Riding a motorcycle can be an exhilarating experience. However, motorcycle riders are more vulnerable on the road compared to drivers of enclosed vehicles. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), motorcyclists are about 27 times more likely to die in a crash than passenger car occupants. If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle accident that was not your fault, you need an experienced motorcycle accident attorney on your side. Here is what to look for when choosing the best lawyer for your case:
- Look for a lawyer that specializes in motorcycle accident cases, not someone who takes on all types of personal injury cases. An attorney who regularly handles motorcycle crashes will understand the unique legal issues that apply to these cases. They will be familiar with applicable laws, defending against claims of “assumption of risk,” dealing with insurance companies, and determining liability and damages.
- Ask about the lawyer’s track record with past motorcycle accident cases. Find out their success rate in securing settlements and trial verdicts. Experience gets results.
- Make sure the attorney is up to date on the latest motorcycle accident litigation strategies and research. The laws and insurance industry practices related to motorcycle crashes are constantly evolving. You need a lawyer who stays on top of all the latest developments that could impact your case.
Resources & Capabilities
- Find out if the lawyer has the resources to fully investigate your accident, determine fault, and build a strong case on your behalf. Are investigators, forensic experts, and other professionals available to dig into the details and document evidence?
- Will the attorney be able to handle the costs of litigation if your case does go to trial? Pursuing compensation for your injuries could involve substantial upfront expenses. Make sure the lawyer has the financial capability to take your case as far as needed.
- Ask about the lawyer’s relationships with medical experts. The best motorcycle accident attorneys will have connections with doctors, specialists, physiotherapists, and other professionals who can accurately assess your injuries and determine an appropriate level of compensation.
Track Record of Results
- Find out examples of past verdicts and settlements the lawyer has obtained for past motorcycle accident clients. Make sure the amounts are substantial based on the specifics of those cases.
- Ask the attorney about their highest recovery to date and the factors that allowed them to maximize that outcome. You want to get a sense of the lawyer’s skill in presenting evidence, arguing liability, proving damages, and ultimately maximizing compensation.
- Has the lawyer taken motorcycle accident cases to trial in the past? Their willingness and ability to take a strong case before a jury is many times the only way to obtain full and fair compensation. Make sure they have courtroom experience.
Reputation & Client Reviews
- Look online for client testimonials and reviews of the motorcycle accident attorney. Do previous clients speak highly of the lawyer’s compassion, communication skills, and legal expertise?
- Check legal directories like Avvo that rate attorneys based on experience, ethical standards, professionalism, and peer reviews. Only work with a motorcycle accident lawyer that receives high ratings.
- Ask the attorney for references from past motorcycle accident clients. Speaking directly to a previous client can provide insight into what it will be like to work with that lawyer.
Frequently Asked Questions
How soon after a motorcycle accident should I hire an attorney?
You should contact a qualified motorcycle accident attorney as soon as possible after your crash. Your lawyer can immediately launch an investigation, preserve evidence, interact with insurance adjusters, and defend your legal rights and interests from day one.
Should I provide a recorded statement to the insurance company after a motorcycle crash?
No. Speak to an attorney first. An experienced lawyer will handle all interactions with insurers. Anything you say could be used against you later. Allow your attorney to communicate on your behalf.
How much does a motorcycle accident lawyer cost?
Most attorneys take motorcycle accident cases on a contingency fee basis meaning legal fees are a percentage of the final settlement or award. Typical fees range from 25% to 40% of the total recovery. There are no upfront costs or fees for the client.
How long does a motorcycle accident lawsuit take?
The timeline depends on factors like the severity of injuries, gathering evidence and negotiations with insurance companies. Many cases settle within one to two years. Complex cases involving serious injuries, multiple parties and lawsuits can take longer to fully resolve.
What damages can I recover after a motorcycle crash?
You may be entitled to economic damages like medical bills, lost wages, and property damage. Pain and suffering, permanent injuries and emotional distress are examples of non-economic damages that may also be claimed. A skilled motorcycle accident lawyer will recover full and fair compensation.
Choosing the right attorney is key after a motorcycle accident. Follow these tips and work with an experienced lawyer that can aggressively pursue maximum compensation for your injuries and losses. With an expert biker lawyer on your side, you can rest assured your rights are protected as your focus remains on healing and getting your life back on track.