Although the number of deaths due to motorcycle crashes has been declining, motorcycle riders are still overrepresented in the number of traffic fatalities and injuries. While they can be incredibly fun, motorcycles can also be incredibly dangerous.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a motorcycle accident, you may be entitled to compensation, especially if the accident was due to the negligence or intentional actions of someone else. A motorcycle accident lawyer will be able to advise you whether you have a good case and whether you should pursue a personal injury claim.
To learn about why you should hire a lawyer to represent you, read on.
1. They Understand the Laws
Experienced attorneys understand the laws, how the legal system works, and how the process goes. They’ll be able to tell you if they think you have a strong case or not and lay out a plan for how the case should proceed. Their experience with past cases that are similar gives them the ability to know how those types of cases usually play out and what you can expect.
2. They Can Negotiate on Your Behalf
Working with insurance companies can be exhausting and stressful. Insurance companies are looking out for their bottom line, so they want you to settle for the lowest amount possible. They will repeatedly offer you low settlement amounts to get you to accept so they can close the case.
Unfortunately, many people may take their settlement because they are tired and just want the case to be over or don’t realize that they are entitled to much more depending on the damages. When you hire an attorney, they handle all of this for you. They communicate with the insurance company, negotiate on your behalf, and can advise you if you are being offered a fair amount and should consider accepting and settling the case.
3. They Can Estimate Damages
Some damages are straightforward, such as medical bills for past treatment. However, other damages may not be so clear-cut. Your attorney will be able to estimate damages for things including:
- Future medical care and rehabilitation
- Lost wages and loss of future wages
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering and mental anguish
- Punitive damages
Attorneys know how to estimate these damages and also typically have access to experts who can help estimate the extent of the damages for certain injuries.
4. They Have the Expertise to Establish Liability
Determining liability in a motorcycle accident can be difficult, especially if there are multiple people responsible, such as the other driver(s), faulty roads, or other hazards in the road. An attorney also can hire accident experts to investigate the scene or even recreate it to determine who was at fault.
If the cause of the accident was a defective or unmaintained road, you might be able to sue the government entity responsible for that maintenance. However, there are stricter timelines for these types of lawsuits, and proving their responsibility is difficult.
5. They Can Represent You in Court
Sometimes you just can’t come to an acceptable agreement with the insurance company. Despite your attorney’s attempts at negotiating with them, insurance companies often dig in and refuse to budge in their settlement amount. In this situation, you may want to take your case to trial.
It’s never a wise idea to represent yourself, so you’ll need an attorney to represent you in court. When choosing an attorney, make sure they have litigation experience in case the case does end up going to trial.
There is also the potential that jurors might be biased against motorcycle riders. Many people believe that motorcycles are inherently dangerous, that drivers drive too fast, and that they are reckless. These biases against motorcycle drivers might mean that jurors automatically assume that the accident must have been the fault of the motorcycle driver.
You’ll need an attorney to help overcome that bias and show how the accident wasn’t your fault, but the fault of others.
6. You Can Focus on Your Recovery
Your attorney will handle everything related to your case for you. They’ll do the investigation, contact the insurance company, gather necessary documents, and handle all aspects of the case. Rather than spending your time doing this, you can focus on recovering.
If your injuries were extensive, you may have many doctor appointments or physical therapy sessions to attend. An attorney gives you the ability to focus on getting better rather than trying to manage that along with building your case.
7. They Get Paid When You Do
Most personal injury lawyers work on a contingency basis, which means that they don’t get paid until you do. Once you get a settlement, whether that’s something that your lawyer negotiates for you or is awarded in a trial, your lawyer will get a certain percentage of that for payment.
Your attorney also may front the money for the costs of hiring experts to estimate damages from your medical injuries and experts to reconstruct the accident scene. Because they are investing their time and resources in your case, they are motivated to get you paid and will work hard to negotiate an acceptable settlement for you since they aren’t going to receive any compensation until you do.
Hire a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Today
If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident, you would smart to hire a motorcycle accident lawyer to represent your interests. Not seeking legal representation is doing yourself a disservice. Make sure you get what you are entitled to after an injury.
If you are in need of representation, the attorneys at Burriss and Ridgeway can help you navigate the court system and negotiate the best settlement possible. Contact us today to set up a free consultation.