Motorcycle accidents are often catastrophic. They typically change the lives of the victims, as well as their families. Litigating a motorcycle accident case can be very overwhelming, as there are many issues that can arise with regard to liability and proving damages. For these, and many other reasons, the benefits of having an attorney after a motorcycle accident should not be overlooked.
What to do immediately after the accident
Until you have the opportunity to consult with an attorney, there are a few things you should know about how to handle yourself, after you have been involved in a motorcycle accident. First, don’t sign anything without consulting an attorney first. If you do, you may jeopardize your chances to recover for your injuries. If you are approached by an insurance company, do not allow them to take a recorded interview. You have the legal right to refuse.
Why do I need an attorney?
Besides the obvious fact that the legal process can be confusing and complicated, with various deadlines and documents to file, the insurance companies that generally represent the at-fault drivers are very aggressive. Their goal is to settle the case for as little as possible, and they know how to accomplish that goal with an unsuspecting victim. An experienced personal injury attorney, familiar with the specific issues common to motorcycle accident cases, will be better suited for handling the tactics of the big insurance companies.
What benefits do attorneys provide?
There are many aspects of litigating a motorcycle accident case that an attorney will handle. The importance of preserving evidence cannot be overstated. An attorney will send investigators to the scene of the accident to gather the evidence necessary to establish liability. Gathering evidence is one of the most important first steps in litigating a motorcycle accident case. Of course, your attorney will handle all of the drafting and filing of necessary paperwork, and dealing with the requests from insurance companies.
Overcoming bias against motorcyclists
Another issue that may be more specific in motorcycle accident cases is the personal bias many people have against motorcyclists in general. This may be due to stereotypes or simply a lack of familiarity with the culture of bikers. Nevertheless, these preconceived notions or judgments against motorcyclists should not be allowed to play a role in obtaining the appropriate compensation for victims of a motorcycle accident.
The reality is that even jury members are not immune to these unfounded biases, and may be less likely to award an appropriate verdict to a motorcyclist, even if liability is clear. Because of this, it can often be difficult to reach a proper settlement of these cases before trial. The need to establish a concrete case for liability can be even more important for an injured motorcyclist.
If you have questions regarding motorcycle accidents, or any other personal injury issues, call the Cottrell Law Office at (888) 433-4861.
He is licensed to practice law in the United States District Court for the District of Kansas, eastern Arkansas, western Arkansas, and western Missouri. He was Deputy Prosecuting Attorney in Crawford County, Kansas from 1987-1989.
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