Motorcycle accidents occur every day. They happen to experienced motorcycle riders and those who are just learning how to ride. A motorcycle driver and rider can fall victim to an accident at any time of the day, for many different reasons. External factors can play a role in a motorcycle wreck just as easily as fault by the motorcycle driver or other drivers on the road.
When you are involved in a motorcycle accident, no matter who caused it, seek medical attention immediately. Motorcycle accidents can cause serious damage to the people on the motorcycle, even if the injuries are not immediately apparent. After you have been seen by a medical professional, consider the next steps you should take. Top Kansas City motorcycle attorneys discuss below.
What Should I Do After a Motorcycle Accident?
Whatever your experience may be with motorcycles, you know that there is always a risk of getting into a wreck on the road. Motorcycles are usually the smallest vehicle on heavily-occupied roadways such as interstates and highways. Although most drivers try to remain cautious of the surrounding environment and abide by the rules of the road, accidents do happen. Some factors existing on all roads that can cause motorcycle accidents include:
When injuries occur from a motorcycle accident, expenses can accumulate quickly to thousands of dollars. A person injured on a motorcycle may be entitled to recover for such things as:
- Medical bills
- Loss of income
- Pain and suffering
- Property damage
- Funeral expenses
To find out if you are entitled to recovery, you will want to seek professional legal advice from an attorney, especially if you were seriously injured in the accident. The attorneys at Foster Wallace, LLC, are highly experienced motorcycle accident attorneys who understand how to negotiate the highest settlements and make sure you are fully compensated for your injuries.
Where Do I Find a Motorcycle Accident Attorney?
There are many different ways to find an attorney for a motorcycle accident case:
- Referral from other attorneys. Someone who represented you in a separate legal proceeding may not have the knowledge about motorcycle accident claims to represent you, but they likely know someone in the legal community who is experienced in motorcycle accident cases and can help you.
- Family and friends. Ask the people you trust if they have any experience with motorcycle accident attorneys and their opinion of the legal representation they received.
- Bar Associations. Many state and county bar associations have a lawyer referral service you can use to find a motorcycle accident lawyer.
- Letters from law firms. When you are in an accident, a police report will be filed. Many personal injury firms receive these police reports to learn who has been injured in an accident. They then will contact these people by mail or phone. Be careful to do your research after you are contacted by such firms. Meet with them before committing to their representation.
- Google Searches. A quick Google search seems to be the answer to everything in today’s world. If you go this route, be careful that you are looking at firms within your state. You will be directed to their websites, where you will find how to get in contact with an attorney at that firm to discuss your case.
Once you determine your options for representation, you should know the critical things to look for in order to choose an attorney who will effectively investigate, negotiate, and litigate your case.
How Do I Choose a Motorcycle Accident Attorney?
There are many options when choosing an attorney. It is important to be able to identify differences between personal injury law firms and which one will best suit your needs.
The best way to do this is to meet with each firm to discuss your case. Foster Wallace, LLC, offers a free initial consultation, so this is an easy and cost-effective way to explore your options for legal representation.
You will want to bring any relevant documents or pictures you have of the wreck when you meet with any attorney about your case. When preparing your case, the attorneys at Foster Wallace, LLC, will:
- Speak with you candidly and assess the likelihood of success in your case
- Interview witnesses and retain any expert witnesses needed
- Collect medical records and bills
- Gather documents and pictures
- Evaluate how much you may expect to be compensated for your injuries
- Negotiate a fair settlement
- Present your case at trial (if necessary)
When you meet with attorneys, you will want to get information about how your case will proceed if you decide to retain their services. Be prepared to ask questions about the firm, its lawyers, and their experience litigating motorcycle accident cases.
Some important things to consider when meeting with prospective attorneys include:
- Location. Where the law firm is situated and its ability to practice law there is important. If there is a jurisdictional issue in your case, your entire case may be thrown out. Then, you may run into time restraints to re-file your case correctly. Assuring proper location will avoid these issues down the road. Typically, a firm can represent you when its attorneys are licensed in the state where the accident took place. Also, local attorneys will be familiar with the courts in that jurisdiction and how they function, which will further avoid any difficulties or delays down the road.
- Experience. Representing motorcycle-accident victims requires unique skills and training, different from those required for regular car accidents and wrecks involving trucks and tractor-trailers. You will want to inquire about the attorney’s experience in motorcycle accident cases to determine how much of their practice is dedicated to this area. Investing in an experienced attorney will improve the quality of your representation and increase your chances of obtaining a successful settlement.
- Trial practice. Most motorcycle-accident cases will end in settlement. This is because the time and expense of going through a trial can be significant. Most accident victims want to negotiated a fair settlement agreement. However, be cautious when attorneys are quick to recommend settlement, as this might not be the best option in your case for you to receive the compensation you deserve. Hiring an attorney who has little trial experience will not only hurt your case if it does go to trial, but it may encourage insurance companies to offer a lower amount for settlement, predicting that your inexperienced attorney will not want to take the case to trial.
- Case success rate. In addition to experience in motorcycle accident cases, you will want to ask about the firm’s success in previous cases. This will exhibit the firm’s capability to bring a case to trial if necessary and its comprehensive knowledge of motorcycle accident recoveries. Some firms have past case information available on their website or keep a detailed list of the verdicts they’ve received in similar cases.
- Case load and communication. In bigger law firms especially, the attorney you meet for your initial consultation may not be the attorney who will actually represent you during your case. You will want to ask about the process for receiving representation from the firm and who will be representing you throughout the process. You want an attorney that has the time to take your case. If, during your initial visit, the attorney seems distracted or is constantly interrupted, the firm may be too busy to take your case and give you the attention you deserve. An attorney who shows a willingness to listen and makes you feel comfortable asking questions and expressing your concerns during the meeting is likely best suited to represent you.
- Cost. Many motorcycle-accident claims are handled on a contingency fee basis, which means that the attorney only gets paid when your case ends with a settlement or trial verdict in your favor. Discuss with your attorney the contingency fee policy of the firm in addition to any other expenses you may have to pay as a result of the attorney’s discovery and investigation process. Additional costs could include expert witness payments, court fees, and other litigation expenses. If you win your case, the costs will be deducted from the settlement or verdict. If you lose, you could be responsible for repaying the attorney out of your own pocket. It is important to weigh and discuss with your attorney the possible amount of recovery against the cost of pursuing the suit to determine if it is financially sensible to continue.
Have You Been Injured in a Kansas City Motorcycle Accident?
If you've been injured in a Kansas City motorcycle accident you should speak with an experienced motorcycle accident attorney as soon as possible. Contact us online or call our Kansas City office directly at 816.249.2101 to schedule your free consultation.