You could suffer devasting injuries in a motorcycle crash that may require expensive medical treatments and force you to be off work for months or longer while you recover. If your accident was caused by a negligent driver, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries from them under California law.
You may consider filing your claim with their insurance company on your own to save money. However, this would be a big mistake. If you want to receive all the compensation you deserve in your settlement, you should retain an experienced motorcycle accident attorney as soon as possible after your collision. Here are five ways a lawyer can help you.
Evaluate Whether You Have a Claim
When you meet with a lawyer to discuss your motorcycle crash, they will be able to advise you whether you have a claim for compensation against the at-fault driver. If they determine that you are entitled to compensation and you retain them, they would conduct an extensive investigation into the cause of your accident and your injuries.
They would also collect the evidence you need to prove your case and obtain the maximum recovery from the insurance company. This could include obtaining the following:
- Police report
- Witness statements
- Pictures and videos of the accident scene, damage to your motorcycle and the vehicle that struck you, your injuries, and more
- Surveillance footage of nearby businesses that may have recorded the collision
- Black box data from the other driver’s vehicle
- Medical records
- Paystubs and other documentation of your wage losses
- Expert witness reports
Determine the Value of Your Claim
Under California law, you are entitled to compensation for your past and future medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and property damages from the negligent driver. Once your lawyer has completed their investigation, they would determine how much your claim is worth.
It can be complicated to figure out your future medical and wage losses and how much you should receive for the pain and suffering you endured. However, a skilled lawyer who has settled many motorcycle crash claims will have the knowledge and experience to know how much money you should receive in your settlement.
File Your Claim
Your lawyer would take over all communications with the insurance company and file your claim for you. They would send the insurance adjuster a demand letter outlining how the at-fault driver caused your motorcycle accident, the injuries you suffered, the medical treatments you need, and the damages you deserve.
Negotiate Your Settlement
One of the benefits of hiring a lawyer is that they would negotiate your settlement for you. The insurance company would most likely try to take advantage of you and get you to make a mistake that could weaken your case if you tried to settle your claim on your own.
A motorcycle accident lawyer would have strategies to defeat the insurance adjuster’s arguments, such as that you were at fault in causing the crash or that your injuries were not that serious, and unfair tactics to deny your claim or pay you less than you are owed. In addition, they would be able to collect any additional evidence you need to resolve legitimate disputes with the insurance company.
File Your Lawsuit
You will need to file a lawsuit against the negligent driver if their insurance company refuses to offer you a fair settlement or the deadline to sue, referred to as the statute of limitations, will expire soon. You need an attorney licensed in California to file your civil lawsuit on your behalf.
They will understand the complicated laws and court procedures you must follow when litigating your case. When selecting your lawyer, you want to be sure to pick one who has a track record of success in taking motorcycle accident cases to trial as well as settling them out of court.
Were you injured in a motorcycle accident that was not your fault in San Diego or Southern California? Start a live chat or fill out my convenient online form to schedule a free case review to learn about my experience in these cases and how I can help you.