When you ride a motorcycle, you are completely exposed. If you have an accident, you’re likely to incur more serious injuries. In fact, motorcyclists are 29 times more likely to die in an accident than car passengers. If you are in a motorcycle accident, you need to make sure that you have the right team of medical and legal professionals on your side. This is where having the best motorcycle accident lawyer will help.
We’ve compiled a guide to help you shop among the best motorcycle accident lawyers in town.
You’ll find a lot of options in your town for all sorts of personal injury attorneys. Ads are everywhere and you may get overwhelmed by the number of options. Here are some key considerations when talking to accident attorneys to make sure that you get the right one for your needs.
Get a Referral
Start within your network. If you ride, you likely know others who ride and have been in an accident. See who they used and whether or not they’d recommend them. This is an easy way to find someone that you trust, knowing that they helped a friend or family member in a similar situation.
Ask About Motorcycle Accident Experience
Personal injury attorneys come in a variety of flavors, so don’t assume that an auto accident attorney has the experience that you need as the victim in a motorcycle accident. Get someone who deals with motorcycle accidents every day. Specifically ask how many motorcycle cases they’ve handled in the past year. This way, you know that they understand the nuances and intricacies of motorcycle accidents. This knowledge helps you get the best possible settlement for your case.
Review Their Track Record
Find out how the lawyer has fared in their motorcycle cases. You want to know how many cases have led to settlements and how many have been lost. Obviously, you’re looking for someone who gets reasonable settlement amounts in most of their cases. When inquiring about their history, also inquire about their courtroom track record. Some attorneys may focus on out-of-court settlements but if your case doesn’t settle, you’ll need a good litigator to take your case to court.
Works on Contingency Fees
Most personal injury attorneys work on a contingency basis, meaning they take their fee from the award you get. This means that there should be no fees out of pocket for you to retain the attorney and have them work on your behalf. The industry average fee ranges from 33% to 40%, or possibly more if the case goes to trial. As long as it falls within this range, you are working with someone who is following industry standards. Your lawyer should explain the fee structure to you and give you a fee agreement to sign. Be aware that you may be responsible for out-of-pocket costs in addition to the contingency fee.
Has a Communication Schedule
Motorcycle accident cases can take a long time to settle or go to court. Ask the attorney what their communication schedule is. You should expect to hear from your attorney about the progress of your case every few weeks. You should also be able to easily reach the attorney if you have questions. Make sure that they have an office setup that facilitates communication.
Why You Need a Motorcycle Accident Attorney
Without an attorney, the insurance company will likely offer to pay medical bills and fix your bike and that is it. However, there’s a lot more to a case than just the medical bills. Your motorcycle accident lawyer will make sure that lost wages and pain and suffering are included in the negotiations. Ultimately, getting a lawyer means that you have an advocate on your side fighting for the biggest award possible, and they have the legal expertise to navigate the claims process to do so.
Interview Several Motorcycle Accident Lawyers
Before you make a final decision, talk to at least three motorcycle accident lawyers to see who you have the best feeling about. Consultations should be free, so there is nothing to lose by talking to multiple lawyers. Get a feel for their personalities. The last thing that you want is to feel like you’re a number in their caseload, instead of someone important to them.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Is it worth hiring a motorcycle accident attorney?
A. Getting a motorcycle accident attorney can often lead to a higher award than if you didn’t have one. It may not be worth it for small cases worth only a few thousand dollars, but if you experienced significant injuries, you should consider one.
Q. Do most cases settle?
A. Court trials are expensive and time-consuming and no side really wants that. Insurance companies prefer to settle to avoid the expense. As a result, most cases do settle, though it may take some back and forth to get the biggest award settlement.
Q. Can I ask my lawyer what my case is worth?
A. An experienced accident lawyer should be able to tell you a general range of what your case is worth in a settlement. This helps set the expectation of the final award. However, going to trial could mean getting nothing if you lose and lawyers rarely offer opinions on trial cases.