Motorcycle accidents are usually catastrophic, and victims frequently suffer devastating injuries. For those fortunate enough to survive, healing can take weeks or years. If someone else’s negligence injured you or a loved one in a motorcycle accident, you might need to file a lawsuit. This blog explains the factors that affect how long your lawsuit may last.
Calculating how much time a motorcycle accident lawsuit will take is complex, as several factors affect the process. Each motorcycle accident suit is unique and has a different timeline. A case may settle within just a few weeks if the cause of the accident is readily apparent and uncontested. However, complex cases may take longer.
Tactics Insurance Companies Use to Delay Claims
When a motorcycle accident injures someone, the other party’s insurance company may offer to immediately pay a low dollar amount so they can avoid an accident claim. They know that they stand to lose more money if the victim hires a lawyer. Once the victim accepts the offer, they cannot recover any other damages from the accident.
Until you can speak to an experienced lawyer about your case, do not engage in conversations with the insurance company— especially if you do not know what your claim is worth or the extent of your injuries.
Insurance companies may also use tactics to slow down your claim. For example, they might pass your claim from one insurance adjuster to another so that every time you call for information, you have to repeat yourself. They may ignore your calls for weeks at a time or not call you back altogether. Working with a motorcycle accident lawyer will help keep the insurance company from using these tactics on you since a lawyer can follow up regularly to stay on top of adjusters.
Negotiating a Settlement Offer
Before your case goes to court, your lawyer will spend time negotiating with the insurance company to reach a fair settlement. A motorcycle accident victim should hire an experienced, diligent lawyer who can aggressively pursue compensation. Hiring a lawyer will help you level the playing field against an insurance company that will surely have a legal team to fight your case.
A lawyer can help you determine how much compensation you should seek in a claim and can help you negotiate with the insurance company to get a fair settlement offer.
Gathering Evidence and Building a Case
What caused your motorcycle accident affects how long it will take your lawyer to build a case.
The most common causes of motorcycle accidents include:
- Poor road conditions due to poorly maintained roads or bad weather like fog, ice, or heavy rain
- Speeding, tailgating, or aggressive driving
- Switching lanes without checking all blind spots or failing to yield
- Driving while intoxicated
- Distracted driving, such as texting and driving, eating while driving, or adjusting the radio
- Road obstructions, hazards, and sharp curves
If there is surveillance camera footage that shows what caused your accident, your lawyer may have an easier time building a case on your behalf. This evidence speeds up the claims process. However, your lawyer may need to spend time gathering other evidence, like eyewitness accounts, police reports, or expert witness testimony, to build a case. The amount of time it takes to gather evidence and build a case will affect the length of your claim.
Obtaining Medical Records
Visiting a doctor for a medical assessment is critical for your motorcycle accident injury case. Depending on how extensive your injuries are or the complexity of your treatment, obtaining the appropriate medical reports could lengthen your case. However, having medical paperwork will help your lawyer determine how much your case is worth and can help you establish liability in a lawsuit.
Your Motorcycle Accident Lawsuit Timeline
Each accident victim’s timeline is as unique as the case itself. If the insurance company contests the claim, it may take a few weeks or months to work through the negotiation process. If negotiations fall through and the case goes to court, the process can take longer.
Many clients want to reach a speedy settlement, but lawyers who guarantee quick results sometimes cut corners and potentially lose money. When you hire a lawyer, make sure that you ask about their experience with motorcycle accident injury cases and how long cases typically take. Contact a motorcycle accident lawyer to discuss the details of your claim.