If you’ve been involved in a motorcycle accident and have suffered an injury as a result, it’s likely you have grounds to file a lawsuit. In order to file a lawsuit, you’ll need to have the evidence that the accident was the fault of the other driver and/or drivers. Essentially, that the other vehicle(s) violated their standard duty of care. Put simply, it means that the reckless behavior of the other driver was the proximate cause of the accident. Furthermore, you’ll need to have evidence of all the injuries you’ve sustained as a result of the motorcycle accident.
Filing a claim for an injury stemming from a motorcycle accident isn’t a short process. You must be aware that you may need to wait a long time before complete resolution of your claim.
Gathering Evidence of Your Motorcycle Accident Injury
Prior to contacting a motorcycle accident lawyer that’ll represent you throughout the entire lawsuit, you’ll need to gather evidence to present to your prospective lawyer. The following list of items is what you should have prepared prior to consulting with your prospective lawyer:
- Names and Contact Information for All Witnesses of the Accident
- Any Traffic Tickets That Were Issued To the Other Driver
- Copies of All Your Medical Records and Bills
- All Evidence That Supports You’re Lost Wages and Missed Work Days
- Copies of the Police Report That Gives the Details of the Accident
- Photos of the Accident Scene, Your Injuries and the Vehicles
Hiring a Motorcycle Accident Injury Lawyer
After you’ve gathered all of your evidence, you’ll want to contact a personal injury lawyer that will represent you in your lawsuit. Keep in mind that you don’t want just a general auto accident lawyer, but one that’s experienced specifically with motorcycle accident lawsuits. At the Doan Law Firm we’re not only specialists in motorcycle law/lawsuits, we’re also motorcycle riders and enthusiasts.
The most important part about your relationship with yourself and your lawyer is that you feel comfortable in working with them and that they have the proper level of experience. Essentially, a law firm that specializes in motorcycle accident personal injury cases, not just personal injury as they’ll be able to ensure that you are adequately represented and get you the compensation that you deserve.
After you’ve found the lawyer to represent you, they’ll begin the process of filing your motorcycle accident lawsuit.
Sending the Demand Letter
After your lawyer has all of the documents and information for your case your lawyer will review all of the documents in what’s called the investigation phase. Your lawyer will ask you many questions regarding what occurred, including:
- Your General Driving Record
- The Accident
- Your Injuries
After enough information has been collected, your lawyer will then begin the negotiation process with the other driver’s insurance company. In order to initiate this process your lawyer will put together and send a demand letter. Demand letters inform the insurance company of:
- Present and Expected Future Medical Expenses
- Your Intention to Sue
- The Severity of Your Injuries
- The Monetary Amount That You’d Be Willing to Settle At
The insurance company is then given a chance to provide their response. If their response is a favorable one your lawyer and you will be able to settle the claim. If the response isn’t favorable, your lawyer will then file a claim at the courthouse in order to begin the initiation of the lawsuit.
Proceeding to Trial
The last stage of a motorcycle injury lawsuit is the trial stage. Often cases will be settled prior to them ever having to reach trial, however, if you do end up at trial, the process itself can be very long an drawn out.
At the start of a trial there is jury selection. Jury selection is where the lawyers select a panel of your peers and they’ll determine the outcome of the lawsuit. There are also instances where your case won’t be heard in front of a jury, but rather a bench trial where the judge that hears the case will decide the outcome. After the jury has been seated (or the bench trial determination has been made) both your attorney and the defense attorney will give their opening statement which serves to establish the facts and arguments they’ll present during the trial.
Witnesses are able to be called to testify in court by either your lawyer (plaintiff’s lawyer) or the defense. Once called they’ll take the stand and both sides will have the opportunity to ask questions, witnesses in the trial can also include you, so prepare yourself to testify at your own trial.
At the conclusion of the testimony, both the plaintiff and defense lawyers will give their closing (final) arguments. Closing arguments are essentially the closing statement in which they’ll summarize the points made throughout the trial. After closing arguments the judge will give the directives and send the jury to deliberate and then the jury will return with the verdict.