Some of the Common Motorcycle Accident and Injury Questions
How much insurance do I need?
The specific coverage you are required to carry varies by state. You can learn more about specific coverage requirements on our previous blog about the topic or you can contact us for a free motorcycle insurance policy review.
There may, however, be a difference between what’s legally required and what’s best for you. Minimum coverage can still leave you vulnerable in certain situations depending on the circumstances of your accident. Make sure you understand the risks of being underinsured before making a decision on your coverage.
Is an attorney necessary after a motorcycle accident?
Whether or not an attorney is necessary depends largely on your situation and how the insurance company is treating you.
When motorcyclists are injured in an accident, their medical costs, lost wages and pain and suffering can be extraordinarily high. The insurance company may try to shift the blame from the driver to the rider, regardless of what really happened. In those situations, an injured rider may have a better chance of receiving fair compensation with the help of a motorcycle accident injury lawyer.
If, on the other hand, only property was damaged in an accident, the insurance company is fairly valuing the damage and offering a justified claim settlement, the help of a lawyer is likely not necessary.
How long do I have to file a claim or lawsuit?
The statute of limitations is the amount of time you have between when an injury occurs and the lawsuit filing deadline. Most states have a two-year statute of limitation on injuries, including Virginia, West Virginia and Georgia; South Carolina and North Carolina have a three-year statute of limitations.
If you’ve been injured it’s usually best not to procrastinate on this deadline. Two or three years sounds like a long time, but it’s easy for photo evidence to get lost, memories to fade and complications to spring up.
Sometimes, however, there’s no way to avoid waiting to file. It can take years to discover the full extent of a serious injury, or to determine an injury you thought was minor at the time of the accidents is far more serious.
How much do lawyers cost? Why do some make it seem like they offer free representation?
Most personal injury attorneys, including those who represent injured riders, fight for clients on a “contingency fee” basis. Their compensation for representing you is contingent on them winning. Once your case is over, they get a previously agreed upon percentage – one third – of the settlement or verdict as compensation.
It’s hard to imagine the personal injury system working without a contingency fee basis in place. Some of the most powerful leverage insurance companies have when negotiating with injured people is their lack of monetary resources.
Even during good times, most people don’t have the spare money to hire a lawyer. Having a ton of medical bills and being unable to work due to injuries makes money even tighter for most injured motorcyclists.
How long do personal injury cases take?
There is unfortunately no one-size fits all answer for this question. If the insurance company is willing to settle, your case could be wrapped up in a matter of months. If a trial is necessary or your injuries are so severe that it’s unclear exactly how much your medical costs will end up being in the future, it could take years.
Injured riders are often in tough financial situations after their accident, and they may not be able to afford months or years without money to cover bills or medical costs.
It’s important to keep in mind that getting just a fraction of what you’ll need right away is like putting a little Band-Aid on a compound fracture. A $10,000 insurance settlement may help pay for medical costs and bills for a few months, but what if your long-term recovery and care costs are closer to $200,000?
It’s important to understand the scope and true cost of injuries, recovery and how they may affect the injured person’s livelihood and quality of life before determining what fair compensation entails.
Your attorneys may be able to help you find temporary funding in the meantime to help you cover your family’s immediate costs.
Are there limits on how much I can recover?
The other driver’s policy limits often play a significant role in exactly how much you’ll be able to recover. If the responsible driver’s bodily injury coverage limit is $30,000, you may only be able to recover $30,000 from that driver.
There are some cases where additional defendants can be named. If the negligent driver was working at the time of the accident you may be able to name their employer as an additional defendant.
These frequently inadequately low policy limits are why being adequately insured, especially with underinsured motorist coverage, can be so important for riders who if properly insured can turn to their own policies for additional coverage. If you’re worried that your coverage doesn’t provide the protection you need, request a free motorcycle insurance policy review from the Motorcycle Law Group.
What makes the Motorcycle Law Group different than any other auto accident injury law firm?
We’re not exaggerating with our tagline: “The firm that rides®”. Our lawyers are riders. They’ve studied every relevant motorcycle statute in Virginia, West Virginia, Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina. They’ve represented countless riders in negotiations with insurance companies and in front of juries during trials.
That experience is especially important because there are more challenges to overcome in a motorcycle injury case than there are in an auto accident injury case.
A lot of people have unfavorable opinions of riders and assume people on motorcycles are reckless. This predisposes some jurors to rule against injured riders, even if the accident was entirely not the rider’s fault. Insurance companies know these cases are harder and tend to offer less during settlement negotiations as a result; they think they can get away with it because they have the stronger hand.
Attorneys who are riders know the system and understand all these challenges. They go into motorcycle injury cases prepared to tackle each of these hurdles. No on the job training is necessary.