Motorcycle Accident in Flagler County - What Is My Case Worth?
When a person is victimized as a result of a motorcycle accident in Flagler County, Florida law provides for remedies and courses of action to seek compensation for the injured biker. While it may seem like a simple question in the form of "What Is My Case Worth?", there are many factors to consider when putting a value or a potential value on the case. Let's discuss the factors.Liability
When there is a motorcycle accident, the pursuit of the case will depend in part on the assessment of fault. Here is one example. A biker is stopped at a stop light on a sunny day. The driver of a SUV was distracted by a store sign and crashed into back of the biker. There was a witness to the accident. Police arrive on the scene and issue a citation to the distracted driver. Under this fact pattern, liability or fault clearly will be placed on the distracted driver. Here is another example. On a rainy day, a biker loses control of his motorcycle, goes into a skid, and hits a guard rail on Interstate 95. Under this fact pattern, there does not appear to be any fault on a third party or another driver. While the biker may have been injured in this crash, there would not be much of a case to pursue. The injured biker under this fact pattern may qualify for medical benefits under the biker's policy but that would be about all the compensation that could be obtained. There are also cases in which there is partial fault on the biker. These cases can still be pursued depending on the extent of the fault and other factors to be considered.Insurance Coverage
From a practical standpoint, an experienced motorcycle personal injury attorney will obtain the applicable insurance coverage and documents for the motorcycle and other drivers / vehicles involved in the crash who may have some liability or responsibility for the injuries sustained by the biker. By the facts and the injuries, the case may technically be worth $500,000; however, if the policy is one that has just $100,000 in coverage, then the likely result will be the recovery of the $100,000 in insurance coverage. Keep in mind that an insurance company will not allow an injured biker to recover the $100,000 in insurance policies and then allow the injured biker to sue the at-fault driver or at-fault owner. The insurance company will demand that a release is signed in order to receive payment of the $100,000. It is important to retain a motorcycle accident attorney before there are any negotiations, settlements, or execution of any documents. In some cases, there are additional poles or coverages in place that are not disclosed up front. As such, an injured biker and the family of the injured biker should proceed with caution and, yes, with the assistance, guidance, and representation from an experienced personal injury attorney.Injuries
Cases or claims are evaluated heavily in the type and severity of the injuries sustained by the biker. in some cases, the injuries are fairly clear up front. For instance, if the biker suffers a catastrophic brain injury with multiple broken bones, this case up front will likely be one that has the potential to be worth well in excess of a million dollars; however, as noted above, the case may be worth $5 Million but the ultimately financial recovery or collection of compensation / funds may be substantially less if the insurance coverage is not in place. Most motorcycle accident cases take some time to develop to determine the extent of the injuries, the type of medical care needed, and the long term effects (if any) of the injuries.Medical Care
It is important for the injured biker to get medical care from qualified professionals. Insurance companies will closely evaluate the medical providers and the type of medical care provided. For instance, if the injured biker only gets chiropractic care and physical therapy, this case will not be worth as much as a case in which the injured biker received injections from a pain management doctor and surgery by an orthopedic surgeon. It should also be noted that some medical providers understand and appreciate the trauma that results from a motorcycle accident. While it may seem odd, some medical providers do not understand or appreciate the trauma involved and fail to link or connect the injuries / medical conditions to the subject motorcycle accident. It does matter where the injured biker goes for medical treatment and what the credentials / specialities are for these chosen medical providers.Medical Bills
Insurance companies will factor into the value of the case the medical bills incurred as a result of the Florida motorcycle accident. However, insurance companies will question bills or treatments that the insurance companies feel are excessive. The analysis is akin to the Goldilocks fairy tale. Goldilocks found the bears home. One bed was too big. One bed was too small. The last bed was just right. With respect to the medical bills, insurance companies may argue that there was not enough treatment or there was too much treatment. At times, the insurance companies will state that the treatment was appropriate. Treatment should be obtained that is needed and recommended by the qualified and experienced medical provider. If it was purely up to the insurance companies, treatment would be quite limited and many injury victims would be cut short of the actual care that they need.There Is No Formula Per Se for Value Under Florida Law
While there are statutes in place as to the kind of damages that can be sought in the aftermath of a motorcycle accident, there is no formula per se that establishes the value of the case. For insurance, there is nothing in the Florida Statutes that particularly states that a fractured with surgery is worth $250,000. It just depends on the particular facts of the case. Again, the worth of the case is a bit different that what the actual result may be because of the practical effects and considerations involved with the insurance coverage.
David Alan Wolf is a personal injury and motorcycle injury attorney with offices in Flagler Beach, Jacksonville, and Mount Dora, Florida. He is a resident of Flagler Beach and lives walking distance from the great local restaurants and destinations near Veterans Park, A1A, and the Flagler Beach Pier which unfortunately was beaten up a bit by Hurricanes Ian and Nicole in the Fall of 2022.
David Alan Wolf is the author of over 4,000 articles and 12 books that focus on personal injury cases and issues. He is the author of the book titled - Watching Out For Motorcyclists - Freedom, Liberty and Justice - Legal Rights of Injured Bikers. You can get this book for free at Motorcycle Personal Injury Book.
Call David Alan Wolf for a Free Consultation at (386) 348-HOWL and (386) 348-4695. He is available days, nights, weekends and holidays for potential clients and current clients. You can also send David Alan Wolf an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org