Getting in a motorcycle accident can be one of the scariest things that ever happens to you. Riding a motorcycle is thrilling, but also leaves you more vulnerable to accidents, with motorcyclists being 35 times more likely to be involved in a fatal accident than those riding in cars. If you've recently been in a motorcycle accident, you are probably dealing with significant medical and financial repercussions.
In order to best protect yourself legally and financially, and hopefully receive damages, you will want to meet with a motorcycle accident attorney, like one at the Hinkle Law Offices. Here are important questions to ask during your consultation:
What Do You Think of My Case?
An honest assessment of your motorcycle accident case is important right off the bat. After reviewing the basic facts, your attorney should be able to tell you if they think you have a solid case and what the most likely outcome will be.
Even if your attorney is not optimistic about your lawsuit chances, you shouldn't consider your meeting a waste of time. Even if they don't think your case is especially strong, they will most likely still have good legal advice for you.
How Much Experience Do You Have with Motorcycle Accident Cases?
While overall experience is important, ideally your attorney will be experienced specifically with motorcycle accident cases. Motorcycle accidents are unique in that motorcyclists are more vulnerable than motorists, especially since a motorcycle does not offer the protection that a car does.
In addition, motorcycle laws are different from laws governing operating a motor vehicle. Your attorney should have experience representing, and hopefully winning cases for, motorcyclists.
What is the Ballpark Amount I Can Expect if I Win a Settlement?
You should never count on a lawsuit settlement, but if your attorney thinks you have a solid case and a good chance of winning your suit, it's fair to ask them to make an educated guess about your potential settlement. Having a clear idea of what you may be entitled to will help you to keep your expectations in line with reality and to make other financial plans if your anticipated settlement won't completely cover your accident-related expenses.
Motorcycle accident settlements vary widely depending on the specifics of the case, but the average settlement amount is nearly $80,000.
What is the Anticipated Timeline?
Since you most likely have medical bills, motorcycle repairs and other expenses waiting, it's imperative your case be handled in as timely a manner as possible. Ask your attorney for an estimated timeline so you aren't caught off-guard. Depending on the complexity of your case and whether or not it goes to trial, the entire process could take anywhere from a month to a year or longer.
Do You See Any Potential Issues or Delays with My Case?
While it's great to have a timeframe in mind, what about possible problems or delays? This is a good question to ask your attorney, not only so you have the most accurate view of your case, but also because you may be able to help prevent potential problems or delays yourself.
For example, if your attorney explains a lack of documentation or insurance information can cause delays, you will know to gather that information, strengthening your case and helping things to run as smoothly as possible. Bear in mind that court proceedings get delayed and rescheduled at the last minute all the time, however, often due to an unanticipated change in the judge's schedule.
By showing up to your meeting with your motorcycle accident attorney fully prepared with these questions, you will make the most of your initial consultation.