Lakeland Motorcycle Accident Attorneys
Lakeland offers a wide range of opportunities for motorcycle riders, including a great route known as the Lakeland Winter Haven Scooter/Motorcycle Route. It also offers plenty of rides each year, which allows riders to get together and travel in a pack as they move through the Lakeland area.
Unfortunately, the heavy traffic in Lakeland may increase the risk of accidents for Lakeland motorcycle riders. If you suffer serious injuries in a Lakeland motorcycle accident, you may need an experienced Lakeland motorcycle accident attorney to help you navigate a personal injury claim.
Contact Frank and Jennifer Fernandez of The Fernandez Firm Accident Injury Attorneys at (813) 278-1032 to schedule your free consultation.
The Fernandez Firm Accident Injury Attorneys: An Effective Resource for Lakeland Motorcycle Accident Victims
At The Fernandez Firm Accident Injury Attorneys, Frank and Jennifer Fernandez work to maximize the compensation Lakeland motorcycle accident victims can recover following what could be life-altering accidents. Our team of highly experienced attorneys has recovered more than $100 million in compensation for accident victims throughout the greater Florida area, including motorcycle accident victims.
At The Fernandez Firm Accident Injury Attorneys, we cannot guarantee the results of any personal injury claim. However, we do bring our resources to bear as we help our clients maximize the results they can obtain through their motorcycle accident claims.
We help put together a compelling claim for our clients, including information that helps establish who caused your motorcycle accident.
Did you know that more than one party can bear liability for a motorcycle accident and that the liable party may include more than just the driver that caused the accident? At The Fernandez Firm Accident Injury Attorneys, we work to establish all parties that may share liability for the accident and your injuries, then put together a compelling claim that will make it easier for you to obtain the compensation you deserve.
We help reduce your stress by taking over dealing with the insurance company.
Most often, after a serious Lakeland motorcycle accident, you will have to deal with the insurance company that covers the liable party to seek the compensation you deserve for your injuries. Dealing with the insurance company, however, can prove both tricky and demanding.
You may struggle to avoid saying the “wrong thing” or to avoid mistakenly accepting a low settlement offer. At The Fernandez Firm Accident Injury Attorneys, we can take over dealing with the insurance company for you, from handling negotiations to fielding phone calls otherwise intended to pressure you into accepting a settlement that does not fit your needs.
We make sure you fully understand your right to compensation.
While insurance companies may not focus on offering the full compensation you deserve for your injuries, we will help give you a better look at the compensation you really deserve and, if needed, fight for you to obtain it. Did the insurance company send you a low settlement offer for your injuries, a tactic often used by those companies, and then pressure you to accept it? We can help you get a better picture of how much compensation you really deserve and when you should accept an offer.
How a Lakeland Attorney Can Help
If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle crash, you need an motorcycle accident attorney who has the financial resources and the trial experience necessary to fight the big insurance companies when claims involving the most devastating injuries, which may include, the following:
- Head Injuries
- Amputation Injuries
Typically, motorcycle injuries result in extraordinarily high medical expenses, lost earnings, the costs associated with long periods of expensive physical rehabilitation and therapy and many other financial losses. Additionally, families whose loved one has been taken from them in a fatal motorcycle collision lose the financial and emotional support provided by the deceased victim.
At the Fernandez Firm Accident Injury Attorneys, our Lakeland motorcycle accident attorneys have been aggressively representing Lakeland motorcycle crash victims for more than two decades. We relentlessly prosecute negligent drivers in our pursuit for full compensation for families and motorcycle accidents victims. Please contact our Lakeland office today if you have questions about your legal right!
Common Motorcycle Hazards
Lakeland motorcyclists face risks that drivers of cars, trucks, and SUVs take for granted. Some of the most common causes of motorcycle accidents include:
- Distracted Drivers
- Weather Conditions
- Road Surface Defects
- Inattentive Drivers
- Difficulty many drivers have judging the speed of oncoming motorcycles
Our motorcycle accident attorneys put their understanding of the state’s negligence laws to work by knowing how to obtain and present the evidence needed to prove fault on the part of other vehicles involved in a collision with a motorcycle operator. Even if you are partially at fault in causing the accident or contributing to the severity of your injuries, a motorcycle accident attorney at the Fernandez Firm Accident Injury Attorneys can explain how the state’s comparative negligence laws might still allow you to recover for you economic losses, your injuries and resulting damages.
The Dangers to Lakeland Motorcycle Riders
Lakeland, Florida offers some beautiful scenery and many sunny days each year. With its overall mild climate, it offers a great chance for motorcycle riders who live in or visit the area to hit the roads, enjoying the wind in their hair and the rush of the scenery around them. Unfortunately, Lakeland also has some hazards that may increase the risk of serious motorcycle accidents.
Lakeland has more than its fair share of intersections. Many of those intersections, which have poor designs that can endanger pedestrians, also lack the features needed to enhance safety for motorcycle riders. Some intersections, for example, have poor lighting, which could cause other drivers to miss the presence of a motorcycle rider at night until a collision occurs.
Others have wide lanes that encourage high rates of speed, which may increase the risk that another driver will speed through the intersection.
Florida’s Motorcycle Laws
Florida’s motorcycle laws do not always offer maximum protection for motorcycle riders. For example, Florida law does not require helmet use for riders over the age of 21 who carry adequate health insurance.
While this law may seem, on the surface, to offer additional freedom to motorcycle riders, it may also increase the risk of traumatic brain injury or raise the severity of traumatic brain injury when it does occur.
As a result, many Florida riders who choose not to wear helmets suffer more severe injuries than similar riders in other states, who might have better protection from the road in an accident.
The Risk of Severe Injury
Motorcycles offer little protection from the pavement or from the vehicle that strikes the rider. In fact, motorcycles may actually cause more damage to the victim than if the victim had suffered injuries in a pedestrian collision, since the heavy bike may fall over on top of the rider.
Touring bikes, the heaviest types of motorcycles, may weigh between 800 and 1,000 pounds, which may mean a heavy crushing injury risk. Many motorcycle riders suffer severe injuries with lifelong consequences in motorcycle accidents.
Traumatic Brain Injury. Traumatic brain injury can occur even when the motorcycle rider wears a properly fitted helmet. While helmet use can decrease the risk of TBI, motorcycle accidents often involve a lot of trauma to the head and brain, which may result in severe traumatic brain injury.
Accident victims who suffer from TBI may have ongoing challenges, including problems with memory, focus, and concentration. In addition, traumatic brain injury victims often have challenges with emotional regulation that can make it difficult for them to hold down jobs that require them to interact with coworkers or the public or may impact their relationships with friends and family members.
Back and Neck Injuries. Back and neck injuries can pose immense problems for many motorcycle accident victims. Since motorcycles offer so little protection against the force of the accident, the victim may suffer trauma to the back that results in herniated discs, muscle damage, or direct spinal cord injuries.
Spinal cord injuries can cause some of the largest changes in a motorcycle accident victim’s life, since they may result in complete paralysis below the site of the injury. In addition, spinal cord injuries may lead to lost function in organs below the site of the injury.
Amputations. Motorcycle accidents often involve immense force that can result in immediate amputation or such severe crushing damage to the victim’s limbs that the victim eventually requires amputation due to lost blood flow to the limb.
Amputees may struggle to return to the activities they enjoyed before the accident. Some amputees choose to use prosthetics to help restore normal appearance and enhance function. Unfortunately, prosthetics typically pose an ongoing expense for amputees, since they will require replacement every 3-5 years. Many amputees struggle with those ongoing costs.
Road Rash. Many motorcycle accident victims end up dragged along the road, resulting in severe road rash. Road rash, also known as a friction burn, has many of the same symptoms as a burn, especially if the victim suffers severe trauma. Not only can road rash cause substantial scarring, it may also lead to a high risk of infection, particularly if doctors cannot fully clean out the wound to reduce the foreign matter in the area.
Broken Bones. Lakeland motorcycle accidents often result in multiple broken bones for the victims. Often, the force of the accident leads to multiple fractures. Then, if the motorcycle falls on top of the victim, it may cause even more damage.
Motorcycle accident victims often have a long road to recovery in front of them, especially if they sustained multiple broken bones in the accident. Broken bones may require surgical attention and physical therapy for the victim to make a full recovery. In addition, some victims with broken bones struggle with ongoing pain in the injured area for the rest of their lives.
The Compensation You Can Expect Following a Lakeland Motorcycle Accident
Many people have one key question after suffering severe injuries in a motorcycle accident: how much compensation can they expect for those injuries? At The Fernandez Firm Accident Injury Attorneys, Frank and Jennifer Fernandez cannot guarantee the compensation motorcycle accident victims can receive, but they can help break down the conditions that led to your accident and the expenses you have faced, then give you a better idea of the compensation you really deserve for those injuries.
A motorcycle accident claim aims at providing you with compensation for the financial and physical losses you faced due to the negligence of another party, often a driver who chose to take negligent action behind the wheel.
From distracted drivers to drivers who chose to ignore the rules of the road or drivers who did not safely share the road with a motorcycle, drivers can pose substantial hazards on the road. However, other entities may also share liability for your Lakeland motorcycle accident. The party that bears liability for your accident may impact the compensation you can recover.
Who Bears Liability for Your Lakeland Motorcycle Accident?
Most often, the driver who commits an error that results in a motorcycle accident will bear liability for the accident. Drivers bear the final responsibility for any decisions that they make behind the wheel, including drunk or distracted driving, ignoring the rules of the road, or failing to take that vital second look before merging in front of a motorcycle. However, in some Lakeland motorcycle accidents, another entity may also bear liability for the accident.
Did a mechanical error contribute to your Lakeland motorcycle accident? Mechanical errors can pose a particular danger to motorcycle riders, who may need all the control of their vehicles they can get regardless of what happens around them. If your brakes malfunction or you experience a tire blowout, you may have a hard time getting your motorcycle safely out of the road. Likewise, if another driver suffers from a mechanical malfunction near you, it can increase the danger you face exponentially.
Sometimes, liability for mechanical malfunctions rests with the manufacturer: a manufacturer who put out a defective vehicle or part. Other times, it may rest with a mechanic that recently worked on the vehicle: one that failed to properly put together the repairs, for example.
Was the driver that caused your accident working at the time of the Lakeland motorcycle accident? Often, employers share liability for accidents caused by their employees, especially if those accidents occurred because the employee chose to drive while inebriated, pushed the speed limit due to company policies, or felt pressured to drive despite illness or exceeding the legal number of hours he could spend on the road.
What Injuries Did You Sustain?
Your medical expenses will make up the base of your motorcycle accident claim. The more severe your injuries, the more compensation you may need to claim, since severe injuries may mean greater overall medical expenses.
How Much Work Did You Miss?
In addition to compensation for medical costs, you can claim compensation for the wages you lost following your motorcycle accident. Calculate all the time you lost at work, including time lost for follow-up appointments and procedures, to get a better idea of the compensation you deserve.
What Limitations Do Your Injuries Pose?
Unlike compensation for medical bills and lost wages, compensation for pain and suffering can vary based on specific non-economic factors. Discuss your injuries and the suffering and limitations they have caused in your life with The Fernandez Firm Accident Injury Attorneys to get a better idea of how they will factor into your motorcycle accident claim.
Do You Need a Lakeland Motorcycle Accident Lawyer?
Following a serious motorcycle accident in the Lakeland area, you may need assistance from an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer to help you move forward with your motorcycle accident claim. Contact Frank and Jennifer Fernandez at The Fernandez Firm Accident Injury Attorneys today at (863) 230-8361 for your free consultation.
Lakeland Motorcycle Accident FAQs
Hopefully, you are looking for information before a motorcycle accident. However, if you were recently in a Lakeland motorcycle accident, we will answer some questions we most frequently hear from both those who have survived the accident and family members of those who unfortunately lost their lives in a wreck.
Safety first. This is the first rule. If it is possible, get to the safest location available.
- Notify law enforcement about the accident
- Obtain the name, contact information, and insurance information of the driver who struck you
- Secure the name and contact information for anyone who witnessed the accident
- If possible, document the scene with photographs (use your cell phone)
- Seek medical attention (this is important)
- Contact a Lakeland motorcycle accident lawyer
- Notify the proper insurance company
When you suffer an injury or multiple injuries in a Lakeland motorcycle accident, there are often various categories of compensation you may seek.
- Medical bill reimbursement
- Wages lost due to your injury
- Damage to your motorcycle
- Modifications to your home to ensure your safety
- Necessary medical devices (walkers, wheelchairs, crutches, canes, etc.)
When you have a free consultation with Lakeland motorcycle accident lawyers, Frank and Jennifer Fernandez, they can advise you of what damages may be included in your claim.
This question is always asked and is very difficult to answer without knowing the specifics of your case.
Some of the factors that will play a role in your final settlement amount include:
- The extent of injuries – motorcycle accidents can cause injuries ranging from a broken leg to a traumatic brain injury. The cost of caring for the injury, the length of time necessary to recover, and the long-term results of these injuries can all vary depending on other factors.
- The age of the accident victim – the victim’s age will always play a role in determining the final settlement offer. A younger victim is likely to lose more time from work if they are permanently disabled following a Lakeland motorcycle accident.
- Prior physical condition – if a motorcycle accident exacerbates a preexisting injury, the settlement offer may be less than if the injury occurred as a direct result of the accident.
Other factors may affect a final settlement offer. The best way to determine how much you may be able to collect for your injuries is to contact our experienced Lakeland motorcycle accident attorneys, Frank and Jennifer Fernandez, to discuss the specifics of your case with them.
No-fault insurance complicates motorcycle accident cases. Unlike car and truck drivers, motorcycle operators cannot buy PIP (personal injury protection) coverage. This means that instead of seeking compensation from your own insurance company, you must deal with the at-fault driver’s insurance company.
Since Florida does not require motorcyclists to maintain any insurance, speak with an attorney who has experience handling motorcycle accident claims. While auto drivers would automatically file a claim with their own insurer, a motorcycle accident victim must file a claim with the other driver’s policy. The insurer for the at-fault driver will do everything possible to deny liability.
Remember this: The at-fault driver’s insurer has a vested interest in making sure you cannot collect compensation under the driver’s policy. This means you will face an uphill battle to collect compensation for the damage they have caused and for your injury.
When you file a claim, expect insurers to take specific actions.
They take these steps expecting that you will not understand your rights and that you will simply fail to appeal any decisions.
- Denying liability – one of the first things you may need to contend with is that the insurance company will deny your claim outright. They may indicate that you were at fault for the accident that caused your injury. They may also claim that road conditions, another driver, or weather conditions contributed to the accident so they should not pay your claim. In some cases, the accident report may help, but you may need a lawyer to collect witness statements and surveillance video or call in an accident reconstruction team to show how the other driver caused your accident.
- You were already injured – in some cases, the insurer may claim your injury existed before their customer struck you. One of the common ways an insurance company will lull you into a false sense of security is to send you forms to sign immediately after you file a claim. If you sign these forms, the insurer may have immediate access to all of your prior medical records. You should never sign any documents you receive from an insurer without having them reviewed by a qualified Lakeland motorcycle accident lawyer—like ours at The Fernandez Firm.
As you can see, there are more complicated issues than whether you should file a claim when it comes to getting compensated for your injury following a motorcycle accident.
Your lawyer will need to review numerous factors before they can say how long your case may take to settle. Some of the issues they need to resolve include:
Maximum Medical Improvement
It takes time to recover from physical injuries and the mental trauma associated with an accident. If you want to determine how long it will take to settle an accident claim, the term maximum medical improvement (MMI) will be a factor.
This means that, regardless of what type of future treatment you may require, your physical condition will not improve. It is the point at which your physical condition is permanent, regardless of how poorly you have recovered. This is when your lawyer may advise you to file your initial claim for settlement.
If your injury prevents you from working at the job you hold before a motorcycle accident, or if your injury is permanent and means you can no longer work at all, then the negotiation phase will begin upon filing your claim.
Insurance company willingness to negotiate
If the insurer for the at-fault driver is willing to negotiate in good faith, then the process will likely be much faster. Although insurers may initially deny a claim, once they understand that your Lakeland motorcycle accident attorney will fight for the best possible settlement, they often enter negotiations far more willingly.
Insurers have little interest in going to court because they know the longer the case takes to resolve, the more it will cost them. Remember, they consult with lawyers the entire time they work on your claim.
When you hire Frank or Jennifer Fernandez to work with the insurer from the beginning, the insurer will know that you have an advocate on your side. They also know that means you are aware of your rights and will continue pursuing compensation for your injuries.
Court dockets may play a role
If the insurer decides it may fare better if they take the case to court, the docket will also factor in the time it takes to settle your case. Even if the case goes to court, negotiations may continue with the insurance company.
While it is true that taking your case to court is more time-consuming and more costly, it still may be the best option to ensure you get the compensation you deserve for your injuries. Discuss all of the factors involved in settling your case with your motorcycle accident attorney.
Losing a loved one in a motorcycle accident is devastating. There are more than 18,000 registered motorcycles in Polk County, and thanks to temperate weather, accidents happen all too frequently. Unfortunately, many of these accidents are fatal because of the lack of protection when traveling by motorcycle.
At The Fernandez Firm, we know that money cannot replace the loss of a loved one. However, the losses you suffer are often more crippling than the physical loss you have suffered. Financially, your family could be devastated. You are facing a life without a breadwinner, you are tapping into your savings to pay unexpected medical bills, and you are facing burial and funeral costs you had not planned for.
We can help you file a wrongful death claim to ensure that your family does not have to suffer financially in addition to suffering emotionally. Talk to an experienced Lakeland motorcycle accident lawyer to find out what steps are required to file this type of lawsuit.
Your initial consultation with Lakeland motorcycle accident lawyers Frank and Jennifer Fernandez is free.
During the consultation you will discuss some of the following:
- Accident specifics – it helps the lawyer to learn as much about the accident as possible. In addition to the date and time of the accident, information about road conditions, witnesses to the accident, and other information will help us determine what steps we need to take to hold the appropriate parties liable. Police reports, photographs, and drawings of the scene can all be helpful to understand the specifics.
- Injury specifics – the more we know about the injuries you have sustained, the easier it will be for us to determine how soon we should approach the insurance company. A broken leg may require less recovery time than a traumatic brain injury (TBI). The key to the best settlement is making sure we know the long-term impact of your injuries.
- Your rights and legal options – we will explain your rights and legal options. You do not want to do anything to jeopardize your claim.
Our free consultation does not obligate you to hire us to represent you. Do not pursue a motorcycle accident claim on your own.
If you agree to hire us, and we agree to pursue compensation on your behalf, we will provide you with a retainer agreement. Generally, we accept motorcycle accident claims and wrongful death suits on a contingency fee basis. You do not pay our legal fees unless we secure a settlement on your behalf. If we cannot secure a settlement, you do not have to pay for our legal fees. That is correct. We do not get paid unless we win.
Contact a Lakeland Motorcycle Accident Attorney
You must file accident injury lawsuits within the four-year statute of limitations. It starts the day of your accident and your lawyer must complete numerous steps before filing a lawsuit.
If a Lakeland motorcycle accident injured you or your family is dealing with the emotional trauma of losing a loved one following a motorcycle crash, contact Frank and Jennifer Fernandez for a free consultation. We are here to answer your questions and serve as your advocate. Our goal is to help you get the compensation you deserve. You can call us at (863) 230-8361 or fill out our online contact form for your free case evaluation.