During motorcycle collisions, motorcyclists usually receive the brunt of the injuries regardless of who’s at fault. Because motorcycles are less visible than cars and trucks, they are significantly more likely to get into accidents than other types of vehicles. Car drivers may cause serious motorcycle accident injuries on roads by not checking their blind spots when switching lanes or not paying full attention at intersections and crossroads. A high-speed motorcycle collision can often be serious, or even fatal, to the motorcyclist while only causing minor damage to the motorist’s vehicle.
If you or a loved one was recently hit in a motorcycle accident by a car or a commercial vehicle driver, you may be entitled to financial compensation. Depending on the situation, the driver at fault’s insurance or your motorcycle insurance may be liable for paying for your medical bills, loss of employment and other damages. It’s a good idea to hire a motorcycle accident attorney to ensure you get the maximum compensation after being injured in a motorcycle accident.
Keep reading for tips on finding the best motorcycle accident lawyer for your situation.
Tips for finding a motorcycle accident lawyer
Since most personal injury attorneys charge on a contingency fee basis — meaning they receive a percentage of the total settlement, verdict or jury award, rather than an hourly fee — you don’t need to worry too much about lawyer’s fees when deciding what firm to hire. Unlike for criminal or divorce cases, (where lawyers are often banned from charging on a contingency basis), for motorcycle accident cases, the quality of the lawyer you hire is not determined by the amount of money you can pay upfront.
Therefore, getting an experienced motorcycle accident attorney can help you maximize your chances of winning and the size of the final settlement. Here are some tips you can use when seeking a lawyer for motorcycle accident compensation.
Look into their firm’s performance history
See if the attorney’s law firm publishes its performance rates on its website. A firm with a high success rate in cases similar to yours can mean a higher chance of success for you as well, as your motorcycle crash lawyer will already be experienced in the relevant case law.
When checking case win rates, make sure you know what your lawyer’s win rate is. Look for both their in-court battles and out-of-court settlement success. If your lawyer has a high effectiveness rate when settling cases but often loses in court, this may become a problem if your case has to go before a judge. Some law firms may publicly advertise their settlement rates but avoid talking about their win rates in court, so pay attention to both of these things.
Get recommendations from friends and family
If any of your family or friends have been in a high-speed motorcycle crash or know someone who has, see whether they can recommend any motorcycle accident lawyers. Ask questions about their accident and case, including how their legal representation handled everything, from gathering evidence to litigation and billing.
If you receive a recommendation from a friend or family member, you can set up an appointment with the law firm in question to see if they’d be a good fit for your case.
When considering a recommended attorney, ask them the same questions you would have if you’d found them on your own. Just because they won a case for a family member or friend does not guarantee they will win yours.
See what previous clients have said about lawyers
It’s a good sign if your prospective attorney’s past clients publicly discuss their positive experiences.
Positive client testimonials should not be the sole reason you hire an attorney. However, when all else is equal, many positive client testimonials may indicate that others believe the attorney went above and beyond to assist them in winning their case. Considering client testimonials, particularly on third-party sites rather than on the lawyer’s own website, can help you hire a motorcycle accident lawyer who will fight tooth and nail for getting you a fair deal.
Why hire a motorcycle accident lawyer
Even if you already have a lawyer you’ve hired for other types of cases, it’s best to hire a specialist in the case of a motorcycle accident. A motorcycle accident law firm has the resources and knowledge necessary to ensure you get the maximum compensation you’re legally entitled to. Here’s why you should hire a motorcycle accident injury attorney.
They specialize in motorcycle accident claims
A mountain bike repair technician at your local bike shop may have the tools necessary to fix a flat tire in a pinch. However, you wouldn’t take your motorcycle to them if something was wrong with the engine. Of course, you’d go to a specialized motorcycle mechanic.
It’s the same thing with lawyers. A personal injury law firm has attorneys specialized in personal injury claims who know the process inside out. When you hire a good motorcycle accident lawyer, you can be confident that they’ll do the whole process correctly, from filing claims and gathering evidence, such as police reports and property damage estimates, to litigation and settlement negotiations.
Sometimes, a motorcycle accident lawsuit may drag on for months. This means that your lawyer will need to put many hours of unpaid work into the case and will only get compensated once the case is won. A specialized motorcycle accident law firm is prepared for this and has the resources necessary to continue the fight even if the insurance company does its best to stall.
They’ll fight for fair compensation
Because your motorcycle accident injury attorney is most likely getting paid a percentage of your settlement, they’ll be motivated to fight for the maximum possible settlement amount. Additionally, because they are specialized in your type of case, they’ll know the ins and outs of what to negotiate for and how much you should get.
Insurance companies may try to lowball claimants who are unaware of the amount they deserve. A good motorcycle accident lawyer will negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf and, if your claim is declined, will be able to tell you whether a case is likely to succeed in court. This way, you can make the best possible decision for your situation.
They’ll help get your medical expenses covered
If you sustained injuries after a collision with a motorist, you may have incurred significant medical bills for severe injuries, from broken bones to road rash to traumatic brain injuries. Even if you have health insurance, many providers now exclude motorcycle accidents from coverage, and you may not be able to get your health insurance company to cover the full amount of your medical treatment.
An experienced motorcycle accident lawyer can help you cover these medical costs by filing claims with the liable party and taking the matter to court if necessary. In the tragic case of a fatal motorcycle crash, your attorney can also help the family by pursuing coverage for the funeral and other related expenses.
What to look for in a motorcycle accident lawyer
Below are the key qualities you should look for when interviewing potential motorcycle accident injury attorneys.
Years of experience representing motorcycle accident victims
When considering your legal options, you should look for attorneys with extensive experience litigating motorcycle accidents and personal injury cases. If your potential attorney has a history of representing clients in motorcycle collision cases, you can review their previous cases to see if they were consistently successful. After all, experience alone may not be sufficient — you don’t want to hire a lawyer with a track record of losing motorcycle accident cases.
If your attorney has previously won multiple motorcycle accident cases, it’s likely that they’ve done extensive research on relevant case law and know how to approach your case. If your lawyer is not handling this type of case for the first time, they’re less likely to make critical errors.
When you’re comparing lawyers or law firms, always check whether they have a free consultation or free case evaluation.
Works on a contingency basis
As mentioned earlier, motorcycle accident personal injury lawyers are usually paid on a contingency basis. Since they’ll most likely be receiving a percentage of the final settlement, you won’t be required to pay your motorcycle accident attorney until the verdict is rendered, your case is won and you receive the compensation you’re entitled to.
When you decide to hire your lawyer, ensure that they clearly state this contingency percentage and that you agree upon it in writing.
Dealing with an uncommunicative law firm during a case can be extremely stressful. If you notice that any of the motorcycle accident injury lawyers you’re considering don’t communicate well, you should choose one of your alternatives instead. After all, if a law firm’s communication is poor before you become their client, it’s not likely to improve during the investigation and litigation stages. Use your initial consultation to ask questions about the process, and see whether their communication style suits you. Negotiates strategically
An experienced motorcycle accident lawyer knows when it’s time to fight and when it’s time to settle. Based on their experience and the evidence gathered at the accident scene, they can plan an effective strategy. When you talk with your potential attorney about your case, ask them what their plan of action is and whether they think settlement or litigation is best.
Cares about your situation
The best motorcycle lawyer for you is one who cares about your situation and wants to make sure you get the compensation you need. An uncaring lawyer may not put in the effort necessary to get the maximum possible settlement. Instead, they could settle early or fail to negotiate effectively on your behalf.
Talk to your potential lawyer about your situation and assess what your gut is telling you. If you feel like the motorcycle accident lawyer you’re considering sees you as just another number, then it may be a good decision to pick one of your alternatives. Your attorney-client relationship should meet your needs and make you feel safe.
Find an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer today
If you’re interviewing multiple law firms but are having trouble finding ones with these qualities, try reaching out to your state bar association. A bar association is a trade organization of lawyers that aims to regulate attorneys and deal with issues affecting the legal profession. They may be able to recommend members who would be a good fit for your case.
Another way to look for good personal injury attorneys is to see what attorneys local judges recommend to their families for motorcycle accident cases. Because judges work with lawyers on a daily basis, they’re often good at picking the most effective ones. If you know a judge or one of their friends or family members who were part of a motorcycle accident lawsuit, ask for a referral.
Even if a motorcycle accident lawyer comes with a recommendation from a local judge or bar association, you should always thoroughly vet potential attorneys. Your situation may be particular, so it’s best to put in the time to vet your lawyers beforehand so you can maximize your chances of success.
Various states may have different time limits for how long after an accident you can still file a motorcycle accident lawsuit. These statutes of limitations for motorcycle accidents vary but are usually three years or less. Even if your state has a three-year statute of limitations, this does not mean you should wait long before looking for an attorney.
Gathering evidence and preparing a case takes time. The more time you can give your attorney to prepare, the more likely your case will succeed in court. In addition, some evidence may be easier to gather while the accident is still recent.
If you’ve been in a motorcycle collision recently, contact your local motorcycle accident attorneys to see what they can do for you.