If you have fallen victim to a serious motorcycle accident, your first priority should be getting better and recovering from your injuries. This is especially true if you have suffered serious injuries in your accident, such as fractures, broken bones, or a traumatic brain injury. If you are not sure whether or not you have been seriously injured, it is usually best to get checked out and to undergo an MRI or x-ray.
The Clearwater personal injury lawyers at Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA understand that motorcycle accident can bring about serious injuries and damages. Our knowledgeable team of attorneys may be able to assist you with maximizing the value of your case and can pursue the compensation you deserve.
Seeking Emergency Medical Care and Treatment
As soon as you are involved in a motorcycle accident as an operator or passenger, you should first call 9-1-1 if you are able to do so. If you are unable to call 9-1-1, you should ask someone else to call for you. You should also exchange insurance information with the other involved drivers if you are able to do so.
Also, if you have the chance to speak with a police officer or on-scene investigator, you should tell him or her what you remember about the accident, as well as the pain and symptoms you are experiencing. You should then travel directly from the accident scene to a nearby emergency room or urgent care facility via ambulance.
While at the emergency room, you should be very clear about all of the pain and symptoms you are experiencing and be sure to follow through with any follow-up treatment recommendations.
Medical Treatment after the Emergency Room
Injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident can be serious and potentially permanent.These injuries and damages may take the form of concussions and other traumatic brain injuries, soft tissue injuries (including muscular tears, sprains, and strains), fractures, broken bones, paralysis and spinal cord injuries, emotional distress, and mental anguish. Consequently, an initial emergency room visit may not be sufficient to correct the injury or other medical problem caused by the accident.
Many times, emergency room doctors will make future treatment recommendations. In some cases, the ER doctor will recommend that the accident victim visits a primary care doctor, begin a physical therapy regimen, or follow up with a specialist, such as an orthopedist or neurologist. If that is the case, you should be sure to do so. When you are seeking follow-up treatment, try to avoid lengthy gaps and to attend all medical and physical therapy appointments on time. You should also make sure that you stay for the entire treatment session. Finally, you should not discharge yourself from a medical or physical therapy facility.
While you are being treated for your injuries in the aftermath of a motorcycle accident, keep detailed records of all of your medical treatment and bills, as this information may become important later in the event of a dispute. It is also a good idea to keep a detailed journal of how your injuries affect your daily living activities during the time that you are undergoing treatment.
Reporting a Claim to Your Insurance Company
Regardless of whether or not you have sustained injuries in your accident, you should always file a claim with your insurance company. Because Florida is a no-fault state, your own Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage should cover all of your medical bills and lost wages up to $10,000—the state mandatory minimum. If your medical bills or lost wages exceed $10,000—or if you sustained a permanent injury in your motorcycle accident—you may be able to file a lawsuit directly against the at-fault driver or owner.
Potentially Responsible Parties in a Motorcycle Accident Case
If you are eligible to file a lawsuit in your motorcycle accident case, you may be able to name the motorcycle operator for driving in a negligent manner, such as by speeding or operating the motorcycle in an erratic manner. Motorcycle passengers may also be able to sue other negligent motor vehicle drivers who caused or contributed to the collision.
Motorcycle operators—as well as other motor vehicle drivers—owe a duty to operate their vehicles in a reasonably safe, careful, and prudent manner at all times while on the roadway. As part of this duty, they are required to abide by all traffic laws, regulations, and rules of the road.
Moreover, if you believe that the accident was caused by a defective road condition, you may be able to file suit against a construction company, Florida city, or county. The basis for the lawsuit would be the municipality's failure to properly maintain the roadway—or to correct a hazardous roadway condition within a certain period of time.
Settling and Litigating a Personal Injury Motorcycle Accident Case
If you have a valid legal claim against another motor vehicle driver, you may be able to negotiate a favorable settlement offer with the at-fault driver's insurance company. If you cannot reach a favorable settlement offer, then you may have to file a lawsuit. Just because you file a lawsuit does not necessarily mean that your motorcycle accident case will go to trial. In fact, a personal injury case can settle right up until the day of trial.
Insurance companies and their adjusters will do everything in their power to try and limit their exposure in a motorcycle accident case. This is especially true if the accident victim is alleging permanent damages or an inability to work for a lengthy period of time. Expert testimony from medical specialists and vocational rehabilitation experts can be extremely helpful when it comes to proving permanency, lost wages, and lost earning capacity in these cases.
Contact a Clearwater, Florida Motorcycle Accident LawyerToday for an Initial Consultation and Case Evaluation
The Clearwater motorcycle accident lawyers at Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA understand the hardships facing motorcycle accident victims. Our experienced team of attorneys can handle the legal end of your case, allowing you the time you need to get better.
To schedule a free consultation and case evaluation with a Clearwater motorcycle accident lawyer, please call us at 727-451-6500 or contact us online.Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA 800 North Belcher Road Clearwater, FL 33765 727-451-6900