Riding a motorcycle gives the rider a sense of freedom with the wind blowing at them as they speed down a roadway. So, the two-wheeled drive is a fun ride until you get into a motorcycle accident. The latter is quite severe and can result in permanent injuries or death.
Whether a motorcycle accident victim lives or dies, it is common for them or their survivors to seek compensatory damages. The preceding often involves filing an insurance claim or a personal injury lawsuit. Often, you find crash victims commencing either process without a personal injury lawyer.
While it works out for some people, it also backfires, especially when the insurance company is unwilling to settle. It is better to start the claims process with an accident attorney from CAIL. An attorney goes beyond providing you with legal advice and representation. But if you still have some doubts, keep reading to see why you need a motorcycle accident lawyer in Norfolk.
How Often Do Motorcycle Accidents Happen?
By nature, motorcycles are less crashworthy than motor vehicles. But they are less visible to other drivers and pedestrians and less stable than four-wheeled drives. For these reasons, motorcyclists and their passengers are more vulnerable to hazardous conditions on the road.
According to the National Highway Traffic Administration (NHTSA), 5,014 motorcyclists died in motorcycle crashes in 2019. The number is a reduction from 5,038 in 2018. The agency noted that in 2019, motorcycle riders were 29 times more likely to die than passenger car occupants per vehicle miles traveled.
In Virginia, motorcycle accidents are not uncommon. In 2019, there were 1,960 motorcycle crashes, a 9.6 increase from 2018. Causes of these accidents range from speeding to lane splitting. Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol and riding in the blind spot of trucks also cause crashes.
Other known causes are inclement weather conditions, hazardous road and debris, and disobeying traffic lights or signals. Furthermore, a motorcycle collision would result in any of the following injuries:
- Broken bones
- Spinal cord injury
- Traumatic brain injury
- Head injury
- Shoulder injuries
- Internal Injuries
- Neck injuries
- Cuts and lacerations
- Road rash
If you suffer severe injuries from a crash, it is natural to commence a personal injury claim. To do this, it is best to start the process with a personal injury attorney. An attorney works for you and ensures you get a fair settlement.
Why Do I Need a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer?
Most motorcycle accident victims do not see the importance of hiring an accident law firm. They commence their motorcycle accident claim alone, and while it can work out, there are times it doesn’t. Admittedly, you do not need a personal injury firm to claim damages.
The preceding is often the case when the motorcycle rider suffered minor injuries and there is no property damage. However, if you suffered catastrophic injuries, it is crucial to involve an injury law firm. When the motorcyclist sustains fatal injuries, it is ideal for their families to get legal representation.
There are several advantages to hiring legal counsel when chasing financial compensation. Below we discuss some of the reasons why you need a motorcycle accident attorney.
Identifying Parties Responsible for the Accident
Unlike what many crash victims think, monetary compensation claims are not always straightforward. This is because motorcycle crashes and other types of car accidents often involve several parties. Suppose a motor vehicle collides with a truck, causing a rollover accident. While rolling, the vehicle strikes a motorcycle rider, throwing the person off the bike.
You will need to analyze the evidence to identify the liable party. Most people are unable to do this themselves. But an experienced attorney has the resources and capabilities to identify the responsible party or parties. This way, you avoid bringing a claim against the wrong person and can get a quick settlement if that’s what you desire.
Analyzing and Collecting Necessary Evidence
Evidence is crucial in getting compensation for injuries. A lawyer has the experience to collect and analyze the information gathered from the accident scene. This includes medical records, witness statements, accident reconstruction reports, police reports, and video footage.
If necessary, the attorney will call an expert medical witness to testify on the degree of your injuries and how they affected your quality of life. The lawyer will also gather all hospital bills, motorcycle repair bills, and receipts of out-of-pocket expenses. With all this, they will build a strong case and get you the maximum compensation.
Managing Communications and Negotiations
Communicating and negotiating with insurance company adjusters requires skill and experience. This is because insurance adjusters are experts in negotiating and reducing the settlement sum. Thus, getting a motorcycle injury attorney is a wise move.
The injury lawyer will act as an intermediary between you and the fault party’s insurance company. They will manage all communication, including paperwork and documentation. When negotiations for the compensation sum begin, the lawyer will ensure you don’t get less than what you deserve.
Calculating the Compensation You’ll Get
Accidents with injuries are usually expensive, especially if the wound is severe or permanent. Usually, injured riders who want a quick settlement fail to adequately calculate what their claim is worth. After accepting the money, they realize that it is not enough to cover their losses.
At that point, there is nothing they can do but foot the remaining bills themselves. Reasons like this are why our motorcycle injury lawyers advise victims to work with attorneys. A lawyer would get a valuation of your losses, including past, current, and future expenses.
Some of the compensation your attorney can get from the at-fault party includes:
- Past, current, and future medical expenses relating to the accident
- Lost wages and missed work opportunities due to your injuries
- Impact on your current income, future income, and ability to earn an income
- Loss of quality of life and enjoyment
- Pain and suffering
- Damage to your motorcycle or other personal property
Avoiding Delays and Claim Denials
Fault parties and their insurance carriers often look for ways to reduce the settlement sum or deny claims. If an average person has to deal with them alone, the insurance company might stall for a long time. The danger with this is that you might get statute-barred from filing a lawsuit if you keep waiting to settle with the insurance company.
A motorcycle injury attorney will help you keep track of the timeline and ensure the Statute of Limitations does not elapse. Additionally, they will do all they can to ensure the insurer does not deny your claim. In all, it is more beneficial to work with a lawyer.
What Quality Should a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Possess?
When looking to hire an injury law firm, there are some qualities that lawyers must possess. Look out for experience, license, and the success record of the firm. It is also wise to check their network of investigators and medical professionals they work with.
When choosing a personal injury lawyer, watch out for:
- Availability: You should work with a lawyer who sees you as a real person, and not their next paycheck. The attorney should be available whenever you need them. Also, the lawyer should have an experienced and reliable support staff. While they may not be at your beck and call, the attorney should keep their appointment with you and not reschedule always.
- Professionalism: Not every accident lawyer is reliable. Thus, you must search for a lawyer with a high degree of professionalism. Their legal services should be in line with the codes of professional conduct. The attorney should equally uphold the lawyer-client privilege, and seek the best outcome for your case.
- Approachability: People assume that lawyers are proud and unapproachable. While this is not entirely true, you should look for attorneys with an approachable personality. It should be someone who will patiently explain legal terms to you and communicate openly.
- Sincerity: Your injury lawyer should be honest and sincere. Work with someone who will let you know from the onset your chances of success. They should let you know how much you can recover and their strategy. Additionally, your attorney should always give you credible reasons for the choices they make on your behalf.
- Record of Success: Don’t just work with any law firm. Pick one with a successful record. If possible, get testimonials from past clients. You can find this on the firm’s website or through a Google search.
How Much Do Lawyers Make From Settlements?
One reason accident victims shy away from getting legal representation is lawyer fees. Most people believe that an attorney will take a chunk of the settlement amount. This assertion is wrong as there are rules that regulate how much a lawyer gets.
Motorcycle accident lawyers get paid on a contingency basis. It means that they get a percentage of the settlement sum, usually between 33% and 40%. You and your attorney will draw out a contingency fee agreement (CFA) and state the percentage they are entitled to.
Note that if your lawyer does not win, they are not entitled to any payment. It means getting paid is dependent on winning your case. However, this rule does not exempt you from paying them for any out-pocket expenses like filing fees if the case goes to litigation.
What Will a CAIL Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Do for You?
Accidents are never easy experiences and take a toll on a victim mentally and financially. Our lawyers at CAIL are aware of this, and with their combined experience, they will work relentlessly to get you compensation for your damages. Find out more about our services by scheduling a free consultation today.