How Do Motorcycle Accident Attorneys Help?
Motorcyclists who have been in a collision may dread the prospect of working with an attorney after an accident as much as the accident itself. The process of a motorcycle accident case can be very confusing to someone who has never been through it before. Fortunately, working with attorneys who are experienced with Illinois motorcycle accident cases can simplify the legal process for you and get you back on your bike. While all cases are slightly different, here is what you should do following the accident, as well as the ways that a motorcycle accident attorney can help you.
Here is what you should do if you are involved in a motorcycle accident.
Get Medical Attention Right Away
If you have any doubt about the nature of your injuries, call 911 immediately. Even if you do not feel injured, it is a good idea to go get seen by a medical professional as soon as possible. You may be in shock and not realize the magnitude of your injuries. A doctor will also issue a report, which you can use as evidence of your injuries later if you have issues recovering money from your insurance company.
Do Not Admit Fault
Even if you think that you may have caused the accident, do not make a statement admitting fault to the police or other drivers. You do not necessarily know what caused the accident. There may have been nothing you could have done to avoid it.
It can be challenging to document everything following an accident, particularly if you have been seriously injured. However, do what you can. Get the names and numbers of any witnesses. If possible, get statements. Take photos of the scene of the accident: the vehicles involved, a picture of the street, a picture of the sky, and any damage. Videos are even better evidence. Smartphones allow you to show a potential jury what the scene looked like.
After the immediate accident, collect evidence such as your medical records, the police report, or any records about the accident. Keep all of these items in a safe place and make copies.
Move Your Bike and Yourself
After you have documented the scene, get out of the road. Move the motorcycle off the road if you can safely do so. This will prevent any other motorists from crashing into you.
Reach Out to An Attorney As Soon As Possible
It is true that you can get a settlement on your own, or you can start the process and hire an attorney later. The process will be that much smoother, however, if you hire an attorney immediately. They can begin by notifying your insurance company and continue fighting for you until you have received payment.
Why Choose a Motorcycle Accident Attorney to Help With My Case?
Due to the nature of motorcycle accidents, victims can suffer extremely painful and debilitating injuries. Those injuries typically cost a lot of money to treat. While insurance is supposed to cover those hospital bills and other expenses, that is not always the case. Sometimes, insurance companies will try and pay as little as they can.
An attorney will step into your shoes and fight for you to make sure you get the money you need. Insurance companies often employ aggressive lawyers who will attempt to settle the case for as little money as possible. You will also be met with confusing jargon and a lot of paperwork–things you do not want to deal with anytime, let alone after a motorcycle accident.
As your medical bills and lost wages accumulate, a lawyer can step in to ensure you get the money that you deserve.
How Attorneys Can Help in a Motorcycle Accident Case
In determining whether hiring a personal injury attorney is right for you, here are some things to consider. These are some of the ways that an attorney can help you with your motorcycle accident case.
Assess Your Case
First, you will meet with your attorney. You will discuss the facts of the case (how the accident happened, what injuries you suffered) and the attorney will listen to what you would need to be whole.
Tell You What Your Legal Rights and Options Are
Next, the attorney will talk to you about your legal rights and options. They will discuss with you who you could seek damages from (whether that is the other driver, or manufacturer, or another party).
Ideally, you have done due diligence and collected things such as witness statements, police reports, and medical bills. Attorneys can gather those things on your behalf and seek additional evidence. For instance, they can retain expert witnesses who can reconstruct what happened in the accident by surveying the area the accident occurred and looking at the damage. Attorneys can also seek surveillance videos that captured the accident on tape.
Negotiate With the Insurance Company
The attorney will summarize the facts of the case and present them to your insurance company or the other party you are seeking damages from. They will also present what you are seeking in terms of damages. Then, the parties will negotiate to arrive at a fair dollar amount. Once you have agreed to that amount, then there will be a settlement.
File a Legal Claim, If Necessary
If negotiation with the insurance company does not work, then an attorney can file a legal claim. Even if a legal claim is filed, this does not necessarily mean that the case will go to trial. Often, the parties will settle.
Go to Trial, If Necessary
As a last step, an attorney can go to trial. This is not the first option, and not a common option, because it can take some time and cost additional fees. However, a seasoned motorcycle accident attorney will represent you in front of a judge or jury and attempt to get maximum damages for your accident.
What Can I Expect to Recover?
Here are just some of the damages you can expect in a motorcycle accident case:
- Loss of income
- Pain and suffering
- Property damage
- Medical bills
- Funeral expenses
Speak to a Peoria Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Today
If you need help determining your legal rights and options after a motorcycle accident, contact our office right away.