Motorcycle accidents occur every day. They happen to experienced motorcycle riders and those who are just learning how to ride. A motorcycle driver and rider can fall victim to an accident at any time of the day, for many different reasons. External factors can play a role in a motorcycle wreck just as easily as fault by the motorcycle driver or other drivers on the road.
When you are involved in a motorcycle accident, no matter who caused it, seek medical attention immediately. Motorcycle accidents can cause serious damage to the people on the motorcycle, even if the injuries are not immediately apparent. After you have been seen by a medical professional, consider the next steps you should take.
Some important things to consider when meeting with prospective attorneys include:
Experience. Representing motorcycle-accident victims requires unique skills and training, different from those required for regular car accidents and wrecks involving trucks and tractor-trailers. You will want to inquire about the attorney’s experience in motorcycle accident cases to determine how much of their practice is dedicated to this area. Investing in an experienced attorney will improve the quality of your representation and increase your chances of obtaining a successful settlement.
Trial practice. Most motorcycle-accident cases will end in settlement. This is because the time and expense of going through a trial can be significant. Most accident victims want to negotiated a fair settlement agreement. However, be cautious when attorneys are quick to recommend settlement, as this might not be the best option in your case for you to receive the compensation you deserve. Hiring an attorney who has little trial experience will not only hurt your case if it does go to trial, but it may encourage insurance companies to offer a lower amount for settlement, predicting that your inexperienced attorney will not want to take the case to trial.
Case success rate. In addition to experience in motorcycle accident cases, you will want to ask about the firm’s success in previous cases. This will exhibit the firm’s capability to bring a case to trial if necessary and its comprehensive knowledge of motorcycle accident recoveries. Some firms have past case information available on their website or keep a detailed list of the verdicts they’ve received in similar cases.
Cost. Many motorcycle-accident claims are handled on a contingency fee basis, which means that the attorney only gets paid when your case ends with a settlement or trial verdict in your favor. Discuss with your attorney the contingency fee policy of the firm in addition to any other expenses you may have to pay as a result of the attorney’s discovery and investigation process. Additional costs could include expert witness payments, court fees, and other litigation expenses. If you win your case, the costs will be deducted from the settlement or verdict. If you lose, you could be responsible for repaying the attorney out of your own pocket. It is important to weigh and discuss with your attorney the possible amount of recovery against the cost of pursuing the suit to determine if it is financially sensible to continue.