Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
If you were riding a motorcycle during a collision, there’s a strong likelihood that you sustained serious injuries. And if the motorcycle accident was caused by someone else’s negligence, you’ll naturally want to seek just compensation to cover your medical expenses, property damage, loss of wages, and impairment to your quality of life.
Get motorcycle safety tips.
Motorcycle accident cases can be trickier than other types of personal injury accident cases, so we advise you to proceed carefully in order to maximize your settlement.
Determining Motorcycle Accident Liability
In many cases, an accident is caused by someone’s negligent driving. If they were speeding, texting, driving under the influence, or engaging in any number of unsafe driving practices, they are liable — in other words, they are responsible for the resulting costs.
However, it must be proven that the driver was at fault with solid evidence like video footage or eyewitness testimonials. The fact that there is a bias against motorcycle riders means they may have to make an extra effort to prove they weren’t partially responsible for the accident. That’s one of the main reasons that quality legal representation is especially crucial to motorcycle accident victims.
Sometimes a motorcycle accident is caused by a defect in the machinery. If you suspect this was the cause of your collision and want to pursue a settlement from the manufacturer, it may be necessary to prove that you kept the bike well-maintained to avoid partial liability.
Another potential reason for an injury accident, though much less common, are road surface hazards such as deep potholes and fallen tree branches. In these cases it must be proven that the driver exercised due care in avoiding the hazards. If the accident was a result of negligent road design, the liable party may well be a local government entity, which will require compliance with a strict set of regulations in order to make a claim.
Learn about California motorcycle law and motorcycle helmet laws.
How Much is a Motorcycle Accident Claim Worth?
This depends on a number of factors, the two biggest of which are how big the accident was, and how extensive the victim’s injuries. The insurance company will make an offer based on how well it can be proven that their client was at fault, and how much a jury would potentially award the victim if the case went to trial (this is another area where biker bias comes into play).
Here’s a statistic that’s too general and outdated to really be useful, so don’t take it too seriously: the median motorcycle injury verdict (after a personal injury trial) from 1999 to 2006 was $73,700, according to Jury Verdict Research.
Read about the $4.5 million settlement we won for a motorcycle accident client.
Of course, the worst motorcycle accidents result in fatalities. If you’ve lost a loved one, you might be interested in additional information on wrongful death.
Avoid Insurance Claims Adjusters
Insurance company representatives will try every trick they can to minimize the settlement amount they have to pay. It’s important that you refrain from speaking to them in case you accidentally reveal information they can use against you. The best practice is to tell them to speak with your attorney.
How Long Will it Take to Get My Settlement?
In all honesty, it might take awhile — even up to three or four years. It’s in your best interest not to rush the process, because it’s important to make sure all injuries and damages are accounted for. Settling a claim too quickly may cause you to lose out on potential compensation, because you can’t go back and ask for more later.
Some insurance companies intentionally cause delays as a stress tactic, hoping it will make you nervous and settle for less. Alternatively, they may pressure you to settle quickly, before the full extent of your injuries has had time to be revealed.
Legal Fees for a Motorcycle Accident
Most respectable personal injury lawyers will take a case on a contingency basis, meaning that you don’t pay them at all until they win your settlement. Once they settlement is won, they will take a percentage, plus reimbursement for expenses they paid up front that were necessary to the case, e.g. fees for getting copies of medical reports.
Keep in mind that you are far more likely to get the maximum possible settlement through an experienced personal injury attorney, like the ones on our team. We will fight on your behalf to get you the compensation you deserve. Get started with a free case evaluation today.