Florida’s weather, scenery, and incredible outdoor destinations all make for an ideal location for riding a motorcycle, which is why Florida is home to motorcycle rallies and many roads considered to be excellent for memorable rides. However, there is another side to riding a motorcycle in Florida, particularly the fact that Florida is the most dangerous state in the United States for fatal motorcycle crashes. No matter how defensive and experienced a motorcycle driver is, they will always be at risk of the dangerous behavior of those they share the road with, and all too often, motorcycle crashes are another driver’s fault.
If you drive a motorcycle in Florida, it is important to know that you can hire a Panama City personal injury lawyer who can help you through the legal processes following an accident that you did not cause. When filing an insurance claim against the at-fault driver’s policy, you will almost certainly run into resistance to many of the damages you are rightfully owed. Trying to counter this resistance can feel nearly impossible as you are focusing on healing and getting your life back on track. The insurance companies know this and will use this difficulty to their advantage while working towards the lowest settlement to save as much money as possible.
Learn About How Fasig | Brooks Can Help During a Free Consultation
Contact our Panama City law firm as soon as possible to connect with an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer and discuss the unique details of your case. No two accidents are alike, and you will get the best results by working with an attorney who is willing to give your case the time and attention it deserves to get you the compensation you are owed. During your free consultation, you will have an opportunity to discuss the specific questions you are certain to have about your accident and will be able to get a better sense of how working with a lawyer can make all of the difference in your claim.
Read more below to get a general sense of some important information regarding motorcycle accidents and accident claims, and contact us now to schedule your initial consultation today.
Florida Motorcycle Accident Statistics
According to Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, there were a total of 119 motorcycle crashes and four fatalities in 2018 in Bay County, which account for 1.3% of statewide motorcycle crashes, and less than 1% of statewide motorcycle fatalities in that year. While these statistics are encouraging, this is no guarantee that your ride will not end in a crash and why it is so important to work with an attorney as soon as possible.
According to the NHTSA: “helmets saved the lives of 1,872 motorcyclists in 2017, and that 749 more could have been saved if all motorcyclists had worn helmets.” Florida does not require that a motorcycle rider over the age of 21 wear a helmet, but one of the best ways to avoid being a part of this tragic statistic is to always wear proper protection, including a helmet.
Calculating a Fair Settlement After a Motorcycle Accident in Panama City, FL
One of the most important questions to be answered during an accident claim is the issue of compensation and what a victim is owed for the damages they have suffered. This begins by identifying all of these damages and then calculating the total dollar amounts (economic damages) or deciding how to convert them into financial values (non-economic damages). Each of these processes have ample opportunities for an experienced insurance adjuster to push back on individual line items or outright dismiss entire damages in order to save as much money as possible for their employer. To combat the adjuster’s goal of a low settlement, your personal injury attorney will need to pay meticulous attention to the many details of your case before presenting a strong and aggressive counter-offer.
These damages come with set market values and are therefore simple to measure in terms of how much a victim is owed for them. However, the fact that an economic damage has a price tag does not mean that calculating this entire category of compensatory damage is simple. Insurance companies prefer to focus on the most obvious economic damages, like a victim’s medical bills and lost wages, without taking a deep look at the numerous other financial impacts on the claimant’s life. Other, oft-overlooked economic damages include things like lost business opportunities, services that the victim paid for that they would have performed on their own if not for their injuries (such as grocery shopping, ride services, or cleaning), and long-term impacts to a victim’s earnings.
When you are working with an attorney who understands economic damages and has worked on countless different cases identifying the many financial impacts that each of their clients experience, you can be confident that they will be able to account for your many economic damages, as well. This attention to detail is one way that a personal injury attorney “finds” money for a client that will never be included in an insurance company’s first offer.
Non-economic damages do not have dollar values and are therefore much trickier to calculate. As such, these damages are particularly difficult for someone without years of legal experience to defend during negotiations. Insurance adjusters leverage a claimant’s inexperience in attempts to dismiss a variety of non-economic damages, and unfortunately, it often works. Not so with an attorney handling your claim. When an attorney submits a request for non-economic damages, the adjuster will understand that these calculations are being submitted by someone who knows what they are doing and has a clear understanding of how to quantify these otherwise complex damages.
Common non-economic damages include things like the emotional impact of an accident, injuries, and recovery processes, such as trauma, depression, and loss of enjoyment. In addition, the actual pain and suffering of your motorcycle accident injuries will be included in these damages, which, while difficult to place a dollar value on, are just as important as your medical bills or property damage costs. An experienced attorney has a variety of tools at their disposal to clearly and fairly calculate a fair dollar amount that their client is owed for non-economic damages.
Contact Fasig | Brooks Today
We are here to help you through every step of your insurance claim. We encourage you to reach out to us before filing your claim so that we are representing your case from day one, but regardless of where you are in the process, there is no better time than today to hire an aggressive, proven motorcycle accident attorney after a Panama City crash.