Many people believe that they can handle a claim on their own after a motorcycle accident. They think that it’s as easy as filing an insurance form and then just making sure that they receive compensation for any injuries they suffered and other property damage that occurred. Unfortunately, it isn’t that simple. The following are some of the crucial reasons that you should consider hiring a motorcycle accident attorney:
1. A lawyer will help you initiate your case. Anytime you plan to file a motorcycle accident lawsuit, there is a lot of paperwork to fill out and certain steps you have to take. If you don’t perform these steps properly and in the correct order, you could make serious errors in initiating the case correctly, which will either delay your claim, or actually preclude you from filing a lawsuit altogether if you miss any important deadlines. This means all possible compensation could be forfeited.
2. A lawyer will communicate with insurance companies for you. Whenever you’re in a motor vehicle accident, including a motorcycle accident, it’s likely that the insurance company will try to offer you a small settlement if they believe that the other party is at fault. This can be tempting because it could be easy, quick money. It’s usually a bad idea, though. Insurance companies have one goal in mind: to make as much money as possible. One of the ways they do this is by paying out small settlements in order to dispose of cases as quickly as possible. They almost never actually have your best interest in mind. It’s really important to have legal representation before you even consider speaking with your insurance company or the other party’s insurance company. You’re almost guaranteed to end up with more compensation when you have competent legal representation at the beginning of your claim rather than if you wait. Should you decide to file a motorcycle accident lawsuit, you will be happy that you spoke with an attorney right at the outset.
3. A lawyer will collect evidence. If your lawyer is unable to obtain an adequate settlement offer from the insurance companies, they will start to prepare your case so that they can negotiate with the defense and be ready to go to trial if necessary. There will be a lot of evidence to collect. This often includes medical records, video footage if it’s available, photos of the scene and of your motorcycle and the other vehicle, and any other information and documents that your attorney deems relevant and important.
4. A Lawyer will speak with witnesses. You might be tempted to speak to witnesses yourself, especially right after the accident. This is usually a bad idea. It is smart to get any contact information from potential witnesses, but you should keep everything else to yourself until you speak with your attorney. Your lawyer can then reach out to everyone involved and set up a time where they can talk and get their side of the story. Your lawyer can find out what the witnesses saw and if they can help your case at all.
5. A Lawyer will negotiate with the defense. The majority of personal injury cases, including a motorcycle accident lawsuit, end in a settlement before they ever get to trial. A primary goal of your attorney will be to negotiate with the defense and try to get them to offer an amount of money that is acceptable to you. They do this by presenting some evidence and trying to show the defense that you are likely to win the case. Settlements save everyone time, stress, and money, so it’s usually in everyone’s best interest to settle the case if an agreement can be made.
6. A lawyer will prepare your case for trial if necessary. If no settlement can be reached, your lawyer will continue preparing your case for trial. They will review evidence, including medical records and any video footage. They may consult expert witnesses, such as an accident reconstruction expert who can look at the scene and any photos taken to try to determine who was at fault. It’s imperative that you find a lawyer who isn’t afraid to go to trial. The last thing you want is for your lawyer to push you to take a mediocre settlement offer because they aren’t experienced in litigating cases or because they simply don’t like to go to trial.