Immediate and Life-Long Motorcycle Accident Expenses
Motorcycles are a common sight throughout Florida as they travel along the state’s highways and city streets. The freedom of the open road, along with the Florida sunshine, makes riding a truly enjoyable experience. But when another driver fails to share the road and causes a motorcyclist to crash, the rider’s resulting injuries are often catastrophic and expensive. Many traumatic motorcycle accident injuries require a lifetime of care. If this has happened to you or someone you love, consider discussing your case with a motorcycle accident lawyer today.
Common Injuries From a Motorcycle Crash
Motorcycles do not provide the level of protection that cars do with their seatbelts, airbags, and crumple zones. The impact of a car colliding into a motorcycle typically results in the rider being thrown from their bike. No matter how much protective gear a rider wears, there is little between them and the unforgiving, hard surface they land on, such as the pavement or another vehicle. The following injuries are two of the most catastrophic—and costly—injuries that frequently result from motorcycle crashes:
Traumatic Brain Injuries
Florida law allows riders age 21 and older to ride without a helmet. These riders must prove they carry a minimum of $10,000 in medical insurance coverage, and are at serious risk of experiencing a traumatic brain injury (TBI). For those who choose to wear a helmet, a TBI is still very possible.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) define a TBI as a bump, blow, jolt, or penetrating head injury that disrupts normal brain function. Patients with severe TBIs often face issues with the following:
- Cognitive function: memory, thinking.
- Motor function: balance, muscle weakness.
- Sensation: Hearing, vision, taste, touch.
- Behavioral and emotional changes: anger, depression.
Providing proper care for a patient with a TBI is often more than their family members can handle alone. These patients typically require a skilled nursing home facility like a nursing home. The average costs for such a facility range from $8,000 to more than $9,000 per month.
The on-going costs of treatment for a brain injury patient can easily escalate into the millions of dollars each year. Patients suffering from a TBI are often unable to return to the careers they once enjoyed, leaving them financially dependant upon others. TBI patients deal with frequent rehospitalizations, and 29 percent of patients with a severe TBI struggle with drug and alcohol abuse.
The changes in a TBI victim’s behavior and emotions are especially hard for family members to witness. It is emotionally devastating to watch someone who once had a carefree demeanor suddenly become prone to violent outbursts.
Not wearing a helmet is legal in Florida, but severe TBI costs far exceed common medical care coverage. Exploring your options for pursuing litigation against those liable for your loved one’s injuries requires securing legal representation.
Spinal Cord Injuries
The spinal cord performs an important function in sending and receiving communication to and from the brain. When a person’s spinal cord becomes damaged, their life is never the same. Riding a motorcycle is something they may never do again due to paralysis.
Among the costs associated with such an injury are power chairs for mobility and home modifications. Vehicles must also undergo modification for accessibility. Specially designed vehicles for the disabled range in cost from $20,000-$80,000, while the average costs of a kitchen renovation for accessibility purposes can cost as much as $30,000 to $50,000.
A spinal cord injury is either complete or incomplete. With a complete injury, the victim has no sensation or feeling below the injury point. An incomplete injury means the victim has limited sensation and mobility below the injury point. In either case, patients often require assistance with daily tasks. A spinal cord injury changes their way of life in such a way that many who suffer from this type of injury deal with depression and anger.
Physical and other types of therapy are often necessary to keep a paralyzed person’s muscles from atrophying. The patient may also require rehospitalization for such issues as pneumonia or other complications. A spinal cord injury victim’s constant need for medical care and equipment can financially drain their family. According to the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation, the lifetime costs associated with a spinal cord injury can reach into the millions of dollars each year.
Other types of serious injuries that can result from a motorcycle accident include burns, road rash, broken bones, and internal injuries. Experiencing serious injuries in a motorcycle accident can compound any existing medical issues. New doctors, tests, and treatments add to your existing medical schedule. While most people enjoy good health, existing back pain is just one example of something that can become worse from a motorcycle accident.
Insurance companies will sometimes try to get out of paying your medical bills by citing your pre-existing conditions. A personal injury attorney knows how to handle this tactic and can hold them accountable for your newly acquired injuries and pain.
When the reckless actions of another person result in serious harm to you or your loved one, you have options. The most important thing to keep in mind is your financial future. If your injury is so severe that you are unable to return to work, the stress of your medical bills and lost wages can be overwhelming.
Take control of your future by discussing your case with a personal injury attorney. No one should pay out-of-pocket for injuries caused bcy another person’s negligence. Your loss of future earnings and potential medical expenses are something a highly skilled attorney can fight for on your behalf.
Loss of Income
A serious injury from a motorcycle accident brings life as you know it to a halt. But while your employment may stop due to your injuries, your bills won’t stop. In fact, your bills only increase. Worrying about how to pay them can prevent your body from resting and delay the healing process.
Perhaps you received training in your field or worked hard to earn a degree for a specific career. When a drunk or distracted driver crashes into your motorcycle, you may lose your ability to ever earn a living again.
The loss of income is more than just a loss of money. It can affect your sense of purpose and remove you from your work friendships and contacts. While most people would love to stay home all day, no one wants to have to stay home due to a catastrophic injury. Many patients find mental health counseling helpful during this emotional time.
For patients with a serious injury from a motorcycle accident, the loss of income weighs heavily on their minds. If you face a mountain of medical bills due to another driver’s negligence, learn about your options by reaching out to a personal injury attorney.
How a Personal Injury Attorney Can Help
An initial settlement offer from an insurance company may seem like a great opportunity for you and your family. The truth is that most insurance representatives want to settle cases quickly and for the least amount of money possible. The first offer is often their lowest because their interest is in protecting the company and not you.
If an insurance representative tries to contact you, do not respond. It is in your best interest to talk with an attorney instead. Most personal injury attorneys are well aware of the tactics aggressive insurance companies use to get accident victims to sign documents.
But aggressiveness isn’t limited to insurance companies. The right personal injury attorney will aggressively fight for the financial compensation you deserve. If they are unable to reach a fair settlement, they should be unafraid to go to trial. And while aggressive on your behalf, the right attorney is also compassionate toward their clients. Their experience dealing with personal injury cases should provide them with a certain level of understanding about the difficult circumstances that result from motorcycle accidents.
Once you trust your case to a personal injury attorney, most attorneys are good about keeping the lines of communication open. You never have to wonder about the status of your case.
An experienced personal injury attorney will bring a unique perspective to your case. They understand Florida law and how it applies to cases involving negligence. Navigating the case on your own or trying to negotiate with the insurance company by yourself is not a good idea. The insurance companies have more experience and the results will leave you feeling disappointed.
Medical costs continue to climb throughout the nation. Planning for your anticipated medical needs is something that the insurance company won’t do, and that’s why securing legal representation is a smart idea.
A serious motorcycle accident changes your life, and you must stand firm in protecting your future medical and personal needs. Demand accountability and fight for the justice you deserve.
Important Steps After Your Motorcycle Accident
Always seek immediate medical attention following a motorbike accident, even if you feel fine. A concussion or TBI can result in delayed symptoms. Don’t let a lack of outward, physical symptoms fool you. Err on the side of caution and accept medical transport to a hospital.
Collect as much evidence at the scene as possible. If you are physically unable to do so, ask a witness to assist you. Video, photographs, and witnesses’ contact information is helpful should you pursue a personal injury claim.
Provide a statement to law enforcement. Your statement can support your evidence and serve as an official record of the accident. The officer will determine the official cause of the accident so be careful to state what you know and not what you think happened. Simply state the facts as you remember them. Do not speak with the other driver. Protect your best interests by remaining calm and cooperative with first responders.
Understand that your motorcycle is replaceable. While that particular bike was special, should you heal enough to ride again, a new bike will likely become special, too.
If your injuries are such that you may never ride again, protect your medical future by fighting for financial compensation.
Take control of your future by discussing your case with a personal injury attorney. No one should pay out-of-pocket for injuries caused by another person’s negligence. Your loss of future earnings and potential medical expenses are something a highly skilled attorney can fight for on your behalf.
Be Proactive and Patient
Contacting an attorney as soon as possible is important. The statute of limitations in Florida allows an accident victim four years in which to file litigation. While this may seem like a long time, it will pass quickly.
Gather all your evidence and learn more about how an attorney can assist you in your case. You have nothing to lose by letting an attorney review your evidence.
Some personal injury cases never go to trial and are settled out-of-court. If the case does go to trial, most do not require four years to come to completion. Hesitancy is not your friend during this difficult time. Securing the services of an experienced personal injury attorney means they can handle the details while you focus on healing and on your family.
Negotiations and litigation take time. The opportunity to reach a fair settlement is too important to rush. While you may feel tempted to give in to the initial settlement offer, do not sign anything. Be proactive by taking your case to an attorney for review and then be patient as you wait to learn about the results.
Patience is also an important requirement for your healing, your relationships, and your mental health. Unfortunately, there is no quick fix for a serious injury such as a TBI or a spinal cord injury. Adapting to a new way of life is possible and medical advances continue to improve the quality of life for many trauma patients.
Protect your right to quality medical care and financial security by reaching out to an attorney without delay. Taking the first step by making the call can ease your mind and put you are on the right path for a brighter future.
Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33765