Miami is a city where nothing ever slows down. Speedboats, sports cars, and 24-hour clubs are the norm. Motorcycles are another example of recreational vehicles that add to the fast-paced atmosphere of Miami. However, if you have the misfortune of getting into a motorcycle accident, your life can slow down pretty quickly.
Knowing what to do after a motorcycle accident in Florida is the key to obtaining maximum compensation. The steps you take after a motorcycle crash will directly impact your claim. When you take the right steps, you can help your lawyer build your case and prove liability.
What happens if you didn’t take these steps or you were too injured to do anything at the time of the accident? It’s never too late to help your case. Contact an experienced motorcycle accident attorney. Your attorney can do the heavy lifting for you so you can focus on your recovery.
If you suffered an injury in a Florida motorcycle accident, you should contact a motorcycle accident attorney to find out what benefits you may be entitled to recover for your losses.
6 Steps To Take After a Florida Motorcycle Crash
A motorcycle accident can happen anywhere in Florida and at any time. Since motorcyclists in Florida are often able to ride year-round, these accidents can happen even in the dead of winter!
Knowing what to do after a motorcycle accident in Florida is really important, especially for your safety and legal rights. If you’re unsure what to do, talk to a car accident lawyer with motorcycle accident experience. They can help you understand your rights and ensure you get the compensation you deserve. Being prepared and knowing the right steps after a motorcycle accident in Florida can make a big difference in keeping you safe and protecting your legal rights.
Step 1: Seek Medical Attention
Motorcycle accidents cause more significant injuries than other types of motor vehicle crashes. If you’ve been injured in a motorcycle accident, seeking medical attention as soon as possible is important. While riders are often rushed from the crash scene by ambulance to the nearest emergency room, it is common for some motorcycle riders to remain on scene and decline emergency transportation as their adrenaline masks the seriousness of their injuries. These riders will often start to feel their injuries within hours of the accident, and it only gets worse from there.
Seeking medical attention after an accident can help your case in two ways. First, it will ensure that your injuries receive prompt treatment, which can reduce the risk of complications. This alone can affect your case and the money you might need to recover. Secondly, seeking medical attention ties your injuries to the accident. This becomes critical when you need to prove liability after a motorcycle accident. After all, if you wait too long to seek medical care, the insurance company may try to argue that your injuries are related to something else and NOT to the crash.
If you need assistance in choosing the right doctor or type of treatment for your injuries, we will help you find the best treatment options available.
Step 2: Call 911
If law enforcement is not already at the accident scene, you must call 911 so a police officer will be dispatched to the crash. Section 316.065 of the Florida Statutes requires all drivers to contact law enforcement when they’re involved in crashes that involve injury, death, or property damage of $500 or more. Considering the value of most motorcycles, $500 of damage could be as simple as broken mirrors or busted tailpipes. As such, you should always call 911 after an accident, even if you do not believe you’re injured.
When the police officer arrives, they will obtain information from all parties involved in the accident and any witnesses to determine who caused the accident. Their accident report will be invaluable to your case, as it can help your attorney establish liability. A police report carries significant weight as an official record. Insurance companies and courts often rely on police reports as credible and unbiased accounts of an incident. Having an official document that supports your claim can strengthen your case and enhance your credibility.
Step 3: Collect Information at The Scene of the Crash
While waiting for law enforcement to arrive, you should take photos and videos of the motorcycle accident scene, the vehicles involved, and the vehicle’s license plates. Capture
Note the weather conditions at the time of the accident, including visibility, lighting, and any hazards present. If relevant, document the presence of road defects, construction zones, or other factors that may have contributed to the accident. These visual records can serve as valuable evidence later on.
Additionally, you should take photographs of the other driver’s auto insurance card and the driver’s license. This information will help your attorney investigate your motorcycle accident case and eventually prove your case to the other driver’s insurance company and/or their attorneys.
Step 4: Obtain Witness Information
If witnesses are present at the scene, ask them to provide a statement regarding what they saw. Record their names, contact information, and a brief account summary. Witness statements can be valuable in supporting your version of events. This information will be beneficial if the witnesses leave the scene of the accident before the arrival of law enforcement. The other driver can and will change their story when the independent witnesses leave the motorcycle crash, and the police officers show up. These witnesses provide an independent account of how the accident occurred that will be used by law enforcement and insurance companies to determine fault and liability for causing the crash.
Step 5: Hire a Florida Motorcycle Accident Attorney
If you suffered injuries due to a motorcycle accident that you did not cause, you must hire a personal injury attorney with experience handling motorcycle accident cases. Unlike car accidents, Florida does not require motorcycle owners to carry personal injury protection (PIP) insurance coverage as it does for owners of ordinary cars and other street-legal four-wheeled motor vehicles. This means that motorcycle riders in Florida generally have no motor vehicle insurance to cover their medical bills and expenses following a crash.
You will need to hire a motorcycle accident attorney in Florida to ensure that your medical bills are paid and that you receive compensation for any other damages you sustained. Additionally, a good motorcycle accident attorney will help assess the types of damages you are entitled to and the coverages available so that you can receive maximum compensation.
Step 6: Inform the Insurance Companies About the Accident
If you decide that you do not need a personal injury attorney because you were not injured or you just don’t want to hire an attorney, you will need to file claims with your motorcycle insurer and the other driver and/or vehicle owner’s insurance company. This can be complicated, and insurance companies may not play fair with you. Many insurance adjusters have biases against motorcyclists, and they often try to pin some or all of the blame back on the biker. They may claim you were riding recklessly or carelessly and offer you a fraction of what you deserve. If you don’t have a lawyer on your side, be prepared to fight back aggressively. Never settle for less than you deserve.
If you do decide to hire a personal injury attorney, it is best that you do not communicate with the insurance companies at all and let your attorney handle all communication. Whatever you say to the insurers will be recorded and will most certainly be used against you. Your motorcycle accident lawyer knows that and can help you protect your rights and ensure you do not fall into the insurance company’s traps.
What Not to Do After a Motorcycle Crash
In addition to the steps you must take immediately after the accident, you must also know what not to do. Injured motorcyclists may make mistakes after the crash that could hurt their case and make it more difficult to collect the compensation they deserve.
- Do Not Say Too Much. Insurance companies can use what you say to avoid paying for damages. If you tell the other driver, the police, or your insurance company that you were not hurt after the accident but ended up going to the hospital later, an insurance person might try to say that your injury has nothing to do with the accident. It’s really important to only stick to the facts when you talk to an insurance agent. Don’t guess about what caused the accident, apologize for what happened, or talk about your injuries with the insurance company in a recorded statement. Better yet – let us do the talking for you!
- Do Not Miss Treatment or Appointments. You must listen to your doctor, follow their instructions, and attend all follow-up appointments for your injury. If you try to go back to work too soon or refuse additional treatment, you’re jeopardizing both your health and your chances of legal recovery. Make sure to adhere to any restrictions on lifting or movement your doctor advises, and wait until you receive medical clearance before returning to work.
- Do Not Destroy Evidence. Many riders want to repair their bikes immediately so they can ride again. But your bike is really important evidence for your case. It can show that someone was careless and caused the accident and prove how bad the damage was. Before you get your bike repaired, talk to our law firm. Our lawyers can take a bunch of pictures of your bike and keep it safe until your case goes to court.
- Do Not Accept the First Offer. You must be cautious when considering the insurance company’s initial settlement offer following a motorcycle accident. You need to determine if the offer is truly sufficient to cover all your losses and expenses. It’s common practice for insurance companies to provide lowball offers to injured motorcyclists initially. They may try to minimize their financial liability and save money by offering less than what you actually deserve.
It’s crucial to consult with an experienced attorney at our law firm after a motorcycle accident. We can help you avoid these common pitfalls and assess the full extent of your damages, including medical bills, property damage, lost wages, and pain and suffering. By calling our law firm and understanding the value of your claim, you can ensure that you receive fair and just compensation for your injuries and losses.
How Long Do I Have to File a Motorcycle Accident Lawsuit in Florida?
Florida has a two-year statute of limitations for personal injury lawsuits. This means that bikers who suffer an injury in a motorcycle accident have two years from the accident to file a claim in court. Florida also has a two-year statute of limitations for wrongful death lawsuits. Thus, a victim’s family has two years from the time of the victim’s death to file a wrongful death lawsuit in court.
Two years is not a long time to file a lawsuit. Therefore, injured motorcyclists and grieving families must contact an experienced Florida motorcycle accident lawyer immediately to begin building their case.
Contact Our Florida Motorcycle Accident Lawyers
If you suffered an injury in a motorcycle accident in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, or anywhere across Florida, you need an attorney to fight for you and your rights.
While based in Miami, Florida, we represent clients involved in car accidents throughout Florida. Call (305) 694-2676 for a free and confidential consultation, or schedule a consultation using our online contact form. At Prosper Shaked Accident Injury Attorneys PA, we will do our best to help you rebuild your life and get back on your feet after a devastating car crash.