Choosing the best motorcycle accident lawyer can be a harrowing experience. Many know that riding a motorcycle is a thrilling experience and offers a true sense of freedom when out on the open highway. Sadly, it can also be a very dangerous pursuit.
If you have been involved in a motorcycle crash, as a rider, a passenger, or as a third party, what are your rights and do you have a personal injury case?
While a number of states are no-fault states for accidents involving a motor vehicle, motorcycles are excluded as a motor vehicle under their laws. This means that motorcyclists cannot buy a no-fault policy. They are only required to have a minimal liability insurance policy, which protects them from liability for any damage to property or injury or death to someone as a result of their use of the motorcycle.
Insurers can offer further coverage including medical benefits in the event of no other coverage existing. Many insurers offer these add-ons in blocks of $5,000 coverage, depending on your state.
If a rider chooses to be helmetless, in many states they must by law carry a minimum of $20,000 in medical benefits coverage and the same amount for any other rider using the bike without a helmet.
Knowing how your state laws apply to you can help make you a better motorcyclist.
What a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Can Do For You
Because the laws around motorcycle accidents are a little more complicated, a competent motorcycle accident lawyer can help advise you on your rights and guide you through personal injury law. They can liaise with any insurance company and advise you whether to accept a settlement or to pursue a claim further.
Why Hire a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
Because of the various complications surrounding motorcycle accident injury claims and the law, having a good attorney is crucial. They can advise when an insurance company submits a low offer which may not even cover medical bills. They know how to interpret the laws when it comes to any no-fault coverage. They can build a case if there is any liability by a municipality in the case of defective roads and they can defend you if bias is shown in any case because you are a motorcyclist.
What to Consider When Hiring a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
If you do need to hire an accident lawyer, then there are several things to consider when looking at law firms. Does the attorney have relevant experience and knowledge of the laws which apply? Will any legal representation include submitting your claim to the insurance company? Do they work on a contingency fee basis and offer a free initial consultation? And do they value a good attorney-client relationship with transparency and good communication?
How Many Legal Teams Handle Motorcycle Accident Cases
If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident and engage an attorney, they may cover every aspect of the case needed. This includes:
- Giving you an estimate of what they think your personal injury case is worth
- Collecting all medical records and relevant bills
- Request a copy of the police report
- Collect all relevant documentation such as lost wages, estimates for repairs, etc.
- Gather statements from relevant individuals
- Advise on whether to accept or reject any settlement offers
- Represent family or loved ones when wrongful death has occurred
- Retain expert witnesses where required
- Obtain photographs of the scene and the accident if available
- Represent you in negotiations with the insurance company
- Represent you in court if the claim goes to trial
Motorcycle Crash FAQs
1. Am I entitled to no-fault benefits?
Yes, but only when a motor vehicle is also involved in the accident.
2. Can I pursue a claim if I did not have insurance?
Yes, but only in certain circumstances, and you must be able to prove the other party had at least 50% liability.
3. How much is my personal injury case worth?
This can depend on several aspects of the case according to your state’s personal injury law. Your attorney will advise you on these.
4. How much will it cost me to pursue my motorcycle accident case?
Many firms operate on a contingency fee basis. This means that they only get paid if they win a settlement for you.
Steps You Need to Take After a Motorcycle Crash
There are some basic steps to take after a motorcycle accident if you can. Collect all identity and insurance information of each party involved in the incident. Seek all needed medical treatment and ensure it is documented. Gather any relevant evidence such as photographs of the scene. Identify all potential insurance sources. And seek professional legal advice.
The Importance of Acting Fast
While your primary concern is to seek medical treatment if needed, acting swiftly to gather information and evidence and to contact a motorcycle accident lawyer is crucial to making a strong case.
All About Choosing the Best Motorcycle Attorney
You want an attorney who will represent you to the best of their abilities. Look for one with experience in this area and who has reviews you can refer to. Engaging competent personal injury lawyers who have experience of representing clients who have been injured in a motorcycle accident or car accidents provides you with the best possible chance of a positive outcome.
Look for a Lawyer who has Already Won a Motorcycle Injury Trial
Ideally, you want a personal injury lawyer who not only knows the laws that apply, but who has fought and won several similar cases. Many law firms will have a verdicts section on their website. Or simply ask the attorney about their previous record.
Look for a Lawyer Who has the Time to Handle Your Case Personally
It can be frustrating to meet with an attorney and establish that initial attorney client relationship only to find that your case has been passed to another lawyer or a paralegal. Ask at that first meeting who will be representing you in the long-term.
Some of this content was published here.