In the aftermath of a motorcycle accident, you may feel your life has been turned upside down. You must balance a physical recovery with caring for your mental health; the last thing you need is the added stress of dealing with the legal system. A motorcycle accident lawyer in Kansas City can help by safeguarding your rights and advocating for compensation.
Don’t Wait to Call Your Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
Few people know the complexities of motorcycle laws, and even fewer think about them until they’ve been in an accident. This can be a highly charged time as you seek to understand your injuries and begin the recovery process. A knowledgeable attorney can offer impartial advice and ensure you get the care you need.
He or she can also represent you in and out of court. Depending on the circumstances of your accident, you may have the right to compensation that includes:
- Lost income
- Medical expenses
- Out-of-pocket costs
- Emotional suffering
- Physical pain
- Other expenses
You Won’t Lose Your Independence
Many people want to handle concerns in their own way and on their own time. We can assure that you will not lose your independence by seeking legal counsel. A motorcycle accident lawyer will work for you, presenting options and advocating for your full and fair recovery. Meanwhile, you’ll continue to make all key decisions.
Signs You Should Call an Attorney
It’s never a bad idea to contact a Kansas City attorney after an accident. Even if you choose not to take any course of action, it’s empowering to know your legal rights. Some circumstances, however, make finding a lawyer more pressing.
If you’ve suffered severe injuries, they will be more expensive to treat and take longer to heal. Both of these factors can complicate the legal process after an accident.
More severe injuries usually mean you can pursue more compensation. This in and of itself can increase the time needed to resolve a case. In addition, many cases do not start until the accident survivor(s) has recovered. Severe injuries, however, delay healing. You can therefore see how these elements play into each other. An experienced lawyer can hasten this process, when possible, and manage paperwork as you focus on recovering.
A motorcycle crash can result in life-changing events, especially when injuries are permanent. Speaking to a lawyer in these situations not only brings peace of mind but may also yield greater compensation as you learn to live with your new circumstances.
Missed Multiple Work Days
Nobody enjoys the days and weeks following a motorcycle accident; you’re in physical pain, trying to re-orient yourself, and – in extreme cases – forced to recover from a hospital or rehabilitation facility.
Ultimately, you must take time away from work to heal. If you’ve missed more than a few days, however, you should speak to an attorney. He or she can help you pursue damages for lost wages, which will provide the money you need for ongoing bills.
Concerns with Your Insurance Provider
Rarely, if ever, do insurance companies offer a fair settlement to accident survivors. If your provider is being exceptionally difficult, a lawyer can intervene and take over discussions. The added benefit is that most insurance companies recognize you’re willing to take your case to court once an attorney becomes involved.
Hazards Unique to Motorcyclists
Motorcycles tend to be involved in accidents with unique circumstances. They are, for instance, more vulnerable to road hazards than passenger vehicles; an event that doesn’t impact larger vehicles can be catastrophic to motorcycles and their drivers. Some of the hazards we’ve identified include:
- Loose gravel
- Roadway debris
If a roadway defect is identified as the cause of a motorcycle accident, the rider(s) may have a claim against the government in Missouri or Kansas. State and local agencies are obligated to maintain roadways for all drivers. A failure to do so that results in a crash may constitute negligence.
Determining Accident Liability
In some accidents, the responsible party is immediately apparent. Other times, accidents are more complex and require deeper investigation. The sooner you partner with a Kansas City attorney, the sooner he or she can untangle the details of the accident.
State law considers a few basic elements when identifying who is at fault for a motorcycle accident. The first is determining if the other driver owed a duty of care to you, the motorcyclist. In many cases, the answer is yes. All drivers must be considerate of others using the road, including pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorcyclists.
Identifying if the motorist committed negligence is foundational to accidents. From a legal perspective, a driver commits negligence when he or she fails to act in a way that would have been exhibited by another reasonable person.
In a motorcycle accident, a person acts negligently when he or she violates traffic law. Common examples include:
- Distracted driving
- Operating a vehicle under the influence
- Failing to yield the right of way
Negligence and Injuries
Once an act of negligence has been identified, it must be determined if that act led to your suffering. This essentially means the other driver’s actions must have caused the property damage or injuries sustained by you to establish liability.
The final piece to this puzzle is in proving that you suffered harm as a result of the other motorist’s negligence. Examples of harm range from straightforward – medical bills and lost wages – to intangible losses like physical pain and emotional distress.
What to Look for in an Attorney
It seems there’s no shortage of motorcycle accident lawyers. But within this large pool, it’s important you find an attorney you feel comfortable with and who has expertise in motorcycle accidents specifically. Someone with a vague, broad knowledge of personal injury law may not have the skill to navigate the nuances of your case.
What, then, should you look for in an attorney? For starters, the ability to negotiate with insurance companies. We mentioned earlier they rarely offer a fair settlement to injured drivers, which essentially means they will try to get you to accept the lowest remuneration possible.
A confident attorney who’s not afraid to take your case to trial can effectively communicate with insurance companies. He or she will know what to say and when to say it to help secure your fair compensation.
It’s wise to choose an attorney who frequently handles motorcycle accident cases. These are different from passenger vehicle accidents and therefore require different knowledge. When your attorney has this experience, he or she can diffuse tense situations, act in the manner most appropriate to protect your interests, and wisely handle negotiations.
A less experienced attorney may tell you to accept the first offer made by the insurance company. But what you really need is a lawyer who will stick by your side even when the situation gets tough. This means keeping you regularly informed and doubling-down on the insurance company to fight for a maximum settlement.
Any motor accident is traumatic; one involving a motorcycle is that much more so because of the likelihood for serious, lasting injuries. You shouldn’t have to suffer because of someone else’s negligence, nor should you feel pressured to accept a low-ball offer from the insurance provider. Schedule your free consultation today by calling the experienced team at Potts Law Firm.