Each case is unique and different, so there is no way of knowing how long a motorcycle accident claim will take to settle. The American Bar Association states that a settlement is when you “agree to accept money in return for dropping your action against the person who injured you.” You may want to accept the initial offer the liable party (and their insurance company) offers you, especially if their offer covers all damage to your vehicle and you were uninjured in the accident.
However, you may have suffered a major injury such as a traumatic brain injury (TBI) or totaled your car. There also may be the possibility that the involved insurance companies deny your claim – either fairly or wrongfully.
A lawyer may be able to help you throughout this process, from the initial claim filing until you secure damages.
If You Were Partially At-Fault
A study report published by Accident Analysis & Prevention states that “helmets and helmet use laws have been shown to be effective in reducing head injuries and deaths from motorcycle crashes.” If you were not wearing a helmet at the time of your accident, you may be determined to be partially at fault for your injuries.
In South Carolina, all motorcycle riders under the age of 21 are required to wear a helmet, according to South Carolina Statute 56-5-3660. In Georgia, O.C.G.A. § 40-6-315 states that all motorcyclists, regardless of age, must wear approved headgear and eye-protection devices.
The 1991 South Carolina Supreme Court case Nelson v. Concrete Supply Companyset the precedent that a plaintiff in the state can receive damages in a personal injury case if their fault is not greater than the defendant. Georgia also has a similar doctrine of comparative negligence. So, even if you do not wear a helmet while operating or riding on your motorcycle, you may still be able to receive a financial award, as long as you are determined to not be more than 49% at fault for the accident.
What You May Expect from Your Case
If you have not pursued a claim before, here is what to expect. You may file a claim with your insurance company, then pursue additional compensation from the other driver’s insurance company if your policy doesn’t cover all of your damages. You can either accept the company’s offer or negotiate. This may result in another offer, or the insurance company may not budge. In this case, you may file a lawsuit against the liable driver.
Your lawyer will then represent you at trial either in front of a judge or jury, and the court will decide whose case is stronger. If you win, you can secure a financial award. Your legal team will strive to make sure that your judgment covers all of your expenses, now and into the future.
You may want to wait to file a lawsuit until after you are healed from any injuries you sustained in the accident. This is because after you submit the figure you are seeking in a lawsuit—and accept the subsequent award—you cannot pursue any further damages if you later discover you need surgery, for instance.
A lawyer can consult with you so that you feel secure in your decisions.
How Else a Lawyer Can Come to Your Aid During Your Legal Fight
Your lawyer can bear the brunt of legal tasks throughout your case. They may:
- Inform you of your options
- Negotiate with insurance companies
- File paperwork
- Meet you at home, in the hospital, or at your office
- Gather and analyze evidence
- Interview eyewitnesses to the accident
- Secure police and accident reports and your medical records
Call George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers for a Consultation
You can always fight for justice on your own, but a lawyer may be able to help you accomplish the often-tedious legwork of proving that the liable party is responsible for your injuries. A lawyer may also be able to prove that not only is the other driver negligent because they violated the duty of care they owed to every driver, but they are also responsible for your financial (and non-economic) losses.
Non-economic losses can consist of:
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of limb
- Pain and suffering
If you, unfortunately, lost a loved one in a motorcycle accident, you may file a wrongful death lawsuit to seek compensation that can consist of:
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of guidance
- Loss of income (if your loved one supported your family financially)
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Your loved one’s medical expenses from before their death
Our team at George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers can walk you through your options. Georgia and South Carolina motorcycle accident victims can obtain information, like the specifics about why it is hard to say how long a motorcycle accident claim takes to settle, during a free consultation. We are always accepting new clients; we want to hear from you today.