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How Long Will My Motorcycle Accident Claim Take?

Aug. 19, 2015

How Long Will My Motorcycle Accident Claim Take?

Before we get into a motorcycle accident case, there is no real way to determine how long it will take to resolve the claim. We do know that there are 2 factors that will impact the timeframe: (1) a dispute of who was responsible for the motorcycle crash or liability; and (2) the nature and extent of the client’s injuries.

A Liability Dispute

If the insurance company disputes liability, the claim will take longer because a lawsuit will need to be filed. Typically, lawsuits take more time than reaching a settlement before a lawsuit is filed. In disputed liability claims, it will be necessary to take depositions and gather information to show that the other person caused the accident.

The second factor that can affect the length of time a motorcycle injury claim takes has to do with the nature and extent of the client’s injuries. Generally, we are not able to settle claims until the client has completed treatment or reached a point of maximum medical improvement, which can take months or years depending on the injuries. If the other driver has enough insurance, it is not in your best interest to settle your claim before you have completed treatment and are sure that you understand what type of treatment will be needed in the future. Remember, if you settle your claim, you cannot go back to the insurance company at a later date and try to reopen the claim.

After a Motorcycle Crash, Should the Motorcyclist See a Lawyer or Doctor First?

Always see a doctor first, because your health is the most important thing. Besides, if your first stop is a lawyer’s office, and the insurance company or jury finds out, it will look bad for your claim. Jurors are suspect of an injured person’s claim if the insurance company lawyer can convince them that the lawyer talked you into filing a claim.

Most people injured in a motorcycle accident need immediate treatment, whether it’s for a head injury, broken bone or road rash.

Should I Keep a Diary After a Motorcycle Crash?

I’m not a big fan of diaries because the court can require that you give it to the insurance defense lawyer, which will give her an outline and ammunition to defend the case. If you have 20 pages in which you say everything you did after the accident, the defense attorney can ask you 20 questions about every entry in your diary during a deposition. Also, if what you say in a diary is different than information in your doctors’ records the insurance company will try to use the diary to impeach your credibility. Remember, in personal injury claims the most important factor is your credibility.

If My License Is Expired or Suspended Will It Hurt My Motorcycle Accident Case?

Under most circumstances, the fact that your license was suspended shouldn’t matter, and a jury will never learn about your license issue. Remember, the issue is whether or caused or contributed to the accident. In plan language, did you cause the accident? There are some exceptions to this rule, if the insurance defense lawyer can argue the accident was caused by inexperience or your license was revoked because of your driving skills then they may try to get this information into evidence. I have not yet had a case where the insurance defense lawyer tries to get this information into evidence because whether or not you had a license is irrelevant to the fact that a guy crashed into you.

If you would like more information about the length of time to complete your motorcycle accident claim, call to get the legal answers you are looking for.