Were you hurt in a motorcycle accident in Detroit that was caused by another party’s reckless behavior? If so, you may be able to take civil action to recover compensation for your injuries and losses. But unless you’ve filed a lawsuit before, you probably don’t know what to expect from the motorcycle accident litigation process.
A Detroit motorcycle accident lawyer at Christensen Law can guide you through litigation and advocate for your best interests. Our experienced Michigan trial attorneys will work tirelessly in pursuit of the financial results you need and deserve. You can rely on us to fight aggressively for maximum compensation that accounts for all of your damages, both now and in the future.
You shouldn’t have to suffer for someone else’s bad decisions. Contact Christensen Law today for a free consultation with a knowledgeable motorcycle accident lawyer.
Detroit Motorcycle Accident Litigation Process
Litigating a motorcycle accident claim in Detroit involves several steps. Any civil litigation begins with filing a complaint in court, usually in the county where the motorcycle accident occurred. The complaint, along with the summons (a document provided by the court), must be served upon the party you are seeking compensation from. This party is known as the defendant. You are the plaintiff.
The defendant in your lawsuit will then file an answer to your complaint, either admitting to or denying each of the factual allegations of your complaint. Assuming the other side has denied the basic allegations of your complaint, the case will proceed to discovery.
In discovery, each side exchanges relevant documents and information in their possession. Each side may also choose to conduct depositions for testimony from key witnesses. Discovery is intended to identify what factual or legal issues remain in dispute between the parties. During and after discovery, certain issues may be dismissed or resolved in favor of one party by the trial court.
Eventually, the lawsuit will reach trial, where the case will either be decided by a jury. At trial, both sides will have the opportunity to present evidence and witnesses. They will also have the opportunity to cross-examine the other side’s witnesses. Following the presentation of evidence, the jury will render a verdict deciding each of the outstanding claims in the case. If the jury decides in your favor, it will determine the amount of money damages you are to receive.
As an alternative to resolving a motorcycle accident claim through trial, the parties may negotiate a settlement. A settlement is an agreed-upon sum that the defendant or their insurer pays to the injured motorcyclist. In exchange for the settlement money, the rider gives up the right to take any future legal action against the defendant.
The parties can reach a settlement at any point in the case, including up to and during trial.
How Are Motorcycle Accidents Unique in Michigan?
Motorcycle accidents differ significantly from the average car accident case in Michigan. That’s because motorcycles are not considered “motor vehicles” under state law. As a result, motorcycle operators are not required to carry no-fault/personal injury protection (PIP) coverage as part of their insurance policies.
Under the no-fault system for car accidents, injured parties look first to their insurance coverage for compensation for medical expenses and other out-of-pocket losses. Not so for motorcyclists. Bikers can pursue compensation through a claim against the responsible driver’s no-fault/PIP insurance company, the driver, or another responsible party liable for the crash and resulting injuries.
Typically, you may hold another party liable for a motorcycle accident and the injuries you have suffered when that party’s negligence caused the accident. To prove negligence, you will need to show that the at-fault party owed you some legal duty, and through their actions or inaction, breached that duty and caused the motorcycle accident.
If another motorist caused the crash, you might show that they were operating their vehicle in an unsafe or illegal manner. If poor road conditions caused the collision, you might have a case against a city or state government for negligent maintenance. To recover money in a motorcycle accident claim, you will also need to show that you have suffered injuries or losses that you can be compensated for.
Proving liability in a motorcycle accident case requires presenting convincing evidence to establish the other party’s fault for the crash. Evidence commonly used in motorcycle accident lawsuits include:
- Police investigation
- Accident scene photos
- Vehicle damage reports
- Traffic camera, surveillance camera, or dashcam/helmet cam footage
- Eyewitness testimony
- Medical records
- Expert reports providing a written or visual accident reconstruction
Assigning liability for a Detroit motorcycle accident can also affect the compensation you may be entitled to for your injuries. Under the comparative negligence rules in Michigan, your compensation may be reduced if you are found to bear some share of fault for the accident.
How a Detroit Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Can Help
After you have been hurt in a motorcycle crash, let a Detroit motorcycle accident lawyer from Christensen Law help you pursue your legal case against those responsible for the accident. We will:
- Take the time to speak with you about the motorcycle accident and understand your needs, concerns, and goals for your case
- Advise you of your legal rights and options for pursuing compensation for your injuries and losses
- Walk you through what you can expect at each stage in your claim
- Quickly launch an investigation of the accident to obtain evidence and witness testimony
- Document the full extent of your losses, including working with your doctors to understand your injuries and how they have and will affect your life
- Bring in accident reconstruction experts to build a persuasive case showing how the accident happened
- File your claim for compensation with the insurance company(s) and handle all communications with the adjuster(s) so that you can focus on your recovery
- Vigorously pursue a negotiated settlement that pays you fair and full compensation for your losses
- Explain how litigation may help you to seek the best possible results
- Take your case to court if a settlement cannot be reached, advocating fiercely to persuade the judge and jury to render a judgment or verdict in your favor
Contact Christensen Law Today
If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident in Detroit, obtaining compensation can be the key to restore your financial security and protect your personal wellbeing. Call us or contact us online today for a free case review.