Motorcycle Accident FAQ
Orlando attorney Cerasa spends more time on cases than TV
The legal team at The Cerasa Law Firm LLC fights for the rights of Central Florida motorcycle accidents. We’ve worked on many motorcycle crash cases, including those involving collisions in the I-4 corridor. We’ve worked on all kinds of accidents including dooring, head-on, intersection, rear-end, side-impact, highside, and rollover accidents.
Every client is different and presents a unique set of challenges and needs. Motorcycle accident attorney Michael Cerasa knows that to win your case he needs to have a deep understanding of the accident in which you were injured and what you require to heal mentally, physically and financially. He knows how to build a strong case the insurance companies can’t deny. He collects evidence and makes arguments other attorneys would miss.
Unique circumstances aside, many of our motorcycle accident clients have similar questions. To help you in your goal to find the right accident attorney for you, here are some answers to questions we are often asked by new motorcycle accident clients.
- What should I do after a motorcycle crash?
- What does “comparative fault” mean in a Florida motorcycle accident?
- Is there a time limit on when I can sue for a bike wreck?
- Does Florida have a helmet law? Can I sue for damages if I wasn’t wearing one?
- How do I choose the right lawyer for my motorcycle accident claim?
- Why haven’t I seen you on TV?
- How long does a lawsuit take?
- What is the average payout for a motorcycle accident?
- Can I still file a claim if I dumped, laid down, or otherwise wrecked my bike to avoid a worse accident?
- Is it worth getting a lawyer for a “minor” motorcycle accident?
If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle accident, contact us for a free claim evaluation. We will review your accident, your needs, and create a winning strategy designed to get you the maximum compensation for the damages you’ve suffered due to someone else’s carelessness. Contact us today.
Immediately after a motorcycle accident, you are probably in shock. Your adrenaline is flowing and you may not be able to feel the extent of your injuries.
If you think you have injured your neck, head, back, or feel like something has been broken or damaged internally – try to remain calm and wait for help to arrive. If you are able to move easily and are up to the task, you can start investigating the accident right away.
- Make an accident timeline. Write down what you can remember about the wreck. Focus on the timeline. Try to include details like time, place, actions immediately taken before the crash, as well as anything you can remember about the impact.
- Call the police. Regardless of the severity of the accident, you need the police to file an accident report to make your claim.
- Take pictures of the accident and injuries.
- Identify witnesses.
- Get checked out by emergency responders. Even if you feel fine, get examined by emergency medical responders that arrive on scene. You may be suffering from an internal injury or other damage still masked by shock.
- See a doctor. Even if you were examined by emergency responders and you feel fine, go see a doctor. It is easy for even trained professionals to miss injuries amid the chaos of an accident.
- Cooperate with the police and insurance adjusters - to a point. Stay friendly in the situation but say as little as possible. Do not sign anything an insurance adjuster gives you, even if they say your policy requires you to do so. Insurance policies often require policy holder cooperation, but you do not have to sign anything right away.
- Get in touch with a lawyer. If you want to collect damages in Florida, you need to file a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company. Our firm offers free claim evaluations to motorcycle accident victims and takes most injury cases on contingency. This means the other person’s insurance company will pay your legal fees. We get paid only when we win.
Florida is one of dozens of states that follow the comparative fault rule when assigning blame after a motorcycle or any other type of traffic accident. Your degree of fault can be negotiated for a settlement or determined by a jury in court.
As a comparative fault state, anyone who suffered damages in a Florida crash can seek compensation. Whatever award they win to cover damages will be reduced by how much they contributed to causing the accident. Fault can be agreed to in a settlement negotiation or decided in a court verdict.
Without a lawyer representing you in your claim, you may be saddled with more blame for the accident than you deserve. An insurance adjuster could say they have reason to believe you are responsible for 40 percent of an accident. Your $100,000 settlement is cut down to $60,000.
When insurance adjusters try to take advantage of motorcycle enthusiasts who have just been in a bad accident, our firm fights back. With attorney Michael Cerasa representing your claim, you will have all the evidence, witness statements, documents, legal precedent, expert testimony, and negotiating fire power you need to beat the insurance adjuster’s weak blame-game.
You have four years from the date of the motorcycle accident to file an injury or property damages lawsuit, but first you should file a claim with the insurance company. You want to file your claim for damages long before the four years are up. You’ll want to have time to sue the at-fault person’s insurance company if their adjuster won’t budge from offering too small a settlement.
Florida requires people under 21 to wear a state-approved helmet when out riding motorcycles. Once you hit the age benchmark, you have a choice of whether to wear a helmet. If a biker decides not to wear a helmet, he is supposed to take out an additional insurance policy of at least $10,000. That being said, studies have found time and again that the risk of injury and death are reduced when a biker is wearing a helmet.
Everyone, however, is required to wear some kind of protective eye guard or equipment.
Even if you weren’t wearing all of your safety gear when another vehicle hit your bike, you are still entitled to recover compensation for your injuries and property loss, though the amount may be reduced because you did not take all safety precautions.
The lawyer you hire to represent your accident claim is going to have a serious impact on you and your family for a lifetime.
We understand how important winning maximum compensation is for you. Attorney Michael Cerasa has the experience, dedication and aggressive negotiating style that gets motorcycle accident victims the money they need to cover past, current, and future medical expenses and losses.
You should feel like your lawyer understands you and what you require to be made whole. He should speak in terms you understand and not legal jargon. Attorney Cerasa is responsive and will make you feel comfortable by providing you with accurate updates about your case. He will give you the information you need to make the right decisions for you and your family.
TV lawyers are notorious for saturating the market with ads and spending all of their time in the studio trying to reel in their next batch of clients. Once they’ve got you hooked, someone in the office will settle your claim quickly with little regard to what you require to heal.
These lawyers are a living example of quantity over quality. They’ll gladly take 15 $3,000 settlements for injured clients rather than thoroughly investigate a case and win an accident survivor the $1 million settlement they need and deserve.
Attorney Cerasa’s exceptional record of significant client settlements and verdicts against some of the largest companies in the world, means that he doesn’t have to plaster his face on public transportation and screens to get attention. With attorney Cerasa you get a lawyer who spends more time on cases, than on TV. He won’t rest until you get the maximum compensation for your damages – our firm never settles for less than what you need.
Every accident is unique, which makes it difficult to determine an average. To give some idea of how long a case can take, the Court Statistics Project found that most motor vehicle accident lawsuits, including those that involve motorcycles, can take between 1 and 115 months between the filing of a court case and a jury verdict. The median length of such a lawsuit is 20 months.
If you’ve been in a motorcycle accident you are most likely entitled to compensation for medical bills, physical therapy, lost wages, medical equipment like wheelchairs or prosthetics, and property damage. There is no average award amount for a motorcycle accident, but many settlements are worth hundreds of thousands of dollars because of the high cost of treatment. The median hospital charge for a motorcyclist admitted to a Florida hospital is around $50,000. That doesn’t include ongoing treatment.
If someone else’s negligence caused you to wreck your bike to avoid hitting someone else or causing more significant damage, then that is a no-contact motorcycle accident. You can absolutely file a claim against the at-fault motorist who forced you into making a split-second decision to avoid further loss.
Your motorcycle accident might seem very simple but consider the following example.
You’ve been in a motorcycle wreck on International Drive, you’re shaken, but mostly feeling OK and it’s obvious the truck that T-boned you is at fault. A few days later you notice your knee is the size of a grapefruit and it was seriously damaged in the crash.
This is what the accident looks like to you and other reasonable people.
The insurance adjuster and at-fault driver trying to get out of paying higher insurance premiums will have a different story. They say the accident happened because you were driving distracted, and your knee pain is a pre-existing condition resulting from an old injury.
All of a sudden, you’re on the defense. Not only are you fighting to get your medical bills paid, but now you have to beat back attempts to make you pay for the trucker driver’s injuries and property damages, too.
Yes, it is best to get a lawyer. At the very least, always take advantage of a free consultation with an experienced lawyer before filing an accident claim. You have nothing to lose and a lot to gain.
There is no such thing as a “minor” motorcycle accident – especially if you have been injured. When an insurance company is standing between you and a fair settlement, they almost always need to be pushed out of the way by a sharp negotiator.