How Can a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Help You?

Undoubtedly, a motorcycle accident will rank among the scary experiences in your life. The potential for injuries is significant, and so is the potential property damage that arises from it.

And yet, the accident’s immediate aftermath typically only adds stress and worries to your life. Other involved parties begin to proclaim their innocence, while insurance companies look to pay as little as possible in claims resulting from the crash. Add in law enforcement investigating the cause and moments in which it happened, and it’s easy to feel overwhelmed.

That’s where the right motorcycle accident lawyer can enter the equation. From the moment you engage with them, they can become a trusted partner in anything from better understanding your rights to calculating damages, becoming your legal representation, and working with insurance companies on your behalf.

Even and especially when the claim turns into a court case, you will not want to be without a reliable attorney. Keep reading to learn more about the benefits of hiring a motorcycle accident attorney and how to get started working with one.

Immediately After a Motorcycle Accident

Even though motorcycles only make up 3 percent of all vehicles in the United States, they account for 14 percent of all accident deaths and 4 percent of all traffic-related injuries in the country. In fact, the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration reports that more than 80,000 motorcyclists get injured in the U.S. every year.

That high injury rate is part of what makes the immediate aftermath of a motorcycle crash so challenging. More likely than not, the accident was a traumatic event you’d find difficult to remember. And, if others in the accident weren’t on motorcycles themselves, you have a higher chance of sustaining a preventable injury than everyone else.

In the chaos, you may forget exactly what steps to take, who you need to contact, and who you should or shouldn’t talk to. You also likely won’t have the wherewithal to call a lawyer right away.

Instead, let common sense guide you. Exchange contact information, but don’t apologize or admit fault. You can try to document the accident scene, but the most important legal steps will only happen once things have calmed down and you can contact a motorcycle accident lawyer.

A Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Will Explain Your Rights and Responsibilities

Handling Insurance Company Biases Against MotorcyclistsWorking with the right lawyer will benefit you from the first case evaluation. At that evaluation, the attorney will likely provide you with a basic overview of your exact rights and responsibilities, which can be crucial in any future steps you take to get compensation or talk with other parties involved in the accident.

For example, all U.S. states require an accident report after the crash but may differ in who is responsible for that filing. In some states, everyone involved in the accident has to file a report. In others, law enforcement is responsible for the report but will interview everyone involved to make it as accurate as possible from the beginning.

The details of that accident report also change based on the state in which the accident occurred. New York State, for instance, requires everyone involved in the crash to complete a report within 10 days if anyone involved is injured or the property damage exceeds $1,000. In New Jersey, meanwhile, anyone involved in a motorcycle accident only has to complete a crash report if the police didn’t come to the scene.

In addition, most vehicle insurance policies ask the policyholder to report any crash immediately. You might actually wait a few days until more information is available.

Your exact situation plays into the equation as well. From your initial case evaluation, having a legal partner by your side means always knowing what steps you must take next—and what your rights are in interacting with anyone from others involved in the accident to insurance companies, law enforcement, and more.

A Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Will Investigate the Crash

Soon after the accident, you will almost inevitably find yourself amid multiple parties all looking out for themselves. No one wants to admit fault, and insurance companies have a clear stake in minimizing the claims they have to pay.

Within that complex situation, you need to be sure that you’re telling your side and the objective truth about the crash. Of course, that cannot be easy to do while you also focus on your own recovery and well-being.

Working with a motorcycle accident lawyer means giving them the authority to investigate the crash on your behalf, including (but not limited to):

  • Interviewing witnesses and other involved parties
  • Taking and reviewing pictures of the scene of the crash
  • Reviewing the police report of the accident
  • Reviewing any available security footage that might have caught the accident on camera
  • Gathering and examining any receipts for repairs or healthcare services due to the crash.

Through their investigation, the lawyer will look to find as much evidence as possible for what happened and who might have been at fault. That information, in turn, will become crucial as you look to settle an insurance claim or potentially file a lawsuit for damages.

A Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Will Calculate Your Damages

One of the most important questions after a motorcycle accident is also among the most complex: Do you know how much money you’re entitled to because of the crash?

Your motorcycle accident lawyer can answer that question.

They’ll look closely at a few factors to determine what damages you might receive:

  • Any property damage sustained as a result of the crash
  • Any tangible healthcare costs to address injuries you’ve sustained as a result of the crash
  • Any indirect costs that you’ll need to account for, like a loss of income while recovering from your injuries or pain and suffering caused by the trauma of the accident

All these potential damages come with nuances you might not be aware of. Especially the indirect costs are extremely difficult to calculate, while all others need documentation (like a written diagnosis from the healthcare provider) for you to claim them as damages. Working with the right lawyer means getting the best amount for your needs and situation.

A Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Will Become Your Legal Representation

When you hire a lawyer, they will speak on your behalf to all relevant stakeholders. You will no longer be responsible for answering questions from law enforcement and can defer any requests from other involved parties directly to your legal representation. Perhaps most importantly, especially at the beginning of the process, your lawyer will also represent you in any interactions with your insurance company.

It’s easy to forget, but insurance companies are for-profit businesses. It’s in their best interest to hand out as little money in claims as possible. After an accident, they will not look to give you a fair claim. Instead, they’ll do what they do to even inadvertently admit fault so that they can either minimize the claims payment or refuse to pay outright.

They’ll also try to work with you in any settlement discussions. As long as you haven’t accepted any amount, you can let your lawyer work on your behalf, saying only what needs to be said while pushing for a settlement that matches fair damages for you. Any negotiation happens in the background, with your lawyer lifting the heavy lifting while keeping you informed about the process and status.

A Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Will Know When to File a Lawsuit

There comes a time when even the most experienced lawyer will run up against other parties who simply don’t want to accommodate the damages you need and deserve. And yet, you still need those damages for your recovery and potential property damage caused.

When that point comes, an experienced attorney will begin to consult with you on the potential of a lawsuit. They’ll walk through the nuances of what that entails, from filing the right paperwork to the anticipated length of time this legal action would take.

This is when the evidence your lawyer has gathered will become crucial. It becomes part of the lawsuit, helping to make a strong case of why you deserve to be paid the damages your lawyer has calculated as a fair amount you’re entitled to.

Keep in mind that experienced motorcycle accident lawyers have been through this process many times. They’ll know exactly what to do and ensure the process goes smoothly. Their goal is to focus on the nuances of the case, giving you the best possible representation while you can focus on your recovery.

A Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Will Fight for a Fair Settlement

Throughout the legalities of a potential lawsuit, your attorney will work with the other parties to work on a possible settlement. Ultimately, your goal is not to win an all-or-nothing trial; it’s to make sure that you get enough compensation to take care of your personal injuries and property damage.

Your opposite party has that same goal, only on their end. They want to avoid losing the suit and paying more than they can afford. That’s why, in most cases, it’s in their best interest to continue negotiating a fair settlement with you and your lawyer as well.

Your lawyer will aim to get the settlement as close to the damages calculated in the above earlier step as possible. But ideally, they’re also experienced enough to know how the lawsuit is going and whether it’s worth settling for a lesser amount.

If the goal is to avoid an all-or-nothing situation, your lawyer will aim to hit the sweet spot of finding a settlement that’s both beneficial to you and agreeable to the other party.

A Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Will Take Your Case to Trial

Unfortunately, not every accident case will end with a settlement. Some cases will end in a situation where both parties dig their heels in, so convinced of their side’s truth that they don’t believe they should give up any part of their negotiating position.

Without a lawyer by your side, this situation can quickly become scary. You’ll need to represent yourself in the courtroom, from presenting all of the evidence pointing to your position’s truth to answering questions from the opposing party’s lawyer. Insurance companies especially like to use teams of lawyers to intimidate the other party into potential case-defining mistakes.

Here, the fact that your lawyer is your legal representative becomes crucial again. They’ll represent you in the courtroom, from gathering depositions to calling witnesses and asking relevant questions. You’ll also get tips on responding and only need to enter the witness stand if your lawyer deems it beneficial to the case—and with their guidance.

And, of course, even at the trial stage of the lawsuit, a settlement is still possible. With your lawyer’s ongoing guidance, you’ll continue to feel the reassurance that everything is happening and will work toward getting the compensation you deserve.

How to Find the Right Lawyer for Your Situation

Add it all together, and hiring a personal injury lawyer is beneficial from the moment of the first case evaluation all the way to potentially taking the case to trial. But of course, not any legal professional will do; you’ll need to find the right attorney to represent your case.

Ideally, that attorney has extensive experience in motorcycle accidents and the laws of the jurisdiction in which the accident occurred. They should also be open and transparent at all times, keeping you in the loop on all the next steps as they work on your behalf.

Start the process with a free case evaluation. Use the evaluation to present your situation and ask questions about the lawyer’s related experience. That way, the lawyer you eventually hire will have the expertise and experience needed to help you in every part of the legal process.