What is a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer?
A motorcycle accident lawyer is a personal injury lawyer with experience helping victims of riding accidents. Personal injury law is an area of specialty that requires knowledge of tort law, experience negotiating with insurance companies, and skill litigating on behalf of victims. They advise anyone injured in a road accident involving a motorcycle.
When Do I Need a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer?
If you ride a motorcycle and suffered injuries and resulting expenses from an accident, you may need a lawyer. Personal injury firms offer free case evaluations, so there is no risk in setting up an appointment. The lawyers can explain your rights and provide advice. You may think you can handle the aftermath of the accident without representation, but there are certain situations in which you must have a lawyer:
- You suffered serious injuries
- Your medical expenses are high
- You may have medical expenses well into the future
- The accident left you with a permanent disability
- You are unable to work
- A lawyer representing the other driver contacted you
- An insurance adjuster contacted you or offered a settlement
What Can A Lawyer Do for Me?
Contacting a lawyer may not be the first thing you think of doing after a motorcycle accident, but these experienced professionals can help you in several important ways:
- Determining the negligent party. The aftermath of an accident is confusing, especially when you are facing health problems and recovering. A lawyer experienced in these cases can clarify what happened and determine who is negligent and where liability falls.
- Explaining the laws and your rights. You may also be confused about what options you have, even if you are certain someone caused your accident. Your lawyer will explain the choices and advise you.
- Using resources and expertise to investigate. A law firm has resources and experts available to investigate accidents. They can uncover evidence important in proving negligence.
- Negotiating with insurance companies. The negligent party is likely the other driver, which means their insurance company should be covering your compensation. They have big legal teams devoted to disproving negligence or showing the victim was to blame. Your lawyer knows how to work with them and get them to provide compensation.
- Maximizing damages. You may not fully understand how this accident will cost you now and in the future. A lawyer knows what victims can recover and will find all the hidden costs you need to consider in order to maximize damages recovered.
- Litigating in court if necessary. Most accident cases end in settlements, but if you cannot get adequate compensation this way, you may need to go to trial.
- Speeding payment of damages. Even if you succeed at winning damages in court, payment is not always immediate. There are several potential delays, but your lawyer can keep advocating for you, ensuring you get the compensation you need for medical and other expenses.
How to Choose a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
If someone you know or trust can refer a personal injury lawyer with motorcycle accident experience, that’s a great place to start. Check with your motorcycle community. Chances are someone you know has needed a lawyer after an accident.
Whether or not you go with a referral, select a lawyer or a firm that works on personal injury cases and has experience helping motorcycle riders. They should be able to show you that they have won cases similar to yours and that past clients were satisfied with the results. If they cannot show you evidence of this, choose someone else.
Personal injury lawyers should never charge an up-front fee or for a case evaluation. Only go with a firm that has contingency payment and is willing to get together to go over your case for free. Anyone who charges first likely doesn’t have the resources to handle your case.
Above all, the right lawyer will earn your trust and make you feel comfortable. They will be accessible and have time to dedicate to winning your case. Anyone who is hard to get in touch with or passes your case on to other lawyers is not the right representation.
Working with Your Lawyer
Choosing the right motorcycle accident lawyer is the first step to winning your case. Next, you need to work with them in an open and honest way. They need all the information you have, so come prepared to meetings with:
- Your medical bills and records related to the accident
- Any physical evidence you have from the incident, including pictures of your bike and your injuries and the accident scene
- A copy of the police report
- Contact and insurance information for the person who caused the accident
- Information for any witnesses to the accident
- Information about your income and job if you have had to miss time or if your injuries may prevent you from doing certain types of work in the future
Motorcycle accidents are devastating, often causing severe injuries or even deaths. Car and truck drivers are often not careful enough around bikes and must be held accountable when they cause accidents. A lawyer can help you advocate for yourself and recover damages.