Healing, or supporting a family member as they heal, after a motorcycle accident is hard. In addition to worrying about health and medical bills, you may even be wondering if a favorite hobby will still be an enjoyable part of your future.
You deserve fair financial compensation, but working through a personal injury to get it is rarely fast or easy, especially if the case is a complex one (as they often are). Any of the following situations can make your motorcycle claim difficult to handle on your own.
The minimal protection motorcycles offer leaves bikers vulnerable to other vehicles and the road itself. Too often, this means catastrophic injuries, such as traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), paralysis, or even death following a motorcycle accident.
Serious injuries usually mean higher, longer-term medical costs. You may be looking into reconstructive surgeries, mobility devices, physical therapy, nursing homes, and other major interventions. Insurance companies don’t like to pay for treatments with undefined endpoints and expensive equipment and work hard to avoid doing so.
RELATED: Did I Get a Brain Injury After My Motorcycle Crash?
Motorcycle accidents don’t always take as long to clean up as other vehicle crashes, which means important evidence might disappear before you collect it.
Fortunately, experienced personal injury lawyers know how and where to look for evidence, such as driver logs and street cameras. This is one of those parts that can feel like a goose chase; leaving the busywork to a professional can take a huge burden off your shoulders.
Just remember not to wait long. Security footage is often deleted regularly. Skid marks fade. The sooner you call a personal injury attorney, the more likely critical evidence will be discovered and preserved.
Insurance companies for at-fault parties conduct their own investigations into motor vehicle accidents, and it’s common for them to try to shift at least some blame onto the injured party.
While it’s true that more than one person can be at fault for one accident (even those injured in it), the majority of fault generally falls to one person or entity. Texas observes a rule of modified comparative fault, which means you may be eligible for compensation as long as you’re not more than 50% at fault. (If you are more than 50% at fault, you cannot receive any compensation.)
But because the amount of compensation you are entitled to receive will be reduced by your share of the fault, if the insurance company can successfully argue that you were at least somewhat to blame—20%, for example—that is 20% less in compensation they’ll have to pay out.
If you’ve tried to sort out liability issues on your own, it’s probably become clear that it can quickly get tricky. The sooner you talk to a motorcycle accident lawyer, the sooner you can move on to the next steps.
Poor Road Conditions
Perhaps your accident wasn’t the fault of anyone behind the wheel, but instead the poor conditions of the road you were traveling. Debris, potholes, broken signs, malfunctioning lights, or worn-off lane markers can all cause confusion for bikers and drivers, increasing the potential for a crash.
Depending on where you were, the local government or another entity may be liable for your injuries. It’s usually not easy to go up against organizations that have significant insurance policies and legal teams; it’s in your best interest to work with a motorcycle accident attorney in this case.
Have you ever had back pain, headaches, or a sprained ankle? If, like the vast majority of adults, you’ve had minor chronic issues in the past, the insurance companies may try to use them as an excuse to minimize the role that your motorcycle accident played in contributing to your current symptoms.
You may be completely certain that your intense, specific back pain that started right after the crash is a direct result of falling off your bike onto the pavement. However, the insurance company might insist that you simply aggravated an existing issue, or even that your pain is entirely unrelated to the accident.
This is tough, and involves legal and medical jargon that the average person may not understand. It will also typically require specific, detailed medical records from one or more specialists. Fortunately, motorcycle accident attorneys know how to show that the accident altered things in a way nothing else could.
Do note that even if you do have a pre-existing condition, you are still entitled to seek compensation if your motorcycle accident makes it worse. The at-fault driver is still responsible to compensate you for the change in your condition caused by the crash.
Bias Against Bikers
Unfortunately, some people have pre-formed opinions that negatively influence how they view a motorcycle accident. The insurance adjusters, or the jury (if your case goes to trial), might mistakenly think that bikers tend to be reckless on the road. This will make it harder to get them to agree with your claim.
Personal injury attorneys know this and work hard to gather information that shows your true colors. From witnesses to your clean riding record, they’ll bring the evidence that counters any biases.