Motorcycle accidents can be truly catastrophic in scope. Even car accidents can be devastating, and your motorcycle doesn’t provide the same degree of protection that a car does. It doesn’t have walls and a roof. It doesn’t have airbags and other intelligent active safety technology. While riding a motorcycle offers a degree of freedom that few other forms of transportation match, when you get hurt in an accident, it can be permanent and life-altering.
When this happens and it’s the other driver’s fault, you deserve compensation for the injuries that result. It’s important, however, to understand how to begin your motorcycle lawsuit and what to expect as it progresses. Learn about the process of a motorcycle injury lawsuit, how the case will move forward and how a motorcycle accident attorney can give you the best chance at a settlement.
Never Sign Anything
The first thing to understand in starting your suit is that you should never agree to, or sign, anything without speaking to your attorney first. Insurance companies will be on top of you with lightning speed. Their goal is to offer you as little as possible and to trick you into signing papers that remove your right to sue for more.
You are always within your rights to direct them to your lawyer. Even if you don’t have an attorney yet, you can tell them you’ll put your lawyer in touch, and then talk to an attorney.
Never apologize at the scene or after the scene, and never say anything that anyone could construe as an admission of wrongdoing. Insurance adjusters are out to find any reason at all to deny your claim and even paint you as responsible for the accident. They’re out to avoid paying you for the injury you suffered, and they’ll even resort to bullying you to get their way.
Stick to the facts when talking to an insurance adjuster, and understand that you’re not required to answer any questions they put to you. Again, you can always direct them to speak with your attorney.
The start of your case begins before it’s even filed. The first step is to gather evidence at the site. If you’re able to do so, you’ll want to gather the contact information of any witnesses. You’ll want to take photographs of all the damage and the scene itself. Note any traffic citations that were issued. File a police report to help you remember what happened and get details you may have missed.
As you go, keep records of all medical bills and doctor visits. Note the effects your injury has had on your ability to continue living your life as you are accustomed to doing.
Starting the Case
The case begins when you file a complaint with the courts. This document declares your intention to seek compensation for your injuries, outlines your case and includes the figure that you think you’re entitled to receive. When you file this paperwork, your case is officially begun.
How the Case Proceeds
From this point, the defendant will receive notification that you have filed suit, and they will have a chance to review your initial demand letter. The best case scenario is they agree to pay out. Unfortunately, this rarely happens. It’s more likely that you’ll get a response from their attorneys and insurance company poking holes in your story, challenging it with their own and offering a lowball counter offer.
From this point, a process of back-and-forth negotiation begins. These negotiations can take months and sometimes even longer, but the end goal is that both sides eventually come to an agreement that is acceptable to all parties, and you get the money you deserve.
Will My Case Go to Court?
This is a legitimate concern many people have. In truth, very few cases actually see the inside of a courtroom. It’s not in anyone’s best interests to go to court. Court cases are very expensive and tend to be an “all or nothing” deal; either you get everything you asked for, or you get nothing and may even find yourself saddled with court fees on top. Still, in some cases an agreement can’t be reached, and when that happens, you need to be ready to fight.
Hire a Motorcycle Accident Attorney
If you’ve been hurt in this kind of incident, the right motorcycle accident attorney is your greatest ally. They’ll remind everyone just who the victim is, and will stand up to bullying insurance adjusters. If you need help with a motorcycle accident in Maine, Lowry & Associates can help. We offer free consultations and you’ll never owe us anything unless we win your case. You can reach us at 207-775-3819 or by filling out our online case evaluation form.