A motorcycle accident can result in several types of injuries such as traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, broken bones, or damage to the motorcycle itself. The force of an accident can even eject a rider or passenger from the motorcycle causing their wrongful death. Helmets and other protective gear can reduce fatalities, but they cannot stop all injuries. Because motorcycle riders are so exposed, they may suffer from life-changing problems and as a result, find themselves in need of a motorcycle accident attorney who can fight to get them justice and the settlement they deserve.
Over the past 35 years, motorcycle accident attorneys with The Ruth Law Team have earned a reputation for providing experienced, high-quality representation to clients who have suffered injuries and in some cases a loss of life as the result of a motorcycle accident.
We have experience in how to conduct an in-depth investigation, skillfully present all evidence, and demand full restitution. To discuss your case with a highly skilled motorcycle attorney from The Ruth Law Team today, please contact us!
The law group is just amazing. They stayed in contact with me the entire time. Whatever I didn’t understand, they were patient and explained. I would recommend anyone who needs help to contact The Ruth Law Team.
Common Motorcycle Accident Injuries
A motorcycle accident can result in severe injuries. The force can eject a rider or passenger from the motorcycle causing an impact that can break bones and cause serious tissue damage.
Helmets and other kinds of protective gear can reduce fatalities from motorcycle accidents, but they cannot stop all injuries. Because riders are so exposed, they may suffer from major, life-changing injuries such as:
Without protection from the road, a motorcycle rider or passenger can suffer cuts and abrasions. These injuries may lead to permanent disfigurement through scarring and tissue loss. Severe abrasions or road rash can also cause infection, scarring, and permanent discoloration of the skin.
The impact of striking the road, hitting a motor vehicle, or getting pinned under a motorcycle can break bones. Compound fractures and other serious breaks can lead to months of physical therapy or even permanent disabilities.
Neck and Back Injuries
The force of impact in a motorcycle accident can cause injury to the back and neck. These injuries can include torn muscles, ligaments, and tendons as well as fractured vertebrae, compressed or ruptured discs, and other spinal cord injuries.
Some motorcyclists and passengers take the risk of riding without a helmet. As a result, even minor motorcycle accidents can result in common head injuries such as concussions, brain bleeds, skull fractures, and hematomas.
Traumatic Brain Injuries
Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) can happen due to blunt or penetrating trauma causing the brain to swell and bleed. This can result in physical, mental, and behavioral symptoms, including confusion, amnesia, tinnitus, blurry vision, and more.
Loss of Body Parts
A motorcycle crash can cause such severe damage to body tissue that you lose all function of a body part and require surgery to have it removed. Even worse, the body part could become severed during the accident.
What Happens Next?
Immediately after a motorcycle accident, you might be injured and unable to think clearly. The last thing that you need is additional mental and emotional strain from a long, complicated legal process about your accident. Fortunately, our motorcycle accident lawyers utilize a simple, but effective process to build your case. We will guide you through the entire legal process so that you can focus on making a full recovery. Our process involves three key steps, which are:
Before we can file a claim on your behalf, we have to demonstrate that the motorcycle accident affected your life in some significant way. We accomplish this goal by collecting every document related to your case. This includes medical bills, medical records, and insurance policy information.
By reviewing these documents, lawyers can gain a better understanding of the incident. This information will form the groundwork for your claim and will be essential during the negotiation process.
After we have finished collecting cursory documents, our attorneys who specialize in motorcycle accident cases will conduct their own investigation of the accident. They will start this phase by gathering law enforcement reports, video footage, vehicle inspection information, and any other evidence that can help your case. If necessary, our team will also revisit the scene of the crash. We will take photographs, search local security cameras, and look for any other evidence that may have been missed. Law enforcement may have only recorded a crash diagram or description of property damage in their report; we want to understand its root cause (e.g., negligence).
Most accident-related injury claims are settled out of court. This is especially true if the at-fault driver was under the influence or committed any other acts of gross negligence. The defense is more likely to settle out of court for fear that a trial will result in a larger monetary award for you.
With that said, going to trial may have some risk involved for you, too. There is a chance that the jurors could rule in favor of the defense. During the negotiation process, your motorcycle accident lawyer will present each offer to you in detail. It is up to you whether to accept the offer or take your case to trial. Either way, our team will fight relentlessly on your behalf.
Contact an Experienced Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
If you or someone you care about has been injured in a motorcycle crash, contact The Ruth Law Team at 1-888-783-8378 for a free review of your case by one of our motorcycle accident lawyers. Let us put our experience and resources to work for you so you can focus on putting your life back together.
Frequently Asked Questions About Motorcycle Accidents
When you schedule a free initial consultation with a motorcycle accident attorney, you will receive the benefit of the lawyer’s knowledge and experience in dealing with accidents. The lawyer will listen to your story and develop a legal strategy based on your goals. An injury lawyer can help with many aspects of your accident including:
Evaluating Your Claim
The lawyer can assess the legal merits of your claim so that you understand the likelihood of success.
Documenting Your Claim
Your lawyer and their legal staff will collect your medical records, accident reports, medical bills, pay stubs, and other documents. They can prepare and fully document your insurance claim with the at-fault driver’s insurer.
Negotiating with the Insurer
You can expect that the first offer from an insurer will be low. Claims adjusters make low offers to try to save their employers money. They also make low opening offers to give themselves negotiating space.
A motorcycle accident attorney has the skill to present the facts that are necessary to support your injury claim. The lawyer can then negotiate on equal footing with the claims adjuster to try to get fair compensation for your injury.
Filing a Lawsuit
If you cannot get a fair offer from the claims adjuster, your injury lawyer can file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver’s insurance company.
Most injury lawsuits will settle before trial. Filing a lawsuit will pressure the insurer to make a fair offer to avoid the time and expense of preparing for trial.
Preparing for Trial
Before you go to trial, your injury lawyer will take time to investigate the accident and the at-fault driver. The lawyer might take depositions from the driver who caused the accident and any witnesses that were present. If the insurance company requests your deposition, your motorcycle accident attorney will prepare you and attend with you.
Some of the most critical preparations of your lawyer will be to assemble evidence of your injuries. This may include lining up expert witnesses who can explain your injuries and the costs associated with them.
Getting a Damage Award
Your lawyer will present the law and the facts to the jury in your case. To win your case, your motorcycle accident attorney must prove that another driver acted negligently in causing the accident.
If your lawyer persuades the jury of the driver’s negligence, damages will be awarded based on your injuries.
You can file a motorcycle accident claim when an accident resulted from the negligence of one or more other drivers, and you suffered an injury that requires treatment. It would be unfair for you to bear the cost of your injuries when someone else caused them. The purpose of an accident claim is to place the burden where it belongs — on the drivers who caused the accident and their insurance company.
To obtain compensation for your injuries, your motorcycle accident injury lawyers must prove the negligence of another driver in the accident. Negligence has four elements:
Every driver must drive in a reasonably prudent manner to keep other drivers and motorcyclists safe.
If a driver fails to exercise reasonable care while driving, the driver has breached their duty of care. An accident report, your recollections, and witness testimony will help to prove a breach.
If you saw a driver make an illegal or dangerous maneuver that led to the accident, that driver may have breached their duty of care. For example, most motorcycle accidents happen when a driver that is turning left fails to yield to an oncoming motorcycle. Turning across oncoming traffic without watching carefully is illegal and dangerous.
Keep in mind that a driver can be found to have acted negligently even if the police did not cite the driver.
To legally seek compensation for negligence, you must suffer damages of some sort. Your injuries and their associated costs qualify as damages.
A breach must directly cause damage. To establish causation, your lawyer must show that a negligent act was a cause-in-fact and a proximate cause of the injury.
“Cause-in-fact” simply means that the negligent act occurred in the sequence of events that led to your injury. “Proximate cause” means that your injury was a foreseeable result of the negligent act.
In most cases, causation is clear. For example, a driver who turns in front of you and causes you to swerve to avoid a collision would have caused the injuries you received from your evasive maneuver.
In Florida, you can recover compensation even if you are partially to blame for the accident. Under a doctrine called “contributory negligence,” your damages will be reduced by your share of the fault. But Florida law does not bar you from recovering compensation simply because you contributed to an accident.
For example, if you bear 10% of the fault for an accident, you can still recover 90% of your damages.
Immediately after a motorcycle accident, you might be injured and unable to think clearly. But the steps you take after a motorcycle accident can impact the compensation that you can recover for your injuries.
At the Accident Scene
After an accident in the state of Florida, you have several legal duties. Under Florida law, everyone involved in an accident must stop, provide their information to the other drivers, and render reasonable aid to anyone injured in the crash.
After a crash, you should:
Help the Injured
Assess your injuries and the injuries of any other people involved in the crash. If anyone needs medical attention, call 911. You may need to provide first aid until the paramedics arrive.
If you are injured, make sure someone calls for medical help to assist you.
- Call Police
Florida requires drivers to report all accidents that result in injuries or death. Calling the police satisfies your legal duty to report an accident. But it can also benefit your injury claim because the police can:
- Investigate the accident
- Produce an accident report
- Cite the at-fault driver
Failure to call the police after an accident that causes injuries can jeopardize your injury claim. The only time that you do not need to call the police is when an accident only causes property damage.
Under Florida law, you must identify yourself to the other drivers involved in an accident. All of the parties involved in the accident must exchange insurance information or provide their information to the police officer who responds to the accident.
Although Florida uses a no-fault insurance system for automobiles, Florida’s no-fault laws do not apply to motorcycles. As a result, you will need to know the identity and insurance information of the driver who caused the accident. Without this information, you will have a much more difficult time recovering compensation for your injuries.
Document the Accident Scene
If you can take photos and videos, you should document the scene of the accident. A visual record of the damage, skid marks, and final location of the cars can help a motorcycle accident attorney. These photos will explain what happened to an insurance adjuster or jury.
You should also get the names, addresses, and phone numbers of any witnesses to the accident. Witnesses can help to corroborate what happened.
After the Accident
In the days and weeks after the accident, you will need to work on your injury claim. Some of the steps that could improve your outcome include:
Seeking Medical Attention
To obtain compensation for your injuries, you will need medical records that explain the nature and extent of your injuries. If you do not seek medical attention, an insurance adjuster or jury could assume that your injuries were minor.
Seeing a doctor can also help you to understand the treatment and therapy that you will need to fully recover from your injuries. A motorcycle accident lawyer can use this information to fight for appropriate compensation.
Getting a Copy of the Accident Report
An accident report will describe the accident. It may include conclusions about fault. This accident report can provide valuable information that can be used to support your explanation of the accident and the way that you sustained your injuries.
Your accident lawyer can request a copy of the police report. But you can save some time by getting a copy before you meet with the lawyer. The accident report is different from the drivers’ exchange, which is the information the police officer will provide to you at the scene.
Speaking to a Motorcycle Accident Attorney
Motorcycle injury lawyers have knowledge and experience in handling motorcycle injury claims. They understand how motorcycle accidents happen and the injuries they can cause.
Speaking to an injury lawyer will help you to understand your legal rights. An injury lawyer can also help you to avoid making damaging admissions to the insurers.
Damages from personal injury claims include both economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages compensate you for the financial costs of a motorcycle accident. Non-economic damages compensate you for the other effects of the collision that do not have a financial cost.
Economic damages come with a price tag and include costs such as:
Past and Future Medical Expenses
Your damages include your past and future bills for medical treatment, physical therapy, psychological counseling, and medication. Future bills might require an expert opinion from your doctor about your prognosis.
Past and Future Lost Income
Economic damages may include income that you cannot earn because of your injuries. This not only includes missed work, but it also includes pay reductions if you have to work for shorter hours or on light duty while you recover.
Damages also take your lost earning capacity into account. Suppose that someone suffers from a permanent disability and cannot return to their old job. They can receive compensation for the difference in pay between their old job and their new job.
Non-economic damages calculate the non-financial impact of your injuries on your quality of life. Some examples of non-economic damages include:
Pain and Suffering
The pain and suffering caused by your injuries can have many physical and mental effects, such as:
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
You can prove that your injuries caused pain and suffering by showing your medical records of treatment for pain or psychological counseling.
Being injured can cause many inconveniences. You may need someone else to drive you to doctor appointments. You may have missed family events due to your hospitalization. You might need to arrange for the installation of ramps and grab bars in your home. The time that you spend making these arrangements has value when it comes to non-economic damages.
Loss of Activities
You might have lost the ability to perform essential activities or hobbies. It does not matter whether your limitations are physical or mental for the purposes of a damages calculation.
For example, if you cannot ride a motorcycle again because of severe fear and anxiety, the loss of that activity counts for non-economic damages. Similarly, if your back injury from an accident prevented you from playing with your children, that could be compensated.
After a motorcycle accident, you could be out of work while facing enormous medical bills. For this reason, a motorcycle accident attorney will usually charge a contingent fee. This structure recognizes your struggles and provides legal representation to you with:
- No fees collected upfront
- No fee until you win or settle your case
A contingency fee is calculated as a percentage of your settlement or damage award. This assures that your compensation will not get eaten up by legal fees.
A contingent fee also provides an incentive to your motorcycle accident lawyers. The lawyers calculate their fees as a percentage of your compensation. As a result, they will work hard to obtain the largest settlement or damage award possible.
Discuss Fees Before Hiring a Lawyer
No one benefits from a misunderstanding about legal fees. You should discuss legal fees during the free initial consultation with your prospective lawyer. The lawyer can explain how the law firm’s fees work. If you have any questions about fees, the initial consultation is the perfect opportunity to ask him or her.
Under Florida’s Rules of Professional Conduct, all contingent fee agreements must be in writing. The written fee agreement will allow you to review the fee amount and any limitations on the fees before hiring the lawyer. If you have questions about the contingent fee or the fee agreement as a whole, you should raise your concerns before hiring a lawyer.
The lawyer will typically pay filing fees, court reporter fees, and other hard costs during the case. At the end of the case, you will reimburse these costs out of your settlement or damage award. Make sure you review the agreement to understand any costs that the law firm may charge on top of the legal fee. The fee agreement should explain which costs, if any, you will need to reimburse.
Hiring a motorcycle accident attorney can be a very consequential decision. If you are thinking about hiring a lawyer, you probably have a mountain of medical bills and may be facing months or years of additional treatment and therapy. You may be unable to work because of your injuries. You may even be relying on friends and relatives to help you through your daily activities like cooking and running errands.
Getting fair compensation could be necessary to avoid a financial disaster. As a result, you need to hire someone who will provide the kind of representation that will produce results.
Some of the considerations that you should make when hiring motorcycle accident attorneys include:
The facts of every case will differ. But a lawyer who has practiced for decades will have a vast reservoir of experience that they can tap into. This will make the lawyer more efficient and effective in negotiation and litigation. When a lawyer knows what has worked and has not worked in the past, they can focus on successful strategies that produce results.
Competent representation requires a thorough knowledge of the law. A lawyer who knows where to find the answer to legal questions will be more effective when advocating for clients with insurance adjusters, judges, and juries.
But knowledge requires more than legal education. An accident lawyer must also know about insurance industry practices and the ways to maneuver claim adjusters into a better settlement offer.
An accident lawyer must also know about court rules and procedures. A lawyer cannot advocate effectively for a client if they make simple procedural mistakes. Trial experience is key!
You must have clear communication with your attorney to build a strong attorney-client relationship. You should be able to speak frankly with your lawyer. You need to be able to tell your lawyer all of the facts, including the bad ones, so the lawyer can provide candid advice.
During your free initial consultation, you should discuss your legal team’s availability to communicate about your case. You should explain your expectations for speaking to the lawyer and receiving updates about your case.
One of the most important skills for a lawyer is compassion. A lawyer must understand the effects of your injuries on your life. Further, a lawyer must be able to take that understanding and explain it to a jury.
Motorcycle Accident Attorneys
For more than 35 years, we have served in the interest of our clients. Fighting hard to get them the best outcome for their motorcycle accident case. Our team of attorneys at The Ruth Law Team consists of:
- Steven C. Ruth
- Eric D. Roslansky
- Jenna C. Ruth
- Jessica E. Shahady
- Amy A. Catledge
- Austin J. Grinder
- Alex H. Longo
Motorcycle Accident Lawyers in Florida, Georgia, and Minnesota
Our experienced motorcycle accident attorneys can meet with you in person, virtually, over the phone, or you can schedule a meeting at any one of our locations: