes on all wheels, an exhaust system to limit sound to 86 decibels max, a horn, handlebar height at or below the rider’s shoulders, turn signals, mirrors on both sides, at least one headlight, one rear red reflector, a stop lamp, and tail light.
- The headlight must be on at all times.
- Florida is the only state that does not require a motorcycle insurance policy to ride.
Florida’s Comparative Negligence Rule
Florida follows a pure comparative negligence system in motorcycle accident cases. Under this law, any party who contributes to an accident or injury can be liable for damages. If a court awards a victim compensation, the portion they receive will be based on their percentage of fault.
For example, if you are awarded $100,000 but found 40% at fault because you were speeding through a traffic light when a driver turned left in front of you, you will only receive 60% of the award or $60,000. Because of this law, at-fault parties and their insurance companies often attempt to reduce their liability by placing the majority of the blame on the victim. Fortunately, an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer will have experience in these tactics and can protect you and ensure you are treated fairly.
What to Do After a Motorcycle Crash?
After a motorcycle crash, you need to know what to do in order to protect yourself, medically and legally.
Call 911 as soon as you can to report the accident and request medical assistance. Emergency responders will arrive to treat anyone involved and transport you to the hospital if necessary. A police officer will also create an accident report detailing the collision, noting how they believe the crash occurred and which parties they believe to be at fault. Ultimately, this report can be critical when it comes time to file an accident claim. Be sure to ask the officer how you can obtain a copy of the report.
Photograph the Accident
If you are not medically transported to the hospital, remain at the scene and photograph the following:
- The scene as a whole;
- The positions of all vehicles involved and their damage;
- Any property damage caused in the surrounding area;
- Any debris or markings on the road, such as skid marks;
- The road conditions and any hazards, such as potholes or uneven lanes
- Street signs and traffic signals
- Your injuries
Speak to Witnesses
If anyone witnessed the accident, ask for their name and contact information. Check if they are willing to make a recorded statement, which you can take on your phone, or ask them to write down their version of the events while it is fresh in their minds.
Seek Medical Treatment
Get checked out by a doctor as soon as possible, even if you don’t believe you are injured. Some severe injuries can have delayed symptoms that can present themselves hours or even days later. Seeking treatment right away is not only the best choice for your health but will provide documentation to support the fact that you were injured from the accident and to what extent. If you wait to seek medical help, the delay can allow an insurance company to argue that your injuries were not a result of the motorcycle accident or not as severe as you claim.
Speak To a West Palm Beach Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
Obtaining the compensation you deserve from an insurance company can be difficult on your own. An attorney can help you preserve evidence that may be vital to your claim and negotiate a fair settlement or represent you in court.
What Is the Average Payout for a Motorcycle Accident?
There is no average payout for a motorcycle accident case. Each case is unique, with insurance companies and juries deciding financial outcomes on a case-by-case basis. Some injured victims receive $10,000 or less for relatively minor injuries and property damage, while others can receive $1 million or more for catastrophic injuries.
Many different factors can affect how much your claim is worth, including:
- The severity of your injuries
- The costs of your medical expenses
- Whether you have permanent disability or disfigurement
- Whether your injuries interfere with work
- The number of defendants in your case
- The amount of insurance available
You may be eligible for reimbursement for your past and future medical bills, property damage, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. A motorcycle accident attorney can perform an in-depth evaluation of the value of your motorcycle accident case.
Discuss Your Case for Free With a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer in West Palm Beach
If you or someone you love was recently injured in a motorcycle accident, the attorneys at LaBovick Law Group can help. We are committed to pursuing justice on behalf of injured motorcycle accident victims in West Palm Beach and throughout South Florida.
Learn more today during a free consultation with one of our local motorcycle accident lawyers. Initial case reviews are free and confidential. Call (561) 623-3681 or contact us online today.