How Long Does A Motorcycle Accident Lawsuit Take In Florida?
Bill Allen | March 31, 2023 | Motorcycle Accident
Many motorcycle accidents result in permanent and catastrophic injuries. If you’ve been seriously hurt in a motorcycle accident, you might have bills piling up, be out of work, and need money immediately.
While you may want to file a lawsuit against the at-fault party, you might wonder how long does a motorcycle accident lawsuit take in Florida? The answer is that it depends on the specifics of your case.
An Ocala, FL motorcycle accident lawyer can give you a more accurate time frame after speaking with you.
Insurance Claims And Processing Time
If you are hurt in a car accident in Florida, you will file an insurance claim through your PIP insurance. That’s because Florida is a no-fault state that requires drivers to carry PIP to cover up to $10,000 in injuries. Unfortunately, the law is quite different for motorcycles.
In Florida, motorcyclists are not required to carry insurance, although it is recommended. If you have insurance when you get into an accident, you can file a claim with your insurance company. Alternatively, you can file a claim against the at-fault driver.
Sometimes your health insurance may also cover your injuries. However, insurance claims take time. You’ll need to provide a statement, your medical records, and other evidence from the accident.
Under Florida law, the insurance company must either accept or deny your claim within 60 days. If insurance denies your claim or refuses to pay for your damages, you’ll have to file a motorcycle accident lawsuit. By that point, you’ve already spent at least two months before you even file the lawsuit.
Motorcycle accident lawsuits can be lengthy when they go to litigation. Sometimes they resolve quickly through a settlement, while other times they drag on for years. It depends on how the defendant responds to the lawsuit.
If they accept responsibility in the beginning, it might be over in a month or two. If they choose to fight the case, it can take years. After filing the lawsuit, you’ll need to go through the following steps during the litigation phase:
- Discovery process: including production of documents, depositions, property examination, physical and mental exams, interrogatories
- Settlement negotiations with opposing counsel
- Pretrial motions: including arguing evidentiary issues, motions to dismiss, motions to exclude evidence
- Trial: picking a jury, opening statements, witness examinations, closing arguments
If you have complex injuries or there is a lot of evidence in your case, the litigation phase can drag on for a long time.
Settlements Speed Up Your Case
Most motorcycle cases end in a settlement, and that is usually the quickest way to end your motorcycle lawsuit case. Settlement negotiations can begin as soon as you file the lawsuit and can last up until and during the trial.
It is normal for the defendant to make a lowball offer that doesn’t cover your total damages and suffering early on in the case. This is because they want to avoid litigation that can last for a long time. They might also be worried that they will have to pay more if you go to trial.
You can reject this offer and continue through the litigation phase. You may go back and forth multiple times with the defendant before agreeing. Of course, the more you negotiate the longer it takes to get to a settlement. However, it may be worth it to get full compensation.
It’s normal for most settlements to happen during discovery when opposing counsel hears evidence. As they listen to witnesses and review records they may realize that their case is not as strong as they thought. This can lead to a more favorable and fast settlement offer.
Trials Can Be Lengthy
If you can’t agree, you’ll need to continue to trial. Trials can be lengthy depending on the amount of evidence in the case. It might also take a long time to schedule your trial if there is a backlog in the court. This means you could be waiting months to even start your trial.
Once a trial starts, if you have lots of witnesses, experts, and complicated records, your trial may take days or weeks. If your case is fairly straightforward, it might be over in a day or two. As you can see, the length of your motorcycle accident case can vary depending on how it proceeds and how the defendant responds to the lawsuit.
An Experienced Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Can Keep Your Case Moving Along
If you’ve been injured in a motorcycle accident, you deserve experienced legal representation. An Ocala motorcycle accident lawyer can keep your case moving along a reasonable timeline. They can also help you navigate your claim and maximize your compensation. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation with an injury attorney.
Contact Our Ocala Motorcycle Accident Law Firm in North Central Florida
If you need legal assistance, contact the Ocala motorcycle accident lawyers at Allen Law Firm at your nearest location to schedule a free consultation today.
We have three convenient locations in North Central Florida: