You have a limited amount of time to file a lawsuit after a motorcycle accident. This time limit is determined by the statute of limitations for the state where your lawsuit is filed. Every state has its own different statute of limitations for personal injury and property damage cases. In some states, the personal injury statute of limitations is as short as one year from the date of the accident. Other places have longer statutes of limitation, which may extend up to six years.
If you fail to file your lawsuit before the end of the statute of limitations, your case will be rejected by the court. Give your motorcycle accident lawyer as much time as possible by contacting a lawyer as soon as you are able.
Steps You Can Take After Motorcycle Accident
According to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), nearly 85 percent of motorcycle accidents with multiple vehicles initially started with the motorcycle and other vehicle colliding before hitting other objects. This means that the motorcycle and the other vehicle sustain serious damage at the beginning of the accident. If you are in an accident while riding a motorcycle, there are steps that you can take to address the situation. These steps include:
- Seek medical attention immediately: The first step should always be to seek medical attention for yourself and anyone else involved in the accident.
- Call first responders: As soon as you are able, notify law enforcement of the accident. That way, they can help resolve the situation and minimize the impact on other drivers.
- Notify your insurance company: Your insurance policy may specify that you need to call the insurance company as soon as possible after your accident. Doing so can help you file a claim with your insurance provider and take the first steps toward having your vehicle repaired.
- Consult a lawyer: Talk to a lawyer about your legal options to see if there are any actions that you can take.
There are other things you can do after an accident that are not covered on this list. In every case, the most important thing is to make sure that everyone involved in the accident receives the medical care that they need. Always start by notifying emergency services so that they can respond quickly and mitigate the damage caused by injuries.
Lost Wages and Other Expenses
Aside from medical expenses and the cost to repair or replace your vehicle, there are other types of expenses that you can claim in a lawsuit. If your vehicle is heavily damaged, you may be out of work for a while until it is repaired. Missing work means that you will not be paid for the time that you are away. This can impact your monthly finances. You can claim those lost wages as compensation in lawsuits.
The actions of the responsible driver also affect the types of compensation that you can claim. If the accident had a significant effect on your mental and emotional health, you may be able to claim pain and suffering damages. In some cases, judges also award punitive damages when the responsible driver acts in a particularly reckless manner.
Settlement vs. Trial
Your civil lawsuit against the other driver is not likely to go to trial. Most successful civil cases end with settlement agreements. Your lawyer can negotiate your settlement agreement to make sure that you get the compensation that you need to cover your expenses. This may take several attempts during the negotiations since the other party tries to minimize the amount of money that will be paid. Insurance companies tend to offer settlement agreements to keep cases out of court.
You can claim compensation for any and all expenses related to your accident or your recovery. This means that you can claim medical expenses, property damage costs, and lost wages, among other options. These are all based on hard numbers, which come from billing statements and other sources.
Pain and suffering compensation and punitive damages are calculated differently. Pain and suffering compensation can be calculated using two commonly used methods. Both methods tend to value the amount of non-economic compensation beyond what your economic claims are likely to recover. Punitive damages are usually calculated at the judge’s discretion since they are awarded to punish the at-fault driver.
Contact Us to Schedule a No-Risk Consultation
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), motorcycle accidents are becoming less common. However, accidents do happen and can leave you with injuries and financial burdens to deal with.
If you plan to file a lawsuit after a motorcycle accident, begin the process as soon as possible. The more time you can give your accident lawyer to build your case, the better your outcomes are likely to be. Contact the office of Ben Crump Law, PLLC at (800) 959-1444 for a free consultation to find out what you can do about your motorcycle accident.