Florida Motorcycle Accident FAQs
Frequently Asked Questions
With very little protection such as a steel cage, an airbag, or a seat belt, motorcyclists are the most vulnerable motorists. State accident statistics find that 402 motorcyclists lost their lives on Florida roads in 2009. Even though that is a 24% drop from the previous year (532 fatalities), the biker is much more likely to be injured or lose his life in a collision with an automobile.
If you or a loved one is in a motorcycle accident, the law can be complicated to understand. You may have many questions. At Farah & Farah, our motorcycle accident lawyers in Jacksonville have been representing accident victims in Florida since 1979, and we are here to help. Here are some of the types of questions we often encounter:
Q: What is the first thing I should consider after a motorcycle accident?
A: The first thing you need to do is get immediate medical attention if you are badly injured. Even if you don’t think you are hurt, you need to know that soft tissue injuries may not show up immediately. Unless you are completely fine, some sort of medical evaluation is generally a good idea.
If you are able to, you will need to collect important information from the scene. Gather the name and license number of the other driver and vehicle involved. Be sure to gather the name, phone number, address, including what state he or she is from. Find out the name of his insurance carrier from the card he carries and see if there is a toll free number on the card to call after a crash. Get the names and numbers of anyone else in the other vehicle or of any witnesses at the scene.
Take pictures of the incident, the road, and both vehicles. Note the location of the accident, the mile marker, and whether there was any road construction at the time. Was the area adequately marked? Were road signs visible or hidden by trees? If this is a bad enough, the police will be doing this, but if you are able, it might be advised to cover the basics yourself.
You will need to be able to access the information in the days ahead as well as any police reports, medical records, and insurance carrier communication.
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Q: Who may be held responsible?
A: It is possible that the motor vehicle operator or biker could be held responsible. If public or private property where the collision occurred was in a dangerous condition, the property owner could be held responsible. In the case of a defective motorcycle, the manufacturer, tire maker, or service shop could be the responsible party. Filing a lawsuit will allow you and your attorney to investigate fully any wrongful or negligent conduct that may have contributed to the death or injury on the road. Without a lawsuit, you must rely on the honesty of the other side and their willingness to be forthcoming about their fault. We find that rarely happens.
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Q: What can I recover in Florida?
A: When you file a Florida motorcycle accident lawsuit, you have the power to investigate and conduct interviews. The other side must show up if they are deposed and they must bring relevant documents. A well-fought lawsuit can bring you compensation for your medical care, property damage, loss of income, and pain and suffering. A substantial recovery is much more likely if you have a Florida personal injury attorney on your side.
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Q: How much do you charge for this service?
A: The best thing about hiring a personal injury attorney is that they work on something called a contingency. That means you have no out-of-pocket cost. When the law firm wins compensation for your injury, they retain a percentage as compensation for their hours invested in your case, investigator time, and experts retained. If your case is lost, the law firm loses too and does not receive any compensation.
We find that even if you do not have insurance, we can still hold a negligent party at-fault if they caused your injuries or a loved one’s death.
We frequently find that bikers need the help of an attorney because of the bias most people exhibit against the motorcyclist. The assumption is they must be at fault because of the few who ride recklessly. We realize that is most often not the case and the motorist may be at fault, but you need an advocate to make and prove your case.
Only a proper examination of the facts can show the truth.
At Farah & Farah, our lawyers have taken those cases to court and won several large verdicts and settlements on behalf of motorcycle victims and their families. Whether in a court of law or through direct negotiations with insurance companies, we represent your interests to the fullest extent possible. Call (904) 263-4610 today to discuss your claim.
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