What questions s hould you be asking your motorcycle accident lawyer? The reality is that many motorcyclists involved in accidents fail to ask the right questions.
Motorcycle accidents are certainly one of the most common forms of accident with something over 4500 fatalities alone in the United States and close to 100,000 injuries sustained. You can therefore imagine that using a motorcycle injury attorney becomes central to the interests of those charged or those seeking to pursue claims relating to motorcycle accidents on the road, or off the road.
Here are some that you need to be asking whenever you have an issue that requires an attorney.
1. How much experience does a motorcycle accident lawyer need?
The most, if possible. Having said that you need to also consider the attitude, energy and “smarts” of the lawyer. There are very good lawyers who may not have a ton of experience but who can still do a good job. However, make sure you’re not getting a lawyer for your motorbike claim who is going to be using you as someone to build his own ‘motorbike claim miles’
2. Are motorcycle injury lawsuits much different from auto injury lawsuits generally?
They are different to the extent that the injuries sustained in motorcycle accidents are frequently considerably worse than auto accidents. That is one reason why a prompt investigation in a motorcycle accident is important.
3. How does motorcycle accident insurance handle medical expenses?
There is a key difference from auto insurance policies with motorcycle accident insurance as there is usually little to no coverage for medical expenses, which places the burden of payment onto health insurance or otherwise.
4. What about coverage for lost wages?
Typically there will be no cover for lost wages, although there may be coverage if you have disability insurance. A good motorcycle injury lawyer will ensure you make proper claim for lost earnings.
5. Should you sign an authorization permitting an insurance company to review your records?
The company will most often have the right to review records anyway, as might a responsible driver insurance company but in either case make sure you have your motorcycle injury attorney advise you after looking at the insurance policy or policies’ wording.
6. Are there specific laws that I need to worry about in this jurisdiction?
This can apply particularly to helmet laws and what is required of motorcyclists. Another particular law might relate to lane splitting and other related laws that may be very specific to where the accident happened and what the legal repercussions might be.
7. What sort of claim should I make?
Remember that different motorcycle accidents, like auto accidents, take different times to show what the extent of the injuries are. Sometimes, for instance, a brain injury may not show for weeks after the accident. You therefore need to make sure you are seeing a doctor as quickly as possible in order to properly assess your injury and therefore your claim.
8. How much should a claim be?
The amount of a claim will depend upon various factors and you’re able to claim a range of different costs including medical expenses (both present and past), lost wages, damage to property, pain and suffering, mental distress etc. A good motorcycle injury lawyer will be able to go through those potential claims with you and quantify what you can and should be seeking.
9. How to handle an insurance claim
Many of those injured in car or motorbike accidents will seek to settle with the insurance companies, but this is where a good lawyer is worth his or her weight in gold because they will investigate your claim thoroughly and ensure that you are not rushing to settle and therefore not receiving the full compensation required.
10. How long will my claim take?
Speed is important – not just when you may be “racing” your bike – but when you need to resolve a claim.
It is important that claims are taken as soon as possible because evidence can become lost or tainted and the sooner there is an investigation the sooner there can be a good result.
11. Can I handle the claim myself?
You can, but you might be mad to do so and insurance companies will enjoy it if you do because they know claims inside out and will undoubtedly take advantage of your inexperience.
The better course is always to go see a good motorcycle injury lawyer and get the best advice from him.