After being involved in a motorcycle crash with injuries, you may wonder whether you have to go to court for a motorcycle accident. It is ultimately your decision, as the injured party, what civil legal action that you want to pursue.
You can seek compensation from the at-fault party for your medical expenses and property damage, which, unless you reach a settlement, would require you to go to court. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), a non-fatal motorcycle accident can cost between $17,000 and $30,000 in medical costs. However, your expenses could be much higher, and these figures do not include long-term expenses that you may experience.
If the city or state decides to pursue legal action against the responsible driver, this would come in the form of a criminal case. The goal of this type of case is criminal charges and fines, not to get you the compensation that you may personally need in order to recover. If you want to recover compensation, you will need to file a civil case. You could be compelled to give testimony at a criminal trial related to your case. In this case, you would have to go to court for a motorcycle accident. However, this is not common. Most motorcycle cases are criminal cases for the person injured or killed.
Understanding Your Rights
It is your right to drive safely on the highway and streets without fear of getting injured in a motorcycle accident. When this trust is broken and someone strikes your bike and injures you, it is possible to receive compensation for your injuries from the at-fault driver. Every state has its own statute of limitations in terms of how long you have to file a lawsuit in personal injury cases. You can look up the statutes online with your state’s legislature or ask a motorcycle lawyer for guidance on how long you have to file your case. They can give you more information about the time limits in place for personal injuries and property damage cases.
In general, it is better to start the legal process as early as possible, so you do not have to worry about running out of time under the statute of limitations. Building a case and navigating the legal system can take time so starting the filing process sooner can be very advantageous. It might also be easier to get witness testimony and video surveillance footage the sooner that you try.
According to Forbes, certain risk factors can increase your risk of being involved in a motorcycle accident, such as weather or traffic conditions. If it turns out that the weather caused your accident, it could be difficult to recover compensation from the other driver, even if you perceive that they are responsible for your accident. This is where it could be helpful to have a third-party professional, such as a motorcycle accident lawyer, review your case. They can listen to what happened to you to give you feedback about your legal options when it comes to filing a lawsuit in civil court to recover medical costs and other expenses.
Auto Insurance Settlements
Your auto insurance company or the insurer of the at-fault driver might offer you an accident settlement instead of going to court. In certain cases, this can be advantageous for you and the other party, as it limits the amount of time for the case to be resolved and can reduce high court costs. Plus, it is a guarantee of compensation. In court, there are not any guarantees.
Before you accept any settlement offer, it is important to ask yourself questions, such as:
- Is this enough money to cover my current and future expenses related to the accident?
- Can I possibly negotiate more from the other party?
- Could I receive more compensation by going to court?
- What are my chances of winning a court case?
These are just some of the questions that you may want to consider when it comes to auto insurance settlements. There might be others that your motorcycle accident lawyer will use to assess if an insurance settlement is adequate or if they would recommend that you continue to court.
Contact Us Today
In many cases, it is your decision about whether you have to go to court for a motorcycle accident. If you should decide that you want to pursue compensation through the civil court system, contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm at (800) 223-5115 to discuss the details of your motorcycle accident case. There is no cost associated with the consultation or with our services until you win your legal case.