Petrov Personal Injury Lawyers | June 8, 2022 | Motorcycle Accident
Motorcyclists face risks each time they ride. A motorcycle crash can cause catastrophic injuries and permanent impairments. In addition to the pain and suffering caused by the crash, the rider may experience a financial crisis because of high medical bills, lost wages, and other out-of-pocket expenses.
It can be challenging to deal with a motorcycle accident claim while recovering from injuries. The insurance company for the at-fault driver may pressure you to accept a settlement offer even before you complete medical treatment.
While hiring a lawyer after a motorcycle accident might not always be necessary, it is always wise to seek legal counsel. A good Vista motorcycle accident lawyer offers a free consultation so you can get upfront legal advice to decide the best way to handle your motorcycle accident claim.
Steps to Take After a Motorcycle Accident in California
Regardless of whether you hire a motorcycle accident lawyer, it is essential to take steps to protect your legal rights in California. Ways that you can protect your health and legal rights after a motorcycle crash include:
File a Police Report
Calling 911 is the quickest and easiest way to file an accident report after a motorcycle crash. Police officers and emergency medical services are dispatched to the accident scene.
Document the Accident Scene
Take pictures and make a video of the motorcycle crash. If people stop to assist you or you notice bystanders, ask them for their contact information. Eyewitness testimony can help prove liability for a motorcycle accident.
Seek Medical Treatment
Do not state that you are “fine, okay, or not injured” at the accident scene. Even if you feel okay, you need to be checked by a doctor. Delaying medical care can negatively impact the outcome of your motorcycle accident claim.
Do Not Provide Recorded Statements
The insurance company records most telephone calls. Therefore, you should state that you do not want to be recorded.
Insurance adjusters and claims representatives ask leading questions. You could say something innocent that has nothing to do with the wreck. However, that statement is intentionally misinterpreted by the insurance provider.
Avoid Signing Documents Without Legal Counsel
When you sign a settlement agreement, you give up your right to sue for damages. Even if you discover you need additional surgery or have another claim, you gave up the right to pursue more money for the motorcycle accident.
It is always wise to have a motorcycle accident lawyer review a settlement agreement and other documents before you sign them.
How Can a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Help Me?
Insurance companies try to intimidate accident victims. The goal is to settle the claim for as little money as possible before the person seeks legal advice.
The insurance company understands you do not have legal experience. It knows you may not understand how much money you are entitled to receive for a motorcycle accident claim. Therefore, it takes advantage of the situation to reduce how much it pays for your claim.
For example, some individuals may not realize they can recover money for diminished earning capacity if they sustain a permanent impairment. Likewise, they may not know the at-fault driver is also liable for non-economic damages, including pain and suffering.
During an initial consultation, the lawyer listens to what happened to you. Then, they explain your rights and legal options for recovering compensation from the at-fault driver and other parties. Finally, the attorney answers your questions and offers an honest assessment of your case.
When you hire a lawyer for a motorcycle accident case, you can expect the attorney to:
- Conduct an independent accident investigation to identify the factors that led to the crash and the parties responsible for those factors
- Gather evidence from the crash site, eyewitnesses, expert witnesses, and other sources
- File insurance claims and handles all communication with the insurance company
- Document your damages to calculate the maximum value for your claim
- Calculate the deadline for filing lawsuits according to California’s statute of limitations
- Fight allegations of contributory fault by insurance companies (shifting some of the blame for the crash to the rider to avoid paying all damages)
- Negotiate a settlement with the insurance company
- File a lawsuit if the other parties refuse to negotiate a fair settlement amount
Personal injury lawyers have the resources and expertise that the average accident victim does not possess. Therefore, a lawyer is better equipped to fight an insurance company.
Your lawyer provides guidance, legal advice, and support throughout your case. As a result, you can focus on healing and getting your life back to normal while your lawyer focuses on obtaining a settlement for your injury claim.
Contact the North County Motorcycle Accident Lawyers at Petrov Personal Injury Lawyers for Help Today
We serve in North County, CA and its surrounding areas: