And why hiring a specialist is in your best interest.
Before I get to what to look for when finding a Pennsylvania motorcycle injury lawyer, let’s take a look at an unpleasant hypothetical: you’re in a car vs. motorcycle accident. It is not your fault. It’s pretty bad, and you have injuries that impact your day-to-day life.
You are looking at serious medical expenses and are likely going to lose some income. Not least of all, your beloved bike is totaled.
If both you and the driver of the other vehicle were properly insured, you are probably thinking that you’re in pretty good shape. After all, that’s why we carry insurance, right? To cover our expenses when bad stuff happens.
Insurance may not cover all of your expenses.
I’m going to let you in on a harsh truth, though. Your insurance may not be sufficient to cover all of your losses, and the other driver’s insurance provider will fight tooth and claw to make sure they don’t have to pay anything out.
Their tactics will include burying you in paperwork, tangling you in red tape, bullying you, and making the entire process generally more of a hassle than it needs to be. A good Pennsylvania motorcycle injury lawyer can help you cut through those hassles and avoid owing or losing a lot of money.
Motorcycle accidents are not like other personal injury claims.
You might be asking yourself at this point, does it really need to be a motorcycle accident lawyer?
Honestly, just about any personal injury lawyer will take your case, and you may get lucky and he or she might be competent enough to handle a traffic accident case.
But here’s the deal. motorcycle accidents are not like other personal injury cases, and they’re not even much like your typical traffic accident.
The vagaries of motorcycle law (which differ from state to state, and from municipality to municipality within each state), the often bizarre and confusing insurance details, and the physics of motorcycles themselves – which play a part in the unique types of injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident case – make these types of claims particularly complex.
Now, I’ve never been one to talk smack about my colleagues (we’re not in the NBA here). But the fact of the matter is that you’re simply more likely to recover the most compensation for your lost wages, medical expenses, property damage, and even emotional distress if you go with an experienced motorcycle accident attorney.
And if – God forbid – we’re talking about a loved one being involved in a motorcycle fatality, especially if reckless driving, speeding or drunkenness on the part of the other driver was involved, a specialized lawyer is definitely the way to go.
What to look for in your motorcycle injury lawyer.
Experience – Motorcycle injury lawyers should be well-versed in national, and state motorcycle law, and should give you the confidence that he or she will be able to figure out local regulations as well.
Level of Skill – This one can be a little tougher to parse out just from speaking with an attorney, because we accident lawyers are, above all, skilled and persuasive talkers. But your prospective choice should be willing to pass along references for you to call. Every personal injury lawyer has a track record, and if they are any good, they’ll be more than happy to share it with you.
Commitment – Again, this one can be a little tough to nail down in some cases. But here’s a good litmus test. How prominently does motorcycle accident practice figure on their website? Is it one of a dozen, barely related personal injury practice areas? Do they seem knowledgeable about bikes and biker culture and issues in general? Does it seem as if they are a motorcycle injury lawyer who actually loves to ride? Use your best judgement. You can tell when someone is BS-ing you.
Location – If they are in the same state where the accident took place, they are more likely to know state law, and maybe even to have advantageous relationships with local officials who may be good for your claim.
Fee structure – Will they take your case on a contingency basis? Also known as “no-win-no-fee,” this means that if you don’t win, your accident lawyer doesn’t get paid. This is a big incentive for them to fight as hard as possible for your rights and compensation.
Finally, hire someone sooner rather than later.
The deadline for filing a claim is 2 years in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, but in the meantime, you may be racking up medical bills and related expenses, lost wages, etc. Not to mention that the longer you wait to start your claim, the more difficult it will be to recreate or recall the conditions that led to the accident.
And absolutely make sure to contact a lawyer before reaching a settlement with an insurance company.
To get more of your questions about finding and hiring a qualified Pennsylvania motorcycle injury lawyer answered, contact Lee Gaber, Esquire at 1-888-292-5352, especially if you’ve already been involved in an accident.