Legal Help for Injured Motorcyclists
A motorcycle brings a sense of freedom that many find irresistible -- but there are dangers. Drivers have a tendency to not see motorcycles on the road, and the motorcycle rider is not protected from injury in the same way that people in cars and trucks are protected in an accident. If you or a loved one have suffered an injury while riding a motorcycle, you may be entitled to compensation from the responsible parties. An experienced motorcycle accident attorney with Moody Law, serving Central Florida and Polk County, including Lakeland, FL, Bartow, Winter Haven, and Haines City, can provide the help you need.
We Allow You to Focus on Healing
If you or a loved one has been injured while riding a motorcycle, you may have a need to file a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit against the responsible parties. At Moody Law, we offer years of experience in personal injury law that encompasses a wide variety of accident types. Our attorneys have successfully litigated or settled hundreds of cases involving motorcycles accidents, and have helped clients receive compensation for the damages that they have suffered.
We have the confidence to handle personal injury and wrongful death cases on a contingency basis. This means we do the work and advance the costs before getting paid. At Moody Law, you do not need to pay a retainer or an initial fee. If your case does not settle or the jury awards you nothing, then you owe us nothing.
How is Compensation Determined?
Depending upon the facts and circumstances of your case, you may receive financial compensation for pain and suffering, medical and rehabilitation costs, loss of wages, lost earning capacity, inconvenience, and physical damage, loss of use, or diminished value to your motorcycle. If a family member is catastrophically injured (such as a spinal cord injury) or killed, you may be able to recover compensation for long-term care and other expenses.
In Florida, insurance companies normally exclude coverage while riding a motorcycle unless you specifically purchase motorcycle coverage. No-fault Personal Injury Insurance Protection (PIP) is a mandatory requirement for all automobiles and trucks registered in the State of Florida, however, no-fault insurance coverage is merely an option for motorcycles. Your automobile coverage does not extend to your motorcycle in case of an accident while riding and many motorcyclists are surprised to learn they are not covered by any insurance at all. Florida does not mandate any type of insurance at all for motorcycle riders. If another person’s negligence causes you an injury while riding a motorcycle, then you have a legal claim against them for damages.
If you purchase motorcycle coverage, we strongly recommend that you make sure that your policy provides uninsured motorist (UM) coverage for your motorcycle. This coverage permits you to insure yourself for damages over and above whatever coverage limits the responsible party has. There are many people driving with very minimal insurance coverage limits and you may need more coverage while riding your motorcycle to adequately protect yourself and your loved ones from financial disaster in the event of an accident. Please know that UM coverage on your motorcycle is not the same as UM coverage for your car. You must specifically purchase UM coverage for your motorcycle.
Can Not Wearing a Helmet Affect Your Compensation?
In 2002, the Florida Legislature abolished the requirement for a motorcycle rider over the age of 21 to wear a helmet. If you were injured on a motorcycle but were not wearing a helmet at the time of the accident, then you still have a legal claim when the accident was not your fault. There are a number of accident cases where it can be shown that the motorcycle helmet would not have made a difference and, therefore, should not reduce the damages that the rider is entitled to receive. The new law giving riders the right to ride without a helmet is also not without its controversy.
Our attorneys have successfully litigated or settled hundreds of cases involving motorcycles and have helped clients receive compensation.
In Florida, seat belts are mandatory for everyone riding in a car or truck and if you are involved in an accident, even one that is not your fault, then your damages may be reduced by your failure to comply with the law that says that you must wear your seatbelt. Perhaps unfairly, the failure to wear a motorcycle helmet normally means that your damages are reduced in the same way as failure to wear a seat belt even though a seat belt is required and a motorcycle helmet is not. Regardless of whether a helmet would have made a difference, the person responsible for the accident is still responsible for the injuries caused by their negligence.
Florida motorcycle cases present these special issues and more. You need experienced legal counsel to help navigate your insurance policy and the complexity of legal issues involved in your particular case.
Building Your Case
At Moody Law, we conduct a thorough investigation of your accident, including accident reconstruction, witness interviews, vehicle and property inspections, photography of the vehicles and the scene, and securing reports and records on your behalf. If you are involved in a motorcycle accident, you should seek emergency medical treatment and contact us for help with your case. If you have contacted us soon enough after an accident, we can respond with a Rapid Response Team to begin gathering potentially vital evidence about your case.
The facts and circumstances of every accident are different and your motorcycle accident attorney should be able to help you determine who is responsible and to what degree. A driver may fail to see a motorcycle because they are using a cell phone, or otherwise distracted. Other accidents may occur because of a simple failure to follow traffic laws. If the party is driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, negligence can rise to the level of reckless indifference with regard to human life and result in awarding punitive damages.
In addition to your accident case, there may have been a defect in the design or manufacturing of your motorcycle or one of its component parts that may have contributed to the accident. In that case, you may have a product liability claim against the manufacturer of the motorcycle or component part manufacturer. The attorneys at Moody Law can assist you in evaluating whether the failure of any particular part was a cause of the crash, a cause of increased damages, or may be the subject of a recall.
When you or someone you love is involved in a motorcycle accident, outstanding legal counsel is absolutely essential. Contact Moody Law for a free consultation today.