Being in a motorcycle accident can be a traumatizing experience, both physically and mentally. Motorcycle accidents are four times more likely to result in injury than accidents involving only passenger vehicles. Motorcyclists and their passengers are also at far greater risk for injury than others involved in the crash. But do you have a case to file a motorcycle accident lawsuit after the crash?
Filing a Motorcycle Accident Lawsuit
Motorcyclists are often extremely careful about how and where they drive, but you can’t always count on everyone else. 60 percent of collisions with passenger vehicles are the fault of the car or truck, not the motorcyclist. Poor road conditions can also cause a crash, and whoever maintains the road may be at fault. Even in a one-vehicle accident where only you and your insurance are involved, insurance may put themselves at fault by refusing or undervaluing your claim.
In these situations, it is appropriate to file a lawsuit defending yourself and claiming compensation for hardship suffered as the fault of others. However, it’s also important to be certain that you have a case, that the fault is on another party, and that your case is worthwhile for you to pursue.
Today, we’re here to sort out all of these answers and determine if you have a valid lawsuit ready to go.
What Do You Need to File a Motorcycle Accident Lawsuit?
- Reason to sue
- At-fault party
- Strong claim
- Potential settlement
To file an accident lawsuit, you need a reason to file, an at-fault party, a strong claim, and a reasonably high settlement you can earn if the motorcycle accident lawsuit succeeds.
Your reason to sue will usually include injury and financial setbacks. This can be compensation for the accident itself, the follow-up costs, medical expenses, or suing for a fair claim settlement from your insurance.
An at-fault party means that someone else is legally responsible for either your injuries or your financial hardship. This is either the party who caused your accident or the insurance company breaking your contract unlawfully by denying or undervaluing your claim.
The last qualifier is a potential settlement amount. Sometimes, a settlement might be so small (ex: minor bike repairs) that it may not be worth your time and effort to sue. Medical expenses and extensive repairs, however, offer settlement amounts worthy of your efforts.
For What Reasons Can I File a Motorcycle Accident Lawsuit?
You were injured.
Someone else was injured or killed
Your motorcycle was damaged
Financial loss from medical bills & future treatments
Loss of wages from missed work
The insurance company won’t pay
The motivation for filing a motorcycle accident lawsuit is financial compensation, usually to cover expenses incurred by injuries and damages. Accidents often result in financial hardship without liability and insurance coverage combined to take care of the costs. Initial medical costs and any medical expenses in the future as a result of the accident shouldn’t be yours to bear. If you or someone else on your motorcycle was injured, then your medical bills may be coverable by insurance or a private settlement. If another person was with you and died, their closest relatives can file a wrongful death suit as well.
If the injuries or other setbacks you experienced as a result of the crash caused you to miss work, you can also request lost wages to be covered by the settlement or sue for the time taken away from your work.
If your motorcycle was damaged and you will need extensive repairs, a motorcycle accident lawsuit can help you pay for these repairs when the damage was the fault of another party.
The last reason to file a motorcycle accident lawsuit is if your insurance company is not fulfilling your policy. Your policy has terms outlining what is covered and approximately how much you might receive. If your insurance company is wrongfully denying your claim, you can sue them. If your insurance company is woefully undervaluing your claim, you can sue for a rightful settlement as well.
Who Do I Sue in a Motorcycle Accident Lawsuit?
The other driver
A pedestrian at fault
The city or venue for road conditions
Motorcycle manufacturer or mechanic
Your insurance company
The next question is the subject of your lawsuit, the party who is liable for your injuries, lost wages, or vehicle damage. Or the insurance company, the usual exception. It is very important to determine the liable party correctly. The scene and accident must be analyzed. The actions of everyone involved must be reviewed. Any evidence from the scene should be taken into account.
We advise that you begin working with a lawyer to determine the correct liable party. If the evidence says that you are the liable party, you may not have a strong case (for anything but personal insurance). However, if the evidence points to another person, road conditions, or even your vehicle, you may have a case that can be pursued successfully.
Driver or Pedestrian
If the liable party is the other driver, this means that they made a mistake or took willfully wrong action on the road that put you in danger. The liable party could also be a pedestrian who acted recklessly, possibly causing you to spin out in order to avoid hitting them.
City or Venue
If road conditions were to blame, look to the city or the venue where you were driving. The city is responsible for keeping roads safe to drive. Large potholes, for example, or a wheel-diverting crack in the pavement could easily be the cause of your accident and the city would be at fault. If you were driving in a venue, like a private track, the venue might alternately be responsible for their road conditions. If you are hurt in a motorcycle accident, you can talk to a personal injury lawyer for your motorcycle accident lawsuit.
Maintenance or Manufacture
The accident may alternately have been caused by a malfunction in your motorcycle. If it is discovered to be a manufacturing flaw, your motorcycle manufacturer could be sued for a settlement. If it’s a maintenance flaw, your mechanic or garage might be held liable instead.
No matter who is liable for the accident, your insurance company is obligated to honor your policy. If your accident falls within the terms of the policy (double-check) and you have been denied or offered a seriously under-valued claim, you can sue to make it right. Insurance companies aren’t the last word and they can be held accountable.
How Long Does a Motorcycle Accident Lawsuit Take?
The time period of a motorcycle accident lawsuit can vary widely and is influenced by several factors. One important factor is the difficulty of the case; more intricate cases with extensive injuries or disputed liability may take longer to resolve. Additionally, the legal process itself contributes to the timeline, involving stages such as filing the initial complaint, discovery, negotiation, and possibly a trial.
Some cases may be resolved through settlement negotiations, leading to a quicker resolution, while others may progress to a trial, extending the duration.
Do I Have a Good Case for My Motorcycle Accident?
The best way to know if you have a strong motorcycle accident case is to work with an accident attorney. Lawyers with experience in motorcycle accident cases understand the ins and outs of a good lawsuit. They can help you collect and analyze the evidence to accurately identify the at-fault party. They can help you look at your potential settlement amount based on the damage and liability at play. And they can analyze your insurance policy to confirm if your insurer is out of line.
Once you know that you have a case, your motorcycle accident attorney can build and file a lawsuit for you holding the liable party responsible for damages and financial losses. You have a right to compensation for your injuries, repair costs, and lost wages. Let us help you without adding extra hardship or hassle to your life. Contact us today for a free consultation on your motorcycle accident lawsuit. Let The Joel Bieber Firm represent you and your motorcycle accident case. We would be honored to fight for your rights to physical and financial security.