Motorcycle deaths decreased slightly in 2018, but motorcyclists continue to be an overrepresented group in traffic fatalities. According to the NHTSA, 4,985 riders were killed in motorcycle accidents during 2018. Thousands of riders were seriously injured in crashes.
When a rider is injured in a motorcycle accident, the rider may be entitled to compensation for medical bills, injuries, loss of income, and other damages. However, motorcycle accident claims can be challenging. A rider could be fighting an uphill battle to receive the compensation he or she deserves.
A motorcycle accident attorney can help. An attorney fights for fair compensation for all damages. Hiring an attorney can give the rider peace of mind so that the rider can focus on his or her recovery.
Reasons You Need a Lawyer for a Motorcycle Accident Claim
Five reasons why you should consider hiring a motorcycle accident lawyer are:
Investigate the Motorcycle Accident
Your attorney conducts a thorough investigation into the cause of the motorcycle crash. You must prove that the other driver was responsible for causing your motorcycle accident. An attorney identifies who is responsible for causing the accident and gathers evidence to prove fault.
Some of the steps an attorney may take when investigating a motorcycle accident include, but are not limited to:
- Obtaining a copy of the crash report.
- Interviewing and taking statements from eyewitnesses.
- Visiting the accident scene to gather evidence.
- Searching for videos of the collision from traffic cameras and other sources.
- Obtaining copies of your medical records.
- Gathering physical evidence from the motorcycle.
- Requesting copies of insurance policies for the parties involved in the accident.
- Hiring accident experts and accident reconstructionists.
Handle the Insurance Company
Your attorney also deals directly with the insurance company for the other driver. Insurance adjusters may pressure a motorcyclist to provide statements, sign medical records release forms, or accept a low settlement offer.
Attorneys protect riders from aggressive insurance claims adjusters who seek to pay as little as possible to settle the claim. Experienced motorcycle accident lawyers understand the tactics used by insurance providers and how to respond to those tactics to protect a rider’s rights and best interests.
Fight Allegations of Comparative Fault
Insurance companies like to blame motorcyclists for causing crashes. They use unfair stereotypes of riders as being dangerous and reckless to argue that the rider’s actions contributed to the cause of the crash.
Under Florida’s comparative fault laws, a rider’s compensation can be lowered if the rider is partially at fault for the cause of the accident. The amount of compensation is decreased by the percentage of fault assigned to the motorcyclist. Insurance companies use comparative fault allegations to limit their liability to save money.
Calculate the Value of an Injury Claim
It can be difficult to know how much a motorcycle accident claim is worth. A rider may be entitled to compensation for financial losses, such as medical bills and loss of income. The motorcyclist may also be entitled to compensation for noneconomic damages including:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Disfigurement and scarring
- Permanent impairments and disabilities
- Loss of quality of life or enjoyment of life
Placing a figure on pain and suffering is challenging. Everyone experiences injuries differently.
A lawyer has experience calculating the value of a motorcycle accident claim. Your attorney understands how to use the evidence in your case to maximize the value of your claim.
The insurance company will not tell you the true value of your claim. Its goal is to pay nothing for your claim or pay as little as possible to settle your claim. Without an attorney, you may receive much less money than you deserve for your claim.
File a Motorcycle Accident Lawsuit
Most motorcycle accident claims settle out of court. Injury lawyers negotiate with insurance companies for a fair settlement. However, there are cases in which a motorcycle accident lawsuit may be necessary to protect the rider.
If you have a lawyer working on your case from the beginning, your lawyer is prepared to file a lawsuit if it is necessary to protect your rights. Most attorneys treat all their cases as if they are preparing for filing a lawsuit, which means they are prepared for whatever course the case may take.
Hire the Right Motorcycle Accident Attorney for You
Make sure that the attorney you hire has experience handling motorcycle accident claims. You want someone who understands the unique factors related to accident claims involving motorcycles.
Ask the attorney about the attorney’s experience handling motorcycle accident claims, including how many cases settle and how many cases go to court. You need an attorney who is a talented negotiator, but also a skilled trial attorney in case you need to take the matter to court.
You will be working closely with your attorney throughout the case. Make sure you feel comfortable talking with your attorney, and you are confident in the attorney’s skills, experience, and resources for handling your motorcycle accident claim.