How long a motorcycle accident claim takes to settle is different on a case-by-case basis. Coming to a settlement agreement may be easier or harder depending on the specifics of your accident, how much evidence you can find, and whether the liable party’s insurance company is open to good faith negotiations.
After reviewing the details of your case, a motorcycle accident lawyer can give you an estimate of how long your claim may take to settle.
Factors that Can Affect the Speed of Your Settlement
According to Ohio Revised Code § 2305.10, you typically have two years from the date of the injury (in this case, the date of the motorcycle accident) to begin a personal injury lawsuit. This statute of limitations keeps the settlement process from going on too long.
If your case is very straightforward—i.e., it is undeniable that the party you are suing was at fault and that you did nothing wrong—then you may get your money faster.
Likewise, if you have a lot of unimpeachable evidence (e.g., surveillance footage and photos of the scene) to support your claims, the insurance company may be quicker to offer a reasonable settlement.
Unfortunately, not every case is so simple. The insurance company may argue that the accident was entirely or mostly your fault, and therefore, under Ohio Revised Code § 2315.33, you are ineligible to collect damages. They may also offer you a lowball settlement that is far less than what you need and deserve. In such cases, getting a fair settlement could take much longer, or you may have to go to court to defend your rights
Why Would I Have to Go to Court?
Going to court can lengthen the time it takes to get a settlement or court award; however, it can be unavoidable in some cases. Here are some reasons your motorcycle accident attorney may advise you to sue for compensation:
- Settlement negotiation breaks down with the insurance company
- The at-fault driver doesn’t have insurance but can afford to compensate you through other means
- The at-fault party or entity is well-represented by legal teams who are drawing out the process
- The case is complex, involving significant loss, severe injuries, multiple liable parties, or large companies
Most of the time, the liable party’s insurer will lose money if they go to court. They want to settle before it comes to that. However, your attorney may find that litigation is the only or best way to secure what you deserve. If that’s the case, they will make sure you are well-prepared for this and all parts of the legal process.
What You Can Claim
Before you get to the negotiating stage, you must prepare a list of the damages you want the insurance company to pay you. In some cases, you may be eligible for non-economic damages such as:
- Pain and suffering: if the accident and its aftereffects have caused you physical pain and mental anguish
- Disfigurement: if you have permanent, painful scars left by your accident injuries
- Reduced quality of life: if you will always struggle to perform everyday tasks without help due to your permanent injuries
You may also be eligible for economic damages such as:
- Medical bills: if you saw any type of medical professional (a doctor, a therapist, and so on) to reduce or eliminate your injury symptoms, these medical expenses are recoverable
- Loss of wages: if you were temporarily unable to do your job and stayed home to let your injuries heal
- Loss of employment: if you are unable to ever return to your previous job or field
The types and amounts of compensation that you can ask for in your personal injury claim will vary on a case-by-case basis.
A Lawyer Can Help You Fight for a Settlement
If you are seeking a settlement after a motorcycle collision, you may find it helpful to consult a personal injury lawyer. They will let you know if your case may entitle you to compensation and, if so, how you can go about seeking that money.
A lawyer can also represent you throughout your motorcycle accident lawsuit, minimizing the amount of labor and effort you have to expend and maximizing the amount of time you can spend recovering in peace. In addition, many firms charge no upfront fees, so you can pay them a percentage of your settlement or court award instead of out of your own pocket.
Among the other tasks a law firm can complete for you are:
- Leading an investigation: your lawyer knows where to look for supporting evidence and how to access that information.
- Negotiating: a lawyer can represent you at the negotiating table and fight hard to make the insurance company pays a fair amount.
- Prepare the agreement: once a settlement agreement is reached, your attorney will prepare the paperwork and make sure you understand what is in the agreement before you sign it.
- Going to trial: sometimes, you must choose between accepting a smaller settlement and going to trial to get what you may truly deserve. Your personal injury attorney can help you make that decision and represent you in the courtroom if necessary.
Let the Fitch Law Firm LLC Help with Your Motorcycle Accident Case
No matter how long your motorcycle accident claim takes to settle, the Fitch Law Firm LLC can assist and advise you every step of the way. Get in touch with our staff in Columbus, Ohio, by calling today. We offer free case evaluations to all callers, and we never charge attorney fees until after you have received compensation.
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