Did you know that motorcyclists are almost 30 times more likely to suffer from severe injuries than car passengers do?
Motorcycle accident lawsuits can be complicated, so it’s essential to start on the right foot. Do your research, so you know what to expect during the process.
If you’re suing for motorcycle injuries you’ve sustained, then don’t go into the situation with your eyes closed. Keep reading this guide to learn about six important FAQs about a motorcycle accident lawsuit.
1. How Do I Find the Right Attorney?
Finding the right attorney is your first and often most challenging step. You never want to underestimate how complex your motorcycle lawsuit can get. It would be best if you found an experienced motorcycle accident injury attorney knowledgeable in motorcycle accident case law in the state you live in.
Motorcycle accident cases are unique and challenging, and the outcome can really depend on how your case is presented. So take the time to do research, and don’t just pick the first name you see on Google. Take the time to review how satisfied their clients are with the outcome of the case.
You also need to understand how a motorcycle accident attorney will get paid if you choose to hire them. Most personal injury lawyers work on a contingency fee basis which means they only get paid if you get an accident settlement. Be sure you ask any potential attorney for the exact details of how they charge their fees.
2. How Long Does a Motorcycle Accident Lawsuit Take
The time it takes to get through a motorcycle accident lawsuit varies. The length of time for a motorcycle accident lawsuit depends on a few different factors such as:
- How bad your injuries are
- Your current medical needs
- Future medical treatments
- If your injuries prevent you from working
- Your insurance coverage
Other things that affect how long your case will take is whether or not the driver who caused your crash is contesting whether they’re actually liable for the accident or not. There are also insurance liability limits to consider on the part of the person at fault, and these limits are different depending on the policy.
But one of the biggest factors is the lawyer you choose to hire. Lawyers that have a track record of winning at trial or have a reputation for being ready to go at a moment’s notice will settle your case much faster.
3. How Much Compensation Is Possible?
A motorcycle accident lawsuit payout is mostly based on the injuries and damages you receive. Common injuries from motorcycle injuries include:
- Head injuries
- Facial injuries
- Broken bones
- Internal injuries
- Back injuries
- Neck and spinal cord injuries
Suppose you’ve sustained serious or life-threatening injuries. In that case, you’re more likely to receive more compensation, but many states have damage and liability laws that give a cap to the total amount of compensation you can receive. A potential motorcycle accident lawsuit settlement amount is usually divided into two different categories:
- Economic damages are direct losses like medical bills or lost earnings
- Noneconomic damages are intangible like pain, suffering, disability, mental stress
In some cases, the actions of the person responsible are considered willful or grossly negligent. For these cases, punitive damages are often awarded in addition to a compensation settlement.
4. What if I Wasn’t Wearing a Helmet?
Motorcycle helmet laws vary from state to state. Today 18 states have universal helmet laws, and 29 more have laws for riders under 18. But despite this, not wearing a helmet could still negatively impact your case.
Often courts and insurance companies will say that not wearing a helmet is the same as not taking proper precautions against injury. A court might find you partially at fault and reduce your compensation since your injuries wouldn’t have been as severe if you wore a helmet.
5. What if There Were Poor Road Conditions?
Sometimes poor road conditions cause your motorcycle accident, and another driver isn’t even involved. Issues like potholes or poor road design can be hazardous to motorcyclists.
In these cases, a government entity may be liable for your accident if they hired a company to fix or design the roadway and it wasn’t completed correctly. These types of cases are much more challenging to file and have their own rules involved. You can still receive compensation, but it’s usually a more time-consuming process.
6. How Long Do I Have to File a Claim?
It’s essential to know that you have a specific time frame to file an accident claim, depending on the state you live in. Most accident cases have a statute of limitations which is a law that restricts the amount of time you have to file a claim after the accident occurred.
A statute of limitations can be at a federal or state level and prevent old claims from being made, especially when facts, witnesses, and evidence have long since been lost or forgotten.
Motorcycle accident cases typically have to be filed within three years from the time of your crash. But it’s important to know this can vary with age. For example, if a person is under the age of 18, they will have until 20 to file a lawsuit.
It’s essential to check with an experienced accident attorney so that you’re aware of the limitations in place in your specific state.
Motorcycle Accident Lawsuits
Accidents can happen at any time, and it’s crucial to have a basic understanding of the settlement process.
A motorcycle accident can change your life and cause lifelong injuries, pain, and stress. Motorcycle accident lawsuits are vital in helping you get your life back.
You never know when legal knowledge will come in handy, so check out our blog for more legal tips and tricks you need to know.