Van Riper & Nies, a Stuart, FL personal injury law firm, represents individuals and families in St. Lucie and Martin county who have suffered injuries while operating a motorcycle, or lost loved ones, due to the carelessness or reckless of others. Our injury attorney, Tim Nies, an Army Ranger Veteran and former insurance company trial attorney, and Christian Van Riper, a former prosecutor for the 19th Judicial Circuit are known as legal warriors in fighting for our clients injured in motorcycle accidents.
Motorcycle crashes occur primarily because automobile and truck drivers are not careful in maintaining a proper lookout for motorcycles. In a collision between a motorcycle and automobile, the motorcyclist does not stand a chance.
Motorcycle Accident Law in Florida
The severe, life-changing injuries that likely arise from such collisions result in serious financial losses to the motorcyclist and his or her family, chiefly caused by the inability to work and staggering medical bills. Under Florida Law, an injured motorcyclist has the right to recover his or her damages from the negligent driver causing the motorcycle crash. Such damages include, but may not be limited to, past and future medical expenses, past and future wages, funeral expenses and other economic losses. Individuals are also entitled to recover for the pain and suffering, mental anguish, inconvenience and disfigurement caused by the crash and his/her injuries. The wife/husband of the injured motorcyclist is entitled to recover for the loss of the services and loss of consortium of his or her spouse. Although a monetary recovery can never come close to repairing the damage that is done to the individual after a motorcycle accident, it can at least ease the financial burdens created by the car accident.
Motorcycle Accident Insurance Company Tactics
The insurance company for the negligent driver will start an investigation of the crash immediately. The motorcycle accident adjuster for the insurance company will try to limit the recovery of the injured motorcyclist to the lowest possible amount. Accordingly, these motorcycle insurance companies have established very specific and complex procedures on handling motorcycle crash claims, especially in the early stages of the claim.
Immediately after a motorcycle crash, the insurance adjuster for the car or truck that crashed into the motorcyclist will take recorded statements from the persons involved in the motorcycle accident, have the motorcycle and other involved vehicles inspected and obtain the police report.
The tactics of insurance companies vary from company to company; however, most insurance company adjusters try to reach a quick settlement with an injured motorcyclist before the motorcyclist has retained an attorney. Their purpose for offering a quick settlement is to have the operator sign a release and avoid responsibility for future medical expenses, lost wages and other damages that are likely to develop. Further, they often have the motorcyclist sign a release releasing every party from liability. This is a trap that an injured motorcyclist must avoid. When a person is injured in a motorcycle crash, it very often takes months to completely assess the person’s injuries. At that point, the person may need surgery or other extensive treatment. If a release has been signed, the insurance company is no longer responsible.
Motorcycle Accident Injuries
The injuries sustained during a crash may leave the motorcyclist permanently disabled even after corrective surgery. Therefore, the true value of a motorcycle crash claim can only be assessed after a trained physician has established a firm prognosis. Therefore, it is important to receive the medical treatment you need before any settlement with an insurance company.
Determining the appropriate value of a claim for damages resulting from a motorcycle crash is complex. An evaluation involves the extent and seriousness of the injuries, economic losses, and issues relating to liability. Insurance companies for autos and trucks involved in crashes with motorcycles have experienced adjusters whose job it is to obtain the lowest
possible settlement. Therefore, it is important for you to retain a motorcycle accident personal injury attorney as soon as possible to fight for you and protect your rights. You need to be prepared for your deposition, for your functional capacity evaluation and Defense Medical Exam (DME). Van Riper and Nies stands ready to help you.
All our Stuart FL motorcycle accident law cases are taken on a contingency fee basis, which means that we do not take a fee or charge any costs unless we win.
For more information about our Stuart and Port St. Lucie motorcycle accident practice, please call Attorney Tim Nies at 772-283-8712 day or night.