Stages of a Motorcycle Accident Injury Lawsuit
If you have sustained a motorcycle accident injury, then you may have grounds for a lawsuit. To be able to file a suit, you will have to have evidence that shows the accident was a result of the other drivers violating his or her duty of care. Simply put, this means that the other drivers reckless behavior caused the accident. You will also need to have evidence of your injuries.
Filing a motorcycle accident injury claim is not a short process. You should be prepared to wait a long time until your matter is completely resolved.
Gathering Evidence of Your Motorcycle Accident Injury
Before you contract a lawyer to represent you throughout your lawsuit, you will need to gather some evidence for your prospective lawyer. The following is a list of items you should have prepared before meeting with a lawyer:
- A copy of the police report detailing the accident
- Any traffic tickets the other driver was issued
- Photos of the scene of the accident and of your injuries
- Names and contact information of any witnesses to the accident
- Copies of your medical bills and records
- Any evidence to support missed days of work and loss of wages
Hiring a Motorcycle Accident Injury Lawyer
Once you have your evidence gathered, you will want to seek out a personal injury attorney to represent you. Selecting a good personal injury attorney can be a difficult process because there are so many of them. Personal recommendations can be invaluable. However, if you don't know anyone who can suggest a motorcycle accident lawyer, Attorneys.com can connect you with a qualified attorney in your area.
What is important is that you find an attorney you feel comfortable working with who has the proper experience. You should also seek out a personal injury attorney who has worked on motorcycle accident injury cases in the past.
Once you find a lawyer to represent you, he or she will begin the lawsuit process.
Sending a Demand Letter
Your lawyer will review all the information you have gathered. This is called the investigation. He or she will probably ask you a number of questions regarding the accident, your injuries, and your general driving record.
After collecting enough information, the lawyer will begin negotiations with the other drivers insurance company. To initiate this process, he or she will write up and send a demand letter. This letter tells the insurance company of your intent to sue, the severity of your injuries, and the medical costs you have incurred and expect to incur, as well as a monetary amount that you are willing to settle for.
The company then has a chance to respond. If the response is favorable, then you and your attorney can settle the claim. If not, your lawyer will file a claim with the court to initiate a lawsuit.
Going to Trial
The trial stage is the absolute last stage of a motorcycle accident injury lawsuit. Usually cases are settled prior to reaching trial. If you do end up going to trial, it can be a very drawn out process.
There may be a jury selection where a panel of peers is selected to decide the outcome of your case. (Otherwise, you may have a bench trial, which means the judge will decide your case.) After this, your attorney and the insurance companys attorneys will give their opening statements, which establish their arguments.
Witnesses, who can be summoned to court by either side, will then take the stand. Both the plaintiffs attorney, who is your attorney, and the defenses attorney will get an opportunity to ask the witnesses questions. Be prepared to serve as a witness at your own trial.
At the end of the case, both sides give their final arguments, which is basically a concluding statement summarizing the points they made throughout the case. The jury or judge then deliberates. Upon return, they give their verdict. This ends the case.