Motorcyclists face risks on the road that others do not. That shouldn’t be the case, but the fact is, motorists too-often fail to see, yield for, or give road space to riders on motorcycles and similar two-wheeled vehicles. We’ve all seen news stories of motorcycle accidents in the Sarasota area, and we know how they often turn out: The biker takes the brunt of the impact, resulting in severe injuries and, sometimes even death.
Under Florida law, motorcyclists have the same rights to use the road as any other vehicle, with very few exceptions. However, more often than not, in a collision between a motorcycle and a car or truck, fault lies with the driver of the larger vehicle who does not see or take care to avoid a motorcyclist. Motorcycle riders and passengers injured in an accident caused by a careless driver have rights to compensation in Florida.
We can help them recover that compensation.
If you have suffered a serious injury or tragic loss of life in a Florida motorcycle accident, contact the experienced Sarasota motorcycle accident injury attorneys at Sibley Dolman and Dolman Law Group. We serve the Sarasota area, and have helped many injured motorcyclists just like you recover the compensation they deserve.
About Sibley Dolman and Dolman Law Group
On the east to west coasts of Florida and everywhere in-between, injured motorcyclists who need legal help can trust in Sibley Dolman and Dolman Law Group to have their backs. We are a group of lawyers, paralegals, and case management specialists who work only for people injured through no fault of their own. We have recovered millions and millions of dollars in compensation for our clients. In one recent case, we obtained a $750,000 resolution for a client who sustained serious injuries in a motorcycle accident. While past results are no guarantee of future outcomes, our track record of success speaks for itself.
Clients of Sibley Dolman and Dolman Law Group get the best of both worlds: a law firm with the resources and experience to go toe-to-toe in and out of court with the most powerful insurance companies and defendants, but with the personal touch and attention to client needs typical of firms much smaller in size. Our clients sing our praises for how we make them feel like part of the family and respond to their needs. We’ve received awards and accolades from our peers in the legal world, but it’s those compliments from our clients that mean the most to us. Our mission as a firm is to fight, day in, day out, to protect and advance the rights of injured Floridians.
Legal Services for Victims of Sarasota Motorcycle Accidents
Motorcycle accidents inflict serious damage on motorcyclists and their families. To some degree, motorcyclists know they take a risk riding a vehicle that does not offer much in the way of crash protection. But, just because the risks are higher in an accident involving a motorcycle doesn’t mean motorcyclists ask to get injured. If anything, drivers of other vehicles should take extra care when they see a motorcycle on the road. Unfortunately, they often do the opposite.
As lawyers for victims of motorcycle accidents, we view our jobs as both seeking justice and accountability for a motorcycle accident, and in so doing, making the roads safer for other bikers. Here are some of the tasks we routinely perform in the course of representing a motorcycle accident victim.
Motorcycle Accident and Injury Investigation
As soon as a new client harmed by a motorcycle accident hires us, we get to work investigating every aspect of the accident and the injuries or losses our client suffered. The sooner we can get started on this investigation, the better, because it involves chasing down and identifying a potentially wide range of evidence and legal issues. For instance:
- We collect evidence about how the accident happened from every source we can get our hands on. That usually includes our client’s memories (if available), police reports, eyewitness accounts, and physical evidence gathered at the accident scene. We always hope the motorcycle itself is still available to be analyzed. We encourage our clients not to get their bike repaired after an accident, but instead to set it aside and in a safe place until an expert in accident reconstruction and/or motorcycle mechanic has had the chance to inspect it and identify any clues it might hold to how the accident happened.
- We identify parties involved in the accident who could have legal liability to our client. In motorcycle accidents involving a collision between our client’s bike and a motor vehicle, this is fairly straightforward – the parties are usually just our client and the driver of the other vehicle. But, sometimes, we have to look deeper to identify other parties who might have had a role in causing the accident. These can include individuals and entities as varied as the employer of the other driver, car and bike mechanics, government road agencies, and even anyone whose actions led to the driver being unable to see or stop for the motorcycle (such as a restaurant that over-served the driver, or a doctor who prescribed medication with dangerous side-effects).
- We explore the resources the parties with potential liability to our client have with which to pay damages. This may include searching for insurance policies that cover the accident, or investigating whether any of the parties have sufficient assets to pay damages out of their own pockets.
- We analyze injuries and losses to our client, to make sure we have a clear and accurate picture of how much time, effort, and money it will take for our client to recover from the accident. This is a crucially important step, and one that requires familiarity with the kinds of injuries motorcyclists can incur in an accident, such as spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injury, and severe soft tissue and organ damage. Sometimes, we work with medical and financial experts to help us understand the extent of our clients’ physical injuries and the financial costs. Our goal is to determine exactly how much money our clients need to support them in their recovery (including for medical costs, long-term care, and to compensate for pain and suffering), and to collect the evidence to justify that calculation to anyone who needs us to prove our case.
These are just some of the many services our lawyers, paralegals, and case managers provide. At Sibley Dolman and Dolman Law Group, we go the extra mile to make sure to understand and respond to the needs of clients who are usually going through a very difficult time.
Negotiation With Insurance Companies and Opposing Parties
Once the team at Sibley Dolman and Dolman Law Group builds its case for damages due to an injured motorcyclist, we usually demand payment from the parties who have legal liability to our client and their insurers. Unlike in auto accident cases, motorcyclists are not required to carry personal injury protection insurance in Florida, and thus will often not have the obligation to seek compensation from their own insurance company before demanding money from the party at fault. But, that’s not always the case. In the case we mentioned above, for instance, we made a demand on an uninsured motorist policy carried by our client.
Demands usually lead to negotiations. In fact, negotiating fair and appropriate settlements constitutes one of the most critical services we provide our motorcycle accident clients. The lawyers at Sibley Dolman and Dolman Law Group consider themselves expert negotiators for two reasons: we have years of experience doing it, and we always walk into a negotiation in a position of strength. We routinely out-prepare the parties on the “other side” of the negotiating table, and we’re always ready to walk away and take our clients’ cases to trial. By negotiating from positions of strength, we are frequently able to convince insurance companies to pay our clients the policy maximums, and to convince defendants with assets and big bank accounts to write big checks.
Trying Cases to Florida Judges and Juries
As we said, one of the key reasons we have such a strong track record of success for our clients at Sibley Dolman and Dolman Law Group is that we aren’t afraid to go to court and fight for what’s right and fair. Unlike some personal injury lawyers who push their clients to take a fast settlement because they’re secretly terrified of setting foot in a courtroom, our team is ready to go to trial anytime, anyplace. Insurance companies and opposing lawyers know we have a well-deserved reputation as tough, articulate trial lawyers who can convince juries to award maximum damages.
We’re also successful because we’re not afraid to take on difficult cases that other lawyers might shy away from. Motorcycle accident cases have a reputation for being relatively difficult to win because juries (many of whom aren’t bikers) don’t give motorcyclists the same respect they give to drivers of four-wheeled vehicles. As seasoned litigators and good communicators, we know how to bring a jury around to the point of view of motorcyclists and their families, and to make them understand why our clients deserve the same respect, and same compensation, as anyone else injured in a motor vehicle accident.
Key Steps After a Sarasota Motorcycle Accident
In the immediate aftermath of a Sarasota motorcycle accident, the injured biker and the biker’s family often find themselves and their lives in total disarray. They suddenly have to deal with unexpected hospitalizations, time off from work, a heap of medical bills, and tormenting worry about whether their lives will ever get back to “normal.”
For the reasons discussed below, we encourage those folks to come see us as soon as possible. But, in the meantime, here are two pieces of advice we’d given anyone in their position.
- First piece of advice: make sure you take care of yourselves physically and emotionally. That means getting all medical and mental health care you have access to through your work, insurance, or other resources. Your health and wellbeing are more important to us than anything else. We want you in the best condition possible to hear and understand our advice, make good decisions, and participate in your case as much as you are able. We also want you to take the steps necessary for us to be able to show a judge and jury, if need be, what you needed (and still need) to do in order to recover.
- Second piece of advice: don’t trust insurance companies. Depending on the type of insurance coverage you carry, you may have to report the accident and your injuries to your own insurance company, and that’s usually fine. But BEWARE. Insurance companies may seem friendly, but they often want to avoid paying you the money you deserve. Be ESPECIALLY careful of insurance companies representing the interests of the other driver or some other party involved in the accident. If they come to you offering a “quick” settlement, that’s usually a sign they owe you a lot more money than they are offering. DO NOT SIGN OR AGREE TO ANYTHING before speaking with a lawyer.
Hire an Experienced Sarasota Motorcycle Accident Attorney Today
Don’t wait to speak with an attorney about the injuries and losses you suffered in a Sarasota-area motorcycle accident. The sooner you get an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer involved helping you, the better your chances of achieving a maximum recovery of damages. The longer you wait, the higher the risk of evidence and witnesses going missing, of insurance companies and juries not taking your claim seriously, and of the clock running out on your legal rights.
If you suffered serious injury or a tragic loss in a motorcycle accident in the Sarasota area, contact the skilled, committed attorneys at Sibley Dolman and Dolman Law Group right away. An initial case consultation with our team is always free and confidential. If you decide to hire us, we take our cases on a contingent fee basis in which our client pays no money to us up front, and we only get paid if our client gets paid. With offices across both Florida coasts, you can easily reach Dolman Law Group and Sibley Dolman at 833-552-7274 (833-55-CRASH).
Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA – Sarasota Office