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Motorcycle Accident Claims in Clermont: Ensuring Fair Compensation

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Understanding How Compensation for Motorcycle Accident Claims Works

Clermont’s beautiful weather means it’s a prime location to take in the sights and sounds via motorcycle. Cruising down the open road with the sun on your back is an excellent way to spend the day, but it can turn disastrous quickly if other motorists aren’t paying attention or driving with due care. Unfortunately, the Sunshine State sees hundreds of motorcycle accidents every year. On average, 26 percent of these motorcycle crashes involve incapacitating injury, and another 6 percent involve fatalities. If you or a loved one have suffered catastrophic injury or had your life upended in a motorcycle accident, the Law Office of Jerry Jenkins, P.A., is here to help.

Victims Are Entitled to Compensation

Florida is a no-fault state when it comes to auto accidents, including motorcycle accidents, which can make it more difficult to understand when you can sue. A no-fault rule means that each driver’s insurance takes care of their expenses and the damage to their vehicle after the accident — no matter who was at fault. You notify the insurance company of the accident, and they’ll start the process. This insurance is called Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage, and it is required for all Florida drivers.

While PIP coverage can make dealing with a minor motorcycle accident easier, there are limits on how much it pays out. Basic PIP coverage in Florida only covers 80 percent of medical expenses up to a limit of $10,000. It also only covers “necessary and reasonable” expenses, which can give the insurance company grounds to attempt to deny some expenses.

While $10,000 may seem like a decent amount of money, it doesn’t go far in today’s health care system. Even a nonlife-threatening injury, such as a broken leg that requires surgery to set, can easily cost more than the $10,000 limit. If your damages exceed the PIP limit, you can sue the at-fault party in the civil court system. The bottom line is that if you are injured in an accident, you are entitled to compensation either through your insurance company if your damages are within the limits or from the person who was responsible for the accident. A personal injury attorney can give you more information on how these cases are handled in Florida and what your rights are.

How Damages Are Calculated

How much compensation you can get — and even whether you are able to file a civil suit — depends on what expenses and other losses you’ve incurred. The first step is to start totaling all of this up. However, it’s not always as easy as just adding up your medical bills. There are often other losses and damages to consider. For example, you may require future medical attention or treatment, such as physical therapy or another surgery, that you don’t yet have bills for. Your economic losses should also include any missed income from time you had to take off of work or diminished earning capacity.

There are also noneconomic damages that can be added in. The most common of these is pain and suffering, which is designed to compensate victims for their physical pain, mental anguish, and any emotional difficulties they experience as a result of the accident. This can include mental health problems that develop afterward, such as anxiety or post-traumatic stress disorder. It can be challenging to put a value on these intangible losses, but an attorney can help you come up with a reasonable number.

How Awards Are Adjusted for Victims Who Were Partially at Fault

Florida is a modified comparative negligence state, and this can have a major impact on how much compensation you receive. If you win your case but you were partially at fault for the accident, your damages can be reduced by a certain percentage. To be able to receive compensation, you must have been less than 50 percent at fault for the accident. In general, any damages you are awarded will be reduced by your fault percentage. As an example, if you were awarded $50,000 in damages but were 30 percent at fault, your actual award would be $35,000.

Pursuing Compensation Through the Legal System

While the Florida legal system has a pathway for victims to hold negligent drivers accountable, it’s not always easy to navigate. Insurance companies can be especially difficult to deal with and will often try to do everything in their power to reduce or avoid a payout. They have their own internal legal teams who may try to get you to admit fault or otherwise make it easier for them to avoid responsibility. This is why it’s important to have your own legal representation who can help you navigate this process and ensure you understand whether you have a case and how to interact with the other parties to avoid jeopardizing it.

In some cases, it can be advantageous to consider taking a settlement offer instead of going through a trial, which can be quite time-consuming when you’re trying to work on healing. An experienced Florida motorcycle accident attorney can help you evaluate any settlement offers to ensure you’re getting reasonable and fair compensation for your injuries and losses.

If you or someone you love was injured in a motorcycle accident due to someone else’s negligence, The Law Office of Jerry Jenkins, P.A., is here to help. Call (407) 287-6757 to schedule a free consultation and learn more about your legal options.

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