Dealing with any sort of accident can be a daunting process. Wading through the legalese of insurance policies, negotiating with insurance companies, and figuring out your best legal moves are often more than an injured person can handle on their own.
You may be wondering how a motorcycle accident lawyer can help you. The answer is this: a lot. An injury lawyer can handle all the legal tasks associated with your motorcycle crash. They can determine how much your case might be worth, communicate and negotiate with third parties for you, and seek the best possible financial recovery available in your case.
A lawyer’s help can be especially crucial if you’re facing moderate or severe injuries. Read on to learn all the ways a motorcycle accident lawyer can help you seek compensation after a crash.
Determine Your Motorcycle Accident Case’s Potential Value
Your insurance company won’t hand you a guide explaining how much your accident damages could be worth. In fact, the insurance company will likely take steps to minimize your payout as much as they can. A lawyer can serve as your guide, investigating your losses and explaining what kind of settlement or award you could get.
Recoverable Damages After a Crash
In a motorcycle accident case, you may qualify to seek compensation for damages such as:
- Medical expenses: If you needed emergency treatment, you might have required an ambulance, diagnostic testing, surgery, and other services. You may now need to take medications, attend follow-up appointments, visit specialists, and get other types of treatment.
- Future medical expenses: Your doctor may advise that you will need future or ongoing care, such as rehabilitation, physical therapy, and other medical needs.
- Lost earnings: Perhaps your income comes from salaried earnings, hourly wages, or gig work. Regardless of how you made a living before the crash, you could get compensation if your injuries prevent you from earning as normal. You could also seek reduced earning capacity damages if you can’t return to your normal hours or line of work in the future.
- Pain and suffering: These intangible damages compensate you for your physical and mental hardships and everyday challenges after the injury.
- Reduced enjoyment of life: Some injuries prevent victims from continuing to enjoy their usual hobbies and other daily activities.
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD): Many motorcycle accident victims face lasting trauma. You can seek damages to treat any psychological injuries.
- Wrongful death damages: Families who suddenly lose a loved one are often left with financial and emotional hardship. You could get compensation for funeral and burial costs, income losses to your family, loss of companionship, and other damages.
Generally speaking, your accident’s potential value depends on the seriousness of your injuries, how severely they affected your life, and how much your injuries cost to treat. Other factors, such as the liable party’s identity, can determine your claim or lawsuit’s worth as well. When corporate insurance policies are liable, such as in trucking accidents, you could seek compensation from an even higher liability policy.
You Must Understanding What Your Damages Are Worth
In short, understanding what your damages are worth and seeking the highest possible settlement amount can be a challenging process. You’ll need to understand not only how much your current bills are but what your motorcycle accident injuries could cost you in the future. You also need to make a good case for the value of your pain and suffering damages, which often requires understanding personal injury case law and industry norms.
Having a lawyer can be essential if you want to get fair financial compensation after a motorcycle crash. An injury lawyer knows how to put a monetary value on these kinds of damages—and then how to seek the highest possible amounts for their clients.
Investigate Your Motorcycle Accident Case and Identify Liable Parties
Bringing a successful injury case depends on solid evidence. A motorcycle accident lawyer can be your lead investigator, gathering the kind of evidence that insurance companies and juries need to see to decide in your favor.
Generally speaking, your lawyer will do far more than simply forward a copy of the crash report and a list of your bills to the insurer.
They can also collect valuable evidence such as:
- Medical records
- Statements from doctors or mental health providers
- Testimony from other expert witnesses, such as vocational experts or accident reconstructionists
- Surveillance camera footage
- Dashboard camera footage
- Blackbox data
- Company records or violations records
- Eyewitness testimony
Identifying the Liable Parties
Once an attorney investigates the facts of your case and the available evidence, they can determine any parties who could bear liability. After all, the party who hit you may not be the only one liable for paying you. Another party, such as a driver’s employer and their liability policy, may also owe you compensation.
In some cases, multiple parties could bear liability for your motorcycle accident.
Possible liable parties include:
- Trucking companies
- Local or state governments
- Construction companies
- Insurers for rideshare companies, such as Uber and Lyft
- Other drivers or motorcyclists
On your own, identifying the liable party might feel like guesswork. However, a lawyer can ensure that you seek maximum compensation from anyone responsible for your injuries.
Deal With the Settlement Negotiations Process
It’s one thing to say that your case is worth a certain amount—it’s another to actually get that compensation from the liable party or parties. This is where a lawyer’s help can prove invaluable.
Motorcycle accident attorneys have training and experience in speaking with the insurance companies and other lawyers involved in the case. They know how to handle the back-and-forth process in these conversations. If the insurer doesn’t want to make you a fair offer, they can present evidence as to why you deserve compensation. They can also argue for the highest possible amount available for all your damages—not simply accept the first amount the insurer offers.
When injury victims deal with insurance companies on their own, they may not feel empowered to negotiate and take the first number the insurance company throws out. However, once you sign a settlement agreement, that’s the end of the road. You can’t go back and ask for more money if your injuries worsen or you need additional forms of medical treatment. For this reason, you should feel confident that the settlement you accept is a good offer—and a lawyer’s help can give you that confidence.
Handle the Common Challenges in a Motorcycle Accident Case
Lawyers would love to be able to tell clients that every valid case for compensation gets fair treatment during the insurance claims process. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case—especially for motorcyclists.
Part of a lawyer’s job involves protecting and speaking up for you when you face challenges with your injury case.
A motorcycle accident lawyer can help you with any common challenges, such as when the insurance company:
- Delays your case’s investigation or negotiations
- Claims that you were more responsible for the accident than you truly were
- Claims that you face less serious injuries than you have
- Undervalues your damages, including your medical expenses
- Tells you that your injuries existed before the accident
An attorney has experience with fighting unfair claims and tactics like these, and they know how to stand up for your side of the story. For instance, if the insurance company says that your injuries aren’t serious, your lawyer can present your medical records and tell them exactly what your doctor has to say. They can even share expert witness testimony from other medical specialists, such as neurologists. You do not have to face these challenges on your own.
File a Lawsuit and Litigate for You
Most accident cases settle out of court, and injury lawyers often try to negotiate a settlement if possible. Negotiations tend to resolve faster, which benefits all involved parties.
However, filing a lawsuit may be necessary for several reasons. If you’re approaching the deadline to file a lawsuit (also known as the “statute of limitations”), your lawyer may file the paperwork for legal action just to have all your bases covered. Your lawyer may also file suit if the insurance company will not negotiate or denies your claim, among other reasons.
Many lawyers have trial experience and can steer your case through the court system. This includes representing your case before a jury, cross-examining witnesses, filing all necessary paperwork, and dealing with the other party’s lawyers. Your lawyer is your voice at trial as they fight for the award you deserve.
Help You Seek the Best Possible Results After a Crash
To secure the highest amount of compensation available in your case, you should take certain steps—and avoid others. An attorney has the experience to offer you guidance and steer your case to increase your chances of success. If you hire an attorney, they may advise you to:
Get Medical Care and Listen to Your Doctor
Treating your injuries promptly not only benefits your health, but it can prove crucial for your motorcycle accident case. Going to a doctor or emergency room creates a medical record of your accident-related injuries—without that record, you don’t have any medical evidence of injury. Similarly, if you wait too long to get care, the insurance company can claim that your health condition wasn’t caused by the motorcycle accident.
Whatever your doctor tells you to do, follow their orders. Again, doing so benefits both your health and your case. When you skip appointments or don’t take prescribed medications, the insurance company can say that you made your injuries worse—which may give them room to lower your settlement amount or deny your claim altogether.
Wait Before You Accept the First Settlement Offer
As mentioned above, the first offer you get from an insurance company is often far lower than your actual damages. Injury lawyers typically tell clients not to jump at the first offer they receive. Instead, take time to see how your injuries progress and negotiate the best possible settlement.
Your prognosis can easily change in the days or weeks after your motorcycle accident. What seemed like a mild or moderate injury could quickly become more complicated, or your doctor could recommend a longer term of rehab than you initially expected. If you end up needing more treatment after you accept an offer, you can’t go back and negotiate a higher settlement amount—you will have to pay the bill.
Avoid Posting on Social Media
An insurance company will look for many ways to reduce your settlement value. As a business, they want to minimize their losses. Therefore, you need to watch what you say about your case on the internet.
Social media posts can come back to hurt you. For instance, if you post pictures of yourself enjoying a day with your family a week after the accident, the insurance company can claim that you clearly don’t have accident-related injuries. Or, if you post details about how the accident happened, they can take the things you say out of context and use them against you.
Avoid posting on social media after your motorcycle accident, especially if the content relates to your case in any way.
Don’t Give a Recorded Statement to an Insurance Company
Watch what you say directly to the insurance company as well. An adjuster may call you and ask for a recorded statement about the motorcycle accident—and if they do, say no.
These calls may seem caring and friendly, but they often result in damaging statements that harm your case. Again, anything you say in a recorded statement can be manipulated and used against you.
Support You and Keep You Informed Throughout Your Case
A motorcycle accident lawyer can stand beside you through it all. Cases like these are often complex and draining for accident victims, especially when they have injuries, motorcycle repair or replacement costs, career challenges, and other accident-related issues on their plate. With a lawyer by your side, you can get support, insight, and a clearer understanding of the entire legal process.
An injury lawyer can keep you in the loop throughout the process so that you never feel unsure of where your case stands. They can also interpret all the legalese, insurance company statements, and policy details for you, so you can take your next steps with confidence.
Get a Free Case Review From a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer’s Team Today
Many injury law firms offer free case reviews. You can contact a lawyer’s team today to discover exactly how a motorcycle accident attorney can help you. During this call, you can learn more about your legal options and the firm’s services with no cost or obligation involved.