Motorcycle accidents are happening more often everywhere. If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle crash caused by someone else’s negligence, you deserve compensation. A personal injury attorney can help you prove fault and receive compensation for any damages.
Most motorcycle collisions can be settled without going to court. Knowing what to expect in whichever direction your case could take is beneficial. Speak to a South Carolina motorcycle accident lawyer to discuss the details of your case.
First, You Need a Claim and Solid Proof
The first step is to make sure you have a claim for your motorcycle accident. You must prove that the other driver caused the accident. Whether they were driving under the influence, speeding, not giving you the right of way, or another neglectful action, you will have to prove it if they are trying to blame you.
You will also need proof of this if you have injuries from the collision, lost income, pain, and suffering. Working with a South Carolina motorcycle accident lawyer can put you on the right track. An experienced attorney can ensure you have all your evidence and paperwork together.
Negotiating with the Insurance Company for a Settlement
Once you have your documents, the next step is to submit everything to the insurance company. You can do all of this yourself, but it is better to have someone who knows the legal jargon and tricks that insurance companies can use. Some insurance companies will try to offer you a low settlement.
With an attorney on your side, you will know what is fair to accept and how to counter-offer the settlement.
The Process of a Motorcycle Accident in South Carolina Going to Court
If the negotiation and settlement discussions do not progress, your motorcycle collision claim must go to court for litigation. This lawsuit will describe the claims against the defendant. For example, if the defendant was driving under the influence, that is the claim you and your lawyer will make.
The next step is gathering all of your evidence. You may even want to get further proof. It is best to have witness statements, expert testimonies, police reports, medical records, and anything else to prove your damages.
Once you submit your evidence, the next step is counterarguments in the courtroom and motions to dismiss the case. Mediation between you and the defendant is next. If you still cannot seek an agreement, pre-trial will begin.
Factors that Put You at Risk for Going to Court
Some situations can increase your chances of your motorcycle accident case going to court. Some are:
- Complex injuries that will likely end up in significant losses in the future
- Disputing with the insurance company with lack of evidence
- Little to no insurance coverage to provide full compensation to the crash victim(s)
- If the defendant is not taking any responsibility
A motorcycle accident differs from a car accident, so it is important to know the process and factors that go into the case.
What It Is Like to Have a Motorcycle Accident on Trial
If your settlement and mediation fail, the case will proceed to trial. A judge or jury will determine who is at fault and who will compensate. A trial consists of different phases. The trial will start with your opening statement and your attorney summarizing their positions.
Next, the questioning will begin for any witnesses you or the defendant have. Once they have answered all the questions, expert witnesses are called to the stand and will evaluate their evidence. The expert witnesses can be a doctor or other medical professional who assessed your injuries after the incident. The closing arguments will begin, and the jury will reach a verdict. Once the jury is finished with their decision, you will be awarded damages if the jury is in your favor.
A Trial May Not Reach a Final Resolution
It is important to know that a trial may not reach the resolution you are hoping for, or any at all. There are some instances why this can happen, such as the following:
A judge can declare a mistrial if there is an improper action during your trial that would prevent the jury from making a fair decision. For example, new evidence that was not introduced properly could affect the verdict.
When a jury cannot reach a unanimous decision, the judge can declare a hung jury and mistrial. However, your case could end up with a new jury.
Reaching Settlement Before Verdict
If you enter a trial, but then you and the defendant reach a settlement and negotiation, this can end the trial.
If the defendant of your case has no solid evidence on their part, the judge can issue a verdict in your favor. At this point, the trial would end.
Before the full trial begins, a judge can determine if a party cannot win at all based on the law and undisputed facts. For example, a full trial would not be needed if the defendant in your case was charged with driving under the influence, even if they were trying to keep fighting for their side of the argument.
You вo Not Have to Go Through Negotiation and Trial Alone
Getting in a motorcycle collision is traumatizing enough. You do not need to have all the legal complexities piling up as you are shaken up by the accident. Working with a South Carolina motorcycle accident attorney can help you go through the process of getting the justice you deserve.
At Shelly Leeke Law Firm, our team understands the emotional distress that comes along with personal injury cases. We help take off as much stress as possible by walking you through the next steps and ensuring you have what you need to prove you were not at fault. Contact us today for a free consultation.