How Long Does a Motorcycle Accident Lawsuit Take?
The duration of a motorcycle accident lawsuit can vary depending on whether it settles out of court or goes to a jury trial.
Numerous factors can affect the timeline for a motorcycle accident case. As a motorcycle crash victim, you have limited control over most of them, except for one: The sooner you hire a motorcycle accident lawyer to handle your claim, the sooner you may obtain compensation.
Your Rights as a Motorcycle Accident Victim
If you got hurt in a motorcycle crash, you may have the right to receive compensation for your losses.
Anyone whose careless or reckless actions caused your accident could owe you monetary damages for your:
- Medical and other crash-related expenses
- Lost income and job benefits
- Pain and suffering
- Diminished quality of life
The most reliable way to get the maximum payment is to hire an experienced motorcycle accident attorney to handle your case. By pursuing an informal demand, insurance claim, or lawsuit on your behalf, an attorney can often secure significant compensation from an at-fault party or insurance company that has liability for your losses.
Factors Affecting the Timeline of Motorcycle Accident Case
It is difficult to predict the duration of a motorcycle accident case. Many factors can affect how long it takes a lawyer to secure money covering your accident-related expenses and future needs. Here are some aspects of a motorcycle accident claim that can affect its timeline.
How Soon You Hire a Lawyer
As mentioned above, the only factor affecting your motorcycle accident claim timeline that lies entirely within your control is when you hire a lawyer to represent you. Retaining an experienced motorcycle accident attorney ensures that your claim will get investigated, filed, litigated, and resolved as efficiently as possible.
Finding a lawyer is straightforward and affordable. Most reputable motorcycle accident attorneys offer a free in-person or virtual consultation. They also regularly represent motorcycle crash victims on a contingent fee basis, which means you do not pay for their services unless they win for you.
The Necessity of a Lawsuit
It is not always necessary to file a lawsuit to secure compensation for your motorcycle accident injuries. Sometimes, a lawyer can resolve your claim without needing to file suit. For example, a lawyer might send an informal demand for payment to the party at fault for your crash, file a claim with an insurance company on your behalf, and then negotiate a settlement with them. If that is an option in your motorcycle accident case, it could considerably shorten the timeline.
In contrast, the timeline could stretch if it takes a lawsuit against an at-fault party or insurance company to resolve your claim. Lawsuits follow a schedule fixed by court rules and procedures.
A case ending in a court judgment or a trial usually takes at least a year.
That said, filing suit does not guarantee you will have to wait a year for a favorable outcome. The parties to a motorcycle accident lawsuit can cut it short anytime through a negotiated settlement, and they frequently do. And sometimes, the mere filing of a case in court speeds up the resolution of a motorcycle accident claim by triggering immediate settlement talks.
An experienced motorcycle accident lawyer can explain the implications of filing a lawsuit compared to pursuing a settlement. The lawyer may recommend different strategies depending on your priorities and needs.
Your motorcycle accident claim has value only if a lawyer could prove someone else’s liability for your damages in court, if necessary. Winning at trial requires evidence of an at-fault party’s actions and the scale of harm you suffered. Finding that evidence takes investigation, and the more challenging that is, the longer the potential timeline of your case.
For example, a case investigation might take just a few weeks if you know the name and insurance carrier of the driver who hit you on your bike and highway traffic camera footage of the crash leaves no doubt about the driver’s liability. But it might take months if the at-fault driver fled the scene, and your lawyer needs to track down and interview eyewitnesses who can identify him and describe what happened.
You cannot control how challenging it is for your lawyer to obtain evidence from others. But you can make your lawyer’s job a little easier by saving all documents you receive related to your motorcycle accident—such as medical records, insurance statements, bills, invoices, and receipts—so that your lawyer does not have to hunt them down.
The Degree of Dispute Over Liability and Damages
The length of a motorcycle accident case can also depend on how hotly the at-fault party or insurance company you are suing disputes fundamental questions like liability (who owes you money) or damages (how much they owe). The motorcycle accident claims process goes smoothly and gets resolved quicker when everyone agrees on those issues. The process drags on when someone with potential liability fights tooth and nail to avoid compensating you for your losses.
The party you sue could have varying reasons for putting up a fight. They might legitimately disagree that they are liable for your damages. But they might also contest your claim to give themselves bargaining leverage or to drag out the case in hopes you will give up or settle for less than you deserve. Hiring an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer gives you the most favorable chance of countering those tactics and winning your case.
Contact a Skilled Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Today
If you sustained injuries in a motorcycle crash that was not your fault, seek legal help immediately by contacting an experienced personal injury attorney. You may have the right to receive significant monetary damages from an at-fault party or insurance company. Hiring a knowledgeable motorcycle accident lawyer will jumpstart your claim and get you the quickest outcome possible.
To learn more about how long it might take to get money for the losses you suffered in a motorcycle crash, contact a skilled motorcycle accident attorney for your free consultation.