Have you been injured in a motorcycle accident? Close to 100,000 motorcyclists are injured every year in crashes, and research suggests drivers of four-wheel vehicles are usually to blame. There’s a good chance you’re not responsible for your injury, and even if you are, there’s still a possibility that you can ask for compensation from the other party.
Only about 4% of injury claim cases go to court, and of the motor-related incidents that do end up in front of the judge, plaintiffs were successful about 61% of the time. If you’re considering pursuing a personal injury claim, make sure to ask these 5 questions first.
1. How serious are your injuries?
To receive a settlement, your injuries will usually need to be classified as “serious” or “threshold injuries.” Serious injuries are generally considered significant damage that impacts your ability to do normal, daily activities-not minor cuts and bruises. Take a look at your injuries. Have they changed the way you live your life? Are they limiting your ability to work or function regularly? If so, then you should consider filing a personal injury claim. Keep in mind that you’ll need to get these injuries verified by a doctor. There’s also a chance you’ll need to be examined by an independent doctor chosen by the defendant to confirm your injuries.
2. Did you have any previous related injuries?
If you were seeing a doctor or physical therapist for pain before the accident, you’ll have a harder time convincing the insurance company to settle. Often, they’ll offer you less than your case is potentially worth because of your pre-existing conditions. It’s important to get help or advice from a lawyer who can make sure you receive what’s owed to you. Just because you were experiencing issues prior to your accident doesn’t mean the insurance company can withhold a higher settlement offer.
3. Have you been compensated for your losses?
If you or the other driver’s insurance has covered your medical expenses, this can impact your case. Insurance policies typically cover x-rays, MRIs, doctor visits, physical therapy, and even vehicle damage, but that doesn’t mean you have to settle for less. Keep a list of what you’ve had to pay for out of your pocket and what the insurance companies have helped provide. You’ll need this when appealing for compensation.
4. Do you have a strong case?
Your case needs to prove that the accused party is responsible for the accident. If you can’t provide evidence, your claim will lack the information it needs to win. Remember, the defendant will likely do their own research to prove they had no fault, and they may even try to push the blame on to you. Be confident in your case and arrive prepared-you don’t want your claim getting thrown out by the court.
5. Do you have a reliable attorney?
Most court cases are difficult to win without an attorney, especially if the opposing party has one, and personal injury claims are notoriously challenging. Before you pursue a claim and possibly end up in court, make sure you have a reliable motorcycle attorney on your side. An experienced attorney can cost a pretty penny, but there’s a good chance they’ll agree to represent you under a contingency fee agreement. A contingency fee agreement means you’ll only pay your lawyer if you receive compensation for your injuries-a win-win situation for you. It may be tempting to try to fight your battle alone so you can keep the full payment for yourself, but you’ll have a much higher chance of winning with an expert on your side.