You may have bought a motorcycle because Palatka provides ideal riding conditions—reasonably warm and sunny all year long. You may have moved here for those reasons and found a motorcycle a fun, economical way to get around.
But there’s an obvious correlation between congested roads, ideal weather, weekends, and motorcycle crashes. If other drivers don’t pay attention, all it takes is a second to leave you struggling to pay the enormous medical bills that come with a motorcycle accident crash. It may leave you or a loved one struggling to walk, get around, return to work—or even hang on to life.
You deserve full and fair compensation for those damages. Our experienced Palatka motorcycle accident lawyers can help you pursue them.
Among our case results, our firm has obtained:
- $800,000 for a motorcyclist after a driver turned in front of him
- $500,000 for a motorcyclist who needed back surgery after an inexperienced driver hit him
- $250,000 for a motorcyclist after an older driver “did not see him.”
- $335,000 for a motorcyclist hit by a pickup truck driver
Table of Contents
- Potential Damages in Motorcycle Collisions
- Who Is Liable for Your Palatka Motorcycle Accident Damages?
- The Elements of Negligence
- When Should You Contact a Palatka Motorcycle Accident Lawyer?
- Motorcycle Accident Injuries
- Injured in a Motorcycle Crash? Contact a Seasoned Palatka Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Today
Potential Damages in Motorcycle Collisions
Florida averages about 24 motorcycle accidents every day. While this may not seem significant, it adds up to nearly 9,000 motorcycle accidents per year. But, in reality, these aren’t just numbers; they are real people with real injuries and real families. Many suffer moderate to catastrophic injuries, and some are even deadly.
Florida law allows injured victims to seek financial recovery, known as damages, for their injuries, expenses, and inconveniences resulting from an accident. Damages can vary from one injury accident to the next. Still, generally motorcycle accident victims have both economic and non-economic damages. Some may also be entitled to receive punitive damages. When you work with a seasoned Palatka motorcycle accident attorney, they can ensure that your claim accounts for all of your damages and that you don’t settle for less than you deserve.
Economic damages are also called special damages. These damages address your financial losses from the accident. For example, if you had to take off work to recover, were physically unable to perform your job, or needed to attend doctor appointments, you likely have lost wages. If you received medical treatment for your injuries, you also have medical bills. Motorcyclists with severe or catastrophic injuries get many high-dollar medical bills for hospitalization, surgeries, therapies, medications, medical equipment, and specialists. Special damages cover these losses and more. These damages are simple to calculate as their value is predetermined.
General damages is another term for non-economic damages. These damages are more difficult to calculate as they don’t have a predetermined value. Their value is subjective.
Some call non-economic damages pain and suffering, but they include:
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Loss of a limb or bodily function
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Mental anguish
- Loss of consortium
- Worsening of prior injuries
With a Palatka motorcycle accident lawyer on your side, rest assured that you can receive the maximum compensation possible for your general damages.
Punitive damages aren’t common. To award punitive damages to a motorcycle accident victim, the court must have clear and convincing evidence that the victim’s injuries resulted from more than an intentional act. The court must find the at-fault party’s actions deliberate and grossly negligent. They must have known that their actions had a high probability of causing injury or damage.
Punitive damages are appropriate if there is egregious wrongdoing of the defendant. Even if their actions aren’t criminal, if it constitutes a public wrong, the judge may award punitive damages.
While special and general damages are categorized as compensatory damages because they compensate victims for their injuries, punitive damages punish people. They serve the collective good. They don’t compensate the injured party but deter the liable party and others from the same behaviors.
Drunk driving, driving recklessly, and running away from the police are examples of when a court may impose punitive damages. Your Palatka motorcycle accident attorney will inform you if you can claim punitive damages in your case.
Who Is Liable for Your Palatka Motorcycle Accident Damages?
To receive fair compensation for your damages, you must seek it from the liable party or parties. Most motorcycle claims arise from negligence. Negligence is the failure to act or behave in a way that another reasonably prudent person should in the same or similar circumstances. For example, a reasonably prudent person will stop at a stop sign or yield the right of way when making a left-hand turn. The law sets the standard for negligent behavior, but sometimes common sense can as well.
The specifics of your accident will determine who is liable.
Most motorcycle accidents involve:
- Other drivers on the road who drive negligently
- The manufacturer of the motorcycle, another vehicle, or its parts under defective products laws
- Government entities or municipalities that are responsible for the construction and maintenance of roads, signs, and traffic lights
Sometimes multiple parties can be at fault. If this is the case, your Palatka motorcycle accident lawyer will work to identify them all to maximize your financial recovery.
The Elements of Negligence
In a successful injury claim, your Palatka motorcycle accident attorney will establish the elements of negligence.
These elements include:
- Duty: The at-fault party owed you a duty of care. For example, another driver is supposed to stop at a red light.
- Breach of Duty: The other party violated that duty. For instance, by running the red light.
- Proximate cause: The at-fault party’s breach of duty was the most likely cause of your injuries.
- Damages: As a result of the injuries you sustained, you have compensable damages.
If your Palatka motorcycle accident lawyer can’t prove each of these elements, they cannot obtain compensation on your behalf. Working with a highly skilled and experienced Palatka motorcycle accident attorney is imperative to getting the compensation you deserve for your injuries.
When Should You Contact a Palatka Motorcycle Accident Lawyer?
Contact a Palatka motorcycle accident attorney as soon as possible after your accident. Your health and well-being are always the priority, so be sure to get the medical treatment you need. Once you are medically stable, reach out for legal advice. One of our experienced attorneys will review your claim at no cost to help you determine your next best steps.
By not waiting to contact a Palatka motorcycle accident lawyer, you can:
- File your legal claim on time. Florida has a four-year statute of limitations. This means you have four years from the date of your accident to file a personal injury claim. If you don’t file within that deadline, you will lose your right to seek justice through the legal system. There’s nothing to stop you from filing a claim. However, it probably won’t go very far once the opposing party alerts the court that the statute of limitations has expired. Our Palatka motorcycle accident attorneys are fully aware of the statute of limitations and its nuances. They will work to have your claim filed on time.
- Protect your claim. Insurance adjusters love talking to accident victims before they have a chance to consult with a Palatka motorcycle accident lawyer. In these instances, the claims adjuster may convince them to settle their claim early in the process for much less than it’s really worth. Or they might get the injured party to say something to hurt their claim or say something the adjust can twist to be detrimental to the claim. Either way, it increases the likelihood that the insurance company won’t have to pay fairly on your claim.
- Gather and preserve evidence. Evidence plays a vital role in proving the four elements of negligence. For example, injured parties who wait too long to reach out to a Palatka motorcycle accident attorney may find that some valuable evidence in their claim is lost or destroyed. The condition of their bike or other vehicles, skid marks on the road, and even their physical condition can serve as evidence. Witness testimony is often also used as evidence.
Motorcycle Accident Injuries
Injuries suffered in a motorcycle accident can be much more severe than those suffered by car accident victims. Even with a state-of-the-art helmet and other safety gear, motorcyclists are highly vulnerable to the elements. They are easily thrown from their bikes and don’t have the protection of seatbelts like passengers in a vehicle do. They also aren’t protected by a car that encloses them or airbags.
Road rash is often the first injury that comes to mind when thinking about motorcycle injuries because motorcyclists or a passenger might slide across the pavement after falling from the motorcycle. The result is much more severe than a typical scrape or bruise. The force of hitting the pavement causes multiple layers of skin to peel away and can even expose the muscles underneath. Healing from road rash can be very painful and take a long time. Severe cases might require skin grafts and plastic surgery. Motorcyclists with road rash are also at risk of infection.
Spinal Cord Injuries
Spinal cord injuries (SCI) can occur with severe back or neck injuries, including fractured vertebrae. Many of these injuries require surgery, physical rehabilitation, and substantial time away from work. Even worse, damage to the spinal cord may result in paralysis below the injury site.
Traumatic Brain Injuries
Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) can occur with or without the use of a helmet, although helmets cut down on the risk and severity of all types of head injuries. Even a mild brain injury like a concussion may cause long-term consequences, including changes in physical and mental abilities. In addition, a severe TBI may cause coma or death. Those who survive a TBI may still experience seizures, personality changes, and other mental and medical issues.
Broken bones are likely in motorcycle accidents. It’s common for riders often injure their arms, hands, legs, feet, skull, pelvis, and ribs. The severity of the broken bone depends on each accident. Still, some fractures may need surgery and physical therapy to reach a full recovery.
Sadly, some motorcyclists will lose a limb in an accident. The force of the accident itself can cause amputations, or sometimes their appendage is injured so severely that doctors have no choice but to amputate. Even if the accident itself causes an amputation, surgery will be necessary. Amputees face a long road ahead of them with pain and prosthetics. They also often have to re-learn how to do simple tasks like walking or brushing their teeth, depending on which limb they lost.
Internal Organ Damage
Although the ribs, spine, and pelvis protect the internal organs in an accident, internal organ damage and severe bleeding can still occur. Organs can become severely bruised or even rupture. These situations are medical emergencies and can be life-threatening but may not have symptoms right away. This is one reason why motorcycle accident victims should seek medical attention right away after an accident. If left undiagnosed or untreated, the outcome can be catastrophic or fatal.
Injured in a Motorcycle Crash? Contact a Seasoned Palatka Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Today
At Steven A. Bagen & Associates, P.A., we have won hundreds of millions of dollars for injury victims just like yourself for more than 35 years. If a motorcycle crash injured you, you need a fierce advocate on your side who isn’t afraid to stand up to large insurance companies. Our attorneys have spent decades doing just that for clients who have entrusted their cases to us. We can do the same for you.
Contact us today at (800) BAGEN LAW or online to schedule your complimentary motorcycle accident case review with a seasoned Palatka motorcycle accident attorney.
My experience was more than great, from the moment I acquired about their services to the moment my case was finalized and settled, there was steady communication, and I was consistently in the loop. They explain things to you in a way that you can understand and ensure that you are involved in the decision making. Everyone is super kind and stays in contact with you even after settling. They truly care about your well being and I will definitely keep them at the top of the list for any other cases.