Motorcycle accidents are traumatic experiences. Victims may be left with life-altering physical injuries, mental trauma, and the stress of mounting medical bills.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle crash, you may be wondering whether you need to call a motorcycle accident lawyer or if you should file a claim with the insurance company on your own. Even after deciding to hire a lawyer, you may be unsure how soon to get in touch with a law firm after the motorcycle accident.
It is recommended that motorcycle accident victims who have sustained injuries contact a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. At Kiley Law Group, we offer all potential clients a free, no-obligation case consultation. Fill out the online contact form or call us 24/7 at (888) 435-1321 to schedule yours today.
Signs You Should Contact a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
After being injured in a motorcycle accident, you have the option of filing the claim on your own or speaking to a motorcycle accident lawyer. If the incident was minor, it may occur to you to handle the claim without legal assistance. However, it is beneficial to have a skilled personal injury lawyer on your side in most situations, especially the following.
Your injuries are severe
Motorcycle accidents can cause broken bones, internal organ damage, spinal cord damage, and other injuries that require extensive medical treatment. You may be left unable to work and with expensive medical bills to pay.
A personal injury lawyer can handle the legal claim while you focus on your recovery. Your lawyer will communicate with the insurance company on your behalf and keep you regularly updated as to the status of your claim.
Your injuries resulted in a permanent injury or disability
Tragically, some motorcycle accidents leave victims with a permanent injury or disability. In this situation, your claim should pay out more than just medical expenses and lost wages. The settlement you recover should also reflect how the disability affects your life.
You may be eligible to recover a settlement for pain and suffering, mental anguish, disfigurement, home healthcare, and more. A motorcycle accident lawyer will be able to tell you which damages you may be entitled to and calculate the value of your claim.
The insurance company delays or denies your claim
Insurers will sometimes use bad faith tactics to try to minimize or deny the payout of a claim. For example, in an attempt to lower the amount that they have to payout, insurance companies often try to paint motorcyclists as reckless or careless.
An experienced motorcycle accident attorney, though, will recognize these tactics and know how to counter them. He or she can investigate your case, gather evidence, and negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf. If a fair settlement cannot be reached, your lawyer can then file a lawsuit on your behalf and take your case to court.
You have missed numerous days of work
After being injured in a motorcycle accident, it is normal for victims to need to take a few days off of work while they recover. However, if you have missed several days of work and your employer is giving time off without pay or has terminated your employment due to missed work days, you should contact a lawyer right away.
A motorcycle accident attorney can help you recover damages for lost wages and ensure that you do not suffer financially while you are healing from your injuries.
You are unsure who caused the accident
In order to recover compensation, you must first be able to identify and present evidence proving who caused the accident. However, in some situations, it may not be immediately clear who is responsible for the collision. For example, if your accident was a result of a poorly maintained road surface, the city municipality may be responsible for your injuries.
A motorcycle accident lawyer will be able to investigate your case, identify all liable parties, and help you file a claim or lawsuit against them.
How Soon After a Massachusetts Motorcycle Accident Should You Contact a Lawyer?
You should contact a motorcycle accident attorney as soon as possible after your accident. The sooner you contact a lawyer, the better the odds that a solid case can be prepared on your behalf and your right to compensation can be protected.
Seeking legal advice immediately after a motorcycle accident benefits you in several ways.
Your motorcycle accident lawyer will need to canvas for witnesses and interview them, identify and collect physical evidence, and take other steps to support your claim. Contacting a lawyer shortly after the accident occurs may allow the attorney to secure evidence from the accident scene before it is removed or cleaned up.
It is important for your lawyer to be able to speak to witnesses right after the motorcycle accident, as memories fade with time. As the days and weeks pass, eyewitnesses may begin to forget key details that could help your lawyer develop an accurate understanding of how the accident unfolded.
Surveillance camera footage can provide invaluable evidence to support motorcycle accident claims. However, most businesses record over their footage frequently. If you contact a lawyer right after your accident, there is a chance that he or she may be able to collect video footage from surrounding buildings before it is erased that clearly identifies who caused the accident.
Communicating with the insurer
After an accident, you may be surprised how quickly you hear from the insurance company. Insurers often take advantage of the stressful time following a motorcycle accident to try to pressure victims into accepting a fast and low settlement offer. Insurers may call you repeatedly and try to trick you into saying something that could be construed as an admission of fault or otherwise used against you.
When you hire a motorcycle accident lawyer, you are protected from dealing with these types of calls. Your lawyer will handle all communications with the insurers, defending your best interests and negotiating a just and fair settlement with the insurance company on your behalf.
Meeting legal deadlines
In Massachusetts, there are statute of limitation laws regarding motorcycle accident cases. In most situations, motorcycle crash victims have 3 years from the date of the accident to file a claim. If you wait too long to file your claim or lawsuit, you could forfeit your right to compensation.
There are exceptions that could either extend or shorten the amount of time you have to file your claim or lawsuit. For example, if the vehicle that hit you was owned and driven by an employee of a local government or municipality, you may have a limited time to act.
A personal injury lawyer will understand all the time limits that apply to your case and work to ensure all necessary paperwork is filed on time.
Steps Needed to Build a Solid Motorcycle Accident Case
In addition to gathering physical evidence from the accident scene and speaking to eyewitnesses, there are other steps your lawyer may need to take to build a solid claim for you.
These may include:
- Obtaining a copy of the police report
- Collecting copies of medical records, bills, and other documents relating to the accident
- Consulting with medical experts, accident reconstructionists, economists, and other experts
- Getting a clear understanding of your medical prognosis and future healthcare needs
Even with a legal team working as diligently and quickly as possible, each one of these steps could take days or months to complete. The sooner you contact a lawyer, the more time he or she will have to build a solid case for you.
How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Massachusetts Motorcycle Accident Lawyer?
Some motorcycle accident victims hold back from contacting a lawyer because they are concerned about the cost. At Kiley Law Group, we feel that injured victims should not have to worry about incurring further financial losses after an accident.
Our law firm takes clients on a contingency fee basis. This means that we will not charge you upfront or hourly fees. We only get paid if your case is successful and you are awarded a settlement.
Contact a Massachusetts Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Today
If you or a loved one has suffered injuries in a motorcycle accident, it is best to seek legal advice as soon as possible. When you have an experienced lawyer on your side, you can have the peace of mind that comes from knowing you will recover the financial compensation you need and deserve.
Many of the lawyers at Kiley Legal Group are motorcycle owners and understand the joy of being out on the open road. Our law firm is proud to advocate for the legal rights of Massachusetts motorcycle accident victims.
We have over 40 years of experience in successfully handling motorcycle accident claims and other personal injury cases. Over the years, our skilled lawyers have helped our clients recover over $500 million in damages.
A member of our legal team can evaluate your case and advise you of your next steps forward. Call us 24/7 at (888) 435-1321 to schedule a free consultation.