I was Injured in a Motorcycle Accident, do I Need to Retain an Attorney?
Motorcycle accidents are among the deadliest incidents that occur on the roadways. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), 5172 individuals were killed in motorcycle crashes in United States in 2017, the most recent year we have full records for. This accounted for 14% of all motor vehicle-related deaths. Less than 20 years earlier, in 1999, there were 2483 motorcycle accident fatalities, accounting for just 6% of all motor vehicle-related deaths that year.
When someone is injured in a motorcycle crash, they often wonder whether or not it is worthwhile to obtain legal counsel. Attorneys do take a percentage of the compensation amount they recover, which makes some who are involved in accidents wonder if they are better off handling the insurance claim themselves. This depends largely on the severity and complexity of the accident and other specific circumstances in your case.
In some instances, you may be just fine dealing directly with the insurance company. For example, if you sustained only minor injuries and minor damage to your motorcycle or vehicle, the facts of the case (e.g., cause and who was at-fault) are clear-cut and agreed upon, and the insurance company has offered a settlement that you believe is fair, then it might make sense to just take the money, put this incident behind you, and move forward with your life.
There are many other cases, however, when things are not as simple and straightforward. When there are complicated circumstances, it might be difficult to recover full and fair compensation if you handle the case on your own. Pursuing a personal injury claim can be complex and confusing, and there are many potential pitfalls that can trip you up and cause you to end up with far less compensation than you deserve. With these types of cases, the services of an experienced attorney can be invaluable.
Here are a few circumstances in which you should seriously consider retaining an attorney:
The accident resulted in serious injuries or fatalities
If the motorcycle accident resulted in a severe injury to yourself, or a loved one was killed in a motorcycle crash, it is best to get a lawyer involved right away. Insurance companies will often try to make a quick settlement offer when someone has suffered a serious injury, hoping to close the case before the injured party realizes the extent of their injuries. A lawyer with extensive personal injury experience will know how to ensure that compensation for both your current and future medical expenses can be recovered.
You are unable to work because of the accident
Along the same lines as the first point, if you are hurt so badly that you are unable to return to work, you need to make sure you are compensated for not only your lost wages, but also the loss of future earning capacity if the injury is permanent and debilitating. Your lawyer will also help you properly value the non-economic damages that result from your claim; such as physical pain and suffering, emotional distress, diminished quality of life, and loss of consortium.
There were multiple parties involved in the accident
Motorcycle accident claims can be further complicated when there are several different parties involved. For example, if you were riding a motorcycle and a car crashed into you, causing your motorcycle to strike another vehicle and a pedestrian who was walking nearby, there may be multiple lawsuits coming from different directions. In this type of case, a thorough investigation will likely be required to determine the exact cause of the accident and who was at fault.
Another thing that could add to the complexity of the situation is if one of the parties involved was a semi-truck. This means several more parties could share fault, such as the truck driver, trucking company, vehicle or vehicle product manufacturer, the shipping company that loaded the truck, and many others. In this situation, you need strong legal counsel in your corner advocating aggressively for your rights and interests and working tirelessly to ensure that all parties responsible are held fully accountable.
Call the Gardner Law Firm Today for a Free Consultation
If you or someone close to you was injured in a motorcycle accident in Mississippi, it makes sense to at least talk to an attorney to discuss your case and learn your legal rights and options. That way, you can make the most informed decision on whether or not it makes sense for you to retain an attorney to handle your case.
At the Gardner law firm, we have extensive experience successfully representing clients injured in motorcycle accidents in Biloxi and throughout Mississippi. Our consultations are always free, and if we accept your case, you only pay attorney fees if we recover compensation on your behalf. To schedule your free consultation, call our office today at (228) 900-9618 or message us through our online contact form.