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Should I Get a Lawyer for a Motorcycle Accident?

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February 1, 2024 Motorcycle Accidents

Riding a motorcycle is an exhilarating experience enjoyed by millions of people in the United States. However, motorcycles do not provide the same level of protection that a car offers, which is why the aftermath of a motorcycle crash has the potential to be devastating.

When trying to cope with physical pain and financial worries after a motorcycle accident, you might catch yourself thinking, “Should I get a lawyer?”

Yes. You will benefit from the guidance of an experienced lawyer when navigating the legal process and seeking financial compensation. This blog will explore situations when you should get a Denver motorcycle accident lawyer and explain the benefits of retaining legal representation.

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When Should You Call a Lawyer After a Motorcycle Accident?

Should I Get a Lawyer for a Motorcycle Accident

In most cases, the sooner you call a lawyer following your motorcycle accident, the better. If too much time passes, your attorney may not have enough time to build your case, as some pieces of evidence in your case (such as witness testimony) can disappear, and you might even miss the deadline for filing your case.

Every state has its own statute of limitations, which is the number of years (or months) a person has to initiate legal proceedings and pursue compensation. Your lawyer will ensure that your case is accurately valued, you have all the necessary documentation to bring legal action, and your case is filed on time to comply with your state’s statute of limitations.

  • Note: In Colorado, for example, civil actions arising from the operation of motor vehicles, including motorcycles, must be filed within three years from the date of the accident (Colorado Revised Statutes § 13-80-101).

Motorcycle Accident Cases When You Need to Contact a Lawyer Immediately

Although contacting a lawyer is a good idea regardless of the circumstances surrounding your motorcycle accident, there are some cases when it is crucial to get a lawyer immediately:

The Insurance Company Is Contacting You

Following your motorcycle accident, you may receive a call from the other driver’s insurance company asking you questions and telling you to sign forms and provide documentation and more evidence.

The insurance claims adjuster may seem friendly and concerned, but it is critical to remember that their main goal is to protect their employer and minimize their liability. If the insurance company contacts you, you might want to speak with a lawyer before answering the adjuster’s questions, signing anything, or submitting any documents to them.

A lawyer can ensure you do not accidentally say or do anything that jeopardizes your case.

You Suffered Serious or Permanent Injuries

Motorcycle Accident Injuries

Motorcycle accidents can cause debilitating injuries that can prevent you from working or living your life as you did before the accident. If you suffered serious injuries or trauma that can affect you for the rest of your life, you might want to contact a lawyer as soon as possible.

A lawyer can seek fair compensation for your medical treatment and lost income, among other damages, to ease your financial burdens.

You Are Not Sure About the Insurance Company’s Offer

If the other driver is at fault for the accident, their insurance company may offer you a settlement within a few weeks or possibly even days after the crash.

You may want to accept their offer to avoid any more stress or delay, especially if you are facing mounting medical bills, but don’t. The insurance company aims to pay out as little as possible.

If you’re not sure whether their offer is sufficient to cover your damages and losses, you might need legal counsel. A lawyer can determine the value of your claim, understand your legal options, and negotiate for a better settlement.

Your Insurance Claim Is Denied

Your Insurance Claim Is Denied

Even if you or the at-fault driver have insurance, your claim may be denied for many reasons, including lack of evidence, failure to seek prompt medical treatment, pre-existing conditions, and many more.

Sometimes, you may not understand why the insurance company denied your claim. Speaking with a lawyer can identify your options after the denial of your claim, including filing an appeal or taking legal action against the insurance company.

You Do Not Know Who Is Responsible for the Accident

In many cases, it may not be immediately clear whose actions caused the accident. This can be especially confusing if the other driver denies their responsibility or if there are multiple vehicles involved.

A lawyer can help you in this matter by conducting a detailed investigation and gathering evidence of the other driver’s fault. These steps can ensure that you receive fair compensation for your injuries and resulting losses, as insurance companies are unwilling to accept a claim if there is insufficient evidence to establish liability.

Why Should You Work with a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer?

Working with a lawyer after a motorcycle accident comes with several benefits. While it is up to you whether or not you need legal representation, you might want to consider the benefits of retaining legal counsel:

Maximize Your Compensation

When people get injured, they file an insurance claim and wait for the insurer’s settlement offer. They may trust the insurance company’s evaluation of their damages and often do not realize their claim is worth much more.

Others, meanwhile, know that they should be entitled to more but prefer to accept the insurer’s first offer and walk away because it’s the easiest path.

Unfortunately, however, many people who settle their claims without realizing the full extent of their damages and losses end up regretting their decision, but there is very little they can do to reverse that.

You see, once you agree to settle your claim, you sign away your right to pursue additional compensation.

With a lawyer on your side, you will not make that mistake. Your attorney will accurately calculate the value of your claim and will use their experience to maximize your compensation.

Build a Strong Case

When seeking compensation after a motorcycle accident, you need substantial evidence to prove your claim and get compensated for all your damages and losses. The insurance will be reluctant to provide you with a high payout unless you can demonstrate clear and convincing evidence of your damages, including medical bills, lost income, and many others.

  • Note: In personal injury law, damages refers to the money owed to the victim.

A skilled lawyer knows what is necessary to help victims build a strong case and prepare arguments that persuade insurance companies to accept solid offers. Problems may arise when there is not enough evidence to prove the other party’s fault, especially if you are an injured motorcyclist.

Insurance companies tend to be biased against motorcycle riders and believe they are reckless and irresponsible on the road.

If there is not enough immediate evidence to prove the other driver’s fault, you need a lawyer to conduct an in-depth investigation and collect all available pieces of evidence to prove that you are entitled to compensation.

Your lawyer may use the following types of evidence to prove your case:

  • Police reports
  • Testimony from accident reconstruction experts
  • Witness statements
  • Dashboard camera footage
  • Video surveillance footage
  • Photographs taken at the scene

Without the assistance of a lawyer, you may not have access to some of these pieces of evidence, including dashboard camera footage and video surveillance footage. The more evidence you have to prove your point, the more likely you are to obtain maximum compensation in your case.

Get Help with Any Challenges That May Arise

Getting compensation after a motorcycle accident is rarely a straightforward and effortless process. You may face many challenges on your path to recovery, and without a lawyer on your side, you may be unable to deal with them properly and in a timely manner.

Some of the challenges that may arise during the claims process include:

  • Your insurance claim has been denied
  • You are being blamed for the accident
  • The insurance company offers less than what your case is worth
  • The insurance company argues your injuries were not the result of the accident
  • The insurance company is not being cooperative or responsive
  • The insurance company disputes the severity of your injuries

As you can see, most of the problems that may arise when pursuing compensation after a motorcycle accident have to do with the insurance company, and it is not surprising why.

Insurance companies are profit-driven businesses that prioritize their bottom line. Insurance adjusters are trained to devalue claims, downplay the severity of injuries, blame claimants for their injuries, and outright deny claims, among other things.

Dealing with the insurance company and its tactics aimed at reducing or denying your rightful compensation can be daunting, which is why you might need the assistance of a lawyer.

The mere presence of a lawyer on your side can make you a force to reckon with. In the eyes of the insurer, a claimant who has a lawyer is more serious about getting the compensation to which they are entitled than a claimant without a lawyer.

Get the assistance of a lawyer to navigate the legal system and ensure that the insurance company is treating you with the respect and dignity you deserve.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) After a Motorcycle Accident

Below are some of the most common questions people ask after being involved in a motorcycle accident and considering hiring a lawyer.

What is my claim worth?

One of the most critical and also challenging parts of the claims process after a motorcycle crash is estimating the value of your case. To determine how much your claim is worth, a lawyer will collect bills, receipts, and documentation related to your expenses and losses stemming from the accident.

Generally, the value of your case will depend on:

  • The cost of your medical treatment and other healthcare-related services, including future ones;
  • The cost of repairing or replacing your motorcycle;
  • Out-of-pocket expenses;
  • How much money you could have earned if the accident hadn’t happened, and
  • The impact of the accident on your quality of life as well as your mental, psychological, and emotional health.

Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for people to vastly underestimate the compensation they are entitled to. This will not happen if you are represented by a lawyer who will do all the math for you.

How do I get fair compensation for my damages?

Insurance companies and their claims adjusters are not your friends. That is something you should keep in mind when dealing with the insurance company during the claims process. The insurance company is not interested in providing a fair payout because their profits depend on paying out as little as possible.

You need a lawyer with strong negotiation skills when dealing with the insurer. Your lawyer will negotiate on your behalf and aggressively pursue fair and full compensation for you.

Is hiring a lawyer worth it?

Many people are reluctant to contact a lawyer due to concerns about the cost of legal representation. However, attorney fees should not be your primary concern, as many lawyers operate on a contingency fee basis.

This means you do not pay your lawyer anything unless they win your case. If your lawyer wins and takes their agreed-upon percentage, you might recover considerably more money than if you attempted to handle your case on your own.

How soon should I call a lawyer after a motorcycle accident?

Keith Fuicelli

Keith Fuicelli, Motorcycle Accident Lawyer

Generally speaking, the sooner you call a lawyer, the better. As time passes, some of the evidence in your case can go missing or be tampered with. If you do not start working with a personal injury attorney within a reasonable time, you jeopardize your right to compensation.