Illinois motorcyclists are involved in around 3,400 crashes each year. These accidents can be devastating and they can leave motorcyclists buried under a mountain of paperwork, bills and confusion. That’s where a motorcycle accident attorney can come in!
Figuring out what to do after a motorcycle accident and how to handle the sudden demands on your time and attention can be overwhelming. A motorcycle accident attorney can help. Here are the top five things that an attorney can do to help you reclaim your life after an accident.
1. Motorcycle Accident Attorneys Keep You From Getting Scammed
Illinois requires all drivers to carry liability insurance. The intent behind this law is to ensure that if someone is injured in a vehicle accident there will be insurance coverage available to pay for their injuries, vehicle damage, and other associated costs.
Insurance providers, however, loathe to pay out more than necessary. As a result, they often make low-ball offers to injured parties after a crash. If the injured party doesn’t know that they deserve more and accepts the money, they forfeit their right to any additional funds no matter how high their actual recovery costs are.
This is why, if you are involved in a motorcycle crash, you should never:
- Assume that the insurers have your best interests at heart
- Make any statements or provide information to insurance companies without speaking to an attorney
- Accept or agree to any terms without first speaking to an attorney
Instead, direct all communication to your lawyer. This will prevent insurers from scamming you out of your rightful compensation.
2. Deflect Unwarranted Blame
Illinois is an “at-fault” state. This impacts the aftermath of a vehicle accident in several ways.
First, it means that whichever party is found to be at fault for causing the crash is the one legally responsible for the costs. Second, it means that if both parties were partially at fault, then each is only responsible for part of the resulting costs.
This means that if insurance companies can offload some of the blame onto you, they can legally avoid paying out as much money as they would otherwise have to. Therefore, it is not uncommon for insurers to try to blame motorcyclists for unsafe driving or improper use of safety gear to reduce their own liability and costs.
Attorneys know how to push back against such attempts. They have the experience and training to use police reports and other documentation to defend your innocence. By refusing to let insurers shift the blame to you, they keep your compensation options open and limit the negative impacts of a crash on your insurance record and premiums.
3. Get You the Compensation You Deserve
Determining compensation in accident cases can be complicated. In addition to fault, there are many other factors to consider including:
- Total damage to your bike and other gear
- Your immediate and long-term health care and recovery costs
- Lost wages and income
- Pain and suffering
When you hire an attorney for a motorcycle accident, they can help you calculate these costs using experience and legally approved formulas. This produces a much more accurate figure than most motorcyclists could reach on their own. Your attorney can also negotiate with the insurer on your behalf for that amount.
If the insurer refuses to pay what you are owed, your attorney can also fight for the compensation you deserve in court. Statistically, it is unlikely that you will end up in court as 95 percent of cases settle before going to trial. Knowing that you have an attorney and could push as far as court if necessary, however, tends to prompt insurers to take your demands more seriously and pay what you are owed.
4. Untangle Complex Insurance Situations Like Uninsured Motorist Claims
In an ideal situation, after an accident, the other party’s insurance would accept the blame and pay you appropriate compensation without any further fuss. In real life, cases can get muddled and confusing when:
- There are multiple parties involved
- The roadway or intersection where the accident occurred was inherently unsafe, poorly designed, or improperly maintained
- Uninsured motorist claims are involved
When an accident involves multiple parties, allotting fault and working out liability can be messy. Things can become even murkier when public or private non-motorist parties play a role. For example, if an intersection is unsafe by design or was not maintained and those factors played a role in the accident, some fault and liability may fall on the public departments responsible.
Further complications can arise when one of the parties involved was uninsured. In addition to liability insurance, Illinois requires every driver and motorcyclist to carry uninsured motorist coverage. This means that your own insurance should pay for your expenses if the other motorist does not have insurance.
Even if the other motorist was uninsured, however, that does not necessarily mean that you cannot recover any funds or compensation from them. A motorcycle accident attorney can help you identify opportunities for such recovery.
5. Healing and Moving Forward
In the aftermath of a motorcycle accident, dealing with insurance is only one of the many things you will likely have on your plate. You will have your motorcycle and gear to repair, restore, or replace. You may have injuries that need medical care, surgery, and ongoing therapy to correct.
You may need to take time off from work or negotiate temporary changes to your work schedule and duties while you heal. You will still have your home to maintain, your family to care for, and all of your other regular responsibilities. All of these things are critically important but can directly conflict with having the time, energy, and focus you need to handle the legal aspects of your case.
When you work with the best motorcycle accident attorney you can find, they will take care of the paperwork, deadlines, negotiations, and other tasks associated with the legal side of your case. This frees you to focus your energies on the things that matter the most, like healing and moving forward with your life.
Speak to an Attorney
Whether they involve one other party, multiple parties, or uninsured motorist claims, motorcycle crash cases can be complex and stressful. If you’ve been in a crash, schedule a consultation with an attorney today and get the help you need to navigate the system and secure the compensation you deserve.