Since motorcycles do not provide the same degree of protection as other vehicles, motorcycle accidents are often serious (or even deadly). However, there are situations where you might be left with only minor injuries and/or bike damage. When that’s the case, should you still hire a motorcycle accident lawyer for a minor collision?
In general, it’s best to consult with a lawyer after any type of motorcycle accident. There are many reasons for this, which we’ll get into below.
You’ll Need to Know Your Legal Rights
No matter how serious your accident was, it’s important to know your legal rights. If you were not fully at fault for your motorcycle accident, you likely have a right to seek compensation (Georgia Code § 51-1-6). However, you will need to understand the best way to pursue that compensation and fight for your legal rights.
Hiring a motorcycle accident lawyer can take away any uncertainty you feel after an accident, even a minor one.
Your Injuries Might Still Be Serious
Even if you feel okay after your accident, your injuries might end up being more serious than you initially realize. This is why we always advise accident victims to see a doctor as soon as possible after the collision.
When you are in an accident, your body is flooded with adrenaline and other hormones that temporarily suppress pain so you can take action. As time passes, things even out and you might begin to feel more pain.
You will need to know the full extent of your injuries and medical costs before seeking compensation for your accident. Even if an accident seems minor at first, you might have more medical costs and missed wages down the road. If you contact a lawyer early on, they can help you be prepared for this.
You May Face Unfair Biases
Unfortunately, there are some common biases against motorcycle riders like:
- Motorcyclists always drive too fast
- They are reckless or thoughtless or
- It’s too hard to see them on the road
While unfounded, people may hold these types of opinions or judgments that can make it hard to get the recovery you deserve, even if your accident was minor and your damages are smaller than average. A motorcycle accident lawyer can fight for your rights and make sure you’re not treated unfairly.
The Insurance Settlement is Rarely High Enough
If the other driver was at fault for your motorcycle accident, they are legally liable for your damages. That usually means you can file a personal injury claim with the driver’s insurance company to seek compensation for your damages. However, insurance companies don’t make it that easy.
Insurance companies routinely deny claims or offer a lowball settlement after an accident. If your claim gets denied, you should definitely contact a lawyer for help. If you get offered a settlement that is too low, do not take it or assume that’s the best you can do.
A motorcycle accident lawyer can determine what your damages are worth and negotiate for a settlement that actually covers them. If the insurance company sees that you are representing yourself, they are typically less likely to negotiate. You’re more likely to get a fair offer if you have an experienced lawyer on your case.
Liability is Not Always Straightforward
Sometimes, it’s clear who is responsible for a motorcycle accident. Other times, liability is not clear. Even if your injuries or vehicle damage were minor, it might be hard to prove that the at-fault party caused your damages.
If there is any chance of a dispute about who was at fault, you’ll want to hire a motorcycle accident lawyer. A lawyer will know how to fight against any tactics used to try pushing liability on you or reducing what you are owed.
Most Motorcycle Accident Lawyers Work on Contingency
Many motorcycle accident victims are hesitant to hire a lawyer because they’re worried about cost. Thankfully, most personal injury lawyers—including motorcycle accident lawyers—work on contingency. This means that:
- There is no upfront fee.
- They do not charge a fee unless they win you a settlement or award.
- If they win you money, the lawyer’s fee is simply taken as a percentage of what you win (so, no out-of-pocket costs).
You can begin working with your lawyer immediately and not worry about the costs of hiring them. In other words, there’s no harm in working with a lawyer to get help seeking compensation. Plus, most motorcycle accident lawyers start with a free consultation so you can meet with them and discuss the options first.
At John Foy & Associates, we never take a fee unless we win you money—and the consultation is always FREE. To schedule your FREE consultation today, call us at (404) 400-4000 or contact us online. During the consultation, we can let you know whether or not your case needs the help of a lawyer.
Should You Ever Handle Your Case Alone?
The only time to really consider handling your own case is if you had no injuries, just vehicle damage, or incredibly minor injuries. Minor accidents are less likely to result in non-economic damages like pain and suffering, which can make things complicated. You might be able to file a claim without the help of an attorney, but you might still run into some of the issues we’ve described above.
To fully protect your legal rights and make sure your case is being treated fairly, it’s truly best to contact a lawyer first. You can speak to them about the details, get their opinion, and decide what to do from there. Keep in mind that you only have two years from the date of your accident to bring a case in Georgia, so the sooner you can talk to a lawyer, the better.
Talk to a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer for Free Today
Contact John Foy & Associates today to get started with a FREE consultation and case evaluation. We can help you make an informed decision about how to handle your motorcycle accident case, even if seems fairly minor. Call (404) 400-4000 or contact us online today for your FREE consultation.