Most motorcyclists are well aware of the feeling that nothing stands between them and the road as they cut through the traffic at high speeds and make those daring maneuvers with surgical precision to avoid a crash. However, the threat of a motorcycle collision exists even for the most careful of motorcycle riders, and since motorcycles are not as padded or protected otherwise, the damages can be quite catastrophic. Should I get a lawyer for a motorcycle accident?
This inherent absence of adequate protection, coupled up with a two-wheeler nature of the ride (making it far less stable than a car that divides its weight on four wheels) can cause some serious problems. And since most motorcyclists don’t wear a motorcycle helmet as they are not legally required to do so after a particular age, the victim can expect some serious injuries, which can sometimes take a lethal turn.
As hurtful and devastating as motorcycle accidents are (many of them lead to motorcycle accident fatalities), most people still ask themselves if they should hire experienced motorcycle accident lawyers to pursue legal action against the at-fault driver or should they pursue the settlement negotiations on their own.
This article will help in this decision-making process by highlighting how personal injury lawyers can help you along every step of seeking a fair financial settlement from the liable party (or parties) for your losses.
We know that motorcycle accidents are by far much worse than car accidents and that the injuries incurred upon a victim can be quite serious. Most motorcycle accident victims assume in their innocence that only the intensity is a factor and that everything else will play perfectly the way it does with car accidents.
Here, you’d be gravely mistaken.
Serious motorcycle accident claims can proceed very differently from a generic car accident settlement. It is common knowledge that insurance adjusters consider minimizing their loss to be the biggest goal in any settlement, without giving any consideration to the pain and suffering from the victim.
Thus, their top-most priority is to find technicalities that will either allow them to deny you your financial compensation or cut down the sum to something very meager, barely enough to make up for your economic and non-economic losses combined.
Such tactics include but are not limited to:
Insurance adjusters will scan your medical records and stand in denial about your injuries being caused by the accident. They will develop a quasi-rational link between a preexisting condition and your injuries totally ignoring the fact that you were thrown into this world of pain by an automobile collision.
Since you can’t prove the degree of your pain and suffering because only you suffer from them, the insurance adjuster will downplay your anguish and even try to get you on board and agree that you are not as much hurt as you claim – this, of course, the victim will do inadvertently, so be very careful about what you say, even if it is a simple “yes.” Their representatives will try to surveil you and pick up on stuff you should not be able to do if you were in such pain – even if they don’t find anything of the sort, you may feel uncomfortable with being observed like a lab rat!
Insurance companies are also notorious for pushing the victim to settle early on for their personal injury claims. Insurance company representatives usually call the victims shortly after the accident; avoid giving a statement at this point. Even if you feel like you are in a dire need of financial assistance, keep the settlement process on hold for as long as it takes for you to explore the full extent of your damages.
You can also expect the insurance adjuster to either get you to accept part of the blame, thus cutting your monetary compensation according to that percentage, or to throw the entire fault on your shoulders. Never admit your fault or even a share in the fault, instead, have a legal representative handle the matter unless you wish to lose your chance for fair compensation. Just a PS, even if you do share the blame, you are still entitled to a percentage of the compensation under the comparative negligence law.
These challenges explain perfectly that the role of a motorcycle injury attorney in securing your financial settlement is a solid one, to say the least. You need to have legal muscle on your side to enjoy fair representation in the matter and not fall prey to the tactics of the insurance adjuster.
For instance, if at any point, you don’t feel like tackling certain questions, or don’t know how to, you can seek guidance and assistance from your lawyer instead of saying something that may cut your compensation. All in all, having a lawyer with you for the settlement talks can make all the difference in terms of how much you get and how hard it is to claim that sum.
In some cases, you may not feel the need to seek legal consultation or assistance. For instance, if the accident only involved some common damages and nothing serious, you can get a fair sum from the insurance company because you won’t have to prove the extent of your suffering and much more.
This applies to a case where a person only faced minor economic losses in the form of property damages and minor medical expenses. However, if things are not as straightforward, it is best to have personal injury attorneys guide and assist you through the whole legal process so that you don’t have to settle for an inadequate and unfair sum.
Here are some examples of such scenarios:
If a motorcycle wreck, or any automobile accident for that matter, involves serious injuries, you’ll have to hook up with a lawyer as soon as you can. This is because your settlement negotiations will be much harder than otherwise, since there is the additional burden of proving the extent of your pain and suffering, instead of just adding up your economic damages.
No matter how well-detailed and thorough descriptions you offer for your losses, you cannot hope to convince the insurance adjuster to agree with everything you say. There will be incongruencies in your narrative, not because you’re missing on details, but because it is very hard to present them in as articulate a fashion as a lawyer can.
And mind you, such crashes can cause some serious damage, and motorcycle accident deaths are not unheard of, with traumatic brain injury being a leading reason for deaths. Such fatal accident cases often earn the victims (their survivors) punitive damages if things go to a court of law, thus proceeding with legal advice is the best thing to do here.
Permanent injuries will haunt you for the rest of your life. If a victim faces a major spinal cord injury, or disfiguration, or amputation, or any other form of permanent damage, they’ll need the assistance of a lawyer to seek a reasonable settlement. Such injuries usually have a life-altering impact on the victims of motorcycle crashes, either impairing them financially or seriously cutting down their earning potential.
In either case, inadequate compensation for injuries and other damages will leave you struggling in life. Thus, you should be patient here, seek expert consultation, understand the full extent of your losses, and then have your lawyer represent you before the insurance company.
This can happen in any number of ways, just be sure that you don’t give a statement that can be used against you. The insurance adjuster is just a person doing a job – their goal is to minimize the loss of the company they represent.
Thus, you should not take their cheap tactics personally, they’re doing it for their employer, however, it does create some practical problems for you.
The best strategy here to study your case thoroughly, seek expert opinion on your losses and how much compensation you rightfully deserve, and then proceed accordingly. You should never settle for a sum that is less than what you need.
And you won’t have to if you seek legal representation on time.
It is not unheard of in the insurance realm to be denied a rightful motorcycle claim. Insurers are depicted as greedy beasts for this particular reason. They can use even a very minor technicality to deny you your rightful compensation for the motorcycle damage and your injuries.
Similar problems also arise when the other driver was either not an insurance carrier or if you couldn’t exchange information with them (hit-and-run cases).
In such situations, accident victims are left unsure about where to turn next.
You do have other options here such as digging into your own insurance policies (such as going for the health insurance coverage) or using the uninsured motorist coverage, but in all of these cases, having your lawyer with you will make all the difference.
Ideally, you shouldn't wait to call a competent attorney with knowledge of and experience in motorcycle accident laws. Some even do so from their hospital beds! Even if you were involved in just a moderately intense motor vehicle accident, it is never a bad idea to discuss your legal rights and options with a personal injury lawyer.
However, others put off calling their lawyers until a couple of days later and this also makes sense in several ways:
· They want to know the complete extent of their damages first
· They wish to learn where the insurance provider stands in the whole affair
· They want to get a hold of their medical diagnosis reports
· They wish to learn about the extent of their financial damages
Thus, it makes sense if you put it off for a couple of days but don’t delay calling a lawyer unnecessarily.
So, why the rush? Apart from the fact that you may need to be compensated as soon as possible to regain your financial stability, there are some very solid reasons to avoid unnecessary delays in calling experienced attorneys.
Let’s discuss them in detail:
All personal injury cases are bound by a statute of limitations which means that you are bound, time-wise, to file a personal injury lawsuit. If you fail to file your motorcycle accident claim for compensation for losses within this period of time, your case will most likely be rejected, thus there is no time for delay. While the statutory limit is a two-year period in most states, you should still avoid delaying matters because it will only weaken your case.
You’ll also be able to remember stuff very easily soon after the accident. Details are key to victory here, if you can paint the complete picture and leave no blind spots then voila, your case will be rock-solid. Your descriptions will help the insurance adjuster, or in case of a motorcycle accident lawsuit, the jury, to better visualize exactly what happened. The same is also true for any witnesses that you may have onboard with your case, their testimonies will only be worth as much as they can remember without ‘umm…ing.’ To make sure that your witness testimonies don’t lose their coherence and that your descriptions remain just as thorough, you’ll have to avoid delays.
If you avoid delays and get acting fast, an experienced lawyer will be better able to gather relevant evidence. For instance, a traffic camera may have recorded the whole thing and you may be able to use that video evidence to irrefutably prove the blame of the at-fault party. However, such evidence can either be lost over time or may become much harder to come across (and remember that your motorcycle lawyer will charge you extra for going through all the troubles created by such delays).
Lastly, in most cases, when confronted with such a financial burden, people usually seek compensation for damages to regain their economic standing. This may be out of the question if you fail to address the pressure in time, i.e. how will you deal with your money troubles if you can’t get compensated on time? So, avoid procrastinating and get working as soon as possible.
As we witnessed in the preceding sections that going on your own in this arena is possible but highly impractical. Not only do insurance companies try their best to deny you your legal claim for motorcycle accident injury (or injuries, and other losses as well) and inflate your degree of fault but they may even refuse to pay up altogether.
There are several complications that can make your case especially hard (and seemingly hopeless) unless you proceed with the legal counsel of professional motorcycle accident lawyers. Every step, every action, every word, and every day counts here – be sure to make the best of it all.
Thus, if you too, like many others, are deterred by the cost of hiring motorcycle accident attorneys then don’t let that keep you from getting in touch with us. Our legal team at the VG Law Group will take charge of your case without any upfront fees or advance payments (contingency fee agreement), meaning that you’ll only have to pay when you win.
Thus don’t hold back and call us now!