Motorcyclists face greater dangers on the road than their counterparts in passenger cars. Per vehicle miles traveled, motorcyclist fatalities were 29 times more common than fatalities for passenger car occupants in 2019. In that year, motorcycles accounted for just 3% of all vehicles in the U.S., yet motorcyclists made up 14% of all traffic fatalities. If you’re involved in a motorcycle accident, you could face significant expenses ranging from medical costs to time off from work to pain and suffering.
While you can accept a settlement from an insurance company, you will likely receive only a fraction of what you’re entitled to. Working with a motorcycle accident attorney is the best way to protect your interests and ensure you get the full compensation you deserve in the wake of your accident.
Proving Fault for a Motorcycle Accident
Nevada is a fault state for vehicle accidents and personal injury cases, meaning that the party at fault and their insurance company must pay for damages and injuries they’ve caused. To receive compensation following a motorcycle accident, you, as the plaintiff, must prove negligence, indicating that the defendant is at fault. Likewise, if the motorcycle rider was negligent, they will be liable for any damages or injuries caused to the other vehicles and individuals involved in the accident. If the motorcycle driver was not negligent, they could file a claim to cover their expenses.
To prove negligence, you must demonstrate that:
- The defendant did not conduct themselves in the manner of a reasonable person. They were not suitably careful.
- The actions of the defendant were directly responsible for the plaintiff’s injuries.
- The plaintiff suffered damages, losses, or injuries.
Working with an attorney will help you make the strongest case possible in all these areas. It’s important to know how to gather the proper documentation and proof to accurately demonstrate that the defendant is at fault and caused measurable damages. When speaking with potential lawyers for your case, pay close attention to their questions. A good lawyer will inquire about all three points above to ensure you have a solid case.
Covering All Your Costs
It’s easy to overlook some of the expenses associated with a motorcycle accident, particularly if you’re in the early stages of recovery. Medical expenses make up most of the costs in a motorcycle accident. Since motorcycle riders lack the protection of a car or other vehicles, they often suffer serious injuries when a crash occurs. Your medical costs may include the following:
- Visits to your general practitioner and specialists.
- Hospital bills.
- Diagnostic tests.
- Surgery costs.
- Prescription medications.
If you were seriously injured, you might have more than just these initial medical bills to contend with. You may also face costs associated with the following:
- Long-term care.
- Ongoing rehabilitation.
- Adaptations to make your home accessible after your injury.
- Compensation for lost wages due to time off from work from the injury.
- Pain and suffering damages associated with post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, fear, grief, and other emotions associated with the accident.
You will likely have costs associated with your motorcycle as well. This could range from minor repairs to a complete replacement.
When you speak with an attorney about your case, they should inquire about these potential expenses. The best attorneys can help you seek compensation for costs you would have overlooked. Make sure the professional you plan to hire touches on the points mentioned above.
Dealing With Bias
Experienced motorcycle accident attorneys know the potential for bias in these cases. Since motorcyclists face more dangers on the road, some drivers, insurance companies, and juries carry a natural bias toward them. These biased individuals may believe that motorcycle riders deserve less compensation because they willingly took on the risk of riding a motorcycle in the first place.
This is a difficult situation to deal with, but a skilled attorney can handle it properly by adhering to the letter of the law and reminding all involved that bias has no bearing on a legal case. When interviewing a potential attorney for your dispute, consider asking them how they deal with these biases.
Comparing Settlement Value With Trial Value
One of the most difficult decisions you’ll have to make following a motorcycle accident is whether you want to accept the settlement value offered by the insurance company or take the case to trial. A knowledgeable motorcycle accident attorney is extremely valuable in helping you to make this determination. The attorney can assess how much you can expect to get in a settlement and what you should anticipate if you win the trial. They will also give you essential information on the risks associated with your cases.
You’ll get the funds you need faster if you take a settlement. This is important if you’re facing immediate expenses you can’t pay. A trial can take years, which you may not be able to afford. The benefit of going to trial is that you will typically get a larger sum of money if you win the case.
Each case is different, and a lawyer can assist with both approaches. If you opt for a settlement, your lawyer will help you negotiate for the largest sum possible. They will most likely argue for all the associated costs in your case and make sure no points go overlooked. If you go to trial, your attorney is vital in helping to argue your case.
If you or someone you love was injured in a motorcycle accident, you deserve fair compensation for the incident. Contact our team at De Castroverde Accident & Injury Lawyers. We can provide you with a free case evaluation to determine the best steps forward. Our skilled attorneys will help you get the funds that you’re entitled to after a motorcycle accident case.