A motor vehicle accident often has more severe injuries than any other vehicle accident. After you have been involved in a crash on your motorcycle, you might find yourself in an overwhelming situation. You are knee-deep in medical bills, you are trying to pay for it all, and you are trying to negotiate with insurance companies who don’t seem too eager to give you the money you need.
And on top of all of that – you are trying to recover from your injuries.
Instead of going through this stressful time alone, you need to consult a motor vehicle injury attorney. An attorney works as your advocate. As an advocate, your attorney handles EVERYTHING with the insurance companies and ensures you receive the compensation you need and deserve in order to pay for medical costs, lost wages, and more.
And while you wait for the consultation with an attorney, you will likely have many questions. Some of these questions are best answered by an attorney, while others can be answered here. Naturally, you should write down all your concerns so that when you meet with an attorney for a free consultation, you can go over each one.
Common Questions Attorneys Hear
As an accident victim, it is only natural to have questions. You have been thrown into a situation that is new to you, confusing, and scary. Read through some of these frequently asked questions to see if some of your concerns can be put to rest – and save anything unanswered for your consultation.
Do you need an attorney if you have motorcycle insurance?
Yes, you still want an attorney.
While you have motor vehicle accident insurance, you did not cause the accident. Therefore, you are filing a claim with the at-fault party’s insurance. You will notify your insurer immediately after the crash about the incident to fulfill your obligations, but then the claim gets turned over to the at-fault party’s insurance.
When victims try to negotiate a settlement without an attorney, they often receive much less compensation than they deserve. After an accident, it is best that you consult an accident attorney to ensure you receive a fair settlement that will cover all your present and future costs.
I was not wearing a helmet at the time of the accident – can I still file a lawsuit?
Yes, you can.
If you have a severe injury from a motor vehicle accident, you can file a claim against the at-fault driver. In this case, “comparative negligence” might apply. That means that your settlement will be reduced by the percentage of fault apportioned to you. Oftentimes, the insurance company will argue that you are partly to blame for a head injury if you elected to ride with no helmet.
For example, the court decides that not wearing a helmet contributed to 25 percent of your injuries and losses. Therefore, if awarded a $100,000 settlement that amount would be reduced by 25 percent – or down to $75,000.
Do not assume that because you were not wearing a helmet, you cannot receive compensation. Even if you did not wear a helmet, you also did not cause the accident. Therefore, the party responsible will be held accountable for their actions.
How much is a motor vehicle accident case worth?
There is no straightforward answer to this type of question. Even two very similar cases will have various outcomes because cases come down to total injuries, bills, costs, evidence, insurance coverage, and minor details that can sway a settlement higher or lower.
The only way to know how much you could receive potentially is to speak with an attorney. Some compensation you might receive includes:
- Medical Costs: Hospital stays, surgeries, doctor’s follow-up appointments, prescription medications, medical equipment, psychotherapy, over-the-counter medications, in-home care, and nursing facilities.
- Lost Wages: Time off work to recover, hours missed for follow-up appointments and court dates, and sick leave or vacation time used to compensate.
- Loss of Future Earning Capacity: Future wages that would have been earned had the victim not been partially or permanently disabled because of the injury.
- Property Damage: Damage to the motorcycle and personal belongings on the victim at the time of the accident.
- Pain and Suffering: Physical pain, mental and emotional suffering, and psychiatric conditions such as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
How is a motor vehicle accident different from a car accident?
Car accidents do not have as severe injuries as a motorcycle crash accident. Even a minor crash at low speeds on a motorcycle could lead to traumatic injuries. Motorcyclists are not protected from the debris and objects around them; therefore, a person could suffer lacerations, broken bones, traumatic brain injuries, and internal organ trauma in a motor vehicle crash while a person in the vehicle could walk away unscathed.
How long does a victim have to file their accident lawsuit?
All civil cases have a statute of limitations. In Pennsylvania, you have two years to either settle the claim or file your lawsuit. After the two-year mark, you will be barred from seeking compensation – regardless of the evidence proving the defendant’s fault. It is advised that you speak with an attorney as quickly as possible so that evidence can still be collected and the memory of any witnesses is still fresh.
How does a victim pay an attorney for their services?
Most personal injury attorneys work on a contingency fee basis. Contingency fees mean that the attorney receives a portion of the settlement once a settlement is paid out. You NEVER pay the attorney out of your own pocket. If no agreement or verdict is issued, the attorney will receive no payment.
This takes the financial burden off the victim so that they can focus on recovering – while secure in the knowledge that they have an advocate fighting for a fair settlement.
Before you hire an attorney, ask about the contingency fee. All attorneys have various contingency fees and not all costs are included in that percentage. Therefore, you will want to review your agreement carefully so that you can fully understand what services you might pay for in addition to the contingency fee (if any) and how much compensation you would receive if you succeed with your lawsuit.
Speak with an Attorney Today
After your motor vehicle accident, the last thing you need to worry about is contacting insurance companies and trying to negotiate a settlement.
Instead, you need an attorney by your side that can help you with the negotiation and lawsuit process.
Contact attorney Jeffrey H. Penneys, Esq. today by calling his cell at 215-771-0430, toll-free at his office 800-465-8795 or the office direct 215-987-3550. You can also request your consultation online by filling out the online contact form.