Frequently Asked Questions
If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident that was caused by someone else’s negligence, you undoubtedly have questions that need answering. Consider all of the following.
Many motorcycle accident victims are concerned about the cost of hiring an experienced attorney, but the fact is that reputable motorcycle accident lawyers work on what is known as contingency fees. This means their payment is contingent upon – or based upon – the settlement you receive from the insurance company or the compensation you are awarded by the court (a predetermined percentage of which will go to your attorney as payment).
Every motorcycle accident claim is utterly unique to the circumstances involved, and there is no way to determine the outcome beforehand. That said, however, having the professional legal counsel of a dedicated motorcycle accident attorney on your side greatly increases the odds that your claim will successfully make its way through the complicated negotiation process and reap the compensation to which you are entitled.
While there is no requirement that you speak to an attorney if you have been injured in a motorcycle accident, it is in you and your case’s best interest to do so. The impact of a motorcycle accident can leave you seriously injured, and serious injuries can lead to complications and to secondary health issues in your future. Obtaining compensation that addresses these potential eventualities is very difficult to do without the focused experience of a formidable motorcycle accident attorney in your corner.
It is very easy to doubt yourself after you have been injured in a motorcycle accident, but this does not necessarily mean that you share fault. Even if you are partially responsible for the accident, this does not preclude you from obtaining compensation for your damages. California is a pure comparative negligence state – this means there is no cap on how much of the fault you can share before you are barred from compensation (unless you are found 100 percent responsible). Your compensation will simply be reduced by the percentage for which you are determined to be responsible.
Motorcycle accident claims are complicated, and obtaining your rightful compensation hinges upon your ability to successfully make your way through the process. A dedicated motorcycle accident attorney will provide you with all of the following essential services:
- Building your strongest claim
- Skillfully negotiating with the insurance company on your behalf
- Filing your case with the court if negotiations stall or fail to offer you adequate compensation
- Ensuring that your claim is timely and in accordance with all legal requirements
- Procuring expert witnesses in defense of your case
While police reports tend to be important to personal injury claims, they are not always correct. The officer who made the report did not witness the accident and has no factual knowledge about it – other than any obvious evidence and what he or she is told at the scene. Unless the accident leads to significant injury, the officer may not be incredibly interested in the report’s accuracy. Further, officers – and others – may have a bias regarding motorcyclists’ propensity to be at fault in the first place, which can be difficult to overcome. Whatever the reason, if your accident report falsely identifies you as being responsible for the accident, you need an intrepid motorcycle accident attorney to fight the erroneous finding.
While it may be clear to you that the injury-causing accident was someone else’s fault, this does not mean that the insurance company is going to agree with you. In fact, the insurance company is very motivated to find discrepancies in your take on the matter, and you are always better off with a dedicated lawyer on board.
You are not required to give the insurance company an official statement, and you are well advised to leave this matter to your experienced motorcycle accident attorney.
The vast majority of motorcycle accident claims are settled out of court, and it is very likely that yours will be, too. If the insurance company refuses to negotiate in good faith, your knowledgeable motorcycle accident attorney may determine that filing a lawsuit is your best path forward.
The statute of limitations in California for filing a motorcycle accident case is two years from the date of the accident (three years for property damage). First, however, you will need to file your claim with the insurance company, which can be a long, involved process. If the insurance claim process fails to deliver the compensation to which you are entitled, you’ll need to file your case within this two-year window.