A tragic motorcycle accident generally results in a flurry of medical expenses, missed time from work, and stress. Pursuing legal action is often possible if another driver was negligent and, therefore, liable for your damages. Time is a critical component when it comes to not only seeking compensation but also filing your lawsuit. A motorcycle accident lawyer can assist you through this challenging time.
How Soon Should I Contact a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer?
Contacting a motorcycle accident lawyer as soon as possible is imperative for pursuing compensation. While a motorcycle accident turns your world upside down in a split second, seek legal representation without delay.
The urgency for hiring a lawyer is due to the statute of limitation for filing a civil lawsuit. The Florida statute of limitations, for example, allows four years for a motorcycle accident lawsuit and two years for a lawsuit involving wrongful death.
Whether you lost a loved one or suffered serious injuries yourself, you cannot afford to miss the deadline. Should you fail to pursue your case promptly, you may lose your chance for possible compensation forever. This is tragic and can result in additional financial stress for you and your family.
The time allowed for filing a lawsuit can pass quickly as you deal with multiple life changes. The pain of your injuries or your loss can cause you to lose track of the day, week, and even the month.
Hiring a motorcycle accident lawyer to represent you allows you to focus on your recovery. If you lost a close loved one, leaving your accident’s legal details to someone else affords you more time to spend with your family.
What Information Does My Lawyer Need?
Your lawyer will want to see any evidence associated with your accident. The date, time, and location of your accident, along with the evidence, can help your lawyer to understand what happened and to identify the party liable for your harm.
Common types of information generally helpful in a motorcycle accident case include:
- Eyewitness contact information: Having the presence of mind to collect the name and phone number of witnesses is valuable information for your lawyer. If your injuries prevent you from collecting this information, ask a bystander to assist you.
- Accident scene photographs and possible video: This information can come in the form of smartphone images or media coverage of the accident.
- Information from law enforcement: An official police report detailing the accident can help your lawyer determine liability.
- Details regarding the type of injuries suffered and your medical expenses: Your medical information plays an important role in your pursuit of compensation for your damages.
Presenting your lawyer with any evidence in your possession is a great way to help your case. This critical information helps them work faster in building a strong case for proving another driver’s negligence.
Will My Case Go Straight to Trial?
It is unlikely that your motorcycle accident case will go directly to trial. Many motorcycle accident cases settle out of court. The negotiation process between your lawyer and the insurance company representing the liable party aims to avoid trial.
A trial is a lengthy and often expensive process. It is typically these key reasons why many cases do settle without going before a jury. The negotiation process is critical and requires experience and skill to handle negotiations for motorcycle accident victims.
Your motorcycle accident lawyer will apply their knowledge of your case and the law to negotiate for the best settlement possible. If negotiations are unsuccessful, your lawyer may choose to proceed to trial.
Can I Negotiate With an Insurance Company Alone?
Attempting to negotiate a settlement with an insurance company alone is never a good idea. Insurance companies and their adjusters can confuse you with terms and industry language. Their skills at delaying or denying motorcycle accident claims are too great to leave to chance.
Your time of medical treatment and procedures is no time to handle aggressive insurance adjusters alone. Concentrating on your healing is your top priority. Leaving the legal details of your civil claim and lawsuit to a lawyer is the best decision for getting the rest you so desperately need.
Do I Need a Lawyer to Accept a Settlement Offer?
Yes. Insurance companies like nothing more than to have accident victims accept a low dollar settlement. This protects their best interests, like that of company profits.
There are possible ramifications if you accept an initial settlement offer. The consequences of such a decision can haunt you later, should you experience complications from your injuries.
If you need further medical attention, you may not pursue legal action for additional compensation. How you interact with an insurance company following a tragic motorcycle accident is imperative for protecting your financial future.
Pain medications and the stress of your situation can cloud your judgment. While the settlement offer may seem like the answer to your financial worries, it is most likely less than you need and deserve.
Protecting your best interests against assertive insurance adjusters is best done with a lawyer by your side. You do not have to fight alone, nor should you. If an insurance adjuster contacts you, refer them to your lawyer. Our team can easily recognize tactics used to confuse accident victims and counter them by holding insurance adjusters accountable for their actions.
What Types of Negligence Occur in Motorcycle Accidents?
Riding a motorcycle is both exhilarating and dangerous. The narrow profile of the bike, along with the dangerous actions of other drivers, place operators and passengers at risk for serious harm and death.
The lack of protection a motorcycle provides is no match for a large vehicle, like that of an SUV or truck. The impact can leave you with catastrophic and possibly permanent injuries. Some riders do not survive their injuries: More than 500 people lost their lives riding a motorcycle in just in Florida, during one recent year.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), far too often drivers responsible for a motorcycle accident claim they simply did not see the motorcycle.
The following examples highlight just a few of the common causes of many tragic —and preventable —motorcycle accidents:
- Failure to yield the right of way
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Aggressive driving, such as purposely tailgating or speeding
- Falling asleep behind the wheel
- Distracted driving
Information from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) cites three main types of distracted driving:
- Visual: actions that remove your eyes from the road
- Manual: actions that remove your hands from the wheel
- Cognitive: actions that take your mind off driving
Texting, according to the CDC, involves all three forms of distraction. If you suffered life-changing injuries due to a driver who could not wait to send or to read a text, a motorcycle accident lawyer can help you fight for justice.
Are Lost Wages Typically Included in a Motorcycle Accident Case?
If your motorcycle accident injuries require a long recovery, your lost wages may qualify for compensation. When the injuries are severe or permanent, your inability to work may also factor into your claim and lawsuit.
Other types of possible compensation generally included in motorcycle accident cases include:
- Your medical expenses: compensation for your medical transport to the hospital and related hospital fees
- Ongoing medical expenses: compensation for long-term medical needs such as rehabilitation
- Pain and suffering
Catastrophic injuries, like a brain or spinal cord injury, often result in millions of dollars of medical care. Payment for this care should not come from your pocket. A lawyer can help pursue compensation for such expenses by filing a motorcycle accident claim and lawsuit on your behalf.
A motorcycle accident that results in the death of a close loved one may qualify you for certain types of compensation. A wrongful death claim and lawsuit generally involve expenses relating to such damages as the loss of companionship and funeral costs.
Wrongful death cases are often quite complex. Securing legal representation can best protect your interests during this highly emotional time. You need a motorcycle accident lawyer who understands the grief and stress of your loss, who fights for those left behind to obtain the best possible outcome for their tragic loss.
While nothing can replace your loved one, pursuing legal action is your right. Determining whether your relationship with the victim qualifies you for filing a claim and lawsuit is essential to moving forward. To learn if you have a right to potential compensation, contact a motorcycle accident lawyer today for a free case evaluation.
My Bills Are Due Now. How Fast Can I Expect Compensation?
Each motorcycle accident and wrongful death claim and lawsuit is different. An award for your damages is never guaranteed and the details of your accident, determining liability, and proving negligence take time.
It is impossible to predict the outcome of your case. Compensation —if any—depends upon a system of processes involving insurance companies and possibly the courts.
Settling for less than you deserve is not an answer to your current financial situation. If anything, it can leave you without the funds you need later, should you experience further medical complications. Protecting your future financial needs is vital for receiving treatment if your condition worsens.
A motorcycle accident lawyer should keep all clients informed every step of the way and never leave you wondering about your case as you heal from your injuries or mourn your loved one.
Our aggressive negotiations with insurance companies are matched by the compassion we feel for accident victims. If you find yourself in a financial bind due to a negligent driver, we can help you pursue a motorcycle accident claim and lawsuit.
Get the Help You Need: Contact a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Today
Hiring an attorney should not cause you additional financial stress, so your motorcycle accident lawyer should require no deposit or retainer and work on a contingency fee basis, collecting a fee only if they secure compensation for you.
To prepare the best case possible, they must review your case as soon as possible. Should you miss filing your case within the required statute of limitations, you can never pursue compensation.
Do not let this happen to you. Your injuries or loss are no fair and worthy of a legal pursuit of compensation. Having a lawyer by your side can alleviate much of your anxiety about your claim and lawsuit.
If an assertive insurance adjuster attempts to pressure you into signing anything, have them contact your lawyer. Giving in to their demands is exactly what they want you to do—do not fall for their tactics.
When a motorcycle ride turns tragic due to a dangerous driver, holding them accountable may prevent repeat behavior. No one should experience major life changes, due to another driver who abused their driving privilege.
Riding a motorcycle requires skill. No matter how safely you drive, it only takes one distracted, drunk, or otherwise, negligent driver to change your life. Seek the legal help you need and contact a motorcycle accident lawyer today.