Okeechobee Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
Motorcycle crashes are unfortunately common in Okeechobee. A motorcycle accident is especially tricky because there’s an unsaid bias against motorcyclists – a notion that bikers always behave irresponsibly while driving. This makes it tough for them to claim full repayment for their medical expenses, missed income, potential lost earning capacity and other damages.
If you’ve suffered an injury from an Okeechobee motorbike accident, you must get an experienced and skilled motorcycle accident attorney. Call Philip DeBerard, Injury Attorney. Voted the Treasure Coast’s Best Personal Injury Attorney, Mr. DeBerard and his law firm have won maximum settlements and verdicts in service of Floridian claimants. Consult with DeBerard for free. Call 800-299-8878 for your free consultation.
Motorcycle Accident Statistics
In 2021 alone, in nearby St. Lucie County was the location of 118 motorcycle accidents, reveals data from the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV). On average, that’s one accident every three days. These accidents sadly caused 99 injuries and 8 deaths.
In 2022, the statistics seem similar. In the first nine months of the year, the FLHSMV has already recorded 88 motorcycling crashes in St. Lucie County, involving 70 injuries and 2 deaths.
The county’s scenic roads and pleasant weather motivate motorcyclists to enjoy the outdoors while riding their bikes. Unfortunately, this also means a greater accident risk. FLHSMV numbers show that motorcycle accidents in St. Lucie County typically surge in the months of March, April, and May, and also in December.
Florida overall has the ideal climate for open-air travels and as a result, it has more motorcycle accidents than most. One study revealed that in 2020, the Sunshine State was one of the top 5 US states with the highest motorcycle fatalities, with the death toll reaching 600 that year. The researchers noted that, southern states with warmer weather were more prone to have bigger motorcycle crash rates.
In addition, Florida’s helmet laws are relatively relaxed. Riders over 21 years old are not obligated to wear protective headgear if they carry personal injury protection (PIP) insurance. While insurance may reimburse some expenses after a motorcycle crash happens, it cannot protect motorists from injuries. And because motorcyclists are not shielded by airbags and car crumple zones, they are more likely to sustain serious or life-threatening injuries.
Establishing Fault in an Okeechobee Motorcycle Crash
In an accident, Florida law says you must seek compensation from your own PIP policy first. Only when your injuries are serious enough will you be eligible to file a liability claim against the at-fault driver’s policy. Many of those injured in motorcycle crashes have to pursue compensation from the responsible party to reimburse their considerable injuries and losses.
In a personal injury insurance claim, you must prove that the person you’re filing against is responsible for your damages. We do this by establishing that they acted negligently during the crash. In legal terms, “negligence” means they had a duty to practice reasonable care but failed this duty. Below are some instances of negligence that result in motorcycle accidents:
- Driving too fast
- Distracted driving
- Following too close
- Unsafe turns
- Not giving the right of way
- Driving while intoxicated (even certain prescription drugs can be involved if they include warnings about driving on meds)
- Reckless driving (running red lights, cutting off vehicles, etc.).
In our over 40 years of service at the DeBerard injury firm, we’ve seen how motorcycle riders are so frequently blamed for their own injuries. While we acknowledge that some riders engage in unsafe practices such as lane-splitting and illegal passing, this should not be automatically assumed of all injured riders.
This point is especially critical in Florida because the state’s accident law adheres to the comparative fault principle. This is a rule where all persons who were negligent in the accident shall’ve been held partially to blame. Even the injured party might be being considered partly at fault for their own crash, and their compensation could be reduced according to their share of responsibility. For example, if they had 10 percent of fault in the accident, it, would mean that 10 percent would be taken out of their compensation.
Insurance adjusters and defense lawyers can assert this rule every opportunity they get, placing some blame on the victim so they can minimize the amount they ultimately pay. This is one of the reasons why it’s incredibly difficult for motorcycle injury victims to get their fair compensation. Reach out to Philip DeBerard immediately after your accident to safeguard your claim and stand for the amount you justly deserve.
Increasing Your Chances of a Winning Motorcycle Crash Claim
Claimants who suffered injuries from a motorcycle crash have a hard fight just to win their much-needed settlement. Often, they have to deal with insurance adjusters who are veterans in downplaying injuries, adding delays in the claims process, or finding potential grounds to throw out a settlement. Numerous injured claimants obtain much less than what their injury is worth; some don’t obtain any settlement at all.
To strengthen your motorcycle injury claim in the Okeechobee area, remember these tips:
- Get medical attention right away. Though PIP insurance usually gives you 14 days to seek medical treatment, it’s best to see a physician within 24 hours after the crash. Delaying your medical care could be interpreted to mean your injuries aren’t really serious. Even if you feel well at first, note that adrenaline from the crash can be being masking the hurt that your body has sustained.
- Gather documentation as early as possible. While you’re at the scene, take photos of the situation, including your property damage and any apparent injuries. It would be especially helpful if you been wearing a camera on your helmet, as it could show footage of the actual crash. Additionally, gather all relevant documents that show your losses, like medical bills, pharmacy receipts, travel stubs, work logs, and the like.
- Get the help of a trusted attorney. Even if you’re only considering an injury claim, a lawyer can be crucial in a motorcycle crash case. Choose a lawyer who has shown their competence in motorcycle accident cases, as these require particular experience. You can at least consult a trusted attorney as soon as you can to provide sound legal advice and help you avoid costly mistakes in your claim.
Call Philip DeBerard, Injury Attorney in Okeechobee County
With a successful track record, Attorney Philip DeBerard and his firm are the top choice for motorcycle injury cases in Okeechobee County. Our firm has obtained millions of dollars in settlements and verdicts on behalf of our clients, including a $1 million settlement in a motorcycle crash case. Your first consultation is free, and we don’t charge you any lawyer fees until we’ve won compensation for you. Call us today at 1-800-299-8878.
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