Hurdles to Overcome After a Motorcycle Accident in Michigan
After a motorcycle accident, most victims want to know whether their case is worth much. Sadly, for motorcyclists involved in an accident, there are more hurdles to overcome when trying to seek compensation compared to auto accident victims. However, with the assistance of a Michigan motorcycle accident attorney from Moss & Colella, you are able to navigate through the murky waters of settlements. Here are some of the obstacles that victims may experience after a motorcycle accident:
1. Prejudice towards Motorcyclists
The greatest hurdle that motorcyclists have to jump over is the bias against them. This is because, in a courtroom, juries often have a preconceived negative perception of motorcyclists. Bikers are often associated with lack of amiability, being irresponsible, and hot-tempered. Some jurors even link them with criminal activity. Though these qualities do not apply to most bikers, the unfair stereotypes still exist. To counter this, the Michigan motorcycle accident lawyers from Moss & Colella will help you put together a strong case that will help overcome any negative bias and ensure you get a fair settlement.
2. Calculating the Value of your Motorcycle Case
Since Michigan is a no-fault state, it means as a biker, you are entitled to first party benefits. However, if you want compensation for pain and suffering, you will have to take your case to court. For this, your Detroit motorcycle accident lawyer will try to establish how much your motorcycle case is worth. Many factors come into play when determining case value. One, the attorney must consider what the at-fault driver or the insurance company is willing to pay out to avoid going to court. In addition, what you are expecting to receive is considered. However, the main factors that determine the settlement are the gravity of the accident was and the seriousness of the injuries that you sustained. Another factor is the likelihood of the jury finding the at-fault driver responsible for the crash.
3. Proving the Defendant’s Liability
In Michigan, to get a more substantial sum of money for your pain and suffering claim, you must determine that the other driver played a considerable part in the accident. In fact, you must prove that he or she was at least 50% liable. Motorcycle victims have a hard time convincing the jury that the defendant was the cause of all their injuries. This worsens when the plaintiff does not have concrete evidence proving that the defendant was responsible. This causes the value of the case to decrease. This also leads to the plaintiff taking a smaller settlement. However, with the assistance of a Michigan motorcycle accident lawyer from Moss & Colella, you will have strong representation against the defendant if you go to court. Some of their techniques for determining liability include:
- Police reports– A police report is an excellent source of information regarding the accident if indeed the police were called. A police report contains relevant information such as the date, location and time of the accident and the statements made by witnesses. Additionally, these reports document property damage, a narrative of all the details of the crash and even a description of the actions of the at-fault driver who caused the accident.
- Citations– These tend to be a smoking gun in a pain and suffering lawsuit. If the officer at the scene gave a citation to the defendant, it improves the chances of a hefty settlement for you. The citations include actions such as driving under the influence, failure to signal, and failing to stop at a red light among other traffic offenses.
- Admitting the fault– If the defendant admitted being at-fault at the scene to their insurance company or the reporting officer, it can be used to build a case against them. This is why it is advisable not to admit anything until your attorney is around, even if you feel that your actions led to the accident.
4. The defendant’s insurance policy
Since motorcycle accidents often lead to severe injuries due to the open nature of motorcycles, many victims sue for third-party benefits. However, a considerable drawback to the amount that the victim will receive is the amount of insurance that the defendant has. In most cases, the settlement will not go beyond the liability limit of the at-fault driver’s auto insurance. Thus, even if the jury awards you an amount higher than their threshold, you are not guaranteed to recover the whole amount. In most cases, you will be forced to accept their coverage limit in spite of the damages being higher than the coverage limit. This might seem daunting to a motorcycle accident victim to overcome, but with the guidance of an experienced motorcycle accident attorney, you will be better able to receive a fair settlement.
If you or a loved was in a motorcycle accident in Michigan and you are looking for legal assistance in filing an insurance claim, finding the best Michigan motorcycle accident lawyer can be challenging. At Moss & Colella, we will guide you in filing a Michigan motorcycle insurance claim.