Best Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Motorcycle Accident Attorney

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What Should I Know if I’ve Been Involved in a Motorcycle Accident?

Motorcycle accidents can happen in a flash and leave you reeling. Due to the exposed nature of a motorcycle, victims can suffer serious injuries that require surgeries, rehabilitation, and time off work. Even if you were lucky enough to escape severe physical harm, you may experience mental health effects from the traumatic incident. The time after the crash can be overwhelming as you attempt to navigate insurance claims, health care appointments, medical bills, and motorcycle repairs while you recover.

During this period, it is common to have many questions. An experienced personal injury attorney can address your concerns and help you determine your legal options. This article covers some of the questions we frequently receive from motorcycle accident clients. However, it’s important to remember that each case is different. We strongly recommend scheduling a free consultation with a Madison motorcycle accident attorney for legal advice tailored to your unique situation.

What Steps Should I Take Following My Crash?

Your actions in the minutes after a motorcycle accident can play a significant role in the success of your future claim. If you are physically able, there are some critical steps you can take to protect your well-being and legal rights:

  • Ensure the safety of everyone involved: If possible, move out of the roadway to prevent further crashes. Call 911 for emergency help if anyone is seriously injured.
  • Contact the local authorities: The police should arrive at the scene to investigate and make a police report. During questioning, keep your answers simple and honest. Don’t be afraid to say “I don’t know” if you are unsure. Stick to the facts and avoid discussing who may have been at fault for the crash. Make sure you understand how to obtain a copy of the police report.
  • Collect information: Gather all drivers’ names, addresses, and insurance info. Request the contact information of any eyewitnesses. Document the crash scene by taking photos and videos from several angles.
  • Seek a prompt medical evaluation: Even if you feel uninjured, you should be seen by a medical professional to check for any physical damage. Serious injuries can be masked by adrenaline. The medical records from this evaluation are critical to proving your injuries and conclusively tying them to your crash.
  • Call a trusted motorcycle accident lawyer: Your lawyer can help you contact your insurer and determine any further actions you should take.

Who Might Be at Fault for My Motorcycle Accident?

Determining fault in an accident can be complex. Most crashes are not clear-cut incidents, and many factors can play a role. There can even be multiple people or entities at-fault for any given incident, including:

  • Other motorists
  • Pedestrians and bicyclists
  • Government entities responsible for road design or repair
  • Manufacturers of defective auto or motorcycle parts
  • Mechanics
  • Faulty helmet manufacturers or designers

Luckily for victims, Wisconsin is a modified comparative negligence state with a 51% bar. This means that even if you share some fault in your accident, you are still eligible to seek compensation as long as you are less than 51% responsible for the collision.

However, your damages will be reduced proportionally by the amount of fault assigned to you, so having a strong lawyer on your side is crucial to ensure you are not being assigned more fault than you deserve.

Should I Talk to the Other Driver’s Insurance Adjuster?

In the days or weeks following your crash, you will likely be contacted by an insurance adjuster. These individuals may seem friendly, but they do not have your best interests at heart. To prevent the chance of saying something that could hurt your claim or agreeing to a settlement that is less than you deserve, you should avoid speaking to an insurance adjuster without consulting with your lawyer first. If the adjuster calls, you can politely refer them to your lawyer, who will inform you of the steps you need to take.

Can I Recover Damages if I Wasn’t Wearing a Helmet?

Wisconsin state law does not require motorcyclists over the age of 18 to wear helmets, although appropriate safety gear is highly recommended for all riders. That being said, defendants and their insurers may argue that your injuries were made worse by your failure to wear a helmet. These cases can become complicated, and it is vital to retain the services of a lawyer who will uphold your rights to compensation in these situations.

What Compensation Can I Seek With a Personal Injury Claim?

If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident that was not your fault, you may be able to recover damages from the responsible parties. You can seek compensation for economic losses, such as medical expenses, lost wages, loss of earning capacity, and personal property replacement or repair. Of course, not all losses from an accident are so tangible. Your lawyer can also help you determine the cost of your non-economic damages, including scarring and disfigurement, mental anguish, and pain and suffering.

What if My Loved One Was Killed in a Motorcycle Crash?

If you tragically lost a family member due to a motorcycle collision, you may be able to bring a wrongful death lawsuit. The lawsuit will not bring your loved one back, but it does help ensure that your family does not experience a financial crisis due to their passing. You may seek compensation for funeral expenses, loss of companionship, the decedent’s medical expenses, and more. A knowledgeable wrongful death attorney can explain your legal rights in this heartbreaking situation.

Do I Really Need a Motorcycle Accident Attorney?

Insurers are for-profit businesses that retain teams of lawyers to fight against victims’ claims, particularly if it is a high-value claim. You are at a distinct disadvantage if you attempt to take on this challenge on your own, and it can be difficult to get the full compensation you deserve. An experienced motorcycle accident attorney from Pemberton Personal Injury Law Firm can simplify the process and protect your rights. To learn more about how we can serve you, schedule a free consultation today by calling (608) 448-6242.

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