Is It Worth Hiring a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer?

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Is It Worth Hiring a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer

Hiring a lawyer to handle your Michigan motorcycle accident case will help you navigate the process and possibly recover more money than you could on your own. A Michigan motorcycle accident lawyer knows how to navigate these complex claims, including documenting and negotiating for maximum compensation based on your case details.

Most personal injury and accident law firms work based on contingency. This means you are not putting additional money at risk to hire an attorney and trust them with your case. They only get paid after the case closes and only from the money they recover for you.

Understanding the Complexity of Motorcycle Accident Claims in Michigan

Michigan has No-Fault auto insurance laws. These laws require all drivers to carry Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage to pay for their own injuries and losses after a crash, regardless of fault. However, this coverage is not available for motorcyclists. Instead, the Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS) lists several ways a motorcyclist can pay for their injuries, expenses, and losses after a crash. They include:

  • The other driver’s PIP coverage if the accident involved a motor vehicle
  • Through a fault-based lawsuit, under some circumstances
  • Through optional coverage purchased as a part of their motorcycle insurance and required for drivers over age 21 to ride without a helmet
  • Coverage through the Michigan Assigned Claims Plan (MACP)
  • Other options if none of these are available

In many cases, no-fault benefits are available to help motorcyclists with minor or moderate injuries pay for their care and lost income. This limits the number of third-party claims filed in these cases. However, more serious injuries could allow a case against the at-fault driver to recover additional damages, including pain and suffering losses.

Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents

Most motorcycle accidents occur because of driver negligence. This is true of all traffic accidents. A motorist makes a mistake behind the wheel, which leads to a collision. This mistake could occur because of carelessness, recklessness, distraction, intoxication, or aggressive driving.

Some common ways drivers cause collisions include:

  • Failure to yield when turning
  • Failure to obey traffic signs or signals
  • Failure to clear a lane before merging, changing lanes, or passing
  • Failure to maintain lane
  • Other violations of traffic laws, like drunk or intoxicated driving

Other common causes of motorcycle accidents include mechanical failures and road hazards.

Common Types of Injuries in Michigan Motorcycle Accidents

Unfortunately, motorcyclists often suffer serious or catastrophic injuries in collisions with other vehicles. This could include life-altering head trauma, spinal cord injuries, traumatic amputations, road rash with significant scarring, traumatic brain injuries, and internal injuries.

When a motorcyclist suffers serious injuries, it makes recovering the money they need and deserve more complex. It is often difficult for injured motorcyclists and their families to know where to turn and how to get the maximum compensation they deserve based on their accidents and injuries. Having a motorcycle accident lawyer to handle this process, determine the options, and file the claims allows the motorcyclist to focus on treatment and recovery.

The Benefits of Hiring a Michigan Motorcycle Accident Lawyer

When you decide to work with a Michigan personal injury lawyer, you gain several potentially substantial advantages with your case. A lawyer will offer peace of mind for you and your family. You will know your case is in good hands. While some crash victims may successfully recover money by filing a claim and negotiating a settlement, this is often difficult or impossible after a serious injury motorcycle accident.

Victims and their families need to focus on treatment and healing. They do not have the time, money, or knowledge to properly navigate the process to determine their options, understand their rights, and pursue fair compensation.

Some benefits of hiring a motorcycle accident lawyer include:

Experience Navigating Michigan Motorcycle Accident Law

Your lawyer will have a strong understanding of state-specific laws and regulations related to motorcycle accidents, insurance claims, and lawsuits. This legal knowledge and experience is only available through legal teams who regularly handle this type of case.

Experience Handling Insurance Claims

Your lawyer will know how to handle the insurance companies and fight for fair compensation. They are aware of the tactics these insurers might use to reduce the value of a claim or deny it. They will present strong evidence to support the claim and negotiate to seek a fair settlement.

Gathering Evidence and Building a Strong Case

An attorney knows the importance of a thorough investigation and timely evidence collection. Building a compelling case to support a settlement or verdict is crucial to winning. Your lawyer will know the steps necessary to identify, preserve, and analyze evidence and present it in a convincing way to the insurance carrier or during trial.

Maximizing Compensation

A motorcycle accident attorney understands the recoverable damages available in these cases and how to calculate what a case might be worth. They consider the economic damages—medical bills, lost wages, and future costs—and the non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering.

They use their estimated value of the case to demand fair compensation from the insurance carrier or to show the judge and jury how much the case is worth at trial.

What Is the Legal Process in Michigan Motorcycle Accident Cases?

Once your injuries are stable and you are well enough to discuss your crash after a motorcycle accident, it is time to call an attorney. Most provide free initial consultations. If you choose to hire an attorney, you can expect the resulting process to look something like this:

  • Investigation and Evidence Gathering: Your lawyer will take the necessary steps to investigate the crash, gather evidence, and develop strong support for your insurance claim or lawsuit.
  • Filing a Claim and Negotiation: Your lawyer will navigate the process of filing your insurance claim or claims, presenting evidence to support them, and negotiating with the insurance carriers for a fair payout.
  • Litigation and Trial: When necessary, your attorney will handle litigating your case and preparing it for a jury trial. This is not common but might be necessary if the insurance carriers will not pay a fair settlement, there are questions of fact in the case, or there are other reasons why your lawyer recommends it.

Throughout this process, your attorney will protect your rights and provide guidance. This could include when you should accept a settlement offer, when it is time to sue, and how to manage your medical bills in the meantime.

Common Misconceptions About Hiring a Lawyer for Your Motorcycle Accident Case

There are many misconceptions about handling motorcycle accident cases and why you should not hire a lawyer to manage your claim. We take on two of these myths here:

Myth: Lawyers Are Too Expensive

Most motorcycle accident lawyers work on a contingency fee basis. The lawyers take on the financial risks when they accept these cases. Victims pay no upfront fees. They only pay when the lawyer wins their case and recovers compensation for them. This makes legal representation accessible for all victims.

Keep in mind that you will need to pay all costs associated with your case out of pocket if you represent yourself. Not only could you settle for less than your case is worth, but you might end up paying many fees and costs incurred, as well.

Myth: You Can Handle It on Your Own

Some people successfully manage their own insurance claims. However, Michigan motorcycle accident cases are complex. There are numerous advantages of having legal representation. This includes understanding complex legal proceedings, the time and resources necessary for an investigation, and the ability to allow you to focus on your health while your attorney maximizes compensation.

Discuss Your Michigan Motorcycle Accident with Our Team for Free

At Christensen Law, we provide free consultations for motorcycle accident victims in Michigan. If you have questions about how we handle these cases or want to discuss your options with our team, contact us now. Call us now to get started.