You can face severe injuries and damage to your vehicle after a motorcycle accident in Fort Myers, Florida. These accidents can occur when other drivers fail to adhere to the rules of the road, recklessly endangering others.
Fortunately, you may seek compensation after a collision with our team at Viles and Beckman. Read on to learn more about your legal options from an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer in Fort Myers. You can also reach out to us to request a free consultation.
What Are the Benefits of Hiring an Experienced Motorcycle Accident Attorney?
The motorcycle accident lawyers at Viles and Beckman dedicate their attention to helping clients recover the compensation they deserve after sustaining injuries in a motorcycle accident as a result of a negligent party.
Hiring our motorcycle accident lawyers provides you with several benefits. We can:
- Answer all your legal questions promptly
- Take care of insurance agents on your behalf
- Handle your legal needs while you recover
- Investigate your accident thoroughly
- Track all your losses
Our commitment to advocating for our clients has resulted in the recovery of millions of dollars in damages. With more than four decades of experience, our team knows how to investigate, negotiate, and, when necessary, litigate each case we take on.
We cannot guarantee a particular outcome in your case, but we can promise to advocate for you and help you hold negligent parties accountable for their actions.
For a free legal consultation with a motorcycle accidents lawyer serving Fort Myers, call (239) 334-3933
Why Choose Us After a Fort Myers Motorcycle Accident?
At Viles & Beckman, LLC, we understand how devastating motorcycle accidents can be. We also appreciate the incredible economic hardship they often bring. The cost of the accident usually spans far beyond the physical injuries themselves.
We have helped countless people affected by motorcycle accidents in Florida—victims who were fortunate enough to survive and the families of those who were not. We offer you:
The Benefit of Experience
Through our more than 40 years of combined experience in personal injury law, we’ve developed valuable insight into the effective litigation of motorcycle accidents in Florida.
Our experience has allowed us to develop strategies that work. We also understand how to counter the claims of insurance agents and other lawyers.
Compassion and Understanding
We know how to lend a compassionate shoulder of support to our clients while at the same time taking an aggressive stand against the other side. We believe in pursuing financial compensation for our clients with fierce determination.
Find out more by contacting a Fort Myers motorcycle accident lawyer today.
Fort Myers Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Near Me (239) 334-3933
Why Do Motorcycle Accidents Occur in Fort Myers?
Florida’s warm and sunny climate makes it the perfect place to depend on your motorcycle for transportation to and from work and around the city. In addition, the picturesque Gulf scenes around the Fort Myers area make it the perfect place for a joy ride.
Yet, the enjoyment you experience from cruising around on your motorcycle can come to an end if a careless driver causes a motorcycle accident.
Negligent motorists who might be distracted, tired, or under the influence can cause severe motorcycle accidents, resulting in life-changing, permanent injuries or death. Adding insult to injury, most of these accidents can don’t happen when motorists drive carefully.
Why Are Motorcycles Dangerous?
Motorcycles present certain unique dangers that put their occupants at a greater risk of harm in any accident. However, in reviewing these risks, it is essential to remember that bikers and their passengers don’t have to take the blame simply because their vehicles pose certain dangers.
Motorcycles have an equal right to the roadways. If another motorist’s negligence causes a motorcycle crash, the at-fault driver is generally still liable for the injuries they caused.
Key risk factors in motorcycling include:
- No seatbelts
- No airbags
- No exterior doors or walls
- Motorcycles are much smaller than the vehicles that hit them
- Motorcycles can be difficult to see, especially at night
- Motorcycles can easily travel within a driver’s blind spot for an extended period without realizing it
- Other drivers often forget to look for motorcycles
- Other drivers are known to misestimate motorcycles’ traveling distance or speed
- Some drivers simply do not show bikers the respect they deserve on the road
A Fort Myers motorcycle accident attorney can help you review more risk factors associated with these vehicles. Find out more by reaching out to us.
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Motorcycle Accidents Injuries Can Be Severe and Fatal
Bikers don’t have much protection when a motorcycle accident occurs, especially at high speeds. As a result, severe, catastrophic, and sometimes fatal injuries occur. When a motorcycle accident victim survives an accident, extensive recovery is typical.
Some common types of severe injuries suffered by motorcycle accident injuries include:
Even when wearing a helmet, bikers might suffer severe head trauma in an accident, often resulting in a traumatic brain injury (TBI). Mild TBIs typically heal on their own within a few weeks or months. However, more severe TBIs can cause long-term effects and symptoms.
Spinal Cord Injuries
Severe motorcycle accidents can cause damage to the spinal cord tissue resulting in loss of function or paralysis in the short-term or permanently. The loss of function depends on where the injury occurred on the spinal cord.
When a biker gets thrown from his bike or pinned between his motorcycle and a vehicle, it can result in back injuries such as fractured vertebrae and herniated discs. Sometimes, surgery can correct these problems; other times, victims must endure chronic pain for life.
Sometimes, during motorcycle accidents, bikers get pinned under their bike or a vehicle. This situation can crush arms and legs, potentially leading to amputation and other catastrophic injuries.
Those who must undergo amputation have a long road to recovery which requires physically and emotionally coping with the loss of a limb.
Florida Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Insurance and Motorcycle Accidents
Florida residents who register a car must carry mandatory personal injury protection (PIP) coverage to protect them in the event of an accident. PIP coverage is not compulsory for motorcyclists, but many bikers carry it.
PIP helps pay for medical expenses and lost wages when an accident occurs by providing a driver or rider with up to $10,000 in coverage. In Florida, PIP policies cover 80% of necessary medical treatment and 60% of lost wages up to the policy limit.
When severe motorcycle accidents occur, exceeding the policy limit doesn’t take long. Additionally, PIP policies do not compensate victims for non-economic losses. Find out more about these policies with a motorcycle accident lawyer in Fort Myers.
Can You Recover Damages Beyond PIP after a Motorcycle Accident?
Once you have met your PIP policy limits, or if you don’t carry PIP coverage, Florida laws may allow you to take legal action against any liable party.
You can pursue damages from a driver who caused you severe injuries in your motorcycle accident. However, you must do so within four years of the date of injury, per Fla. Stat. § 95.11.
In the event you settle before trial or the court rules in your favor, you might recover the following damages:
You may receive compensation for losses not covered by your PIP policy, including:
- An ambulance ride
- Your emergency room visit
- Prescription medication
- Follow-up visits
The individual who caused your accident may also cover future costs for medical treatment when a severe injury requires extensive recovery for weeks or months or when an injury causes a permanent disability requiring continued medical treatment for life.
You may receive funds for visits to physical therapists, other specialists, and assistive devices such as crutches, wheelchairs, and prosthetic limbs.
Your compensation could cover lost wages for missing work due to injury, hospitalization, and recovery. Make sure you track the amount of time you spend off at work.
You may also receive funds to address your lost earning capacity when a severe injury causes permanent disability preventing you from returning to your job.
Finally, you may recover non-economic damages, including pain and suffering, scarring and disfigurement, loss of consortium with a spouse, and others that might apply to a particular case.
Shared Liability in Fort Myers Motorcycle Accidents
In some motorcycle accidents, liability might not be clear. For example, a motorcyclist might have partially contributed to the accident, even if the vehicle motorist holds most of the blame. Our Fort Myers motorcycle accident lawyers can represent you in this situation.
Florida courts apply “comparative negligence” to most personal injury cases. Courts use this notion of shared liability to assess the extent to which a plaintiff might be at fault for the accident which led to their injuries.
If the court finds the plaintiff partially liable, they reduce the damages they award accordingly. So, for example, if you sue for $600,000 in damages, and the court assigns you 10% at fault, you can only collect 90%, or $540,000.
Arguments Used by Other Drivers After Motorcycle Accidents
Any party named as a defendant in a lawsuit will go out of their way to avoid liability. Still, Florida’s comparative negligence rules motivate defense teams to shift blame to the accident victim.
Some arguments a defense team might use to shift blame to the victim for a motorcycle accident include:
- The biker broke traffic regulations by speeding or driving carelessly, weaving between lanes
- The biker was driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- The biker was distracted while driving
- The biker was not wearing a helmet
Our motorcycle accident attorneys can counter these arguments for you.
What Are Common Causes of Florida Motorcycle Accidents?
The following list briefly overviews common causes of motorcycle accidents in Florida. Often, the reasons for these devastating incidents are:
- Drowsy driving
- Texting while driving
- Reckless driving
- Following too closely
- Not seeing the bike in one’s mirrors
- Failing to check blind spots
- Drunk driving
You can speak to a motorcycle accident attorney in Fort Myers about the specific causes of your collision.
7 Things You Should Do After a Fort Myers Motorcycle Accident
The experienced motorcycle accident lawyers at Viles and Beckman understand defense strategies to avoid paying out large settlements or court awards. We will advocate for you to get the best outcome for your case.
Yet, some actions you take immediately following a motorcycle accident can help increase the chances of receiving maximum compensation for your motorcycle accident injuries. Here are some tips for after a Fort Myers motorcycle accident:
Seek Medical Treatment ASAP
If you do not get to the hospital via ambulance ride or refuse medical treatment immediately after the accident, you should still let a doctor check you out.
Part of building a solid case against at-fault parties is demonstrating the motorcycle accident caused your injuries; medical documentation serves as this proof and as leverage for negotiating a settlement with the insurance company.
Further, some injuries don’t present symptoms immediately, especially traumatic brain injuries (TBI) and internal organ damage, commonly occurring in motorcycle accidents. So, letting a physician check you out sooner than later might be the difference between life and death.
Get Contact Information From Others Involved in the Accident
Most police reports will have all the information you need. But sometimes, law enforcement makes a mistake, or they don’t come to the scene of the accident right away.
Get names, addresses, email, phone, and insurance info from drivers and occupants in the vehicle which struck your motorcycle if you are physically able. You should also get contact information from eyewitnesses who might have stopped to help.
Keep Records of Economic Losses
Motorcycle accidents can be expensive, and you need documentation of your loss to provide to the court. Documentation can include:
- Property damage to your motorcycle
- Medical bills
- Gas receipts and mileage to and from the hospital for follow-up visits
- Any other items you buy for medical treatment
- Over-the-counter pain medication
- Any out-of-pocket prescription costs
You must also provide your attorney with pay stubs to prove lost wages during hospitalization and recovery.
If you need to make modifications to your home, such as adding a wheelchair ramp, installing handrails, or any other item to make your home more accessible, save those receipts too.
Use Your Cell Phone to Take Pictures at the Scene
Once cleaning crews and tow trucks arrive at the scene of the motorcycle accident, valuable information might get swept away. If you are physically able, use your phone to take photos or videos of:
- Property damage
- Road hazards
- Road conditions
- License plates
- Any visible injuries
You can also record anything else that might be valuable to support your case after a motorcycle accident. You may not need these pictures, but in the event you must go to court, photographic evidence is often much stronger than handwritten information on a police report.
Don’t Accept an Early Settlement Offer
When insurance companies know their policyholders are at fault, they sometimes try to offer quick and easy settlements. These offers are large enough to make them attractive but are typically much lower than you deserve for losses you’ve incurred.
When you accept an offer, you give up your right to sue for damages. These offers protect insurance companies from paying a higher settlement or substantial damage awarded by the court.
Always consult with a Fort Myers motorcycle accident attorney for advice on any offers you receive. It’s likely your lawyer can negotiate a higher settlement.
Only Speak to Your Attorney About Your Motorcycle Accident Case
Expect insurance companies to investigate your motorcycle accident claim, which includes adjusters interviewing you about the accident.
Insurance company employees have extensive training about eliciting responses from you to devalue your claim. Unfortunately, they often try to do the same by talking to family members or close friends about your accident.
Of course, you would like to share details with your loved ones, but it’s in your best interest to keep your lips sealed until we settle or litigate your claim so that you or one you love doesn’t say something to devalue your claim.
Keep Your Accident Details Off of Social Media
Insurance investigators will check your social media accounts to look for additional ways to devalue your claim. For example, they might look for pictures that suggest your injuries aren’t as severe as you reported or you are recovering faster than you reported.
Investigators can easily misinterpret anything you post on Facebook, Instagram, and other social media sites. They can use your posts to devalue your claim. You don’t have to delete your social media accounts, but you should curb or eliminate posting until settling your claim.
Start Working With Fort Myers Motorcycle Accident Attorneys Today
A Fort Myers motorcycle accident lawyer can take charge of all aspects of your case. Our team at Viles and Beckman has experience dealing with insurance companies, investigating accidents, and helping clients recover damages for their injuries.
Let a qualified attorney handle the details of your case now when you contact us today.