Motorcyclists know how important safety is on the road, but no matter how cautious you are, some accidents can’t be avoided.
Motorcycle accidents are known to be more devastating than any other accidents because, unlike other vehicle accidents, motorcyclists lack protection and can sustain the most severe injuries seen on the road.
No matter what your situation, from a mild case of road rash to life-altering injuries, you’ll need to have the right attorneys on your side.
If you’ve been injured in a motorcycle accident that wasn’t your fault, you may be entitled to compensation.
Keep in mind that it’s tough to recover the money you deserve on your own and that it’s important to find the right attorney who’s experienced in dealing with motorcycle accidents and knows how to handle your case to get you the biggest payout possible.
Contact a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer who will work to get the best results for your case.
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Is Hiring a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Worth It?
The short answer is yes. Sustaining an injury, even a minor one, may have long-lasting effects on your physical well-being. If you’ve been in a motorcycle accident, you’re going to want to have a legal advocate working for you to make sure that you get the compensation you deserve.
Trust us when we tell you that you don’t want to be going up against big insurance companies alone. These companies are ruthless, and their objective is to save as much of their money as possible. Their dream is to come up against a claimant with no representation. That’s why it’s so important to work with experienced attorneys who are used to dealing with these companies and can effectively and efficiently negotiate and fight for you to get the maximum payout possible for your case. Some things to consider when making your decision include:
When deciding whether hiring a motorcycle accident lawyer will be worth it, take into consideration their expertise in the field. Whenever you’re hiring a professional, and especially when you’re hiring one to work on a personal matter, you want them to be an expert. Just as we go to any other professionals for their expertise, we should do the same for our legal troubles. Although you may be able to find your way to fix your plumbing alone, you will have better odds of hiring a professional.
You may pay little or no fees upfront when you hire a motorcycle accident attorney. Most lawyers work on these cases for a contingency fee. Contingency fee cases make a lawyer’s payment contingent on their recovery of damages. This means that you’ll have no upfront costs when you hire your lawyer, and their fee will be paid from a predetermined percentage of your damages. This gives lawyers an incentive to work to get you the maximum payout possible.
What is the Average Payout for a Motorcycle Accident?
If you’ve been in a motorcycle accident, it’s safe to assume one of your first questions is wondering if you can recover damages and, if so, how much? There are many factors at play when determining the payout for a motorcycle accident case. Below we discuss some of the key factors in determining motorcycle accident payouts and then go over the national averages.
Determining Who’s at Fault
The first thing to consider is who is at fault. Did a truck run a red light and cause your accident? Or make an illegal turn, forcing you off of the road? If you’ve sustained injuries from a motorcycle accident that was caused by no fault of your own, you’ll have a bigger payout. Or, if the accident was partly your fault, your payout may be reduced by your percentage of fault. Either way, if you feel the other party had some fault in causing an accident, you should consult with an attorney.
Severity of Injuries
The amount of compensation you will receive for your claims will depend on the kind of injuries you’ve sustained and the level of severity. If you’ve sustained an injury that will leave you unable to enjoy the quality of life you had previously or work and earn your living in the same industry as, before the accident, your damages will be higher than someone who has some light road rash. The best measure is that the more severe your injuries, the greater the amount of your projected payout. However, if you’ve sustained even minor injuries, it’s important to consult with an attorney to evaluate your case.
The amount of your payout will depend heavily on the kind of insurance carried by the parties. Often times the amount of your payout will not exceed the liability insurance carried by the other party. This limitation is something to keep in mind when pursuing your motorcycle accident case.
Trying Your Case in the Courtroom
It’s important to understand the difference between trying a lawsuit in court and settling outside of court with insurance companies. When settling outside of court with insurance companies, your settlement amount will be offered by the insurance company based on the policy holder’s coverage and an estimate of your damages. If your case goes to court, a jury will ultimately decide the amount of damages you will receive. A jury determination for damages will rely on an array of considerations, some of which include:
Another major player in a court case will be the evidence available to prove fault. You will need a lawyer on your side to help you provide the right kind of evidence to strengthen and prove your case. An experienced lawyer will know how to interview witnesses, collect statements, and find available video footage to prove fault in your case. Your lawyer will help you collect evidence and build your case so it will be easy to determine fault in the courtroom.
Motorcycle Safety and Jury Bias
Trying your case in the courtroom can be a little unpredictable unless you have the right attorneys working for you. It’s no secret that motorcycle riders don’t get the respect they deserve on the road. Many citizens view bikers as thrill-seeking and reckless individuals who have put themselves in harm’s way by choosing to ride.
These stereotypes of motorcycle riders may have a harmful effect during jury trials and may lead to unfair bias in the courtroom while deciding your case. Members of the jury may unfairly discriminate against you and believe that just by choosing to ride your motorcycle, you were unsafe.
Plaintiff’s Damages at Trial
Another thing to keep in mind about trying your case in the courtroom is calculating damages. In a jury trial, the jury ultimately decides the amount of the payout you can be awarded. Some damages such as lost wages and medical bills are easy to predict. However, calculating other damages, when left up to a jury, may be less predictable.
If you’ve sustained injuries that will cause you to lose out on money or enjoyment and quality of life long-term, calculating these damages will be up to the jury to decide. Since these damages are not concrete and are difficult to determine, it’s hard to predict what the exact amount awarded at trial will be. However, it helps to have an experienced Motorcycle Accident Lawyer on your side in the courtroom who knows how to talk to the jury to get you the biggest payout possible.
Settling Outside of Court
In some instances, the best option for your case may be to settle outside of court with the insurance companies. The starting point for most accident cases is negotiations. Your lawyer will assess your claims and enter into negotiations with the insurance company. The goal here is to have the insurance company agree to a fair settlement amount. Cases usually only go to court if the insurance company and the lawyer are unable to reach a fair settlement.
Sometimes, if an injured client has a slam dunk case, the insurance company may offer a large settlement to avoid the time and extra expenses of going to court. Settling outside of court isn’t a bad option and can still offer a large and fair payout for your claims while saving you time and money trying your case.
The Jury Verdict Research published by Thomas Reuters states that the average payout for motorcycle accidents is around $80,000. It’s important to keep in mind the factors discussed above and realize that damages in motorcycle accident cases can vary a lot depending on the circumstances. From minor injury cases where the plaintiff will receive a couple of thousand dollars to major cases where the injuries are severe, and the payouts are in the millions.
Should I Get a Lawyer for a Motorcycle Accident?
After being involved in a motorcycle accident, riders describe feeling frightened, disoriented, and overwhelmed. If you’ve just been in a motorcycle accident where you’ve been injured, the last thing you will want to worry about is figuring out how to negotiate with insurance companies or represent yourself in court.
Sure, you could go it alone, but keep in mind the decision of whether or not to hire an attorney for your motorcycle accident case can mean the difference of thousands or even hundreds of thousands of dollars back in your pocket. An experienced Motorcycle Accident Lawyer will know how to negotiate with insurance companies to ensure that you get the best outcomes for your case. Some things to consider when deciding whether or not to hire an attorney include:
Do I Have the Time?
When deciding whether you should hire an attorney, you should take into serious consideration whether or not you have the time to effectively advocate for yourself. It’s guaranteed that if you decide to represent yourself in your motorcycle accident case, you will have to take time off from work for court appearances and hearings. You should also take into account the hours you will need to research what your claim is worth and how to negotiate with insurance companies or litigate in the courtroom. Not to mention the time it takes to draft court and other miscellaneous documents and gather evidence. Deciding to try your case on your own is a serious time commitment.
Will My Injury Affect Me?
Another variable to factor into your consideration is your physical well-being. If you’re undergoing surgeries or treatment, consider how this will affect your ability to effectively advocate for yourself. Your injury may have slowed you down or you may be losing a lot of your time already having to go to doctors appointments or therapy sessions. You may decide that it’s best to allow yourself to rest and recover while an experienced attorney works for you.
Will the Insurance Company Go Easy on Me?
The insurance companies will not go easy on you, and you do not want to find yourself up against an experienced insurance professional. It’s important to keep in mind that insurance companies are businesses that want to retain as much money as possible. In order to achieve this, they look for ways to not pay out every claim that gets put on their desk.
An unrepresented individual is a prey to an insurance professional. They may perceive you as being uninformed and deny your claim in hopes you won’t fight back. An experienced attorney will be familiar with all of their tricks and make sure that your claim isn’t unfairly denied.
How Long Does a Motorcycle Accident Case Take?
You have been injured in a motorcycle accident and you want to know how long it’s going to take to settle your case. Many factors are at play that will affect the length of a motorcycle lawsuit. One of the greatest variables in estimating the length of your motorcycle lawsuit will be the type and severity of injury sustained. As a rule of thumb, the more severe the injury, the longer the lawsuit. Factors that can determine the length of a case include:
Recovery time from your injury is a major factor in estimating the length of your lawsuit. It’s typically best to wait to start your lawsuit until you have fully or substantially recovered from your injuries. This is because the further along you are in your recovery, the better able you’ll be to estimate future expenses. At this point, you will have accumulated medical bills and have a treatment plan in place moving forward. Since more severe injuries have longer recovery times, this can mean a longer timeline for your case.
Severe injuries usually come with higher and more complicated expenses. More complicated medical treatments and higher dollar amounts take longer to try in court. At trial, you need to provide evidence for and prove every expense. This takes time. It’s safe to assume that the more complicated and severe the injury, the longer it will take to calculate damages.
The length of your accident case can also be heavily influenced by the negotiation period. You may have an insurance company that offers a fair settlement upfront and enables you to reach a quick resolution. Or you could have negotiations that go on for a longer time period and ultimately reach a stalemate.
Negotiation stalemates may cause litigation to be put off and prolong your lawsuit. Although it can be frustrating waiting to receive compensation, rest assured knowing more often than not it is to get you the best outcome for your case.
The time it takes to try your case will also depend heavily on the court’s schedule. It’s no secret that litigation is time-consuming and that the courts can become crowded. These factors are out of everyone’s control and are important to keep in mind.
Contact A Motorcycle Accident Lawyer to Schedule a Free Case Evaluation
If you’ve sustained injuries in a motorcycle accident, it’s in your best interest to set up a free consultation with an experienced Motorcycle Accident Lawyer. Our attorneys have years of experience handling motorcycle accident claims in the area and we can answer any of your questions related to your case including questions about whether or not you have a viable claim or how long it will take for you to receive compensation if you do. Our attorneys provide the resources, expertise, and personal attention that these kinds of cases require.
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