Motorcycle accidents can be so devastating that victims don’t know where to begin and what to do. Usually, the events that follow a motorcycle accident are legal in nature, so the prudent thing to do is to take legal recourse to handle them in the best way possible.
If there is any disagreement between the victim and the at-fault party, the most feasible action to take is to pursue a legal process that will settle the dispute that ensues.
According to the Governors Highway Safety Association, there were 5,286 motorcycle fatalities in 2016. In 2015, statistics indicate that motorcycle fatalities stood at 5,029.
Therefore, given the increasing number of motorcycle accidents, it’s important for motorcyclists to be aware of the legal actions they should take to navigate through the intricate processes that stem from a motorcycle accident.
Of course, it’s paramount to avoid accidents whenever possible, but, just like their name and nature, they can happen at any time. Thus, riders should know what to do in the unfortunate event of a motorcycle accident.
Here is a detailed summary of the proper legal recourse that motorcyclists should take after a motorcycle accident.
Report The Accident To The Police
Police reports play an integral part in your pursuit of justice and compensation after a motorcycle accident. In most cases, you’ll find that accidents are caused by careless or negligent driving or riding.
Therefore, if you’re involved in an accident where the other party is at fault, you can file a legal claim. This will allow you to receive compensation for the losses you incur. To start your legal recourse on the right path, you should take the initiative of reporting the case to the police as soon as possible.
The reason why you should contact the police as quickly as possible is that the report generated by the officers attending the accident is a significant piece of evidence for the case ahead of you.
Once you report the matter to the police, they’ll compile a written report. They’ll also gather any relevant information that will help you during your case. When you claim compensation for your losses, the information that the police gather can be used as evidence in your case.
Contact Your Insurance Company
It’s a legal requirement for riders to have motorcycle insurance to protect their assets and finances in the unfortunate event of a motorcycle accident. It’s not only illegal to not have motorcycle insurance, but also a huge risk. This is because you may end up losing a lot of money paying for the liabilities arising from an accident.
For this reason, you should contact your insurance company immediately after a motorcycle accident. In addition, your insurance company will need you to provide all the relevant information regarding the accident.
However, you should be careful not to give out information that may negatively affect your claim for damages. The best legal recourse in this situation is to find an experienced and well-versed lawyer to represent you.
If you approach your insurance agency on your own, the legal team there can trick you into giving information that might disadvantage you. Thus, ensure that you contact your insurance company, but be vigilant. Only give details that are relevant and of interest to your case.
Contact A Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
Motorcycle accidents are often overwhelming and can cause loss and injury. In these situations, insurance companies should offer compensation for injuries and damages. However, you cannot fully rely on them to give you a fair payout.
Quite often, they’ll try to find a reason not to compensate you or to minimize the amount of payout. That’s exactly why you need to contact a motorcycle accident lawyer to represent you and negotiate with your insurance company on your behalf.
The decision to have a lawyer to represent you is instrumental. This ensures you’ll increase your chances of receiving a fair settlement. Most motorcyclists do not have an in-depth understanding of their rights after an accident.
This makes it extremely imperative to find a lawyer who can offer the much-needed counsel. Gathering evidence and the details of your case requires a highly qualified professional since it’s not an easy job.
Therefore, finding a lawyer who can take care of your compensation process is the right legal recourse after a motorcycle accident. Similarly, you need a lawyer to handle the case while you recover from the accident.
The injuries that you might sustain after the accident will need medical attention. So, as you get well, you’ll need a legal representative to handle legal matters on your behalf.
What Are The Important Litigation Factors In Motorcycle Accidents?
Litigation is an important aspect of motorcycle accident cases. Given the increasing number of riders and the prevalence of motorcycle accidents, legal recourse is significant in settling such cases.
According to the Governors Highway Safety Association, the number of motorcycle fatalities in 2016 in the US was 5,286. Clearly, the high number of fatalities in the country shows that the need for legal action to settle the disputes that arise is necessary.
The period following a motorcycle accident can be overwhelming for the parties involved, thus making it necessary for them to take the option of settlement through a legal proceeding.
Litigation processes ensure that the party at fault in an accident gives the commensurate compensation to the other party. In such a process, the plaintiff’s appointed lawyer will seek to prove that the defendant was liable for the accident. And, that he or she should pay for the injuries and damages caused.
There are fundamental legal factors that play a vital role in the legal proceedings that take place after motorcycle accidents. Here are the imperative ligation factors that motorcyclists should be aware of.
Taking A Motorcycle Accident Case To Trial
A motorcycle accident case can go to trial depending on how the parties involved in the accident play out the situation. The parties involved can choose to opt for litigation for a number of reasons.
The major reason to take your case to trial is if the party responsible for your motorcycle accident fails to agree to a sufficient settlement. Often, the insurance company of the party responsible for the accident will want to offer lower compensation.
This, in most cases, is not enough to cover the damages and injuries incurred during and after the accident. For this reason, going to trial is a suitable legal action to help you get adequate compensation for injuries and damages.
Taking this into consideration, you’ll need to find a lawyer with proven experience in handling trial cases. However, if your lawyer wants to settle on the amount that the insurance company offers even if it’s not sufficient, you definitely need a better lawyer to handle your case.
Receiving Compensation After The Legal Process
The final outcome of a motorcycle accident case is to receive compensation for the injuries and damages sustained. If a legal proceeding ends up with one party receiving compensation for the injuries and damages, this will mark the culmination of the litigation process.
Usually, the process involves legal presentations from both sides. This seeks to show innocence or minimal liability from the parties involved.
Therefore, the role of your lawyer is to make sure that you receive the maximum compensation possible from the party responsible for the accident.
To this end, your lawyer will need to prove that you’re the victim in the accident. And, as a result, you’ll need to be compensated accordingly. If you present the facts and details of your case sufficiently enough, the litigation process will go in your favor.
An important point to note is that you have a significant role to play in this process. Every detail and information that might be of help to the litigation process, before and after the motorcycle accident, will be crucial in the final compensation settlement.
Thus, you need to share that information with your lawyer. This will boost your chances of getting a suitable settlement after the legal proceedings.
Settlement Factors Your Lawyer Will Look At After A Motorcycle Accident
There are quite a few settlement factors that will be taken into account if you’re involved in a motorcycle accident. Motorcycles are far more vulnerable on the road than other vehicles, which means that if you’re in an accident the chances of you suffering serious injuries are very high.
Consequently, if you are in an accident and you were not at fault, then you deserve compensation. You should be compensated for your medical bills, the damage to your property, your pain and suffering, and your lost wages.
How much compensation should you receive? That depends as there are a lot of settlement factors that come into play. Your best option would be to hire an experienced lawyer if you are in a motorcycle accident to ensure that your rights are protected.
Was The Other Driver Liable?
Before you start thinking about settlement factors, the first thing you’ll have to do is determine whether or not the other driver was liable. That will mean showing that the other driver was negligent.
Negligence is determined by whether or not they broke the law when driving or whether you were driving recklessly . If you can’t show that the other driver was negligent and therefore at fault, you won’t have a case.
What Damages Did You Suffer?
Negligence is the first thing that will be considered in relation to settlement factors. If a driver was negligent and hits you but you don’t suffer any damages, then you won’t have grounds for a lawsuit. The way that compensation is determined is based upon the extent of the damages you suffer.
Damages include personal injuries, damage to personal property, lost wages, and pain and suffering. The extent of the damages you suffered will determine the amount of compensation you should be eligible to receive.
Should You Settle Or Go To Trial?
Generally speaking, settlement offers are lower than what you could win if you went to trial. Why would you accept a settlement offer then? There are a few reasons.
First, if you get a settlement, then the matter is over with and you can focus on your recovery. Second, if you go to trial you could lose. Will you? That depends, but the bottom line is that when you go to trial there are no guarantees.
How much will your settlement offer be? That will depend on the extent of your damages. The greater your damages, the greater the potential payout would be if you went to trial, which means your settlement offer will be higher.
Conclusion On Legal Recourse After An Accident
It’s necessary to take the proper legal recourse after a motorcycle accident. Legal issues are quite complicated. That’s why it’s paramount to make sure that you take the proper action to avoid conflicts in the future.
Failure to follow the right legal channels might frustrate your chances of getting fair compensation after a motorcycle accident. Hence, from the moment you’re in an accident, ensure that every decision you make is in line with the law to be safe.
Moreover, since most riders might not have a good understanding of the law and their rights regarding motorcycle accident cases, it’s best that you find a proficient lawyer. One who is able to handle the legal issues at hand in the most professional way possible.
Remember, every decision after a motorcycle accident is vital. Thus, you need to be extra cautious and be vigilant in the legal process that you take.