Surviving a motorcycle accident is an absolute positive. However, being involved in one can be a traumatic experience for the victims. It can drastically change the course of their lives and may even have long-term, irreversible consequences.
Needless to say, the victims’ lives after the accident will be more difficult than ever, and recovery while dealing with the physical, mental, and emotional pain might be too much to handle.
All these struggles could be exacerbated even further by the legal complications that accidents entail. And since most victims lack knowledge about the legal system and the claims process, many of them fail to prioritize seeking legal help.
Why hire a lawyer
While a motorcycle accident victim is not required to enlist legal help in filing a personal injury claim, initiating one can be complicated and daunting especially for someone without prior experience. This is why getting a lawyer is highly advisable: they ensure that a victim’s legal rights are protected and help increase the chances of getting fair and full compensation.
An experienced personal injury lawyer fights for the clients’ rights. But aside from that, what else can a lawyer do and how exactly does this person help victims in their personal injury claims?
Filing a personal injury claim is not something a regular person cannot do, but it is no easy task either, so getting a lawyer will take this burden off the victim. Moreover, a lawyer will also advise what the best legal action to take is.
Depending on the facts of the case, a lawyer can tell if a victim’s personal injury claim will be settled or taken to court. If a victim is unsure about how to proceed, a qualified personal injury lawyer will help clarify things.
Expertise in handling legal matters
Victims will have plenty of questions about how to proceed after a motorcycle accident, and while consulting Google is good, it cannot give all the answers needed. Lawyers spent a huge portion of their lives studying the legal system, so there is no one else more qualified to answer victims’ queries regarding personal injury claims but them.
Investigation and documentation
It will also be a lawyer’s responsibility to gather evidence related to the motorcycle accident. Whatever information is retrieved, a lawyer can use it to prove the truth and strengthen a victim’s motorcycle accident case.
There are several ways by which lawyers obtain data relevant to the case. These include compiling police reports and medical records, speaking to witnesses, reaching out to the at-fault party’s insurance provider, contacting the manufacturer of both vehicles involved in the crash, and collecting photos of the accident scene.
It is possible to reach a settlement with the at-fault party’s insurance provider and get compensation from them, but it will be a tedious task for victims should they decide to do it on their own.
While it is the responsibility of the victim’s insurance company to coordinate, it is not the same case for the insurance company of the other driver. And since offering victims the lowest possible settlement amount is an all too common practice of many insurance companies, seeking legal help becomes even more crucial. With a lawyer, a victim can negotiate a better deal and demand fairer compensation.
Legal representation in court
A personal injury lawyer’s help does not stop once the claim has been filed. If the worse comes to worst, a lawyer can also represent the victim in court. Many motorcycle accident victims try to avoid this because trials come with additional stress, but should attempts at settlement fail, at least they are not alone in the process.
Focus on recovery
Recovery is not just letting the physical injuries heal. Aside from the bodily pain that victims suffer after a motorcycle accident, the emotional, mental, and financial distress it caused can be even more exhausting.
Enlisting legal help by hiring a lawyer can help alleviate some of the sufferings a victim is going through. Not only does it free up some of the victim’s time, but it also allows him or her to focus on getting better.
If anything, getting a personal injury lawyer is like investing for the long term. By doing this, a victim can ensure that he or she has enough time to recover as a lawyer deals with all the negotiations.
When to hire a lawyer
Getting a lawyer as soon as possible is crucial because of the statute of limitations. This is the law that sets the maximum amount of time that parties involved in a dispute have to initiate legal proceedings from the date of an alleged offense, whether civil or criminal.
In the case of motorcycle accidents, the clock will start ticking as soon as the road mishap occurs. Depending on the state in which your accident happened, you will have two to four years to seek legal action before you run out of time.
Although the deadline might be extended due to some exceptions, most of the time, a victim cannot file a personal injury claim anymore once the statute of limitations ends. This is why it is necessary to hire a lawyer immediately to ensure that a victim is not barred from filing a claim.
However, seeking the help of a legal professional may be more urgent in some instances:
If the victim is suffering from severe injuries
The more severe a victim’s injuries are, the more expensive the costs will be. Serious injuries also mean that the victim could take a longer time to heal. Both these factors can influence the timeline of the case, and since higher medical expenses typically translate to the victim asking for a bigger compensation, settlement negotiations or trial will take longer either way.
Moreover, many motorcycle accident cases only begin once victims have recovered enough to be able to participate in the legal process. This does not happen soon though, especially to victims with severe injuries.
With a lawyer, it may be possible to speed up the process because someone else will now handle the paperwork and all other legal intricacies while the victim recovers.
If the victim is left permanently disabled
Many victims of motorcycle accidents are rendered immobile for life especially if the road mishap they were involved in was fatal. Should a motorcycle crash inflict permanent disability and long-lasting injuries, it is best to find a lawyer who will present proof of all the victim’s losses.
If the victim is incapable of work
With all the days of work a victim will miss following a motorcycle accident, lost wages become inevitable. However, an experienced personal injury lawyer should be able to help in pursuing damages for lost wages when a victim misses time from work due to the injuries sustained.
If the victim is dealing with a dodgy insurance company
It is rare to find an insurance company that will offer a fair settlement to a motorcycle accident victim. If victims find themselves in situations where insurance companies are pushing for staggered or low settlements, a lawyer should be able to sort this out by taking over negotiations.
If the victim is uncertain of who is responsible for the accident
In many cases, it can be challenging for the victim to easily identify who is responsible for a motorcycle accident. Sometimes, it is obvious; sometimes, it is not. There are also instances where multiple parties could be liable.
With a lawyer, a victim will have someone to help determine and prove who is behind the accident and the sooner a lawyer is hired, the sooner the facts of the case will become clear.
What to look for in a lawyer
The lawyer a victim hires can make or break his motorcycle accident case. So before employing one, here are some of the things to look for when finding the right legal counsel:
The more experienced the lawyer is, the more likely they can handle the unique demands of a victim’s case. If an accident survivor wants to overcome the legal battle, hiring a personal injury lawyer who has a proven track record of winning should be a top priority.
A lawyer’s reputation will tell the victim almost everything there is to know about how the case will be represented, so getting a personal injury lawyer with a good reputation and established history of achieving favorable verdicts should mean positive results for the victim as well.
Hire a lawyer that is committed to getting the best settlement offer possible or winning the trial. Doing this will ensure that the legal counsel a victim chooses is focused on building a strong case and succeeding in it.
Justice is what the law is about, and a lawyer with integrity who believes in fairness can help the victim approach the legal process in the most objective way possible. As a result, the victim will have an airtight case that is likely to get a favorable verdict.
Accidents are unique and so is each lawyer’s personality. Whatever the case is, finding a lawyer who a victim can get along with is just as crucial as meeting the other qualifications on this list.