Although motorcycles only make up 3% of vehicles on the road, 14% of accidents involve motorcyclists. And unlike many people assume, the fault doesn’t always lie with the rider.
The majority of motorcycle accidents also involve another car or a truck. The reality is that many drivers don’t notice motorcycles on the road before it’s too late.
Motorcycle riders are also likely to come off worse in an accident, as they have far less protection than car drivers.
Have you been in an accident on your bike and are looking for a motorcycle accident attorney?
Whether you need to fight for just compensation from the other party’s insurance, or prove you’re not the at-fault party—you need to choose an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer who knows all the ins and outs of motorcycle accident claims.
Keep reading to find out 7 tips around hiring motorcycle accident lawyers.
1. Look for an Attorney Who Specializes in Motorbike Accidents
If you need legal help after a motorcycle crash, the first thing to do is look for an attorney who specifically specializes in motorcycle accidents.
Law is a nuanced field, and you’re likely to get far better results from a lawyer who handles motorcycle accidents regularly.
A general attorney might be able to provide you with decent help, to the best of their ability.
But a motorcycle accident lawyer will be far better equipped to handle the details of your case. They will have an in-depth knowledge of personal injury law as it pertains to motorcycle accidents and will be better able to prove your case.
A lawyer who specifically deals with motorcycle accidents will also have more experience negotiating motorcycle accident claims with insurance carriers.
2. Vet for Experience
Speaking of experience, this is another important element to vet for when looking for a motorcycle accident attorney. No matter the level of complexity of your case, you want to have a lawyer on your side who has multiple years of experience under their belt.
An experienced motorcycle accident lawyer will have more hands-on knowledge of motorcycle accident cases. They probably have dealt with similar cases to yours in the past, and can draw on this experience.
Experienced motorcycle accident attorneys will also have a wider network of expert witnesses to draw on. If you suffered injuries during your motorcycle accident, expert witnesses can prove to the court and jury how these are likely to affect you long-term.
Proving long-term health consequences, potential loss of income, and pain and suffering is pivotal for securing a just and fair settlement.
Finally, seasoned motorcycle accident lawyers will also have more experience dealing with insurance adjusters. Insurance carriers have entire legal teams on their payroll to fight claims.
A good motorcycle accident attorney knows just how to handle insurance adjusters. They will know when to settle, how much to settle for, and when to push for a higher claim. They’ll also know when it’s time to take the claim to court.
3. Check Online Reviews
When looking for any type of lawyer, it’s always a good idea to do some digging and make use of online reviews.
Online reviews can give you valuable insights into the track records of potential motorcycle accident attorneys. They can also give you an idea of the overall quality of customer service the legal firm provides.
When looking through reviews, try to gauge the overall trend. Are most of the reviews positive? Or do you see a string of complaints?
In general, it’s best not to focus on the outlier reviews. Some customers are impossible to please and will leave a negative review no matter how hopeless their case might be. Instead, look for reviews that offer balanced, informative feedback, and pay attention to the overall star rating.
Also, take into account how many reviews a potential law form or motorcycle accident attorney has. If a potential motorcycle accident law firm has dozens of reviews, you should be able to get a fair idea of the quality of its service.
On the other hand, if a motorcycle accident attorney has less than a dozen reviews, this might not give you a very clear picture. Low numbers of reviews can skew ratings and isn’t a fair representation of service quality.
4. Find Out the Details of Their Fee Structure
Another important tip when hiring a motorcycle accident attorney is to get very clear on their fee structure. If you’re facing injuries, damage to your motorcycle, or legal action—the last thing you need is a law firm that’s going to hit you with hidden fees around every corner.
To start, check the law firm’s website to see if they offer any information on their fee structure. If there’s nothing clear to go by, you can contact them and ask for a clear breakdown of their fees. If they can’t furnish you with a comprehensive, simple fee structure, and assure you that there aren’t hidden costs—move on.
There are many law firms out there that offer fair and accessible fee structures. For instance, here at Sweet Lawyers, we operate on a contingency fee. We also offer free consultations.
Because of this, you can hire us risk-free. Instead of billing you for every little thing while we fight your case, we assume the risk. If we don’t win your case, we don’t get paid. Simple as that.
5. Get Clear on Communication Frequency
Before you hire a motorcycle accident attorney, you should also verify what communication frequency/availability you can expect. You don’t want to hire a lawyer who you can’t get hold of when you have important questions.
You also don’t want to hire a lawyer who charges you per second every time you speak to them.
To avoid frustration—and extra charges—ask the firm outright how frequently you will be able to speak to your lawyer. If they can’t give you a clear answer, this isn’t a good sign. Even if you can’t speak to your lawyer round the clock, there should be someone on hand to refer to.
We understand how important your claim is, which is why Sweet Lawyers is available 24/7.
6. Pick a Lawyer Who’s Willing to Go to Court
Last but not least, look for a lawyer who’s got the mettle to go to court if your case requires this. Stats show that a mere 1% to 2% of all civil cases end up in court.
Because of this, a lot of lawyers have next-to-no court experience, and might even be averse to carrying your case through to court proceedings. If you have a skilled lawyer, most cases can be settled out of court, but it’s still good to know that if push comes to shove, your attorney will have the skills and experience to fight insurers right into the courtroom.
It’s also good for the other party to know this. If an insurance company deals with a lawyer who they know probably won’t take a claim to court, they might push harder for a lowball settlement.
On the other hand, if the carrier’s legal team is dealing with a lawyer who’s not scared to fight the case in court—they may offer a fairer settlement amount in the early stages.
Defending a case in court is far more costly for an insurance company than settling a claim through negotiations. Even though your adjuster might make it sound like they’re unfazed by the prospect of you taking your claim to court, this is usually just a bluff. They might say things like “If you aren’t happy with the settlement amount you’re welcome to try your case in court.”
These types of statements are usually a calculated way to make you think your claim doesn’t have a high chance of success, and that the amount they’re offering is a fair settlement for your injuries.
If you hire an attorney who’ll relentlessly pursue a fair settlement, the insurance company may come to the table fairly quickly to avoid the costs of the court process.
7. Don’t Let Your Adjuster Discourage You From Hiring a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
Finally, if you’re thinking of hiring a motorcycle lawyer, don’t let your adjuster dissuade you from this decision. Insurance adjusters will often subtly discourage claimants from hiring legal help.
They might tell you that hiring a lawyer isn’t necessary, it’s a waste of money, or it won’t materially help your case. Your adjuster might even tell you that bringing on a lawyer will slow down your claim.
None of these statements are correct, and you’re perfectly within your rights to hire an attorney. Not only is it your right to get legal help, but it usually means you’ll get a higher settlement.
Insurance companies know that you mean business when you hire an attorney. They also can’t manipulate, stall, and delay an attorney the way they can with consumers. An experienced accident lawyer knows all the tricks insurance companies employ, and won’t fall for them.
Are You Looking for an Experienced Motorcycle Accident Attorney?
If you need a motorcycle accident attorney, the key things to look for are experience and specialization. You should also look for a fair fee structure and get clear on communication frequency.
Are you in need of an experienced motorcycle lawyer? If yes, you’ve come to the right place.
For us, personal injury cases are more than just a claim. It’s about helping people. Besides winning your case, we aim to maximize your recovery, give you peace of mind, and facilitate a bright future.
Contact us today to discuss your case at no cost.