Motorcycle accidents can result in horrific injuries to bikers and their passengers. By design, motorcycles are not equipped with the same safety features that other motorists enjoy. Without airbags or the frame of a vehicle to protect them in a crash, motorcyclists often bear the brunt of a collision and can sustain severe or even fatal injuries.
Were you hurt in a motorcycle accident caused by someone else’s carelessness? You could be entitled to be paid money from the at-fault driver’s insurance company as compensation for the expenses you incurred due to the accident, including medical bills, lost wages, property damage, and pain and suffering. Contact one of the proven experienced motorcycle accident attorneys at Davis, Saperstein & Salomon today for a free case review.
What Steps Should I Take After a Motorcycle Accident?
Knowing what steps to take after a motorcycle accident can help you protect your health and rights if you need to pursue an injury claim. You should:
- Call 911: This will summon paramedics and law enforcement to the accident scene.
- Collect evidence: Take photos or videos at the crash site. Include pictures of the vehicles involved from multiple angles, your injuries, and any environmental evidence (such as skid marks or road debris) that could be relevant to your case. Also, keep any medical bills, medical records, the police accident report, earnings statements, and other documentation related to the motorcycle accident.
- Seek medical attention: If you didn’t need emergency care, seek medical attention as soon as possible after the wreck. A doctor will conduct an examination to identify injuries and document them in your medical record. Some serious injuries may have a delayed onset, so it’s important to be examined even if you don’t notice any signs of immediate harm. Be sure to tell your doctors about any pain you are experiencing to any body parts.
- Stick to your medical plan: Be sure to follow your doctor’s treatment plan and attend every medical appointment. In an injury claim, it’s essential to show that you’re taking proper steps to recover.
- Keep a pain journal: Consider keeping a pain journal to document your injuries and the recovery process. This journal may provide helpful evidence to support your claim later.
- Don’t accept a quick settlement offer: The insurance company is not on your side. Insurance adjusters use all kinds of tactics to minimize their payouts. An aggressive insurance company tactic is to offer you a quick settlement, perhaps within days of the crash. It may be tempting, but the first settlement offer is rarely even close to what you are actually entitled to. Do not accept any offer until you talk to an experienced motorcycle accident attorney.
- Contact a motorcycle accident lawyer: At Davis, Saperstein & Salomon, our motorcycle accident attorneys will launch a full investigation into the crash and negotiate aggressively for maximum compensation from the insurance company. If your case does not settle and the facts are on your side, we will take them to court until they pay you what is fair and reasonable to compensate you for all of your pain, suffering, harm, and losses.
- Don’t discuss the accident online: It is best to refrain from talking about the motorcycle accident on social media until your claim is resolved. The insurance company will be looking for ways to reduce or deny your legitimate claim. Don’t give them extra help.
What Factors Impact a Motorcycle Accident Settlement?
Numerous factors are taken into consideration when calculating a motorcycle accident settlement, including:
- Severity of your injuries
- Financial losses related to the accident, such as medical bills and lost income
- Who is at fault for the crash
- Whether you are partly liable for the wreck
- Insurance policy limits
- Non-financial losses arising from the crash, such as pain and suffering
- Property damage
When Should I Hire a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer?
Motorcycle accidents can be challenging to investigate. Gathering and preserving vital evidence is a huge job that might be difficult to undertake while you’re recovering from your injuries. An experienced motorcycle accident lawyer can collect compelling evidence to build a strong case on your behalf.
It’s never too early to hire an experienced injury lawyer to represent you. The sooner, the better. In fact, valuable evidence including skid marks, eyewitness statements, surveillance video footage, and EMT records can be lost due to delays. And, if the other vehicle was driven for a state, county or municipality, you may have as little as 90 days to submit your claim.
Working with an attorney may also be your best bet for getting the full financial recovery you deserve. A good lawyer knows the tactics that insurance adjusters use. Basically, it is to “delay, deny, and defend” to minimize or deny your payout. Davis, Saperstein & Salomon’s attorneys understand that and will negotiate skillfully to get you the settlement you deserve to recoup your losses and ensure you are not under-compensated.
How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Motorcycle Accident Attorney?
At Davis, Saperstein & Salomon, we believe justice should be open to everyone, not just those with the means to pay. Being injured often results in loss of employment income. Without income, accident victims cannot afford to hire lawyers. That’s why we represent clients on a contingency fee basis. We only get paid if you get paid.
As contingency-fee lawyers, we get paid only if we win your case. You pay no upfront money to hire your legal team, which includes experienced lawyers, investigators, accident reconstruction experts, expert medical witnesses, and others. The legal fees and disbursements paid upon the successful conclusion of your case includes a legal team of over 20 lawyers, dozens of skilled staff members including case managers, illustrators, and consultants.
In New Jersey, contingency fee arrangements are regulated by N.J. Court Rule 1:21-7. Our payment will come from an agreed-upon percentage of the overall settlement. If we cannot recover compensation for you, then our attorneys will collect no fees from you.
Types of Money Damages You Can Recover in a Motorcycle Accident Settlement
Motorcycle accident victims can recover compensation for:
- Pain and suffering ― there is no minimum or maximum a jury can award
- Medical expenses, including hospital bills, physical therapy sessions, surgeries, procedures, tests, treatments, medications, and more
- Lost wages
- Lost earning capacity
- Property damage
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Punitive damages, if appropriate
How Long Do I Have to File a Motorcycle Accident Claim?
After a motorcycle accident, it’s wise to file a claim with the at-fault person’s insurance company as soon as possible. That way, there is still time to take your case to court if settlement talks fall through.
In New Jersey, you have two years from the date of the motorcycle accident to file a personal injury lawsuit. In New York, the statute of limitations is three years from the date of the crash.
But if the other driver was operating a publicly owned vehicle, you may have only 90 days to notify their employer of your intention to sue.