Motorcycle Accident Lawyer in Sebring, FL
You’ve come to the right place. The Cloud Law Firm represents motorcyclists who have been injured in a Sebring motorcycle accident.
Prior to your motorcycle accident, you may have believed that you would never need to hire an attorney. However, your accident may be the most violent and stressful thing that has ever happened to you. Now your life is in disarray. You may be unsure how you are going to pay the medical bills or make up the missed work. The insurance company will likely try to rush you to settle your claim for a small fraction of your actual loss. The decisions you make shortly after the motorcycle accident, such as contacting the right Sebring motorcycle accident lawyer, will play a large role in determining the strength and value of your injury claim. You will only get one bite at this apple. You need a compassionate and experienced attorney who will out-think and out-work the at-fault party and their insurance company.
Call the Cloud Law Firm now for a free, no hassle consultation at: (863) 402-2207. We will be happy to meet with you in person at our Highlands County office located at 205 S Commerce Ave, Sebring, FL 33870. We want you to know your rights and we will provide the advice and help you are searching for. If you retain us, we will get to work on your case right away. You have nothing to lose by calling because there are no attorneys’ fees unless we win your personal injury case.
Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
Motorcycles are a common means of transportation and recreation in and around Sebring, Florida. Motorcycle accidents usually involve contact with a motor vehicle that negligently failed to yield the right-of-way or unexpectedly turned into the path of a motorcycle. Sometimes a negligent driver of a car, truck or bus causes a motorcycle accident by forcing the motorcyclist off the road or into a collision. Other motorcycle accidents occur while a car is passing or overtaking a motorcycle . Still yet, many motorcycle accidents are caused by defective roadway design or maintenance, like unfilled potholes or debris left behind by road workers.
Motorcycle Accident Injuries
As you can imagine, motorcycle accidents happen far too often and frequently result in serious injuries. Unfortunately, motorcycles provide very little protection from roadway hazards, particularly negligent drivers. As a result, when a motorcycle accident happens, severe injuries commonly occur. Common Sebring motorcycle injuries include: cuts and bruises; sprains; broken bones; neck, back and spinal cord injuries; shoulder, arm, wrist and hand injuries; hip, knee, ankle and foot injuries; joint dislocations; concussions; traumatic brain injuries; and even death. Many of these types of injuries require costly surgical and/or long term treatment.
Proving Negligence in a Sebring Motorcycle Accident Case
Most motorcycle accident claims are based on the legal cause of action called “negligence.” Simply put, every person and business owes a duty to use reasonable care. If a person or business fails to use reasonable care, then they have acted negligently. If that negligence injures someone, the injured person has a civil cause of action against the negligent party for money damages. Without getting too technical, in motorcycle accident cases, negligence is typically proven based upon the circumstances of the accident and/or violation of applicable Florida statutes (e.g. speeding or failing to obey a traffic control device), which may be used as evidence of negligence.
Florida follows the rule of “pure comparative negligence.” This means that the jury may determine that more than one person negligently contributed to an accident, and allocate a percentage of fault for the accident to each of the negligent persons. The negligent persons may include the injured person, to the extent he or she contributed to the accident. If the jury allocates fault to the injured person, following the trial, the court will reduce the injured party’s award of money damages by the percentage of fault allocated to the plaintiff in the lawsuit.
What should you do if you are involved in a motorcycle accident?
This is a non-exhaustive list of things you should do if you are involved in a motorcycle accident:
1. Call 911 and file a police report. The police officer will perform an investigation and record pertinent information about the accident, the vehicles involved, the at-fault driver and the parties’ auto insurance carriers.
2. Seek immediate medical attention and tell your physician everything you can about the pain and other symptoms you are experiencing. If you are disoriented, confused or having trouble remembering things, you should report it then.
3. Get all witnesses names, addresses and telephone numbers.
4. Take a lot of pictures of the accident scene, the vehicles involved, any witnesses, and all visible injuries of all victims. Keep the photographs in a safe location, not just on your cellular phone.
5. Do not talk to anyone other than the police officer, your physicians, and your attorneys about the accident or your injuries.
6. Retain an attorney to help you with accident claim.
7. Before you sign anything, such as a statement or property damage release, consult your attorney.
8. Report the accident to your own auto insurance company.
Should you hire a lawyer?
Absolutely. The average person does not have the experience necessary to value a personal injury case, to prepare the case, or to negotiate the intricacies of personal injury law in Sebring. For example, do you know how to obtain and evaluate how much insurance (e.g. BI, UM, PIP, etc.) is available to resolve your claim? Do you know which, if any, of your collateral source providers (e.g. a health insurer) must be reimbursed from your personal injury settlement or what to do if the collateral source isn’t being responsive or reasonable? An experienced attorney will be familiar with applicable Florida laws and how they apply to your particular circumstance. Moreover, an experienced attorney will add value to your personal injury claim.
What does a motorcycle attorney do for clients?
This is a non-exhaustive list of things a motorcycle accident attorney handles for clients:
1. Investigate the claim, such as: interview witnesses, obtain the police report, obtain photographs the scene and vehicles; obtain and analyze all of the client’s medical records, obtain and evaluate all applicable insurance policies, and research applicable law.
2. Advance all the litigation costs incurred in pursuing the claim. Litigation costs generally include things like charges for copies of medical bills, costs charged by the Court, court reporters, and process servers, and costs charged by experts. In cases that go to trial, litigation costs are often tens of thousands of dollars.
3. Represent the client in dealings with the client’s own insurance company, including PIP claims, property damage claims, and UM claims.
4. Represent the client in dealings with the at-fault driver and their insurance company.
5. Represent the client in Court.
6. Negotiate any settlement.
7. Negotiate payment of outstanding liens and medical bills following settlement.
When should you contact the Cloud Law Firm about your motorcycle accident claim?
Immediately! The attorney, Mia Cloud, will provide a Free Consultation and, if you retain us, get to work immediately on your case. The sooner the better. The at fault party’s insurer begins collecting information, documents, photographs, and conducting witness interviews right away. Don’t let them get there first. More importantly, if you wait too long, important evidence and witnesses will go missing.
How long does a motorcycle accident case take to resolve?
This depends on a lot of variables that are outside the client and attorney’s control, including: the client’s injuries and course of treatment, the amount of insurance coverage available, the number of insurers involved, and the insurers’ willingness to discuss a reasonable settlement. The harder the insurance company fights, the longer it takes. With these factors in mind, a standard personal injury case can take anywhere from months to years to complete. One of the reasons it takes so long is because it is unwise to settle before the accident victim substantially completes their treatment as you only get one bite at the apple and cannot go back for more later if it turns out you need additional treatment. Also, if the case goes into litigation, it can take more than a year to push the case through the congested court system.
What items of damages are you entitled to recover?
Motorcycle accident victims are generally entitled to recover the following types of damages:
1. MEDICAL BILLS: You are generally entitled to recover payment for all of your medical bills which are reasonable and causally related to the accident. This includes future medical costs which are necessitated by your injuries.
2. LOST WAGES: You are generally entitled to recover payment for all of your lost wages which are causally related to the accident. This includes wages lost in the past, as well as loss of future earning capacity.
3. PAIN AND SUFFERING: You are generally entitled to recover for all of your pain and suffering related to the accident, both past and future. Pain and suffering damages should not be considered lightly. Depending on the circumstances, pain and suffering awards can sometimes be quite significant.
4. OUT OF POCKET EXPENSES: You are entitled to recover all of your out of pocket expenses, including mileage to and from treating physicians and the costs associated with prescription medications. Be sure and keep track of these amounts as they can be difficult to reconstruct.
5. PUNITIVE DAMAGES: Under some circumstances, such as the case of a drunk driver, you may be entitled to recover punitive damages. Punitive damages are intended to punish a wrongdoer for gross negligence and/or intentional acts. The Florida legislature has passed several statues which serve to define punitive damages and limit the award of punitive damages. However, you should know that under proper circumstances, punitive damages are recoverable.
How much is your case worth?
Your top priority should be your health. If you are in pain or are experiencing symptoms/limitations, you should seek medical treatment regardless of the potential positive or negative effects to the value of your claim. Setting that aside, the value of your case depends on numerous factors, such as the following: the facts of the accident (inflammatory facts makes the value go up), the degree to which you may share comparative fault in causing the accident, the credibility and likeability of the parties and witnesses, the victim’s injuries, course of medical treatment, and future prognosis, the total medical bills, liens and write-offs, and may other factors. An experienced car accident attorney will consider the circumstances of your case and help you evaluate the settlement value of your case.
Do you have to go to Court?
Not always, but it is sometime necessary to obtain the maximum recovery. Many clients want to avoid going to court and we are generally able to secure a reasonable settlement offer without filing a lawsuit. However, insurance companies can be stubborn and sometimes a lawsuit must be filed before the insurance company makes a reasonable settlement offer. For instance, we recently handled a case in which we made a demand for $100,000 insurance policy limits. The insurance company for the at fault party offered only $8,000 to settle the case. We filed a lawsuit and quickly pushed the case toward trial. Just six months later, the insurance company tendered the $100,000 policy limits to our client. Nothing about the case changed, we simply had to force the insurance company to do the right thing. Please see our results for information about some of our settlements and verdicts.
How much are the Cloud Law Firm’s fees?
The Cloud Law Firm provides services to accident victims for a “contingent fee.” We get paid only if we win your case by obtaining a settlement or jury verdict in your favor. If we win your claim, the fee is 33.3% to 40% of the gross recovery, depending on whether we had to file a lawsuit to resolve your claim.
“I was involved in an automobile accident in 2017. Cloud Law Firm was recommend to us. Mia was very professional and caring. It was a long process but Mia and her staff took time to answer our questions and kept us informed all along the way. We did not have to deal with other attorneys or insurance companies. Cloud Law Firm handled it all relieving us from that pressure and allowing me to heal. Mia is very thorough and knows what she is doing. She fights for her clients! We are so thankful for her! We highly recommend Cloud Law Firm!” -Chris M.
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