Some people wonder whether they need an attorney to handle a motorcycle accident claim and why they will need one in the first place. They may hear stories about people who got checks directly from the insurance company after dealing with the claim on their own.
Those people do not tell you they settled their claim for pennies on the dollar. They may not even realize they had.
When you hire a motorcycle accident lawyer, you will get someone who knows what your case is worth and will help you fight for every dollar you deserve.
Many Things Can Take Your Attention Away From the Legal Process
After you have suffered an injury in a motorcycle crash, you must deal with many things simultaneously. Of course, the medical aspects of your injuries can require extensive care. You may be dealing with financial repercussions because of the expenses related to the accident and the fact that you cannot work.
At the same time, you will also need to deal with the legal process if you want financial compensation for your motorcycle accident injuries. You will not automatically get financial compensation if someone was responsible for the crash.
On the whole, motorcycle accident victims suffer worse injuries than other motorists. That you need to file a claim means that you must deal with physical injuries. The last things you can deal with are the details of the legal process.
A Motorcycle Accident Case Means Dealing with the Insurance Company
When you file an insurance claim or a lawsuit, it requires paperwork and dealing with others. If you go the insurance company route, you will need to file the actual claim that will document what happened in the crash and the extent of your injuries. The insurance company will decide on whether to offer you a settlement and for how much based on what you have filed.
In addition, you may receive numerous phone calls from the insurance adjuster, whose intentions are not always pure. The insurance company may be trying to trap you into admitting certain things about the accident and your injuries. Any misstep can cost you money in the settlement offer or even result in claim denial.
You Cannot Afford Any Mistakes During the Legal Process
All this adds up to the fact that you have to interact with the legal process and be precise with little room for error. When dealing with physical injuries, you may lack the bandwidth to handle administrative matters or speak up for yourself properly. In any legal case, mistakes can and will cost you money.
In addition, you may lack knowledge of the legal process. The insurance company deals with claims like yours all the time, and representatives know how to handle the process in their sleep. They have lawyers and adjusters whose job is to take advantage of people like you without making it obvious.
Insurance adjusters will not throw you a lifeline or go easy simply because this is your first time dealing with the accident claim process. Instead, they will use your lack of knowledge of the injury process to reduce your settlement and pad their profits at your expense whenever possible.
You Will Be Worse Off Financially When You Try to Be Your Own Lawyer
Some people think they can save money by handling their cases independently. They know that the contingency fee arrangement means they will need to give a portion of their settlement or jury award to their lawyer as compensation for their services. However, you should think of your attorney’s fee not as an expense on your part but as an investment in maximizing your total financial recovery.
First, you may not even be in a position to get a settlement in the first place without an attorney. Before getting a settlement offer, you must prove that the driver was negligent in causing your injuries.
Proving negligence requires gathering your own evidence that will show what happened, which can include:
- Testimony from witnesses who saw what happened
- Video camera footage of the accident
- Pictures of the scene of the accident
- The police report from the accident (which is useful during the insurance claim stage but not admissible at trial because it may contain hearsay)
- Testimony from an accident reconstruction professional who will give their opinion of who was at fault for the crash)
Not only is gathering evidence challenging and time-consuming, but you might not even know where to begin. Your motorcycle accident attorney has the necessary resources to gather evidence from police agencies, businesses, employers of drivers, and other official sources to build the strongest possible case for you.
Needless to say, if you suffered an injury enough that you are seeking financial compensation, you are not in a physical position to investigate your own accident. You do not have the physical health or the experience to gather evidence in your case. You should focus on your injuries and physical recovery while your attorney builds your claim.
If you are filing a case after your loved one died in a motorcycle accident, you will not even have the benefit of knowing what they saw in the moments before the accident. They cannot tell you that a driver did not check their blind spot and cut into their lane, forcing them from their bike onto the roadway. You will need an attorney to investigate the accident from scratch. Otherwise, you may be at the mercy of what the other driver’s insurance company says after hearing from their driver.
A Financial Illustration of Why You Need a Lawyer in a Motorcycle Accident Case
In addition, people with an attorney represent them do better monetarily than they might if they were representing themselves, even after paying a percentage to their lawyer.
Let’s take a hypothetical situation in which your motorcycle accident claim is worth $300,000 due to the extent of your injuries. This is only an example, as the value of motorcycle accident claims can vary widely.
You will only know the true value of your claim because you have hired an attorney who works with professionals and reviews your situation to determine your actual damages. Otherwise, you may be in the dark about the full extent of your damages.
In this scenario, the insurance company knows fully what your case is worth. They have adjusters and statisticians who do this every day for a living. These employees will know within a short amount of time what your case is worth.
The insurance company may begin negotiations by offering you $100,000, knowing that your case is worth far more.
If you represent yourself:
- You may not know that your case was worth more than the offer.
- You may make the mistake of thinking that the insurance company is on your level and cares about you.
- You may not know that you can reject a low settlement offer and counter with your own offer (or even take the case to court and take it out of the insurance company’s hands)
How a Motorcycle Accident Attorney Can Help You Get More Money
Now, let’s assume that you contact an experienced injury lawyer. Your attorney also knows the value of your claim, and they will advise you to reject the $100,000 settlement offer. They may advise you to leave other offers far below what your case is worth. Through continued negotiation or even filing a lawsuit, your lawyer gets the insurance company up to the $300,000 your case is worth.
Even after you pay attorney’s fees from your settlement, you will still recover much more than the initial offer from the insurance company. Avoiding legal fees often results in a much lower settlement, so contact a motorcycle accident lawyer they will pay for themselves and them some.
The Insurance Company Will Never Be Your Friend
Motorcycle accident victims face unique risks when they try to get money for their injuries. The insurance company tries to take advantage of the perception that bikers are riskier than the average person. Although this perception is not necessarily reality, the insurance company may try to find a way to blame the motorcyclist for the accident. If they do not try to blame you entirely, they may claim that you were partially at fault for the accident.
If the insurance company succeeds in wholly or partially blaming you, they will reduce or eliminate your potential settlement entirely. Your lawyer is here to stand up for you when the insurance company tries to blame you. An attorney may need to defend your own action in connection with the claim, even though you are the one who is seeking money because of what a motorist did.
You Need Every Dollar You Can Get in a Motorcycle Accident Case
The money you will receive in a motorcycle accident settlement represents much more than an immediate check in your bank account. You and your family will need this money in the future to cover the lost wages you can earn from working and the costs of your care. If you settle your case for too little, you will be out of luck when you run out of money.
Trying to handle your case on your own increases the risk that the insurance company will take advantage of you. An experienced attorney knows when the insurance company is trying to shortchange you in a motorcycle accident settlement.
They understand what your case is worth and can tell you when a settlement offer does not measure up to what you deserve. If you are dealing with the insurance company on your own, you may fall for the temptation of an immediate check and not think about the future.
Your Case Depends on You (and You Need to Maximize It)
Many factors influence your situation after you have suffered an injury in a motorcycle accident. Each one is unique and specific to your case. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to a motorcycle accident case. A lawyer can help identify what about your case may lead to more financial compensation in a settlement.
- You may have struggled after the accident more than most and needed extensive psychological treatment.
- You had an active and full life before the accident that you can no longer enjoy, including hobbies that you can not physically do.
- You were on your way to one or more promotions at work that will have resulted in higher earnings.
- Your loved one who died in a motorcycle accident had a particular role that they played in the family, supporting and providing guidance to others.
Your Attorney Will Counsel You Throughout the Entire Legal Process
Most of all, what you and your family need after a motorcycle accident is a counselor. While others may handle a motorcycle accident’s physical and emotional effects, your lawyer is your guide to the legal process.
Hopefully, this is the first time that you needed to file an injury claim. As a result, there is much that you do not know about procedures and how an insurance company operates. You may not even know your legal options.
A motorcycle accident attorney is here for you from the outset of the process. They will explain the case to you and outline all your legal options. All the while, they will advocate for your legal interests. Your primary interest is that you receive a full and fair check when someone else is to blame for your motorcycle accident.
If you want to avoid hiring an attorney where you will get the money for it, you do not have to give an attorney any money upfront to handle your case. You will only need to pay an attorney if your case is successful. Then, they will receive payment directly from the proceeds of your settlement or jury award. If for some reason, your case does not recover compensation, you will not need to pay your attorney for their time and services.