If you were involved in a motorcycle crash, you are entitled to compensation from the negligent driver who caused your injuries under California laws. However, their insurance company could try to deny your claim or offer you far less money than you deserve in your settlement—even if their insured was 100 percent to blame for the wreck.
If you want to obtain the best outcome when filing your claim, you need the assistance of an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer. Here are six ways they can help you win your case.
#1: Investigate Your Crash
When you retain an attorney, they will conduct a thorough investigation into the cause of your collision. They may visit the scene of the accident and will collect the evidence you need to prove that the other motorist—and not you—caused the wreck. Types of evidence a lawyer will help obtain include:
- Police report
- Photos and video of the damage to the vehicles, crash scene, and injuries
- Black box data from the auto that struck you
- Surveillance footage from local businesses
- Witness statements
In addition, they may hire an accident reconstruction expert to determine the cause of the accident, write a report, and testify at your jury trial if the insurance company is claiming that you were to blame for causing the wreck.
#2: Communicate With the Insurance Company
Your lawyer would file your claim with the negligent driver's insurance company and take over communications with the insurance adjuster. This can help you avoid making mistakes, such as making damaging statements or agreeing to the insurance company's request for a recorded statement, which could weaken your claim.
#3: Value Your Claim
Under California law, you are entitled to recover your medical expenses, lost wages and earning capacity, property damages, and pain and suffering in your settlement. If you suffered a long-term injury, which is common in motorcycle accidents, you should receive both your past and future damages.
It can be complicated to determine your future medical costs, wage losses, and lost earning capacity. It is even harder to value the pain and suffering part of your claim. You need the help of a skilled lawyer who has a track record of settling and litigating these cases to determine how much compensation you should receive from the insurance company.
#4: Negotiate Your Settlement
Your attorney will negotiate your settlement with the insurance company. Even if you have a solid claim, the insurance adjuster could make excuses to deny your claim or try to pay you less money than you deserve. A lawyer will have seen these arguments before and will have strategies to defeat them. To be certain that you are not being taken advantage of by the insurance company, you should always consult with an attorney before accepting a settlement offer if you were injured in a motorcycle accident.
#5: Work With Lienholders
You may have to pay your medical care providers or reimburse your health insurance company out of your settlement. Your attorney may be able to negotiate your bills to get the insurance company to accept less than they are owed. This could result in you obtaining significantly more money in your settlement.
#6: Litigate Your Claim
You will need to file a civil lawsuit if the insurance company refuses to offer you a fair settlement or the statute of limitations, which is the deadline to sue, will expire soon. You should not try to do this on your own. You need the help of a lawyer that is licensed to practice law in California to file your complaint and litigate your claim. Be sure to select an attorney who has won motorcycle accident cases at jury trials, as well as reached out-of-court settlements for their clients.
Consult With an Attorney for the Advice You Need
If you or a loved one were in a motorcycle accident in the San Diego or Southern California area, contact my office or fill out my online form to schedule a free initial consultation with me. I handle these cases on a contingency fee basis so that you owe no attorney fees until I negotiate your settlement or win your case at a jury trial. To get started, schedule your appointment today.