Sacramento Motor Cycle Accident Lawyer
Motorcycle Accident Statistics in California
Sacramento might be a beautiful place to live and a pleasant place to ride a motorcycle, but it’s also an especially risky one for motorcyclists. To be sure , there are hundreds of motorcyclist fatalities reported in our state each year. While the good news is that motorcycle deaths that are caused by the motorcyclist not wearing a helmet have slightly decreased, the terrible news is that far too many motorcyclists are still being killed or severely injured in California on a regular basis. Motorcycle accidents are entirely preventable and should never occur.
What Does a Sacramento Motorcycle Accident Attorney Do?
If you have been involved in a motorcycle accident, working with our motorcycle accident lawyer at our Sacramento motorcycle accident law firm is strongly recommended. A motorcycle accident lawyer wears a number of hats and has a number of roles throughout the claims process; their primary goal, though, is to make sure that you receive a compensation award that fully compensates you for your losses. Here’s an overview of what you can expect from a Sacramento motorcycle accident lawyer--
Free consultation. The first part of the process begins with a free consultation. During your consultation, you can ask motorcycle accident lawyer any questions that you have about the process, what to expect, the strength of your case, and whether or not you may be able to recover a payout. It’s important that you come to your consultation with as much information about your case as possible so that the attorney can better assist you. At the end of the consultation, your attorney will give their professional recommendation as to how you should proceed; if you decide to hire the attorney, then the following will ensue.
Investigation. Once you and a motorcycle accident lawyer decide to work together, one of the first things that your attorney will do is open an investigation in your case. Your attorney wants to gather any and all evidence that exists. This process might very well include bringing in forensic or accident reconstruction experts, as well as other professionals as necessary. It may also involve sending spoliation of evidence letters, reviewing video footage, requesting access to cellphone logs, and more.
Determining and proving fault. Once all of the evidence has been collected, your motorcycle accident lawyer will work hard to analyze and organize it; from here, they will be able to make a determination about how the accident occurred, who was at fault, and who should be held liable for the damages you’ve suffered.
Insurance coverage identification. Unfortunately, just because the accurate at-fault party is identified does not always mean that recovering damages is possible; sometimes, the insurance policies that would need to be in place for a claimant to recover compensation simply don’t exist. As such, it is your attorney’s job to identify all possible sources of compensation in your case.
Calculating damages. Your attorney will also be responsible for calculating damages and determining the value of your claim. In order to do this, they will work with experts to assess the full value of your medical expenses, property damage costs, lost wages, lost benefits, loss of earning capacity, pain, suffering, emotional distress, and any other economic or noneconomic damages you’ve suffered.
Filing a demand letter. After determining how much your case is worth and who should be held liable for your damages, your motorcycle accident lawyer will issue a demand letter. This is a letter that is issued, most usually, to the liability insurance company of the at-fault driver. The letter outlines how much your case is worth, how much you are requesting in compensation, and the pertinent facts of your case.
Reviewing and negotiating an insurance settlement offer. After the demand letter is issued, the insurance company will likely counter with a settlement offer. The settlement offer will probably be less than you’ve requested and may be far less than you deserve. As such, your attorney will open negotiations and will initiate conversations with the insurance company in order to reach a settlement agreement that works for both parties.
Filing a lawsuit. It’s important to know that the vast majority of motorcycle accident claims in Sacramento are settled out of court, and filing a lawsuit is not necessary. However, some claims are so contentious or complex that the two sides simply cannot agree on a fair settlement. When this is the case, your lawyer may recommend that you file a lawsuit and pursue litigation. If your case goes this route, your attorney will be responsible for managing 100 percent of your case, including representing you in court.
Throughout the process, your motorcycle accident lawyer will also be responsible for providing you with information about your case, ensuring that you’re informed of key deadlines and protocols, and remaining available and accessible. Remember, your attorney works for you and has your best interests in mind.
Signs You Need a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
If you have been in a Sacramento motorcycle crash, you may be wondering whether or not you need an attorney. Working with an motorcycle accident lawyer is almost always advantageous, but is especially important when:
Your injuries are severe. If your injuries are severe, then your claim will likely be worth more money. While you may assume that the insurance adjuster assigned to your case will be more than willing to offer you what you deserve, the truth is that the job of an insurance adjuster is to save the insurance company money ,
Fault is disputed. If fault is disputed, you’ll want an attorney on your side. In fact, if the other side is trying to pin any of the blame for the accident on your shoulders and you believe that they were 100 percent to blame, you should get a lawyer. If you are found to be partially at fault for the motorcycle accident, your recoverable settlement award could be reduced in proportion to your degree of fault.
Your claim has been denied. Another reason to call a Sacramento motorcycle accident lawyer is in the event that your claim is denied. If your claim is denied, you need to get in contact with an motorcycle accident lawyer immediately. A motorcycle accident lawyer will investigate to determine whythe insurance company has denied your claim and whether or not they have grounds to do so. Your motorcycle accident lawyer can advise you of the next steps to take to protect your right to compensation.
Working with a motorcycle accident lawyer is a low-risk choice: you don’t have to pay a motorcycle accident lawyer up front and can schedule a free consultation in advance if you’re unsure.
Frequently Asked Questions About Motorcycle Accidents
We know that being involved in a motorcycle accident is a terrifying experience that could leave you with a lot of questions about what happens next. Here are some of the answers to frequently asked questions our Sacramento motorcycle accident law firm receives--
What happens if the driver who hit me is uninsured or if I was involved in a hit and run?
Being involved in a motorcycle accident with a hit-and-run driver, or an uninsured or underinsured driver, can be terrifying--will there be an insurance policy in place to pay you for your damages? We understand how upsetting this can be and we are here to help. You may have coverage under your own policy’s underinsured/uninsured motorist coverage; there may also be other forms of insurance available to you, too. Sometimes , other options are available, such as negotiating medical bills, etc.
How much is my claim worth?
It is impossible to know how much a claim is worth or how much a payout will be in advance; your lawyer will need to thoroughly investigate your case before making any declarations about how much you’re owed. With that in mind, there are a number of things that affect the value of a claim, including the degree of damages suffered by a claimant, each party’s degree of fault, the amount of insurance coverage that exists, and more.
Do I have to accept a first settlement offer?
Many people wonder whether or not they have to accept a settlement offer when it’s made--the answer is no! Not only do you not have to accept a first settlement offer, but most of the time you should not accept a first settlement offer. First settlement offers, as mentioned above, are often lowballed. It’s important to review and negotiate a settlement offer if appropriate.
Will my insurance claim go to court?
Most insurance claims are filed out of court. Only when a settlement cannot be reached during the negotiations phase will a lawsuit be filed, and even then, there is still opportunity to settle the case at any point. While going to court can be intimidating, it may be the only way to recover the settlement that you deserve. With representation from an experienced trial lawyer, you can get the support you need throughout the entire process.
How much time do I have to file a motorcycle injury lawsuit?
One thing to think about after a motorcycle crash, especially if your case does end in litigation, is how much time you have to file a lawsuit. In all cases, you should initiate the claims process immediately and, should your case require litigation, you’ll need to file a lawsuit within the California statute of limitations. The personal injury statute of limitations, which is the statute that applies to motorcycle accidents, is two years from the date of injury in California. If you wait longer than two years from the date of injury to file a lawsuit, you will be permanently barred from recovery.
Do I have any rights if a family member of mine was killed in a motorcycle crash?
Being injured yourself in a motorcycle crash can be traumatic, but for many, losing a loved one is even worse. If you have lost a loved one in a motorcycle accident in Sacramento, our deepest condolences go out to you and your family.
While you cannot bring forth a standard personal injury claim on your deceased loved one’s behalf, you can file a wrongful death lawsuit. Through a wrongful death lawsuit, you can hold the responsible party liable and seek damages for the losses that you and your family have suffered, such as medical expenses prior to death, funeral and burial expenses, the value of the decedent’s lost wages, and noneconomic losses, such as the loss of companionship suffered.
Please Call Our Sacramento Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Today
Too many motorcyclists are injured and killed on Sacramento’s roads. If you have been in a crash, you deserve an attorney on your side who will work hard to make sure that you get a settlement that fully compensates you for your losses. While nothing can ever be done that will truly restore you to who you were and the life you had prior to the accident, a compensation award can allow you to plan for the future.
To learn more about our Sacramento motorcycle accident law firm, our process, and how we can help, reach out to us directly by phone or online. Our motorcycle accident lawyer offer free consultations and always work on a contingency fee basis.