How Long Does a Motorcycle Accident Lawsuit Take in Florida?
April 17, 2023 | Sagi Shaked | Motorcycle Accidents
Motorcycle accidents are frequently catastrophic and sometimes fatal. In addition to dealing with your injuries, you will have to wait for compensation. This isn’t easy to do while you’re out of work with medical bills piling up. Certain things have to happen, however, before your motorcycle accident personal injury claim can be resolved.
Motorcycle Accident Claims: The Settlement Route
Most motorcycle accident victims prefer to resolve their personal injury claims through out-of-court negotiations. It’s easier and quicker that way. Only a small minority of cases end up at trial.
Insurance companies pay most motorcycle accident claims. Motorcycles aren’t subject to Florida’s “no-fault” insurance system, so you can generally file a claim against the at-fault party after a crash. If they agree to pay your claim, great! Your case is over once you receive the money.
The defendant is likely to oppose your claim. They might invoke contributory fault by claiming that you were partially at fault for the accident. One problem you might run into is a defendant who has no auto liability insurance policy (since Florida law does not require them to carry any) and who lacks the ability to pay your claim out of their personal assets.
If you can get past these obstacles, however, you might be able to negotiate an adequate settlement of your aim. From there, the thing to do would be to draft a settlement agreement for both parties to sign. Once the defendant pays your claim, the case is over. All of this will probably take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months.
Insurance Company Delays in Claim Processing
Insurance companies often delay claim processing, hoping to wear you down so that you will accept a lower offer just to get money to pay your medical bills. This is where an experienced personal injury lawyer comes in handy; most of them know just how to pressure a stingy insurance company into moving things along.
Motorcycle Accident Lawsuits
How long does a motorcycle accident lawsuit take? There is no certain answer because the time it takes is highly fact-dependent, and the facts of every case are different. Add to that the time prior to the lawsuit when you are still trying to negotiate a settlement, and you end up with a great deal of uncertainty.
The Pretrial Discovery Phase
Many motorcycle accident victims file lawsuits just to gain access to pretrial discovery, which you do not qualify for until you file a lawsuit. Pretrial discovery is a court-enforced process of demanding evidence from the opposing party. It involves under-oath questioning of witnesses, written questioning, examination of physical evidence, and other legal tools. Pretrial discovery can take several weeks or even longer.
Pretrial discovery often tilts the balance of power so much in favor of the accident victim that a settlement in favor of the victim is inevitable. Even the filing of a lawsuit doesn’t guarantee a trial. You can still settle a case after filing a lawsuit, even during jury deliberations.
In most cases, a motorcycle accident lawsuit shouldn’t take more than a year to complete, even if it goes all the way to trial. In rare cases, claims drag on for years. This eventuality is unlikely, however.
A Personal Injury Lawyer Is Probably a Necessity
“Fender-bender” car accidents happen all the time. Not so with motorcycle accidents. Due to the severity of most motorcycle accidents, trying to handle a claim without a lawyer is usually not a good idea. You don’t need to worry about whether you can afford a lawyer-–motorcycle accident lawyers typically charge nothing upfront and nothing ever unless they win or settle your claim.