Motorcycle Accident Aftermath: Local Biker Knows All Too Well
May is National Motorcycle Awareness Month. If you ride, you can find a number of good sources of information on rider safety below.
But rather than post a bunch of statistics, we'd like to talk about a real person who recently became all too aware of what can happen as a result of being injured in a bike crash. Our clients are real people whose lives have been dramatically altered after their accident, and they need help in trying to recover the financial compensation to which they are legally entitled. Huge medical bills, rehabilitative and therapeutic care – all of that costs money, and no one is sure who is going to pay when you're hurt in a motorcycle accident.
Just last week, we were able to successfully negotiate a favorable settlement in the case of a local female rider who many of you may know, Kati Ridderman, aka “Kruisin With Kati”. She posted on her Facebook page that after such a long, traumatic legal process, the settlement meant she “was ready to do the happy dance”!
Kati is an awesome person, and a very avid, well-respected and experienced rider. Back in January 2014, she was riding her Harley-Davidson trike out in the central Florida town of Lake Placid when someone riding an ATV came out nowhere on her right side and tried to cross the roadway. The ATV driver, who had no driver's license, crashed into the side of her bike. Even though she was able to remain on her bike, the force of the impact caused her to hit her face against the handlebars. She suffered severe fractural damage to her jaw and teeth, plus other injuries to her wrist, lower back and pelvic region. She was air-lifted by helicopter from the scene.
This motorcycle accident happened almost a year and a half ago, and Goldberg Law accepted the at-fault party's insurance offer of settlement just last week. This shows you exactly how long, difficult and stressful the process of trying to put your life back together after a crash can be. Large insurance companies – with their teams of lawyers, adjustors and claims investigators – are not willing to simply fork over what you think is a fair settlement amount. After years of paying your insurance premiums in good faith, you will find that your carrier is not always on your side, and will stop at nothing to delay or even deny your claim totally. The aggressiveness of their tactics, coupled with the never-ending mounds of paperwork and hoops they make you jump through, are enough to drive a person crazy.
We are very happy to have been successful on behalf of Kati Ridderman. She is a terrific lady, and a positive advocate for all riders in the local biker community. She is the Director of Sales & Marketing for GOFAR Magazine, a fantastic source of news and local riding info for bikers. If you see “Kruisin With Kati” out on her new bike, give her a wave!
May is National Motorcycle Awareness Month
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has designated May as Motorcycle Awareness Month, with the hopes of raising awareness of riders and those in other vehicles, as well. In Southwest Florida, motorcycle riders make up a large portion of our local traffic, and every day is a challenge for those who ride not to become the victim of a serious car vs. motorcycle accident.
Local bike nights, weekend rally's and scenic rides, biker swap meets and other events mean a lot of riders are out and about, enjoying some great weather before the summer rains come. So many people that we represent who were injured as a result of a crash say that another vehicle did not see them, in many cases pulling out or turning left directly in front of them. May's nice weather means more bikes on the road, and so many car drivers just don't make the necessary efforts to watch for them. Yes, we have less traffic thanks to the snowbirds heading back north for the summer, but local traffic still means you're taking your life in your hands every time you ride.
Our personal injury law firm has posted many blogs on our website about riding safety, motorcycle accident statistics and a lot of other motorcycle-related topics. We have written extensively on wearing a helmet, and you can read all of those posts here. (There is another excellent article about helmets by the Editor on the GOFAR, Go For A Ride magazine website – you can read it here.)
The NHTSA and several other motorcycle advocacy organizations have developed some excellent resources regarding how to stay safe on the road. Florida Department of Transportation's Ride Smart Florida has launched their own campaign called DRINK+RIDE=LOSE, reminding bikers about the dangers of drinking alcohol and riding. For more good information about what can happen when you chose to ride while intoxicated, click here.
Goldberg Noone Abraham's main office is in downtown Fort Myers, and we also have small offices in LaBelle, and in Port Charlotte. If you've been hurt in a motorcycle accident, we can also come to meet with you, at no cost, at any location. You can call us at 239-461-5508 or just fill out this simple form for a free initial consultation about your situation – we'll tell you if we think we can help.