When drivers are on the road, they have thousands of pounds of metal protecting them from anything that might happen, not to mention airbags and seatbelts. Motorcyclists don’t have the same level of protection. Motorcyclists are much more likely to suffer a serious injury in a crash than a car passenger.
If someone else caused your motorcycle crash, you shouldn’t have to pay for their negligence. Our personal injury lawyers in Gainesville at John Foy & Associates can represent you and help you get the compensation that you deserve. Learn more about filing your claim today.
When to Hire a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer in Gainesville
Not all accidents necessitate getting the help of a lawyer. There is no legal obligation for claimants to have an attorney file their claim. And if you just have scrapes and bruises, chances are you can do it on your own.
However, if you have high medical bills, time missed at work, or if someone is trying to shift the blame to you, you may want to hire a Gainesville motorcycle accident attorney. Your situation is serious, and it merits serious help from someone who has extensive experience in motorcycle injury law.
With our firm, you don’t have to pay anything up front, so there’s no risk of paying legal fees for a claim that won’t get you any money. Personal injury lawyers get paid through contingency fees, so our payment only comes once you’ve gotten your compensation.
If you’re not sure whether you should get a lawyer for your case, you can always talk to someone from our firm for free. One of our personal injury lawyers can assess your case and tell you what options you have, as well as how we can help if you decide to hire us.
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How a Motorcycle Accident Attorney Can Help
When you hire an attorney to help with your case, you’re recruiting someone who can handle your claim from beginning to end. Your lawyer can be your primary point of contact, your advisor, and the person who defends you from predatory insurance adjusters and the other party’s lawyers.
When you get in contact with your lawyer, the first thing they will do for you is listen. At your initial consultation, your attorney will hear your story and tell you what they can do to get you as much compensation as possible. After that, they’ll get to work on your claim.
Things that your Gainesville motorcycle accident attorney at John Foy & Associates will do to help include:
- Investigating your accident. Your lawyer will gather evidence, interview witnesses, and talk to accident reconstruction experts to show exactly what happened in your crash.
- Calculating Your Damages. To prove that you deserve compensation and show how much compensation you should be paid, your attorney will tally up all the damages that you suffered due to your accident. They’ll use your bills, receipts, and other documents to do so.
- Deal with the insurance company. In most cases, the other driver’s insurance company is responsible for paying for your damages. They’ll fight to reduce your settlement, though, so it’s important to have a lawyer by your side who knows how to negotiate with them.
- Represent you in court if necessary. The truth is that most accident claims are settled before they become actual lawsuits. Sometimes, though, the insurance company refuses to settle. If your case goes to trial, your attorney will fight tirelessly to make sure your rights are represented in court.
Because every person’s case is different, we tailor our services to every client’s specific needs. You can talk to an attorney for free to find out how you can benefit from the help of a legal expert.
How Motorcycle Crashes Are Different than Other Accident Claims
Most motorists are aware of how motorcyclists get treated differently than other drivers. For one, motorcyclists have much less physical protection, which leads to higher damages. In fact, the Insurance Information Insitute (III) estimates that, in 2019, motorcyclists were 29 times more likely to die in an accident than car passengers.
That lack of protection extends off the road as well. In accident claims, motorcyclists face a certain level of bias from insurance companies and juries. People often think that motorcyclists are much bigger risk-takers than they actually are, and tend to assume that motorcyclists are at fault for accidents when they aren’t.
As a motorcyclist, you know that drivers can have a hard time seeing you and an even harder time giving you the correct amount of space on the road. You’re more likely to get in an accident and more likely to be severely injured. When someone else causes your medical bills and lost work, you don’t deserve to pay for those by yourself.
A lawyer who specializes in motorcycle accident claims can fight the bias you face and make sure you get a fair settlement from the insurance company. Don’t let yourself lose out on compensation just because someone wrongly believes you had fault in your crash.
Compensation in a Motorcycle Accident Case
When you file a claim to get compensation, the money that you receive will be based on the damages that the other party’s negligence caused. In most cases, those damages will be split into the categories of economic and non-economic.
Economic damages are exactly what they sound like – the financial toll that your accident imposed on your day-to-day life. Economic damages can include:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages due to missed work
- The cost of rehabilitation, physical therapy, and other ongoing treatment
- Repair expenses
To calculate the scope of your economic damages, your lawyer will look at any bills, receipts, and other documents that you may have received. Be sure to save anything that shows how much you have paid to recover from your accident.
Non-economic damages are less clear-cut. They cover any tolls on your quality of life and wellbeing due to your accident. Non-economic damages can include
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Loss of consortium, in the event that a loved one died in a motorcycle accident
To calculate your non-economic damages, your lawyer will still use your financial documents and receipts. Most of the time, pain, suffering, and other non-economic tolls are calculated by multiplying your non-economic damages by a number that is derived from the severity of your injuries.
Your multiplier and a number of other factors will decide how much compensation you get for your motorcycle accident. Because of that, it’s difficult to give a number for your settlement without first knowing the details of your case.
The best way to get a good understanding of how much compensation you might receive is to get a free consultation with an experienced Gainesville motorcycle accident lawyer. At that meeting, your attorney will evaluate your situation and give you an estimate as to how much you can expect to get from your claim.
Georgia’s Time Limit on Motorcycle Accident Claims
Every state imposes a deadline, known as the statute of limitations, on legal action for accidents. Georgia’s statute of limitations on accident claims is two years, according to the Official Code of Georgia Annotated (OCGA) § 9-3-33. That means you have two years from the date of your crash to file your claim.
Two years can sound like a long time, but it can go by quickly. It’s not so short that you need to take the insurance company’s first offer, but if you have any intention of getting a lawyer’s help, you should do so as soon as possible. It takes time to put together a strong claim, and some evidence goes away with time.
The sooner you get in touch with an attorney, the better your chances are of getting full compensation. Don’t hesitate to contact someone about your claim today.
Gainesville Motorcycle Accident FAQs
How Much Is My Claim Worth?
It’s hard to say how much your claim is worth without knowing the extent of your damages. Settlements can range widely, especially with motorcycle accident claims that can go from minor to severe very easily.
For example, if a motorcyclist crashes and experiences minor injuries like cuts, bruises, or whiplash, they still need medical attention, but their damages may be hundreds or thousands of dollars. However, if a motorcyclist needs weeks of intensive treatment after their crash, their compensation could be hundreds of thousands of dollars or more.
It all depends on what you have had to pay after your accident. You can get an idea of how much compensation you’re owed by tallying up your various bills and expenses that stem from your crash. You can get an even better idea by getting a free consultation with a motorcycle accident lawyer in Gainesville.
How Long does It Take to Get Compensation?
How long it takes to settle a motorcycle accident can depend on how complicated your case is and how much compensation you need. In general, most cases settle within six months to a year.
However, that period could possibly be longer. If you have expensive damages and need higher compensation, the insurance company may try to drag their feet to prolong your claims process. If they refuse to settle and you decide to file a lawsuit, that can extend the time frame significantly.
How Much does It Cost to Hire a Motorcycle Accident Attorney?
Here’s the thing about our attorneys: they don’t charge anything up front. Because we take contingency fees, we will never ask you to pay your full fee before you get compensation for your motorcycle accident. Instead, our payment comes out of a portion of your settlement.
Because of our contingency fees, you will never have to pay more for your lawyer than you get from your claim. The percentage of your settlement that goes towards fees will depend, however. More difficult, complicated, and drawn-out cases will most likely cost more, while simpler cases may mean less of a fee.
Before your attorney gets to work on your case, they will come to an agreement with you on what percentage of your compensation will go towards legal fees. When you win your claim, your check will go to your lawyer first, who will take their agreed-upon fee. They’ll then send the rest on to you.
Talk to a Motorcycle Accident Attorney in Gainesville Today
As a motorcyclist, you’re already at an increased risk of injury when you’re on the road. The last thing you need is a negligent driver making you crash and leaving you with thousands of dollars in medical bills and lost wages. Getting compensation can not only allow you to recover, but also hold them accountable for their actions.
The Gainesville motorcycle accident lawyers at John Foy & Associates are here to help you. Our experienced attorneys know how to negotiate with the insurance company to get you the best settlement possible.
Call us or contact us online to get a FREE consultation. Talking with a lawyer could be the first step towards moving on from your accident.