How to Choose a Motorcycle Accident Attorney

​Many people assume motorcyclists are reckless and are automatically at fault for crashes. However, this is usually not the case. Motorcyclists are regularly victims of the conduct of negligent drivers. Motorcycles are vehicles, and the law allows riders to use the road like any other vehicle. However, they are at risk of suffering serious injuries at the hands of others.

Car and truck drivers can act negligently and instantly change a motorcycle rider’s life. When you are in a motorcycle accident, you have important legal rights and many decisions to make. One of the most important decisions is to hire an experienced motorcycle accident attorney to represent you.

While it might seem tempting to handle the process on your own, having the right legal help is often the difference between suffering physically and financially or receiving total compensation for all your losses. Reach out to a motorcycle accident lawyer as soon as possible following your accident, and read on for more information about finding the right attorney for your case.

Choosing a Lawyer After a Motorcycle Accident

If deciding to seek the guidance of a motorcycle accident attorney was difficult, you may feel even more overwhelmed deciding which motorcycle accident attorney you want to represent you. While there is no right or wrong way to choose an attorney, the process should involve a free consultation – possibly with more than one attorney.

Experience Handling Motorcycle Accidents

Just like with every other professional, experience matters. You want representation from someone with the appropriate amount of experience. Motorcycle accident claims are different from other types of accident and injury accident claims. They require special skills, training, and knowledge about motorcycles and relevant laws. You want to make sure that your motorcycle accident has an adequate amount of experience handling motorcycle accident insurance claims and lawsuits.

Review Their Track Record

Another important factor you want to consider is the motorcycle accident attorney’s past track record of success handling motorcycle accident claims. An attorney might handle hundreds of motorcycle accident cases and lose most of those cases. This is not the attorney for you.

You want to ask about the results of the motorcycle accident attorney’s previous cases, especially those involving injuries similar to yours. You also want to make a mental note of whether the motorcycle accident attorney has a proven track record with both settlements and verdicts. While most motorcycle accident claims result in a settlement, you want to hire an attorney who is not afraid to take your lawsuit to trial if necessary.

Ability to Effectively Communicate

You want a motorcycle accident attorney with the ability to communicate effectively. Communication is a very important skill set that attorneys should possess, but not all do. Many changes can happen within a motorcycle accident case, and you should be aware of them.

When your motorcycle accident attorney cannot be bothered to communicate with you regarding your case, that is a huge red flag. It should let you know that your attorney does not value your case or time and will only treat you as another paycheck.

Suppose you hire a motorcycle accident attorney from a large law firm. In that case, you want to ask questions about how they will remain in communication with you or who will ultimately handle your case.

Large law firms might have several attorneys or paralegals working on the same case, and you might not reach or speak with the attorney you initially met with and hired. You do not want an attorney who will be too busy or unavailable to give your case the attention it deserves.

Contingency Fees

Because motorcycle accidents are personal injury cases, your motorcycle accident attorney should work on a contingency fee basis. A contingency fee arrangement is a common method that many personal injury lawyers use, which allows injury victims to afford high-quality representation without coming up with legal fees out of pocket.

With a contingency fee, attorneys agree to represent you in exchange for a portion of your compensation if you succeed in your case. You only have to pay the attorneys’ fees when you receive compensation from your claim. You want to make sure you ask your motorcycle accident how their contingency fee arrangement works and understand the terms before you sign a contract.

A Strong Professional Reputation

Every attorney should be searchable under their state bar association. You want to ensure that your motorcycle accident attorney is in good standing without ethical issues or complaints. Past problems with the state bar should warn that similar issues might arise in your case. You can find this information with a quick online search before you even meet with the lawyer.

Satisfied Clients

You can get a strong idea of the lawyer’s representation from what past clients say. If you find reviews online by past clients who had high satisfaction with the attorney, it is a good indication of how the attorney will handle your case. If you cannot find reviews online, you can ask the lawyer for some.

Ask Family, Friends, and Clients for Referrals

If you are struggling to know where to start in finding the right motorcycle accident attorney, you can ask for possible referrals from your family or friends. There is a good chance that at least someone in your family or your inner circle hired a personal injury lawyer in your area. If that personal injury lawyer does not handle motorcycle accident cases, they can likely refer your case to someone they trust.

Be careful with suggestions from family and friends, however. If someone had a divorce or criminal case, that lawyer might agree to handle your case. They are not the right attorney for you if they do not have the right experience with motorcycle accidents. Just because they handle other legal matters successfully does not mean they should represent you following your motorcycle injuries. They should refer your case to someone else if they do not have the necessary experience or resources.

Your Personal Preference

Hiring a lawyer is a personal choice. When you meet for your free consultation, feel free to ask all the questions you want. You might have aspects of representation that are important to you, and you should inquire about these. If you get a feeling one way or the other about a particular lawyer, go with your gut. You can always seek a free consultation with another attorney if the first one does not feel like the right fit.

Motorcycle Accidents Due to Other Motorists

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) reported that 5,579 motorcycle riders died in motorcycle accidents in a recent year in the United States, and many more suffered severe injuries. Contrary to what many people believe, most of these accidents result from another driver’s negligence.

The small stature of a motorcycle makes it more difficult for drivers to notice motorcyclists on the road. When you combine this with the failure to pay attention by many drivers, it can lead to serious motorcycle accidents. Other motorists might engage in the following behaviors – and many more – that seriously injure motorcycle riders.

Sudden Lane Changes

Sudden lane changes are one of the most dangerous actions contributing to a motorcycle accident. Motorists must check their blind spots before proceeding to turn into another lane. Because motorcycle riders are smaller, a car driver can easily fail to check their blind spot and turn into another lane the motorcycle rider is traveling in. This can cause a collision or run the motorcyclist off the road.

Opening Car Doors

Car drivers do not even have to be driving to cause harm to motorcycle riders. Drivers and passengers in a vehicle can harm motorcycle riders by abruptly opening their doors without looking. Just like they should check blind spots, drivers must constantly search their surroundings for motorcycle riders, especially when parked along a road where oncoming traffic is passing by. Motorcycle riders can unexpectedly slam into a driver or passenger’s car door, causing serious injuries.

Making Left Turns without Checking for Motorcycles

One of the most common accidents involving motorcycle riders and other motorists happens when cars make left turns. Like most motorcycle accidents due to car drivers, these accidents happen when drivers fail to notice the presence of motorcycle riders in oncoming lanes.

Even though drivers must often yield the right of way to other drivers before making a left turn, some will also attempt to beat the motorcycle rider in the next lane by cutting the rider off. This can cause a motorcyclist to collide into the car or swerve and lay their bike down, which can result in severe injuries.

Traffic Law Violations

Other motorists can contribute to several motorcycle accidents when they deliberately ignore traffic laws and signals.

Some traffic violations that can increase the chances of a motorcycle accident include:

  • Following too closely behind a motorcycle
  • Speeding
  • Improper lane changes and cutting motorcycle riders off
  • Outright failing to stop at a traffic signal or stop sign
  • Texting and driving
  • Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs

There are many other unlawful or negligent acts a driver can engage in, leading to a motorcycle crash. Discuss the cause of your accident with a motorcycle accident attorney to know your rights.

Fighting for Your Legal Rights

As a motorcycle rider, you are the motorist who is most at risk of suffering severe injuries. Unlike a car or a truck, your motorcycle has a noticeable lack of protective structure around it. That means you are more likely to absorb most of an impact in a crash. You are more likely to suffer serious injuries like spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, crushed limbs, broken bones, and irreparable nerve damage.

To obtain compensation for these serious injuries, you must file a claim against the liable driver, and you need a lawyer to do the following to protect your rights.

Establish Liability

To receive compensation for your injuries, you must establish the other driver’s liability. Liability is a party’s legal responsibility towards you when they commit a wrongful act and cause harm. In the case of your motorcycle accident, the other driver can be liable for your injuries when their negligent behaviors directly cause your accident. Other parties might also be liable, such as the driver’s employer if they were on the job.

Fight Against Insurance Companies

In addition to worrying about proving liability in your lawsuit, you must counter the arguments the insurance company will make to reduce or deny your claim. Insurance companies can fight dirty to avoid making a payout on motorcycle accident claims.

Because motorcycle riders already have a negative reputation to overcome with some people, insurance companies will accuse riders of being reckless while riding, even when their clients are the at-fault drivers in the accident. You need a lawyer who will fight against accusations of your own fault.

Speak with A Qualified Motorcycle Accident Attorney Today

When you have serious injuries from a motorcycle accident, you have the same rights as any other injured motorist. You deserve to obtain compensation from the person who caused your accident. To give yourself a greater chance of receiving the compensation you deserve, make sure to do your due diligence and seek the right motorcycle accident attorney who can help in your fight for compensation.

You only have a limited window to file a claim for compensation. If you miss that window, you might not see a dime from the at-fault party or might receive pennies on the dollar. Speak to a motorcycle accident attorney today to protect your rights after a crash.

Contact us to start with a free case evaluation when you can learn about your legal options and ask questions to determine whether a lawyer is right for you. If you need multiple consultations, you can seek them free of charge or obligation.

September 22, 2022
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