Unless you have minor injuries, it is worth it to get a lawyer after suffering injuries in a motorcycle accident. Even seemingly minor injuries can cause lifelong struggles and complications and a motorcycle accident attorney can help you get the compensation you deserve. The Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles reports that more than 2,000 motorcycle collisions occur on Virginia’s roads and highways each year, resulting in over 1,500 injured motorcyclists. Motorcycle riders do not have the same protection as those in passenger vehicles, often resulting in severe motorcycle wreck injuries.
If you have suffered injuries in a motorcycle accident as a result of another party’s careless actions, Virginia law entitles you to take legal action against the party who caused you harm. Contact the skilled legal team at Bieber Law for a free consultation to learn about how they can help you with your motorcycle injury claim.
Do I Need a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer?
Whether you choose to hire a motorcycle accident attorney for your motorcycle accident claim is a critical decision that can have lasting financial consequences. Some choose to go it alone because they assume they do not need a motorcycle accident lawyer to help with an insurance claim. It’s true that you can deal with an insurance carrier on your own, but it’s far more likely you will have a better chance of receiving the maximum compensation for your case when you have an attorney in your corner. Reasons that motorcycle accident victims need a lawyer for their motorcycle claim include:
Claim denial. Insurance companies are in business to make a profit, which means they don’t pay every claim that comes their way. In fact, you can expect the carrier to find any reason they can to deny your claim. Legal action is sometimes your only option.
The dismissive attitude of insurance companies towards those without attorneys. Hiring a motorcycle accident lawyer sends a signal to the insurance company that you are serious about your motorcycle injury claim. Without representation, the insurance company assumes you will never take the case to trial and eventually accept an offer from them, even if it is really low.
The insurance company won’t pay medical benefits. Motorcycle accident costs related to medical treatment can range from a few thousand dollars to several hundred thousand dollars depending on the extent of injuries. If your health insurance kicks in to cover treatment, insurance companies avoid paying for the cost of treatment, which can ultimately lead to financial ruin when your health insurance wants reimbursement.
The insurance company claims the motorcycle accident didn’t cause your injuries. One sneaky way insurance companies try to get out of paying an accident claim is by arguing that motorcycle accident victims were injured at another time or place. A motorcycle accident lawyer can gather relevant evidence to support your motorcycle accident case.
The insurance company ‘plays nice’ to get you to take the blame for the accident. Motorcycle accident victims need attorneys if for no other reason than it prevents them from having to directly speak to an insurance company representative. Insurance adjusters and other representatives are trained to get you to say something they can later use to devalue or deny your claim.
The insurance company makes a low-ball settlement offer and pressures you to accept it. Insurance companies often play this game immediately after an accident to avoid paying out a large amount later on. They offer an attractive, but low settlement to tempt accident victims to accept the offer. Once you accept an offer, you also waive your right to filing a lawsuit. Insurance companies typically avoid these tactics when a motorcycle accident lawyer is involved.
The insurance company delays your motorcycle claim. In addition to keeping their money longer, delaying your claim means your medical bills keep piling up. Insurance companies know mounting medical bills mean accident victims get desperate for money and will be more likely to settle for a lower amount. Additionally, Virginia has a two-year statute of limitations for personal injury claims, including motorcycle accident claims. If the insurance company drags your claim out long enough, you cannot take legal action because your statute of limitations has expired.
Winning Your Motorcycle Accident Case
A lawyer plays a critical role in whether you win your motorcycle accident case. The vast majority of motorcycle accident lawsuits settle long before you need to go to court, yet your lawyer must prepare as if you are going to trial. Getting the maximum settlement amount means you must prove the party who caused the accident was negligent. Negligence consists of four elements:
Duty of Care. The defendant had a duty of care towards you while you were riding your motorcycle.
Breach of Duty. The defendant acted carelessly and put you at risk for injury.
Damages. You suffered physical injuries and incurred other losses related to your motorcycle accident.
Causation. The defendant’s actions, specifically the breach of duty caused you harm.
A skilled motorcycle accident lawyer uncovers the facts of a case to get the evidence that proves the defendant is negligent. Whether proof of negligence is submitted to the insurance company for the purposes of negotiation or to the court if you have to file a lawsuit, satisfying these elements gives you the best chances of winning your motorcycle accident case.
Seeking Compensation from a Motorcycle Accident Claim
After a motorcycle collision, motorcycle accident victims typically file an insurance claim to seek compensation for damages. When insurance companies do not want to offer fair compensation for motorcycle wreck injuries, victims need to hire a motorcycle accident lawyer to have the best chance of receiving any compensation. If your lawyer negotiates a fair settlement offer, or the court rules in your favor if you have to go to trial, you can recover some or all of the following damages from your motorcycle accident claim:
Medical treatment costs, including ambulance and emergency services, doctor visits, surgery, and other expenses
Lost wages and benefits for missing work as a result of the motorcycle accident and injury
Estimated future lost wages and medical expenses when motorcycle accident victim suffers a catastrophic injury that requires ongoing treatment and prevents them from returning to work
Compensation for non-economic losses such as pain and suffering, reduced quality of life, and any others that apply to a specific case
Compensation from punitive damages ordered by the court in rare cases of gross negligence as a way to punish the defendant
We Can Help You After a Motorcycle Accident
At Bieber Law, we understand the challenges you face in the wake of a motorcycle accident. In addition to the physical pain of injury, a motorcycle accident can also leave victims emotionally scarred and financially strapped. Our experienced motorcycle accident attorneys want to get you the compensation you deserve for your injuries. Money cannot heal injuries, but it can help pay for needed medical treatment and relieve some financial stress often felt by motorcycle accident victims and their families.
If you live in the Richmond area and have suffered injuries in a motorcycle accident, Bieber Law is here to help. Contact us today for a free consultation to discuss the details of your case.