Sunrise Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
If you or someone you love has been injured in a motorcycle wreck due to the negligence of another, Sunrise motorcycle accident lawyer David Benenfeld has the experience and mastery of the law to maximize your chances of obtaining compensation. The insurance company representing the driver who injured you has an army of lawyers working against your interests. You owe it to yourself and your family to contact our office to protect your interests. And please, do it soon. There is a statute of limitations in Florida. When it expires, your opportunity to file a claim is lost. In addition, the sooner we start working on your behalf, the better your chances of success. Hire a dedicated motorcycle accident law firm in Sunrise to fight for your rights.
Upwards of 50,000 motorcyclists are injured and several thousand killed in traffic accidents every year
In 80 percent of the crashes involving multiple vehicles, the operator of the motorcycle is not at fault. Rather, the cause of the accident often centers on:
- A car or other vehicle following too closely and rear-ending the bike
- A head-on collision wherein the other driver was making a turn and did not see the motorcyclist
- A passing motorist side-swipes the bike
In accidents between a motorcyclist and a car, the motorcyclist suffers greater injury. Many factors contribute to the severity of the injury, such as the speed of the vehicles at impact, the motorcyclist’s size, the size of the motorcyclist’s passenger, whether the people on the bike were wearing helmets, and many more. Sometimes the motorcyclist and passenger get lucky. They suffer cuts, bruises and other minor injuries. Sadly, injuries resulting from motorcycle accidents are often considerably more severe, including broken bones, spinal cord damage, brain damage, disfigurement, paralysis, and death. This is why it is very important to consult with an experienced Sunrise motorcycle accident attorney who can help you get the compensation you deserve.
It is important to note that severe injuries such as these can carry with them a number of other potentially devastating consequences. For example, cognitive abilities can suffer and the accident victim’s personality may change. The ability to earn a living, let alone return to a job, may be lost forever. The initial injuries may require years of medical care, including doctor visits, numerous surgeries, physical therapy, and costly medications. Prolonged treatment for serious injuries resulting from a motorcycle accident can be both emotionally and financially catastrophic for everyone involved. An experienced Sunrise motorcycle accident lawyer can alleviate the financial burden by getting you the compensation you deserve.
When the injuries suffered in a motorcycle accident are due to the negligence of the other driver, the motorcyclist may be entitled to compensation for the injuries themselves, on-going treatment, loss of future productivity and quality of life, pain and suffering, and more.
Florida Motorcycle Accident Video FAQs
Do Motorcycle Accidents Occur at a Particular Time of Day?
How Do Motorcycle Accidents Typically Occur?
What Are the Helmet Laws Imposed In The State?
Would A Motorcycle Case Be Adversely Affected If The Rider Wasn’t Wearing A Helmet?
How Does Being A “No-Fault” State Affect Motorcycle Accidents?
Is Taking Pictures Helpful To A Motorcycle Accident Case?
What Role Does Insurance Play In A Motorcycle Accident Case?
What Does It Mean For My Case If The Other Party’s Insurance Accuses Me Of Being At Fault?
Are There Different Rules of the Road For Motorcycles and Automobiles?
Who Should I Contact First After A Motorcycle Accident?
Should I Provide A Statement To The Other Party’s Insurance?
What Are The Top Misconceptions About Motorcycle Accidents?
What Unintentional Mistakes Can Hinder Favorable Resolution of Motorcycle Accident Cases?
How Long Do Motorcycle Accident Cases Typically Take To Resolve?
Is It Easy To Win A Motorcycle Accident Case?
Are Courts Generally Biased Against Motorcyclists?
What Qualities Should I Look For In A Motorcycle Accident Attorney?
Can An Attorney Help Negotiate Down Medical Bills Or Liens?
What Happens If My Medical Bills Are More Than My Insurance?
Florida Motorcycle Accident FAQs
What Are The Initial Steps To Take After A Motorcycle Accident?
After a motorcycle accident, the first thing that you should do obviously is report the accident, stay at the scene of the incident and wait for the police to get there. Tell the police how the accident happened and take pictures of the vehicles involved in the incident, meaning your motorcycle as well as the other drivers.
Take pictures of the weather, take pictures of the skid marks, take pictures of everything you possibly can, the traffic lights, the scene of the incident, and if there are any witnesses, get their names, get their phone numbers, get their addresses, get insurance information from the other driver, take as many pictures and get as much information as you possibly can.
When you’re done with that and if you’re capable of doing that for sure, also get medical care immediately if you’re feeling pain, don’t wait. If the paramedics need to be called, have the paramedics called and if you need to go to the hospital, don’t be shy, go to the hospital. After that, get in touch with a lawyer and have a lawyer help you and continue on with your medical care.
What is the Most Difficult Aspect of Dealing with a Motorcycle Accident Case?
One of the hardest things to deal with in a motorcycle accident case is when a motorcycle accident occurs and something tragic occurs, meaning somebody passes away because of the accident, somebody dies or somebody is so severely hurt that they can’t walk again and the other driver has no insurance and the other driver has no assets. These are terrible situations to begin with and when somebody doesn’t have the ability to help deal with the expenses that occur, it just makes things that much worse. These are horrendous situations when they occur.
What are Some Examples of Injuries that You’ve Seen From Minor to the More Severe?
For motorcycle accidents, I have seen everything from sprained necks, sprained backs, broken ankles, broken toes, fractured knees, and even death. I have dealt with people who have become paraplegics, quadriplegics, people who have suffered severe injuries where they have had to have knee surgeries and shoulder surgeries, back surgeries, and neck surgeries.
I’ve seen people who have had to have plastic surgery on their face and plastic surgery on different body parts because of how much skin was scraped off. I have had people who have had memory loss due to the incident and brain problems and a whole host of different injuries that have occurred in motorcycle accidents. Most of them go from minor to very severe to very serious. Most of the times, they are very serious.
Have You Seen Any Traumatic Brain Injuries?
For motorcycle accidents, absolutely, we have seen traumatic brain injury cases and they are terrible cases. That’s why when you are riding a motorcycle, the most you can do to try to avoid a serious injury is not only to drive safely but certainly to wear a helmet because when these incidents occur. If you are wearing a helmet that is the best chance you have at not having a traumatic brain injury.
Can You Provide Examples of Some Cases that You’ve Handled?
There was a recent claim that I had which actually involved a moped and my client was charged with the accident, listed on the police report as having caused the accident. I talked with the witness and the witness told me that my client was at fault and that’s exactly how the accident happened. I went out to the scene of the accident, took a look at the accident report, and because of that, I was able to figure out that maybe things weren’t exactly as the police officer indicated, nor were they exactly as the independent witness indicated as well.
At this point, I had the other driver who said my client was at fault, I had an independent witness who said my client was at fault, and the police report said my client was at fault. Nonetheless, I had bills which were $146,000. They were reduced to $25,000 and we wound up settling the case for $75,000 and all the medical bills were paid and the client got money in her pocket. There have been other cases that I’ve handled with motorcycle accidents where the other side was at fault and we’ve gotten policy limits on numerous of those cases. So, each case is different.
Does the Type of Motorcycle Matter in a Motorcycle Accident Case?
There really is no difference between which kind of motorcycle somebody is riding as far as when an accident occurs. There’s no difference whatsoever. Accidents happen anytime, anyplace. As long as somebody is on the roads, there’s going to be an accident that happens. You’ve just got to be careful with whatever vehicle you’re driving, whether it’s a car or it’s a motorcycle, a moped or anything else.
Why do People Get Discouraged in a Motorcycle Accident Case?
Sometimes people lose heart when they’re going through their claims. It is because they are in a lot of pain, they are not working, they are seeing doctors all the time and sometimes they just get very upset because they feel like their injuries are going to last forever, their pain is going to last forever but the pain and the problems will alleviate at some point. The most important thing when you’ve had a motorcycle accident is don’t lose faith. If you’ve had an accident, give us a call, the likelihood is pretty good we can help you.
Is There A Particular Time Of Day That Motorcycle Accidents Occur?
Motorcycle accidents can happen any time of day, any time of night, during the week, or during the weekend. They occur any time that somebody is riding a motorcycle.
Certainly when you’re riding a motorcycle, an accident is more likely for it to occur at night because motorcycles are harder to judge by distance for some drivers and harder to see because they only have one light versus a set of headlights. So people may misjudge it, plus a lot of times when people are riding motorcycles at night, sometimes people tend to just drive more carelessly at night. But the reality is they happen any time of day or any time of night.
How Do Motorcycle Accidents Typically Occur?
There really is no common pattern as far as how motorcycle accidents occur. Sometimes they occur when a driver fails to see the motorcyclist and rear-ends the driver, sometimes it happens because the driver fails to yield the right of way and crashes into the side of the motorcyclist, and sometimes they change lanes and they fail to see the motorcyclist and they crash into the motorcyclist.
There really is no common thread behind any of it but the only common thread is that it’s an accident and the other driver failed to see the motorcyclist. As a motorcycle driver, the best thing you can possibly do is just drive as safe as you can, try to stay as far away from other vehicles as you can because accidents can happen anytime any place.
What are Some of the Helmet Laws Imposed by the State?
In the State of Florida, there is no helmet law. You are no longer required to wear a helmet according to the state of Florida. However, with that being said, even though you’re not required to do something that doesn’t mean that it’s not much safer to do it! Certainly if you’re riding a motorcycle, everybody knows that if you wear a helmet, you’re going to be a lot safer than without wearing a helmet.
I would strongly suggest that if you’re going to ride a motorcycle, buy a good, strong, safe helmet that will help protect your head and your brain because anytime you have an accident, the likelihood is pretty high that you’re going to fall off your motorcycle and if that happens and you bang your head on the ground, you bang your head into a car or you bang your head into a pole, the likelihood of there being very serious consequences because of that is much higher than if you’re not wearing a helmet.
Would a Motorcycle Case be Adversely Affected if the Driver Was Not Wearing a Helmet?
We have something in Florida known as Comparative Negligence. Comparative negligence basically means that if there was something that you could do to prevent the accident and/or prevent the injuries, then your award is going to be that much less. For example, if you’re riding your motorcycle and you go through a stop sign and the other driver of the other car goes through a stop sign and it’s determined that you’re half at fault and the other driver is half at fault, whatever award you get is going to be reduced by half.
By the same token, if you could have worn a helmet, but failed to wear a helmet and the jury ultimately feels or the insurance company feels that had you been wearing a helmet, even though it’s not required by the law, it would have avoided some of the injuries or all of the injuries, then the likelihood is pretty good that they can reduce your award accordingly. Again, it is a very smart idea to always wear a helmet and be as safe as you possibly can because when these accidents happen, they’re deadly and they’re catastrophic.
Is Florida a No-Fault State? How Does it Apply to Motorcycle Accidents?
Florida is a no fault state, which means no matter how an accident happens, you are, in the state of Florida, entitled to certain medical benefits and lost wages. The problem with that law is that it is not applicable to motorcycle accidents because motorcycles are not considered vehicles in the State of Florida. Because of that, when you have an accident, your medical bills that are outstanding start from $1 and there is no insurance coverage that you personally will have under your no fault benefits which would cover you.
Does Taking Pictures at the Scene of an Accident Help in a Motorcycle Accident Case?
Pictures always help whenever you have a motorcycle accident because this way, we can see what the scene was like where the incident occurred. We can see what the weather is like, we can see if there are any skid marks, if there are any defects for the roadway, so if there were any obstructions to vision. We can also see what the lighting was like, maybe the lighting had something to do with the accident and we can also see the position of the motorcycle and how it’s lying on the ground as well as the position of the car that caused the accident
These things are important in case an accident re-constructionist needs to determine exactly how the accident happened, who is at fault and how the injuries occurred. A picture conveys a thousand words, so if it can be done, it is an absolute must.
What Are The Top Misconceptions People Have About Motorcycle Accidents?
Some of the top misconceptions that people have in motorcycle accidents is that they have to wear a helmet in order to get a recovery, which is not true whatsoever. The other thing is that if they’ve been riding a motorcycle and they’ve been cited with the accident, they think that they cannot get a recovery, which again is something that as a general rule is not true.
What are People’s Top Concerns in a Motorcycle Accident Case?
Some of the things that people are worried about when they have had motorcycle accidents are:
- Are they going to be able to get medical care and who is going to pay for it?
- Are they going to get paid when they are not working?
- When they recover, if they are unable to do the kind of work that they did before, what can they do?
The answer to all of those questions will be answered when you have your free consultation. We will talk about what your best options are and usually we can help alleviate the things that you’re thinking and feeling and help you get on the right track for medical care, help get your medical bills paid and ultimately if you’re unable to return to the kind of work that you did before, we can help you get a recovery which will reflect that.
What are Some Unintentional Mistakes that can Hamper a Favorable Resolution in a Case?
Some of the things that motorcyclists do unintentionally when they have an accident that could hurt their case is they talk to the insurance company and give a recorded statement or a written statement as to exactly what happened. This can hurt you because there are certain facts that might have to be included in that statement that you may forget to tell.
In addition to that, sometimes the insurance companies ask you to sign a form that’s called a general release. In addition, they might offer you a couple of hundred dollars to settle your claim and sometimes people unknowingly sign these forms and when that happens, they no longer have any rights whatsoever to go back and ask for any additional funds, no matter what’s wrong with them. Those are two things that come up time and time again that can really hurt someone when they have an accident.
How Long do Motorcycle Accident Cases Typically Take to Resolve?
Motorcycle cases vary in the length of time that it takes to resolve. Sometimes, there are some cases that can literally resolve within a few days, and other times it can take months, and other times it can take a year or so. It all depends on several factors;
- What are your injuries?
- How much insurance coverage the other side has?
- How long it takes you to heal and what are the results after you heal?
These are all things that go into an evaluation as to how quickly a case can ultimately settle.
Is it Easy to Win a Motorcycle Accident Case or Not?
These claims are always battles. The insurance company, as a general rule, works for their insured and they don’t work for you when you get hurt, they work for the party that caused the accident. Their primary goal is to ultimately settle the claim for as little as possible. Your primary goal is to get as much money as you possibly can, so you have two opposing goals. This is why most people hire lawyers to help with those battles and to help navigate through a system where there are various laws that could affect your claim and could affect your recovery.
Are Courts Generally Biased Against Motorcyclists?
I don’t think that it really matters whether you’re a motorcyclist that travels just on the weekends versus 7 days a week. The reality is that whether you’re a part time motorcyclist or a full time motorcyclist or you ride a motorcycle once in a blue moon, the law is the law.
The mere fact is that when you are on the roadway and you are riding a motorcycle, you are entitled to the same degree of safety, the same degree of care as somebody who is riding a bicycle or somebody who is walking. You’re entitled to be safe as much as you possibly can as long as you’re following the rules of the road. As long as you are doing that, you should not be treated any differently than a car driver, a truck driver, a cyclist, or anyone else for that matter.
What Qualities Should I Look For In A Motorcycle Accident Attorney?
You should be looking for an attorney that has handled motorcycle accident claims before and knows the nuances between them and other kinds of accident claims. An attorney that knows how to handle them and knows what to do and knows which kind of doctors you might need to help your claim, knows if you’re going to need an accident re-constructionist on your case and what kind of accident re-constructionist you might need that might be helpful.
Additionally, the right attorney will know any other experts that might be necessary to help you with your claim such as an economic expert or a vocational rehabilitation expert that can help put your claim together to maximize the amount of return that you can get for your injuries.
Can an Attorney Help Negotiate Down Hospital or Medical Bills or Liens?
Part of our job, as your attorney, is to negotiate any medical bills that you have, any medical liens that you have, any Medicare liens that you have in regards to any payments that occurred on your behalf pursuant to this incident, even health insurance liens. These are things that we do as part of the service to try to help maximize the amount of money that you ultimately get in your pocket once a settlement or a jury verdict occurs.
What Happens if My Medical Bills are More than My Insurance or the Other Party’s Insurance Will Cover in My Motorcycle Accident?
Sometimes it happens that the amount of insurance available through the other side is less than the medical bills that are outstanding. When this happens, we try to negotiate your medical bills down so that ultimately you can get those bills paid in its entirety and still walk away with money in your pocket. This is not uncommon, it does happen and usually we are able to help accomplish that.
What Happens If I’m in an Accident with an Uninsured or an Underinsured Motorist?
If somebody hits you and they don’t have insurance, it’s going to be very difficult to obtain a settlement. What happens in this particular case is we check and make sure that there is absolutely no other means of insurance and if there is not, then we look towards the assets that the other driver has. If the other driver failed to have insurance coverage and has assets, then we make a decision as to whether or not to pursue other assets.
What Happens if a Loved One Dies in a Motorcycle Accident?
If you’ve had a loved one who unfortunately has passed away due to a motorcycle accident, which does happen, we can certainly help get a recovery for the family members through the estate, so it can be done, it has been done, and it is something that we can help with.
Have You Ever Had Clients so Traumatized by an Accident that they Gave up Riding Motorcycles?
It does happen that when people have had a motorcycle accident and they get hurt or they get severely hurt that they don’t ever want to ride a motorcycle again. Certainly, when a motorcycle accident happens and they have some problems and they’re feeling like this, if necessary, we’ll see if we can find a psychologist to help and to try to help them think about things differently so that ultimately they can go back on a motorcycle again. Absolutely, it does happen but there are ways to treat it.
How do you Counsel Someone and Help Set Aside the Emotional Aspect and Focus on their Case?
The best thing to do when somebody is emotionally distraught over the case is to try their best to forget about it, and leave it in the attorney’s hands and let the attorney handle the claim. That’s what we’re here for.
We’re here to deal with doctors, the insurance companies, the medical bill providers, with all the little snafus that can happened in a claim, and all the little nuances which can cause somebody a great amount of stress. That’s what we’re here for not only to help you navigate through the system, to help get you as best a recovery as we possibly can for your pain and suffering and to get your bills paid and to get your lost wages and to get money in your pocket, but also to help alleviate as much stress as we possibly can with this difficult situation.
Are There any Things that a Typical Motorcycle Client Should Ask You?
The only thing that you should ask is, “Have you ever handled these kinds of cases before”, “What can I expect to happen”, “How long will my case take, and do you anticipate my seeing doctors and if so, what kind of doctors do you anticipate I’m going to see?” Ultimately, “Will I be able to walk with money in my pocket, and will my medical bills get paid?”
What Role Does Insurance Play In A Motorcycle Accident?
There are several different kinds of insurance involved in a motorcycle accident. You may have automobile accident insurance, motorcycle insurance, medical insurance and a disability policy. If you have a health insurance policy and a disability policy, a medical insurance policy will pay for the medical bills that you incur along with any doctors that you decide to see and you’re going to be responsible for whatever your insurance doesn’t pay along with the deductible. Your disability, when you file that, will pay you for as long as you’re disabled.
The problem with both of those is that doesn’t mean that you will get a lump sum settlement in your pocket. In regards to automobile insurance, that policy will not cover you when you’re riding on a motorcycle and because it doesn’t cover you, you will not be able to get any benefits pursuant to that automobile policy. For the motorcycle policy, if you have that in place, as a general rule, the only kind of coverage that that generally has is damage to the vehicle, short of that is really nothing else that can be done, which means that your medical bills will be outstanding from $1.
The reason why you hire a lawyer is to help navigate you through this system, to make sure that you get all the benefits that you’re entitled to, and to help you get a lump sum settlement from the other driver’s insurance policy.
If the Other Party’s Insurance Insists the Accident was My Fault, What does that Mean for my Case?
Your case is not doomed if you’ve had an accident that was your fault. There are things that have to be looked at before that determination can be made. It could be that the other driver is partially at fault or it could be that the other driver could have done something to avoid the accident, so just because you’ve had an accident and just because the police officer has indicated that you’re at fault and given you a ticket doesn’t necessarily mean that your claim will in fact turn out that way.
The jury may think that yes, you could be at fault, but you could be 75 percent at fault, you could be 80 per cent at fault, you could even be 90 percent at fault or 50 percent at fault, or the jury could ultimately find that you’re not at fault at all. Before you take that step and say, “Okay, I’m at fault,” a better idea is to check with an attorney and find out what their thoughts are.
Are there Any Rules of the Road that Differ Between Automobiles and Motorcycles?
There really are no rules that are different between the operation of an automobile versus the operation of a motorcycle. The only thing that I would suggest is that when you’re riding a motorcycle, be a lot more aware of your surroundings, be a lot more aware of the other drivers. You still need to turn your signals on when you’re changing lanes, you still need to signal to other drivers when you’re going to do something, and you still need to follow at a safe distance. Short of that, you just need to drive very safely.
After an Accident Who should I contact first, a Doctor or an Attorney?
If you’re in pain, the first thing you should do is get medical care. If you’ve had a motorcycle accident and you feel that you need to see a doctor. You feel you need to go to the hospital, by all means, do that immediately. When you’re done with that, then certainly get in contact with an attorney that can help you and help put your case together and help you get all the benefits that you’re entitled to under the law and ultimately help you get a settlement. But step 1 should always be medical care.
Would Any Outstanding Traffic Citation Affect the Outcome of my Motorcycle Accident Case?
No, it doesn’t make a difference at all. As long as you’ve had an accident that wasn’t your fault and you’ve been hurt, if you have something out there that you feel is going to hurt you, call an attorney, talk with an attorney and they will advise you as to what to do.
Should I Respond to the Other Party’s Insurance Request to Make a Statement?
If the other side’s insurance company calls up and asks for a statement, alarm bells should go off in your head and you should wonder why do they need a recorded statement. There is a police report that tells exactly how the accident happened. They have the opportunity to talk to their own client, meaning the other party who caused the accident, so why do they need your recorded statement that you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth?
The only reason why they try to do that is because remember, they don’t work for you, they work for the other side, so they’re going to try to get you to say things that are not going to help your claim. So, the moment that they say, “Well, we need a recorded statement from you in order to process your claim”, the first thing you should do is say, “Thank you, but no thank you, I’m not going to give a recorded statement”, and you call your lawyer and let your lawyer know and let your lawyer deal with it.