A motorcycle crash is a frightening event. Even if you're wearing protective gear, you're still incredibly exposed. Compared to drivers of a passenger vehicle, motorcycle drivers are far more likely to be in a dangerous crash. If you've suffered injuries from a motorcycle accident and are looking to seek legal recourse, here's what you need to know when hiring a personal injury lawyer.
Handling the Accident
If you're in a motorcycle accident, your safety is the number one priority. If your injuries aren't too severe, immediately get yourself to safety. Get out of the street and away from traffic. If you're able to pull your motorcycle with you, do that, as well. However, if your motorcycle is leaking gasoline, on fire, or near a roadside cliff, leave it where it is.
Once you're in a safe spot, check yourself for injuries. The reality of riding a motorcycle is that it's unlikely that you walk away from an accident without any scrapes or bruises. If you're able, check in with the other party to make sure they are safe. While it may not seem readily apparent at the time of the accident, it's possible that your injuries aren't easily identifiable. Regardless of how you feel, you should seek medical attention to ensure that you're in good health. If it turns out that you've been significantly injured, it might be best to contact a personal injury lawyer.
Filing a Claim
An attorney is your best bet for determining the value of your case and your chances of success. Some factors your attorney considers are your use of protective gear, who's at fault for the accident, and your driving record. Even if you are partially at fault for the accident, keep in mind that many states operate under a comparative negligence model. This means that your court will determine what percentage of the accident was your fault and reduce the settlement by that amount.
Your attorney will also advise you of how much time you have to file a claim. It's a good idea to be aware of the statute of limitations in your local jurisdiction. While the statute of limitations varies from state to state, for most cases, the sooner you act, the better. You'll be more prepared to access medical records as well as your doctor's opinion on the cause of the injury. This way, you're not leaving anything up to chance and are ensuring you have the best odds for success.
Damages and Settlements
If you're dealing with another party's negligence as a cause for your personal injury, it's highly likely that the insurance adjuster will push you to take a settlement deal. Not only does it prevent the insurance company from giving you too high a payout, it also speeds up the process on their end. Your personal injury lawyer will act as your mediator in these cases and prevent an insurance company from taking advantage of you. Keep in mind that even though a higher settlement amount might be tempting, if you accept it, you're giving up the right to pursue any further damages and may end up left with unpaid bills.
Most frequently, damages for a personal injury case are monetary in stature. Frequently, the financial options cover pain and suffering, lost income, property damage, medical expenses, and out-of-pocket expenses you've accrued. Keep a concise record of your expenses throughout the accident as well as your injury treatment to have an idea of damages owed.
Back on the Bike
Motorcycle accidents are frightening and disarming. Chances are your injuries are holding you from getting back on your bike. It's only natural that it'll take you some time to be comfortable riding again. If you do your research and rely on the knowledge of your legal representative, you're one step ahead of your fellow riders. No matter what, keep in mind that the best prevention against a personal injury case is defensive, safe driving.