Because motorcyclists have very little protection in an auto accident, the injuries sustained are usually much greater than those of a person in another vehicle. In fact, motorcyclists are 37 times more likely to die in an auto accident than a person driving a car. The common injuries sustained are lacerations to the body, broken bones and serious head injuries such as a brain contusion.
It is important to keep in mind how to best protect yourself before you get on a bike. Always wear a helmet and protective clothing and take a motorcycle safety class to ensure you are equipped to deal with any situation.
There are several reasons to hire an attorney when involved in an accident:
1) Pursuing recovery for injuries is a complicated legal process, which requires the expertise and experience of a highly trained injury attorney. Many rules and strategies take years for an attorney to learn and acquire. Therefore, always speak to an attorney before trying to handle your legal case on your own. Your recovery will generally be substantially higher, even after all the costs and fees that you incur in hiring legal representation are subtracted.
2) When you have an attorney, you can seek medical treatment for your injuries through the most competent doctors at no upfront cost in most cases. Knowing an attorney has taken your case will give doctors the security that their bills will be paid once the case settles. This is especially important to those who have no PIP (personal injury protection) or health insurance and cannot afford to pay for the cost of the medical treatment needed.
3) Only an experienced lawyer can assess the value of your case after learning the full nature and extent of your injuries, the value of your claim for pain and suffering, and the cost of future treatment and rehabilitation. Chances are, without an attorney, you will settle your case for much less than it is really worth.
4) Most importantly, you need an attorney because the insurance company will offer you very little money for your injury. Only a competent, aggressive, and experienced lawyer has the means, the knowledge, and the ability to sue the insurance companies and force them to give you the appropriate settlement that you are entitled to. Insurance companies have a duty to protect and defend their own insured (the person who caused the accident). No matter how friendly they appear, the insurance company representatives are not your friends. They have a duty to act in the best interest of their shareholders by saving money. You need someone on your side that has your best interest in mind.
5) Lastly, when you have a lawyer, you don’t deal with any of the hassle, paperwork, headache and worry of dealing with insurance companies. You just sit back with the knowledge that an experienced lawyer who has your best interest in mind is going to handle your case and deal with the headache.
Bikers are 37 times more likely to die in an accident than those driving other vehicles. 59% of these motorcycle accident fatalities occur when the motorcyclist is not wearing a helmet. Also keep in mind that 93% of motorcycle accidents involve bikers that have not taken a motorcycle training course. So although there is a significantly greater risk involved in riding a bike there are simple steps a rider can take to better protect themselves.
One of the most important things to consider when hiring an attorney is experience. There are many personal injury attorneys out there that are not experienced in motorcycle accident cases. Motorcycle accident cases have unique issues and require an attorney who understands them. The attorney’s experience in personal injury law is also important. There are general practice attorneys who would be happy to take your case, but will not have the experience and focus in personal injury to get you the best offer or be able to make the best arguments for your case.
This becomes a case of wrongful death. In Washington, fatal accident cases survive the death of the victim. These cases can be very difficult, and it is best to seek the advice of an experienced wrongful death lawyer.
Two of our attorneys, Jason Epstein and Patrick Kang, have authored a book on the topic; In Case of Death – Straight Talk on Washington Wrongful Death which is provided free to Washington state residents. You may order your free copy on our website.
While your case is being handled, make sure you continue seeking treatment for your injuries and follow your doctor’s instructions. Do not stop with your treatment without first consulting your attorney as this can hinder the progress of your case. Also make sure to mail copies of all insurance forms received and receipts for medications and tools necessary for your recovery.
No. Absolutely not, especially in the case of a catastrophic injury. It is vital that a law firm that understands how carefully a settlement needs to be structured protect your rights, because no insurance company is on your side – ever – even your own. They are only trying to find an excuse to get away with paying you very little or not paying you at all. Statements made while your brain isn’t functioning at par could be used against you. Sometimes, you have to provide your own insurance company with a recorded statement because your policy requires it. In that scenario, you should consult with your attorney who will prepare you for the statement.
Can I Get Money For The Time Lost From Work After My Motorcycle Accident? What If I Have To Switch Careers?
Absolutely. You must first prove that the accident occurred – not hard to do if the accident was serious – and discuss with your physician the nature of your work. If the physician agrees that you will not be able to perform your work as a result of your injuries, and instructs you to take off from work for a certain period of time, you will be entitled to get all the money that you would have earned if you had gone to work in that period of time (even if you wind up getting paid by using sick leave or vacation time). Furthermore, you are entitled to compensation for loss of income capacity if you are no longer able to perform the same occupation as prior to the injury (i.e. income you would have been able to earn had you not been injured that you are now unable to earn).
Is a Rear-End Collision in Washington State Automatically The Fault of The Driver That Hit the Other?
The automatic-determination of fault is no longer in existence in Washington, but there is an automatic presumption that the person rear ending is at fault. Insurance companies will try to use this to their favor and refuse to cover a claim, so it is important to hire an experienced lawyer to prove the facts and force the insurance company to take responsibility
Nothing. You don’t have to pay anything upfront. You hire us on a contingency basis, which means we don’t charge you anything unless we win your case. We even pay for all of the expenses associated with your case out of our own pocket. Also, if for any reason we don’t recover any money (for example if we find out later that the party at fault has no insurance), we still don’t charge you anything. However, when your case settles, we take a percentage of the settlement for our fees and costs. This percentage depends on whether your case resolves before litigation or after trial. Please note, however, that in Washington, the law requires that the client ultimately be responsible for reimbursing an attorney for costs advanced, even if the case is unsuccessful. Please contact us so that we can explain how this would work in your case.
Fortunately, you can change your lawyer anytime at absolutely no cost to you. All you have to do is call us and let us know. We will immediately send a letter to your former attorney. As soon as they receive our letter, by law they are immediately obligated to forward your file to our office. Also, they are forbidden to contact you. You are not even required to inform them of your decision. Of course, if they have done substantial work in your case, they are entitled to get a portion of our fees for their contribution. This will only affect our fees and will not change your recovery.
Only an experienced attorney can put a dollar value on your case and that is only after you have been examined by specialized physicians and the full nature and extent of your injuries are precisely determined and the cost of your present and future medical treatments are known. Furthermore, there are other factors that determine the value of your case such as, recent jury verdicts on similar cases in your area, the credibility of all parties involved, the length of time, the frequency, and the intensity of your pain and suffering, etc. Give us a call at (206) 285-1743 to schedule a free initial consultation. This will allow us to better determine how much your case is worth.
A statute of limitations creates a cut-off date after which a suit can no longer be filed. In general, an action must be filed within three years of the act that is alleged to have caused the injury. Because there are circumstances that can alter the statute of limitations, it is crucial to speak with an experienced attorney as soon as possible.