More than 80,000 people are injured and 5,000 killed in motorcycle crashes across the country each year, according to the Insurance Information Institute. While those numbers have, in recent years, been steady or declining, the toll from motorcycle accidents is still too high.
Unfortunately, many of these accidents happen through recklessness and negligence by other drivers. It’s then when you have your answer to the question, “Is it worth hiring a motorcycle accident lawyer?” Experienced motorcycle accident lawyers can guide you through a confusing, head-spinning process toward compensation for your injuries and other damages, such as pain and suffering. The answer is a resounding yes, and here’s why.
Motorcycle accident lawyers allow you to focus on your recovery while they oversee the legal process in seeking recovery for your damages. They take charge of and explain the process, map out timelines, contact insurance companies, spearhead negotiations, and, if needed, file the lawsuit. Here are some specific ways that motorcycle accident lawyers help.
Prevent Mistakes Early On
The first step following any kind of crash usually is to contact the respective insurance companies. But remember that the insurance companies are looking out for their bottom line, not your best interests. They may try hard to get you to commit to a settlement before you contact an attorney. It’s in their best interest to settle quickly for the least amount of money possible.
An attorney as your legal representative can shield you from the prospect of being talked into a deal that you later find isn’t what you thought it was.
Document the Incident
Whether it’s for the insurance company or the court, you will have to explain and document what happened and justify your request for damages. A motorcycle accident lawyer knows what needs to be collected. He or she can either do the collecting or advise you to do it.
To strengthen your claim, you will want to be sure to collect evidence of lost wages and documentation of your medical expenses. It can seem a chore to collect this information, but doing it in the right way improves your chances of recovery.
Attorneys can coach you in what you need to collect and how to go about doing it. They can also evaluate the information and decide if it requires expert witnesses to help explain the relationship of the crash to your injuries.
Negotiate With Insurance Providers
Hiring an attorney does not mean that you’ve committed to filing a lawsuit. In general, insurance companies do not want to go to court any more than you do. Your attorney can be an interested but dispassionate negotiator with insurers in hopes of finding a mutually beneficial settlement that saves on attorney costs.
Just the act of hiring an attorney and having one serve as your representative during negotiations can send an important message that you are serious about being fairly compensated for your injuries, pain, and suffering. Note that an insurance company can still approach you with an offer, but make sure you share it with your attorneys before signing any agreements.
Try the Case
If negotiations fail, you want to have counsel willing to go the distance for you by taking the case all the way to a jury. The best motorcycle accident lawyers will be able to turn the facts of your case into a compelling story to convince a judge or jury that you deserve compensation for your injuries.
Types of Motorcycle Accidents
Motorcycle crashes can happen in many different ways. Partially that’s because of the nature of the motorcycle: a two-wheeled vehicle with the flexibility to slide into small spaces. Remember that as a motorcyclist, you have the same rights as drivers on four wheels, but you also have to abide by the same rules. Still, some of the incidents involving motorcycles we have come to recognize with frequency include:
- Broadside accidents, where the front of the car hits the motorcycle’s side.
- Sideswipe accidents, where the vehicle and car collide side-by-side.
- Intersection collisions, where contact occurs as a motorcyclist waits to make a turn or continues through a four-way intersection.
- Lane-change crashes, where a driver makes a sudden move or simply does not check for anyone in the way.
Any of these types of incidents can involve driver liability. A motorcycle accident lawyer can help evaluate the case and get you the care and compensation you deserve.
Damages You May Seek After an Accident
Texas law allows motorcycle accident victims to seek several different types of compensation as part of their complaint if the case ultimately goes to court and before a judge or jury.
The first category consists of out-of-pocket losses. You can seek reimbursement for medical care such as doctor or hospital visits and procedures, medications, the cost of transportation to the appointments, and related costs. You can seek recovery for costs for damage to your motorcycle or other types of property.
You can also collect what are known as “non-economic” damages. These include pain and suffering from lingering injuries or emotional difficulties, or physical impairment or disfigurement.
The final category is punitive damages. As the name suggests, these damages punish the person who is considered at fault for what the law may see as exceptionally egregious, reckless, or negligent behavior.
If an accident results in a death, attorneys representing your estate and your survivors may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit where they can seek damage for the loss of your earning capabilities and loss of support or companionship.
Get the Motorcycle Accident Representation You Deserve from Godsey Martin P.C.
In the aftermath of a motorcycle accident, your mind may be spinning. You’re not equipped at that moment to think about just compensation for your injuries, much less negotiate for them. That’s where the attorneys at Godsey Martin P.C., serving Dallas and Houston, come in. We will represent your interests, whether in negotiations with the insurance company or through the legal process. Our team has extensive experience with motorcycle accidents as well as other types of accidents. We’re fighters who specialize in auto accidents, truck accidents, slip-and-fall accidents, pedestrian accidents, and other types of painful circumstances. Schedule a no-obligation consultation today by calling us or contacting us online.