How Long Does a Motorcycle Accident Lawsuit Take?

August 5, 2022
How Long Does a Motorcycle Accident Lawsuit Take?

The Length of the Florida Motorcycle Accident Injury Lawsuit Process

Many people have questions about the legal process after they get into a motorcycle accident. For most of our injured clients, the legal process appears complicated and stressful, which makes them hesitant to pursue a claim. Clients frequently ask our legal team about motorcycle accident lawsuit timelines. Accident victims want to know: How long does a motorcycle accident lawsuit take? What factors impact the length of a motorcycle lawsuit? Do you have to bring a motorcycle lawsuit to receive compensation after a motorcycle accident? We've decided to compile answers to the most frequently asked questions we get here. If you've been in a motorcycle accident and are wondering how long a motorcycle accident lawsuit takes, this post covers some of the most important things you should know about a potential motorcycle crash lawsuit. While we have made an effort to be as thorough as possible, we always recommend scheduling an individual consultation with our motorcycle accident attorneys so we can provide advice tailored to your specific situation.

Common Injuries After Motorcycle Accidents

One of the most common driving forces behind motorcycle accident lawsuits are the serious injuries that many riders sustain. It's impossible to ignore a major injury, especially if it causes severe pain and suffering, makes you miss time from work, or leaves you disabled. The kinds of injuries a victim sustains in a motorcycle accident influence how long a motorcycle accident lawsuit takes. Generally, the more severe the injuries, the longer the case takes. This is because people who are more severely injured often incur higher damages, like medical bills, lost wages, and mental anguish. They also typically take longer to recover. This can delay the process as it is important to have a clear picture of the extent of a motorcycle accident victim's injuries to know what to ask for in a motorcycle accident injury claim.

Common motorcycle accident injuries include:

  • Traumatic brain injury: A traumatic brain injury (also known as a TBI) can be very dangerous. This type of injury has the potential to cause lifelong complications. If someone may have received a TBI during a motorcycle accident, they must seek medical attention immediately.
  • Spinal cord injury: Most injuries to the spine occur because of compression or pulling during a collision. A spinal cord injury victim may experience spasms, exaggerated reflexes, pain, numbness, paralysis, and other serious symptoms if their spinal cord is injured.
  • Road rash: Road rash injuries generally occur when a rider's skin scrapes across the road surface during an accident. Even people in cars can get road rash—some people are flung from their vehicles and skid along the road during an accident. Road rash is common amongst motorcyclists because people on motorcycles naturally lack the protection that cars' structures offer.
  • Broken bones: Some broken bones “aren't a big deal,” even though they certainly feel like it. You can pursue justice after any bone break in a motorcycle accident, but some broken bones are very severe and can even leave a victim disabled. It's important to understand the nature of your fracture (or fractures) if you've broken a bone in a motorcycle accident.
  • Internal injuries: Internal injuries are especially dangerous because they are impossible to detect with the naked eye. It's one of the reasons why it's so important to seek medical attention right away after a motorcycle accident, even if you think you aren't hurt. These injuries have the potential to cause tremendous damage to your body.

Recoverable Damages in a Motorcycle Accident Lawsuit

The types of damages you pursue may affect how long your motorcycle accident lawsuit takes. Every motorcycle accident is unique. Every motorcycle accident lawsuit is unique, too. We've already said it a thousand times, but we really think it's important. Many people approach the legal process after their accident with expectations about what will happen. The only way to get an idea about how your case may play out is to consult with an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer. The types of damages you choose to pursue after a motorcycle accident can change your case's timeline. Usually, cases with higher damage demands take longer to settle. This isn't always the case, but higher claim values do often necessitate a more thorough investigation.

Examples of damages in a motorcycle accident lawsuit:

  • Medical bills: You may be eligible to recover the costs of past, present, and even projected future medical bills incurred due to your motorcycle accident. Higher medical bills are generally associated with more severe or long-term injuries. When these are involved, a motorcycle accident lawsuit may take longer than one that involves “minor” injuries.
  • Pain and suffering: Many motorcycle accidents cause survivors to experience pain and suffering. These damages depend on how you have been emotionally and physically impacted by your accident.
  • Lost wages: Unfortunately, it's common to miss work after a motorcycle accident. You may need to take time off for a variety of reasons. For example, you may need time to physically recover, attend doctor's appointments, or undergo surgery. You can pursue compensation to account for lost wages in court.
  • Diminished earning capacity: Lost wages are one thing, but diminished earning capacity is a whole other issue. Sometimes, an injured person's ability to earn money is permanently diminished after their motorcycle accident.
  • Loss of enjoyment of life: No one deserves to feel that their enjoyment of life has been taken from them. An injury stemming from a motorcycle accident may force you to become reliant on others for everyday tasks or sacrifice a hobby you have invested time, money, and effort in.
  • Disfigurement: Some motorcycle accident injuries lead to disfigurement and scarring. These types of injuries can involve additional pain and suffering, extended recovery time from follow-up surgeries, and loss of confidence.
  • Disability: If your motorcycle accident caused a type of disability, you can pursue damages to account for this impact on your life. No monetary sum could ever make up for a disability, but the American justice system works to provide accident survivors impacted by disability with some financial relief.

Severe Injuries May Require More Time For Evaluation of Damages and Treatment

When people are hurt in motorcycle accidents, their resulting injuries are often much worse than they would have been if they had been in a traditional car accident. This is because motorcycles do not provide riders with the same protections as most passenger vehicles. They are not enclosed, they don't have safety features like seatbelts and airbags, and they can easily tip over on the road. Often, more severe injuries lead to a longer personal injury lawsuit process. This isn't some sort of punishment for severe accident survivors. It's true for two reasons:
  • It's best to begin legal proceedings once accident survivors have made something close to a full physical recovery as they can, given their injuries. This helps their physical health and makes it easier to total costs and predict future medical bills.
  • The more catastrophic someone's injuries, the more expensive it generally is to treat them. And the higher the monetary damages in a case, the longer the case is likely to take.

Certain Injuries Can Make a Motorcycle Accident Lawsuit Take Longer

The types of injuries that a person sustains during a motorcycle accident can impact how long their case takes to move through the court system. Some injuries are traditionally associated with expensive recoveries or long rehabilitation periods, such as:
  • Certain bone fractures: Some bone fractures are not considered severe (although they certainly feel severe when they happen to you and impact your life). Others, like those that break the skin or occur in numerous places, are very medically serious. These types of breaks may take quite some time to heal and can require expensive surgeries and extensive rehabilitative therapy.
  • Traumatic brain injuries: Traumatic brain injuries are serious and have the potential for permanent consequences that can change the victim's life forever. Depending on the brain injury, the victim may need long-term or even life-long care after the accident.
  • Spinal cord injuries: Spinal cord injuries are extremely painful and can be very expensive to treat. They often require repeat and extensive treatments and victims often do not make a full recovery.
  • Injuries causing scarring, disfigurement, or disability: If an injury is severe enough to cause disfigurement or scarring, there's a high potential that it will take a long time to heal. Injuries that cause disability may require months (or years) worth of rehabilitation before legal proceedings are possible.

The Steps in a Motorcycle Accident Lawsuit

After a Motorcycle Accident, Find Qualified Motorcycle Accident Lawyers

It takes legal professionals years (sometimes even decades) to thoroughly learn about specific areas of law. The reason most people head into insurance settlements or court negotiations with a personal injury lawyer is that they're a big help. You can make appointments with several local motorcycle accident attorneys to find the one that's best for your case. They'll all ask you questions about what happened, how you were impacted by your accident, and how you think you may want to proceed with the legal process. Then, you can ask questions about your case's potential value and how that law firm would approach it. How do I know if I don't need a lawyer after my motorcycle accident? You probably do, but these factors make it clear a victim really should work with an attorney:
  • People who have had to miss more than a handful of days of work because of an accident.
  • People who have sustained broken bones, traumatic brain injuries, spinal injuries, and other similarly serious injuries.
  • People with bills of more than a few thousand dollars accruing due to their accident.

The Investigation and Negotiation Stages of A Motorcycle Accident Lawsuit Are Critical

The motorcycle accident attorney you decide to work with will review your case and investigate what happened. This is one of the primary benefits of working with a personal injury lawyer. They use every tool at their disposal to help determine and prove what happened to cause you harm. Motorcycle accident attorneys need to gather evidence concerning everything about an accident, from the fact that it caused your injury to the fact that the guilty party caused it. During this stage of the legal process...
  • Your lawyer will ask you about what happened during the accident.
  • You will share documentation and evidence that you have with your lawyer.
  • Your lawyer will determine your potential lawsuit's validity.
Negotiation allows you to make demands. Once you enter the negotiation phase, you can actually demand the damages you deserve. Many motorcycle accident survivors and their lawyers see success with cases during the negotiation phase and most cases settle outside of court. If you have hired a motorcycle accident attorney, they can be in communication with the other party's insurance company or their representative to negotiate and make demands.

If Negotiations Are at an Impasse, You May File a Motorcycle Accident Lawsuit

In some cases, negotiations don't result in a fair settlement. If you decide to move forward in the legal process and begin a motorcycle accident lawsuit, your personal injury lawyer will help. Motorcycle accident lawsuits involve several steps. At the beginning of the process is the discovery stage of your motorcycle accident lawsuit. The trial discovery stage allows both sides in a lawsuit to question each other and collect documentation and evidence. Both your personal injury attorney and the defendant's attorney may speak to witnesses, bring in experts, and more. Some legal teams come to an agreement at this point. In other cases, a mediator is required to try to help settle the case out of court.

Some Motorcycle Accident Lawsuits Are Resolved in Court

Mediation is not always successful. If mediation doesn't solve the issues in your case, it may be time to go to trial. This involves your motorcycle accident attorney making your case in front of a judge or jury, and the trial can last anywhere from a day to months. Insurance companies typically want to settle before trial to avoid the publicity and expense of going to trial. However, sometimes it is necessary to escalate a motorcycle accident lawsuit to trial when negotiations stall. If you need to go to trial to recover your damages, you don't want to be stuck with a personal injury lawyer who is unprepared.

Three Things You Should Know About Motorcycle Accidents

People on motorcycles are at greater risk than people in cars. When someone is riding a motorcycle, they're at more risk on the road than someone riding in a car. This is true for several reasons. Motorcycles are small and not highly visible in general; if conditions make visibility even worse, motorcyclists face even more danger. Motorcyclists also don't have the same protections afforded to them as car passengers do. No walls surround you when you're on a motorcycle. No seatbelts or airbags protect you, either. Just because motorcycles aren't as safe as cars, doesn't mean you're at fault for your accident. The fact that motorcycles present more risk than cars doesn't mean that motorcycle accident survivors are automatically at fault for the crash. Other vehicle drivers still have a responsibility to never behave recklessly or negligently. If someone else's careless actions cause a motorcycle accident, the motorcycle driver is not at fault. You can potentially recover some of your damages in a motorcycle accident lawsuit even if you weren't wearing a helmet. First of all, Florida does not have a mandatory helmet law for those over 16, although helmets have been proven to reduce the risk of severe head injury or death. Second, Florida abides by a pure comparative negligence standard. This means that you may still recover a part of your settlement after your fault contribution has been calculated and deducted.

Why Should I Choose Dolman Law Group to Represent Me in a Motorcycle Accident Lawsuit?

Dolman Law Group has a long history of successfully recovering compensation for our clients that have been severely harmed in motorcycle accidents. Our motorcycle accident lawyers will negotiate for the true value of your damages. Recently, our motorcycle accident attorneys have recovered settlements for:
  • 1.4 million dollar settlement in a motorcycle accident with multiple serious injuries
  • 1 million dollar settlement for a motorcyclist with a TBI
  • 750 thousand dollar settlement for a motorcyclist with a Subdural Hematoma and Rotator Cuff shoulder injury
Our motorcycle accident attorneys can provide not just the resources and expertise of a larger firm, but also the personal attention and communication one might expect from a smaller firm. We have worked meticulously to build a reputation as formidable advocates while earning our clients' respect. In fact, clients often choose Dolman Law Group to represent them based on a recommendation from a friend.

Contact Dolman Law Group For Help With Your Motorcycle Accident Lawsuit

If you have been seriously injured in a motorcycle accident caused by someone else's negligence, you need a trustworthy motorcycle accident attorney to guide you through the process of filing a claim. Dolman Law Group has a hard-earned reputation for providing excellent legal service to injured clients. We have over a decade of experience negotiating to ensure that our clients receive settlements that cover their physical, emotional, and financial losses. Our team has stood up to powerful insurance companies who were primarily interested in protecting their profits. Dolman Law Group's motorcycle accident lawyers will advocate for you in negotiations and in court until we emerge with a fair settlement. Remember, when it comes to your motorcycle accident lawsuit, every case is unique. If you have questions about how long your case may take, bring up your concerns with one of our motorcycle accident attorneys. It's our job to offer you legal support and answer your questions. To set up a free consultation about your motorcycle accident case you can contact Dolman Law's offices at (727) 451-6900 or fill out a contact form online.
Clearwater Office 800 N Belcher Rd Clearwater, FL 33765 (727) 451-6900 https://www.dolmanlaw.com/legal-services/motorcycle-accident-attorneys/

Matthew Dolman

Clearwater Personal Injury and Insurance Attorney

This article was written and reviewed by Matthew Dolman. Matt has been a practicing civil trial, personal injury, products liability, and mass tort lawyer since 2004. He has represented over 11,000 injury victims and has served as lead counsel in over 1000 lawsuits. Matt is a lifetime member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum for resolving individual cases in excess or $1 million and $2 million, respectively. He has also been selected by his colleagues as a Florida Superlawyer and as a member of Florida’s Legal Elite on multiple occasions. Further, Matt has been quoted in the media numerous times and is a sought-after speaker on a variety of legal issues and topics.

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