Recently, a man died in a Naples motorcycle accident when a pickup truck allegedly failed to yield on a lane near Bonita Drive. The collision took place as the truck driver was traveling southbound while the motorcycle biker was heading northbound. Sadly, the biker died upon collision.
Motorcycle accidents can happen to anyone. It’s crucial to be aware of and avoid these leading causes of motorcycle crashes to keep yourself and your loved ones safe:
- Lane splitting
- Drunk driving
- Reckless driving
- Poor road conditions
- Lack of awareness, especially from drivers with larger vehicles
Parties should know they can pursue legal actions after a motorcycle accident. Read articles from The Personal Injury Center to learn about your rights and legal options.
|Key Takeaways |
What is legal representation?
Legal representation encompasses an array of legal services that lawyers offer to clients. These services include the following:
- Communicating with other parties
- Drafting pleadings and other legal documents
- Negotiating during settlements
- Assisting with estate planning and management of properties
- Making appearances in courts
- Representing clients in other arbitral bodies, such as mediation boards
- Performing other actions that the clients approved and requested, such as signing contracts
Everyone should recognize the importance of legal representation, especially after a Naples motorcycle accident. Legal professionals provide crucial support to parties in preserving their rights and defending against injustices caused by others.
Partnering With a Personal Injury Lawyer After a Motorcycle Accident: Pros and Cons
Victims may be hesitant to consult a personal injury attorney or law firm after a motor vehicle accident. However, it is a necessary step to make. Lawyers can help them make informed decisions and set realistic expectations about their cases.
Suppose you are a motorcycle biker who suffered injuries from an accident. Consider the following advantages and disadvantages of collaborating with lawyers:
Pro: increased chances of winning
Working with a lawyer does not guarantee a favorable outcome. However, it can significantly improve your case’s success. Lawyers have the legal expertise to defend your rights and promote your interests. With their knowledge and experience, they can establish a solid case and gain the court or jury’s approval.
Moreover, lawyers know what to avoid that could ruin your chances of winning. For example, they may remind you about the deadlines for filing pleadings to avoid defaulting on the case.
Pro: better valuation of settlement claims
In addition to their legal knowledge, lawyers are valuable when it comes to negotiating settlement claims. They can conduct thorough research to determine the appropriate compensation you deserve. They can advise you whether to accept an offer or not.
If you wish to reject an insurance company’s offer, lawyers can formulate counteroffers. They will be your representative during negotiations and meet with the insurer’s representatives.
Many insurance companies take advantage of injured parties because they are unfamiliar with insurance laws. With the help of a lawyer, you won’t have to worry about being lowballed.
Pro: time efficiency
Working with lawyers can save you time. As legal experts, they also know ways to expedite procedures and avoid mistakes that could cause delays. Some parties do not even know they are doing things wrong until somebody else points them out.
Knowing how to process legal actions faster does not necessarily mean bypassing the laws. However, lawyers are adept at employing legal strategies that expedite tasks more quickly than non-legal professionals.
Pro: peace of mind
It is natural for an injured motorcycle biker to feel exhausted, anxious, and stressed after an accident. Parties have to deal with the legal consequences, which can be difficult for anyone, often leaving a person feeling burdened. Besides being legal representatives, lawyers can provide emotional support.
Working with lawyers can offer reassurance to clients that knowledgeable and capable professionals are handling their cases. Collaborating with a lawyer could make them feel hopeful that they will receive the justice they deserve.
Pro: additional support
Working on a personal injury lawsuit involves tedious and menial tasks. Sometimes, these tasks can be repetitive, leaving parties without lawyers immediately feeling drained.
In addition, lawsuits involve voluminous requirements. Consequently, it is easy for non-experts to confuse documents and miss deadlines. Small details like missing signatures may ruin a pleading.
Besides their expertise in legal matters, lawyers often have support staff within their law firm who can handle clerical work.
Con: legal fees
Employing a lawyer to help you file a motorcycle crash lawsuit can be expensive. While the prices vary, a lawyer’s fee can range from hundreds to thousands of dollars. Premium lawyers even charge higher rates.
Hiring legal services can be costly for many. Fortunately, there are multiple ways for litigants to settle a lawyer’s fees. One way is through a contingency fee arrangement, where lawyers claim a percentage of the case’s settlement upon a favorable judgment. Lawyers who cannot win the lawsuit may not claim payment for legal services.
Lawyers also offer pro bono services. They may offer their assistance for free, usually for indigent clients.
Legal Representation During Insurance Negotiation
Before resorting to a personal injury lawsuit, it is advisable to pursue a claim with the insurance company first. If the insurer finds their policy covers your damages, they will provide compensation. Adjustments may be made, but the payout can be obtained within a shorter period.
Besides, suing the insurance company and at-fault parties without any attempt at internal settlements only sparks unnecessary conflict. Claimants should attempt to communicate with the other parties and solve matters as amicably as possible.
Negotiating with insurance companies can be draining, especially when you’re handling things alone. Seeking the help of personal injury lawyers is ideal, as they can perform the following functions:
- Collecting and organizing relevant evidence
- Calculating a reasonable compensation
- Justifying the value of your claim
- Maintaining communications with the insurance company and their representatives
- Creating counteroffers
- Reviewing the legality of the insurer’s settlement offer
- Inspecting whether the insurance company is violating the law
- Ensuring that the insurer or at-fault driver does not violate the claimant’s rights
- Offering legal advice whenever necessary
Negotiation is an art that takes years to master. Lawyers possess the educational background and training to handle negotiations and tilt matters in their client’s favor.
Legal Representation During Trial
When negotiations with insurance companies fail, claimants may choose to file a lawsuit. Many consider this option a last resort since it entails increased expenses, added complexity, and a lengthier possess than insurance negotiations.
In Florida, litigants can file a personal injury case pro se. Parties may choose to represent themselves in court without the assistance of legal counsel. However, this option carries significant pressure and requires tremendous effort. Even lawyers invest substantial effort into establishing a competent case.
On the other hand, partnering with a personal injury lawyer can be more convenient for injured parties. There is nothing wrong with choosing to represent oneself in court, but hiring a lawyer is ideal. You will experience less stress and pressure compared to working alone. Here are a few standard services personal injury lawyers can provide:
- Gathering and assessing pieces of evidence
- Drafting pleadings and other necessary correspondences
- Representing the client during depositions
- Appearing on behalf of the client during trial
- Examining the opposing parties’ claims, evidence, and overall case
- Filing an appeal, if the client permits
The services provided by personal injury lawyers may differ in every case. A good counsel will constantly communicate with clients to assess the appropriate courses of action.
Things To Know Before Filing Motorcycle Accident Claims
Filing a motorcycle accident claim is an intricate process. Parties should give careful attention to every rule, as non-observance of technicalities can cause the case’s dismissal. Additionally, state laws vary a lot, making what applies in one state inapplicable in another.
Learning about existing rules helps establish a compelling case and minimize technical errors.
Types of claimable damages
Parties may file for damages in court to remedy the injuries and losses they suffered because of a tort. Mostly, damages come in a monetary form.
There are several types of claimable damages. The injured parties in a motorcycle accident often file for compensatory and punitive damages.
Compensatory or actual damages reflect the proven value of injuries and losses that the plaintiff experienced. Courts review the fair market value of the claimant’s loss or injury to calculate compensatory damages. In addition, compensatory damages can be economic and non-economic.
Economic damages are tangible losses and injuries that have a direct monetary value. They cover costs relating to medical examination, surgery, medications, and loss of wages. In serious injuries like traumatic brain injury, economic damages may extend to rehabilitation costs, future medical bills, and home care services.
In contrast, non-economic damages represent intangible losses and injuries. These damages typically do not have a physical manifestation, like mental anguish, pain and suffering, and loss of consortium. Claiming these damages in court may require the assistance of experts, especially psychologists.
Unlike compensatory damages, punitive damages do not pay plaintiffs for their injuries and losses. Instead, the award intends to deter other parties from committing the same mistakes and give justice to the injured party’s sufferings. At its discretion, the court awards punitive damages upon finding that the defendant’s actions were extensively harmful.
Average motorcycle accident payout
There is no standard settlement amount for a motorcycle crash. Like any other vehicle accident, the payout’s value depends on the case’s circumstances.
One leading factor is the severity of the victim’s injuries. Settlements tend to be higher for claimants suffering serious injuries compared to those with only minor injuries. For instance, claimants suffering spinal cord injuries receive higher settlements than those suffering from road rash.
Florida is a no-fault state
Consider whether the state the motorcycle accident occurred is a no-fault or at-fault state. It is one of the primordial factors to determine, especially when filing insurance claims.
Florida is a no-fault state. Motorists must maintain personal injury protection (PIP) insurance covering medical bills and other financial costs resulting from a car accident. The insurance company of every party involved answers for pertinent expenses, regardless of who is the at-fault party.
Maintaining PIP insurance applies to four-wheel vehicles and higher. Since a motorcycle has two wheels, it does not fall under the law’s classification. Instead, motorcycle riders should maintain medical coverage insurance worth ten thousand dollars and above to comply with Florida’s no-fault laws.
Florida is a comparative negligence state
Aside from being a no-fault state, Florida follows the principle of comparative negligence. Under this principle, courts determine the proportion of damages parties recover based on their respective degree of fault. If the plaintiff is partially at-fault in the motorcycle crash, the court will award them damage proportionately.
In pure comparative negligence states like Florida, it does not matter if the plaintiff’s negligence exceeds a specific threshold. The reduction of damages only applies to economic and non-economic damages. Moreover, even if the value of damages steeps excessively, it does not prevent parties from recovering a justifiable amount.
Statute of limitations
States provide prescription periods for the filing of cases, known as the statute of limitations. It sets a deadline for parties to file legal action against another party. Failing to file within the allowable period can result in the dismissal of the case. In effect, the claimant would be ineligible to sue the party at-fault and claim damages.
Every state has unique rules on statutes of limitations. Besides the reckoning period for filing, rules also change depending on the actions involved.
In Florida, injured parties have four years from the day of a motorcycle accident to file a personal injury lawsuit. In contrast, the reckoning period for a wrongful death lawsuit is two years from the victim’s death.
Effects of signing release and waiver agreements
A release and waiver agreement is a legal document whereby one party promises not to pursue legal action against the other. The party agreeing not to sue typically receives money as part of the contract. Injured parties often sign a release and waiver agreement after receiving motorcycle accident payouts.
The release and waiver agreement stands even if the injured party later finds the amount they received unjustifiable or insufficient. It is ideal for injured parties to carefully assess a settlement offer before agreeing to them. If unsatisfied, you may work with a Naples motorcycle accident attorney to draft a counteroffer and negotiate for better compensation.
Did you know?
Florida is the only US state that does not require a motorcyclist to get insurance. However, upon registration of their vehicles, motorcycle riders must present proof of financial responsibility to cover any motor vehicle accident.
Partner With a First-Rate Naples Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
The impacts of a motorcycle crash can be devastating, and you deserve justice for your losses and injuries. Besides seeking medical care, ensure you work with a Naples motorcycle accident lawyer. Having competent legal representation could enhance your chances of getting fair compensation.
The Personal Injury Center offers a free case evaluation for parties needing solutions to their legal problems. After the initial assessment of your case, we can connect you with nearby and competent attorneys.
Obtain compensation for your motorcycle injury. The Personal Injury Center can help you locate a Naples motorcycle accident attorney to handle your case.
FAQs on Naples Motorcycle Accidents
Parties intending to acquire a "motorcycle only" driver's license should at least be sixteen years old. In addition, they need to pass a regular Class E operator's driver's license test and complete the Basic RiderCourse (BRC) or the Basic RiderCourse updated (BRCu).
Yes, it is advisable to seek immediate attention after a motorcycle accident. Aside from preventing health complications, it also deters insurance companies from denying your claim on the grounds of voluntary avoidance of medical care.
Not being a licensed driver during the accident does not prevent you from filing personal injury claims. Collaborate with a motorcycle accident lawyer to deal with potential legal complications, especially those involving traffic laws.