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St. Petersburg Motorcycle Accident Lawyer

Without the protection that a car offers its passengers, motorcycle riders are vulnerable to devastating injuries, even in slower speed collisions. The same things that make motorcycling such a uniquely enjoyable experience—being out in the open air with nothing between the rider and the road—also make it dangerous. In fact, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s 2014 data, motorcyclist deaths occurred 27 times more frequently than deaths in other types of vehicles. If you’ve been injured in such a collision due to the negligent actions of others, the experienced St. Petersburg motorcycle accident attorneys at Dennis Hernandez & Associates, P.A., are ready to help you seek compensation. Call our St. Pete office at 727-697-0000 now or contact us online.

Motorcycle Accident Injury Causes

With more than 500,000 motorcycles registered in our state, it isn’t any wonder that Florida leads the country in motorcycle traffic deaths. In our work representing victims of motorcycle collisions over the years, we’ve seen a wide range of causes of motorcycle accidents, including the following factors and more:

  • Negligence on the part of automobile drivers
  • Speeding
  • Turning left in front of a motorcycle
  • Running stop signs and traffic lights
  • Hit and run
  • Rear-end collisions
  • Driving under the influence
  • Roadway obstructions
  • Failure to yield
  • Defective parts or defective equipment
  • Aggressive driving/road rage
  • Following too closely
  • Distracted driving
  • Improper lane changes

Compensation For Your Motorcycle Accident Injuries

We’ve seen it time and again: Clients who have been injured in an accident face not only the immediate medical costs, but also potential long-term (or even lifelong) expenses related to their accidents. Because the aftermath of a motorcycle accident with injuries can be one of the most stressful times of your life, it’s critical to have experienced legal counsel who fully understands all of the effects that your accident can have on your life, now and in the future, and who can confidently guide you through this challenging time.

Our motorcycle injury lawyers will fight for your rights and your future. We know exactly what to expect from insurance companies’ lawyers and adjusters, and how to deal with them. 

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We work tirelessly to recover the compensation you lawfully deserve for your damages, including these economic and non-economic damages

  • Immediate medical costs: These are the costs you’ve incurred to date relating to your accident for medical and health-related expenses, such as emergency care, hospitalization, doctors’ appointments, diagnostic tests, medications, and specialty medical equipment.
  • Long-term medical costs: Those who have been injured in a motorcycle accident may continue to need medical care over a period of time. Future medical expenses may accrue for physical therapy, vocational therapy, repeated treatments and doctors’ visits, multiple surgeries or procedures, and more.
  • Lost wages: If your injuries have caused you to miss work and wages, you may be able to recover the money you’ve lost to date.
  • Future income: If you have permanent injuries that result in a loss of earning capacity, you have the right to pursue compensation for future lost income.
  • Damage to property: You may be able to recover the costs of repairing or replacing property, such as your motorcycle, if your property has sustained extensive damage.
  • Loss of enjoyment: When some of the regular activities you enjoy and value are ended or diminished by your injuries, you may be able to recover compensation for loss of enjoyment of life.
  • Loss of consortium: The your accident injuries can also affect your spouse. Damages for loss of consortium are intended to compensate your spouse for the effects your accident has on his or her life as well.

St. Pete Motorcycle Injury Attorney Checklist

When a motorcycle accident occurs, there are a number of important steps that should be taken to ensure that any subsequent claims are built on a solid foundation of information, documentation, and appropriate actions. Here is a checklist that can help you make sure nothing is missed.

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At the accident scene

  • Call 911
  • Move your motorcycle off the road to a safe place, if possible
  • Do not attempt to move anyone who appears to be seriously injured
  • Collect information from the driver or drivers of other vehicles involved, including:
    • Name and address
    • Phone number and email
    • Driver’s license information
    • Insurance company and policy number information
    • License plate number
    • Year, make and model of the vehicle(s)
  • Collect information from witnesses, including:
    • Name and address
    • Phone number and email
  • Collect information from the responding officer, including:
    • Badge or ID number
    • Name
    • Location of his or her station
    • Police report number
  • Take multiple photos and/or videos from several angles, including:
    • Damage to all of the vehicles involved
    • Damage to any objects or property
    • The surrounding accident scene (roadway debris, skid marks, nearby businesses or structures, traffic signals and signs, medians, guardrails, etc.)
    • Weather conditions
    • Your injuries, even if you believe they appear to be minor. If you are unable to take photos of your own injuries, ask someone at the scene to do so
  • Make a note of the time, date, and exact location of your accident

After the accident

  • Write down your entire recollection of the accident. Small (but crucial) details can be forgotten over time.
  • See a doctor right away, even if you believe you don’t have any serious injuries. This initial examination may be an important part of your claim. Read more below about questions you should ask your doctor after a motorcycle accident.
  • Document the following:
    • All visits for medical care, including doctor’s appointments, medical tests, surgeries, procedures, and medications
    • Time away from work and any lost income
    • Communications from any insurance company representatives
  • Save receipts for all expenses related to your motorcycle accident injury
  • Contact a St. Pete motorcycle accident attorney before speaking with an insurance company representative

As your claim is being prepared

  • Continue to document and save receipts for all expenses related to your injuries.
  • Save any ongoing communications to or from insurance companies.
  • Provide all new information and documentation to your motorcycle accident lawyer.

As your claim is being prepared

  • Continue to document and save receipts for all expenses related to your injuries.
  • Save any ongoing communications to or from insurance companies.
  • Provide all new information and documentation to your motorcycle accident lawyer.

Questions To Ask Your Doctor After a Motorcycle Accident

Knowing as much as you can about the physical effects a motorcycle accident may have had is important for both your health and recovery, and the preparation of your accident injury claim. On your first visit to a physician after your accident, ask him or her the following questions and make written notes of the answers.

How severe is my injury?
Make sure you fully understand the answer to this question. Ask your doctor to explain any unfamiliar terms. You will want to know about all of the effects of your injury, even the most minor.

What treatment plan do you recommend?
In nearly every case, following your doctor’s recommendation for treatment is crucial to recovering compensation from an insurance company. Ask your physician for detailed information on medication, physical therapy, surgical procedures, and any other treatment needed for your recovery.

 

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What long-term health concerns might I have?

Based on the type of injury you have and the extent of it, your doctor may be able to give you a good idea of what you may face in the future. Ask about whether future therapy, treatments, procedures, or medication may be needed; how injuries like yours typically take to heal; and whether your injuries can be expected to ever completely heal.

When will I be able to return to my job?

Have your doctor give you a clear explanation of any work limitations you may have now or may expect in the future. Ask if you will be able to do the same type of work you did before the accident and if returning to work may pose any new, related health risks that you would not have faced prior to your accident.

Types of Injuries Sustained in Motorcycle Accidents

The motorcycle accident lawyers at Dennis Hernandez & Associates, P.A., know from experience how the lives of our St. Petersburg clients are changed by the injuries they sustain in their accidents. Some cause permanent, severe disability while others prevent victims from fully regaining the abilities or earning power they had before they had their accidents. These are some of the most common types of injuries our clients have had:

Road rash
Road rash may not be a serious injury, but the bruises and abrasions sustained in a motorcycle accident can have painful complications that require multiple treatments, such as treating infections.

 

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Head injury

At a minimum, victims of motorcycle accidents can sustain concussions, but ongoing research is showing that even these types of injuries can have long-term effects on health and that these effects may not be initially evident. At the other end of the spectrum are traumatic brain injuries, which can permanently affect every part of the body or result in death. Wearing a helmet can lessen the seriousness of some head injuries, they are still no guarantee that your head will be completely protected in an accident.

Victims of brain injuries may be left unable to return to the jobs they had before their accidents, or may not be able to work again. Full-time care may be required and medical treatments may be needed indefinitely. Head injury victims whose accidents were caused by someone else’s negligence need qualified legal representation that can help them recover the compensation they may need in order to pay for long-term care.

Spinal cord injury

As with head injuries, an injury to the spinal cord can leave victims permanently injured and in need of constant, lifelong care. Motorcycle riders are particularly vulnerable to spine fractures and other types of spinal damage since their bodies may strike or be struck by anything around them in a wide radius. Motorcycle accident victims can be paralyzed for life, needing expensive long-term medical and personal care, or need therapies, such as physical therapy. At Dennis Hernandez & Associates, P.A., our motorcycle accident injury lawyers are very experienced in spinal cord injury cases and are experts at determining the full costs of such injuries to our clients.

Back injury

Even relatively minor back injuries can interfere with an accident victim’s ability to work or take care of daily tasks, while serious injuries can cause permanent disability. A back injury can affect every part of a victim’s life, making sitting, walking or any regular movement painful. Our motorcycle accident lawyers know how devastating a back injury can be and what it can do to our clients’ ability to earn a living, and we’ll fight for your rights to be fairly compensated for the losses you’ve experienced due to your accident.

Fractures and muscle injury

A motorcycle rider’s hands, feet, arms, and legs are often injured in an accident by an impact with the road or another vehicle, objects at the scene, or the rider’s own motorcycle. Injured muscles, tendons and ligaments are common as well. More serious fractures may be sustained to joints, pelvic bones and ribs. Depending on the severity of the injury, extended care and treatment may be needed for physical recovery and a return to work.

St. Pete Motorcycle Accident Claim FAQ

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Q: I have motorcycle insurance. Do I still need a motorcycle accident lawyer?

A: There’s an important thing to keep in mind when dealing with insurance companies after an accident: They are in business to make a profit, and if they determine there’s any reason to deny your claim, it’s likely that they will. Accident victims who attempt to deal with an insurance adjuster or attorney on their own may not be offered the full amount of compensation they deserve. If you’ve had an accident due to someone else’s negligence or carelessness, you can schedule an appointment to speak to one of our motorcycle accident attorneys with no obligation. The initial consultation is free, so there is no risk in having the details of your case reviewed to find out if your claim is worth pursuing.

Q: Do I need a motorcycle accident attorney if I have only minor injuries?

As with head injuries, an injury to the spinal cord can leave victims permanently injured and in need of constant, lifelong care. Motorcycle riders are particularly vulnerable to spine fractures and other types of spinal damage since their bodies may strike or be struck by anything around them in a wide radius. Motorcycle accident victims can be paralyzed for life, needing expensive long-term medical and personal care, or need therapies, such as physical therapy. At Dennis Hernandez & Associates, P.A., our motorcycle accident injury lawyers are very experienced in spinal cord injury cases and are experts at determining the full costs of such injuries to our clients.

Q: What is negligence?

A: When someone fails to use reasonable care—or an amount of care that an ordinary person would use in similar circumstances—he or she may be considered to be negligent. One example would be a driver whose excessive speed caused an accident with injuries because he or she did not use the same amount of care that any other normal driver would use.

Q: How can I be sure that negligence contributed to my motorcycle accident?

A: To determine if negligence played a part in your accident, consult with an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer. Your attorney will identify all the forms of negligence that may have been involved and all of the parties that should be held responsible. In addition to another driver, there may be factors such as road conditions or equipment defects that must be taken into consideration.

Q: The insurance company made an offer right away. Do I have to accept it?

A: You do not have to accept the initial offer, which may be much less than you have a right to. It’s understandable to want to get the matter behind you and move on with your life, but you may be missing out on money you will need in the future to cover long-term or ongoing expenses that were the result of being injured by the negligent actions of someone else. If you’ve received an initial offer or are being pressured to accept an offer you do not believe is fair, don’t hesitate to call our St. Petersburg accident attorneys at 727-697-0000 to schedule a free, no-obligation case evaluation.

Q: Will I have to go to court?

A: Not necessarily; a great number of cases are satisfactorily resolved through negotiations with the insurance companies. If, however, your claim cannot be resolved, it may proceed to a jury trial. As we work with you, we always keep your best interest in mind every step of the way. If it’s determined that filing a lawsuit and going through the litigation process is best for you, our experienced accident attorneys will not hesitate to go to trial on your behalf.

Q: I’m not sure yet that I want to pursue compensation. Can I file a claim later?

A: It’s critical to take prompt action when you’ve been injured in an accident that was caused by another’s negligence. Florida law gives you a limited timeframe in which to pursue your claim, and valuable evidence can be lost as time goes by. You should also keep in mind that insurance companies want to settle claims as quickly as possible, so a significant delay can complicate your case.

Q: How can I figure out how much money I can get for my motorcycle accident injuries?

A: We get this question frequently and we understand how important the answer is to our clients. The truth is, it isn’t possible to determine a dollar amount without a thorough review of all of the facts surrounding your case. We have experts at Dennis Hernandez & Associates, P.A., who will take into consideration all of the factors that matter in determining compensation, including the extent of your injuries, the medical costs you may face in the future, your potential loss of income if you can’t return to the same type of work you were doing before your accident, your non-economic damages, and much more.

Q: How long will it take to reach a satisfactory settlement?

A: As with determining the potential amount of your compensation, the time required to reach a fair settlement cannot be accurately predicted at the outset. How long your case will take depends on many factors, including how negotiations go with insurance companies, how far-reaching the effects of your accident are on your life, and more.

To help our clients understand the overall process, we’ve prepared this video, “Stages of a Personal Injury Case”:

Just like no two people are alike, each accident is unique, so it’s not possible to make an accurate prediction. The duration of your case and time to settlement depends on the length of negotiations with your insurance company, the type of settlement you’re pursuing, how complex the effects of the accident are on your life, and more.

“We are so pleased with all of your personnel. They give their full attention to us. We have and will continue to recommend Dennis Hernandez & Associates, P.A.” — Patricia B.

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