6 Steps to Winning Compensation With Your Motorcycle Crash Attorney

January 2, 2024
By Michael Padway

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    The 8.9 million registered motorcycles in the US equate to roughly 19.7 million miles traveled per year. 

    Riding on roads traveled by much larger cars and trucks while seated on a two-wheeled vehicle with only a helmet for protection in a crash puts motorcycle riders at greater risk of being killed in a crash. According to the National Highway Safety and Traffic Administration, motorcycle riders have a fatality rate six times greater than occupants of passenger cars and nine times greater than occupants of light trucks.

    An infographic demonstrating the increased likelihood of a fatal collision for motorcyclists vs occupants of light trucks and passenger vehicles.

    When an accident occurs, the motorcycle crash attorney chosen to represent you makes a significant difference in the compensation you’re entitled to receive. The following information will prove helpful in leading you to the best outcome in compensation for your motorcycle accident claim.

    6 Steps to Winning Compensation with Your Motorcycle Crash Attorney

    An infographic detailing the six essential steps to take in order to win compensation in a motorcycle injury lawsuit.

    Rarely do motorcycle riders walk away uninjured from a crash with a truck or passenger vehicle. Instead, the more likely scenario has the motorcyclist suffering severe and often life-threatening injuries requiring extensive medical treatment and rehabilitation before the rider returns to work. 

    Collisions between motorcycles and other types of vehicles usually result from the failure of drivers to yield the right of way either at intersections or when changing lanes. Proving fault on the part of the party responsible for causing a collision and maximizing the compensation paid to a seriously injured rider requires the prowess of an experienced motorcycle crash attorney. Here are six steps to follow to put yourself in a position to earn the maximum compensation following a motorcycle accident.

    Step 1: Act Immediately

    Protecting your right to hold another motorist responsible for causing you injury in a crash requires immediate action on your part. The longer you wait to retain the services of a lawyer to represent you, the more likely it is that your ability to claim damages could be compromised or lost. 

    Some of the risks associated with waiting to retain a lawyer include: 

    • Statute of limitations: States limit the amount of time you have to claim damages against another party through laws referred to as the statute of limitations. The time before you lose the right to sue another party varies from state to state, but it could be as short as one year from the date of the accident.
    • Evidence disappears: Proving the cause and damages of a motorcycle crash requires evidence. The passage of time results in evidence at the accident scene being lost forever unless photographs are taken soon after the crash. Witnesses forget or become less sure of what they observed the longer after a crash for them to interview and their recollection of the event preserved in a written statement.
    • Weakens your claim: The longer it takes to get to a doctor for diagnosis and treatment of your injuries or to assert your claim for damages through a motorcycle crash attorney gives the defense cause to question the severity of your injuries and the strength of your claim. Urgency speaks volumes in matters like these.

    A common practice of motorcycle crash attorneys is to conduct a thorough investigation into the cause of the accident soon after meeting with you. This allows them to document and collect evidence that may otherwise be lost or destroyed.

    For more information on what you can do in the event of an accident, visit our guide on What To Do Before, During and After A Crash or our Legal FAQ on What to Do in a Motorcycle Accident

    Step 2: Preserve Evidence

    Getting to a doctor as soon as possible after an accident is the best way to preserve evidence and protect your right to claim damages. A prompt diagnosis and treatment of your injuries create a record that your motorcycle accident lawyer can use as evidence in support of your compensation claim.

    Step 3: Do the Research to Find the Best Fit

    Finding the right attorney to handle your claim for damages takes more than a Google search for lawyers near you or asking a friend for a recommendation. Unfortunately, admission to practice law in your state does not necessarily make someone the right choice to handle your claim for injuries. 

    The person chosen to fight for your right to compensation needs to possess the ability to recognize and overcome the unique challenges inherent in motorcycle crash cases. For example, an attorney with motorcycle accident experience knows how to overcome the widely held perception held by claims adjusters and jurors of motorcyclists as reckless individuals engaging in dangerous activities. 

    You want a lawyer with significant experience representing injured motorcyclists. This experience gives them a knowledge of the law and the evidence needed to build a compelling case holding the other party accountable for causing the crash and the injuries you suffered.

    Step 4: Engage With Your Motorcycle Crash Attorney

    Most motorcycle injury lawyers offer a free consultation, so use it as an opportunity to conduct a thorough investigation of your own. Use this “interview” to learn more about each lawyer you meet with to help you to make an informed decision about which one to hire. 

    The following are some of the areas to cover during the interview:

    • Number of years in practice.
    • Types of cases handled by the lawyer.
    • Number of motorcycle crash cases the lawyer has handled.
    • Ask the lawyer to describe the strengths and weaknesses of your case.
    • How does the lawyer plan to address weaknesses in the case?
    • Does the law firm work under a contingency fee arrangement?
    • What percentage of the settlement or award will the law firm receive for its legal fee, and how is the final fee calculated?

    Do some research and prepare a list of questions to ask a personal injury lawyer in advance of the meeting.

    Step 5: Affirm Your Choice of Motorcycle Crash Attorney

    Comparing the responses you got from the attorneys you interviewed probably leads you to the one with the most experience handling motorcycle accident claims. However, before hiring that attorney, ask yourself: “Is this the best motorcycle crash attorney for me?” 

    You want to work with someone who showed a genuine concern for your wellbeing and made you the focus of the consultation. If the attorney made you feel rushed or acted brief when covering your questions, this might not be the best attorney to handle your claim.

    Step 6: Stay Away From Social Media

    Do not be surprised if one of the first pieces of advice your motorcycle crash attorney gives you concerns social media. Whatever you post on any social media platforms may be used against you by the defense lawyers or insurance company representing the party responsible for causing you to crash and be injured.

    You do not have a right to privacy in anything you write or post on social media. It essentially becomes a public record. Responding to a friend asking how you are feeling by commenting on Facebook that you “feel fine” can be used by a crafty defense lawyer to raise doubts about the severity of your injuries.

    Can You File A Motorcycle Crash Claim Without An Attorney?

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    Nothing prevents you from filing a motorcycle crash claim without an attorney and dealing with the other person’s insurance company on your own. However, before you do it, take a moment to answer the following questions:

    • Do you know the value of your claim?
    • How are you substantiating the value of your claim?
    • Do you know how much to demand from the insurance company to settle the claim?
    • Do you know the evidence needed to prove the other party was at fault?
    • Do you know how to prove the nature and severity of your injuries?
    • Do you know how to prove and put a value on the pain and suffering you endured?
    • Do you know how to file a lawsuit?
    • Do you know how to gather evidence and present it in court?
    • Do you know the time limits or statute of limitations in your state?

    An experienced motorcycle crash attorney has an in-depth knowledge of the law, superior negotiation and courtroom skills developed through years of handling claims and trials, and an unwavering commitment to holding the parties responsible for injuring you accountable for their actions.

    When you have a motorcycle crash attorney representing you, it brings with it peace of mind. Knowing that your claim is in the hands of a professional lets you focus on the critical task of working with medical providers and getting the rest needed to allow you to heal and recover from your injuries.

    The Motorcycle Legal Foundation offers a solution to the challenge of finding the best motorcycle crash attorney to handle your claim for damages. Founded in 2007 by a motorcycle crash attorney, the Motorcycle Legal Foundation has developed a process to match you professionals from our nationwide network of outstanding motorcycle crash attorneys.

    The process to match you with an attorney begins by asking you to provide information about yourself and your claim. The Motorcycle Legal Foundation legal team reviews your submission and will match you with some of the top motorcycle crash attorneys practicing in your state — one that will come with the necessary background for your specific situation. The best part about it? Our process is entirely free of charge.

    Instead of trusting in a Google search or the recommendation of a friend, the professionals at the Motorcycle Legal Foundation take the guesswork and uncertainty out of finding the best attorney to handle your case.

    Have you been involved in a motorcycle accident?

    Our professional legal team screens submissions and assigns cases to some of the best motorcycle lawyers in the US.

    Find a Motorcycle Attorney

    Michael Padway

    Michael Padway uses his expertise in personal injury and motorcycle accidents to represent a broad spectrum of clients dealing with life-changing and permanent injuries for the first time. His offices are located at 235 Montgomery St., Ste 668, San Francisco, CA 94104 and at 3140 Chapman St. Oakland, CA 94601. For more information, please call (800) 928-1511.

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