How Do I File a Personal Injury Claim Against a Motorcycle Manufacturer?
I was involved in a motorcycle accident as a result of defective motorcycle parts, and I sustained serious injuries as a result. How do I file a personal injury claim against the motorcycle manufacturer?
When you’re seriously injured, make seeking medical treatment your top priority. You may also feel concerned with the price of your treatment, and if you can pay for it. Beyond the medical expenses, you may face reduced income due to lost time from your job, particularly if you suffer a serious injury that prevents you from ever returning to work.
You may have realized moments before your accident that something was wrong with your motorcycle, such as a defective part. Below we discuss important steps that you should take if you want to file a claim.
Step One: Consult a Lawyer
As soon as possible following your accident, consult a lawyer to assess the validity of your claim. Your lawyer will determine whether you have a case and whom to name as a defendant. You’ll usually want to file your claim as soon as possible. Under Florida law, victims generally have four years from the date of their accidents to file product liability claims against manufacturers or retailers. Contact an attorney immediately to get the process started.
Once you speak with a lawyer, you may:
- Learn more about your rights and the type of settlement that you might receive. The settlement amount or damages award that you can expect to recover depends on the severity of your accident and the extent of your injuries, among other factors.
- Examine the specific circumstances of your case. Your lawyer will research the problem and learn more about your specific accident.
- Determine whether you have enough evidence to proceed. Your lawyer will work with you to better understand the details of your case, and to determine whether you have enough information to file a claim. If you don’t have the right evidence to succeed in court, a good lawyer will tell you and prevent you from wasting resources on a futile claim.
- Determine whom you can hold responsible for your defective motorcycle parts. The entire chain of distribution, from the store that sold the part to the manufacturer that made it, may share responsibility for your injuries, which may help you recover more compensation than if only one individual is liable.
- Establish that you had no way of knowing that the part was defective. The insurance companies that represent the motorcycle part manufacturer may attempt to argue that you used the part despite knowing that it was faulty, which may shift some of the liability onto you. Your attorney can fight to prevent you from incurring any liability.
- Carefully review any settlement agreements offered by the insurance companies. Do you know how much to expect from your product liability claim? Your total compensation should include medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages, and lost earning potential if you suffered permanent injuries. If your loved one died in a motorcycle accident due to a defective part, Florida law may authorize you to file a wrongful death claim, in which case your compensation may include funeral and burial expenses. Your attorney will review any settlement offers you receive and make sure that they are reasonable based on your injuries and expenses. If the offer does not fully compensate you, your attorney can negotiate with the insurance companies to increase the settlement amount.
Step Two: Collect Your Evidence
Your lawyer will help you determine what evidence you need to prove your claim and help you gather that evidence, which may include information about your accident and your motorcycle, such as:
- Information about your injuries. Following your accident, document your expenses for hospital visits, doctor appointments, and physical therapy sessions that occurred as a result of your injury. Gather medical reports concerning your injuries, including any statements about your ability or inability to return to your normal job tasks. Your medical reports will help establish the severity of your injuries, while your medical bills will help prove your expenses and determine your damages.
- Accident reports from the scene of the accident. In some cases, a defective part obviously caused an accident; in other cases, you may need to introduce significant evidence to prove the defective part was responsible.
- Reports concerning the faulty part. What part malfunctioned on your bike? How did that part contribute to your accident? Expert witnesses and professional evaluations can help illustrate to the court exactly how the faulty part contributed to your injuries. Witnesses may also help establish that nobody altered the motorcycle part and that you used it properly.
Get the Legal Help You Need
If you sustained an injury in a motorcycle accident due to a defective part, don’t wait to get the legal help that you need. Call the Dolman Law Group today at (727) 451-6900, or contact us online, to schedule a free consultation with an experienced product liability attorney.
Dolman Law Group
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33765