Motorcycle Accident Lawyer(s) In Palm Beach County and Throughout Florida
Riding a motorcycle is a wonderful experience, some say, one of the greatest joys in life. Your body becomes an extension of the machine; each limb has a function. Your left hand on the clutch, your right on the accelerator, your left foot shifting the gears, and your right foot on the back brake. You definitely feel the acceleration, and the lean is pure exhilaration. Many Floridians ride for pure enjoyment.
Every motorcyclist understands there are risks, motorcycles can be dangerous. The main rule of riding is respecting the motorcycle, knowing your own limitations and expecting the unexpected from other motorists. Motorcycle accidents are a reality and the outcome is always serious. The rider does not have the structural protection nor airbags as in a car or a truck. When a motorcycle crash occurs there are often devastating injuries and sometimes death. According to Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles there were nearly eight thousand motorcycle accidents in 2021. Approximately, 7,100 of those riders were injured or killed as a result of their injuries. See FLHSMV Dashboard.
When a motorcycle crash occurs you want to contact a motorcycle accident lawyer, someone who not only has legal experience but also is a licensed rider. It is helpful that your attorney understands what it's like to be on a bike so that they can advocate for you.
- The Steps Needed To Be Taken After You Motorcycle Accident in Florida
- Should I Call My Insurance Company After My Motorcycle Wreck in Florida?
- What Damages Are Available To An Injured Motorcyclist Or Their Family in Florida?
- Statute of Limitations For Motorcycle Crashes in Florida
- Understanding The Elements Of Negligence In Motorcycle Cases
- How Does Florida’s Comparative Negligence Rule Work In Motorcycle Crash Cases?
- What Are The Types Of Damages Awarded In Motorcycle Accidents In Palm Beach County?
- How To Determine A Fair Settlement In Motorcycle Accidents in Florida?
- Can I File A Lawsuit If I Did Not Have Motorcycle Insurance?
- How Long Does It Take For My Motorcycle Case To Be Resolved in Florida?
- Insurance Policy Limits
- Preparing A Settlement Package
- Understanding Settlements With An Insurance Company
- Will My Florida Motorcycle Accident Case Go To Trial?
- Do I Still Have A Case If I Was Not Wearing A Helmet At The Time Of Motorcycle Accident?
- What Can A West Palm Beach Motorcycle Accident Attorney Do To Help You With Your Accident Claim?
- Common Types Of Motorcycle Accidents In Florida
- Common Injuries Sustained Into Motorcycle Crashes in Florida
- If I Was Lane Splitting When I Crashed, Can I Still Collect For My Injuries?
- Should I Call The Other Driver’s Insurance Company After My Accident?
- Types Of Motorcycles Driven In West Palm Beach, Florida
- What is a Settlement Claim?
If you are involved in a motorcycle wreck and are injured you have a right to be compensated. The motorcycle attorneys at the Law Office of Roger P. Foley are located in West Palm Beach. We handle motorcycle cases throughout Florida. When you call you will speak directly to Roger P Foley, who is an experienced attorney. He is quick and efficient in analyzing your case. Call him now at 561-746-7076, if you are an accident victim.The Steps Needed To Be Taken After You Motorcycle Accident in Florida
- Get to a safe area off the road
- Collect evidence if you are able, for example pictures and videos of vehicles involved, your motorcycle, the scene and injuries
- If injured, go to the hospital preferably by ambulance
- Be detailed, tell emergency medical professionals what hurts
- Don't be hero, do what the doctor tells you to do
- If you are unable to complete any of the above, don't worry, our office will handle everything. We will review police and accident reports, interview witnesses, and hire an accident reconstructionist, if necessary.
Should I Call My Insurance Company After My Motorcycle Wreck in Florida?
Yes. But all calls are recorded for quality assurance and anything you say, even to your own insurance company, may cause your claim to be reduced or denied. All Florida accident attorneys recommend limiting your words and contacting a law firm that can directly deal with the insurance company while you heal from your injuries.
What Damages Are Available To An Injured Motorcyclist Or Their Family in Florida?
If you are a motorcyclist and involved in an accident, and you survived, you likely have some severe injuries. Either way, you and/or your family are affected by the situation. It is important to meet with a motorcycle accident attorney to discuss the facts of your case. Generally, a motorcyclist that is injured due to others negligence may be entitled to the following:
- Medical bills including ambulatory services, hospital bills, surgical costs, physical and rehabilitative therapy, etc.
- Pain and suffering
- Property damage; the replacement and or repair of your motorcycle and gear
- Lost income based on your inability to work while recovering from injuries
- Lost future wages when permanently disabeld from the motorcycle crash
- Death, if your family member perished as a result of their motorcycle crash then you may seek burial expenses, loss of consortium, future lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Statute of Limitations For Motorcycle Crashes in Florida
Florida statutes limit the time an injured party can take to file a lawsuit for damages. Florida allows up to four (4) years to bring a negligence case. If you fail to bring a cause of action within this time period you will be barred from any recovery.
Product Liability Claims in Motorcycle Accidents: If your bike crash occurred due to a defective part, and you were injured you also have four (4) years to bring a product liability case.
If the defective product led to the crash and caused death, the family has two years from the date of death to bring a wrongful death lawsuit.
Motorcycle Claims Against Government Entities: If your motorcycle wreck was caused by a government entity, such as a public transportation bus, or any government vehicle, or if due to poor road conditions or construction by government workers, then the statute of limitations is three (3) years.
Understanding The Elements Of Negligence In Motorcycle Cases
In order to collect money from an at fault driver or their insurance company, the plaintiff must prove the other driver was negligent. To establish negligence you must prove:
- That the defendant, the person alleged to be responsible, had a duty of care, often referred to as a standard of reasonable care
- That the defendant’s conduct was a violation/breach of that duty
- That the defendant caused the motorcyclist injury
How Does Florida’s Comparative Negligence Rule Work In Motorcycle Crash Cases?
In a motorcycle wreck, comparative negligence is the same as it is with a car or semi-truck accident. If the defendant in a motorcycle accident is not clearly at fault, the insurance company will attempt to assign a level of fault to the plaintiff, the victim. This is almost routine because the insurance company wants to divert blame to anyone but their insured. If their insured is found to be at fault they have to pay out money. In a two vehicle accident, a car and motorcycle, the insurance company will try to transfer blame to the rider in an effort to pay out less money. If they can establish that the rider was at fault, a percentage of fault is assigned. For example, if the value of the accident claim is $300,00 and the plaintiff's motorcycle rider is assigned to be 20% responsible (which equals $60K) for the crash then the rider receives $240,000.
In a multi-vehicle accident case it can be more difficult to ascertain each party's fault so comparative negligence is more complex.
What Are The Types Of Damages Awarded In Motorcycle Accidents In Palm Beach County?
There are two types of damages awarded in Motorcycle Accidents in Florida:
- Compensatory Damages are for specific losses like medical bills and property damage
- Punitive Damages are to punish the negligent party for their behavior, for example a dui driver causing an accident
Contact the Best Motorcycle Accident Attorneys in your area to discuss your particular accident. The Law Office of Roger P. Foley is located in Palm Beach and Broward Counties and is available to assist you throughout the state of Florida.
How To Determine A Fair Settlement In Motorcycle Accidents in Florida?
To calculate a settlement amount, your West Palm Beach motorcycle accident lawyer will look at varying factors:
- Determine liability/negligence of other party using evidence from the accident scene
- The insurance policy coverage amounts of the at fault driver
- Whether there are any umbrella policies for the at fault driver
- If any other parties are liable and an examination of their coverage limits
- Determine if the client/victim has uninsured motorist coverage, also known as UM coverage
- Once the maximum insurance coverage limits are known for all parties involved, the severity of the injuries and medical treatment needed are evaluated to determine the length of treatment and if surgery(s) are required.
- Calculate property damage, for example replacement of the sport bike damaged in the crash.
- Determine lost wages and future lost wages
- Confirm client is following all medical recommendations and adhering to treatment plan
- Outlining the impact the loss has had on our client, permanent disfigurement such as a lost limb can drastically change their life and limit activities they once enjoyed.
These factors will assist your Florida motorcycle crash attorney in assessing a claim amount. The goal is to acquire the maximum compensation amount based on the injuries and the insurance amount available. Each case is different. The most important factors are the liability of the other party, injuries sustained, and amount of available money (coverage). From there an experienced Palm Beach County personal injury attorney will calculate a fair amount and send out a demand letter.
When liability is clear and the injury is severe, like the loss of a limb, paralysis, or death, the settlement can occur quickly. Insurance companies have a duty to act in good faith otherwise they risk paying out more, so most will work quickly to settle this type of claim.
Contact a Top Motorcycle Accident Lawyer to discuss the specifics of your case.What is a Settlement Claim?
When injured in a motorcycle crash because of the negligence of another, you have the right to pursue monetary compensation for your injuries. The money requested is for your medical bills, past and future lost wages, and pain and suffering. If a family member was killed due to the other person's negligence then the family may seek monetary compensation for wrongful death.
There are two ways to collect money from the person responsible:
- File a lawsuit, go to trial and obtain a verdict for damages
- Reach an out of court settlement with the negligent party or their insurer
Reaching a fair and timely settlement is a priority at the Law Office of Roger P Foley, P. A.. If we can’t reach a fair settlement then we will fight for our clients in the trial courts. We are available in Palm Beach County and throughout the state of Florida.
Can I File A Lawsuit If I Did Not Have Motorcycle Insurance?
The short answer is YES. Florida Motorcyclists are not required to have Personal Injury Protection(PIP) like cars because PIP only applies to vehicles with four or more wheels. In order to recover money for your injuries, you must file a claim with the other party's insurance company for damages. If the at fault party has insufficient coverage to fairly compensate you for your injuries you may utilize your own uninsured motorist coverage. Remember, if you carry UM coverage, your insurance will take the place of the at fault party and pay your bills. Talk to the best motorcycle accident attorney to discuss the specifics of your accident case.
How Long Does It Take For My Motorcycle Case To Be Resolved in Florida?
There is no definitive answer as each case is different. At the Law Office of Roger P. Foley, we will work quickly and efficiently to get you the best result possible. However, insurance companies want you to settle fast for less money. Our job is to protect you as the insurance company may not care about the seriousness of your injuries and future medical bills. We need to be sure that you are fairly compensated. We have offices in West Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale and accept motorcycle accident cases in Palm Beach County and throughout the Sunshine State.
Insurance Policy Limits
Every Personal injury case begins with an investigation of the accident. Followed by a determination of the insured’s policy limits and what the client’s damages are expected to be. An attorney from the Law Office of Roger P. Foley, P.A. , with offices in West Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale, can investigate the accident, prepare a detailed accounting of your medical bills and treatment costs and present a compelling case to ensure maximum compensation on your claim. The more evidence that is presented the higher the likelihood that the insurance company will agree to a fair settlement.
Preparing A Settlement Package
The number one goal of a settlement package is to provide the insured with evidence of their client’s liability while requesting financial compensation that is fair based on the injuries sustained.
It starts with a demand. The demand should be strong and concise, filled with pictures of the accident scene, the destroyed motor bike, pictures of you, the victim, at the hospital. Video is also great, if it's available. Your motorcycle injury attorney will put any and all evidence that demonstrates that you are entitled to the monetary compensation demanded.
Upon receipt of your motorcycle accident lawyers settlement package, negotiations begin. Often the insurance company will make a lowball counter offer, it's their nature because they want to pay out as little as possible. The insurance adjuster assigned may or may not be open to continued negotiations, however counter offers are common and expected during settlement negotiations.
If an agreement can be negotiated then the accident case is settled. As part of the settlement, you will agree to cease from filing any other legal actions in regards to the accident. You will sign a release to that effect before you receive your financial settlement. The release ensures that you don’t change your mind and try to bring a lawsuit or additional claim.
Talk to a highly rated personal injury attorney to ensure you have confidence in the attorney that is representing you.
Understanding Settlements With An Insurance Company
A settlement is an out-of-court agreement. You enter into this agreement with the person, company or entity that is responsible for paying you compensation after you have suffered an injury.
You may be surprised to learn that this usually is not the person who hurt you or your family member. Instead, it is the at-fault party’s insurance company.
Whether you are negotiating with the insurer or with the defendant directly, the goal is to agree to an amount that fully covers your injuries and losses. This amount should cover everything you could potentially receive if your case went to court.
Unfortunately, the defendant’s insurer typically will try to get you to accept the least amount of compensation possible and settle for less than you deserve. You need to ensure that you understand your rights going into a settlement. This is why it is so important to have an attorney help you.
Will My Florida Motorcycle Accident Case Go To Trial?
Generally, more than 90 percent of accident cases are settled out of court. However, trial is always a possibility. If the insurance company fails to provide fair compensation for your injuries then trial is foreseeable. The Law office of Roger P. Foley represents motorcycle accident victims in Palm Beach county and throughout Florida.
Do I Still Have A Case If I Was Not Wearing A Helmet At The Time Of Motorcycle Accident?
If the accident was caused by another’s negligence then you may still have a case in Florida. Not wearing a helmet does not preclude an injured victim from seeking compensation. However, there may be an issue of comparative negligence, meaning the amount you recover may be less, if:
- Your injury was more serious because you failed to wear a helmet
- If your insurance coverage was based on your declaration that you always wear a helmet
- You are under 21 years of age, because motorcycle riders under 21 are required by law to wear a helmet while riding
- You did not have minimum insurance requirement of $10,000 required by Florida Statute
What Can A West Palm Beach Motorcycle Accident Attorney Do To Help You With Your Accident Claim?
- Collect information by compiling evidence that substantiates your claim
- Review and preserve any video or black box evidence
- View the crash site
- Review all police and accident reports, request amendments or supplements when necessary
- Interview witnesses
- Contact and retain necessary medical experts
- Reconstruct accident scene using an Expert
Common Types Of Motorcycle Accidents In Florida
Lane Changing Accidents: trucks and automobiles often are oblivious to motorcyclists. Drivers often do not see or hear the biker and change lanes abruptly, causing the rider to react quickly. Sometimes the rider can avoid the collision by positioning themselves in the driver's side mirror.
Broadside Accidents: when another motor vehicle hits the cyclist from the side; T-bone. This occurs commonly at intersections when one party has failed to stop. The motorcycle driver is unprotected and often seriously injured or killed.
Rear End Crash: This happens at red lights, crosswalks, or intersections when a car is tailgating or not leaving sufficient room for braking and crashes into the motorcycle. The collison often throws the rider from their bike, sometimes if it's a larger vehicle or semi-truck, the rider and his bike are run over.
Front End Crash: When a motorcyclist crashes into the rear of another motor vehicle the rider often is tossed from the motorcycle onto the roadway. This crash may occur when an automobile driver unexpectedly changes lanes in front of a motorcycle to get off a highway exit. This can cause the rider to lay the bike down.
Head-on Collision: An automobile going in the wrong direction collides with an oncoming vehicle or motorcyclist. Possible causes of head-on collisions are: improper passing, driving the wrong way down a one way street, or when a driver is confused due to construction and drives the wrong way on a highway ramp. This type of accident is the highest cause of death to motorcyclists.
Left Hand Accidents: A crash occurs when a car or truck is making a left turn and fails to yield to a biker that is traveling straight on the roadway. The rider must be aware of vehicles waiting to turn. The size of the motorcycle makes it less visible or appear further away to the driver of the car.
Wide Turn Accidents: May happen if a biker is driving too fast into a turn and it causes them to go wide. They may collide with another vehicle or into a curb or other stationary object.
Commercial Vehicle Accidents: Semi trucks or 18 -wheelers are large and when turning in front of a cycle can leave no room for the rider to escape and they either hit the side of the truck or slide under it.
Door Accidents: When a vehicle parks along the roadway and abruptly opens their door into the path of the motorcycle rider.
Switching Lanes: when changing lanes, a driver should always confirm the lane they are attempting to enter is clear. When a driver is negligent, it can cause catastrophic results for the motorcycle rider.
Common Injuries Sustained Into Motorcycle Crashes in Florida
Motorcycle accident injuries are often disastrous. The National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration conducted numerous studies, all concluded that a frontal impact by a motorcycle often results in serious bodily injury or a fatality.
The following injuries are the most common for motorcyclists:
- Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) - this type of injury occurs when the brain suffers trauma and brain functions are affected. Florida does not require motorcycle riders to wear helmets leading to a higher risk of such injuries.
- Internal Injuries - there are generally two types and both are life threatening :
- Penetration of an object into the body causing internal bleeding or organ damage
- Blunt Force trauma that causes internal injuries to the organs
- Spinal Cord Injuries - if any part of the spine is damaged sensation or other bodily functions may be lost and can result in permanent paralysis
- Lower Extremity Injury - amputation is most severe
- Bone Fractures - anything from the facial bones, to collar bone, wrist, arms or legs can be broken
- Road Rash - this occurs when the surface of the road and skin of the rider make contact. It has varying degrees and may cause permanent disfigurement. Skin grafting is often needed.
If I Was Lane Splitting When I Crashed, Can I Still Collect for My Injuries?
Lane splitting is illegal in the state of Florida, one cannot drive between cars. Motorcycles must obey the same rules as cars. If a crash occurs while the rider is splitting lanes, he/she may be deemed at fault and their ability to receive compensation may be lessened or denied. Talk with a qualified motorcycle accident attorney at the Law Office of Roger P. Foley because if the other vehicle was negligent in any form you may still be entitled to financial compensation. Examples where negligence may come into play are, distracted driving, dui, speeding, etc.
Should I Call The Other Driver’s Insurance Company After My Accident?
It is NOT recommended that you speak with them. They may use your words against you and lessen or deny your motorbike accident claim. Be careful, it is common for the other driver’s insurance company to call you in an attempt to get a statement so they can avoid paying you. Do not talk to them, contact a motorcycle accident lawyer in palm beach county.
Types of Motorcycles Driven in West Palm Beach, Florida
Roger P. Foley has always been an advocate of motorcycle riding. He purchased his first motorcycle in high school. He owned the bike, a Kawasaki, less than two weeks when he laid it down in the school parking lot. Not understanding the brake/turn combination he lost control of the motorcycle and crashed into a fence. Luckily friends were there to assist and he was not seriously injured. He started to learn the intricacies of riding and later purchased a Ninja. While in College, he purchased a Honda CBR that he enjoyed until it was stolen. As a young man, Roger admired the speed bikes, or “crotch rockets”. As he grew older, he became a fan of the cruiser motorcycles discussed below. If you are a rider, you understand the fun and freedom associated with your cycle. Ride on and be safe.
As a convenience, we have listed the various types of motorcycles available. Enjoy the road!Types of Motorcycles
Standard motorcycles are designed to be general purpose bikes and it is quite popular for that reason. The engine size ranges from 125cc to 1,000cc. Because it’s not a specialty bike it’s not that costly. It also accommodates a passenger easily and can also be retrofitted to carry a small load of goods.
As the name implies these kinds of bikes are designed for cruising. Cruisers are also known as choppers. Cruisers are popular with riders that like to go for long rides and want to be comfortable. Because they are designed for long rides they can usually accommodate a bit of luggage. One of the most common brands of cruisers is the Harley Davidson.
- Sports Bike
These kinds of bikes are geared towards riders that enjoy quick acceleration and agility. The engine size ranges from 350cc to over 1000cc. They also seat the rider a bit higher to allow the rider to lean. To allow for better aerodynamics the seating posture is a forward lean. Although many sports bikes do have a passenger seat they are on the smaller side and not very comfortable.
Touring bikes are among the biggest bikes. The engine size ranges from 500cc to as big as 1800cc. And they weigh anywhere from 500-700lbs. This is a very comfortable bike, both for the rider and the passenger. Some models of touring bikes even have back rest. Because of its size and comfort many use this for cross country rides as well. Some of the popular touring bikes include: Suzuki V-Stroom 1050, Harley Davidson Road Glide Special and Kawasaki Ninja 1000SX Performance Tourer.
- Sports touring
Sports touring is a combination of sports bike and touring. They have the agility of a sports bike and the comfort of a touring bike.
- Dual Sport
These kinds of bikes are good for on road and off road purposes. They have the ability to go off road on gravel roads and dirt roads. At the same time they are capable of around town rides as well.
- Scooter (not a bike but require motorcycle endorsement if >50cc)
Scooters are a bit different than most motorbikes. They have relatively smaller engines compared to most motorcycles and seating position is quite different. In most motorcycles you ride it with legs on two sides of the bike. However on a scooter your feet are resting in front of you almost like sitting on a chair. Because of the smaller engine size scooters are popular in/around cities. In most states
- Moped (not a bike but require motorcycle endorsement if >50cc)
Mopeds are almost like a bicycle with a motor. They have weaker engines even compared to scooters. Because of their low power engine and close resemblance to bicycles they have less strict licensing requirements. Mopeds are common in beach towns in the State of Florida.
As the names imply, off-road bikes are designed to run in rugged terrain. They are also known as dirt bikes because of their ability to ride in dirt roads / off roads. Some of the popular dirt bikes are: Honda CRF450R, Yamaha YZ450F and Suzuki RM-Z 250.
- Slingshot motorcycles
These motorcycles are different from all other motorcycles because it has three wheels compared to only two. It’s similar to cars in the sense that the passenger seats are beside the rider and not behind. If you are riding one of these on the road you will surely turn heads as they look pretty cool. Because of three wheels, slingshot motorcycles are more stable on the road.
The Law Office of Roger P Foley Can Help With Your Motorcycle Accident Injury in Palm Beach County, Florida
You have been injured due to another's negligence, the medical bills are on their way to your home, you are unable to work and you feel defeated. You are now searching for the best motorcycle accident attorneys in your area. Roger P. Foley and his staff will discuss the facts of your motorcycle wreck with you. We will begin working on your insurance claim so that you can concentrate on healing from your injuries. We understand the difficulties that you are now facing and will assist you in receiving maximum financial compensation for your injuries. If you are a victim of a motorcycle accident, contact our personal injury law firm located at 1555 Palm Beach Lakes Blvd., Suite 1555, West Palm Beach, Florida, 33401. Call us at (561)746-7076 We are available in Palm Beach County and throughout the State of Florida.