Gainesville Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
Wondering if you should be working with a Gainesville motorcycle accident lawyer to maximize your claim?
We've written this article to help you make that decision and to answer the most common questions you're likely to have.
You can use the "Quick Navigation" section that follows to skip ahead to exactly the content you want. And if you'd like to discuss your case with our lead attorney, consider taking advantage of a free online case evaluation.
Are you getting the compensation you deserve?
Most people who “ride” do it because there are very few feelings like riding your motorcycle on the open road. In fact, more than one of my past motorcycle clients has called their “ride” their therapist, because riding a motorcycle brings clarity, focus and calm. Perhaps you feel the same. But let’s face it, when things go awry and you’re involved in a motorcycle accident, the results can be devastating.
It should come as no surprise that motorcycle riders are more likely to be seriously injured in a vehicle accident. And this often results in higher medical bills, more missed work, and a tougher road to recovery than the typical car accident victim.
But to add insult to injury, many motorcyclists face stigmatization for choosing to ride. In the worst-case scenario, this (all too frequently) means motorcyclists have liability for the accident placed upon them, which can make obtaining a full-and-fair accident settlement difficult. But that’s not the only way that motorcyclists are treated unfairly.
Society still hasn’t shaken the bad boy image of motorcycle riders popularized by James Dean. This often results in you being treated differently by the very people who are meant to help and protect you: police, witnesses, insurance companies, and even doctors. All of this can make receiving full-and-fair compensation for your motorcycle injuries and verifiable damages tougher than it is for the driver of a car. And it doesn’t help that Florida’s motorcycle insurance requirements and laws are among the most confusing in the nation.
As a Gainesville motorcycle accident attorney, I want you to know that you have the same rights as all other drivers on the road. If you've been seriously injured in a motorcycle accident, you deserve to work with a motorcycle accident law firm that not only respects your right to ride, but will also fight for you to the full extent of the law.
My name is Eric Kem, and I am the founder and lead personal injury lawyer at the Kem Law Firm. I’ve written this Gainesville motorcycle crash lawyer page to be a resource that will answer the most common questions asked by motorcycle accident clients throughout greater Florida.
Do I Need a Gainesville Motorcycle Accident Attorney?
If you’re asking this question, chances are you’ve recently been injured in a motorcycle accident. We’re sorry to hear that if that’s the case. But just because you’ve had an accident does not necessarily mean you need an attorney.
If you’ve only experienced minor scrapes and bruises and fault for the accident has been assigned to another party, chances are you can make a motorcycle accident claim yourself. At the Kem Law Firm, we’d never accept a client where we feel our representation isn’t absolutely necessary.
But if your motorcycle accident resulted in serious injuries, missed work, or – worse – you’ve been injured and know liability is being unfairly placed on you, it’s probably a good idea for you to reach out and at least have a conversation with me about your case.
Even if you decide not to work with us, I’m happy to answer your questions, share valuable resources you may not know about, or help you gain clarity on Florida motorcycle laws and insurance requirements.
If I Hire You, What Will Your Law Firm Be Doing for Me?
That’s a great question and something you should be asking every motorcycle lawyer you are considering bringing on your case. If it isn’t obvious already, let’s start with the basics: I will not be treating you differently, or acting like you deserve your injuries because you chose to ride a motorcycle.
More specifically, I – not some junior level attorneys or paralegals – will be working to build you a rock-solid case, so that you receive a full and fair settlement for your proven injuries and damages. But that’s not all.
Serve as Your Primary Point of Contact
Whether it’s insurance companies calling to trick you into saying something you’ll later regret in a recorded statement, or hospital billing staff hounding you for payments you’re unable to cover, rest assured I will have your back.
Once you hire the Kem Law Firm to represent your motorcycle accident claim, I will serve as your primary point of contact regarding your accident with any and all parties.
Not only will this save you time and stress that prevents you from focusing on your recovery, it also sends a clear message to insurance companies, whose business it is to minimize what they pay out, that you will not be settling for their typical low-ball offer as a motorcyclist. More importantly, it also insures you don’t fall into the trap of doing or saying something that potentially harms your ability to receive fair compensation.
Investigate and Defend Your Claim
The next thing I will do as your attorney of record is conduct a thorough investigation of your claim, including:
- Disputing liability that may have been unfairly placed upon you simply for choosing to ride a motorcycle
- Find you specialized care for your motorcycle injuries, when necessary
- Explore all avenues for compensation you may not have considered, such as
- Re-canvas witnesses, review (and even challenge) police reports, and whatever else may be necessary to begin developing a rock solid claim
All costs associated with this work will be covered by my law firm, as we work on a “contingency basis”. That basically means my law firm is only paid if and when you get paid. So please don’t let your finances prevent you from reaching out to us. We’re here to help you on this road to recovery.
Negotiate Your Claim Tirelessly to Maximize Your Settlement
After I gather all the necessary information about your accident, your injuries, and any damages you may have suffered as a result of the accident like lost wages, I will:
- Create a compelling and indisputable demand package letter, grounded in the facts of the case, the available evidence, Florida motorcycle law, and my unique experience working with insurance companies
- Keep you informed of any settlement offers that may come in, and advise you on when it makes sense to settle, or continue to fight
- And I will also help you renegotiate your medical bills and payments, which at the end of the day, means you go home with more money in your pocket
And in the rare event your case needs to go to trial -- only about 1% of cases do -- we’ll also handle all the preparation and costs to maximize your chances of success.
What is My Motorcycle Accident Claim Worth?
I’d like to give you an answer to this question now, but that’s impossible. Never, ever really on any of those quirky “online settlement calculators” either.
The fact of the matter is that the ultimate value of your case is based on a number of factors specific to your accident, your insurance, the insurance of other parties involved in the accident, and other factors it may be too soon to determine. For example, will you be needing long-term physical rehabilitation? Do you have a permanent injury?
Rest assured, my team and I will fight to insure you receive the maximum settlement allowed by law. We have a proven track record of obtaining large settlements for client’s just like you.
How Long Will it Take for Me to Receive Compensation?
As with the value of the claim, giving you an exact timeline for when you can expect to receive a check can be difficult.
I entirely understand that’s probably not want you want to hear, and that your goal is to get paid and move on with your life. Yet, the specifics of your case will ultimately determine how long it takes for you to be compensated. And without speaking to you first, it’s very difficult for me to give you an accurate answer.
Typically, if your injuries are undisputed, you had private insurance, and the other driver has accepted blame, you can expect to receive a settlement within about two months of your medical care being completed and my demand letter being submitted.
But more often than not, my law firm works with motorcycle accident victims with serious injuries, and these claims take more time to put together and need to be more rigorously pursued. In those cases, insurance companies rarely pay until we’ve proven our willingness to go all the way, by filing suit.
Some factors that can slow down resolution of your case include any of the following:
- Liability dispute
- Contested injuries
- Ongoing medical treatment
- Future undetermined rehabilitation costs such as physical therapy
- An insurance agent who simply refuses to negotiate in good faith
Then typically you might see a settlement about half a year after filing a lawsuit. Rest assured, just because we file suit does NOT mean your case is going to trial. It’s just that sometimes that’s what it takes to get insurance adjusters to act.
And in the rare event that your case does need to go to trial, be aware that lawsuits in Florida typically can take up to a year before they see their day in court.
How Much Will it Cost to Hire You?
At the Kem Law Firm, we work on a contingency basis. That means there is no upfront cost associated with hiring me and my team. Not only will we cover all costs to pursue your claim or go to trial, we’re also going to help you negotiate down your medical expenses as part of our representation.
As with most personal injury attorneys in Florida, our contingency fee is 33% if a lawsuit does not have to be filed, and 40% after filing of a lawsuit. Now, you might be considering whether it’s best to go it alone and try to settle your claim yourself. And that may be a good option when your injuries aren’t serious and the other driver has accepted responsibility. But in virtually every other case, you’ll still take home more after paying our fees, simply because insurance adjusters take claims much more seriously when you have a great attorney on your side.
I'm Convinced I Need a Lawyer, What are the Next Steps?
Again, we’re sorry you find yourself in this situation. Motorcycle accidents and the resultant injuries are often devastating. I want you to know that I and my team at the Kem Law Firm are here to do everything in our power to get you full and fair compensation for your motorcycle accident.
We know that most motorcycle riders are even more vigilant to their surroundings than car drivers, and we trust that you did everything in your power to avoid an accident. If that’s the case, it’s probably time for you to let an expert take over, so you can focus on your recovery.
Trust me, you’ll sleep better tonight knowing your case is in good hands.
If you’ve never worked with a personal injury lawyer, I’m sure you might be a little nervous about what happens once you reach out to us. We’ll make this easy and here’s what you can expect.
- Give me a call at (352) 356-5075, or better yet, submit your case details for a free online case evaluation (it only takes a couple minutes).
- Within 24 hours (usually much less), you’ll be hearing from me directly to discuss the specifics of your case.
- Should we mutually agree to work together, we’ll need you to sign a few documents to get started on your claim. This includes a standard contingency fee contract, a statement of client’s rights, a HIPAA release so I can access your medical treatment records, and other related documents.
- Once you hire me, I will give you my cell phone number so you can reach me directly during your case, including by text message.
Why Should I hire a Personal Injury Lawyer?
You’ve probably seen many ads or billboards for various personal injury attorneys over the years, but this may be the first time you have been in a traffic accident. You may not know where to start in your medical treatments, which lawyer to choose, or even whether or not you need an attorney. Although there are some very minor traffic accidents where you won’t need an attorney, in most cases, if you are injured, you will want to hire an experienced personal injury attorney to take your case. There are many reasons to hire a personal injury lawyer, but for now, the two main reasons are that you are better off focusing on your physical recovery than trying to pursue your claim on your own due to all the stresses and effort involved in making a claim. Also, studies show that on average those who hire a personal injury attorney recover three times more money for their claim than those who go it alone.