Since motorcycles do not provide the same degree of protection as other vehicles, a motorcycle accident can be serious, even deadly, for the biker. In one moment, your life can be changed forever. If you were hurt in a motorcycle accident, you might wonder if it’s necessary to get a lawyer—or at which point in the process you should get one.
If you were not fully at fault for your accident, you probably have a legal right to seek compensation for your medical costs, lost wages, emotional damages, and more. However, actually getting compensated for all of your damages is not always easy, especially after a motorcycle accident. That’s where a lawyer can turn things around.
When to Get a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer: As Soon As Possible
It’s really never too soon to get a lawyer for a motorcycle accident. There are several reasons for this:
- You can begin building your case on the same day (even within the same hour) as your accident, and a lawyer can make sure you are taking the right steps.
- The at-fault driver’s insurance company will try to undermine your case from the beginning, and a lawyer can help protect you.
- Motorcycle accident lawyers do not charge a fee unless they win you money, so there is no upfront or out-of-pocket cost.
After a motorcycle accident, the bills can pile up quickly, and the insurance company might become ruthless in trying to reduce what they have to pay you. It can be hard to think straight or know where to turn. Since there is no risk in hiring a lawyer for a motorcycle accident case, it’s best to reach out to one as soon as possible.
At John Foy & Associates, our lawyers have been helping injured motorcyclists handle their cases and seek full compensation for more than 20 years. There is no 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.
Situations When You Should Get a Lawyer for Your Motorcycle Accident
Although you can contact a motorcycle accident lawyer at any point in the process, here are some circumstances when it’s crucial to get an experienced attorney on your side.
1. The Insurance Company is Contacting You
Without a lawyer, it’s very easy to miss out on the full amount of money you deserve. That’s because insurance companies are skilled at finding ways to reduce how much they pay to an accident victim. The at-fault driver’s insurance company will have their own team of experienced lawyers working to settle your case for very little money, and they are rarely afraid to get aggressive.
If the insurance company contacts you soon after the accident or tries to offer you a settlement quickly, contact a lawyer right away. You should be particularly wary if the insurer uses tactics like:
- Denying that your injuries are as serious as you’re saying in your claim
- Trying to claim that your injuries were from something unrelated to the motorcycle accident, such as a pre-existing condition
- Offering you a lowball settlement right after the accident (even though it’s way too soon to know the full extent of what your damages will be)
- Trying to blame you, instead of the other driver, for the accident
An experienced motorcycle accident lawyer will know how to handle every single one of these tactics. They will communicate with the insurance company on your behalf so that they have to deal with your lawyer directly. This will protect your legal rights and allow your lawyer a chance to negotiate if the insurance company offers a low settlement first.
You should also be very careful to not sign anything, accept any money, or agree to give any recorded statements before talking to an attorney first. If the insurance company asks you to do any of these things, hang up or avoid them until you can reach out to a good motorcycle accident lawyer and get their help.
2. You Suffered Serious or Permanent Injuries
Motorcycle accidents can be incredibly serious for the motorcyclist. If you have serious injuries, you likely face a long road to recovery and many medical expenses. When you suffer serious injuries, you’ll want a lawyer’s help on your claim.
It can be difficult to accurately calculate the full costs of serious injuries from a motorcycle accident. If you will be receiving treatment for a long time, you’ll need to account for future medical costs and lost wages. If your injuries end up leaving you with a permanent disability, you will need to consider how that impacts your future life too.
A lawyer will know how to calculate your full personal injury damages, including:
- Past, current, and future medical costs
- Lost wages and loss of earning capacity
- Motorcycle repair or replacement costs
- Pain and suffering or mental anguish caused by your injuries
It can also be harder to negotiate with the insurance company when you have huge damages. Even if it seems like they’re offering a high settlement, it might not come close to covering all of your costs. A lawyer can determine what is actually a good settlement offer and whether or not you need to fight for more.
3. You’re Unsure About the Insurance Company’s Offer
Again, insurance companies don’t fight fair. They care most about their bottom line, and they are not afraid to use aggressive tactics to reduce what compensation they offer. They might even make you feel like what they’re offering is pretty good, but don’t trust it without consulting with an attorney first.
If you have any doubt about the settlement offer you’ve received, reach out to a motorcycle accident lawyer. Even if you don’t hire them for your case, they can give you an idea of what’s a good offer during the consultation.
4. Your Motorcycle Accident Claim Gets Denied
If the insurance company denies your claim, contact a lawyer right away. While there are some legitimate reasons for a claim denial, insurance companies sometimes deny claims for unfair reasons. A lawyer can look at the situation and help you know where to turn next.
5. More Than One Party Might Be at Fault for the Accident
There isn’t always just one person or party at fault in a motorcycle accident. If you think more than one party contributed to your accident—or you think you might have played a part in the accident—a lawyer can help.
In Georgia, you can still recover damages in a personal injury accident if you were less than 50% at fault for the accident (Georgia Code § 51-12-33). If you are worried that you hold partial fault in the crash, don’t assume you don’t have a case. Get a lawyer who can evaluate the situation and help you seek any compensation you are still entitled to receive.
6. You Have Questions About Your Claim
If you have any questions about your case at all, it’s worth scheduling a consultation with a lawyer who specializes in motorcycle accident cases. They can answer your questions from a place of expertise that no one else can provide. Plus, most motorcycle accident lawyers offer the consultation for free.
Get a Free Consultation with a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
To get help with your motorcycle accident case today, call John Foy & Associates at (404) 400-4000 or contact us online for a FREE consultation. We have 20 plus years of experience working on motorcycle accident cases, and we know what it takes to win. Call (404) 400-4000 or contact us online for your FREE consultation.