Those who ask: “When should I hire a motorcycle accident lawyer?” might actually be asking two different questions. On the one hand, they may be considering dealing with the legal aspects of their injuries and damages themselves and want to know whether they have to use a Raleigh motorcycle accident lawyer. On the other hand, they may already know they want to use a lawyer, but they are considering the best time to get that attorney involved.
Regardless of which type of question you are answering, it is important to note that those who involve an attorney statistically end up getting roughly one-third more in compensation than those who don’t use a lawyer at all. And, the earlier you involve an attorney, the better. Some evidence becomes harder to obtain the longer you wait.
In addition, talking to the other driver’s insurance company on your own can be a huge mistake in some cases. Having a motorcycle accident attorney help you negotiate with the insurance company and deal with outstanding medical bills and liens can lift a massive weight off your shoulders, too.
In every motorcycle accident case, the victim has to prove that he or she is owed money damages. You must show that the other person is legally responsible for the accident, and therefore owes you money to compensate you for your injuries and property damage. To prove that, you must show:
1. The defendant owed you a duty.
In general, this element is easy to prove in a motorcycle accident case because everyone driving on the road owes a duty to other people to drive in a reasonably safe manner based on the road conditions.
2. The defendant violated or breached that duty to you
The person that caused the accident can breach their duty to you in any number of ways. Perhaps they missed a stop sign or turned out in front of you. Maybe the other driver was speeding or driving drunk. Your motorcycle accident attorney in Raleigh will be able to help you gather evidence to show why the crash happened and who caused it.
One of the main reasons that motorcycle crashes occur is because the other driver simply didn’t see the motorcyclist. That means that they will do things like merge into your lane or turn out in front of you. Both of these types of crashes are examples of situations where the other driver has failed to carry out their duty of keeping a proper lookout. Not seeing you on your motorcycle is no excuse to cause a crash.
3. The breach caused the accident.
You have to not only show that the other person violated their duty, but that violation directly caused the crash. For example, the other driver may have missed the stop sign before they hit you, but the reason they hit you was because they merged into your lane. The breach in that example is the merge, not that the other driver missed the stop sign.
4. The breach caused your injuries.
You also need to prove that the reason the accident occurred is also the reason that you were injured. If you broke your leg because your motorcycle fell on you, that would be easier to prove than showing that your asthma problems increased because of the same crash.
Showing that the crash caused an injury can be difficult in some cases. However, a motorcycle accident law firm in Raleigh, NC, will be able to help you get to the right doctors who can provide an opinion about how your injuries came about and why.
In most cases, the sooner you call an attorney after a motorcycle accident, the better. Because the other driver is often at fault in these cases, an insurance company may be contacting you within a few days after the crash to talk about your case. Having an attorney field these calls for you can cut down on the stress, anxiety, and time it takes to deal with these types of calls and requests for information.
Because your injuries after a motorcycle accident are often severe, you may not want to make a demand to the insurance company or start a lawsuit right away. Instead, it may make sense to wait to see how well your healing progresses after an accident. However, that should not stop you from contacting a Raleigh NC motorcycle accident lawyer. He or she will be able to tell you when the best time to demand payment may be and how much it should be.
Keep in mind that you must start a lawsuit in North Carolina for a motorcycle accident within three years from the date of the crash. If a loved one passed away because of the crash, then you only have two years to start this process.
Contac the Clausen Law Firm to learn more about how our team of Raleigh motorcycle accident lawyers can help you and your family. We offer free consultations to review the facts of your case and discuss your options with you. Call toll free: 833-680-0177 to learn more or to set up an appointment.