When Should I Hire a Motorcycle Personal Injury Lawyer?
Legally Reviewed and Edited by: Terry Cochran
If you’re asking this question, the answer is “now!” An attorney can be key to a successful outcome.
Why Get Legal Help?
If you or someone you care about has been injured in a motorcycle crash with a car or truck, you may already have experienced some of the problems that motorcycle riders face in these situations. Often the motorcyclist is immediately blamed for the crash — even when the driver of the car or truck is actually at fault.
If that’s happening to you, it’s a good time to ask a friend or colleague how to contact a motorcycle personal injury lawyer.
Insurance companies often contest claims that involve motorcycles. Why? Mostly it’s because of suspected reckless behavior on the part of the motorcycle rider. There is a motorcycle rider stereotype that suggests several unsafe practices — like traveling at extremely high speeds, unsafe lane changes, and lane splitting. As any biker knows, these suspected reckless behaviors have a basis in reality, but this doesn’t mean that you were at fault.
The point is that even if you were operating within the law and complying with all rules of the road when the crash occurred, insurance companies will exploit the negative stereotype of a reckless biker and attempt to shift fault and liability away from their policyholder, the car or truck driver. Insurance companies want to pay you as little as possible in any settlement.
The team at Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C., understands motorcyclists and the challenges they may face in recovering damages after an accident. If you believe you were not at fault, you have every right to make a claim to cover damages.
Different Laws for Different Vehicles
You will probably want to seek the services of a motorcycle accident lawyer before you talk with anyone representing an insurance company.
Legally, motorcycle accidents in Michigan are perceived a bit differently than car accidents. One key difference is the insurance coverage required to operate each type of vehicle.
In Michigan, motorcycle owners are not required to purchase no-fault insurance coverage like car owners. The only policy you, as a motorcyclist, must have is basic liability coverage for the possible injury, death, and property damage that you may cause in an accident.
This means that if you are in an accident and another vehicle is involved, it is probably the insurance company that’s insuring the car or truck that will be paying you compensation for your injuries.
You are Entitled to No-Fault Benefits
You may start looking for motorcycle accident attorneys when you encounter problems with insurance companies. You are entitled to compensation even though you don’t have Michigan no-fault insurance on your bike. Michigan has established a priority order of responsible parties, including the insurer of the car or truck in the crash and your auto insurer.
If no insurance is available, the state has a program called the Michigan Assigned Claims Plan, which covers reasonable charges for medical care and recovery and rehabilitation in accordance with the Michigan No-Fault Statute.
No-fault benefits will reimburse you for all medical costs, including all medical bills associated with your recovery and rehabilitation, transportation (if needed), and wage loss.
The team at Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C. has handled many motorcycle accident cases over the years and has a thorough understanding of insurance company practices and Michigan insurance laws.
Senior partner, Eileen Kroll specializes in medical cases, and her medical training as a registered nurse is invaluable in evaluating your injuries, medical conditions, and recovery process for legal purposes. We’re here to help you understand your situation and options. Before you consider any settlement offers, talk with us.
Before You Sign Anything
Most motorcycle accident attorneys will recommend a legal consultation before talking with anyone from an insurance company about a settlement or signing anything related to your compensation or care as the result of the accident. Finding a law firm that works with motorcycle accident victims can be key to a successful settlement outcome.
If you have been seriously injured in the motorcycle crash — or if you are the surviving family of an individual who has been killed in a motorcycle crash — a full evaluation of your situation is essential.
What are the long-term impacts of your injury? Are your injuries temporary or permanent? Have you been diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury? Other than the loss of wages, how has the motorcycle accident impacted your life? Has the death of your spouse or child in a motorcycle accident caused you and your family additional hardship and pain?
Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C. can be your advocate in all settlement negotiations with insurance companies. We can also assist you, if necessary, in filing a personal injury case — or wrongful death claim in the event of a fatality — and work with commitment and dedication on your behalf to achieve the best outcome possible. Free case evaluation is an important part of what we do. Call us and let us know your story.
Recovering Damages for Loss
Motorcycle accident victims can file a claim for non-economic damages — often referred to as “pain and suffering” — and recover additional compensation. If the motorcycle accident victim dies, either immediately or later as the direct result of injuries sustained during the accident, surviving family members and others may choose to file a wrongful death claim against the insurer of the car or truck.
In both situations, you’ll want to have a motorcycle accident lawyer at your side every step of the way. One of the key tasks in the successful litigation of personal injury lawsuits between a motorcyclist and the driver or a car or truck is proving fault. In Michigan, a successful litigation outcome means proving that the driver of the car or truck is more than 50% responsible for causing the accident.
Cochran, Kroll & Associates P.C., understands the many issues you may be dealing with after a motorcycle accident, and how the financial well-being of your family is on the line when you are injured and unable to work. We’re here to help you take on the insurance companies and other negligent parties, and win your case to get you the compensation you need and deserve.
Contact us toll-free today at 866-MICH-LAW or use our convenient online contact form to schedule your free case evaluation. Our law firm never charges a fee unless we win your case.
Disclaimer : The information provided is general and not for legal advice. The blogs are not intended to provide legal counsel and no attorney-client relationship is created nor intended.