Unlike a car accident which only results in injury or death 20% of the time, according the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA), up to 80% of motorcycle drivers can expect to get injured or killed if they are involved in a motorcycle accident. This is not surprising given the instability and lack of protection offered to motorcycle drivers involved in an accident.
Not only do motorcycle drivers need to be aware of how to avoid a single vehicle accident, they also must avoid stationary objects and other drivers who do not see them or fail to follow basic traffic laws, causing an increased risk of injury or death to cyclists.
Common Motorcycle Injuries
Unlike a car, motorcycles offer little to no protection for the motorcyclist. Motorcyclists are often ejected from the motorcycle and may strike any stationary or moving object in their path. Given that up to 80% of Motorcyclists are injured or killed in an accident, it is not surprising that when accidents do occur the motorcyclists are likely to suffer serious injuries which can leave their victims permanently disabled or dead. Common motorcycle injuries can include:
If you have suffered a common motorcycle accident you can expect high medical costs, wage loss and pain and suffering. If your motorcycle injuries were caused by the negligence of another driver, you may be able to get compensation from either their insurance company or by filing a personal injury claim.
Hiring a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
Motorcycle accident lawyers can review your common motorcycle injuries and make sure you receive fair compensation after your accident. Whether you need extensive medical care, lost wage compensation or payment for pain and suffering, a motorcycle lawyer can help.
Finding a motorcycle lawyer who has the necessary knowledge to understand the unique damages associated with a motorcycle accident is important. You may think it is too costly to hire a motorcycle lawyer, but motorcycle lawyers work on a contingency fee basis and generally will not be paid unless you win your personal injury claim.
Motorcycle lawyers offer a free comprehensive review of your motorcycle claim and can let you know if you have a personal injury case. Many motorcycle lawyers can also help negotiate a fair settlement with your insurance company or the insurance company of another driver.
Do not settle a motorcycle claim without fully understanding your legal rights. Unlike many car accidents, which have minor injuries or loss, motorcycle accidents frequently leave their victims devastated by their motorcycle injuries.
Negotiating with the Insurance Company
If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident due to the negligence of another person, you may have to negotiate with their insurance company. What happens if the person who caused your accident is not insured or does not have enough insurance coverage to cover your losses? Not only will you be negotiating with their insurance company (if they have one), you may also have to negotiate with your own insurance company.
In some states there are no-fault laws and your insurance company may pay for your losses regardless of who was to blame. Either way, you will have to decide whether to hire a motorcycle lawyer and let them negotiate for you, or learn how to negotiate a fair settlement on your own.
To negotiate your settlement you will first need to collect the following information:
Whether you decide to hire a motorcycle accident lawyer or negotiate your own insurance settlement, nothing can be decided until you understand the full extent of your motorcycle injuries. Negotiating too early with the insurance company may eliminate your chance of receiving adequate compensation for your losses.
When you or your motorcycle lawyer is ready to negotiate, a demand letter is sent to the insurance company stating the specific amount of money you would be willing to accept to settle your motorcycle accident claim.
Information which is commonly included in the demand letter is information about your injuries and how they will impact your future, the cost and type of medical treatment that is needed, all the other damages you have suffered from your motorcycle accident and why you think the other driver is to blame. The demand letter and package also includes copies of the documents needed to support your car accident case.
Offers from the insurance company and counter offers from your motorcycle accident lawyer may continue until both parties have negotiated a fair settlement deal. The final offer is considered the "settlement" which is confirmed by your motorcycle attorney. After you receive your settlement offer you will not be able to seek additional compensation from the insurance company for your motorcycle accident claim. You will be required to sign a release, which is a legally binding agreement.
Filing a Personal Injury Claim for a Motorcycle Accident
If you are considering filing a personal injury claim for your motorcycle accident, it is time to talk to a motorcycle lawyer. Some states may not allow you to file a claim unless your medical costs exceed a certain threshold or unless your injuries are severe. You also may not be able to file a claim unless another person is responsible for your accident through their negligence and you have suffered actual loss (lost wages, pain and suffering, medical expenses).
If you are considering filing a personal injury claim you should take several steps to ensure you have all of the necessary information to prove your personal injury claim:
An experienced motorcycle accident lawyer can review your accident evidence and help you determine if you have a personal injury claim. States laws vary and personal injury law can be complicated. Contact a personal injury lawyer for more information about your car accident case.