What to do After a Motorcycle Accident in Miami
Miami is a city where nothing ever slows down. Speedboats, sports cars, and 24-hour clubs are the norm. Motorcycles are another example of recreational vehicles that add to the fast-paced atmosphere of Miami. However, if you have the misfortune of getting into a motorcycle accident, your life can slow down pretty quickly. If you have been in a motorcycle accident, it is critical that you contact a Miami motorcycle accident attorney to find out what benefits you may be entitled to so that you can recover for your losses. A personal injury attorney at the Law Offices of Prosper Shaked explains what your next steps should be…
Seek Medical Attention and File a PIP Claim
The State of Florida requires that all motorists, including motorcycle riders, carry a minimum of $10,000 in Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance. Florida is a no-fault insurance state, which means that in the event of a collision, individuals must seek compensation from their own insurance policies first. Injured persons will receive coverage regardless of who was at fault in the accident. PIP provides up to $10,000 in medical and disability benefits and $5,000 in death benefits. The policy will cover 80% of medical expenses and 60% of disability benefits.
Sometimes, people delay seeking medical attention after a motorcycle or car accident. They might have reservations about seeing a doctor or they minimize the severity of their injuries. If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident, regardless of how small you think your injury might be, it is important that you seek medical attention within two weeks of the accident. Failing to make an appointment with a PIP-approved physician within fourteen days could result in being denied PIP coverage or reimbursement for expenses. The 14-day rule is extremely limiting for injured persons who have ailments that do not manifest within two weeks of the accident. Even in these circumstances, PIP will deny coverage if the symptoms do not fall within the two week period.
It is important to note that if you do not have an emergency medical condition as defined by Florida statute, PIP will only reimburse you for medical care and expenses up to $2,500. The only time that a full award of $10,000 is distributed is if a PIP-approved doctor diagnoses you with an emergency medical condition. These are defined as medical symptoms that are acute and may include severe pain. Thus, if an individual does not receive immediate medical attention for an emergency medical condition, any of the following could result:
- Serious impairment to bodily function
- Serious jeopardy to a patient’s health (this includes a pregnant woman or fetus)
- Serious dysfunction of any bodily organ or part
Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit
If your injuries are not fully covered by PIP or you do not receive coverage at all, you may have the option of filing a personal injury lawsuit against the driver who was at fault. Typically, injured persons must have sustained permanent and severe injuries to file these types of claims. For the purposes of filing tort claims to recover damages, Florida law defines serious injuries as any of the following:
- Significant or permanent scarring or disfigurement
- Permanent injury within a reasonable degree of medical probability (other than scarring or disfigurement)
- Significant or permanent loss of an important bodily function
A plaintiff must meet the permanent injury threshold in order to file this type of claim. Some examples of permanent, serious injuries may include:
- Traumatic brain injury
- Spinal cord injury
Victims typically file personal injury claims against negligent drivers based on a theory of negligence. There are three essential elements that a plaintiff must prove in order for a court to find that a driver was negligent for the purposes of receiving damages. These elements are:
- The driver owed a legal duty of care to the plaintiff;
- The driver breached the legal duty of care; and
- As a result of the breach, the plaintiff suffered damages
How long can you wait before you sue? Can you sue for a motorcycle accident one year later? Florida has a four year statute of limitations for personal injury lawsuits. This means that people who are injured in car or motorcycle accidents have four years from the time of the accident to file a claim in court. Florida also has a two year statute of limitations for wrongful death lawsuits. Thus, a victim’s family has two years from the time of the victim’s death to file a wrongful death lawsuit in court. Two years is not a long time to file a lawsuit, therefore, it is important for a family seeking wrongful death damages to seek counsel with a Miami wrongful death attorney right away.
Miami Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
If you or someone you love were injured in a motorcycle accident, do not wait any longer to retain a Miami personal injury attorney. The Law Offices of Prosper Shaked take pride in fighting tirelessly for the legal rights of clients so that they can receive the compensation they deserve. Call the Law Offices of Prosper Shaked today at (305) 694-2676 to schedule a free and confidential consultation.