Whether you were riding your motorcycle and was hit by a distracted driver or you were operating another vehicle when a motorcycle cut in front of you and caused an accident, chances are you may have sustained significant injuries and damages to your vehicle. Motorcycle accidents can be serious or even deadly, so it is important to know your options when you are looking to receive compensation after being involved in an accident with a motorcycle. Our firm helps victims going through similar situations to recover fair compensation for their accident, and we can help you, too. Here are a few important things you should know about filing a motorcycle accident claim.
How Is Fault Determined in a Motorcycle Accident?
Motorcycle accidents can happen in many different ways, usually involving a larger vehicle such as a car or SUV, or a pedestrian in some cases. Other accidents may have been caused due to poor roadway maintenance or a road design error. In order to determine which party or parties may share responsibility for the accident, a thorough investigation of the scene is necessary to pinpoint the causes.
If the motorcyclist was speeding or not observing traffic laws in the moments leading up to the crash, he or she may be mostly at fault, but if the driver of the vehicle that collided with the motorbike was distracted and did not take any action (such as swerving or hitting the brakes) to prevent the accident, that driver may also be partially at fault. In rare cases, poor road conditions may have caused the accident, placing partial liability on the city or government agency responsible for road maintenance. A motorcycle accident attorney may help pinpoint which party or parties are to blame for the crash.
Can I Sue Someone Who Is At-Fault for a Motorcycle Accident?
In order to recover compensation for your injuries after a motorbike accident, there are a few different options you may explore. First, you may file a claim with your own insurance company and receive payment sooner, but with the requirement of paying your deductible. You may file a claim with the at-fault party's insurer, which may take longer but requires no deductible payment. And when the at-fault party is not insured or underinsured, you may consider taking legal action and seek damages compensation via a personal injury civil lawsuit. In some cases, you may be able to sue the responsible party regardless of whether you received an insurance settlement or not. This usually applies when the responsible party acted with gross negligence and caused extensive damages. It is recommended you seek the advice of an attorney to find out which option may be best for your case.
What Kind of Damages May I Be Eligible to Receive?
Settlement amounts received from an insurance company will usually account for most economic losses resulting from an accident. Those include medical bills, vehicle repairs or a vehicle replacement when applicable, and compensation for lost wages when applicable.
Unfortunately, insurance companies will offer low-ball settlement amounts that do not fully cover all your losses. If you decide to seek compensation through a civil suit, you may ask for both economic and non-economic damages. Non-economic damages include more subjective factors such as pain, suffering, or emotional distress resulting from the injuries.
What if I Can't Afford an Attorney for My Motorcycle Accident Claim?
Because it is understood that an accident victim is often burdened with medical bills while unable to work, the majority of personal injury attorney's help work on a contingency basis. This means that you do need to pay any fees upfront, and you won't need to pay anything out of pocket. Your attorney gets paid once your case settles in your favor and an award is issued to you. If you don't win your case, no money is owed. At Capital Injury Law, we can guide you through every step of the way and handle all aspects of your case so you have a better chance of winning. Give us a call at 360-209-3360 to get started.