Motorcycle accidents can be devastating for the rider and passengers, inflicting life-changing injuries in the blink of an eye. Whether or not you need to call a lawyer after getting into a motorcycle accident depends on your case. In general, you could benefit from speaking to an attorney if you sustained serious injuries, a loved one passed away in a motorcycle accident or if you simply have questions about your legal rights. Many attorneys offer free consultations and operate on a contingency fee basis – meaning you have nothing to lose by contacting one.
A Lawyer Knows the Law
Navigating a motorcycle accident claim often requires legal knowledge. For example, there is a deadline for filing a motorcycle accident claim called the statute of limitations. In Arizona, the law gives victims no more than two years to file an auto accident claim. A motorcycle accident lawyer knows and understands the laws in your state, including who is liable (financially responsible) for your accident, how to prove fault and your statute of limitations.
Evidence Might Disappear
A lawyer can immediately go to work on preserving and collecting evidence to build your case. A law firm can send investigators to the scene of the accident before city workers have a chance to clean it up, for example, to take pictures of the damage and debris left behind. A lawyer can request copies of surveillance tapes, contact cell phone companies for phone records, gather physical evidence, interview eyewitnesses, speak to your doctors and take other measures to collect as much evidence as possible before it’s lost forever.
A Motorcycle Accident Can Cause Life-Changing Injuries
Motorcycle accidents occur less often than other types of traffic accidents, yet they account for a higher percentage of serious injuries and deaths. If you sustained a catastrophic injury in the crash, a lawyer could fight for an adequate amount of compensation for your past and future medical care. Motorcycle accidents often result in severe injuries, such as:
- Bone fractures
- Skull fractures and traumatic brain injuries
- Back and spinal cord injuries (including paralysis)
- Neck injuries
- Facial and dental injuries
- Road rash and traumatic tattooing
If you only suffered minor injuries in a motorcycle accident, you may not need to contact a lawyer. The insurance company might offer a settlement that pays the full price of your medical bills and property repairs. With a severe injury, however, it is important to hire an attorney to fight for the settlement that you need for future medical care.
Insurers Are Biased Against Motorcyclists
One of the most important times to call a lawyer is before you accept an insurance settlement. Once you say yes, you generally cannot go back and reopen your case – even if you learn later that your injuries will cost much more than you originally thought. Unfortunately, car insurance companies are notorious for taking advantage of clients by offering lowball settlements.
This is especially true with motorcyclists, as many insurers have biases against them. The insurance carrier may try to allege that you assumed the risk of an injury by not wearing a helmet, for example, or that you contributed to the crash through reckless riding. An attorney can go up against an insurance company for you to fight for justice.
You Can Focus on Healing
Most importantly, a lawyer offers peace of mind. With a motorcycle accident lawyer, you can rest and focus on healing while he or she handles claims paperwork, evidence collection and settlement negotiations. Your lawyer can take over communications with an auto insurance company on your behalf, protecting your interests while you undergo medical treatments and put your life back together.
To request a free case consultation about your motorcycle accident case in Glendale, Arizona and find out how our attorneys can help, call (623) 400-5676 to reach the Law Offices of John Phebus.