82,528 motorcyclists were injured in crashes in 2020.
Motorcycle accidents can be physically and financially devastating. You could be entitled to compensation but you might not even know where to start. How do you know when to hire a lawyer?
Keep reading to learn more about how to know when you need a motorcycle accident attorney after a crash.
Your Injuries Are Severe
Anytime you are injured in a motorcycle accident, you should talk to a motorcycle accident lawyer. This is especially true if your injuries are severe.
Motorcycle accident injuries tend to be more serious than other vehicle accidents. The more severe your injuries, the longer you will need treatment and the more damage you will incur.
Motorcycle accident attorneys can help you recover the compensation you deserve.
You Were Hospitalized
If you were hospitalized after a motorcycle accident, you need a motorcycle accident attorney. Hospitalizations indicate severe injuries and your medical expenses from a hospital stay are likely to be high.
If you were in the ICU, you will likely need rehab, which will add to your medical expenses as well as pain and suffering. Motorcycle accident lawyers can start working on your case right away while you focus on recovering.
You Need Extensive Treatment
It’s not uncommon for victims of motorcycle accidents to need extensive medical treatment. Not only will a lengthy treatment period lead to medical bills piling up, but you will likely miss work to attend appointments and recover.
Motorcycle accident attorneys understand the impact of lost wages when you need them most. In most cases, you won’t be able to resolve your case until you are done treating your injuries. You want to be sure not to miss any important claim deadlines like the statute of limitations, which is 2 years in Arizona.
When you hire a motorcycle accident attorney, you don’t have to worry about jumping through legal hoops. You can trust your attorney to manage your case and protect your right to pursue compensation when your injuries have healed as much as possible or to the point of maximum medical improvement.
Your Injuries Are Permanent
Sometimes injuries in motorcycle accidents lead to permanent impairment or disability. If this is the case, you need a motorcycle accident lawyer.
Permanent injuries make cases more difficult and higher damages make insurance companies more likely to try to devalue or deny your claim. Cases involving permanent injuries often end up going to court. You need a motorcycle accident attorney who is capable of taking your case to trial if you can’t reach a fair settlement.
Trials involving permanent injuries are tricky and impossible to navigate on your own. The insurance company will hire its own experts to try to disprove your claim. An experienced lawyer will know what kind of documentation the court is looking for from your own medical team to win your case.
You’ve Missed Work
If you’ve missed work following a motorcycle accident and you’re not getting paid, you need to talk to a motorcycle accident lawyer.
Motorcycle accident injuries often cause victims to miss a lot of work and their paid time off runs out before they’ve recovered. You might also miss work to attend doctors’ appointments, physical therapy, and receive treatment.
You might even have trouble getting to work due to a lack of transportation. You are entitled to pursue compensation for your economic damages after a motorcycle accident including lost wages.
You should also know that motorcycle accident attorneys work on a contingency fee basis. They understand the position that motorcycle accident victims are in and don’t expect you to pay upfront. You will only pay if and when your lawyer wins your case.
If medical bills are piling up and you’re not getting paid because of the accident, talking to a lawyer is free and can give you a better idea of what you may be able to recover.
You Can’t Work
Many victims of motorcycle accidents can never work in the same capacity again due to permanent injuries. If you can’t perform the duties of the job you had before the accident or you can’t do any job, you need a motorcycle accident attorney.
Proving permanent disability and inability to work is difficult, but not impossible with the right legal team. Economic damages that you can recover after a motorcycle accident include future wages. This means that you can pursue the wages that you were expecting to earn but no longer can because of your injuries.
You Were Partially At Fault for the Accident
If you were partially at fault for the accident, you can still recover damages.
Arizona follows a pure comparative model of negligence. This means that you can recover damages if you were partially at fault for the accident. But it also means that the other party can pursue you for their damages as well.
For example, let’s pretend you were 25% at fault for the accident and the other party was 75% at fault.
You can pursue the other party for 75% of your damages. But the other party can also pursue you for 25% of their damages.
As you can see, this can get messy. Insurance companies are quick to assign fault to victims so they can pay out less in claims. If they paid out under their insured’s first-party coverage for property damage or medical expenses, they may come after your insurance company for reimbursement.
The best thing you can do is hire a motorcycle accident law firm to manage your case for you. Your lawyer will fight to get you the maximum possible compensation and ensure you aren’t held liable when you weren’t responsible.
Liability is Being Questioned
If you weren’t at fault for the accident, but liability is being questioned by the insurance company for the at-fault driver, you need to talk to a lawyer as soon as possible.
Many situations can cause liability to be doubtful. These include the at-fault driver changing their story, a lack of police report, errors in the police report, errors in medical records, and dishonest insurance adjusters.
Insurance adjusters often take advantage of unrepresented victims and try to get them to say and do things that can hurt their case. This includes providing a recorded statement and signing a medical release form. Insurance companies will scrutinize every aspect of your claim and try to find anything they can use against you.
They may twist your words and try to blame you for the accident. This is why it’s so important to hire a motorcycle accident attorney right away.
You should never talk to insurance companies on your own. But if you already have, it’s not too late. Motorcycle accident lawyers with experience handling cases like yours know what needs to be done to prove who was liable for the accident.
You Don’t Know Who is Responsible
Sometimes it’s not clear who was at fault. When this is the case, you should talk to an experienced accident attorney as soon as possible.
Your motorcycle accident attorney will conduct a liability investigation that you wouldn’t be able to do on your own. Motorcycle accident lawyers work with investigators that have the experience and resources necessary to get to the bottom of what happened and who was at fault.
More Than One Party is Involved
When you’re the victim of a motorcycle accident, you want to be sure every responsible party is held accountable for their negligence. But sometimes, it’s not obvious who these parties may be.
There may be more than one driver responsible for the accident, but there may also be other less obvious parties. For example, motorcycle accidents can be caused by defects in the motorcycle itself. When this is the case, the manufacturer, retailer, repair shop, and more may be held responsible for their negligence.
Property owners and government entities can be responsible when accidents are caused by factors like poor or inadequate signage, missing barriers or guardrails, potholes, uneven lanes, and poorly painted lines. If an accident occurs due to a premise defect, your lawyer will go after the property owner and/or manager.
When the stakes are high following a motorcycle accident, going after every responsible party is critical to getting the most compensation possible. The more parties that are involved, the more complicated the case becomes.
In Arizona, each responsible party has only several liabilities. This means that they are only responsible for the amount of damages that are proportional to their percentage of fault.
Victims must pursue each responsible party directly and parties are more likely to push the blame onto each other. This is why it’s so important to have a motorcycle accident attorney in Arizona.
A Government Entity is Involved
If one of the parties that may be responsible for the accident is a government entity, you need a motorcycle accident attorney who is experienced with local and state laws.
Pursuing a government entity is more difficult than a typical insurance company. For example, to make a claim against the City of Phoenix, AZ, you must file a notice of claim within 180 days of the accident.
You only have a year to file a lawsuit. If you miss one of these deadlines, you may lose your right to bring legal action.
The At-Fault Party Doesn’t Have Insurance
In an ideal world, drivers who cause accidents would always have enough insurance to cover the damages they cause. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case.
Arizona requires all motorists to carry liability coverage, but not everyone follows the law. It’s also possible for the at-fault party to be from another state or country with different insurance requirements.
If the at-fault party doesn’t have enough insurance or any insurance at all, you need a lawyer. You can recover compensation through other avenues.
For example, you may have uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage on your own policy. This type of insurance functions like third-party liability coverage, so you need a lawyer to prove your claim just like in any other case.
Your lawyer can also help you pursue the at-fault party directly.
The Insurance Company Isn’t Being Fair
Insurance companies are for-profit businesses. They make money by collecting premiums and lose money by paying claims. This is why they offer unfair settlements, especially to unrepresented claimants.
Insurance adjusters handle large volumes of claims and are instructed to close claims as quickly as possible. This often means offering lowball settlements to claimants to get them to go away. Insurance companies know you are desperate for financial relief after a motorcycle accident and think that you’ll take anything they offer.
Don’t make this mistake.
When you hire a motorcycle accident attorney, your lawyer will make sure you don’t get stuck with an unfair settlement. The fact of the matter is that insurance companies take victims who are represented by attorneys more seriously.
Having a motorcycle accident lawyer on your side also means you won’t make mistakes that could cost you your claim. It’s never too early or too late to talk to a lawyer.
Do You Need a Motorcycle Accident Attorney?
If you’ve been in a motorcycle accident and any of these scenarios sound familiar to you, you should talk to a motorcycle accident attorney.
We offer free, confidential consultations with no obligation to you. If we don’t win, you don’t pay.
We would love to talk to you about your case. Click here to schedule a consultation with an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer today.