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Motorcycle riders often experience debilitating and even fatal injuries when involved in an accident. These injuries bring extensive and expensive losses to victims and their households. To recover these losses and stabilize your financial future, connect with a skilled Fort Myers motorcycle accident attorney from Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath.

If you or a loved one was hurt in a motorcycle crash, our team is here to fight for your rights. Call (561) 655-1990 today.

Steps to take after being in a crash

There are steps you can take in the aftermath of an accident to keep the situation under control and to prepare for a potential lawsuit.

1. Keep on your safety gear

You should keep on all of your gear if possible, but at the very least, keep on your helmet. This is for your personal protection as well as evidence of your attention to safety, which can help your case.

2. Call 911 and ask for police and an ambulance

Calling the police is crucial, as the responding police officer will create an official accident report, which can help establish liability.

3. Tell your side of the story to the responding police officer

Report what happened to the responding officers. However, be mindful of your comments. Do not offer speculative remarks or take on the blame.

4. Gather evidence at the scene

Take photos and video of the accident scene noting the position of involved vehicles, damage to the vehicles and to your body, road conditions, or other relevant details. If there are witnesses, take their contact information.

5. Notify your insurance company

Report the accident to your insurance company, but again, watch your words. Ultimately, your insurance company’s priority is to protect its assets.

 6. Visit Urgent Care or your primary care physician

If you do not think you need hospital care, still visit an urgent care center or see your own doctor as soon as possible–within hours or a day of your accident.

7. Meet with a Fort Myers motorcycle accident attorney to understand your legal options

Connect with a Fort Myers motorcycle accident attorney from Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath for a free consultation. Get the information you need to understand your options and guidance for next steps.

Make sure you file a claim on time

In Florida, accident victims have two years to file their claims. Missing this deadline could lead to a case dismissal, so the sooner you reach out to a Fort Myers motorcycle accident lawyer, the better.

Possible damages you can claim for a bike crash

Every motorcycle accident is different, making it impossible to predict how much your case is worth. Your Fort Myers motorcycle accident attorney will consider all relevant factors of your case with great care when making a settlement demand to cover economic and non-economic damages.

Economic damages

Economic damages affect your finances. Medical bills, future medical care, damage to your property, income loss, and lost earning potential fit this category. If you incur new expenses from your accident, such as paying others to fulfill responsibilities you can no longer manage, they will be factored into the settlement demand.

Non-economic damages

Non-economic damages do not come with an “official” bill but are no less important than economic damages. These damages represent the emotional and psychological trauma you have and may continue to endure because of the accident and injuries, as well as your physical pain and overall diminished quality of life.

Parties who may be liable for your injury

Determining fault for your accident is key to collecting a settlement, and your attorney will carry out an investigation to make the right determination. There are a variety of possible liable parties including:

  • Another driver, because of their recklessness or negligence
  • Vehicle or part manufacturers if a vehicle malfunction in your bike or another involved vehicle caused the crash
  • Government entities, if the offices responsible for maintaining safe roadways and traffic signals failed in their duties and that failure caused the accident

How our Fort Myers motorcycle accident attorneys prove negligence

To collect a settlement, you must prove the at-fault party’s negligence by showing that party owed you a duty of care, breached that duty, the breach caused your accident, and the accident cost you measurable damages. Your motorcycle attorney in Fort Myers has the insight, resources, and time necessary to prove your claim.

With the help of experts, official reports, and other sources, your attorney will reconstruct the accident to determine its cause and identify the at-fault party.

Your attorney will gather comprehensive evidence to prove your claim and justify your settlement demand. For example:

  • Accident scene information, such as skid marks and road conditions,
  • Photo and video of the accident from traffic, security, or dashboard cameras
  • Witness testimony
  • Testimony from caregivers and family members
  • Medical bills, reports, and input from medical experts
  • Input from other relevant experts, such as vehicle or part inspectors

fort myers motorcycle accident lawyer

Motorcycle accidents are more frequent and more dangerous

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), motorcyclists are “about 24 times more likely” to die in a traffic crash than passenger car occupants and four times more likely to sustain injury.

Motorcycles are harder for other cars to see, more difficult for riders to balance on, and more vulnerable to bad road or weather conditions. They also offer riders no protection when collisions happen.

Common causes of motorcycle crashes in Fort Myers

According to Florida Department of Transportation (DOT) crash analysis data, Lee County averages 368 motorcycle accidents and 20 fatalities each year. For the most recent year of data collection, the county saw 423 crashes, and many cases involved speeding or intoxication.

Other common causes of motorcycle accidents include:

  • Lack of visibility my other vehicle operators
  • Poor road conditions
  • Distracted or reckless driving
  • Vehicle malfunction

Common motorcycle accident injuries

Injuries motorcyclists sustain are typically painful and disabling, preventing riders from returning to work and leaving them with potentially lifelong physical and/or cognitive disabilities.

Head or brain trauma

Helmets reduce the severity of head injuries and brain trauma significantly. Even so, they are not 100% effective, and not all riders choose to wear them. Brain injuries can diminish cognitive functions and disrupt bodily functions. Victims can lose their ability to reason, remember, walk, speak, swallow, or even breathe on their own.

Back or spinal cord injuries

Riders can experience disc herniations, vertebra displacements, torn muscles, or broken bones in their backs after a collision. These injuries can limit physical abilities and cause chronic pain. When there is damage to the spinal cord, riders may be rendered partially or fully paralyzed.

Facial damage

Riders often sustain facial disfigurement from road rash or vision problems if their eyes are damaged. They may also need extensive dental care to replace broken teeth or surgeries to correct broken jaws.

Broken bones or amputations

Whether by the weight of their own bikes or another vehicle or obstacle, riders’ bones can be crushed, requiring reconstruction through surgery and extensive rehabilitation. Sometimes, the damage is severe enough to require amputation.

Road burns and wounds

Riders often experience road burns or other open wounds. These injuries may not seem especially dangerous at first, but they can easily become infected.

“Dos” and “don’ts” of dealing with insurance after a crash

You should not speak to the at-fault party’s insurance adjuster until you have partnered with an attorney. It is even best to wait to speak to your own company until you have representation. When speaking to either company, say nothing that could be interpreted as an admission of fault or discuss the extent of your injuries. Keep comments brief and factual.

Cost of hiring a motorcycle accident attorney in Fort Myers

When you work with our firm, you will not pay any fees until you have received a settlement. Our attorneys review your case for free. If we take the case, we do so with the confidence that we will secure your settlement, and a percentage of that settlement will cover your legal expenses.

Why you should visit a doctor as soon as possible

Even if you do not think your injuries are life-threatening or disabling, get medical care promptly for your own safety and the strength of your case. Otherwise, your condition can worsen, putting your recovery in jeopardy.

Further, the at-fault party can use your delay as “proof” that your injuries either were not that bad or claim your debilitated condition results from your lack of care and not their negligence.

Why work with our Fort Myers motorcycle accident lawyers

Florida’s motorcycle insurance system and personal injury laws can affect your case. Navigating these regulations on your own will most likely lead to confusion, frustration, and settling for less compensation than you are owed. Joining forces with an attorney allows you to put your energy into your recovery while your lawyer works to protect your interests.

Florida no-fault laws and motorcycle insurance

Florida is a no-fault state for motor-vehicle accidents, requiring operators of vehicles with four or more wheels to have Personal Injury Protection (PIP) to cover their injuries if they are involved in an accident. Since motorcycles have two wheels, even riders who have PIP coverage for their automobiles find themselves uncovered after a motorcycle accident.

Riders with motorcycle insurance often find the company has biases against them. The default position is to assume motorcyclists fit the stereotype of reckless, rebellious road warriors who drive “outside” the law.

Whatever your situation, a lawyer from our team will work to ensure insurance companies do not take advantage of you or deny your coverage, and whether you have coverage or not, we can help you file a third-party personal injury claim.

Changes to personal injury laws

Florida’s personal injury laws underwent recent changes. An unfortunate consequence is that they now make it more difficult for victims of accidents to receive compensation. Representation from an experienced attorney can help mitigate this consequence.

Effects of these changes include:

  • Filing eligibility: Under comparative fault, only victims holding less than 50% of the blame can file.
  • Shifted burden: The burden is on insurance policyholders to act in “good faith” when seeking compensation from their own insurance carrier or risk having compensation reduced. Negligence by the insurance company is no longer an adequate reason for policyholders to file a “bad faith” suit.
  • Limited damages: Limitations on past and future medical costs claimants can recover are now in effect, as are limitations on the kinds of evidence admissible for proving medical expenses.

If you are eligible to file, your compensation will be reduced by whatever percentage of fault you hold. The at-fault party’s insurance company will look for ways to assign fault to you. Even your own insurance company will do this to protect themselves from making a payout.

Negotiating skills

Insurance companies may have stockpiles of unethical tactics to inflate your level of blame or coerce you into accepting a low settlement, but your motorcycle accident attorney in Fort Myers is armed with the knowledge of the law and superior negotiating skills.

Your attorney will not be surprised or deterred by any of the insurance company’s tricks or allow them to escape their responsibilities and will protect your settlement from unfair reductions.

We look forward to fighting for you

After a motorcycle accident, your injuries need attention from a medical professional and your rights need attention from a legal professional. Reach out to Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath at (239) 888-8882 to partner with a Fort Myers personal injury lawyer who will fight for your rights, your recovery, and your future by seeking fair and substantial compensation.

Discover your legal options today.

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Important Notice: Safety is our top priority at Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath. You can access our services from home via phone, online chat, Facetime, or Zoom. Our aim is to provide justice while safeguarding everyone’s health.

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