When you or a loved one suffer injuries in a motorcycle accident, you might learn first-hand what a motorcycle accident lawyer does. A motorcycle accident lawyer can handle every part of your personal injury claim from start to finish. You can rely on your attorney to investigate your case, obtain crucial evidence to support your claim, and seek compensation for your injuries.
Motorcycle accidents resulting in severe injuries and fatalities are not uncommon; according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), motorcyclists have a risk of death six times higher than people in passenger cars.
A Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Can Investigate Your Accident
The Insurance Information Institute (III) reports that, on average, about 90,300 motorcycle crashes result in injuries each year. Unfortunately, investigating an accident is not always a simple or straightforward task. While anyone can read a police report, you likely will need a thorough investigation of your accident to determine whether you have a valid legal claim for your injuries.
A legal investigation may include the following steps:
- Discovering and interviewing witnesses to the accident
- Documenting the weather conditions, date, and time of the accident
- Determining whether any surveillance footage of the accident exists
- Visiting and photographing the accident scene
- Measuring the accident scene and creating diagrams to reflect the events that led to the crash
- Reviewing medical evidence related to your injuries
Assessing whether you have a valid claim for compensation against the other parties to the crash is an essential first step in bringing a motorcycle accident claim. By determining how the accident occurred and what caused the accident, an attorney can better evaluate the strength of your legal claim.
Liability of Other Drivers
An accident investigation seeks to determine its cause and identify the responsible parties. If negligence was a factor in the accident, you might have a valid claim for compensation against the negligent parties. For instance, if a driver runs a red light or speeds through an intersection and strikes a motorcycle, that driver may have liability for the accident. Likewise, if a drunk driver hits a motorcyclist, the driver may be responsible for any injuries.
Liability of Employers
Another aspect of the investigation might concern possible third-party liability. For example, if a driver negligently struck your motorcycle while in the course of their employment, you might hold the driver’s employer liable for the crash. Employers often have vicarious liability or financial responsibility for their employees’ negligent actions.
Liability of Manufacturers
If a motorcycle part is defective and causes an accident that injures you, the manufacturer of the motorcycle or motorcycle parts could face liability in a product liability claim. This type of personal injury claim could hold a company strictly liable for the defective parts that it produces, markets, and distributes, regardless of any finding of negligence.
A Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Can Obtain Evidence to Support Your Claim
You need to gather evidence that supports your personal injury claim. Specific evidence showing causation, negligence, or fault on the part of one or more parties can bolster a motorcycle accident claim.
For example, if you seek to prove that another driver was negligent in causing your motorcycle accident, you might collect the following pieces of evidence, if applicable:
- Police reports and witness statements
- Your written recollection of the events leading up to the accident
- Post-accident toxicology reports for the other driver
- Documentation of traffic citations or criminal charges that arose from the crash
- Past driving history of the other driver
Likewise, a motorcycle accident lawyer routinely conducts discovery to gather more information about a personal injury claim and responds to discovery requests from the other parties to the suit. Discovery is the formal legal term that refers to exchanging information between the parties to a lawsuit.
Common types of discovery include:
- Written interrogatories, which are questions for the other party to answer
- The production of documents related to the accident, the driver, or the injury victim
- Depositions, which involve both written and verbal witness testimony
A Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Can Help You Seek Compensation for Your Injuries
One of the most critical tasks that a motorcycle accident lawyer does is to put together a comprehensive claim for compensation on your behalf. A claim for compensation sets forth the legal theory of the case (often negligence) and a statement of the injuries you suffered because of the accident.
All states have deadlines (called statutes of limitations) for filing personal injury claims. You must file your formal claim for compensation in court by the relevant deadline, or you could lose your chance to recover compensation altogether. Most state laws give you between one and six years from the accident date to file your claim in court. Once filed, you must comply with all the procedural rules of the court to move the lawsuit forward.
Most lawsuits end in a settlement between an insurance company or companies and the injury victims. The insurance company for the responsible party agrees to pay the injury victims a specific amount for their claims, ending the lawsuit.
However, if the parties cannot reach a settlement acceptable to both, the case might go to trial. A judge and jury typically hear the evidence from both sides and determine fault for the accident. If the jury or judge finds in their favor, injury victims could receive compensation for their medical and repair bills, lost income, and pain and suffering from the responsible parties.
Get Legal Assistance Today
Motorcycle accident claims can become complicated and lengthy proceedings. These cases could prove challenging to handle while you recover from severe injuries. As medical bills pile up and big insurance companies start calling, you may feel uncertain about what to do next. Getting legal assistance during this difficult time can be essential to the effectiveness of your claim.
Ben Crump Law, PLLC, offers legal advocacy and representation in personal injury claims, including those that arise from motorcycle accidents. By calling our office at (800) 924-3113, you can learn more about what a motorcycle accident lawyer can do for you.