A motorcycle accident lawsuit can last months to years depending on multiple factors unique to the circumstances of a particular motorcycle crash, the victims, and the parties at fault.
Many of the factors influencing how long it takes to receive payment after you suffer losses in a motorcycle accident are out of your control.
You can decide, however, when to contact an experienced Miami motorcycle accident lawyer to handle your claim. The sooner you do, the better your chances of securing the maximum available compensation.
Your Right to Compensation as a Motorcycle Accident Victim
As a motorcycle accident victim, you generally have the legal right to seek compensation from the at-fault parties and anyone with liability for your losses. The law permits you to seek payment for various physical, emotional, and financial damages. Here’s an overview of who may be liable and what you can expect them to pay:
Parties Potentially Liable
As a general rule, anyone who causes a motorcycle accident by engaging in careless, reckless, or intentionally harmful conduct is liable to the people who suffer injuries as a result. One or several parties can have liability for a motorcycle crash, including individuals, businesses, institutions, and other public or private entities.
The parties liable depend on the specific circumstances and could include:
- A careless driver of a car, truck, or bus that collided with a motorcycle or triggered a wreck.
- The employer of an at-fault driver if the accident involved the driver’s work vehicle.
- A government entity, contractor, or private road owner responsible for causing unreasonably dangerous road conditions that led to an accident.
- A bar, restaurant, or social host that provided alcohol to an underage drunk driver, who caused a crash with a motorcycle.
These are just a few examples. The parties liable to you for the losses you suffered in a motorcycle accident could be the same or different from those above. Talk to an experienced motorcycle accident injury lawyer about your case to learn more.
Damages Potentially Recoverable
As a motorcycle accident victim, you may demand payment from liable parties for:
- Past and future medical expenses.
- Costs to repair or replace damaged property.
- Other expenses arising from the accident or your injuries.
- Lost earnings and job benefits from missing work.
- Loss of future income and opportunities due to a disability.
- Physical pain and suffering
- Emotional suffering.
- Loss of quality of life.
- Scarring, disfigurement, or loss of bodily function.
You may also have the right to claim punitive damages, which punish an at-fault party for causing a crash by engaging in extreme or intentional misconduct.
After a fatal motorcycle accident, the victim’s estate may seek wrongful death damages, which may include compensation for the loss of the victim’s financial support, companionship, guidance, or consortium, as well as for expenses such as funeral and burial costs.
The compensation you obtain depends on the particulars of your case. There’s no single amount you’re certain to receive—there are, in fact, no guarantees of payment at all.
Your compensation may depend on the severity of your injuries, the strength of the evidence to support your case, the skill and reputation of the lawyer you select to handle your motorcycle accident case, and the liability insurance coverage or assets the at-fault parties have available to pay your losses.
Talk to an experienced lawyer today to learn how much you could get.
The Need for Independent Investigation
Regardless of which type of legal action a motorcycle accident case requires, the need for an independent investigation can also influence how long it takes. If the circumstances of an accident are complex, a crash victim’s attorney may need to take investigative steps, including gathering evidence, working with accident reconstruction experts, interviewing witnesses, and analyzing facts.
The time and effort necessary to conduct such an investigation can extend the duration of a motorcycle accident case.
The Identity and Number of Liable Parties and Victims
The number of parties who may have liability for a motorcycle crash and the number of victims who may have claims against them can also influence the duration of a motorcycle accident claim.
The more parties on either side, the greater the chance of additional complication and delay, as each individual or entity may need to hire legal representation, review the facts and law, and express their differing viewpoints on liability and damages before any resolution is likely.
The Degree of Dispute Over Liability and Damages
Disagreement among the parties on fundamental issues, such as who is liable or how much the victim(s) should receive, can also prolong a motorcycle accident case. Disputes may require negotiation, mediation, or a courtroom trial to resolve, and each of these steps takes time.
Cases where everyone more or less agrees on liability and damages, however, tend to resolve relatively quickly, since there’s a general consensus that there’s no point spending time, effort, and money fighting.
The Willingness of Parties to Negotiate a Settlement
The willingness of all parties to negotiate and arrive at a settlement can have a bearing on how long a motorcycle accident lawsuit takes. Uncooperative or stubborn parties can make negotiations difficult, lengthen the process, and even force the case to go to trial. Parties who are in agreement, on the other hand, can often reach a quick resolution.
The Amount of Money at Stake
The amount of money relating to a motorcycle accident case can also directly influence the timeline. The larger the claim, the more time the insurance company or defendant will generally spend trying to reduce their liability and the harder the injured party may fight to secure compensation.
Strategic considerations can also play a role in determining the duration of a motorcycle accident claim. A victim’s attorney, for example, might want to wait until their client reaches a certain point in their medical recovery before settling a claim, or a liability insurance company might seek to delay negotiations to put financial pressure on the victim to settle for less.
Why You Should Hire a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Immediately
The sooner you hire a lawyer to handle your motorcycle accident case, the quicker the rest of the process of securing compensation for your losses will be. It’s not a guarantee of an instant outcome, but it puts your case on the quickest possible track by getting the ball rolling.
Another reason to hire a lawyer as soon as possible is that they can set to work right away securing evidence that supports your claim.
Evidence is the backbone of a motorcycle accident case, and if a lawyer doesn’t act quickly to preserve it, it can disappear.
Motorcycle accident claims are also subject to strict deadlines, or statutes of limitation. The law sets an expiration date for your right to seek compensation for your losses. You must take legal action before this deadline expires. If you don’t, you lose your rights. Hiring a lawyer quickly helps ensure you meet those deadlines and avoid costly oversights.
In the aftermath of an accident, you will confront myriad decisions that could significantly influence the outcome of your case. Having a motorcycle accident lawyer in your corner means you have a trusted advisor who can guide your choices and ensure you stay on track to receive the compensation you deserve.
Many motorcycle accident victims find the advisory role a lawyer plays to be just as valuable as the money the lawyer secures on their behalf.
A Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Is Affordable
Just because you are dealing with a sudden and unexpected financial burden as a result of your motorcycle accident doesn’t mean that hiring a lawyer is out of reach.
You can afford a lawyer no matter what your financial circumstances.
Most motorcycle accident lawyers offer free consultations, so you can discuss your case with an experienced legal professional without having to worry about upfront costs. This consultation gives you an idea of what you may expect in terms of compensation and the potential timeline for your case. You’ll never owe a penny for this time, even if you decide not to proceed with legal action.
Motorcycle accident attorneys also represent their clients on a contingent fee basis, which means you don’t pay upfront or by the hour for your attorney’s services. The attorney’s fee is a percentage of the compensation they recover on your behalf, such as through a settlement, court judgment, or jury award after trial. You pay nothing, therefore, unless the lawyer gets you results.
Contact an Experienced Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Today
The potential duration of a motorcycle accident case can vary widely. As a victim, however, you can control one critical stage of the timeline for your claim. By hiring an experienced Miami personal injury attorney as soon as possible, you can put your case on the path to its quickest possible resolution.
Don’t wait another minute. Start your motorcycle accident claim today by contacting a skilled lawyer for a free consultation.