If you’ve been injured in a motorcycle accident you believe occurred through no fault of your own, it’s only natural to wonder how much compensation you may be able to receive for the damages you’ve incurred. There are not only a lot of different ways in which an accident can take place. There are also a lot of factors that will go into determining how much money you may be entitled to.
This is a very complex area of the law, one that requires the help of an attorney who knows how to represent motorcycle riders. At The Eberst Law Firm, we have a team of attorneys with a great deal of experience representing motorcyclists. We’ll do everything we can to make sure your rights are represented at all times, and also to make sure those responsible for your suffering are held accountable.
If you would like a free consultation, please contact us online or give us a call at 888-CALL-JON as soon as you can. We’ll listen to the details of your case, and let you know how we may be able to help.
Motorcycle Bias and How it Could Affect Your Case
Unfortunately, there’s a lot of misinformed bias when it comes to motorcyclists. Much of this bias is due to the negative stereotypes reinforced by TV shows, movies, and other types of media. They often depict riders as adrenaline junkies or daredevils who couldn’t care less about other people on the road.
As a result, a lot of people see riders as being reckless. This could wind up hurting the case of a motorcyclist who has suffered an injury due to someone else’s negligence. There are a lot of ways this bias could hurt – namely, police, jury and insurance company bias. Here’s a closer look at each.
A police officer will show up whenever any sort of vehicular accident occurs. Especially if a witness or accident victim reports it by calling 911.
The problem with this is that, in far too many instances, an officer will automatically assume the motorcyclist is at fault. This can do a lot of damage to a rider’s personal injury case. Even if the driver of the car or truck involved in the accident was to blame, the officer will state it was the motorcyclist in the police report.
The good news is that an effective attorney will be able to point out that bias. And to show that the injured motorcyclist was, in fact, not at fault. Experienced attorneys will be able to uncover other evidence – such as videos, photographs, witness statements and more – supporting the rider’s claim that another party’s negligence led to the accident.
If your case goes to court, there’s a chance that the jury might not have any idea of how motorcycles work. They know about cars and trucks, but nothing about motorcycles. This could wind up hurting your case. For example, an accident may have occurred as you were making a turn. A jury might say the accident was your fault because you sped up before turning. They don’t know that’s simply how motorcycles work. Riders have to speed up in order to safely make a turn.
However, a motorcycle accident attorney will be able to educate the jury and fight that bias.
Bias From an Insurance Company
You should never try to get by with the least amount of motorcycle insurance. However, the fact is that even if you have the right kind of policy, that doesn’t mean your insurer will pay what your claim is worth.
Insurance companies are well aware of the biases against motorcycle riders, and they will often use that against riders who have been hurt. They can often get away with this tactic, because inexperienced attorneys supposedly “representing” those riders might have the same kinds of bias.
An insurance company will often claim that the motorcyclist chose to undertake this “risky” behavior. And therefore isn’t entitled to as much money as a result. But this argument will often crumble when challenged by an experienced motorcycle attorney.
The Severity of Your Injuries
Motorcyclists will often suffer more extensive injuries than someone in a truck or a car. They’re at a higher risk of suffering direct forces of a collision because they’re not protected by any sort of frame, like the driver of a four-wheeled vehicle.
In general, the more severe the injury, the more compensation a motorcyclist will receive if someone else is found to be at fault for an accident. If you suffered several broken bones, for instance, you are likely to receive more money than if you sustained sprained muscles or minor lacerations.
Who Was Liable for the Accident?
Florida follows what is known as the “pure comparative negligence” law, a method of assigning blame in an accident. This law will have a major impact on how much compensation you may be able to receive.
This basically means that you may have to share fault for the accident. If you were found to be 20 percent at fault, that means your compensation will be reduced by 20 percent. Instead of getting, for instance, $100,000, you would instead get $80,000 ($100,000-$20,000). However, there’s a chance the other party could file a counterclaim, costing you more money.
An attorney can tell you more about what your potential liability may be, and how you can maximize the amount of money you recover.
Your Cumulative Damages
The amount of your damages, or the expenses you’ve incurred due to the accident, will also play a role in your compensation. This could include the cost to replace your bike if it’s considered to be a total loss. Other damages include:
- current medical bills
- future medical bills if you need treatment for an extended period of time
- lost wages
- lost earning capacity
- pain and suffering
- and more
Contact an Attorney to Get the Most for Your Case
As you can see, the deck is often stacked against motorcyclists who’ve been injured in an accident. The best way to even your odds will be to hire an attorney who has a track record of helping protect the rights of riders, and of helping them obtain the money they deserve. The Eberst Law Firm has that track record.