Perhaps there is no better feeling in the world than to ride, but a motorcycle crash comes with a serious risk. If you’ve been in an accident while riding a motorcycle, filing a claim is often one of the first steps to financial recovery.
However, an auto insurance claim may not guarantee full compensation for motorcycle riders, especially in Florida. Learn more about the process of filing motorcycle accident claims in Florida and how settlement amounts are determined.
Determining Settlement Amounts For Motorcycle Accidents In Florida
While Florida is considered a no-fault state for four-wheeled vehicles (meaning they must carry personal injury protection or “PIP” coverage) these no-fault laws do not apply to motorcyclists.
This means that insurance coverage from one rider to another can differ greatly, and you may find yourself wondering if the damage is covered, or how you will pay for your injuries. When an insurance claim is not enough to cover your damages after an accident, filing a claim to seek damages through a lawsuit may be a better option.
At any point after a legal claim is filed, a settlement can be reached between the parties involved. Settlements represent a type of resolution that is valued by an agreed-upon amount of money paid in order to bring an end to a dispute.
Determining the settlement value of your motorcycle accident claim involves calculating several factors, which include:
- your insurance policy
- who was at fault for the accident
- the severity of the damage to your bike and/or your injuries
All of these factors can vary greatly from one motorcycle accident to another. It’s important to remember that average settlement amounts may not reflect the unique circumstances in your motorcycle accident case and the damages involved.
Every accident brings about a different result. Speaking to an experienced motorcycle accident attorney as soon as possible after the incident is the best way for you to understand what factors are important to your claim and what options are available for recovery.
List Of Damages Awarded In Motorcycle Accident Claims
Special, or economic, damages account for past, present, and future financial losses that you have suffered as a result of the accident.
Economic damages from a motorcycle accident may include:
- current and/or past medical expenses related to treatment after the accident
- expenses related to future medical treatment
- lost wages from being unable to work
- lost or diminished earnings due to an accident-related disability
Special damages may be easier to calculate because they are typically based on exact dollar amounts you have lost, or continue to pay over time.
Non-economic damages stand for more subjective losses, like emotional and physical pain and suffering or discomfort as a result of the accident. These damages cannot be as easily calculated, but still have monetary value based on similar cases.
If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident, the experienced motorcycle accident attorneys at Florin|Roebig can help you discuss your damages and their potential values.
How Florida’s No-Fault Law Affects Motorcycle Accident Settlement Amounts
Unlike car drivers, Florida’s motorcycle riders are not included in the state’s no-fault law requiring PIP insurance. This leaves riders vulnerable after a collision because they are responsible to seek compensation without no-fault reimbursement for medical bills, lost wages, and more.
Further, the state-required minimum bodily injury insurance may not be sufficient to cover damages to the insured rider’s bike and personal injuries. In this case, it is best to consider what legal options are available, including hiring a lawyer to claim damages through the court system.
Fortunately, without the no-fault rules applied, motorcycle riders do not have to show a permanent injury in order to be compensated for pain and suffering. As a result, riders may claim damages for permanent as well as less serious injuries caused by an accident.
Other Factors That Affect Motorcycle Accident Claims
In the aftermath of a motorcycle accident, it is comforting to have an idea of how you will financially solve all the issues related to the crash. Determining the value of your claim for damages is one way to gain that peace of mind, but there are important variables you should be aware of that can increase or decrease the value of compensation.
Severity Of Injury
The impact of a motorcycle accident is different than a car accident, causing unique injuries and property damage that can range anywhere from minor to severe. Typically, more severe injuries and serious damage to property will result in higher claim values.
These circumstances will likely require significant financial and personal losses in the period of recovery. On the other hand, cases involving little to no property damage or injury will likely result in a smaller amount of damages paid.
Who Was At Fault
If you were in a motorcycle accident and the other party was at fault, the law of negligence will likely play a part. Negligence is a failure to act with reasonable care, which can put others at risk of harm, especially on the road.
It is important to remember that if you were also negligent at the time of the accident (say, because you were not following Florida’s motorcycle laws) the amount of your settlement could be reduced. But, finding yourself at fault does not eliminate your chance to make a rightful claim for damages against the other party involved in the accident.
Proving negligence, or fault, on the part of the other party is one of the most important issues in a motorcycle accident case. This is because it validates your claim and shows that their actions are what caused you to suffer injuries and damages. If fault is in question, sometimes a witness’s unbiased testimony about how the accident occurred can settle the issue.
Determining fault can be difficult without help. Experienced attorneys can take all the details of your accident into consideration to give you a good idea of your percentage of fault, if any, for the accident.
Impact Of Loss
Aside from calculating economic damages, one of the most important factors in establishing the value of your claim is providing evidence of how seriously the accident has affected your lifestyle and/or your livelihood.
Generally speaking, the greater the accident’s impact on your life and earning capacity, the greater the value of damages you have suffered. For instance, a motorcycle rider who is extremely active and enjoys outdoor activities and sports but has suffered a permanent injury to their arm will have a more dramatic loss in their “quality of life” than if they were a relatively inactive person before the accident.
If the permanent disability to the motorcycle rider’s arm has lessened their ability to perform their job or has kept them from working altogether, the value of their lost or diminished wages would likely be greater than someone who’s employment was not affected.
How To Get Compensation For A Motorcycle Accident In Florida
If you’re trying to understand the average settlement amount for a motorcycle accident or how to recoup compensation, the best step you can take is to contact an attorney.
The right attorney will review the details of your case, explain what damages to claim, and help you gather details from the accident which will put you in the best position to win your claim.
Gathering Details From The Accident
At the scene of an accident, it is important to take pictures of any crash-related damages and take down the personal details and insurance information of all parties involved.
Before you contact an attorney, it’s a good idea to gather as much information as possible to support your claim. Even if you don’t do this prior to calling, an attorney can guide you on any information you may need to support your case.
Information to keep on record if you plan on filing a claim includes:
- car repairs and car rentals
- medical bills and appointments
- lost wages (such as time needed away from work for treatment)
The more information is kept on-hand relating to injuries and financial losses, the stronger your claim may be, and the better your chances of obtaining a positive result at the conclusion of your case.
Contacting A Motorcycle Accident Attorney
Reaching out to an attorney for help after a motorcycle accident can put you in a position to be advised by a professional on your options and legal rights. An experienced lawyer can help protect you from being taken advantage of in the time after a motorcycle accident when you may be feeling your most vulnerable.
File A Motorcycle Accident Claim To Get The Compensation You Deserve
Even a minor motorcycle accident can be an overwhelming experience, and filing a claim without legal help may add to the stress and confusion. Contact our experienced motorcycle accident attorneys at Florin|Roebig today to help you through the process of filing a claim for compensation.