I’ve Been Hurt in a Motorcycle Accident – Do I Need a Lawyer
Bill Allen | July 19, 2021 | Motorcycle Accident
You should always consult a lawyer after being hurt in a motorcycle accident, regardless of the severity of your injuries or the facts of your case. Learning about your legal rights is the best defense against unfair and bad faith insurance tactics.
Furthermore, hiring a motorcycle accident lawyer reduces your stress and can help ensure you receive all the damages you are entitled to recover by law.
How Can a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Help You With Your Case?
Protecting you from bad faith insurance tactics and handling all aspects of your injury claim are just two of the ways a personal injury attorney helps with your motorcycle accident claim.
Other reasons for hiring a motorcycle accident lawyer include:
Investigating the Accident to Gather Evidence
You need evidence proving the other driver caused the car accident. Evidence may include:
- Photographs from the accident scene
- Videos of the collision from nearby surveillance cameras or traffic cameras
- Copies of police reports and accident reports
- Statements from eyewitnesses, passengers, and drivers
- Cell phone records and data from vehicle data recorders
- Physical evidence from the accident scene, such as debris location, skid marks, etc.
An attorney may also hire experts to assist in the investigation. Accident reconstructionists, engineers, and other experts can recreate how the accident occurred to determine fault.
Attorneys have the resources necessary to conduct a comprehensive investigation. Without evidence, you cannot prove fault and cannot recover compensation for your damages.
Identifying the Liable Parties
Your lawyer also identifies the parties liable for your damages. That might include another driver, a government entity, a trucking company, or a vehicle manufacturer. The attorney also identifies insurance providers that cover the accident.
Multiple parties could share liability for causing the accident. By identifying each party who might be liable for your damages, you increase the chances of receiving full compensation for your damages.
Documenting and Valuing Damages
In addition to proving fault, you must also document your damages.
Damages in a motorcycle accident case may include:
- The cost of medical care and treatment
- The cost of personal care
- Loss of income and benefits
- Reductions in future earning capacity
- Pain and suffering damages, including emotional distress, physical discomfort, and mental anguish
- Disabilities, permanent impairments, and disfigurement
- Decrease in quality of life and enjoyment of life
Valuing these damages can be challenging. If you have a permanent impairment, you could be entitled to compensation for future lost wages, ongoing medical care, and personal care. Estimating the value of these damages usually requires input from medical experts and financial experts.
Putting a price tag on your pain and suffering (non-economic damages) is not as simple as using a standard formula. A motorcycle accident attorney works with you to document your damages and maximize the value of those damages.
Negotiating a Settlement for Your Claim
Insurance adjusters will offer you the lowest settlement possible. They may tell you that you will not recover a higher amount even if you hire an attorney, but that might not be true.
It is important to remember that the claims adjuster is protecting the insurance company from liability. They do not have your best interest in mind. Therefore, you could receive a much smaller amount for your motorcycle accident claim if you only rely on information from the insurance provider.
Your attorney fights to obtain the full value for your damages. Lawyers are highly trained negotiators. They understand how to present the facts of the case to support a demand for maximum value for a settlement agreement.
Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit
The at-fault parties and their insurance providers may refuse to negotiate a fair settlement for your injury claim. If so, a personal injury lawsuit might be the best way to protect your right to fair compensation. If so, you need an aggressive trial litigator to file and handle the lawsuit.
Florida’s statute of limitations sets a four-year deadline for filing personal injury lawsuits. However, that deadline could change depending on the facts of your case. It is best to seek legal counsel as soon as possible to avoid missing your deadline to file a motorcycle accident claim.
How Do I Know if I Need to Hire a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer?
If you are still struggling with the decision of whether or not to hire a lawyer, consider these questions:
- Were you seriously injured in the motorcycle crash?
- Did you incur substantial medical bills or lost wages?
- Have you sustained a permanent impairment or disability?
- Did the motorcycle accident cause significant scarring or disfigurement?
- Are there multiple parties involved in your case?
- Was the other driver a government employee, or did the crash involve a government vehicle?
- Is the other party claiming that you were partially to blame for the cause of the motorcycle accident?
- Are you unsure what damages to claim?
- Are you unsure of the value of your damages?
- Is the insurance company ignoring your claim or refusing to negotiate a fair settlement?
If you answered yes to even one of the above questions, it is worth taking the time to learn more about your legal rights before settling your case.