A lawsuit may be a necessity after a motorcycle crash. You should always be prepared to pursue your claim that far. Even if a police officer determines the driver who hit you is at fault, his or her insurance company may not accept this analysis. They can contest fault in court.
Motorcycle accident claims are especially contentious. There is a stigma that motorcycle riders act dangerous on the roadway. People believe they are responsible for the majority of the motorcycle accidents. Since injuries are often very serious, the insurance company may not want to pay the full value of the claim. This means they’ll typically take the time to fully investigate the case. They will be looking for reasons NOT to pay your claim.
Motorcycle accident cases are usually contested. For that reason, you should be prepared to file a suit. However, if you’ve hired an experienced motorcycle attorney you aren’t going to have to worry. They will be your representatives and they will guide you through the process.
During the course of the lawsuit, known as “litigation,” there are some terms you need to know.
Once a lawsuit if filed, the opposing insurance company will begin the discovery process. It starts with asking written questions. Many of the questions will be about the incident itself. They will also ask about your background and injuries. In addition, the other side will ask for you to produce your medical records, bills, loss of earnings letters, and photos.
What is a Deposition?
A deposition is a question and answer session. The lawyer for the insurance company will ask you questions regarding your background, the facts of the crash and your damages. The questions will be like those from the discovery process. The only difference is in the discovery process the questions are written while a deposition is an oral testimony. It’s normal to be nervous for this. Your attorney will prepare you for the types of questions you will need to answer for the deposition.
Independent or Defense Medical Exams
The opposing insurance company is also allowed to send you to a doctor of their choice for a medical examination. The goal here is to determine the scope, causation and future treatment of your injuries. The other side would like to show that your injuries are not as bad as you claim, or to prove that future treatment will not be necessary. You need to cooperate for the medical exam, but please note you are not choosing the doctor for treatment.
This is where both sides of the case come together with a neutral third party to talk about resolution. At mediation, you will learn the good and bad points of your case. The mediator will assist both sides in trying to come to a reasonable end.
If the two sides do not agree on a settlement, then the final act to resolve the case is in front of a jury at a trial. Both sides will present their respective cases on why you deserve a certain amount of compensation. A trial can last from a couple of days to over a month, maybe even longer. At the end of the trial, a jury will decide an outcome.
After a motorcycle accident, you should prepare yourself for a lawsuit. Motorcycle accident cases are adversarial in nature. Therefore, you need to obtain proper consultation.
Insurance companies want to settle cases as low as possible, and as quickly as possible. In a motorcycle case, there is a possibility that it will take a long time. Be prepared to be in litigation to prove your case. Your best bet is contacting an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer.