If you or a loved one was involved in a motorcycle accident in Jacksonville, Steinger, Greene & Feiner is here to help you seek justice and compensation for the damage someone else caused. Our experienced motorcycle accident lawyers in Jacksonville have what it takes to win your case.
Why Jacksonville Is a Hub for Motorcyclists
Florida is a popular state among motorcycle enthusiasts. In fact, the Sunshine State has the second-highest number of registered motorcycles in the country, only trailing California. Maybe it has something to do with the great weather, scenic views, and open roads.
With their popularity, though, comes a higher risk of accidents and injuries. According to Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, the number of motorcycle crashes that occur annually in Duval County has been on the rise in recent years. Here are some recent statistics of motorcycle crashes in the Jacksonville area.
The Risks of Motorcycle Accidents in Jacksonville
Due to the open-air design of motorcycles, those who ride them have limited protection against surrounding safety threats. This makes motorcyclists extremely vulnerable to accidents and injuries when sharing the road with standard motor vehicles and large trucks. Some of the most common injuries that result from motorcycle accidents include:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Broken bones
- Road rash
- Wrongful death
When it comes to why motorcycle accidents occur, the common causes are similar to those of car accidents.
- Distracted driving
- Other vehicles fail to see motorcycles
- Unsafe lane changes
- Lane splitting
- Drunk driving
- Dangerous left turns
- Illegal u-turns
- Following too closely
- Aggressive driving or road rage
- Roadway obstructions
- Poorly designed intersections or merge areas
- Negligently maintained vehicles
- Mechanical failures
What to Do After a Motorcycle Accident
Not sure what to do after getting in a motorcycle accident? Follow the steps outlined below.
1. Contact Emergency Medical Services
Motorcycle accident victims are likely to suffer injuries given their vulnerability compared to other motorists. Whether you suffer minor or major injuries, it’s important to seek emergency medical care. Call 9-1-1, and first responders will be on the scene quickly to provide the medical care you need.
2. Call the Police
Once your injuries are attended to, notify the police of the accident. If officers respond, they will ensure the safety of everyone involved, gather witness statements, and complete an official police report. Be sure to ask for a copy of the police report for future reference.
If police officers don’t arrive at the scene, you will need to gather witness statements yourself and file an accident report through the local DMV. Just like you would do with an official police report, obtain a copy of the accident report for later use.
3. Gather Information
If you choose to file a claim, your attorney and insurance provider will need key information to determine fault and calculate the damages. Here’s the information you should gather at the crash scene:
- Clear photos and videos from all angles
- Information from other motorists involved (i.e. name, phone number, car make and model, insurance company name, policy type, policy number)
- Witness statements (if police officers don’t respond)
4. Seek Primary or Urgent Medical Care
Even if you don’t need emergency medical care, you should still seek primary or urgent care. Some accident victims sustain minor or internal injuries that don’t appear until days or even weeks after the accident. By that point, it’s too late to seek medical care that can be compensated by taking legal action. Any insurance company will claim that the delay in seeking medical care is proof that the accident isn’t what caused the injuries in the first place.
5. Contact a Personal Injury Attorney
Reach out to a trusted personal injury lawyer as soon as possible after your motorcycle accident. The sooner you do, the sooner you can secure compensation to pay for your injuries and property damage. Steinger, Greene & Feiner is ready to take on your motorcycle accident case and fight for your rights.
6. Notify Your Insurance Company
One step you don’t want to miss is notifying your insurance provider about the accident. You can’t file a claim without your insurance company first knowing about the accident. Some insurers even put a time limit on the notification period, requiring policyholders to report an accident within 24 to 48 hours. All that to say, notify your insurer sooner rather than later.
Understanding Your Rights and Legal Options
If you were injured in a Florida motorcycle accident, you’re entitled to financial compensation that will cover the cost of your injuries and any property damage. You can recover both economic and non-economic damages. Here’s a breakdown of each type.
- Economic Damages: These are objective financial losses that can be ascribed a dollar amount, like past and future lost wages, medical bills, car repairs, medical devices or equipment, and rehabilitation.
- Non-Economic Damages: These are subjective losses that can’t be valued monetarily, like pain and suffering, loss of companionship, anxiety and depression, disability or disfigurement, loss of enjoyment of life, and emotional trauma.
Universal Helmet Law
Florida law requires motorcyclists under the age of 21 to wear a protective helmet that’s compliant with DOT (Department of Transportation) guidelines. This law is designed to protect motorcyclists from injury and liability.
If a motorcyclist under the age of 21 gets in an accident while not wearing a helmet, they could be held liable and even barred from seeking compensation for their injuries. Thanks to Florida’s modified comparative negligence principle, this individual could still receive partial compensation.
However, there are some exceptions to the rule. A motorcyclist who isn’t wearing a helmet when they get in an accident can seek compensation if they:
- Are over 21 years of age and have minimum medical liability coverage of $10,000
- Are in an enclosed cab
- Are 16 years of age or older and the motorcycle can’t exceed two brake horsepower or go more than 30 miles per hour
Modified Comparative Negligence
Under Florida’s modified comparative negligence law—also known as comparative fault—the plaintiff can seek compensatory damages from the defendant, even if the plaintiff is up to 50% liable for the motorcycle accident. The plaintiff’s compensation will simply be reduced by the percentage for which they are liable. For example, if the compensatory damages total $100,000 but the plaintiff is 25% at fault, their compensation will be reduced to $75,000.
Four criteria must be met to establish negligence.
- Duty: The driver owed the motorcyclist a duty of care
- Breach: The driver breached their duty of care to the motorcyclist
- Causation: The driver’s breach of duty caused the motorcyclist’s injuries
- Damages: The motorcyclist suffered a form of identifiable harm—whether physical, mental, or emotional—as a result of their injuries
At Steinger, Greene & Feiner, our personal injury lawyers will do whatever it takes to establish the defendant’s negligence and secure the compensation you deserve. Contact us today to get started.
Your Legal Options
At the end of the day, you have two options to secure compensation. You can either reach a satisfactory settlement or sue the at-fault driver.
- A settlement awards the plaintiff compensatory damages that the at-fault driver pays out-of-pocket or that their insurance company pays for through their auto policy.
- If you and the at-fault driver cannot reach an agreed-upon settlement amount, you can sue them or their insurance company for your desired compensatory damages. This route involves making court appearances.
How a Jacksonville Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Can Help
You don’t have to handle the aftermath of your motorcycle accident alone. Steinger, Greene & Feiner is here to help put your mind at ease. Our skilled motorcycle accident attorneys will:
- Provide guidance and support every step of the way
- Listen to your questions and concerns
- Investigate your case
- Interview witnesses
- Gather evidence
- Handle all paperwork and communications
- Litigate with your insurance company
- Negotiate a fair settlement
- Represent you in court
Why Choose Us as Your Motorcycle Accident Lawyer in Jacksonville
Here’s why Steinger, Greene & Feiner is the name Jacksonville residents trust to handle their motorcycle accident cases.
Every motorcycle accident victim should have access to the same top-notch legal services. That’s why we won’t bill you until after we’ve won your case.
We will hold the at-fault party responsible for their actions. You can count on us to seek maximum financial compensation on your behalf.
Visiting us in person isn’t always convenient. That’s why we’re available by call, text, and online chat. We can even handle your entire case online.
If a question or concern arises outside of normal business hours, we’ve got you covered. You can contact us 24/7 for help with your case.
Contact a Jacksonville Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Today
Are you ready to move forward with your motorcycle accident case? Contact Steinger, Greene & Feiner for a free, no-obligation consultation. One of our skilled attorneys will sit down with you in person or speak with you over the phone to discuss the details of your case. Our law firm is ready to take on your motorcycle accident case.